Emily Rose's Liblog

The purpose of this blog is to give and receive feedback about current issues in librarianship. Technology should be one of the more important topics discussed on the blog. I wouldn't consider myself technologically savvy...but I am willing and trying to learn!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"Websites You Can Trust"!

So...I am doing a follow up instruction session for an English 102 course. I am supposed to concentrate on website evaluation. All right, I can do that; I know how to evaluate a website (currency, authority, objectivity, etc.), but how do I find some websites to evaluate? I supposed I could Google a bunch of things and find some examples, but I am currently doing work for three classes and have a job. I need a little help! I asked one of my supervisors today (a Dominican University librarian) for advice. "Are there websites you show your classes?" I asked. That's when I found out about the Librarians' Internet Index!

The Librarians' Internet Index "is a publicly-funded website and weekly newsletter serving California, Washington state, the nation, and the world." (About LII) The home page of LII is organized by fourteen subjects:

Arts and Humanities, Business, Computers, Government, Health, Home and Housing, Law, Media, People, Recreation, Reference, Regional, Science, and Society and Social Science.

The home page also includes a "Featured Site" section (currently, it is "Tiramisu: Heaven in Your Mouth"--life isn't all work), an "Announcements" area, and an RSS feed. Each website has a review entry. Here is the entry for the Tiramisu site:

"A mature, comprehensive site offering exhaustive information about this Italian dessert. Recipes include classic versions as well as dozens of variations on a theme, including low-fat, eggless, and other embellishments. Readers may submit recipes, rate versions of tiramisu from their local restaurants, and contribute thoughts to a guest book. Maintained by a knowledgeable hobbyist; many recipes personally verified by lii.org leadership." (Tiramisu Entry)

Pretty well rounded, huh? You should see the review for websites about History, Science, etc.
(On the Dominican's Rebecca Crown Library Website, people can find LII by clicking on "Library Information", then "Search Engines, Subject Directories, Evaluation Sources". It is under the subject directories list)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Check Out This LIS Blog

I'm not sure if we mentioned this one in LIS 753, but I searched Blogspot for librarian blogs and found LISNews. LISNews gives this description of the blog:

"LISNews is a collaborative weblog [aka blog] devoted to current events and news in the world of Library and Information Science. A dedicated team of international bloggers scour the World Wide Web to find stories they find interesting. You'll find links to news stories and Web sites, along with original writing, interviews and reviews. LISNews is updated frequently, usually 7 days a week. We are a non-commercial site, supported by our users." (From About LISNews)

This blog is really fun to look through. Here are some highlights:
  • Did you know that in the top 1,000 titles owned by OCLC libraries list, Garfield at Large beat out Tom Sawyer at number fifteen? I sure didn't! (The Bible is number one).
  • Ward Cunningham, the creator of the Wiki, stresses the importance of Open Source materials...librarians must stay on top of this.
  • Why aren't libraries mentioned in this Blog News Channel article about what helps kids with their homework more: Yahoo or Google search engines?
Like the title says, check out this LIS Blog!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

GSLIS Wiki...see what the competition is doing!

I really didn't mean competition...I just wanted a neat title (no offense U of I).

I was looking up some information about libraries and wikis, and I found a GSLIS Wiki run by library students at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. It is called the Unofficial GSLIS Wiki. This wiki is, as you may guess, geared toward U of I GSLIS students. Authors include information about everything from specific classes offered at the school to information about local bars and restaurants. I started by exploring the "Useful Resources" category, and found that the wiki is organized primarily by subcategories. For example, after clicking on "Useful Resources", I clicked on the subcategory "Academics", then the subcategory "Administration", then the subcategory "Administrative", then the subcategory "Committees", then the subcategory "Curriculum Committee"...then I found a post. The post included a list of people on the committee, how the committee works, and recent meeting information. It may seem like users of the Unofficial wiki would have to do a lot of linking, browsing, and searching to find what they are looking for, but the wiki does include a search box. I went back to the main page and searched for "curriculum committee" and was linked straight to that post.

This is a great tool for GSLIS students at the University of Illinois who want to know something specific about their program or school (or their local bars). As with any wiki, it is a work in progress...but I think they have a great start considering a page exists for every class offered in the GSLIS program. Good job U of I!...is Dominican next?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Instruction, Collaboration, and Technology

I just started doing instruction at work, and I have to admit that I was a little nervous at first. I have done two sessions, the first with another library science student, and the second by myself. The first session was for an upper-level English course about non-fiction prose. The second session was for an English 102 course. About five minutes into my second session, my nerves finally left me...whew!

I feel the need to stress the importance of collaboration with the instructor/professor when planning an instruction session. I mean really, how many students are excited about listening to library search strategies for 45 minutes? If the librarian or library student uses a current assignment to apply these search strategies during the session, students will pay more attention. The sessions are more interesting for the person giving them as well. I thought it was fun to look up information about illuminated manuscripts and the banning of Huckleberry Finn!

Technology-wise: I was in a relatively technologically advanced classroom. Classrooms like these are fantastic when available. I was able to project what I was doing on my computer onto a large screen at the front of the room. This made for better pointing-abilities ("See here..."). The students all had computers to use in order to follow along as well. Email, although a simpler technology, is also a wonderful tool...especially when trying to plan an instruction session for an adjunct professor/instructor. The University of Washington is working on a project called UWired, which concentrates on instruction and technology specifically. To quote, UW hopes to
"promote and support access to technology, fluency in information technology and resources, and innovation in teaching and learning through technology." Check out this site...there is information about initiatives for student and teacher information literacy. The site looks pretty good too, aesthetically.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Multilingual Library Websites

After reading Leah's post where she addressed the lack of dual language library websites, I went and checked my old library's website to see how they are doing. I am originally from Elgin, Illinois and was served by, and worked for, the Gail Borden Public Library District. The reason I checked Gail Borden's site is because Elgin's population is about 40 percent Hispanic. In fact, while I worked there I was in the process of mastering the art of library Spanish...oh yeah...I could register both English and Spanish speakers for a library card in mere minutes! Unfortunately, in the nearly four years since I worked at Gail Borden, I have lost much of my Spanish-speaking ability. My desire to relearn Spanish aside, here is what I found at the GBPL website:

Included in the main menu at the top of GBPL's homepage, among "Library Catalog", "Electronic Resources", etc., is a link to the library's "Informacion en Espanol". While there is general library information, there is also quite a bit of technological information for Spanish speakers. One section, "Centro de Computacion", links to information about the library's computer center's services and regulations. Another section, "Introduccion a la Internet", explains internet basics such as what the internet and Netscape are and what a URL is. This section also includes a Glossary ("Glosario") and a Webography ("Webografia"). The webografia area gives links to a couple of sites that teach basic internet use in Spanish. The last technological section is "
Fuentes de la Internet en Espanol". This section gives links to useful websites in Spanish, such as news sites and online dictionaries.

I was impressed by the attention given to the Spanish speaking community in Elgin on the Gail Borden Public Library's website. While an entirely dual-language website is ideal in a community such as Elgin, I feel that this is a great start and a good model for many library websites with no multilingual online services.