Tag Archives: Research & Instruction

RefWorks for Atwater Commons

Carrie Macfarlane and Bryan Carson led a RefWorks workshop at Atwater Commons  last week.  We invited students to bring laptops so that we could install the RefWorks plug-in called Write-n-Cite, which inserts footnotes in Word documents.  Each student left the workshop ready to start saving references. One student provided this feedback on RefWorks: “I will [use RefWorks] because it’s a tool that can help you not only in college but outside school as well.”

Collection Management Policies for Reference and Music

Submitted by Judy Watts

Carrie MacFarlane, Jean Simmons, Cynthia Watters, and I are currently hard at work pounding out guidelines that describe and define the Reference Collection. This hasn’t been done in some time. Changes in technologies, the shift to digital formats, new curricular developments, and the need to serve students and faculty in the libraries and around the globe, not to mention the budget, are forcing us to examine everything from what should be acquired, to formats, to deselection and retention policies. We expect to have a draft ready soon so that other Reference Librarians can go over it with a fine-tooth comb.

Joy Pile is going through the same process for the Music collection. In each case we must establish the purpose and scope of the collection to guide our acquisition decisions. Then, we must enumerate and define factors to apply to each title under consideration, e.g., anticipated use, authority, audience level, cost, alternative sources for the information, and platform stability for digital sources. Our policies also must inform selectors of the procedures to follow to place requests for new resources. Finally, we’ll look at how we assess the effectiveness of the collections, and describe the process for removing items from the collections.

University of South Carolina Library Degree Program

Submitted by Brenda Ellis

The University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science plans to begin a Master’s program for a regional “cohort” of students in the New England region. This is an expansion of a program that was previously conducted in Maine. The program is proposed to begin in the fall semester of 2009; beginning students may also be admitted to the program in spring 2010 and fall 2010.


Classes will be presented as an interactive online program utilizing a variety of technologies. Attendance on the home campus of the University is not a required part of the program. Students admitted to the program will have several on site experiences at a location(s) in New England, including (but not limited to): a beginning orientation, portfolio preparation and state association meetings.


For more information, contact: Tilda Reeder, Admissions Coordinator, Student Services Office:  tildareeder@scu.edu


The University of South Carolina is located in Columbia; phone number for the School lo Library and Information Science: 803-777-3858.


LISt News from Research & Instruction

The Undergraduate Research Office is gearing up again for its spring Student Research Symposium, which is scheduled for April 17, 2009. Students from all classes are invited to present their research, and LIS provides them with both research and technology support. Watch for updates and links to the Symposium web site and LIS support pages.

From Brenda: The end of the term brings the last push to finish papers.  Many econ students have emailed, stopped in, or made appointments for help finding data.  Usually they’ve already looked in the obvious places and crawled the web, so their questions aren’t easy. Sometimes a gov’t or international org. website has some of what they need, but they need earlier years, other countries, another variable, etc.

Then there are the usual students who are looking for books and articles for papers. They are appreciative of the help they get both from librarians helping them to identify resources and from the staff and students in ILL, who get all those resources we don’t have.

One of the highlights of the semester was participating in the Jane Austen Dinner and Dance held for Mary Ellen Bertolini’s FYSE1144 Austen and Film class.  It’s held downstairs in the CFA.  Brenda and Mack joined the students in the class for a catered dinner featuring foods mentioned in the Austen novels and then joined in the country dancing afterwards.  We all had so much fun we didn’t want to stop dancing. See: https://segue.middlebury.edu/view/html/site/fyse1144a-f08

Kids’ Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures

Submitted by Shel Sax

This is a recently completed three-year collaborative project funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley, the digital youth project explores how kids use digital media in their everyday lives.

Digital Youth Media has the complete report as a white paper and a two page summary in pdf format. If you’ve wondered how today’s youth are using digital media, It is interesting reading.

LIS Authors

Submitted by Judy Watts

Geospatial Technology Support in Small Academic Libraries: Time to Jump on Board?, by Carrie M. Macfarlane and Christopher M. Rodgers, Middlebury College, has just appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. This article describes in some detail the work that Carrie did with GIS Interns Katie Clagett and Chris Rogers leading to the Google Earth and GIS support that is now offered by Digital Media Tutors in the Wilson Lab.

Congratulations to Carrie and Chris for producing a piece that is both entertaining and useful to other institutions attempting to find a way to offer support for geospatial technologies. What is described in the article represents a huge commitment by three very dedicated individuals – Carrie, Katie, and Chris – leading to the successful application of geospatial techniques across the curriculum. There were many challenges along the way, including rapidly developing technology and the end of funding for GIS interns, but the result is that students and faculty may now find a wide range of support to suit their needs. Kudos, too, to Joe Antonioli and the Digital Media tutors for stepping up to the challenge and adding yet more ways to help.

The Open Knowledge Initiative and a Network for Content and Curriculum

Submitted by Alex Chapin

Adam Franco and I attended meetings last week hosted by the MIT Office of Educational Innovation and Technology. Adam attended a meeting focused on OSID V3, the next version of the Open Knowledge Initiative open service interface definitions. Harmoni, our application framework, uses the OSIDs to provide services to Segue and Concerto. The latest version of the OSIDs solves some challenging obstacles to application interoperability. Adam will be collaborating with a developer from Sakai to create a prototype of an “enterprise service bus” that would demonstrate the power of OSIDs to allow multiple systems to share content. I pitched a similar idea in a brief presentation I did at Project Bamboo workshop earlier this month and in my contributions to discussions of a “services framework” on the the Bamboo wiki.

Concurrent with the OSID V3 meeting that Adam participated in was as another meeting I attended that focused on the idea of a “network for content and curriculum.” This is a logical extension of the Open Knowledge Initiative, exploring ways to make it easier for individuals and institutions to discover, access and re-mix educational resources. The meeting showcased the PERSEE project, a program at the University of Lumière Lyon II to digitize French scientific journals with the goal of provide interoperable access to this material.