Friday, June 29, 2012

Weekly Reader

Interlop: Untangling Complex Systems
"I just wrote a memo to a group of budget people explaining (again) why it takes library staff with good technical skills, time, and lots of patience to make sure that when you click on a button in a library database to find an article, you actually find the article. Since it’s all online, now, it’s much less work, right?" -- Barbara Fister, Library Babel Fish, 6/29/12

99 Favorite Reads, Picked by Teens
"This list resulted from conversations I’ve been having with my teenage friends, former students, girls I know from where I volunteer as a visiting writer, Skypes with classes and teen book groups, library visits, nieces and nephews, my kids and their friends, and teens who contact me about Birthmarked. I love hearing about what people are reading, and I’m interested in the difference between what I find teens are reading and what people think they’re reading or think they should be reading." -- Caragh O'Brien, MacKids Blog, 6/28/12

Grazing in the Stacks of Academe
"The heat comes quickly in the summer. By early June, working at home with no air-conditioning, I have no concentration. Everything feels close and impolite and loud. So I go to Butler Library, on the southern end of Columbia’s campus in Morningside Heights. What began as a diversion has become a self-preserving summer thing: not just Butler, but the Butler stacks, the stillness capital of my imagination." -- Ben Ratliff, New York Times: Arts, 6/27/12

Lawn Boy: the College Years
"We’re on the road, my son Crawford and I.  It’s time to visit colleges, and our schedule is brutal.  Hot car, blinding sun, 12 colleges in 10 days, Ann Arbor to Sewanee. Onward we drive, Zevon on the stereo, afternoon into night, our mission fueled by gas-station coffee and Doritos. When we stop, it is for college admissions tours, barbecue, and, on one occasion, a broken alternator belt. I don’t even like to think about how far we have traveled." -- Carl Elliot, Brainstorm, The Chronicle, 6/27/12

Pinterest Legal Concerns: What is Lawful to Pin?
"A serious problem seems to be emerging in regards to Pinterest and a violation of the legal rights of content creators and their intellectual property. The problem lies in the fact that you can use the work of others to build your own brand without attributing their work to them or compensating them. Just as with posting photographs on your blog without permission, using copyright images for promotional postcards, or stealing another's article and attaching your own name, new light has emerged that reveals pinning photographs as illegal." -- Tara Hornor, Social Media Today, 6/26/12

A Look at Internet Use on Moblie Phones
"17% of cell phone owners do most of their online browsing on their phone, rather than a computer or other device. Most do so for convenience, but for some their phone is their only option for online access." -- Aaron Smith, Pew Research Center Publications, 6/26/12

Friday, June 22, 2012

Revisiting Pinterest

The IRC Pinterest page has been active for three months; our follower total is growing steadily, though it seems to be generated more by other libraries than students or library patrons.  I have a few thoughts regarding that, specifically a collaborative board or two with IRC student workers as content collaborators. Something to ponder during the summer.

The library community is active on Pinterest, I've seen (and follow) a number of great library pages and ideas for new resources are abundant. For instance, the Valencia College West Library has a pinboard featuring their LibGuides. Great idea! Yes, I now have an IRC & LibGuides board.

Attribution continues to be key to all things Pinterest.  Pins now detail the web site source on the original pin and the new re-pinner's board as well. This is a definite improvement, especially when pinners do not remember to attribute pin source.

There are a few attribution oddities. I've noticed on one board where I included hyperlinks in the pin description, the hyperlinks are now being attributed as the source of the image.  The IRC Pinterest board QR Codes & the IRC has a collection of QR codes I created and subsequently uploaded to Pinterest.  I inserted a hyperlink in each QR code pin description enabling the user to access the connected web site; pins on those boards are now being attributed to the hyperlink. 

The twitter QR code for @IRCaulibrary was created and uploaded by the user (me), the pin description included a hyperlink.  Pinterest now attributes the image to Twitter (incorrect) and the image links to the IRC Twitter page. Since that's where I wanted the user to be be directed, it's not necessarily a bad thing. 

In cases where a simple image has been uploaded (sans hyperlink in the pin description), attribution remains "uploaded by user."  On boards where a library catalog link is included in a pin description of a book cover pinned from outside the catalog, the image is properly attributed to the source and the hyperlink remains. It's an oddity.

Pinterest has begun sending a "Pinterest Weekly" email to users.  It details people who have chosen to follow you, shows six popular boards, and recommends 'Pins You'll Love." As with other email notifications affiliated with the account, it is possible to opt out of the weekly message.

New blog posts about Pinterest consistently appear in my feed reader.  Here are a few from this week:
Retail sites are also joining the Pinterest parade! Thanks to Ellison Education for adding 'pin it' icons to their dies catalog/collection.  It definitely streamlined the process of adding the Ellison Alphabet board to the IRC Pinterest page this afternoon.

Weekly Reader

Libraries, Patrons, and E-Books
"Some 12% of Americans ages 16 and older who read e-books say they have borrowed an e-book from a library in the past year. Most e-book borrowers say libraries are very important to them and their families and they are heavy readers in all formats, including books they bought and books lent to them. E-book borrowers say they read an average (the mean number) of 29 books in the past year, compared with 23 books for readers who do not borrow e-books from a library. Perhaps more striking, the median (midpoint) figures for books reportedly read are 20 in the past year by e-book borrowers and 12 by non-borrowers." -- Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie, Kristen Purcell, Mary Madden and Joanna Brenner, Pew Internet Libraries, 6/22/12

UVA Creates Archive Documenting Sullivan's Resignation
"The University of Virginia library staff is archiving materials related to the recent events that forced Teresa A. Sullivan to resign as president of the institution. This is the first time the libraries have tried to preserve materials from a large-scale, continuing event, said Bradley Daigle, director of digital-curation services. The staff did not begin collecting materials on the subject until a rally on June 18. As of June 22, the team has archived nearly 20,000 tweets, 61 blog posts, over 200 media posts, and about 100 physical objects, such as signs from protests." -- Angela Chen, The Wired Campus, 6/22/12

Intellectual Freedom and the Library as a Workplace
"One recent thread was about a perceived trend among higher education administrators to doubt that faculty will perform their jobs adequately without lots of supervision and rules. This conversation went in many directions, but one comment by Doug Downs, who teaches rhetoric and composition at Montana State University, really struck me as containing a key to many of the frustrations that bubble up in libraries. He wasn’t talking about libraries, but rather about the “two cultures” of faculty and staff/administrators." -- Barbara Fister, Library Babel Fish, 6/5/12

This Could Be Your Library Web Site's Video Library
"When we opened the Common Craft membership service, we made every video in our library available for embedding on other websites. Our vision was to give organizations of all types a new resource for educating and informing their visitors." -- Lee Lefever, Common Craft News, 6/7/12

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Working with

I've been working on a library module for a new course and want to use a graphic, something visually appealing than a simple chart,to present data about library holdings, IRC holdings,LibGuides and OhioLINK. Intrigued by infographics, the ones that catch my interest (layout and information) are often professionally designed and more intricate than I could quickly or easily produce. While exploring the web last week, I found Create and Share Visual Ideas Online.

I spent an afternoon gathering data for my project and then created an account to develop an infographic. is currently in beta and free; on my computer it seemed to work best with Firefox, though an updated version of IE or other browser may have success. If you are familiar at all with Glogster (I love GlogsterEDU)'s general layout somewhat similar, this helped reduce the new user learning curve for my project.  After using the site, here are a few notes and observations:

  • There are several templates - or "Vhemes" - available or users can start graphic from scratch utilizing a selection of background colors and patterns. Starting from scratch can be somewhat overwhelming, the blank canvass looms large.
  • Infogrpahic layout options include landscape, portrait, or mobile. I used portrait, mobile was somewhat 'thinner,' but not necessarily longer.  There did not seem to be opportunity to set your own infographic size.
  • Working with the live canvass was made easier because it's zoomable; the editor has an undo button (hooray); and best of all a grid option sets up the canvass in squares making it easy to align objects.
  • "Text" sizing options are title, header, and body.  Once selected, they are customizable; a nice selection of fonts and text colors are available.  It's possible to further structure text with bold, italics, superscript, and size. Similar to word art, you can drag the text box and it will increase proportionally to fit the desired area.
  • It's possible to upload images.  I am unsure how much space is available for uploading, but I was able to add seven images without issue.
  • The "Shapes" library provides and assortment of arrows, squares, circles, triangles, and even text call-outs. Each is customizable using a variety of colors that can be adjusted.
  • The "Objects" library provides icons and images for users from ten different categories including people, icons, and banners.
  • Choose your element and drag it to the canvass; all elements are adjustable.  The only oddity I found was when sizing, the element moves from the middle out (proportionally) as opposed to dragging a corner into position. This took a bit of getting used to (putting the square in the middle of an area, it expanded on both sides).
  • When finished, you can save the inforgraphic as a jpeg; grab a persistent link to the image, or copy the code provided for embedding on blogs, web pages (or LibGuides).
  • Embedding? You may choose for the project to be public or private. Embedded infographics link back to (see below).
  • The embedded image is sizeable; the default parameters did not fit within the blog post structure. It was simple to size it accordingly.
I saved my finished project as a .jpeg and inserted it into the library module (ater revising to cite my data sources).  Overall, I'm pleased with the result ... and the web site. 

AU_Library title=