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Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
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Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
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Norwich Presentation
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Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
Norwich Presentation
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Slides and speaker's notes for "Those Damn Librarians! Why Don't They Just Fix This?" - presentation given at Norwich University on January 26, 2011.

Slides and speaker's notes for "Those Damn Librarians! Why Don't They Just Fix This?" - presentation given at Norwich University on January 26, 2011.

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  • So I was asked to talk a little bit today about the “greatest areas of opportunity in electronic resources management” as I was doing some research, I stumbled on this quote: “ Those damn librarians! Why don’t they just fix this?” – which is usually accompanied with this look [screaming slide]
  • When I read this, it reminded me no matter how much we as librarians struggle with managing our e-resources, our patrons frequently struggle a lot more with using them. So, with that in mind, what I thought I would do today is pick a couple of issues that are real stumbling blocks for our students at Springfield College and try to predict how we might get around them.
  • So, here’s my first prediction – Do It Yourself Databases When we think about subscribing to a database today, we pretty much have to take what the vendors decides is good for us. Sometimes that’s not a problem, but frequently we end up subscribing to databases that have a lot of extra junk that we don’t need like journals that are available for free in other places.
  • What if we could move beyond this “take it or leave it” situation and build our databases though?   In other words, what if we could select the pieces of information we wanted to include and snap them together to create a database that’s a little more customized for our patrons?   Sound crazy? Maybe, but the DIY database might be closer than you think.
  • Before we can talk about to build a DIY database, though, we have to take a step back and talk about the information that goes into it first.   Historically speaking we have associated certain types of information with certain containers: {Hold up book – ask what do you find in here} {Hold up article – ask what you do find here} In fact, this association between information and container is so strong that it has influenced how books are written and published and how libraries process them.
  • Some people in the scholarly publishing industry, however, are starting to argue that we are starting to “unpack” scholarly information from these containers. Michael Clarke is one of these people and he cites the rise of Web 2.0 technology and the explosion of mobile technology as two key forces driving this change. Blogging, for example, has given authors the ability to bypass publishers and directly interact with their audience As for mobile, the form factors has forced some publishers to reconfigure their content so that it will mesh better with smart phones. Now, no one is suggesting that “books” and “journals” are going to go away any time soon, but I would argue that this “unpacking” of information has already started to take place.  
  • Evidence based reference tool that is used by clinicians in the field to diagnose medical condition. Unlike a traditional database, it doesn’t include all the content from a journal. Instead, it only cites studies that support the conclusions and recommendations for the 3,200 topics in the database. In other words, it only pulls out and cites/links to the content from a journal that it needs – everything else is excluded from DynaMed.  
  • This is a database of graphs, charts, illustrations, and other data that has been pulled from leading science and technology journals indexed for easy discovery. The argument for doing this is that this data isn’t indexed in traditional database even though it is usually quite valuable.  
  • In some cases, patrons are being given the ability to “unpack” some of this information themselves. Counseling and Therapy in Video allows you to grab clips from different videos and put them together into a playlist that other can watch. Playlists can even include links to outside resources like a syllabus  
  • OK, so let’s say that we accept this idea that information is starting to become unpacked from its traditional containers. What does all of this have to do with the idea of being able to create your own database? After all, in the examples you just showed us, the vendor is still making the decisions about the pool of content that we start with. Good point, but as the last example shows, publishers are starting to understand that people not only want access to specific pieces of information , they also want to be able to do something with it as well. As this idea catches on, more and more publishers will start to provide some kind of connection to content that librarians can then bundle together into one custom access point. So, what kind of connections would allow you to do that?  
  • Well, Terry Reese from the Oregon State University Library thinks that one way to do this is through the use of APIs or application program interfaces.   According to Reese, more and more publishers are starting to provide APIs for their products that librarians can tap into.   Here are a couple of examples:
  • database of chemical structures that has been pulled together from over 400 data sources  
  • made up of trillions of pieces of data that can be used to perform calculations. The idea is that by using the APIs to pull in data, you could – with enough resources and effort – built a DIY database In fact, that’s exactly what they’ve done exactly that at Oregon State.
  • This is Oregon Explorer – a natural resources digital library that pulls in data from federal, state, and local sources and integrates it into one new resource. You can’t buy it from any vendor. Now, I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that a lot of the examples that I’ve been using come from the STM fields No reason why publishers in the humanities or social sciences couldn’t do the same thing if they wanted to unpack their data and provide multiple access points.
  • Let’s take the Journal of American History as an example. Right now, if you subscribe to the journal they provide access to everything as it was published. What if ….. all of those articles were broken down into logical categories like: historical era geography history type, like social history Ethnicity Time period whatever – and each one had its feed? Pull feeds based on user profile and classes being offered at the college
  • The library could then pull one or more of these feeds in combine them with feeds from other American history journals create a new database customized to the needs of patrons here at Norwich. So let’s bring this back around to our original theme of helping patrons. What would a DIY database do for them?
  • Project Information Literacy surveys, we see that 2 of the top 6 problems that students have with the research process have to do with finding information in library databases. In theory, a well constructed DIY database would help alleviate these problems to some extent because they wouldn’t be floundering through extraneous sources of information. Granted, it’s not going to solve these problems completely, but I think that it would be a step in the right direction.
  • Now for my next prediction: I’d like to shift gears a little bit and talk about how our patrons use our e-resources – or don’t use them as the case may be.   But, first it’s time for a pop quiz. Please answer the following question:
  • Do I need to play the Jeopardy music or do you know the answer already? Google!
  • Google is the go-to source for the overwhelming majority of students Project Information Literacy surveys tell us that almost 90% students also use a library database during the course of their research But – and this is the catch – only once they know about them – and that’s where the problem arises.
  • Several studies have shown that, generally speaking, students don’t automatically think of the library’s web site when they have an information need. In fact, fewer and fewer of them are coming to the library’s web site at all unless they are explicitly directed to do so .   Libraries have responded to this trend by saying: “if they won’t come to the databases, then we’ll take the databases to them” we’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure out ways to make our e-resources available at the time and place when students need them.  
  • This whole idea of “point of need” searching have been kind of like a holy grail for libraries We’ve tried a couple of general ways to reach it   If you can’t beat Google, then … try to build some kind of bridge between Google and our e-resources.
  • One way to do this is to seed Google results with citations from databases like: JSTOR WorldCat The only problem with this strategy is: results tend to get swallowed up by all the other junk in Google that floats to the top of the search results unless you know some kind of trick like typing “JSTOR” in your search. Another downside is that few vendors are on board.
  • Another option is to plug our link resolvers into Google so that students can check to see if the library owns an article I actually like this strategy a lot but: Students have to manually select their library in the preferences Only works in Google Scholar The connection can be kind of flaky
  • The other path - embed search boxes directly inside spaces where students will find them.   This gets us closer to the idea of being present at the point of need, but it’s still far from perfect. After all:   The librarian has to decide what e-resource to place in that space and it might not be the one the student wants to use (even if we place the most appropriate one for the subject matter there) Librarians can’t place them in spaces that they don’t have access to, like Facebook.   Fortunately, a third way toward point of need searching has emerged and it’s all thanks to something in your pocket
  • Oops, that that one. This one. Yes, I’m referring to your smartphone More specifically, I’m referring to the apps that run on your smart phone
  • Apps, of course, are those little programs that run on your phone that range from: the incredibly silly – anyone here download iBeer? – to the incredibly useful they are everywhere. Apple just pass 10 billion app downloads over last weekend Library vendors have taken notice and more and more of them are jumping on the bandwagon and releasing app versions of key products.  
  • Here are a few examples Apps come close to hitting the mark when it comes to point of need searching because it starts to address two key problems: Student can select the e-resources they want to add to their phone (if an app for it is available) It’s with them wherever they are Still early days – can’t be sure how things will develop in next few years Safe to say that it’s an approach that only going to expand - will branch out into the tablet area as well, just as some of them have already done with the iPad. As great as apps are, I still think we can do better
  • Well, what I’d like to see – and this is just speculation on my part – is a way to embed our e-resources directly into the tools that students are using.   In other words, what if we could plug our databases directly into programs like Office so that students could look up and use articles as they need them? No more switching from Word to the browser and then going to the library’s home page and finding the database and looking something up. It would be all done in the program as I hope you can kind of envision based on this mock up Would embedding e-resources into tools like Microsoft Word really increase productivity? We’ve can’t be 100% sure, but I think the answer is yes
  • Digital library supporting a consortium of hospitals in North Carolina. Have dozens of great e-resources, but the doctors were not using them
  • Millions details that needed to be worked out in order to make my database plug in for Microsoft Office work I think that this is the direction that we need to continue moving in. Our patrons are living more and more of their lives online. We need to be there with them when they need information.
  • Transcript

    • 1. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Two (Potential) Signs of Hope for Our Patrons Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011
    • 2.  
    • 3. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Prediction One
    • 4. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 What If…
    • 5. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Information Containers
    • 6. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Unpacking Our Information
    • 7. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011
    • 8. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011
    • 9. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011
    • 10. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 So What?
    • 11. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 What’s an API? Application Programming Interface (API): A particular set of rules and specifications that a software program can follow to access and make use of the services and resources provided by another particular software program that implements that API.
    • 12. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 ChemSpider
    • 13. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 WolframAlpha
    • 14. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Oregon Explorer
    • 15. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Journal of American History Feed Three: History Type Feed One: Historical Era Feed Five: Time Period Feed Two: Geography Feed Four: Ethnicity
    • 16. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Repository of Outstanding Knowledge (ROOK)
    • 17. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Why Is This Important? Difficulties with Steps During the Course Related Research Process From 2010 study
    • 18. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Prediction Two “ Point of Need” Searching
    • 19. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Pop Quiz What tool do most students use when first starting to do research? Q.
    • 20. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Student Use of E-Resources
    • 21. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 “ Houston…We Have a Problem”
    • 22.  
    • 23. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Citations in Google
    • 24. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Link Resolver
    • 25. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Embedded Resources
    • 26. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011
    • 27. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Apps!
    • 28. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Library Apps
    • 29. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Microsoft Office 2015?
    • 30. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Physician’s Electronic Medical Record Problem: Physicians were not using the hospital’s e-resources because they had to remember the URL to the digital library and use an additional log-in and password in their offices and at home. Solution: Program the Physician’s Electronic Medial Record, which they access several times a day, with the necessary URLs and the abilty to automatically pass along credentials to the hospital’s e-resources Result: Usage of e-resources increased 255%
    • 31. “ Those Damn Librarians! Why Don’t They Just Fix This?” Gary S. Atwood January 26, 2011 Microsoft Office 2015?
    • 32. Comments? Questions?
    • 33. Thank You!

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