Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Continuing... Caledon Librarianship research: Reference collection

Can Google help me discover *why* this is the "Colonel Exrex Somme" reference collection?  It appears that the compliment was presented, with dramatic timing and visual presentation at the second Compliments Duel on May 11, 2008.

[15:29] JJ Drinkwater takes a deep breath
[15:29]-[15:37] JJ Drinkwater:
I am so stunned by the Colonel's politesse, as well as by his hats, that I am, for the moment, at a loss for words
pretends to think
It is true, sir, that in a land of magnanimous spirit, as this, our Caledon, we rise as we are able
And yet, it is not only those who are poor who are honest, nor yet only those of humble origins who exemplify Nature's Nobility
And, as I have repeatedly said, here today and on many another ocassion
Your love of learning do you the most irreproachable credit
As I am at a loss for words, I think I must let pictures tell, in the main, my story....
As you know, it is the custom of the Caledon library to name its brances and, when possible, its collections, after persons of note
viz the Marie Curie and HG Wells memroial branches
And the Ellen Throckmorton Etiquette collection
Now, the glory of the Caledon library (second only to its patrons and supporters) is its collections
And when we went to name our Reference Collection
We felt that we must name it for someone of suitably compendious learning, and widespread intellectual curiosity
Which is why, sir, we could do no better that to create....
The Colonel Exrex Somme Reference Collection

However, the decision won't have been made on the spot, so I wonder whether the whole compliment was planned long ahead... or ?

I love that the Colonel Exrex Somme Reference Collection is searchable with a Custom Google Search (sorry: Caledon Library Aetheric Search Gizmo).

As to browsing the collection (be careful this could take hours... I was drawn in to Roger Vaughan's Victorian & Edwardian Photography Collection, fascinated by the compilation and the sharing of information to trace old photos). But back to the Col. Exrex Somme collection, it is built within a blog with each category in a blog "post", and each resource is annotated. There are not too many categories -- what is "too many"? --  the compact presentation may avoid the appearance of "too many".  Perception of "too many" often prevents me browsing reference collections.  At each category, breadcrumb trail would be preferable (more easily recognised) for navigation over the "Click back" to main at the bottom of the category.

Of course I'm dreadfully curious whether the library uses aetheric means to track/quantify usage of those links; and whether Google feeds them an account of searches conducted?

Maintenance must be a nuisance, how big is the team maintaining it (and TheLibraryMilitant)? Among the browsables Caledon,
  • "SL Steampunk Blogs - Zoe Connolly's links and reviews of blogs covering Caledon..." no longer exists.
Cleverly, expansion of the collection is socially-enabled using WuFoo

All of this discovery followed from one sign amongst the Steampunk Collection up on the Dirigible. So what does it mean to my research into Second Life-ly librarianship?  It interestingly demonstrates:
and I still need to contemplate the in-world presentation.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Citing Web2.0 electronic references in APA style index

Piggyback ;-)
I'm having a ball considering how to cite references from new web media... but the posts are so long (sorry) its a pain to scroll through my APA style citing label, so this post will help me get straight to the one I want.

Citation issues that arise if you assign students online writing tasks:

Please note that better answers than mine below may be available at APA's referencing blog - more on that lower.
Is there some other kind of online source you've wondered how to cite?
If so, Please tell me about it so I can have fun with it too.

Indeed, APA's blogging about referencing is immensely helpful.  The referencing gurus at APA's blog are guiding wonderfully not just through their posts, but in their ongoing responses and explanations through comments.  The first bits I'd recommend woud be:
I'll be back to add links to more specific clarifications of citing electronic sources but one I haven't even considered and now don't need to is:
Photo credit: Piggyback ;-) by tony_s2008, on Flickr (CC2.0:BY-NC-ND)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Academic social media - citing and referencing expectations

Blogging Street Cred

Students: check what the teacher expects.
Teachers: are your expectations reasonable for the online publishing environment and spelled out?
Me: Try for a *brief* post for once.

Today I was browsing through the assignments and marking criteria in a friend's subject on social networking for information professionals.

YAY: Students would receive marks for their use of one of the social media tools, as an online journal. Excellent, if students are to use social web tools, their use of tools and their capacity to use such tools with increasing professionalism, should count (IMO).

Teachers ought to consider the best ways for students to learn about online publishing (it should be fun, step up gradually over time, and have clear signposts)... and very carefully how to enable that (in a pedagogically sound way) within a subject which requires online posting. One little point in passing: If the course is an introduction to social networking, expectations and marking criteria for a first post should *not* be the same as for final posts.

AND back on topic
Citation and referencing methods are different in online publishing. Teachers of courses that intend to incorporate online publishing should know very well the differences for different types of online tools, should teach them, adapt expectations of assignment content to suit the medium and teach how the students can meet those expectations within assignments in the new medium.

As Wilson [aka morgan] (2007) pointed out, in response to my ponderings (prior to the 6th edition) on how to cite new media in student papers, "All of these citation methods are optimized for printed media - how they spell out the URLs, which is cumbersome and unnecessary in an electronic publication." I agree, in the main, although the degree of truth to that depends what *kind* of electronic publication. (Although, even when submitting to academic publications who will both hyperlink and spell out references to enable printed versions, writers don't have to do the coding themselves).

At an undergraduate level, students are expected to have read widely in scholarly or industry literature and to cite suitable content using an institutionally selected Style. In my LIS courses it has always been with APA style. Yet APA style references should appear with hanging indents. How many novice bloggers have sufficient knowledge of html to produce hanging indents--and are they relevant?

Let's go back to the purposes of initiating students into writing using social media: is one of those purposes to encourage familiarity (and hopefully expertise) that will prepare them for professional applications? For the kinds of use to which your students should be able to put social media after graduation, is academic referencing appropriate, particularly APA? On the one hand academic references are rarely used in blogs for patron audiences; but might be in blogs for inter-professional communication if usually only when cited sources are not online. On the other hand even wikipedia requires references and teaches its users how to enter references appropriately, and you'll note it uses a discrete footnoting system.

ALMOST DONE, but first
The particular online journalling assignment I mentioned above? It could be produced in any of the social media tools.  Can you imagine academic referencing in posts to Facebook?

  • Don't set the bar too high on first posts ... encourage multiple familiarity posts with each showing a new desired attribute to gain comfort with the tool ... prior to the first basic assessable post.  Make its assessable criteria much simpler than final posts.
  • Don't ask boring questions.
  • If you want to see academic citations:
    • give an amount (why should they have to guess?);
    • provide information about and discuss how they are used differently online;
    • choose an online-suitable style;
    • if you're going to insist on APA, consider explicitly waiving the hanging indent;
    • *first* show how you expect to see it--in your own post to each of the tools at which you are accepting assessable posts (not in the closed learning system).
Oops distracted, just before the end: imagining how one might keep and share a learning journal within Second Life which would not be the net taken in or SL stuff sent out--can't do hanging indents in notecards.  And then, what about Twitter, if people can write novels with Twitter, why not a reflective learning journal?
Photo credit:
Blogging Street Cred by Gideon Burton, via Flickr CC:BY-SA-2.0
and, just because I can:


Wilson, M. (2007, June 1). [comment to blogpost: How does one cite a blog post in APA style?]. Retrieved 27 November, 2011 from http://moonflowerdragon.blogspot.com/2007/04/how-does-one-cite-blog-post-or-blogpost.html

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Goodbye Anne McCaffrey

Dragon flaming by Joshua ©
Dragon flaming by Joshua

The reason that I saw a dragon in my son's painting is Anne McCaffrey. Or it would be the years I spent reading every dragon fantasy novel upon which I could lay hands after being stimulated by the Dragonriders of Pern. To be more precise it would probably be the influence of the particular artists that decorated the copies of the Dragonriders of Pern that were out when I began reading and buying them.

Tonight I heard that Anne McCaffrey has died.

Over the years I have read and reread so many of Anne McCaffrey's novels. Not just the dragonriders, but the brainships, the crystal singers, the Talents and the Catteni sequence. Her collaborations led me to other great writers. Her recommendation of a story would convince me to give it a try when the blurb had not.

This dragon keens.

Anne McCaffrey Books ~ Explored
photo: Anne McCaffrey Books ~ Explored by Theen Moy,
via Flickr with CC:by-nc-sa/2.0

I own the original and digital photograph of Dragon Flaming by Joshua. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference #lib2011

It can be hard to keep up with the multitude of industry journals.  Today I was considering just deleting Kevin Dudeney's aliaLIBTEC announcement that the latest Associates was up.  I knew if I went to have a look at the contents I might be tempted to read a few articles and that would eat up my evening--as it is doing.

Still... to the reasons for my post:
  1. Julanna Hennessy found it odd that there was a lack of involvement by Australians and other countries in our time zones. I want to assure her that I was registered and although a family crisis prevented my real-time attendance I've been catching up since. The conference website is still in my open tabs, I've viewed two sessions (both of which have added to my professional knowledge) and I just need to find the spare hour each to view more. Sometimes more than an hour because I like to take notes too. It is not easy to "rewind" the Blackboard Collaborate sessions - sometimes they would completely restart.
  2. I'm super-impressed that the Library 2.011 conference is free. Therefore, though this post may remain obscure, I wish to publish my thanks to the founding conference sponsor: School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San José State University; the co-chairs Sandra Hirsch and Steve Hargadon, and to all of the presenters.
About the individual sessions, so far, I can recommend:
  • Melanie Metzger's session I've noted as "Treasure Hunt Training for Library Staff" although its title is Training Core Knowledge Skills by Finding Treasure [the recorded session]
  • Reina Williams' session: Virtual Reference and Instruction: What is it really like? -- might be useful if you're new to the topic, or are still considering it [recorded session]

I concur with Julanna's conclusion:
"I got a lot out of the conference, some new sites to explore, a stronger understanding of how changes in technology is affecting our industry and how our industry is rising to the occasion, and the fun of playing with technology I hadn’t used before. If anyone gets the chance to attend one of these in the future jump at it."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Aiming to interview JJ Drinkwater: 1st day of research

AlexLib Subscribeomatic sign

So, yesterday I dreamed of eventually (after background research) interviewing JJ Drinkwater (who I've repeatedly over time noticed doing terrific things in librarianship in Second Life). Today serendipity set me out on the journey:

Once-upon-a-time, I had subscribed to the AlexLib Subscribe-O-Matic Gizmo. It sends notifications (which SL can send to email) of events such as today's:

Join us Wednesday at 4pm SLT for "Voices from the Civil War" and a discussion of Walt Whitman's poem "The Wound Dresser"
What a good time to progress this research ... let's see ... if I log in there will be a notecard and/or a landmark and I can begin my inspections ...

Indeed, while I began jotting notes in a draft blog post, it seems I wanted an image for everything, even wished I had videographic skills.

During my first round of camming I was Distracted by the profile of Eleanor Anderton (picked up from her creation of a sign [a help sign - one worth discussing, I'll link it in later] on the skyboat display of resources [that to me seem should be IN the library?]) which I followed to her blog where she wrote about BareRose's Antonia

Back from that distraction, I began capturing photos of the meeting room's exterior signs and interior exhibit, uploading to Flickr, linking images, discussing notecard contents. A slideshow only shows the photos, it doesn't capture my annotations, so if you're curious, you can see my notes over at Flickr beginning with Once-upon-a-time, if I continue this method of note-taking it will all be in a collection I'll call Caledon Librarianship.

OOPS again

Currently interrupted because: while photographing the Discussion Display Wall (Whitman discussions) to identify the variety of content I realised that the train passes by the door and the photo would be improved by having the train in it!
But when is the train?
See Steampunk Wiki for Caledon National Rail and I notice that this (wonderful) wiki could do with some data linking; but back to the train time ... this meeting room is close to Victoria Station (which is just North/left from this door)... four different routes (are they the same train?), 3 stop at Victoria ... Northbound might be best angle on the engine, so before 04, 15, 26, 56 of the hour, while southbound is 20, 44, 52, 55 of the hour.  Of course I missed two trains while I was trying to work that out, and I've noticed that there have been some dramatic lighting changes so I've been wondering how that will affect the shot.

Eating cold tea I missed two more passes, but now two scheduled trains haven't passed at all.  So even in the virtual world, when one is waiting for a train--it will be late?

Back on track, I have dozens more photos, and still need to upload describe and link them. I'm going to have to become a little more efficient, take fewer photos, or forget about using Flickr for note-taking. It seems my inner researcher and inner tourist compete for function time.

What have I achieved so far?
  1. I've admired the meeting room - not sure if it is considered one of the branches of the Caledon Libraries; discovered through in-world exploration that just across the park from the meeting room are at least two library facilities and behind/above the meeting room is a special collection. I could probably investigate such details faster by perusing wikis/websites. While googling a suitable link to acknowledge Eleanor above I discovered the Caledon Library Volunteer HQ which (at least historically, it was last updated in 2009) in addition to the site for visitors: The Library Militant will probably answer all the little questions I have.
  2. I've seen:
    • evidence of a current discussion series; and past discussions (social activities are a fundamental attribute of virtual world experience I think, although I also believe we seek meaningful social activity); 
    • begun identifying qualitative distinctions between objects for display, information storage and access, and preferences; 
    • continued reflecting on the importance of consistency with a well-defined environmental theme (ie: I believe that my enjoyment of Caledon Library for its thematic consistency as well as its quality library functions would be typical for anyone in-world).  I think that although we like a pretty library in the real world, its prettiness is way less important than its services. But then longevity of the Second Life library might also rest in how well services meet users' needs/desires -- unless the Second Life library is content to exist as an art exhibit.
  3. Not found a relevant group - one day in.
  4. Oh yes, documenting instances of advertisement - that was about discovering the nature and extent of Caledon's liaison. 
  5. Looking forward to exploring the Caledon catalogue/database, but want to see what is what in-world first.
  6. I believe that my download limits, and/or needing to avoid excess distractions, and/or the fact that even if I could concentrate in-world the Flickr note-taking method is so time-consuming -- could sooner rather than later send me to read Drinkwater's pages.
  7. I think my original questions are so far still good, but it is only one day in. I am noticing the uber-importance of a team of volunteers, remembering the joys and challenges of managing volunteers, and wondering how Drinkwater's experiences of volunteer management would compare.
  8. So much for being the final step - testing out that phone for the sake of an imaginary newbie audience to my photoset - I leaped into making a tentative first contact.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hoping to interview JJ Drinkwater: Planning preliminary research

I'm a dreamer. 2-365I'm a dreamer. 2-365 by Chelseaography. CC: BY-NC 2.0

Today, I finally tagged as questions I would ask a page that has been hanging around in my open tabs for goodness knows how long:
So, its 2.5 years since EppieBlack interviewed JJ Drinkwater and I'm wondering whether any of JJ's views have changed since (at the time he had been through 3years conversation about libraries roles in SL)?  For example: Does he still think that SL is a good environment for making collections accesible - interest-wise and creating inspiration? How does he evaluate the success of an event and/or an exhibit?  On what does he currently invest his time in SL now?  They touched on qualitative measures ("use a lot" - which?) and what is not possible to count/track - has any of that changed?  He mentioned building the online catalogue (and I recall being impressed recently, must look again) - has that been worthwhile, what was most important with it and what would he recommend for others? How did he land the director's role at Caledon libraries?  He managed volunteers, orchestrated exhibit schedule, ran events -- what kind of learning did that involve? what mistakes? 
While I do search my tags, I don't tend to find time to check it for things to do, but I do see my blogger drafts.

So, to be sure my questions would be the best I can ask, if I find an opportunity, I figure:
  1. First I would want to run around and check the Caledon Libraries, 
  2. see and analyse current exhibits. 
  3. Join the group/s perhaps - and from now I should 
  4. document all instances where I see adverts of Caledon Library events. 
  5. Definitely explore the online catalogue and 
  6. read more of what Drinkwater has written.  
  7. Then refine my questions and 
  8. seek an interview
We have a Plan!

We Have A Plan!
by lucyb_22. CC:BY-NC-SA-2.0

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Second Life Bookstacks, LibraryThing and SLISonline

Thinking about CVL's catalogue, I wondered whether Library Thing might be useful. At LibraryThing's dormant Second Life group, Athanasius Skytower offered copies of his LTcatalogue-displaying bookshelf. Given that other LibraryThingers are also Second Life residents, next was to discover the Library Thing group in SL - I wonder if it is active?

A 2009 message about events at a place called Bookstacks (SLURL) made me curious, and in-world I discovered that it is a Pub apparently popular with writers.

Back at LT, there were many current talk results in the search for "Second Life" and of those there were many labelled with the curious codes "SLIS-Indy" and "Fiesta". As SLIS is a typical acronym for schools of library and information science, I was pleased to find the Indy part falling into place with Indy referring to Indiana or Indianapolis (or both). Bravo SLIS-Indy for learning and sharing publicly. From them I've now learned more than a thing or two. Thanks to Sara PorterI now have two new SLURLs to check out. Sean Robinson's comments about his library's patrons writing reviews with Library Thing for Libraries was a pleasure to read, I hope to one day work in a library that socialises their catalogue.

(in a gesture of reciprocation I ask: how strongly do other forum/discussion_board users feel about such matters as "subject-ness" of subject lines for posts; and one-topic-per-post-liness?)


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