June 13, 2007
I'm in the process of creating a Women's Studies wiki featuring videos the library owns appropriate to the Intro to Women's Studies class for undergrads.
The coursepack for the class was divided into broad subject categories so I started with those, added a few more and went subject searching in Mirlyn. I imported citations from Mirlyn into Refworks to get the bibliographic format I wanted, created a bibliography then cut and pasted the citations into the appropriate category on the wiki. Linking to the Mirlyn record is problematic. The links you get when you look up the video are based on your session and won't work later so you have to go through a few hoops to cut and paste the URL for the video.
I'm trying to get Women's Studies faculty and students interested in becoming wiki members so they can add and edit the list, too. I think anyone can add a comment now, if they have a WetPaint account. I thought I had a PhD student ready to join but so far no luck but I'm workin' on it!
Any ideas for making this process easier?
June 11, 2007
Twitter as Guerilla Staff Communication Tool
I'd like to experiment with using Twitter as an informal, staff-fed, "guerilla" communication tool for library staff. In my mind I call the project "The Gossip Machine", but that has too many bad connotations which I don't intend. Instead, this would be a way to share bits of acceptable (and approved, if necessary) pieces of information that generally take a long time to filter out to all of the staff. Examples might include: Who are the members of a new committee. A new project that is being started. Someone is expecting a baby. The baby was born. Basically, general office grapevine stuff.
Library Instruction Wiki
I like the collaboration philosophy behind wikis. I have seen a couple of library instruction tutorial/guides wiki ideas proposed to the wider web universe but I think an institutional wiki would be better so you could have more control of both content and design.
We could have cut and paste sections of tutorials for people to use and certain people could "be assigned" certain tutorials or sections so that the wiki would act as an up to date repository where instructors could pluck what they need when their getting ready to do a class. It's such a pain to keep handouts, web pages, etc. up to date when these databases update their interface or add features all the time.
June 09, 2007
I'm not completely sure what LibGuides is -- but it's a product for purchase from some company called Springshare. Essentially, you can create research guides (like the ones we already produce), but Springshare's LibGuides tools allow you to do this and integrate them into Facebook with their new Facebook App.
I would like to explore ways of getting library content into Facebook. Whether this be something akin to UIUC's new catalog search or something like LibGuides, I'm not sure -- but I'd like to sit down and toss around some ideas and get a feel for what's feasible.
There's a Facebook group called LibGuides in Facebook, and in it, Ken Liss, a completely awesome COMM Studies librarian at Boston College (and really, what COMM librarian isn't awesome?), wrote a good description:
Here’s my quick take on Springshare's LibGuides, which may help get some discussion going.
There are really two pieces of LibGuides:
1. LibGuides itself, a tool for libraries and librarians to organize, format, and present content in guides hosted on Springshare’s servers; and
2. The Facebook application, through which students and others can find, search, and interact with guides created by their school’s librarians directly from within Facebook.
At this point, most of the LibGuide content is in a demo library called Springshare Library. You can access this on the Web at http://demo.libguides.com/ or via Facebook. (Add the LibGuides application in Facebook, then select Springshare Library as your library.)
There are demo guides there, of various types and in various stages of completion, put together by Springshare staff and by people, like me, who have signed up for demo accounts. The idea, as I understand it, is that libraries that subscribe will have their own LibGuide libraries, with their own banners, branding, and formatting. They will also have direct searching of their own catalogs, from their LibGuide Web pages and from within Facebook. (The Springshare demo searches the New York Public Library catalog.)
There’s a lot to discuss, starting with the functionality of the LibGuide tool itself, which has a lot of features and which I’ve found flexible and easy to use. You can request a trial account from the LibGuides Web page (http://www.springshare.com/libguides/index.html) and start to use it. (If I remember right, trial accounts can create up to two guides that go into the demo library.)
Then there’s the Facebook application, which is a little harder to evaluate at this point, but which offers the promise of bringing the content more directly to students. There is plenty to discuss about that, too.
There are other things, too, like pricing -- the tentative price I've heard seemed fairly reasonable -- integration with library systems and infrastructure, and more. But I hope this can get people looking and get the conversation going.
June 06, 2007
Google Map of U-M Libraries
Create a Google Map showing the locations of the U-M libraries, with links to the libraries' Websites. Mash it up with pictures from flickr of the libraries' exteriors. Users can then, among other uses, easily get directions to libraries using Google Maps