February 2009 Archives

Book Preview: Dumbest generation?

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Did you Know 3.0 for 2008 - Newly Revised Edition Created by Karl Fisch, and modified by Scott McLeod; Globalization & The Information Age (Shift Happens: http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com/)

It was even adapted by Sony BMG at an executive meeting they held in Rome this year.

Gain background in Science and Technical issues

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THE CONSORTIUM ON LAW AND VALUES' 10TH ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE, "What's Next in Law, Health, and the Life Sciences? Debating Openness, Access, and Accountability," will take place March 6, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Center. For more information, see http://lifesci.consortium.umn.edu/conferences/2009_whatsnext.

google_wikip.jpg I read another blog entry that suggested the place for these tools is the pre-search or preliminary search:

"That said, I do see Google scholar as an important browsing tool - and part of what might be called an ideal ‘pre-search’ tool. But what is a pre-search tool? Use pre-search tools to orient yourself, to browse, ask questions and get acquainted with topics. Who are the leading authors in a given field? What articles are seminal? Pre-search as a concept is also applicable to Wikipedia. Think of mother Google this way (i.e. presearch) as well.

Both Google scholar and Wikipedia can confidently be called ‘pre-search’ tools. Let’s convince our faculty users who ban Wikipedia for undergraduate research that much can be learned by using these tools and critiquing them against better sources. It’s part of media and information literacy in the digital age."
from http://blogs.ubc.ca/googlescholar/2009/02/wikipedia-google-scholar-as-pre-search/

It makes sense to formalize these tools and put them in their place--as a great starting point--not as the beginning, middle and end place for research. The post also mentions how Wikipedia is getting very technical for some of their entries--written for experts--thus making this not a good pre-search tool.

What do you think?

monk.jpg http://monkproject.org/

"MONK is a digital environment designed to help humanities scholars discover and analyze patterns in the texts they study. It supports both micro analyses of the verbal texture of an individual text and macro analyses that let you locate texts in the context of a large document space consisting of hundreds or thousands of other texts. Shuttling between the “micro” and the “macro” is a distinctive feature of the MONK environment, where you may read as closely as you wish but can also practice many forms of what Franco Moretti has provocatively called “distant reading.”"

Ways to try to search the Deep Web

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A recent article in the NY Times discusses the ongoing work to help search engines "see" the Deep Web. The deep web refers to information contained in databases and other repositories in which the search engines "spiders" can't search directly. Now computer programs are sending search queries into these databases to try to get a sense of what the content is.

"“Most search engines try to help you find a needle in a haystack,” Mr. Rajaraman said, “but what we’re trying to do is help you explore the haystack.” That haystack is infinitely large. With millions of databases connected to the Web, and endless possible permutations of search terms, there is simply no way for any search engine — no matter how powerful — to sift through every possible combination of data on the fly. "

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/23/technology/internet/23search.html

Chat with a Library 24/7

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Have questions about the Library? Our chat service is available 24/7. Yep, almost instant help from a librarian via chat 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Pinch yourself it is true! Just click on our link to the chat in the upper left hand corner of the Library website and start "chatting".

This service is available for all students, faculty and staff.

Give it a try....today...

Copyright and YouTube seminar

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youtube.jpg Wednesday, March 4, 2009, 12:00-1:30 p.m.
402 Walter Library

Access a UMConnect recording of the seminar, or subscribe to the podcast or vodcast. (http://dmc.umn.edu/issues.shtml)

Emerging technologies can create confusion about the use and creation of copyrighted materials in education and research. Panelists from different disciplines will offer insight and clarification on the intersection of copyright, technology, and university life.

Moderators: Wendy Lougee, University Libraries, TC

Panelists: Dale Mossestad, Copyright and Permissions Center, TC • Gilbert Rodman, Communication Studies, TC • Cristina Lopez, OIT, TC

Library Workshop: Keep up in your discipline

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2/26 Workshop: Keeping Up: Web-Based Tools That Help You Work Smarter

Time: Thursday, February 26, 2009 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: Walter Library 310

This workshop will introduce you to web-based tools like tagging, RSS feeds and library databases that can help you more efficiently keep up with your fields of interest.

Register for this workshop: http://www.lib.umn.edu/registration/#eventidXX149

kids.jpg It can be tempting but problematic to make assumptions of the web and researching skills students have. Like everything else they vary from student to student depending on where they went to elementary, middle or high school, if there is a computer at home, if they are first generation college students and many other factors. This is a good article on a best case situation of a motivated, trained school librarian but many students continue to need these same skills reinforced here at the University.

In Web Age, Library Job Gets Update
Published: February 16, 2009-New York Times
School librarians are increasingly teaching digital skills, but they often become the first casualties of budget crunches.

Here at the U
The University Libraries are much larger and vast (15th largest library system in the country) than anything students have used before. It can be challenging to apply the skills they learned earlier to this new library system. We offer many resources and services to integrate the library more fully into your courses. Talk to your students about their skills level, pay special attention to the quality of sources they are citing and please let us know how we can help--that is what we are here for!

Kindle 2--can you imagine reading a book on it?

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Even more powerful..if only someone would get this for me for Valentines Day--is it the ultimate book lovers gift?

A few new features:
* 6" tall screen which can now display 16 shades of grey rather than the original four
* Capacity to hold 1500 books in its internal memory,
* Text-to-speech capability which uses a computerised voice to read aloud the text of any book
* More than 230,000 books are now available in the Kindle Store (103 of 110 current New York Times best sellers and new releases)

Read more at Amazon.

More for First Year Writing

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courselib.jpgMore Resources for First year Writing Instructors (http://courses.lib.umn.edu/page.phtml?page_id=2789)
Find links and assignments that can be added to your course to help students learn skills to effectively find articles and other library resources. We have created CourseLib guides which act as a head start for students doing research:
• WRIT 1201: Writing Studio CourseLib page for students
• WRIT 1301: University Writing (all) CourseLib page for students
• WRIT 1401: Writing and Academic Inquiry (all) CourseLib page for students

For First Year Writing Instructors

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How are you students doing with their Library research skills? Are you satisfied with the sources your students are citing? We can help. Our goal is to provide first year students the fundamental library and information literacy skills needed to help students locate and evaluate the sources (popular and scholarly) students use in their writing.

There are a number of resources available to First Year Writing instructors:

1.) Incorporate Unravel the Library workshops into your classes.
Online Unravel the Library 2 (http://www.lib.umn.edu/research/instruction/modules/): Instructors can require students to take these online tutorials either in-class or on their own time (takes about 45 minutes). Students take a quiz and can print out the results to turn in to you. Points or extra credit can be given. Here are the Unravel 2: The Research Process Online learning outcomes: Identify appropriate article indexes and use them to find articles, use search techniques to find article for their topic, identify whether an article is considered scholarly or not.
Note: We changed our procedures so unlike last semester, students do NOT need an “enrollment key�? to get into the quiz.

2.) Face-to-face Unravel the Library 1, 2 or 3 (http://www.lib.umn.edu/registration/):
These sessions are held at various times throughout the semester. Students can be required to attend specific workshops. Students can get a certificate to turn in to you (signed by the librarian) for points or extra credit.

Unravel 1: Orientation to the Libraries & Tour of Wilson Library learning outcomes: Orientation to services and resources available through the Libraries, how to read a book and article citation, how to locate books and articles from a citation, Tour of Wilson Library.

Unravel 2: The Research Process learning outcomes: Identify appropriate article indexes and use them to find articles, use search techniques to find article for their topic, identify whether an article is considered scholarly or not.

Unravel 3: Beyond the Basics - Advanced Searching learning outcomes: Construct a simple search strategy, use advanced searching such as field searching, limiting, truncation and Boolean operators

Next Steps for you:

1. Assign Unravel 2 Online (give students this URL: http://www.lib.umn.edu/research/instruction/modules/). Instruct students to take the four Unravel modules and take the quiz. Students can then print out the quiz and turn in to you. They can log in at any time to access quiz results.


Have us create an Unravel 2 Moodle page for your class. We can create a Moodle page with the modules and quiz. It will auto-populate with your students (no enrollment key needed). You will then be able to view your student’s progress and quiz results within the Moodle site. If you would like us to set this up please contact Kate Peterson (katep@umn.edu, 6-3746) or Andrew Palahnuik (ampala@umn.edu, 4-0365).

2. Assign Unravel the Library Face-to-Face workshop. Instruct students to register for an Unravel 1, 2 or 3 workshop at http://www.lib.umn.edu/registration/.

Video on new Assignment Calcualtor

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Fiction and the brain

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"A forthcoming journal article in Psychological Science reports on the research of scientists from the Dynamic Cognition Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis into what brain activity takes place while we read narrative stories. The study concludes that our brains simulate the action in the story, echoing it as we read.

I've always assumed that this was the case -- especially when it comes to character motivations. When I hear the voice of a loved one in my head, cheering me on or disapproving, I know that this is my mental simulation of that person. When a character does something in a story and I feel for him, it's the same kind of simulation. And when I try to write a character doing something "wrong," I know that this, too, is part of the simulation, and the resistance I feel there is the same as the resistance I'd feel if I tried to imagine my mother committing an ax-murder."

Read more at: http://www.boingboing.net/2009/01/29/your-brain-on-fictio.html