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May 26, 2010

Consumer Research Tutorial

We just posted a new tutorial to our burgeoning collection of short 'n snappy ELM-investigating videos. Please take a look at Consumer Research; we'd love to hear your feedback here in the comments or by emailing mtxref at umn.edu.

Check out the whole collection of Minitex ELM tutorials. We have a list of topics to cover for subsequent tutorials, including how to use ELM for business and history research, but if you have a question you'd like to see answered by one of these, please let us know.

May 25, 2010

Narcissism and Status-Seeking

What this has to do with reference, I don't know, but sometimes it's fun when random things connect on the Internet. Two articles came through the wires recently that seem related.

Narcissism, Partnership, and Strategy Article reports on a study tracking narcissism in students. The take-it-to-the-bank quote is as follows: "the mean narcissism score of 2006 college students on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) approached that of a celebrity sample of movie stars, reality TV winners and famous musicians." (hat-tip to http://twitter.com/jerilyn)

This report, one of trendwatching.com's monthly Trend Briefings, calls status "the ultimate (hidden) motive, a subconscious but ever-present force." But it takes a surprising angle on status, noting that "consumers are starting to recognize and respect fellow consumers who stray off the beaten consuming-more-than-thou-path, [and that] 'new' status can be about acquired skills, about eco-credentials, about generosity, about connectivity..."

Do these reports shed any light on the people who approach (or avoid) our reference desks? Do they offer any hints regarding outreach strategies we might try? I don't know, to be honest. All I'm saying is that it's funny they came across my desk on the same day.

May 18, 2010

April Reference Notes

The April 2010 issue of Reference Notes is now available.

In this issue, you'll find published evidence of how libraries help people, examples of adaptive technologies already built into the computers at your library, news about a prominent MN librarian and new Fulbright Scholar Grant recipient, and insight into two ELM education-focused databases.

We've also included a pull-out insert that we hope you'll share with your colleagues. It details our reference referral service and the instructional opportunities we provide.

Here's the full TOC:

Minitex Reference Insert
Libraries Help People Succeed
Scrolling on the Web
Mary Wagner Awarded Fulbright Scholar Grant
Adaptive Technology Services
ELM Spotlight: Educator's Reference Complete and Professional Development Collection
New ELM Tutorials
Modern Web Browser Security: Best Practices
Reference Renaissance 2010
MN Digital Library Annual Meeting