New databases for March

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the Resource Gateway from March 3-31 (and some for which the vendor has changed). You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject pages. If you have questions about a particular resource, please consult its “About” file to find contact information for the resource advocate. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month.

Data-Planet
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=42049748

Green Planet Environment and Sustainability Collection
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=43288625

Land Scan
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=42255358

Oxford Bibliographies: Latin American Studies
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=43702833

Oxford Bibliographies. Latino Studies
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=43702834

Oxford University Press Art History
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=42668023

UptoDate
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=42255357

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Mindfulness for a New Website

Mindfulness

 

Earlier this month, Harvard Business Review published “Mindfulness in the Age of Complexity,” an interview with Ellen Langer, who has researched for decades on the effects of mindful thinking across a wide range of fields. Langer defines mindfulness through a psychological lens, as a “process of actively noticing new things.” She argues that this makes us actively engaged in the present, so that we’re “more sensitive to context and perspective.” In other words, we become more open-minded and focused with what’s in front of us in each individual moment, experience, and interaction.

While reading the article, I thought about our hands-on Drupal training sessions, which we began holding a couple of weeks ago. Though still in development, we’ve been unveiling the new IU Libraries website to content managers, walking through the whats and how-tos. One of our hopes is that these introductions will ease the transition from the old-and-familiar to the new-and-very-different. With these training sessions, it seems to me that we are priming users for mindfulness. They’re presented the Drupal environment in ways that give them a sense of the guts of it and how it comes together. And, since the site is, again, still in development, we’re asking for a sense of open-mindedness, indeed an aspect of mindfulness, since new bugs, wrenches, and general Huh?s pop up daily.

Mindfulness begets openness to all things new. Many of the features in the Drupal environment are intuitive, but others are less so, which means there are many new things for users to figure out and become accustomed to. Luckily, most people have seemed open and actively look for new things, as they poke and click around to discover how to do things on their own. From this, I’m reminded of mindfulness in the sense that, as Langer points out, there’s no one way to do something. We can instruct with basic directions for library branch mangers on how to add department pages, or for subject librarians on how to create feature posts, but really, there’s some flexibility in how it makes sense for users once they’re elbows deep in creating and adding content to the site.

Along these lines, by being mindful, the rules, routines, and goals will guide us rather than govern us, so that we’re not restricted to having new things reflecting the legacy site, so that we’re not solving “today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions.” So, in applying mindfulness to learning/working with/teaching the new IUB Libraries’ website in Drupal, I think it all comes down to mindfulness teaching flexibility, which in our case, leads to a better user experience both on the front- and back-ends of our website.

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Simplifying Technology: A View from DRS

tech-easy

On February 25, Tim Wu, in the New Yorker, published an article titled, “The Problem with Easy Technology.”  As I read the article, I struggled with its implications for the work we do here at Discovery and Research Services, especially with the ongoing migration of the IU libraries website.  Ease of use is our constant goal: to make the website so intuitive that users can easily locate information, navigate between useful pages, and quickly find what they are looking for.  Wu, however, brings up some very important questions about technology and the consequences of over-simplification.

Wu describes this danger in terms of what he calls “biological atrophy.”  That is, as humans strive to make technology easier and easier to use, we will lose critical skills that we have developed over thousands of years.  The development of these “convenience technologies” was supposed to make life easier and give us more time to focus on things like “thought, reflection, and leisure.”  There are many examples of these technologies that can only be seen as good – such as medical technology, photography, or even ski lifts (Wu’s example, not mine).

Wayyyy easier than walking!

Wayyyy easier than walking!

But it is also interesting to think about these challenges in terms of web design and content strategy.  Today, in the “Age of Google,” we consistently see that students, and even sometimes advanced researchers, struggle with any kind of database or webpage that requires them to do more than simply enter a search term.  Because of this expectation of finding information without much of an effort, students struggle more and more with the academic research process when it requires more than a basic search bar.  This also raises challenges for our web content strategy here in DRS.  We of course do not want to make the website difficult to use – quite the opposite, actually.  But I often wonder if student expectations for the site are impossible to keep up with.  It isn’t so much that we lack the talent or ingenuity of major internet companies; it is more about the fact that the nature of our resources and services do not always fit into this strict “Google-y” template.

As we continue with this migration, and with future projects, it will be interesting to see how user expectations continue to evolve.  Think of how much they have changed just in the past ten years!  But I guess that is one reason that we have our jobs: to ensure that our services keep up with user expectations.  I just wonder if, at some point, those expectations become too difficult to possibly keep up with.  As we continue to migrate and re-design the IU libraries website, it will be interesting to keep these challenges in mind.

If you are interested, you can read Wu’s article here.

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Training Schedule for New IUB Libraries Website

The DRS are inAt last, the new IUB Libraries website is… not quite polished and ready for prime time, but close enough that we are ready to create logins for librarians & staff members so you can begin working on your content! The training schedule has been announced via the Libraries Website listserv and in “Between the Lines” – if you have not yet RSVP’d for the session(s) most appropriate for you, please do so by emailing Anne.

 

Here’s the schedule for group training sessions – all in Instruction Cluster 1 of the Information Commons:

Branch Libraries & Library Departments – Librarians & Staff W 3/12 10:00-11:00
T 3/18 10:00-11:00
R 3/20 1:00-2:00
Subject Guides – Librarians & Staff T 3/11 10:00-11:00
F 3/14 2:00-3:00
W 3/19 2:00-3:00
M 3/31 4:00-5:00
Temporary (Student) Employees T 3/25 10:00-11:00
W 3/26 3:00-4:00
F 3/28 11:00-12:00
General Session – for those who just have a few pages to maintain T 4/1 10:00-11:00
W 4/2 2:00-3:00

NEW SESSIONS – JUST ADDED:

Libraries & Departments: News, features, services, and more – M 4/14 2:00-3:00

Introduction/Refresher: Finding & creating basic content – T 4/15 1:00-1:30

Subject Guides: Posts, concentrations, categories, and more – W 4/16 10:00-11:00

Libraries & Departments: News, features, services, and more – T 4/22 10:00-11:00

Subject Guides: Posts, concentrations, categories, and more – W 4/23 3:00-4:00

Introduction/Refresher: Finding & creating basic content – R 4/24 10:00-10:30

 

The members of Discovery & Research Services (Courtney, Rachael, and Anne) will also be staffing “office hours” for those who have questions or need help with a specific issue on their pages. Look for announcements on the website listserv and in Between the Lines very soon - but because you’re reading our blog and thus are one of our favorite people, here’s the schedule just for you:

Monday, March 17 through Wednesday, May 7 in Wells W531

  • Mondays: 11:00-1:00 (NOTE: no office hours on April 7)
  • Wednesdays: 10:00-11:00 (NOTE: no office hours on April 9 or 16)
  • Fridays: 3:00-5:00 (NOTE: no office hours on April 18 or May 9)

People, get ready – there’s a train(ing) a-comin’!

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Exploring Social Media (Libraries)

Recently, there was an interesting article on TheDigitalShift.com about South Carolina State Library’s launch of a Social Media Library and archive. Basically, the project will archive all tweets, Facebook posts, and YouTube content generated by official accounts of South Carolina’s state agencies allowing public access through an online portal, scsocialmedialibrary.org. Take a look at it here!

blog_image

blog

You can quick search or perform an advanced search of different topics, and it provides all media sources including tweets, direct messages, wall posts, comments, messages, and photos.

This isn’t the first attempt at archiving social media. Notably, in 2010, the Library of Congress announced plans for the Twitter Archive, which would house every public tweet since 2006. Today, they have successfully acquired and preserved all tweets up to 2010—approximately 170 billion of them and growing! Yet, South Carolina’s Social Media Library, although similar, stands apart from the Library of Congress project in its public accessibility as well as its ability to record and show conversations taking place. Amanda Stone, SCSL Innovation and Digital Librarian, explained that social media has become a source of two-way communication between organization and citizen. She goes on to say that “Citizens [were asking state agencies] questions on Facebook, or they’ll reference events they went to on their Twitter accounts back to the agency. And that’s something that was being lost.”

So, whether Library of Congress Twitter Archive will eventually become open to the public remains a topic of much curiosity (400+ researchers have inquired with no such luck receiving access; therefore, the public, too, will have to wait—sigh) although the possibilities are certainly exciting.

But, what makes South Carolina’s project so important is what it is recognizing from social media and how it’s responding appropriately to its citizens.  Providing access to those communications and the two-way dialogue is an important evolution in archiving social media. And they aren’t alone in this endeavor to provide and simplify public access to social media archives. The State Archives of North Carolina launched a similar idea just a year ago.

And while probably not without future bumps and problems, I think this trend is an interesting one to follow and shows that social media is an integral part of our daily routine, serving as medium for our thoughts as well as connecting us with friends, coworkers, businesses, and organizations. The world gets smaller as our opportunity to connect grows. And of course, I enjoy stalking  following a few of my favorite bands and reality stars, keeping up with their daily life (go ahead, admit it too). But on a more serious note (although my stalking is serious), social media immediately informs the public of political issues as well issues of state and national security.

Also important to recognize is that not all social media platforms will exist forever and likewise, organizations might delete accounts or merge with another, but the content of these messages and posts remain important for reflection in the weeks, months, and years to come.

 

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New databases for February

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the Resource Gateway from February 3-28 (and some for which the vendor has changed). You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject pages. If you have questions about a particular resource, please consult its “About” file to find contact information for the resource advocate. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month.

AccessMedicine
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=36286096

Kenkyusha Online Dictionary
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=40825279

SCOAP3 Repository
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=41558193

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We Contain Multitudes: A Song of our Anne

Breaking News: our very own Anne Haines was recently featured in Librarian As Poet / Poet As Librarian, the latest post on the widely-read library blog In The Library with the Lead Pipe.

That’s right! After all, what is a poet if not a content strategist? ;)

If you’d like to read more on our celebrated multihyphenate, I invite you to contemplate her epic journey through librarianship as chronicled in this 2011 profile penned by former GA Sara O’Donnell, or catch her on twitter.

Librarian Poetry Thoughts, by Sarah Barker.

Librarian Poetry Thoughts, by Sarah Barker. [N.B. In honor of this post, I share this CC licensed photo retrieved with a Flickr search of 'librarian poet.']

Posted in DRS News | 1 Comment

New databases for January

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the Resource Gateway from January 2-31 (and some for which the vendor has changed). You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject pages. If you have questions about a particular resource, please consult its “About” file to find contact information for the resource advocate. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month.

American West
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39839328

Art and Architecture in Video
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39350586

Confidential Print: Middle East, 1839-1969
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39839329

First World War: Personal Experiences
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39839330

First World War: Propaganda and Recruitment
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39839331

India, Raj and Empire
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39839332

Jewish Life in America, c1654-1954
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39839333

Literary Manuscripts
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39839334

Medici.TV
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=40085517

Medieval Family Life
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39839335

Meet the Press Online
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39350587

Met Opera on Demand Student Access
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=40085518

Nursing Collection
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=40578491

Rehabilitation Therapy in Video
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39350588

World Newsreels Online
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39350589

Yonhaengnok Collection
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39592928

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So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodbye …

Our own dear Mary Pagliero Popp will be retiring and ‘flying the coop’ this Friday, January 31st. This momentous occasion brings with it a barrage of sensations; to name just a few:

  • Excitement for new opportunities that lay ahead of her;
  • Trepidation – how will we manage to go on?;
  • Disbelief;
  • and, to be honest, a dollop of selfish regret (grumble grumble How can you possibly leave us just to retire, Mary! You’ve only given us four decades after all! Why hurry off?)

Simply put, the place won’t be the same without her.

If you are available, please join us in celebrating Mary’s 41 year career with the Libraries on Monday, February 17 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm in the Wells staff lounge to enjoy some cake and leave a note in her memory book. Those unable to attend in person who wish to send comments for inclusion in the memory book to be presented to Mary may send them to Diane Dallis (ddallis at indiana dot edu) by February 14 and they will be included in the book.

Speaking on behalf of myself, the DRS department, and shoot, the whole campus:

Mary, we love you! We will miss you! We’ll be seeing you!

Mary Pagliero PoppMary Pagliero Popp began her career at Indiana University Libraries as Assistant Librarian in the library for Graduate Library School in 1973.  Mary’s performance is remarkable not only for its quality and intensity, but for its consistent excellence, demonstrated throughout her four decades of service at the IU Libraries.  Her contributions in a wide variety of areas — library instruction, electronic resources, online services — have been essential to the function and betterment of the organization, both in Bloomington and statewide.  She worked assiduously to establish and grow library instructional services as art of Undergraduate Library services and later as Head of Library Instruction, then in 1995 transitioned to a new role as Electronic Resources Librarian.  In one sense this marked a transition in the focus of her responsibilities from traditional face-to-face instruction to “machine-assisted” services.  But in a larger sense, Mary remained consistent in her dedication to a user-centered approach, always going the extra mile with the goal of making electronically mediated library transactions as direct and personal as possible.

For many faculty and students, Mary is the face of the library, providing support, encouragement, and an unparalleled dedication to helping them solve problems and achieve their goals.  Mary has been integral to many projects related to online discovery, including the transition from the card catalog to IUCAT, the IU Libraries’ online catalog, and on enhancements to IUCAT — first moving from a command-line to a web-based interface, and most recently in implementing a new discovery layer to serve as a public interface.  She has also been instrumental in the implementation of many large-scale research products intended to increase the breadth and depth of researcher access to information, and her expertise, judgment, and leadership have been essential to the progress of these endeavors.  Mary has for many years been a highly valued contributor to both the Bloomington and University Faculty Councils, and she has remained active in her involvement with the Library Science program.  Nationally Mary is and has been a force for positive change through her extensive involvement with the American Library Association, including a recent term as President of the Reference & User Services Association.

Laying aside her many accomplishments, Mary is also deeply personally invested in not just her work, but in the lives of her colleagues, and is a source of tremendous encouragement and emotional support to everyone around her.  She is insightful, trustworthy, innovative, thorough, persistent, diplomatic, hard-working, a groundbreaker, and a pleasure to work with.  With her retirement on January 31, Mary now embarks on new adventures, and we are grateful for the legacy of caring, compassionate service — both to her colleagues and to all library users — she leaves behind.

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New databases for December

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the Resource Gateway from December 2-30 (and some for which the vendor has changed). You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject pages. If you have questions about a particular resource, please consult its “About” file to find contact information for the resource advocate. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month.

China, America and the Pacific
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=38865972

Chinese Electronic Periodicals Service
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=38382676

Chinese Electronic Theses and Dissertations
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=38141142

Media Studies & Communication Collection
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39108286

Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=38865971

ProQuest Government Periodicals Index Online
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=38624210

ProQuest The Arts
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=37899621

Scopus
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=39108287

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