Noted this project from the USA fly by my twitter feed:
Project Information Literacy is a national study about early adults and their information-seeking behaviors, competencies, and the challenges they face when conducting research in the digital age.
They have a cool infographic:
As well as a channel on Ypoutube.
This just in:
The MAGIC of Web Tutorials: How One Library (Re)Focused its Delivery of Online Learning Objects on Users
Amanda Nichols Hessa
Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning
Volume 7, Issue 4, 2013
Oakland University (OU) Libraries undertook an assessment of how to leverage its resources to make online tutorials more focused on users’ needs. A multi-part assessment process reconsidered Web tutorials offerings through the lenses of faculty and staff feedback, literature review, and an analysis of other universities’ online tutorial offerings. From there, OU’s e-Learning and Instructional Technology Librarian developed the MAGIC guidelines (Manageable, Available, Geared at users, Informative, Customizable) to resituate OU Libraries’ online tutorials and place users at the center. Putting MAGIC into practice meant integrating Web tutorials at points-of-need, identifying and sharing essential information, and engaging students in the learning whenever possible.
Keywords: Web tutorials, online learning objects, university libraries, online learning, library services, information literacy
I like big ideas. I really like big ideas that solve some of the theoretical issues that I worry about. That’s why I had to follow a thread that come through my RSS feeds… “Unified Theory of Information” – has a nice ring to it, no? Like leafs blown onto my yard by a chance gust of wind, I had to follow them to the tree.
First came the post, an item from a table of content from a scholarly journal:
Claudio Gnoli, Riccardo Ridi, (2014) “Unified Theory of Information, hypertextuality and levels of reality“, Journal of Documentation, Vol. 70 Iss: 3
Quick Google searches have given me these threads:
- The group behind this epistemological idea: Unified Theory of Information (UTI) Research Group – Association for the Advancement of Information Sciences
- This 20-question long essay explaining the concept by Wolfgang Hofkirchner, a central figure behind UTI.
Man, I’ll have to stop searching… I keep stumbling on these awesome pockets of ideas !!! More later on the UTI (I am not certain it is of immediate interest to my doctoral dissertation, but definitely worth keeping on my radar screen).
I really enjoyed Margaret Heffernan’s TED talk on willful blindness. It reminds me that somethings, we are collectively guilty of not seeing the truth, not acknowledging information, essentially being completely biased to a collective reality.
From a different feed, I stumbled on this Fast Company article on the 8 tricks our minds play on us :
1. We surround ourselves with information that matches our beliefs
2. We confuse selection factors with result (the cause rather than the consequence)
3. We worry about things we already lost (sunk cost)
4. We incorrectly predict odds
5. We rationalize purchases we do not want (internalizing cognitive dissonance)
6. We make decisions based on the anchoring effect ( rather than making a decision based on pure value for investment (time, money, and the like), we factor in comparative value–that is, how much value an option offers when compared to another option.)
7. We believe our memories more than facts
8. We pay attention to stereotypes than we think we do
With regards to number 6, Belle Beth Cooper highlights the TED talk by Dan Arielyon, a behavioral economist, cognitive illusions (“: Are we in control of our own decisions?”)
Reading this title makes me smile – Indeed, many students still like face-to-face because we are human after all !
Why Some Students Continue to Value Individual, Face-to-Face Research Consultations in a Technology-Rich World
Trina J. Magi and Patricia E. Mardeusz
College & Research Libraries
vol. 74 no. 6 605-618
On the MOOC thread, I noticed this session on Library related MOOCs.
Interesting article on the games played in libraries of old:
Playing in the Past: A History of Games, Toys, and Puzzles in North American Libraries
The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy
Vol. 83, No. 4 (October 2013), pp. 341-361
Games and other forms of play are used in today’s libraries to attract underserved patrons, to introduce patrons to other library resources and services, and to facilitate engagement between library patrons. While many perceive gaming as a new library service, gaming services have been part of librarianship since the nineteenth century through chess clubs. During the Great Depression, libraries supported patrons with puzzle contests and developed circulating toy and game collections. Academic libraries built game collections for research and classroom needs, while school libraries collected and facilitated educational games to aid teachers. Video games have been used in libraries to help patrons learn to use technology and to bring groups of patrons together to enjoy shared experiences. The goal of this article is to demonstrate the different ways in which libraries have used games, toys, and puzzles over the last 150 years through both collections and services.
I just listened to a great podcast from Educause with e-Learning Librarian at Wake Forest University Kyle Denlinger by Gerry Bayne (about 20 minutes). It covers an information literacy MOOC for alumni & parents of students – a great way to reach out to an extended community, impress the Provost and schmooze with potential donors.
We are undergoing a library redesign project and here are some brainstormed ideas of how I would create an information experience at a modern university library:
1. Would it be desirable to have a prominent desk greeting users as soon as they enter the library, or a more open space (with a smaller desk) that would allow users to get acquainted with their environment?
Desks create a barrier between the patron and us. Why not an open space, with a few bar-height round tables with stools, carpeting (or different flooring) to indicate that this space is special. This space could be directly in front of the entrance, the first thing students see when they come in.
Other spaces could be designed close at had, like a more private “cabinet’ type with table, chairs and connectivity tools (chargers, plugs, etc.) In all cases, the consultation space should be open – ne distance between users and staff.
2. What kind of furniture would you like to see in the new space?
Round tables. Same chairs for patrons and staff. High tables and stools for quick discussion. Closed cabinet for longer issues.
3. What type of equipment / tools / technology should be available?
Internet. Multiple surface technologies – Wired PC with many screens facing in various directions. Tablets. Paper and pencils also – they are mysteriously portable, stable and useful when available. Other paper technology: Stapler, stapler-remover, hole punch, high-capacity printer. Electricity plugs. CD Burner. USB connectors easily available. 3D printers…. maybe even a few reference books still. Expresso machine (the kind that makes coffee).
4. Should there be many levels of service spaces available (i.e. information, reference, technical assistance, etc.), and if so, how would you envision the furniture / technology available for each?
Remember, users do not care what “category” their question falls under. They will keep asking if they feel their interlocutor is competent. So, this question is biased towards our conception of their need (which, I will argue without further discussion, is wrong).
Time is the only factor useful to distinguish between the “types” of questions. So, there are long interactions and short interactions. Short ones require an open, standing-up level, space, with high round tables and longer interactions require more comfortable, intimate, space. Round tables and same chairs for patrons and staff speak to an open, collaborative, collegial service.
5. Any other comments on how you would envision the space (or anything else you’d like to comment on)?
Yes. The name we give to the service is everything. I hate long complex concept driven names. I like short, evocative names. So, I would call the Ref\Tech\Info desk the “ASK” area and the circulation desk the “GET” area. This draws from the FTP (file transfer protocol) whereby you define system functions with simple 3-letter words. Would help with branding and directing students to the proper area.
Stop using the word “desk” – a desk is where you sit and work. We interact with patrons, so we need a new way to explain the space… I suggest “area” as a better term, there could be others.