At the Ref Desk (3/20/14): Sign that we're getting to the end of the Quarter: 'Just tell me what works -- I've got to hand in the paper in half an hour'. [more...]
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Library Literature

Current Cites for Mar 2014

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 4/3/14 (4:11pm)

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Current Cites for March 2014 is out! You can find the issue here...

I wrote about an article that looked at the various iterations of the library home page at UNLV down through the ages (i.e. 1996-2012): "Tracking Changes: One Library's Homepage Over Time - Findings from Usability Testing and Reflections on Staffing", Journal of Web Librarianship 8(1)(2014): 23-47.

Current Cites for Nov 2013

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 11/27/13 (2:11pm)

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Current Cites for November 2013 is out! You can find the issue here...

I wrote about an usually sharp article in IFLA Journal from a librarian who obviously was writing from (less than happy) personal experience. The article is called, "Non-librarians As Managers : The Case of State University Libraries in Saudi Arabia".

Current Cites for Sept 2013

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 9/30/13 (9:10pm)

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Current Cites for September 2013 is out! You can find the issue here...

Roy has got the latest version of Current Cites up. I wrote about an interesting article that looked at how librarians can appear more "approachable" to patrons by smiling and looking up. It's something I think about every time I'm at the Reference Desk waiting for students to drop by.

Current Cites for January 2013

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 1/31/13 (6:38pm)

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Current Cites for January 2013 is out! You can find the issue here...

I wrote about this refreshingly idealistic article, "The Consequences of a Life in Scholarly Publishing" by Morris Philipson who sadly passed away in 2011.

To be honest, I didn't realize while reading the piece that it actually was a reprint from 1995. The author mentions "tapes or CDs of music" and that seemed a bit 'old school' but as the author explains in his conclusion: "The scholarly experience as I now understand it transcends format innovations, market changes, and fashion changes, for they are all the means. The enrichment of mind, soul, or intellect is the end." Fine stuff.

Current Cites for December 2012

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 12/21/12 (3:01pm)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for December 2012 is out! You can find the issue here...

Current Cites for December is out. I wrote about an interesting article on library staff magazines in the UK in the first half of the 20th Century. The author did a good job explaining the context of why such magazines were becoming necessary -- more complex systems of communication, transportation and information management, growing organizations, increasing wealth and leisure time for working people, all of which predated the computer/internet by 50 to 100 years.

Current Cites for September 2012

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 9/29/12 (12:11pm)

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Current Cites for September 2012 is out! You can find the issue here...

I featured an article from the journal Electronic Library titled, 'An Analysis of American Academic Libraries Websites: 2000-2010'.

Current Cites for November 2011

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 11/29/11 (2:28pm)

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Current Cites for November 2011 is out! You can find the issue here...

I've got two 'cites' this month: one on Libraries moving to Drupal and another on the use (or non-use as the case may be) of Library Subject Guides by college students.

Tell Me Something I Don't Know

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 11/28/11 (3:43pm)

facebook_logo.jpg

Can it be called research when these are the results?

The analysis revealed that Facebook offers a dynamic environment for academic libraries to cultivate relationships with students. Libraries present information through status messages which suggest who they are and what they do. In addition to being informational, libraries attempt to engage and establish rapport with students through Facebook. The university setting not only creates a context for messages, but also offers a mutual set of experiences and values shared by libraries and students.

Search Box Syndrome

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 9/30/11 (10:41am)

We've been here before -- from a usability study looking at how students use (or don't use as the case may be) various library database pages:

In 2006, Steve Krug said internet users were mostly looking for something clickable to click on; BGSU students, by contrast, often looked for a search box to search in. When a search was unsuccessful, instead of retooling it, the student looked for a different search box and tried the same search again. The students in the study tried to change the subset of information they were searching, not the search they had already decided was the best one.

Okay, so the next logical question might be, is this a student preference or is there something about the design of the website that drives them to it? Maybe yes, maybe no but considering the effort we put into all of this, it's certainly worth testing.

But hark! A bit further down in the same study -- apparently vendor consolidation will save the day:

Therefore, if we want students to use a wider range of our resources, it is crucial that we teach them to recognize the resources that will be useful for them. As the brand diversity of our resources narrows, vendors and publishers merge, and vendors market more and more to end users, this strategy may become easier to adopt.

Current Cites for August 2011

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 8/31/11 (7:19pm)

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Current Cites for August 2011 is out! You can find the issue here...

I wrote about an issue of Libraries & the Cultural Record that looked at libraries during the Depression and contains this rather depressing report on the state of the Chicago Public Library by its Chief Librarian at the time:

We are afflicted by the worst financial hardship we have ever suffered.... We have bought no books for eight months, the magazine subscriptions for 1932 were cancelled."

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