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Notes from Beyond the Walls of the Academic Library panel

Diane Dallis, Indiana University. OnCourse

IU instance of Sakai called “OnCourse.� They create templates for class web pages and push them into OnCourse using the library content management system. Instructor does not need to initiate request—librarian can do this for any class, but some faculty members prefer to create pages for library resources themselves. One advantage of having the librarian webpage: when students from the class ask a reference question, reference librarians can refer to the class web page for more context.

Susan Hollar, University of Michigan. Sakaibrary

U-M instance of Sakai is called “CTools.� CTools is basic campus infrastructure. Sakai was not designed to include library resources—“Sakaibrary� proposed to integrate licensed library content. A tool for citation lists is the first development priority and will be included in the Sakai 2.4 release later this spring. Instructors can search library resources via Metasearch from within Sakai, and add citations to their class web resources list. Added a “role� for librarians within CTools. Library Reserves list are sent to course CTools sites via RSS. U-M is developing a new tool to add “Ask Us� link to email reference to CTools.

Usability test findings of the value of this tool:

  • Faculty like it, feel it reduces a number of steps for students
  • Students see it as helpful
  • Librarians are less sure of its value

Next steps:

  • Ability to add citations more easily
  • Next generation research guides: RSS feeds, audio, annotations
  • Identify the librarian more prominently

John Butler, University of Minnesota. UM Portal Project

The University has developed a personalizable portal for the university website. As part of this, they developed “affinity strings� for individuals to describe the academic/administrative categories they inhabit: “tc.grad.ps.phd� could be the code for a PhD student in Political Science on the Twin Cities campus. There are 9500 different affinity strings, based on combinations of location, status, program and department. The university can develop templates for as many as they choose.

The library has added a MyLibrary tab, and developed templates for many affinity strings. As individual add resources, their choices can be reflected back to their affinity group. Resources can be grouped by who chose it—librarian, enduser, community

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe UIUC. Immersive Environments (Second Life etc)

Definition of an immersive environment:

  • Interact through devices (keyboard, mouse, wii)
  • Avatar as representation of self
  • Can be either a controlled environment with a goal (game) or free-form with no goal, but boundaries are blurry

Second Life has a high experimentation and abandonment rate. 4.7+ million people inhabit it. UIUC teaches a class in “Introduction to Metaverse Building.� One course, “Teaching and Learning in a Virtual World� was taught in Second Life and a GSLIS class met in Second Life.