October 2010 Archives

With the new Google Apps suite it seemed to make sense that we were cross listing our Google Workshops to other training from University Technology Training Center ---an now vice versa...

Go to: http://uttc.umn.edu/training/



Please join the Information Literacy Collaborative in Walter 310 to watch tECAR.jpghe webinar,
Who Are Today's Students? A Closer Look at The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2010  on Monday, November 1 from 12:00 to 1:30 (sorry for the short notice). Bring your lunch and feel free to come and go as needed. You can also register for free to watch from your own computer.

Or check out: ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2010

Libraries in the WSJ

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An article in the Wall Street Journal this morning talks about a new threat to the public library system, book/DVD vending machines and lockers. I don't think book vending machines will be the end of academic libraries. However, they could be a great way to continue serving patrons beyond business hours and/or an option for reducing service hours. As a bonus the article is about Hugo, MN so that is pretty cool.

Congrats to the Scholarly Communication Collaborative and their work on Open Access Week--including getting national coverage of their workshops. Nice!

Is There an Open-Access Citation Advantage?
October 19, 2010, by Jennifer Howard


Assessing Impact

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With the reality of resources becoming scarcer, we are encouraged to be strategic in our outreach efforts. What we mean by strategic is up for debate. It could mean moving away from one off instruction offerings towards a more standardized one-size fits all approach or targeting instruction opportunities perceived to have the most bang for the buck. However being strategic shows up in your instructional outreach, I do not think it truly becomes strategic until you are able to show the impact of your offering, be it a one off or a general session. 

A very good article Kate Petersen pointed my way illuminates the need for special collections to show their value by demonstrating the impact of their instructional outreach. It seems to me that this article is relevant to not only special collections but all library instruction. The authors point out that most research libraries report to ARL but ask, what are we really reporting; head count and sessions? While the numbers can become impressive over the year becoming clear that a lot of something is going on the true impact of our efforts can become lost in the numbers. Luckily the authors do suggest several ways to capture impact. It almost seems like the libraries should be attempting to leverage the impact factors John Jeffryes posted about last week. 


Monday, October 25, 2010 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Room 432A, Science Teaching and Student Services (STSS) on east bankstss.jpg

Wondering how your colleagues teach a specific tool or concept? Want new ideas to liven up your teaching? Have an instruction question you wanted input on?

Take this opportunity to share your experiences and techniques for teaching at the Instruction Forum in the new Science Teaching and Student Services building (which you can reserve too). Part of the session will focus on a selection of tools you can use in instruction then we will open it up for general discussion and idea sharing.  This is event is sponsored by the Instruction Coordinators and the Information Literacy Collaborative.  We look forward to a lively discussion.

Teaching about Open Access?

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I would love to hear about if/how folks talk about Open Access in teaching to faculty? grad students? undergraduates?

International Open Access Week is October 18-24

OA_research_fail2.jpgWhy is unrestricted public access to scholarly articles important?
Moral arguments Pragmatic arguments
  • OA frees authors and readers from needless access barriers.
  • OA returns the control of scholarship to scholars.
  • By increasing the author's impact, it advances the author's purpose in writing journal articles for impact rather than money.
  • OA serves the under-served.
  • For the special subset of publicly-funded research, open access is part of fundamental fairness to taxpayers.
  • OA reaches a wider audience at lower cost than toll-access forms of distribution.
  • OA makes research literature and data available for crunching by new generations of sophisticated software (indexing, mining, summarizing, translating, linking, recommending, alerting, mash-ups, and other forms of processing).
  • OA widens dialogue, builds community, and supports cooperation.
  • OA accelerates research and increases the productivity of researchers.
  • OA makes research more useful and increases the research funder's return on investment.

Please check out http://z.umn.edu/OAWeek or http://www.openaccessweek.org for more information, videos, and talking points!

Teaching Impact Factors

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(Image adapted from UltimateLibrarian via Flickr.  CC.)

I've found that in the last year I'm getting more and more questions about Impact Factors, h-indexes, and the like.  Last May we gave an overview of using Web of Science to calculate individual impact factors that was popular with the faculty attendees.

When looking into helping faculty discover/calculate these numbers, I've found that they're surprisingly complicated...both finding the numbers and explaining just what exactly is being calculated.

Are others seeing more of an interest in these numbers as well?  How are you teaching it?

I thought I'd highlight a new(ish) resource that you can use to learn more and/or point your patrons/students to if questions arise.  Back in August a group of U of M librarians put together a suite of webpages to provide support on this topic.


You can access these pages at https://www.lib.umn.edu/researchsupport/impact

You can also find them under Services in the top navigation bar under Researcher Support.

Also U of M Mathematics Librarian, Kris Fowler, co-authored an article on the topic that is a good (and quick!) read.  The full text is available through ArXiv at .

Recently the Instruction Coordinators Group, created a short evaluation form for workshops. This quick and easy assessment was made using Google docs and is intended to help staff improve their instruction by getting patron feedback. While intended for workshops the evaluation  can be used to assess any instruction offering. For instance, I recently hosted a two day course integrated session for an honors history class. I sent the assessment to them and received great feedback. One student said that they found most helpful, "The information regarding how to find, identify, and utilize archival materials. The workshop improved my ability to identify the purpose of a given material and cite it." 

That is great, it is exactly what I was aiming for. However they also said "More information regarding how to use MNCAT and find archival materials outside the university system." would make the session better. I really needed to hear that since I can tend to overemphasis the aspects of archival research that energize me and give short shrift to the pieces I find more tedious. Now I can make sure I build in a more intentional treatment of searching next time.

If you want to send out the evaluation to a workshop or class you work with simply email them the following URL(http://z.umn.edu/ulworkshops)

loex.jpgThought I would include this list of readings recommended as part of the LOEX Currents (http://www.emich.edu/public/loex/currents/2010_0930_currents.htm):

Scott Warren and Kim Duckett (2010). Bridging the Information Literacy Gap with Clickers. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 35(5), 438-444.

Erin Daniels (September 2010). Welcome to the classroom: Ten tips for teaching college freshmen. College & Research Libraries News, 71(8), 424-425.

Megan Oakleaf (September 2010). The Value of Academic Libraries (Executive Summary). ACRL. 1-14.

Farhad Manjoo (August 5, 2010). The Joy of Listservs. Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com on September 5, 2010.

Chris Wilson (September 16, 2010). Please, for the Love of God, Upgrade Your Browser. Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com on September 19, 2010.

John Horgan (June 4, 2010). So Many Links, So Little Time. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/ on June 9, 2010.

Jeremy W. Peters (September 5, 2010). Some Newspapers, Tracking Readers Online, Shift Coverage. New York Times. Retrieved from http://nytimes.com on September 8, 2010.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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