One app that I do not use that much on my smartphone is the QR Code Reader, QRReader.I remember the first time I saw a QR Code several years ago. Friends and I were walking downtown and we passed a realtor office. The home advertisements in the window had a strange box barcode. My more techie friend immediately knew what they were, scanned the code with his smartphone, and explained them to the rest of us.
I’m not sure why I don’t use the reader that often. Perhaps the effort to line up the barcode without really knowing what it will lead to. This article has some interesting perspective about why more people don’t use QR Codes. That said, I do find that I use them in conferences when I’m racing to capture information from a lecture slide or poster session. I found them to be very helpful at that time and place.
I am interested in how QR Codes can be useful in the library for various purposes. Currently our library has a QR Code if a student wants to reserve the group study room while they are entering the room. I don’t really know if it has been used much however. I’m also interested in exploring how QR Codes can connect disparate locations within the library collection. The article linked above discusses ways to link online and physical content with QR Codes. One use I want to investigate is connecting our Appropriate Technology Library, which is used for service-learning projects within our schools Collaboratory. The AT Library exists as books and Software and is therefore in two different places in the library. QR Codes could immediately lead students from one location to the other.
What about you? Do you use QR Codes? Does your library use them?
The article discusses utilizing the learning theory of Connectivism for library research instruction. I believe this is the first article to overtly connect the principles of Connectivism with the ACRL information literacy standards. When I first wrote the research paper I was struck by the similarity between these two concepts and I argue that librarians should seriously consider the learning theory of Connectivism when designing information literacy instruction.
I hope that this journal article helps to improve the theoretical foundation of information literacy instruction as librarians consider various learning theories to ground their practice.
I am very grateful and excited that I was able to learn about this theory last year, write a substantial research paper about it at the time, and then take the time to expand and revise the paper for formal publication this past Spring. It has been a great experience of actually going through the peer review process for publication that I teach students about every year in First Year Seminars.
Now that I have my first publication under my belt, I’m on the lookout for other topics. And for extra time! I might focus on collection development and budgeting topics for my next foray!
The link to the article leads to the journal abstract only, unless you have an institutional or personal subscription to the journal. I do have a limited number of reprint copies I may distribute however. Please contact me if you would like a copy.
As a librarian, I am interested in reading many kinds of blogs. I currently monitor about 100 blogs through my Feedly reader. One category of blog that I continually add to and monitor are professional blogs from faculty, staff and students at the college where I work. Reading through faculty blogs provides a quick look at what they are thinking about and finding important to their work. I can then make sure that library services are relevant for their specific interests. I consistently comment on their blogs when there is a relevant area of connection to library services. This demonstrates my interest in their professional field, as well as discusses ways that the library can better serve their needs.
Another service I could potentially offer is to collect and curate a list of faculty, staff and students’ professional blogs so that they are more discoverable by others on campus.
Current blogs I monitor written by faculty and staff at my institution:
Twitter can be a powerful resource for quick reference services. It should be in every reference librarian’s arsenal of resources. Hashtags are a powerful way to search for the best tweets about a common topic (think subject headings!). One way that I use Twitter for reference is determining whether a resource that a student or faculty wants to access is actually down when they are having access problems.
A quick example:
I tried accessing Feedly, an RSS reader, on an ipad. I was unable to access the app. However, I was able to access the site on a browser through my laptop. I quickly went to twitter and searched for #feedly. I immediately saw tweets that indicated that the feedly ipad app was down, and that some individuals were accessing feedly through a browser while others were not. I was therefore able to narrow the access problem down to the vendor and the ipad app and simply used the browser until the ipad app was again available.
When tweeting about access issues, be sure to use appropriate hashtags and succinct but clear descriptions of the problem.
The months of August through November are the busiest time for me during my work year. In addition to my full-time duties of collection development, reference and liaison librarian activities, I often teach more than a full-time professor’s teaching load when considering the number of class sessions per week during September to November for courses in First Year Seminar, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Nursing and Nutrition. I also create, distribute, explain, and guide approval of the end-of-fiscal-year budget reports and the library’s materials budget and department allocations of that budget for the upcoming fiscal year. I often feel that I have 2 ½ full time jobs during this four month period!
Therefore blogging often takes a back seat during this time of the year. Any blogging plan must be flexible and realistic given my heavy workload in the Fall.
I will post a mix of list, link or commentary posts. Due to the time and coordination involved, I will not pursue guest blog posts during this timeframe. The format will be based on the topic of the post, and the available time that I have that particular week. Most of my posts will contain links to relevant stories of interest, with commentary or discussion points. I will welcome comments and discussion to all of my posts. I will post links to each blog post on Twitter and Facebook.
I plan to post at least one blog post per week during the Fall. I may be able to increase this frequency in the Spring and Summer when I tend to have more time available. I will set aside some time each Friday afternoon to review content and write posts.
I will gather content through readings and other blog entries that I read throughout the week. I collect blog posting ideas and save them in a “blog” folder in a personal Evernote account.
Possible topics include:
Use of QR Codes in Libraries. Could include a poll
Evaluating images in biased reports: based on an environmental report that misused images
Student preferences for paper or etext. Could include a poll
Growth of tablets and impact on research strategies
Outrageous journal prices and relationships with vendors. Include links to Harvard story
Flipping the library classroom
Use of cell phone in libraries. Commentary post supporting use of phones and against some library policies banning them as reported in American Libraries magazine
Finding unbiased health information. Commentary about webmd and their commercial interests that may bias the information they provide or highlight
This past year our library building was renovated to include a learning commons space. The Offices of Disability Services, the Learning Center and the Writing Center also moved into the library building to provide a one-stop space for student academic support.
The renovated space in the learning commons area now encourages group and collaborative work. The quiet space downstairs in the main stacks still allows for quiet and focused solitary studying when it is needed. The learning commons space includes technology spaces for group work such as monitors that connect to laptops or tablets such as ipads, greater charging capabilities for technology, and group study rooms that can be reserved online or through a QR code.