Do you know that our self-service machines which are located in the Library wing to the right of the turnstiles contain some 48 loanable laptops. Students can borrow them up to four hours. Why not borrow a laptop and use our flexible learning space on the ground floor?
Relax & work on a comfy sofa or in a flexible learning space. Borrow a laptop from the self service machine! pic.twitter.com/K6YGjkqf8o
It is a scenario familiar to all those working in the higher education sector. Space is the new, and certainly not the final, library frontier as highlighted by The University of Manchester Library’s insightful blog post on this key library priority. It is a peculiar conundrum in the digital age where electronic information was meant to reduce the need for physical spaces. Not true. There is continued demand for ‘learning spaces’ where creative spaces are available for group discussion, presentations, etc:
“Academic Libraries are amidst a sea of change and challenges. Open Access, new publishing models, self-publishing models, research data management, local systems moving to the cloud, big data, competition from Google, mobile apps, therapy dogs , linked data, restructures; a mix of opportunities and ideas through which the Library is striving to support students, staff, research and the community as best we possibly can using the resources available. But for all we might think we’ve found the Next Big Thing, there is one thing which still rides high in every survey, consultancy or conversation in the queue for coffee”:
Our stats at the University of Lincoln show that whilst e-books and e-journals are extremely popular, loans of physical books attract comparable stats. Surveys consistently show how important libraries are to study, they are recognised as safe and encourage a studious environment. Even though the University of Manchester have recently opened the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons in October 2012 they found students wanted even more study space. They innovatively opened more rooms to deal with their busiest period, calling it ‘Exam Extra‘. Other ideas they have promoted include the marvellous live webpage called Book a space, that shows which rooms are available in the library.
Further analysis is required. Other universities like Birckbeck, University of London, are trying to find solutions to the Space Issue via OccupEye. The University of Stirling posted this video about maximising their library space using some interrogative software.
I spotted this interesting feature about information literacy this morning so decided to tweet and blog. That is the pure immediacy of social media – finding something interesting and share it within minutes. There are multiple information literacy communities out there and joining them is easy, just by following them on Twitter or choosing another social medium. The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Information Literacy Group defines a compilation of What is Information Literacy? When, where and how would you apply it to practice, and how does it relate to other literacies and skills sets? According to UNESCO, the Prague declaration of 2003 defines information literacy as encompassing:
“knowledge of one’s information concerns and needs, and the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address issues or problems at hand; it is a prerequisite for participating effectively in the Information Society, and is part of the basic human right of life long learning.”
While SCONUL (The Society of College, National and University Libraries) famously developed the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy model in 1999, with the most recent version published in 2011. The latest version recognises that becoming information literate “is not a linear process”, rather, individuals can take different paths to become information literate and may learn different skills at different points.
The following ‘lenses’ have been created which take the seven pillars and observe them through the eyes of individuals engaged in the following types of activities:
The Euromonitor International blog is a veritable feast of contributions, videos and presentations that I find is worthwhile to examine on a regular basis for anyone interested in marketing, investment and strategic management. Today I was interested in luxury goods and was interested to find that an expert analyst, Rob Walker, had written a blog post on luxury spirits. You can find other categories on the right hand side of the blog and identify related posts. Correct me if I’m wrong, but no other database offers this kind of informative blog that is updated so regularly. It also gives me loads of information to blog about!
For anyone studying the financial world there are many ways to keep track of today’s historic developments as they unfold in the Eurozone drama. Follow the Greek ‘day of decision’ crisis on a liveblog such as the Guardian’s minute-by-minute page. A liveblog includes tweets, comments and analysis plus articles written by experts watching perhaps the greatest threat to the European Union since its inception in 1957.
Rally in Athens on Monday against EU austerity and in favour of no vote in referendum. Photograph: NurPhoto/REX Shutterstock/NurPhoto/REX Shutterstock
In many areas of society the Slow Movement is making (steady) progress in cooking, travel, and even design. Now I propose Slow Reading in the Digital Age. As I was completing the Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age course at the University a few months ago, I realised the strong benefits of closer reading. This may seem obvious, particularly as I’m an eternal student passionate about studying and I support students in the Library with Academic Writing, but my epiphany happened after reading Michael Peter’s (2005) wonderfully insightful The new prudentialism in education: Actuarial rationality and the entrepreneurial self in the journal Educational Theory. Then it occurred to me that students undertaking a dissertation proposal did not need to collate a mountain of research to hone in on an idea, but rather focus on what a really interesting article is saying and get some ideas for a possible title, before considering a working structure. It is a problem in the Digital Age when 24/7 access to thousands and thousands of articles means that there is a natural tendency to accumulate material that is not going to be read. In other words, amassing journal articles looks good but nothing is actually learned. Blame strategic learning which may encourage superficial reading. Nothing is demonstrated. I found Peter’s article about risk aversion in corporate governance so engaging that everything needed to be slowed down to concentrate effectively. Find yourself away from distractions, away from the laptop, and journey into a closer inspection of one article to let the author’s ideas sink in.
Courtesy of Dr. Emma Coonan, Information Skills Librarian at University of East Anglia (via the lively LISLINK forum) the adventurously titled ‘how to read 20 books (or thereabouts) in an hour’ is a gem for those students on a mind-blowingly tight deadline. The technique she uses used was just selective skimming – directing attention at key parts of the text (abstract, introduction, conclusion, headings, figures, first line of each paragraph) and not allowing oneself to get drawn in to reading continuously. She stresses to students that as well as allowing them to understand the work very quickly, it also enables them to check the consistency of the argumentative structure, see if it all hangs together, and make a preliminary evaluation of the work based on its relevance and quality. Students would then be in a position to decide whether they wanted to scan through any sections in greater detail, or even go back and read the whole thing – or whether they had enough information about the purpose of the work and could reassign it to the ‘done’ pile! The presentation slides and the handout are CC licensed and available from https://researchcentral.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/academic-reading-and-writing/.
What will happen to the Eurozone today? Be the first to find out using liveblogs and Twitter. To continually support students by following the latest trends in the financial world, the Business Librarian Blog is always keen to be aware of the latest business news. Using Twitter (our address is @LINCLibrarian) is great for receiving real-time news and developments. It’s how many journalists keep up to date afterall. But why not follow a blog too? For those studying the dramatic Eurozone crisis following a live blog is one of the best ways to keep up to date in a 24/7 digital culture; especially today when Greece is entering such a critical phase in its history. My favourite is the Guardian’s liveblog which sends minute-by-minute updates.
The time has finally come to create a work-related Twitter account to relentlessly publicise the Business Librarian blog and its content. 180+ posts and counting since its inception in 2011. As you know, I blog regularly throughout the working week and would like to (shamelessly some might say) generate more hits. Join me in my quest to promote the University Library to Business School students @LINCLibrarian.
In addition the great joy about setting up a work account is that I am able to link to subject-related journals, magazines, newspapers and organisations that I’ve been familiar with for several years in my role as subject librarian for Accountancy and Finance, Advertising and Marketing, Economics, Events Management, International Business, Modern Languages and Tourism.
We live in interesting times and the financial markets are the centrifugal force in making history as Greece’s IMF repayment crisis is proving today. One of the ways a student can keep up to date with the financial news is to buy the Financial Times from our subsidised Students’ Union shop in the Main Building. Another is to follow @FT on Twitter.
MOOCs are all the rage; everyone is talking about them inside and outside of higher education. The best part is that anyone with Internet access can learn about anything on offer for free. It is no exaggeration that they are transforming education. Having recently completed the 30 postgraduate credit Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age (TELEDA) course at the University led by self-proclaimed ‘digital soapbox’ Sue Watling, an activity which made me think a lot deeper about online learning, I am aware that it is still getting me to reflect upon distance education even after the course has finished. Indeed, distance learning enabled me to carry out the course in my spare time and even when I didn’t have any time but managed to pull something together!
First introduced in 2008, a massive open online course (MOOC /muːk/) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web, which can include traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, and problem sets. Some MOOCs provide interactive user forums to support community interactions between students, professors, and teaching assistants. To this end, I have raided Oonagh Monaghan’sEDEU: TELEDA libguide so you can watch an overview of MOOCs.
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