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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Links of interest 23/12/09

Christmas tree made from books
"star topper" by LMU Library
used on a Creative Commons
BY-NC-SA license
(Photos of tree construction.)
M-libraries (libraries on mobile devices
Library on the Go (pdf) "explores student use of the mobile Web in general and expectations for an academic library’s mobile Web site in particular through focus groups with students at Kent State University. Participants expressed more interest in using their mobile Web device to interact with library resources and services than anticipated. Results showed an interest in using research databases, the library catalog, and reference services on the mobile Web as well as contacting and being contacted by the library using text messaging."

library/mobile: Tips on Designing and Developing Mobile Web Sites shares "Oregon State University (OSU) Libraries’ experience creating a mobile Web presence and will provide key design and development strategies for building mobile Web sites".

Infomaki: An Open Source, Lightweight Usability Testing Tool describes a tool developed by New York Public Library to spread the usability testing load among visitors to their website - visitors are asked if they want to answer a single question; if not, they're not bothered again; if they do answer it they're given the option to answer another one. Because it's not asking much of an investment in time a lot of people will do it, and then because it's so easy a lot will answer more than one: "In just over seven months of use, it has fielded over 100,000 responses from over 10,000 respondents."

University of Michigan has made available two reports about the usability of their LibGuides.

Search interfaces
Google Labs is trialling Image Swirl which adds an "images related to this one" functionality to their image search in a lovely visual way.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Opening hours

I have a saved Twitter search for mentions of 'library' within 1000km of New Zealand. It gets people talking about iTunes libraries, programming libraries, and even actual book libraries. Sometimes people just mention visiting by-the-by, and sometimes they talk about good experiences (yay wireless, yay free stuff, yay nice staff!) or bad experiences (overdue fines, book wanted is out, library too noisy).

I've seen a few recently surprised at how late libraries open in the morning, but this one made me laugh:

9:30? The library opens at 9:30! Why so late? Is it because librarians need extra time in the morning to put their hair in a bun?

Monday, 14 December 2009

Links of interest 14/12/09

A library in a telephone booth

"Fix Your Terrible, Insecure Passwords in Five Minutes" talks about some common mistakes in creating passwords and suggests techniques for more secure ones.

Customer service
Zabel, D. and L. J. Pellack (2009) First impressions and rethinking restroom questions, RUSQ 49(1) has garnered a number of thoughtful comments, as well as reactions in the biblioblogosphere including:
Via someone I forget, who pointed out that this works perfectly if you replace the word "computer" with "library/catalogue/database/etc": How to help someone use a computer.

Information literacy
Karen Schneider recommends and discusses the Project Information Literacy report Lessons Learned: How college students find information in the digital age (PDF, 3MB).

Digital natives, scholarly immigrants on the ACRL blog discusses some of the findings of the Journal of Higher Education article University students' perceptions of plagiarism.