Posts Tagged ‘Technology’
Posted by Editor on January 4, 2012
Posted by Editor on February 23, 2011
View video here: http://mediasuite.multicastmedia.com/player.php?p=x18n36wn
Posted by Editor on September 30, 2010
Tennant’s Digital Libraries, September 29th, 2010 here: http://blog.libraryjournal.com/tennantdigitallibraries/2010/09/29/managing-personal-change/
I’m no spring chicken. My white hair is certainly an indicator of that. But another is that I have probably forgotten more technologies than many of our young librarians have ever known. And they will know more than I have ever known in my lifetime. That is the impact of the increasing pace of change, and we must get used to it.
I went from working at a library that still had cards written in “library hand“ to libraries on the very bleeding edge of change, and many places in between. Along the way I’ve learned and forgotten many things.
I have mimeographed cards for the card catalog. I have used manual typewriters. I have set up slide and film projectors. I have programmed in BASIC on a Commodore PET microcomputer, which stored the program on a cassette tape. I have used WordStar for word processing and Pagemaker for page layout. I have used Usenet news, Gopher, Veronica, Archie, WAIS, and all kinds of other Internet-based technologies that are no more. I have known all kinds of arcane LISTSERV commands, although at times those still come in handy. Not that I can remember them, or should.
We have all learned and forgotten many things, and we will learn and forget many more. So what are the skills we need to foster to do this well — both faster and better? I don’t claim to have the perfect formula, only a personal opinion. You will have to judge for yourself what speaks to you and your learning style and what doesn’t. All I know is that these strategies have done me well over the years, and they’re well worth considering.
- Learn as you breathe. You breathe all the time without even thinking about it. That is how you must learn — picking up bits of knowledge, new skills, and a fresh perspective every single day simply as a part of living. As human organisms, we already do it to some degree, but we all need to get really, really good at it.
- Learn only what is required to accomplish the task before you. Knowledge grows stale — fast. What you don’t use you tend to lose. If you need a particular skill, such as programming in a particular language, learn as you must to do particular tasks, but don’t seek to know it comprehensively. Just about the time that you do, you will be moving on to something else. Cultivate a “just in time” learning style.
- Don’t be afraid of forgetting. These days you don’t need to remember very much. You can look everything else up on the Internet. And in the age of the smartphone and tablet devices, you can often do this at times where you never could before. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Editor on September 21, 2010
Vishada Johnson kept plenty busy the last 15 years, working and raising a family. But her technology skills lagged.
“I know I’m a third-grader when using the computer sometimes,” she said with a laugh. “My kids are better at it than I am.”
So she, like many others lacking a computer at home but looking for work, went to what has become a de facto job center in an increasingly technological age: the public library.
Internet use at the nine public libraries in Madison increased 23 percent from 2008 to 2009 and is projected to go up 27 percent this year over last based on numbers through August.
The steep recent jumps owe to the swollen unemployment ranks due to the economic recession and an increase in people who, like Johnson, need a job but also need training in the basic computer skills now all but essential in finding work, said Lisa Mettauer, outreach librarian at the central branch.
To deal with the boost in demand, the library started offering one-on-one tutoring to job seekers in April 2009, using federal stimulus funds. A federal Americorps VISTA volunteer, Jim Handorf, started the program and oversaw it.
The program has since expanded to six locations throughout the city. The most recent startup began Monday in the Allied Drive neighborhood, with the library partnering with the county’s Joining Forces for Families program.
Johnson saw an ad for the program in June and has been meeting with a tutor in an upstairs computer room at the central branch every Monday since, learning skills her kids’ generation may take for granted: opening browser windows, searching online job boards, filling out applications, opening and sending e-mail messages.
It hasn’t led to a job yet but has allowed her to do something she couldn’t previously do — apply for four hospital jobs online.
“I’m more confident now,” she said. “I’ve gotten a lot of things done with help they’ve given me.”
The library uses grant money to hire Writing Lab tutors from UW-Madison for specialized help in writing resumes and cover letters and other volunteers for help in basic computer and Internet skills.
The help sessions are open to anyone who signs up and attract a broad range of people.
“Some have a high school education, some have a master’s degree,” said Emily Minerath, another Americorps VISTA worker who now coordinates the program. “Some want resume help, some need to learn to use a mouse.”
On a recent Monday, Jada Smith, an unemployed elder care worker, needed help opening up a browser window to change her resume and send it as an attachment. Meanwhile, Danna Olsen, currently employed as a certified nursing assistant, sought help in revising and improving her resume.
Minerath took over coordinating the program this summer amid her own career transition. The 2009 Oberlin College graduate did a year in a graduate program in chemistry at UW-Madison last year before discovering chemistry wasn’t for her. So she’s coordinating the job-help program this year and applying to graduate school in library science for next fall.
“I’m pretty sure librarians can change the world,” she said. “Libraries are such resources and librarians make it all happen.”
Posted by Editor on August 5, 2010
Submitted by Leigh Mihlrad, Dahlgren Memorial Library, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC; edited by Lynne M. Fox, AHIP in the MLA News
Laptops have become progressively smaller and thinner. Over a period of several years, small computers, such as netbooks and Apple’s iPad, have become more common. Computers that can be carried easily are especially popular. Small devices now make up 25.0% of the market . Netbook shipments were expected to rise 68.5 % in 2009, with growth continuing over the next few years .
Netbooks are loosely defined as portable computers with fully functional operating systems, screen sizes of less than 12 inches (traditionally, 8–10 inches), and wireless Internet access. According to CNET’s Quick Guide to Netbooks, base specifications of 1 gigabyte of random access memory (RAM) and a hard drive of 150 megabytes are common . Windows XP and Windows 7 are common operating systems for netbooks.
With less RAM and hard drive space than traditional computers, these machines are not suited for resource-intensive activities, such as video or photo editing, tutorial creation, and so on. They are most appropriate for simple tasks, such as Internet surfing, word processing, or other document editing. As such, many people purchase these machines as supplements to their main computer. With more computing taking place via “cloud computing,” using services such as Google Docs, Zoho, or Microsoft’s Office Web Apps (part of the company’s Office 2010 suite), today’s computers require less intense processors.
The advantages of small computers are easy to see. Portability and a lower price are key benefits. Their small size easily permits users to work on the road or carry their computers with them. These machines, with less robust processors, tend to have better battery life (over four hours) than more traditional laptops.
The disadvantages of these devices are numerous and may outweigh the attractiveness of their portability for certain people. These include a smaller screen and keyboard, less processor speed and disk space, and lack of peripherals (CD-ROM, DVD, USB ports, webcam). Keyboards on some models have alternative key layouts to save space, but these can be a nuisance for touch typists. Some models feature nonstandard video graphics array (VGA) connectors and require adaptors for connection to data projectors, adding to the cost of purchase. Because of smaller storage capacity, some users also feel the need to invest in peripheral drives for data storage.
Most companies that produce traditional laptop computers also make netbooks. This includes Dell, Toshiba, Samsung, Sony, and Hewlett-Packard (HP). The Taiwanese brand Asus essentially created netbooks, and it offers many models of smaller computers. In the wake of the success of the iPad, other computing companies are developing touchscreen tablets, including Asus and Dell.
Apple’s iPad, which debuted in the spring of 2010, is a new product in the small computing world. Two versions are sold: one that features both WiFi and 3G, and another that has only WiFi access. The iPad weighs one and a half pounds and has a display of almost ten inches across. It features a touchscreen display, with additional peripherals available to add on. The iPad boasts an enviable battery life, connects easily to WiFi, and provides sharp images for reading and multimedia viewing. Some iPad users find the screen-based keyboard limiting, as it is not easy to touch type, but a peripheral keyboard is available. Another disadvantage is lack of printer connectivity, although third-party printing applications are available from some wireless printer manufacturers, such as Canon and HP .
Almost all of the 200,000 Apple App Store applications can work on the iPad, which is essentially a larger version of the iPhone, minus the phone capability. Many applications have been adjusted for the larger-scale screen real estate, but many are still sized for the iPhone.
Apple’s iPads offer a lightweight alternative for those who like to read or view multimedia, do puzzles or email, or participate in social networking. Small format computing is not for everyone, especially gamers or those with resource-intensive work responsibilities. However, netbooks have become a popular alternative to carrying larger, heavier laptops for presentations or for work travel.
- Keizer G. iPad vs netbook: the battle continues. Computerworld [Internet]. 2010 May 8 [cited 28 Jun 2010]. <http://www.pcworld.com/article/195898/ipad_vs_netbook_the_battle_continues.html>.
- Olenick D. Back to the future for netbook sales. Twice: This Week in Consumer Electronics [Internet]. 2009 May [cited 28 Jun 2010]. <http://www.twice.com/article/255497-Back_To_The_Future_For_Netbook_Sales.php>.
- Ackerman D. Computing resources center: CNET’s quick guide to netbooks [Internet]. [cited 28 Jun 2010]. <http://bestbuy-cnet.com.com/4351-13747_7-6667568.html>.
- How to print from your iPad. PCMag.com [Internet]. 2010 Apr 9 [cited 28 Jun 2010]. <http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2362451,00.asp>.
NOTE: Only noncommercial websites are linked.
Posted by Editor on February 1, 2010
Posted by Editor on January 19, 2010
The annual Horizon Report is essential reading and discussion material in educational technology.
The following four trends have been identified as key drivers of technology adoptions for the period 2010 through 2015; they are listed here in the order they were ranked by the Advisory Board.
- The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching, and credentialing.
- People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
- The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.
- The work of students is increasingly seen as collaborative by nature, and there is more cross campus collaboration between departments.
Read entire post here: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology_and_learning/gazing_at_the_horizon Read about the methodologies used here: http://wp.nmc.org/horizon2010/chapters/methodology/
Posted by Editor on November 2, 2009
by Karen Klapperstuck
There is no shortage of continuing education opportunities for librarians. I think we naturally tend toward collaboration and harmony. Earlier this week, while many librarians were in Monterey, CA for Internet Librarian, I attended NJLA’s first Adult Services Forum. On the same day, David Lee King and Michael Porter launched their new video and multimedia collaboration project, Library 101. All three of these focus on something that I have been pondering a lot lately: how, why and in what format we provide services (to all our patrons). Those thoughts cannot be separated from my concern over the division that is created by the acceptance of technology in library service.
Let me start by saying that I suffer from a serious case of technolust. I really love having new technology at my fingertips! But I also have a fair amount of restraint and often will wait to purchase something until (almost) all the kinks are worked out. However, I know that, just from my family and friends, most people are not yet comfortable with a wide range of technologies. As a librarian, I feel that it is important for the library to be a safe and comfortable place to expose people to web 2.0 (and beyond) and new ways of doing things.
John Porcaro (JP) said during his presentation at the Adult Services Forum that he finds librarians are often ahead of the curve compared with other departments and professions when it comes to new technology. This is not the stereotype that people have of libraries and librarians. Just do a Google search on “libraries are dead”: 79,000 results! Not all these websites actually support that idea but some clearly do. The common thread is that unless we do something about the PERCEPTION of libraries, they will die. And isn’t that what we are ultimately fighting against? Both internal and external stereotypes of what libraries and librarians were, are and are going to be.
The Library 101 project looks at what we are doing and what we need to think about doing to stay relevant. And I’m all for that! With a fun music video (with lots of familiar faces in it!), thoughtful essays, and 101 resources and things to know (RTK), Library 101 gathers together all the stuff libraries have been doing and are currently trying to do. The Library 101 project also reminded me that I’m not the only one who thinks that being a librarian can be fun and wants to share that with the world….Read entire excellent post here: http://librarygarden.net/2009/11/02/balancing-technology-in-library-service/
Posted by Editor on August 27, 2009
From JDD: My last post had to do with the future of hospital libraries and librarians and Connie Schardt outlined what the MLA is doing. This, from Harvard, addresses what libraries in medical schools need to prepare themselves to do. (If we/they are not already!)
Posted by Isaac (“Zak”) Kohane August 26, 2009 HERE in Countway’s blog…
This is not an abstract question about the future of libraries, although that is also an interesting question. It is a question about what the medical school accrediting organizations have determined. “The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree in U.S. and Canadian medical schools. The LCME is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association.” and this is what they had to say (the bold face is mine for emphasis):
D. Information Resources and Library Services
ER-11 The medical school must have access to well-maintained library and information facilities, sufficient in size, breadth of holdings, and information technology to support its education and other missions.
There should be physical or electronic access to leading biomedical, clinical, and other relevant periodicals, the current numbers of which should be readily available. The library and other learning resource centers must be equipped to allow students to access information electronically, as well as to use self-instructional materials.
ER-12 The library and information services staff must be responsive to the needs of the faculty, residents and students of the medical school.
A professional staff should supervise the library and information services, and provide training in information management skills. The library and information services staff should be familiar with current regional and national information resources and data systems, and with contemporary information technology.
[Revised annotation approved by the LCME in October 2007 and effective immediately.]
Both school officials and library/information services staff should facilitate access of faculty, residents, and medical students to information resources, addressing their needs for information during extended hours and at dispersed sites.
These are important recommendations and ones which foreshadow trends from the very near future. We have embraced this educational mission from access of electronic resources to teaching biomedical researchers how to perform bioinformatics-enabled research (see the bioinformatics nanocourses offered to all by Reddy Galli— details here ). The central question is whether librarian training will embrace the information technology that will be required to keep libraries current and relevant to their patrons. The answer to that question will determine where the future librarians are trained and that will in turn determine how central libraries remain to the academic mission.
MY question about all of us is will we librarians (and students and recent grads) embrace the idea of acquiring and advancing these new skills, and is the answer related to where we are in our career development? Are we willing to take the time to learn this new stuff, and are we willing to wait for salaries to catch up that reflect a new breed of librarian?? Will acquiring new skills make us more employable or help protect our jobs and our libraries? I used to think YES, but am not so sure these days…
Read the blog at http://hmscountway.blogspot.com/
Posted by Editor on June 9, 2009
David, as always, offers much food for thought!