Fall 2014 Around the Corner

Classes are about to begin again on August 25.  I’ve already received an email for LIBR210 – Reference regarding the first week’s introductions.  My other class is LIBR287 – Cataloging.  All the books for these classes seem like dry reading.  I hope I can stay awake reading.

The summer break was a good time to take a break from school work.  Too much going on outside of school that a break was definitely needed.  After my Drupal class in the spring, I have continued to keep my GoDaddy site for my portfolio and I re-themed the SBVAA website to be more mobile friendly.  I am thinking of moving this site to my GoDaddy account and keep the WordPress instance there.  If I give up my GoDaddy account, then I’ll have to move back to here.  catcorner


Virtual Symposium

Here it is the last post for the semester.  I cannot believe that this class if over.  I have had a lot of fun.

Meet Robbie, maybe a librarian of the future or an information interface.  Robbie is going to explain the concepts of  the Hyperlinked Library; I think he got his ideas from taking this course LIB287.

Robbie was created using the website Xtranormal. This was the first time I used the service (which is free up to a point).  I was really happy with the results as the video while being previewed but when it fully rendered, the speech was not as consistent.  There are unusual pauses at places that I did not intend.  Maybe we can chalk it up to Robbie’s robotic voice.

I downloaded the Xtranormal file and used Microsoft’s Movie Maker to continue to edit the video:  adding, captioning,  cutting and splicing as you will see.  I also sped up Robbie’s dialog which seemed to drag a little after the rendering.  It also shortens the video to around 7 minutes.

In case the dialog is a little too broken up, I have included a transcript: Dialog

Reflective Practice

I am not sure what to write about for this week’s module. I am drained from working on the Director’s Brief and another report for my other class. It’s been a hard week, month, year both academically and personally. So at times it is hard to bring your heart to work.

I am blessed to have a supportive work environment. Well no surprise,I work for a library. In fact they are the ones that started me on this journey down the librarian road and are reimbursing the trip. Yet I guess that puts pressure on me to make sure that I complete the journey.

I am reflective on two articles in this week’s readings. The article on introverts rings a tone for me given that I am one myself. So it is kind of iconic that I would be spearheading my library’s social media campaigns. But this class has shown me and I then convey to the librarians at work how the way of Library 2.0 is all about communication and making personal connections.

The other article that struck me was the librarian’s account of how she was struck by an unexpectant, life changing event. Again I take from this article the way in which her coworkers supported her and gave her the time to recover. I often think of my coworkers as my library family. And although with the skills that I have currently I could be making more money working in a business environment, nothing beats the freedom I have currently working in academia where I am afforded the time and encouraged to be creative in my work.

And thus I reflect,


Rethinking Library Space, How About a Slide? [Revised]

(via Home Designing),

So, I thought I would expand more one this subject as part of my Reflections post.  I saw this article on i09 about houses with slides.  How about a library with a slide?  Here’s the LEGO office building in Denmark.

(via Architizer Blog)

Michael Weidlich asked if there were any libraries with slides now.  I found a blog article about the Panorama House which has a slide/staircase combination for a home library.

(via childrensministryonline.com)

Not exactly a slide but Googling around I found this neat boat for a children’s check in area.

These are some neat ideas especially for public library settings but what about an academic library.  The Information Commons idea has been in the academic library community for some time now.  I remember my work library wanting to create a common’s area for over ten years now.  What has happened?  Why don’t we have one?  Well, the biggest problem is the ability to generate interest within the university administration then to convert that interest into a plan and a funding source.  Our library got the attention of the university president.  We were given the go ahead to consult with an architect to re-envision the library space as a commons.  Together we planned to move the computer area to the entry level rather than the 3rd floor where it is now.   We planned to add study areas with smart boards and technology focused learning areas.  We planned to rethink reference, technical services, serials and basically how all library service are delivered.  We had a good plan.

Then the economy dropped out in 2008 and our plans and funding were put on hold.  Our spirits were broken as we came close to archiving a real change in the library services and everything was put on hold.  After an initial phase of disappointment, our library has been making small changes that ultimately will re-envision the library.  Our heritage/archive room was completely redesigned to be more inviting.  We incorporated opening the heritage room as a new entry into the library as per the original redesign plans.  Our library’s 4th floor is being remolded now with plans to be reopened by the summer.  It will have a fresh look and powered study tables (the 4th floor is designated as a quite study area so no radical changes in the workspace).

(via lifehacker.com)

Finally, my thoughts drift to MakerSpaces.  I wish there were MakerSpaces at my public library when I was growing up.  That would have been awesome.  But again, I see MakerSpaces being more for public libraries than for academic.  Throw in a school of medical students and there is even less room for technical spaces.  There are already medical simulators on campus and not a need for the library to house their own (plus they are expensive).  The closest thing that I think we can do is to make available to the students for checkout the latest gadgets.  For example, the library can stock the five best eBook readers either for checkout or to create a permanent kiosk to display the eReaders and let patrons touch and feel the technology.  Drexel University has an automatic laptop checkout machine available 24/7 for students that need a laptop at anytime.

(via the-digital-reader.com)

Little Free Library in Redlands, CA

2013-04-12 08.16.32Serendipity.  Last week I was walking my dog after dropping my son off from school and I came across this little outdoor library box.   Then low and behold, Michael added his updated “Creation Culture & Maker Spaces” lecture ending with his Little Free Library.   It must be fairly new.  I just went to Google Street View and the box does not appear in the picture.

Mobile & Geolocation


I am a little cynical of the impending dominance of the mobile market and the need for everyone, including universities and libraries, to immediately jump on the mobile bandwagon.  It is hard to argue against shift in consumer device usage when PC computer sales are slipping and tablet/phone use is climbing to a point to surpass desktop use in 2014.  Using similar statistics, it still seems that the majority of people prefer to use a computer when purchasing online or, not surprisingly, at work.  Mobile devices dominate in games, social networking and app use but when “real” work needs to get done, it’s still up to the personal computer to accomplish it.   A progressive school like SJSU requires that papers be submitted in Microsoft Word format; a format that has its majority usage with PCs (this is changing with the Microsoft Surface Pro and Office 365 products).

So, to me it comes down to asking how much time and effort should be dedicated to mobilizing the library’s services?   When I look at my university library’s server stats, a monthly report will show approximately 15,000 visits with 50 visits to the mobile optimized site.  That %0.33 of the total!  But to be fair, is an optimized site necessary?  iPads and tablets will display the regular site and present a usable experience.  The Samsung Galaxy S III screen size is 4.8″ diagonal which makes for a good full screen presentation without the need for mobile optimization.

What services need to be mobilized, that will have an impact on students?  For me, I like to access SJSU’s Desire 2 Learn site with my iPad to read articles that are posted.  I would rather search the library’s databases and gather articles on my laptop.  Maybe I am just not getting it.  There are new mobile apps from publishers like Ebsco, for SJSU students, that provide the search interface on the phone.  Where else can the library optimize for mobile?  Mobile alerts for renewals, holds and overdue make the most sense and then to provide a mobile interface for the patron to renew immediately from their phone, that would be a win-win.

I haven’t been a fan of GeoLocation apps like FourSquare.  It comes down to the innate sense of privacy where we think to ourselves, “Do I really want everyone to know where I am at?”   It was evident in the week’s lecture that Professor Stephens had reservations with phrases like “my close friends” and “not everyone.”  That is an issue with GeoLocation check-ins that will be difficult to overcome I think.

layarAn application that I am interested in is called Layar.  However, I just looked at their site after a long absence and it appears that the company is focusing on print to digital presentations.  When I first heard about Layar, they were starting in on the augmented reality (AR) market with an AR browser for mobile apps.  They would present a person walking down the street, holding up their phone and  receiving digital information from their layar browser.  I thought it would be a neat idea to create a layar for my library’s heritage tour.  I imagine the user taking the walking tour, holding up their phones and Layar presenting an AR view of “what-was-there” in the past.  A virtual time machine.  I have just not had the time to sit down and learn the Layar Creator to make my own Layars.  Now, I will have to check if it is still free.  In the meantime, I have used another website called What Was There?  It adds a photo feature to Google Maps Street

googleglassView and is geared more towards historic photos than current although I have seen non-historic photos.  An example I added illustrations this; use the fader bar to bring the present into focus.   Lastly, it will be interesting how Google Glass is received and absorbed into the digital culture.  I think it would be neat to have ready access to information right at “eye-level” but there are others that see the privacy concerns that comes with Google looking through your eyes.