Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Waiting to Explore Pintrest

"Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes." About Pinterest
Ever since the ALAO conference in November, I've been considering ways to use Pinterest. During our session, Web Tools: The More Things Change, co-presenter (and Library Cloud Blogger) Sara Klink highlighted Pinterest and featured ideas on library use.

Intrigued by the possibility of catalog book links being a more visual entity, easier and quicker than finding and uploading images to the IRC news blog book features, I started to explore. The idea is simple, after locating a desired image, use the 'pin it' button (easily installed) to add an existing image or video to a board designated by the users.  Once there, the social element emerges and other users can 'repin' an item to their board.  When using an image from a web site, it's effectively linked back to the source.  Users are instructed to locate original source for pinning;  "Finding the original source is always preferable to a secondary source such as Google Image Search or a blog entry" (Pinterest Etiquette).

When searching for information on Pinterest and libraries, I found the following:
I'm currently waiting for my Pinterest invitation, I requested one via the web site a short time ago. Once it arrives - or I ask friends to send me an invite from their account - I'll post again.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekly Reader

Fair-Use Guide Hopes to Solve Librarians' VHS-Cassette Problem
"The Association of Research Libraries might have a solution to what some librarians call 'the VHS-cassette problem.' Here’s the scenario: An academic library has a collection of video tapes that is slowly deteriorating, thanks to the fragile nature of analog media. A librarian would like to digitize the collection for future use, but avoids making the copies out of fear that doing so would violate copyright law. And the institution’s attorneys have advised the librarian that the fair-use principle, which might offer a way to make copies legally, is too flexible to rely on." -- Nick DeSantis, Wired Campus, 1/25/12

Google: Updating Our Privacy Policies and Terms of Service
"In just over a month we will make some changes to our privacy policies and Google Terms of Service. This stuff matters, so we wanted to explain what’s changing, why and what these changes mean for users." -- Alma Whitten, Official Google Blog, 1/24/12

Five Trends Behind the Growing Shift to Video Explanations
"It’s easy to look back at Internet history and spot the points of major change. A famous example is the Web 2.0 era which spawned products like Twitter, Facebook and other lasting features of the Web. Some would say we're in the cloud era now, with nearly everything we do on computers being moved to off-site servers.  Within these big, tectonic shifts are smaller shifts that also make a difference.  YouTube was a big shift that kicked off online video in 2005 and in the years since, we’ve seen the growth of viral videos and myriad artistic expressions in video form." -- Lee LeFeever, Common Craft News, 12/23/12

Brain Drain: States that Lose the Most College Students
"As I interviewed students at colleges in the Washington area over the past few years, I began to wonder: Why is everyone from New Jersey or New York? And why do so many students look like Snooki and the Situation? Turns out, those states are the biggest exporters of college students. In 2008, more than half of recent high school graduates in New Jersey went out of state to enroll at a four-year college." -- Jenna Johnson, Campus Overload, 1/24/12

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekly Reader

Google Abandons Anonymous Accounts with New Sign Up Form
"Google is experimenting with a new signup form that eliminates the ability to create anonymous accounts. The new form is part of an effort to expand the Google+ social network by automatically adding every new Google account to Google+. Because Google+ requires a name and gender the new signup form effectively eliminates the anonymous Google account." -- Scott Gilbertson, Web Monkey, 1/20/12

Apples new Textbook Platform - Which Way Forward?
"As Apple likes to do, it made a major media splash with its press conference today, held in the Big Apple, still seen as the heart of the publishing industry. (Besides, nudging the announcement a few hours earlier than Silicon Valley time means investors can drive up the stock price before Wall Street ends trading for the day). Several of us live blogged the event, though most of us weren’t actually there." -- Barbara Fister, Library Babel Fish, 1/19/12

A Look at the New iTunesU
"iTunes U has long been one of the hidden gems of the iTunes Store, and even with some new features announced yesterday to the online learning platform, it appears that it's again set to be overshadowed. That's hardly surprising -- the news about digital textbooks and their "reinvention" was the focus of the press event." -- Audrey Watters Hack (Higher) Education, 1/20/12.
Caution Urged in City College of SF Computer Use
"As thousands of students and employees return today to City College of San Francisco - where criminal hackers, it turns out, have been scanning computer data for years - campus officials are warning everyone to change computer passwords, avoid using school computers for banking or purchases, and to check home computers for viruses." -- Nannette Asimov, SF Gate, 1/17/12

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Animoto iphone app

I was excited to see the new iphone app introduced by Animoto in mid-December; their blog post Introducing the new Animoto iphone App includes the following 30 second video:

Being able to create Animoto videos directly from photos on my phone is intriguing, convenient, and time saving.  For example, while developing the QR code tab to present at ALAO I took several shots with my phone depicting how I'm using them in the IRC. I determined a Photobucket slide show would run easily in the background while presenting ...

and I'm still pleased with the final result. However, my first thought was an Animoto slide show. I was hampered somewhat by getting the images from my phone (at work) to the Animoto web site and optioned to use my Photobucket account. After downloading the Animoto app I was able to upload images, create a video, and post it to Twitter in fifteen minutes or less.

In some ways, the app is easier than the web site as there is no extraneous information distracting the user.  My finished video is 360 p, slightly better quality than non-HD web videos and seemed to allow for a higher number of images for a thirty second free project. After login, I was able to see mobile and web project on both the app and my web account. There are a few drawbacks with the app, with a streamlined process there were fewer style and music options presented and the embed code was not easily accessible. In my opinion, the immediacy and ease of the app far out-weigh any of the drawbacks. Here's the finished product:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Revisiting Twitter

I've been working with the IRC Twitter account since early November; it's time to revisit and evaluate early implementation. Web services added a Twitter link to the IRC web site providing access to the account, widgets have been successfully added to the IRC blog, and 'follows' added a variety of links to other university accounts.  It has been easier than anticipated to find tweetable topics to routinely promote the IRC and keep the account active, in part due to accounts chosen to follow that relate to IRC mission and vision. Two options recently investigated for account support are embedded tweets and lists.
Twitter updated their platform in December making the embed option more viable to users. It's a relatively simple process; choose a tweet to embed > select open to view additional options >  click on embed this tweet > choose an embed code. It's possible to preselect tweet position or "control position and text wrapping on the page" by using the alignment option. I embedded and IRC tweet to the IRC blog for holiday hours using the  html code provided in conjunction with Bloggers html option (see below):
The link works as advertised, users read the embedded tweet and can easily access the original  Twitter account. At this point, I am more apt to promote a blog post on Twitter than a tweet on a blog so its use is somewhat limited. On the plus side, this feature promotes proper citing of Twitter. Authors are able to quote tweets, highlight specific topics for readers, and work to expand readership to Twitter from a number of platforms. For more about embedding Twitter:

I've started to explore and use Twitter lists and must confess it warms my librarian's heart to be able to organize lists. Beyond the simple task of categorizing, lists provide me with the option to follow someone without actually following them:

"If you want to read a user's Tweets but not see their messages in your main timeline every day, lists allow you to do that. Similarly, following someone else's list does not mean you follow all users in that list. Rather, you follow the list itself." - Twitter Help Center, How to Use Twitter Lists

I've recently created a public list for @IRCaulibraryAshland University. The list features university accounts. I am able to easily promote tweets from the list and provide options for others to subscribe if interested.  More public lists will be developed as current follows lend themselves to several distinct categories (books, educational technology, etc.). In a few months I'll check in again to discuss/update use of the IRC Twitter account. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Weekly Reader

Be Your Weird Self
"I’m a weirdo. It has never mattered what community I’m a part of — I live and work in the periphery, and expect that I always will. At this point in my life, I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I think that you too should be a weirdo. You probably already are one. Stick with me here. Almost inherently, anybody working in academe is abnormal. If you are pursuing a higher degree or already hold an academic appointment, you simply aren’t a typical person (if there even is such a thing). And no matter your field, the institution you work at, or your personal values and ideological commitments, you probably aren’t even a good approximation of what most Americans consider in their own minds to be normal. That we are not typical citizens is not, in my opinion, a good or a bad thing, but simply a thing." -- Nate Kreuter, Inside Higher Ed:Tyro Tracts, 1/13/12

Common Craft News: New Video, Social Networking (Facebook)
"This video is a much-requested sequel to our video on Social Networking.  As you likely know, a lot has changed in the world of Social Networking as Facebook has emerged to be one of the standards - and this video is aimed at why.  It covers the basic ideas through the story of a woman who becomes a member and discovers how the social network and status updates help her feel more informed and engaged with her interests." -- Lee LeFever, Common Craft Blog, 1/12/12

Translating Ed Tech Issues Outside Education Circles
"I'm fascinated by the reactions to blog posts, whether those reactions occur in the blog's comments or whether they're on the various social networking sites where a link is shared. As someone who earns a living writing online and is very interested in engaging with readers, these reactions matter to me (and not just because readers are the first to catch my typos, something I really hate to have happen). But I'm often surprised by what elicits a response from people. Sometimes the posts that I feel are the most thought-provoking get no reaction. And sometimes the ones I feel are the least interesting get the most interest. And sometimes posts that I think are thought-provoking get a reaction that I didn't expect." -- Audrey Watters, Inside Higher Ed: Hack (Higher) Education, 1/12/12

Google Search Gets a Personalized Makover
"Google has announced a new personalized search the company calls “Search, plus Your World.” The update turns the classic Google search results page from an anonymous collection of webpages into something more personal, mining your Google+ network for results related to you. Rather than just scouring the web for webpages related to your search queries, Google will also now find conversations and images posted by your friends." -- Scott Gilbertson, Webmonkey, 1/10/12

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fun Book Store Video

I've seen this video, The Joy of Books, several places over the last few days. It's creative and very well done, definitely worth a look!
"After organizing our bookshelf almost a year ago (http://youtu.be/zhRT-PM7vpA), my wife and I decided to take it to the next level. We spent many sleepless nights moving, stacking, and animating books at Type bookstore in Toronto (883 Queen Street West, (416) 366-8973)." -- The Joy of Books, YouTube Channel crazedadman

Friday, January 06, 2012

Two-Weekly Reader

Unpacking Assessment
"ACRLog welcomes a guest post from Lisa Horowitz, Assessment Librarian at MIT Libraries.
As an assessment librarian, I am always looking for different ways to think about assessment. Most librarians aren’t statisticians, and for some, even the word itself, assessment, is daunting in that its meaning is unclear. Additionally, it’s such a broad topic that many of us are interested in only specific angles: learning outcomes, collection assessment, return on investment, the Value of Academic Libraries, and so on." -- Lisa Horowitz, ACRLog, 12/27/11

Five Versatile Screen-Capture Apps for Windows
"Takeaway: When you need a bit more functionality than Print Screen and Paint offer, one of these screen capture tools will come in handy. Screen captures aren’t just for tech writers anymore. If you support users, you probably need to capture screen shots occasionally. When needs are simple, you can probably get by with Print Screen and Windows Paint. If you’re using Windows 7, try Snipping Tool. But if you want serious control or more polish, you need something more powerful. Any of the following apps should fill most needs." -- Susan Harkins, Five Apps, 12/18/11

ALA Midwinter: Best Bet for Metadata Librarians and Call for Bloggers
"Planning to attend a session or already reporting on a session? Think about blogging it here! If you would like to blog any of the sessions, please contact Kristin Martin at kmarti@uic.edu with your name, e-mail address, and preferred session. As sessions are linked to the conference scheduler, and links are provided to fuller descriptions, when available. See a section not on here that you think would be of interest? Suggest it! NOTE: Preconferences are listed for informational purposes only and cannot be covered by the blog." -- Kristin Martin, Metadata Blog, 1/5/12

ALAO: Continuing Education Grant

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Continuing Education Grant is awarded each year to support the cost of participating in professional development opportunities. Current ALAO members are eligible to apply for funds to defray the costs of attending any library-related educational opportunity occurring during the 2012 calendar year.

The ALAO Professional Development Committee (PDC) will select the application(s) that best explain how the grant will further the applicant’s professional development. The amount of money available for the 2012 Continuing Education Grant Program is $2,500. These funds may be awarded to one individual or divided among two or more top-ranked applicants. The PDC will take into consideration the amount of funding the applicant’s employer will provide for the request, as well as what the employer provided during the past fiscal year. The PDC will notify award recipients and will arrange payment. Within sixty days of the educational event, the recipient must submit a brief report to the PDC confirming proof of attendance.

Please note that awards equal to or greater than $600 USD are subject to taxation and will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Recipients of awards equal to or greater than $600 USD must provide their social security number to the ALAO fiscal agent prior to disbursement of award monies.

Please complete the online application for the grant at http://www.alaoweb.org/events. Be sure to provide the required documentation, including a description of how the continuing education opportunity will further your professional development and an itemized list of associated costs. The deadline for application is January 20, 2012.

If you have any questions, please contact the PDC Chair, Krista McDonald at: mcdonak@muohio.edu.

*Apply Now for ALAO Continuing Education Grant was originally published on the ALAO Blog, 1/6/12