Headline of the Week: What We Think We Know … and What We Want to Know More
This week, our series of MISO reports looks at self-reported skill levels in using a variety of information-based tools, as well as a gauge of interest in learning more. We also gathered a picture of how the community prefers to learn about information tools designed to support their academic and administrative work.
In an aggregate view, the community reports that skills levels are roughly the same as two years ago when we last administered the survey. Overall interest in learning more is lower for most tools (with a few exceptions). Students are most interested in learning more, and faculty and staff show a general trend of less interest in learning more.
A few other observations:
- Libraries and database vendors have ill-served our communities by developing tools that are clunkier to use than general search tools on the Internet. This is evident in reported skill levels of search engines versus library databases.
- Backing up data is a practice that we need to focus more attention on. In the Luther community, 47% of students, 32% of faculty, and 60% of staff report they do not back up their data … ever.
- For students, I think that if “social software” had included Facebook as an example, it would have scored much higher. Examples for that item included blogs, podcasting, and RSS.
- Though not immediately evident from these lists, interest in learning more is generally pretty low, with many reporting little or no interest. This is a challenge both for LIS, but also for the community. As information tools continue to be introduced and evolve, it is increasingly important that faculty, students, and staff evolve and grow their skills. Luther’s current strategic plan calls for greater focus on information literacy skills for faculty, staff, and students recognizing the critical nature of these skills in today’s information-based economies. Our data suggests we have a two-stage challenge ahead, 1) making the case that continually refreshing information skills is important, and 2) refreshing those information skills.
- The world would be a boring (but in some ways much easier) place if we were all the same. The fact that each constituency has a different method of learning as their top preference adds an extra layer of complexity (particularly when considering the previous bullet). Nonetheless, LIS remains committed to ensuring the Luther community has access to the tools and training they need to succeed in a rapidly-changing environment.
|Self-Reported Skill Levels in Descending Order
(Tool with highest reported skill level is at the top)
|Reported Interest in Building Skills in Descending Order
(Tool with highest reported interest level is at the top)
|Preferred Method of Learning in Descending Order
(Method with highest reported preference level is at the top)
No TWILIS Friday, May 29th
Publication will resume Friday, June 5th.
LIS Staffing News
LIS is pleased to welcome Benjamin Wilbur to our staff as Programmer/Analyst. He will begin work June 1, 2009. Benjamin will be supporting the admissions and financial aid modules and reporting in Datatel, system support for the AdAstra facilities scheduling software, and interfaces to other systems.
LIS Blog Highlights from the Week
The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:
- Voice Mail Upgrade [Luther Only]
- Library professional staff meeting 5-18-09
- vpn.luther.edu outage fixed
- User Services Meeting – 5/19/09
- Deleting Student Computer Registrations on 5/26/2009
- LIS welcomes Benjamin Wilbur to the Application Development team
- NITLE Update – 20 May 2009
- Ockham House now Requires Registration for Network Access
- Storage Area Network (SAN) Upgrade
Notes from LIS Council
Topics discussed by the LIS Council this week included:
- Management of web content
- Lutheran Summer Music support
- Summer Registration
- Luther Sign Committee update
- Fiber cut on the campus network
- Summer network plans and work
- Cell phone policy changes
- Emergency response planning
- Budget considerations
- Review of proposed projects for the Luther web
As a member of NITLE (National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education), Luther has the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of developmental and training programs intended for faculty, librarians, and information technologists. Events listed at the link below are currently open for registration by Luther participants. LIS Staff who are interested in participating in an event should speak with Christopher Barth. Faculty who are interested in participating should speak with Lori Stanley. Participation is contingent upon available funding and program acceptance.
A full list of events (sortable by registration deadline) is available at http://www.nitle.org/www/events.
Next Week in LIS and Faculty Development Opportunities
- Wednesday, May 27 — Advising and Vocation at Luther College (Faculty Development), 9:00a-4:00p, Baker Commons (Registration Closed)
- Thursday, May 28 — Advising and Vocation at Luther College (Faculty Development), 9:00a-4:00p, Baker Commons (Registration Closed)
- Friday, May 29 — Introduction to Mind Mapping (Faculty Development), 8:30a-12:00p, Olin 207
- Tuesday, June 2 — The Oneota Project: Sustainability Across the Curriculum (Faculty Development), 5:30-8:30p, Baker Commons
- Wednesday, June 3 — The Oneota Project: Sustainability Across the Curriculum (Faculty Development), 9:00a-4:30p, Baker Commons
- More information on upcoming training opportunities
Notable Internet Resource of the Week: Muck Rack
“What if you could get tomorrow’s newspaper today?” quotes the Muck Rack website. This site seeks to capitalizing on the tremendous growth in Twitter by selectively aggregating tweets of notable journalists into one place. It is billed as the pulse of real-time reporting. The site also provides “beats” dividing out content into rough news topics, and displays trending topics being tweeted at the current moment. Many major news outlets are included (ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, Forbes, Fox, Huffington, MSNBC, NBC, New York Times, NPR, Sports Illustrated, Time, USA Today, Washington Post, Wired, Wall Street Journal among others).
The same venture sponsoring the Muck Rack also provides similar aggregations for designers (inkpill.com), developers (dvlprs.com), celebrities (giantredcarpet.com), musicians (musicians.musebin.com), venture capitalists (venturemaven.com), and pets (thepetfeed.com). Yes, those are tweets made by people’s pets. (There is a tweeting capybara there folks).
On the web at http://muckrack.com/
Around the Web
Here are a few links to interesting developments over the past week:
- Books, Media, and Publishing
- Steal This Book [New York Times]
- Laws That Could Save Journalism [Washington Post]
- Site Lets Writers Sell Digital Copies [New York Times]
- Buy One Book, Get One Free [The Daily Beast]
- Kicking Ink: The Struggles of a Print Newspaper Unsubscriber [MediaShift]
- Brainstorming the future of ebooks [Kindlerama]
- Ebook sales continue to rise – latest IDPF info [TeleRead]
- Bowker Reports U.S. Book Production Declines 3% in 2008, but ‘On Demand’ Publishing More than Doubles [Bowker]
- On the Chopping Block [Inside Higher Ed]
- Copyright and Intellectual Property
- Harvard prof tells judge that P2P filesharing is ‘fair use’ [ars technica]
- Lawyer: RIAA must pay back all $100M it has collected [ars technica]
- Reminder from the MPAA: DRM trumps your fair use rights [ars technica]
- Culture, Economy, and Business
- Where is Everyone? [Baekdal.com]
- Meetings, Version 2.0, at Microsoft [New York Times]
- Message in What We Buy, but Nobody’s Listening [New York Times]
- Digital content doubles every 18 months [TG Daily]
- Despite rise in streaming, 99% of all video watched on a TV [ars technica]
- Got Work?: College Graduates Face Toughest Job Market in Years [ABC News]
- Data Security and Privacy
- Password reminders: hard to remember, but easy to hack [ars technica]
- Google and Search
- Congratulations, Google staff: $210k in profit per head in 2008 [pingdom]
- Google Keeps Gaining Search Share [GigaOM]
- U. of Michigan Expands Book-Search Agreement; Google Makes Its Case to Librarians [Chronicle of Higher Education]
- Yahoo Search, As We Know It, Is Over [TechCrunch]
- Larry Page on Real Time Google: We Have To Do It [ReadWriteWeb]
- Wolfram Alpha Is Not a Search Engine [Internet Evolution]
- Google result-manipulating Gumblar exploit picking up steam [ars technica]
- What Will the World Do with More Search Engines? [Time]
- The Evolving Google Library [Inside Higher Ed]
- A Book Grab by Google [The Washington Post]
- Interesting Bits in the Univ of Michigan Amendment to Google Book Search Agreement [Disrupted Library Technology Jester]
- Google Apps
- New in Labs: Automatic message translation [Official Gmail Blog]
- Response comments included in Google Calendar invitation reply email [Google Apps Updates]
- Hierarchical navigation and other new features in Google Sites [Google Apps Updates]
- New in Labs: Inbox preview [Official Gmail Blog]
- Spotlight on Developers: Educational Spreadsheet Gadgets [Official Google Docs Blog]
- Hardware and Technology Tools
- The Failure of E-Book Devices [LISNews]
- Higher Education
- Area college endowments feeling the market pinch [Cedar Rapids Gazette]
- The Googlization of Universities [The Googlization of Everything]
- 5 Reasons Why Educators Need To Embrace Internet Technologies [Emerging Internet Technologies for Education]
- Psst! Need the Answer to No. 7? Click Here. [New York Times]
- Technology and Liberal Education [Inside Higher Ed]
- College students describe their financial anxiety [Newsvine]
- Faculty Review System FAIL? [The Medium is the Message]
- Innovation and Design
- Internet and Networking
- Libraries and Librarians
- OCLC Review Board Recommends the Withdraw of Proposed Policy; Advocates for an Open Process [Disrupted Library Technology Jester]
- National Library of Norway to digitze “all” Norwegian books [TeleRead]
- Relevancy of Libraries in the Future [LISNews]
- More than One in Four Mobile Phone Users Drive While Texting [FierceWireless]
- Social Networking & Communication
- Are Baby Boomers Killing Facebook and Twitter? [PC World]
- Facebook lowers barrier for new users with OpenID logins [ars technica]
- Every Minute, Just About A Days Worth Of Video Is Now Uploaded To YouTube [TechCrunch]
- Twitter Surges Past Digg, LinkedIn, And NYTimes.com With 32 Million Global Visitors [TechCrunch]
- Software and Operating Systems
Want to follow these updates during the week? or via RSS? Point your browser to Infoneer.net.
This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Christopher Barth, Executive Director of Library and Information Services at Luther College for the Luther College community as well as those interested in information services and higher education.