Good morning! I am Jaleh Fazelian, Islamic Studies Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis. I am joined today by my colleague Melissa Vetter, Subject Librarian Coordinator and Psychology Librarian. We want to thank you for attending our session this morning.We are two of the administrators for our LibGuides software at Wash U, and, as such, have the honor of providing recurring training for our librarians on the updates that generally come out twice a year. Because of this, we try to stay on top of what’s going on out there with regard to research guides so that we’re teaching folks about what LibGuides can do for them and what nifty things they can incorporate into their guides. Are any of you in the crowd using LibGuides for your research or subject guides, too? In recently surveying what tools we’ve been using to interact with our users and what else is available, we got the idea for the presentation you’re going to see today. There are may ways of making research guides interactive, these are only just 8 things that we have been using or thinking of experimenting with at the Washington University Libraries. If there’s time during the question and answer session at the end of the presentation, we would love to hear what other “cool tools” you all might be using at your libraries to interact with your students, faculty, and colleagues.
So what do we mean by interactive?Interactive to us means getting students to engage with the page or guide that we have created for them to use. Often times these guides are created in conjunction with a professor. All of the products we’re showing you today are free—at least for the most basic versions of them. Many have the option of paying for more advanced versions of the product and we’ll let you know which those are.These quick additions are something you can do, within 5-10 minutes to make a change to your research guide.
These tools all are quite easy to use and master, the only reason we think of them as being for longer term projects is that they will require a bit more effort initially in order to prepare the content before you actually start working with these particular tools.Another thing to point out before getting started is that you can use all of these tools for free! In this time of shrinking budgets, we all are looking for ways to do our best while also being cost effective. We hope these tools will help you accomplish those goals.
Does everyone in the room know about or use Twitter? If you haven’t, Twitter is a 140 character microblogging tool that allows you to create short messages to friends, colleagues, and the world at large. We are using Twitter as a marketing and outreach tool. Twitter is fast becoming a place where scholars and others get out up-to-date news and some of this information may be useful to students.To create ever-constant, up-to-date information on your guide you can incorporate Twitter feeds. Image 1:You can create an RSS feed to any individual twitter account. Twitter provides you the RSS feed that you can place on a LibGuide, as shown here or in any webpage using Feed2J or another RSS feed provider.Image 2:Twitter in their “goodies” section provides Twitter widgets based upon your own twitter account. This comes with an embeddable code that you can place on any webpage.Image 3:Twitter also has a “goodies” section for lists that a person creates. For example, this list here is on Central Asia. It is a list of people or news entities on Twitter who mainly discuss the current happenings in Central Asia. I created this for a course guide I was collaborating on with a professor in Anthropology.
Flickr search engine: Allows users to search for commercial and creative commons images. Allows you to perform searches on text or tags. Compfight allows you to search for wholly original material and in some instances, if there is a blue bar across the bottom of an image with size dimensions, you will get the original size dimensions of an image and not the resized Flickr version. They also default to a safe search. However, even with the safe search on, you should expect to see images of scantily clad women, depending on your search. When I performed my search for these images using St. Louis as my search term, I came across several images from the annual Naked Bike Ride. You will need to attribute the photographer correctly, using the attribution style they give on the Creative Commons license. Even though we fall under fair use, I still give attribution in case students want to look at the other photos taken by the artist. You will not be able to copy an image that is for commercial use for obvious reasons. However, if it’s an image you really like, I would suggest contacting the photographer. They may let you use it for free.
Rather than just putting static links -- creating embeddable widgets (such as you see here). Once they perform the search -- but a more attractive option to have that search box beckoning you right on your site.Almost all are created in a different way – examples -- different levels of specificity.CSA is searching only one particular database, Index Islamicus, however, JSTOR doesn’t allow you so specify a more localized search -- all of JSTOR. One detail to be aware of when creating yours. Accompanying guide -- links you need to recreate these for your site and some information you’ll need to do so.
Quickly, as you can see here, we have been highlighting our Gale databases recently by using some of their widgets on our Research Guides home page.
These are great because they allow you to customize them for each of the databases they provide. Point out: adding in proxy info and Location ID info. It’s really a snap (especially with this particular vendor!).
Some of you -- Adobe AcrobatConnect and various others -- we’ve chosen (for the most part) to use the web-based software called Meebo as our instant messaging tool to interact with users on our research guides. Users do not need to have an IM account to interact -- remain as anonymous as they’d like to. Edit their nickname (as you can see here as an option) -- Meebo will remember.Highlighted -- responders status is always visible (forgot to change their status while they ran out for a cup of coffee is really up to the attentiveness of the librarian!), but the user should rarely come upon it and not be certain if someone is there or not. Do not set this up if you’re not willing to monitor it frequently! On the left (Link to image) is the Meebo chat box embedded on a particular Research Guide (Jaleh’s, in fact). On the right (Link to image), the Wash U Medical School uses this service, as well, and embeds their chat box directly onto a web page. So there are options, as with any chat service.
Because Meebo is a web-based interface, you can log into it from anywhere on any computer and also from your mobile device. My chat screen looks like when I’m logged in. My accounts. Students/colleagues on these networks can keep me in their buddy list. Don’t have to keep going back to the chat box, like you saw previously, in order to get in touch with me.Pluses and minuses--Free and incorporates beautifully into our LibGuides. Does allow you toretain your chat logs with buddies on your list, but not with guestswho come to your site through your Meebo widget. Problem if you were away when someone came to your site, however, I’ve noticed that most users are pretty savvy about these sorts of things and will often leave an email address if you aren’t able to quickly respond to their chat. Another minus -- not able to set up queues so that multiple people could be monitoring one account in order to make referrals to those best equipped to handle the question. That’s why for our chat Reference service, the Help Desk has employed a product called Library H3lp because it handles multiple account users and chat logs a bit better than Meebo. You’ll find a link to Library H3lp on our accompanying LibGuide.
Several polling options and many are free, as well—in fact, LibGuides incorporates into one of its box options. Poll Everywhere is one we’ve only just learned about at the Libraries so a few of our librarians are trying it out. The free version allows an unlimited number of polls, and up to 32 votes per poll -- would cover any instruction session. Image 1:With it you can ask your audience their anonymous response to questions. Check for understanding -- pulse of the room before moving on to a new topic. This could be a handy tool for that. Users can vote over the web (shown here). Copy the URL created for your poll -- give the link to participants in an email or post it on a web page – allows them to vote directly from the Poll Everywhere site.Image 2:With the Web Voting widget you can post poll on a webpage or embed into a LibGuide. Once you cast your votecan view the results instantly, too, so you can see where your answer ratesamongst the others! This feature is actually available in a LibGuides poll, as well. Image 3:Text their responses to the poll question—possibly eliminating clickers in the classroom. Of course, you’d want to know your crowd first, before assuming all are carrying cell phones and handheld devices. This is where Poll Everywhere definitely differs from the LibGuides polling option.Image 4:Smartphone users can browse to poll4.com to avoid text messaging fees to cast their votes, as well. Finally – users can Tweet their votes – if option is turned on for the poll.A few other differences, if you interested, between LibGuides and Poll Everywhere: LibGuides limits you to 7 poll choices, Poll Everywhere offers an unlimited number of possible responses.Poll Everywhere offers free text polling options where you can type in your comments, LibGuides does not.
Press F5 or enter presentation mode to view the poll
In an emergency during your presentation, if the poll isn't showing, navigate to this link in your web browser:
http://www.polleverywhere.com/multiple_choice_polls/LTE4MDAwOTAxMzcIf you like, you can use this slide as a template for your own voting slides. You might use a slide like this if you feel your audience would benefit from the picture showing a text message on a phone.
Screenr bills itself as instant screencasts for Twitter, really so much more to it than that. Record what’s happening on your screen to share different ways -- onto the web for your research guide, via email, post to YouTube, but it is extremely easy to post to the Twitter feed associated with your account. If you have the tools you need—a computer and a microphone—you can literally watch their 1 minute tutorial and be up and running within minutes. Embed on a research guide -- come to your page where they see an image of the video (sort of You Tube like), they click play and it plays right on the screen for them. Pluses and minuses – Free, like we said before. Hwvr, looking for something -- make edits to your screencasts or clip certain sections, screenr might not be for you. If you just need something done quick and “dirty” -- perfect. 5 minute limit to each screencast, but this has forced us to use restraint -- longer than 5 minutes broken into smaller sections. Useful to answer reference questions. Use the URL for screencast and send it in an email. Run out of time during inst. session. Create a short on-the-fly tutorial and send it to your class or post to your course guide.While we also use software tools like Captivate and Camtasia, I think that many of our librarians have enjoyed using this tool so much because the learning curve is very, very low so everyone using it can feel jazzed about creating such cool resources with very little investment of time or money.(Of note: you can put it on utube and can view on an iphone.)
The great thing about Slideshare (other than the fact that it, too, is free!) is that it makes it very easy to upload and share your PowerPoint presentations, Word & PDF documents, and professional videos. Like screener, it can be embedded so that it displays and plays right there on your research guide, website or blog. You can also use it as a place of safe keeping for presentations (such as this one!). You also have the ability to share your slides publicly with anyone or share it privately with only those you wish to. The image you see here is of a slide show and accompanying handout that were placed on a LibGuide created for a Twitter training session the Libraries hosted. They were posted so that they could be shared with users in lieu of printing (another cost saving measure we’re pretty keen on!). Users just click on the play arrow to advance the slides as needed or use the scroll bar to browse through the hand out (by the way, the handout was created using XXXX and then uploaded to Slideshare).Another nice feature of Slideshare is that you can now add audio to it to make a webinar. For the one I created, I used free software called Audacity to create my mp3 audio file, then you just easily upload it to Slideshare and sync it up with your slides. I’ve often thought that it might be nice to record the audio portion of the presentation for posting on the web, as most PowerPoint slides these days have so little text!
This is VoiceThread. Full disclosure, we have not actually used this product. It’s something Melissa stumbled upon a few months ago. VoiceThread is a multimedia slideshow that allows users to leave comments via voice, text, audio, video, and doodles. VoiceThread has a free version but there are also paid options that allow for greater flexibility in the software.As I said, we have never used this product and from what I can see it hasn’t completely caught on at the university level but there is some interesting potential in voicethread. I am going to demo for you a short portion of a library tour.. This is one way you could use voicethread. But I can also see this product being used to assist patrons with reference questions, used for how-to demonstrations databases, or in other areas, like library promotion. It could also be highly valuable to distance learners.So, here’s a little bit of what VoiceThread is.
We would like to show you the website we created to go along with this presentation. You will find links to everything we discussed plus links to other tools you might want to use to make your research guides more interactive.
Interactive Research Guides Jaleh Fazelian, Islamic Studies Librarian Melissa Vetter, Subject Librarian Coordinator and Psychology Librarian Washington University in St. Louis
Tools to make your guides interactive Quick additions Twitter feeds Compfight Database widgets Meebo chat widget 5-15 minutes
Tools to make your guides interactive Longer term projects Poll Everywhere Screenr SlideShare /slidecasting VoiceThread 15+ minutes
Twitter Feeds 5 minutes Discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world
Compfight 5-10 minutes Taken from ron.ron.ron’s flick account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22058765@N02/3871910269/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Taken from Pezhore’sflickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38301472@N06/3704444485/ / CCBY-NC-SA 2.0 Taken from Matito’sflickraccount: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42348675@N00/5909438/ / CC BY-SA 2.0 Taken from lissalou77’s flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12920961@N02/1506747711/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Taken from Synthericaperture’sflickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21050990@N03/2684146053/ / CC BY 2.0