Friday, December 30, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Joy has some great ideas. I love the fact that she uses accordian files to keep track of material from individual classes. After my first class, I put all of my material into file folders: one folder for the syllabus and class information, one for class readings, one for readings that I used for research, one for my assignments, one for assignments from other students and one for study material. However, an accordian file would allow me to keep everything from one class together. I think I will be running out to get some accordian files.
Rather than shelves, I have (in the past) used boxes to store my files. I am thinking that one shelf near my computer for the material from my current class would be a great idea. Maybe this would help me to keep all of my material together. I do remember several times during the fall semester when I had to tear my house apart for the last week's information.
Rebecca Hedreen (from Frequently Answered Questions) pointed out to Joy that backing up one's files is also a critical part of keeping track of school work. I agree that backups are a critical part of any organizational scheme. Given that my classes are all online, everything that I have done is in electronic format with copies backed up on several computers. Additionally, I have put good portions of my work on this blog - which is backed up by another source. Of course, I also have several paper copies of everything.
There are a couple of additional things that I have done to organize my school work. One thing I do is keep a running bibliography of all class readings - required ones and all additional readings that I have discovered during my research. I keep a Refworks account with these citations. This comes in handy to check to see if I have already read a particular article - and if I have a hard copy of the article. RefWorks citations are fully searchable by author and title. I have already been able to avoid printing an article twice several times. I keep all of my articles in alphabetical order in file folders. My Refworks folders match the physical folders that I keep - hopefully to allow for quick retrieval.
Additionally, I try to write brief summations of all the articles that I read for a class. This brief summation is invaluable when I thumb through my articles to find any that may be helpful for an assignment. I have started to do this for articles that I read in my professional life as well. The one drawback to this scheme is that I keep all of this material in hard copy - and the amount of space it takes up will grow rapidly.
Ultimately, I am impressed with Joy's level of organization - and maybe even a bit jealous. Fortunately, her post has reinvigorated my quest to get everything organized before I start my next class.
Monday, December 12, 2005
I think I have mentioned before in this blog that I found the class to be a really rewarding experience. In addition to being worried about the online experience, I was a bit unsure about the actual class - Introduction to Information Science and Technology - and whether the material would be challenging. In my work, I am a head of library systems at a small academic library - and I am no stranger to information or technology. In fact, it is my job to be the most knowledgeable person about technology in the library. So, when I first opened the textbook and read the sections on how to connect to the internet, how to buy a computer etc., I wondered about the actual class material. Would it all be this basic? Fortunately, it wasn't. I really feel as if I learned quite a bit. The professor gave us choices in assignments so that we could choose projects that would challenge us. This was one of the reasons that I chose to do a wiki project - I was interested in wikis, but had no experience with them at all. Additionally, the web search exercise was fascinating - and I learned so much even though I have used search engines extensively for several years. All in all, the class made me look at several things in a whole new light - and that is worth its weight in gold (or the cost of tuition)!!
Apart from the actual content of the class, I also really enjoyed the online format. The threaded discussion took the place of classroom discussion - and I was actually suprised at how much social interaction the discussions promoted. People's personalities really shined through their posts. Also, in a traditional classroom, one cannot take classes with people in New England, Hawaii, and the Czech Republic (and assorted other places). It was an eye opening experience. The only difficult part of the online class was being able to read what the professor expected in terms of coursework. Well, I guess it wasn't difficult just very different. In a traditional class, there is human contact - and I guess that I have always relied upon that as a means to read the professor. Pouring through documents, email and discussion posts didn't give me confidence that I was writing my paper the right way or carrying out my project the right way. I was incredibly nervous about what material would be on the final. However, now that I look back, I was right about what the professor wanted - I was just second guessing myself because I didn't feel confident about taking an online class. Hopefully, I will be a bit more comfortable next semester!!!!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
My planned program looks like this:
- ILS501 Introduction to Information Science and Technology - Principles and applications of computers and information technologies in libraries and information centers. Scheduled fall, spring, and summer semesters.
- ILS503 Foundations of Librarianship - The development structure and function of library/information agencies. Scheduled fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Group II (Core 2) Requirements (2 classes)
- ILS504 Reference and Information Resources and Services - General reference sources; their content, evaluation and use. The reference process and the organization of reference and information services as they relate to different types of libraries. Lab in on-line retrieval.
- ILS506 Information Analysis and Organization - Principles of developing, evaluating, and organizing collections of all types of materials. Descriptive and subject analysis of materials. Commonly used guides, codes, and source materials. Lab in on-line retrieval.
Group III (Core 3) Requirements (1 class)
- ILS560 College and University Libraries - Organization and administration of academic libraries. The role of libraries in research and the relationship of academic libraries to curricula, students, faculty, and administration.
Group IV (Professional) Requirements (1-3 classes)
- ILS530 Information Systems Analysis and Design - An introduction to systems analysis in libraries. Includes flow charting, form design and control, time and cost analysis, sampling, and automation.
- ILS537 Information-Seeking Behavior - How people acquire, store and use information they receive from their environment. Topics include behavioral, cognitive, and affective aspects of information-seeking. Applications to information systems and user instruction.
- ILS565 Library Management - An examination of the general principles and practices of library management.
Group V (Technology) Requirements (1-3 classes)
- ILS534 Library Automation - An overview of automation with emphasis on computer assisted library processes: subsystems in technical services, user services, administrative services.
- ILS535 Information Networks - An examination of the impact of cooperation, consortia, and networks on the library/information field: developments, network characteristics, problems, and issues. Converging technologies and implications for emerging trends for information professionals are examined.
Group VI (Research) Requirements (1 class)
- ILS680 Evaluation and Research - Principles and methods of evaluation and research are systematically reviewed. Major research undertakings are considered, as well as landmark studies. Prerequisite: 24 credits in library science or instructional technology.
Group VI (Elective) Requirement (1-3 classes)
- ILS599 Special Projects
That is 12 classes for 3 credits each for the total 36 required credits.
Whew! Writing it all down makes it seems like an insurmountable task. With only one class down, I have 11 more to go. I'm looking forward to it all, but wonder if I'll ever be done.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
The Wiki project is now at an end. It was a great learning experience - even though the project itself was not as successful as I would have liked. However, I have learned a great deal about Wikis and how they could be used. They have some great potential as library tools. I can envision library staff projects, library instruction collaborative tools and even a great resource for the library community to give feedback to library staff.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
After doing some general research on wikis, I then started doing more in depth research about specific wiki hosting sites where I could have my wiki hosted. First, I compiled a list of my requirments:
- I want a service that will host a wiki. I do not have the capabilities to use software that I download and install on a server.
- I want to be able to create specific accounts for classmates to use. I do not want the general public to be able to edit the pages that I create. I need 20 user accounts. I don't mind that the wiki be a public space, I simply want to control who can edit it.
- I want the ability to create private pages.
- I want the solution to be low to no cost.
- I would like a system that seems easy to use in order to encourage participation among my classmates.
- I want an advertisement free wiki.
With these needs in mind, I looked at several different wiki hosting services - including Socialtext, Wikispaces, Jotspot, Seed Wiki, Atlassian and EditMe.
- Socialtext - This software is a collaborative tool aimed at businesses. There is 30 day trial that is free. However, 30 days is not enough. An account costs $30.00 per month - a price that is too steep for a class project. It has some nice features like being able to email new pages to the wiki. This service would not be appropriate for a class project.
- Wikispaces - This wiki farm seems to aimed at the general public. It is a free service, but has advertisements on the pages. There is no way to set up page security or create individual accounts. This would not meet my needs.
- Jotspot - This service has a free hosting service. However, there can only be 5 named users and 20 pages. I'm not sure the 20 pages would be a problem, but 5 users isn't enough to create accounts for the entire class. The free package does allow the administrator to create public and/or private pages. The editor is WYSIWYG. For $9.00 a month, one can have 20 users and 250 pages. This option would suffice for the project. Jotspot is a possibility.
- Seed Wiki - This service has free wiki hosting service. One can invite as many members as needed. However, no wiki can be restricted to members nor can member collaboration be tracked. This service has a traditional wiki look and feel with categories. For $9.95 a month, one can password any wikis for private use. However, in order to track user participation, one has to buy the $19.99 a month package. This is another good possibility for my wiki project.
- Atlassian - This wiki farm has options aimed at peronsal wikis. However, to use this software, one downloads it and installs the program on a local computer. Additionally, access is only for two registered users. This is not really appropriate for my project.
- Editme - This wiki farm is a hosted service. There is no free service. For $4.95 a month, one gets 25MB of storage (more than enough), as many users as needed, 10 days of backup and tracking of user changes. There are some other nice features - a variety of css templates, rss feeds, any person can comments on pages. I like the look and feel of this system - although it doens't necessarily look like traditional wikis.
I very quickly decided upon Editme for my wiki. I figured $4.95 was a small price to pay for the features that I wanted. The setup procedure was quite painless - and within a few seconds I had my very own wiki.
I also created accounts in both del.icio.us and Blinklist to organize and maintain my URLs. A big thanks to Rebecca Hedreen for pointing out these bookmarking services in her Frequently Answered Questions blog (which I think may be a SCSU distance education student's best friend). Her Using Bookmarking Services for Organizing Citations blog post is a great resource.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Reading about Wikis
Wiki: What is a Wiki? - http://wiki.org/wiki.cgi?WhatIsWiki - a brief description of the wiki with some links detailing the Wiki’s history
What is a Wiki? - http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WhatIsaWiki - another site defining wikis with some questions and answers
Should Wikis be a part of your KM Inititative? - http://excitedutterances.blogspot.com/2005/09/should-wikis-be-part-of-your-km.html - an interesting article about wikis from the excited utterances blog - http://excitedutterances.blogspot.com/
Chang May. I've gathered a basket of COMMUNICATION and COLLABORATION TOOLS. (cover story). Computers in Libraries. 2004; 24(8):6-64.
Clyde LA. Wikis. Teacher Librarian : The Journal for School Library Professionals. 2005; 32(4):54-56.
Frumkin, Jeremy. The wiki and the digital library. OCLC Systems & Services; OCLC Systems & Services. 2005; 21(1):18(5).
Gorman, G.E. Editorial: Is the Wiki Concept Really so Wonderful? Onine Information Review. 2005; 29(3); 25-226.
Hammond T, Hannay T, Lund B, Scott J. Social bookmarking tools (I). D-Lib Magazine. 2005; 11(4):1-1.
Ishizuka, Kathy. Library success a best practices wiki: http://www.libsuccess.org.(site/ of the month). School Library Journal; School Library Journal. 2005; 51(10):26(1).
Jones P. Strategies and technologies of sharing in contributor-run archives. Library Trends. 2005; 53(4):651-662.
Lamb, Brian. Wide Open Spaces: Wikis, Ready or Not. Educause Review. September/October 2004; 39(5); - http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm04/erm0452.asp?bhcp=1 - accessed 11/9/05.
Lipczynska, Sonya. Power to the People: the Case for Wikipedia. Reference Reviews. 2005; 19(2); 6-7.
Mattison D. Quickiwiki, swiki, twiki, zwiki and the plone wars. Searcher. 2003; 11(4):32.
McKiernan, Gerry. Wikimedia Worlds Part I: Wikipedia. Library Hi Tech News. 2005; 8; 46-54.
Rubenking, Neil J. Wiki Tools, PC Magazine. 12/30/2005 – http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1401071,00.asp - access 11/9/05.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
So, I am officially back in school. I'm definitely excited - and only a little bit nervous. Now that I have been accepted, I have to get back to work on my class. Our menu option exercise is due next weekend. The class will be over by November 23 - so I also have to get ready for the final exam. Yikes!!!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I think these are some exciting trends in the evolution of bibliographic records. There are definitely some issues. I discovered that when searching by ISBN for a title that I knew was in our library catalog, a link to our catalog wasn't displayed in the Libraries tab. After a great deal of frustration, I discovered that there were several editions listed in the Editions tab. I had to go back to my library's OPAC to figure out which edition we had. When I clicked on the correct edition, the link to my libraries copy in our OPAC did show up. This was very confusing. An average user probably would not have looked beyond the libraries tab. However, I think these OCLC projects have some exciting possibilities.
More importantly, now that I finally have a couple of assignments completed for my class, I am feeling much more comfortable with the online format. I was very nervous about my first two assignments - I was kind of finding it difficult to judge what the professor expected without any face-to-face contact. However, the professor emails very detailed comments about the assignments with excellent feedback. I think I may actually survive my first online class!!!
Thursday, October 06, 2005
There are a bunch of MLS student bloggers that are really informative. Joy Weese Moll has a listing of blogs by current students and recent graduates on her site Wanderings of a student librarian. Some technology centered blogs - LITA Blog, the Shifted Librarian, TechnoBiblio, LibraryTechnology NOW, LibrarianinBlack.net, and Information Wants to Be Free. Other blogs I read regularly are the Creative Librarian, the Convivial Librarian, Librarian on the edge, Walt at Random, Phil Bradley's Blog, Peter Scott's Library Blog, Mike's Musings, and the Kept-up Academic Librarian.
Karen G. Schnieder has a blog with a listing of library blogs that is worth wading through for ones that may peak your interest. This is where I found most of the blogs that I currently have in my aggregator (and right now I have about 90).
Sunday, October 02, 2005
However, all in all, I am happy with my first effort. I enjoyed the experience of collaborating with someone online and learned quite a bit in the process. Now, I need to focus all of my attention on our web search exercise that is due next weekend.
Friday, September 23, 2005
I'm hoping to use the wiki as a collaborative tool for students in the class to use to publish results of the web search exercise. My plan is to create individual pages for each search engine that someone evaluates. Hopefully, my collegeaues will be willing to post their summations of each search engine evaulated. I thought it would be interesting to do a compilation of everyone's results to see what types of trends and opinions the class has developed about search engines. Additionally, I would like to get student opinions of the wiki to find out what they might have liked/not liked/found easy to use/found difficult to use.
As I run across different wikis of interest or web sites dedicated to web search engines, I am trying to post the links to the wiki. I'm going with the theory that students may be more apt to use the wiki if they can find information of interest to them.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
Of course, there are so many posts that keeping up with them can be overwhelming. This is one of the reasons that I really enjoy the Carnival of Infosciences which is essentially a roundup of the best, most interesting posts from library bloggers from a set period of time. For more information, see this post at Open Stacks where the Carnival of Infosciences originated. To date, there have been seven Carnivals hosted by various bloggers. To check them out, see Carnival of Infosciences #1 (hosted by Open Stacks), Carnival of Infosciences #2 (hosted by Open Stacks), Carnival of Infosciences #3 (hosted by Wanderings of a Student Librarian), Carnival of Infosciences #4 (hosted by lis.dom), Carnival of Infosciences #5 (hosted by Christina's LIS Rant), Carnival of Infosciences #6 (hosted by . . . the thoughts are broken . . .), and the current Carnival of Infosciences #7 (hosted by Mike's Musings). The things that librarians and library professionals come up amaze me some time!!
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
On a more personal note, I am currently taking an entirely online library science class. I am hoping to be admitted to a MLS distance education program - one that is entirely online - meaning that I will never have to set foot on campus or take an actual face-to-face class. I admit to having some reservations about distance education, but given my physical location, the high cost of the closest MLS program and my work schedule, I cannot actually attend a traditional class. As such, my choice was clear.
I am now two weeks into my first online class and I have been pleasantly surprised by the experience. The major means of communication is through threaded discussions and email. Despite the fact that I do miss the personal interaction (I find it difficult to judge what the professor is looking for or what his expectations are), the discussions are quite lively, well thought out and often allow the personalities of the students to shine through. The difficulty level of the class seems to be appropriate - I think the assignments are challenging without being overbearing. Of course, I have to keep in mind that I haven't actually done most of them yet. It is obviously quite early in the semester, but each day I get a bit more comfortable with the format - and I think my typing skills are improving. So far, I think I am getting money's worth and am being intellectually challenged.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
In honor of this, I spent most of today messing around with the wiki for my class. I created accounts for all of my colleagues in class to use - including a second account for me. I have been having fun editing pages logged in as two users. I think that I may have the concept down - and an idea of what the experience may be like for my classmates. I have created a new page on which I have put links to many of the websites that I have used while doing my wiki research. I'm hoping that this will serve as a testing ground as well as another area of documentation.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Today, I saw a news piece about the fact that Georgia State University is currently transforming its libraries. To learn more go to http://www.library.gsu.edu/news/index.asp?typeID=82. The library has a web site devoted to the transformation at http://www.library.gsu.edu/transformation/. There is also an INFOCOMMONS web site and listserv - details can be found at http://www.brookdale.cc.nj.us/library/infocommons/ic_home.html. There isn't much traffic on the listserv as of yet, but I have learned some interesting information from it.I suspect that academic libraries 20 years hence will look quite a bit different than they do today - probably a bit more like Borders bookstores!!!
Currently, there isn't anything to see on the wiki - I think that will be my next step in the project.
I have created this blog as an annotation tool to use for a class project on wikis. I have no clue where it will take me, but I guess I'm along for the ride.