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What’s trending in libraries from the Internet cybersphere – 4
Article Type: Regular column From: Library Hi Tech News, Volume 31, Issue 8
MindShift and the Technology gap
From the blog of the KQED which serves the people of Northern California with a community-supported alternative to commercial, posted on June 27, 2014, with 401 tweets, 931 likes, 91 LinkedIn shares and 9 comments as of September 1, 2014 comes news about MindShift. Launched in 2010 by KQED and National Public Radio (NPR), MindShift explores the future of learning in all its dimensions, covering cultural and technology trends, innovations in education, groundbreaking research, education policy and more. Annie Murphy Paul stated:
While technology has often been hailed as the great equalizer of educational opportunity, a growing body of evidence indicates that in many cases, tech is actually having the opposite effect: it is increasing the gap between rich and poor, between whites and minorities, and between the school-ready and the less-prepared.
This is a trend worth looking at, as observation has shown that levels of competence are not changing, but rather, have granted access to technology, affluent kids and poor kids use tech differently. They select different programs and features, engage in different types of mental activity, and come away with different kinds of knowledge and experience. Do find out more at: http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/is-technology-widening-opportunity-gaps-between-rich-and-poor-kids/ It is trending!
CRAAP detector for evaluating online information
A trending issue found on the LSE Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy Web site at: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsesadl/2014/02/14/evaluating-online-information-use-the-craap-detector/, reports the result of research by Jane Secker. The research was of Semantic Application Design Language (SADL) students’ Internet searching behavior (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsesadl/). In reflecting on the research carried out, questions like how do you assess the quality of the sources that one finds cropped up. Lots of the students being researched in the study talked about reliability of information being a key factor, but how does one judge this? Other important factors were: who wrote the information, was it relevant to their topic? Some students try to read several of the top sites they find to get a sense of what they were about. Secker realized that assessing quality was often quite hard, and could be a very time-consuming process, and developed a five-step test one can use to determine quality of the Internet sources. Known as the CRAAP test, this stands for:
Credibility: So the timeliness (publication date, revision history) of the information.
Relevance: The importance to your needs, depending on your audience and comparing to other sources.
Accuracy: The reliability of the information, look for evidence of bias and errors.
Authority: The source (author, publisher etc.), contact information and credentials.
Purpose: What is the reason behind the site (to sell, teach and entertain) – is it factual or opinion-based information and what is the author’s intent?
Secker says, and I agree, next time you want to use a source you find on the Internet, why not try out this test!
This trend got posted by Tandi Lwoga on July 11, 2014 on the Library News Blog of the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences. Microsoft has been making free e-books available for some time. The post gives details of 130 new texts/guides to Windows, Office, Access, Sharepoint, server technology, SQL, etc. The Web site also lists 100 earlier published texts. It is an extremely useful source for general Microsoft users, students and for information technology (IT) and systems staff. Try it out for what’s trending in e-books: (http://blogs.msdn.com//b/mssmallbiz/archive/2014/07/07/largest-collection-of-free-microsoft-ebooks-ever-including-windows-8-1-windows-8-windows-7-office-2013-office-365-office-2010-sharepoint-2013-dynamics-crm-powershell-exchange-server-lync-2013-system-center-azure-cloud-sql.aspx).
A July 19, 2014 blog of Construction Review Online has reported that the Catholic University of Eastern Africa library building won an award for the best green building in Kenya. Even in the intense noonday heat, the new library at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Kenya’s capital stays cool – but without an air conditioner in sight. Instead, stones in the basement absorb moisture from the ground that creates a cooling effect as it evaporates, and the building’s large windows and doors are protected from the sun’s heat by shades.
The building’s energy-efficient design has won it an award this year from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers’ Centre for Energy Efficiency as the best green building in the country. The architectural design ensures that natural lighting is used and thus energy consumption is minimized. You can look up the trends in using technology for green buildings from these articles at: http://constructionreviewonline.com/2014/06/19/cuea-library-building-wins-award-best-green-building-kenya/, http://www.trust.org/item/20140616160634-sxybn/?source=jtInDepth, and also http://allafrica.com/stories/201406171250.html Green buildings are trending in East Africa!
Jim Lynch, in a BlogSpot, announced the trending of mobile hotspots. Mobile hotspots are clever little low-cost boxes you can carry with you. They provide people using them with mobile broadband wireless Internet access. Some of them are so small that they can fit in a shirt pocket, and they are also easy to use. Several libraries have been lending them out to patrons just like books, so patrons can have Internet access at home on mobile phones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers. New York and Chicago Public Libraries got big Knight Foundation grants to try out hotspot lending. An example of how that is being done is in their TechSoup for Libraries case study, Loaning Out Internet Access at the Providence Community Library. In this program, the Providence’s hotspots are listed in the catalog and can be requested and checked out like any other library resource, although there are some additional lending guidelines. Patrons sign a user agreement when checking out hotspots (similar to the agreements used for circulating laptops) and to discourage theft, the library also alerts patrons that Internet access will be turned off if the hotspot is not returned. For more on what’s trending, see https://techsoupforlibraries.org/blog/mobile-hotspot-lending-finally-gets-national-press and http://techsoupforlibraries.org/blog/loaning-out-internet-access-at-the-providence-community-library
Tech-savvy librarians: the growing trend in library staffing
Posted by John C. Dexter on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, the trend in libraries of all types is that libraries now employ tech-savvy staff as technology knowhow is an important factor for recruitment. The more tech savvy the librarian is, the more ready the library is to employ. Gone are the days when it is enough to have a library qualification or certificate. The technology component or quality of the services the librarian can render is now more important. See more on this trend at: http://www.scannx.com/The-Book-Scanning-Blog/bid/391017/Tech-Savvy-Librarians-The-Growing-Trend-In-Library-Staffing%23sthash.6haBGTdS.dpuf%20on%20the%20Scannx%20blog
Related to this, is the indication of three technologies that guarantee a natural integration with the digital movement. They are Digital Book Scanners, Scan-To-Mobile Technology and Cloud Technology.
Digital book scanners and software streamline the library’s operations to create efficiencies, cut costs, reduce maintenance and eliminate reliance on continuous IT support.
Scan-To-Mobile Technology involves the simple transfer of information to a mobile phone. It is just like traditional scanning but much easier and much more in tune with the lifestyles of today’s tech-savvy students and library patrons.
Cloud technology refers to web-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms that house all your files and grant you anywhere, anytime access to them. These technologies are trending on the Internet and cybersphere and knowledge skills of these technologies help in libraries. Google Drive is a prime example. That’s what’s trending! See more at: http://www.scannx.com/The-Book-Scanning-Blog/bid/387212/Are-You-Prepared-For-The-Future-Of-Library-Technology%23sthash.QagEy2Ho.dpuf
Mobile First technology in libraries
Also trending on the Internet is Mobile First Technology posted by David Lee King. There is a mobile revolution with smartphones and tablets that allows people everywhere to connect with anyone else, anywhere, anytime. King proposes that Mobile First Technology is the idea that Web sites should be designed for mobile devices first, and then expanded, for example, to libraries. His idea is that libraries can apply this mobile philosophy to a larger library setting and have a truly responsive mobile-friendly Web site, great mobile access and services in the library building or in the community where the library is. The admonition is – Start working on Mobile First NOW! http://www.davidleeking.com
Altmetrics is a trending art of trying to sum up the online attention surrounding a journal article by automatically counting all the relevant mentions from a set of online sources (covering mainstream news outlets, social media and more), and using these counts, along with the relative influence of each source, to create an aggregate metric, called the Altmetric score. The company, Altmetric, founded in July 2011, collected attention and Twitter demographic information for well over one million unique articles. The number of scholars who regularly discuss research using social media and/or blogs has been increasing, which, in turn, means that the number of article mentions seen by Altmetric has also been on the rise. Altmetrics is an alternative way of measuring and disseminating scholarly output. More about the trending altmetrics can be gleaned by watching the 47-minute YouTube presentation on Altmetrics for Institutions by Jean Liu at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24zSZwaG4pg
Adetoun A. Oyelude (email@example.com) is based at Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.