Google Effect on Academic Libraries

Image representing Google Book Search as depic...

Image via CrunchBase

Like most people in the library field I have taken interest in the journey of Google and their effects not only on the Internet but the world as a whole. A company born of the modern world their reach is extensively global and generation encompassing. And in 2004 Google set its eyes on the intellectual world with the announcement of its new Google Book Search. Within months those in the library world noted its stake in the success of this project. The announcement was met with fear and announcement. Google publicized that their goal was to ultimate create a universal digital library. Critics were quick to note that a company bent on making money could never compete with libraries already established for hundreds of years. However people started declaring the end of the library, touting Google as the founder of a new information society. “Though a lot has been written in both the popular and technical press, especially related to the settlement with authors and publishers, there is still in my mind a lack of clarity regarding how this project may impact libraries in the long term. If it is true that the successful completion of the project will “create the world’s largest library online,” does this necessarily also entail that libraries as we know and love them are dying?”(Dougherty, 2010)

In this paper I discussed the literature surrounding the future of books, the Google Book Search Project, and how these two things are affecting the future of academic libraries. I believed like many others, there is a distinct connection between these topics and that while Google’s idea of a universal digital library is a good idea I don’t think its time to say goodbye forever to traditional libraries. “And in the case of academic libraries, they are not the research and teaching embraced by the academy, but without their bibliographic traditions, scholarly discovery, learning, and teaching would be isolated, episodic, and limited to the harsh economy of the subject or topic attracting the greatest money or the best students.”(Shuler, 2007)

Google Effects on Academic Libraries by JPW


A Study of Multicultural Libraries and Their Users

Independent Study

Image by eflon via Flickr

Yesterday’s post about my courses reminded me that I never shared the results of my last independent study from last semester. So only two months after I said I would post about it…I am.

Like I mentioned before where I started was not even close to where I ended. I think the best way to sum up how I felt is for you to see my Reflection Paper. Don’t know if I’ll upload the actual final paper as it’s 14 pages long. The reflection paper is only about 3 pages long.

Public Library Design and Technology

O'Fallon Public Library

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You know what I realized? I realized I never shared what my independent study for the semester was. In fact other than the Practicum posts I haven’t actually mention anything about my last semester of classes…how rude of me. So as far as the final classes go, I have the practicum which actually has a new part added to it just for my class. Where some of the students who in the program are doing practicums this semester are in the same course. We’ve created a special blogging website were we can all blog about our experience. At first I was like…why? Now I’m like this is the best idea ever! It really helps to see how others are going about their practicum.

I’m also taking a course on Academic libraries. It’s called…Academic Libraries. I know deep right? So far we’ve written a paper on current trends and I’ve picked three topics that I’m tossing around for my term paper. (Which I really need to get cracking on.) The Google Effect, Communication, and the changing roles of the Librarian, I really want to meld them all together because I think they are highly related but I might be in danger of biting off more than I can chew. I’ll write about the current trend paper in another post.

My independent study course is the major course this semester (outside of the practicum). It’s very involved and intense and I’m loving every moment of the research and the prospects of going out and collecting data. It’s called Public Library Design and Technology. Here’s how I explained it when I was applying to do another independent study:

In the course of my studies in the Library and Information Studies program I have garnered interested in looking at how much design and technology play a role in the usability of the present-day library. I have taken opportunities in other courses to do small-scale research on usability in libraries. I think doing an independent study that looks at usability in the aspect of design and technology in today’s library is a great tie in and gateway that will allow me to do more in depth research on the topic of library usability. I’m curious as to how much design and technology plays a role in a user’s experience in the library. I think this will be a great opportunity for me to show how much libraries and information centers are growing in their roles in the community and design and technology can help in that role.

In the end what I hope to achieve is a presentable paper for ALA. I’ve got the go ahead to come in and start with Greensboro Downtown Public Library. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to share much about it until it’s all done. But good times.

And last but not least is my capstone. I’ve already started building it on WordPress. I’ve got to write a couple of papers for it before it’s done. Look for a link at the top when I’m completed.

There was cake!

My first day at my practicum started with two hours on the reference desk. Since it was the beginning of the semester we didn’t have many students needing help, so I was able to engage one of the librarians in conversation about general reference things and explore their catalog as well as the access they have to journals and databases. Which differs a bit from UNCG’s. After lunch I observed one of the librarians teach a LIS100 course. The topic of the day’s class was information needs in the 21st century. After the class was over I was able to talk to that librarian about how she prepared for her course. I ended my day getting introduced to the LibGuide program in preparation for my first project.

I thought I would be extremely nervous going into my first day but I wasn’t. The whole staff was very welcoming and everyone I met took the time to engage me in conversation and offer a chance to complete a project in their department for extra experience. Sitting at the reference desk wasn’t so bad and I can’t wait for the speed to pick up as the semester goes by. Talking to the librarian after the class was very interesting as it was her first course teaching by herself. She didn’t have any instructional experience before starting there a year ago so she understood how I felt.

I think what I took away from the first day was learning about LibGuides, I didn’t know what one was before I started but I am confident that I could create one on

my own now. Plus in reference to my title there was cake. My site had been one of the recipients of the 2011 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries so Award and in congratulation their dinning service had baked an HUGE (It was a foot thick two layer cake) cake. It was yummy!


Day Five: The Grades are In

Devoto Public Library, Buenos Aires. Argentine...

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I know what you’re thinking, “Didn’t she just did a post where she waxed on and on about how she didn’t concern herself about grades and how she’s more concerned about what she’s taken away…blah, blah, blah…”

Well I meant all that but hey I needed something to write for today. I didn’t do much today I slept in did some baking and then went out to the mall. I’m all done with my holiday shopping but with some good deals out there decided to pick me up a few personal gifts. A reward for doing so well this semester.

In Archival Management I made a B. I knew I was going to , every paper I turned in resulted in a B, except my ethics paper which was the only A. I can’t tell you where I got Bs as I never received feedback on anything. But oh well I better than a C, I guess. Oh and she thought my last presentation poster wasn’t creative…that hurts! It was 3-D.

In Digital Libraries I made an A. She was really expressed with my last project/website. And in my independent studies I got an A-. What I liked most about my independent was that it ended up being nothing what I thought it would be when I first conceived it up. I ended up not finding any of the information I set out for but did find some interesting literature. One day I’ll have to do a post about it.

Well it’s late and I have an earlier morning. Good night all!

Day Two of 2010 Winter Break

Beckwith James Carroll Lost in Thought

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This morning as I sat in bed I thought about how much my body is still in ‘get ‘er done’ mode. It was 10:30 and I was on the road to berating myself for sleeping in. But I stop mid-bashing and realized that I was break. I had time to do everything I had slated to do and a few hours of sleep would do me good. It’s this thinking that makes me understand why I love this time of year. It’s the only time people don’t question taking time off to relax. Throughout the year everyone rushes about trying to meet all sorts of deadlines, only to create a new deadline for some obscure event.

Once I did get up and get my day going I found myself in a better mind frame. While I had realized that I needed to crank out some last-minute school work, I just didn’t instead of freaking out. I was able to concentrate and make it work. Something I hadn’t been able to do in a while because I was so stressed out about deadlines. Which got me to thinking about how much I’ve changed in my thinking about grades. When I was undergraduate I obsessed over grades and wouldn’t enjoy my winter break until my professors had posted my grades. My first semester in Graduate school I saw myself doing the same thing, but come second grade I was more worried about making sure I learned skills that would carry me into the future then what grade I got on a paper. But as my advisor told me “There’s no question on whether or not you are going to pass, you’re smart enough that I’m not worried about that. It’s a matter of what are you taking from each course.” And I think I’ve really taken that to heart. I’m positive I’ve done well this semester but I think I’ve taken some well needed skills away.

As day two comes to an end I reflect over this new understanding I have in my life and while I’ve only managed to technically check off two things on my long to do list. I’ve accomplished a lot today and that’s all that matters to me.

75% Completed

That’s a strange thought to have. I’m officially 75% done in earning my Master’s degree. Three semesters down one more to go! It’s almost 2 in the morning as I write this I couldn’t be any more exhausted but at the same time I’m so wired that I just had to sit down and update this blog. Seeing as how the last time I updated was over a month ago I thought it was past due.

Final Projects and Papers

My poster for the poster presentations.

I ended my semester with a flurry of papers and projects. In Archives I settled on Ethnic Archives as my research topic. Surprisingly it turned out completely different from what I thought and I realized three pages in I had opened the proverbial can of worms. The topic was more complicated than I could ever imagine. But in the end it all worked out.  In Digital Libraries I was able to scan and upload the covers of 20 individual Green Lantern comic book covers. Since the files were so large I uploaded and placed them in a website I built. You can view them all here. My independent studies course ended with a huge reflection paper. I was amazed at how much I was able to correlate to other things I had learned about American libraries to those around the world. And it was interesting to see how wrong I was on what the differences would be.

Winter Break

Now that I’m done I can breathe again. I still have to finish that summer course work but I’m 90% done with that. I just have to complete two tasks and get others to do a user accessibility tests and I’m done.  If you remember my post about the woes dreamweaver was giving me I can safely say I’ve managed to conquer dreamweaver with the help of my professor and I feel confident to consider myself an intermediate dreamweaver-er. Check out what I have so far. Keep in mind there’s no content as per the assignment. Maybe one day I’ll actually get around to adding content.

I’m really glad that I’m entering this winter break with a better mind frame than last year. I was quite bogged down with worry over the issues I was having with financial aid, this semester I have to really give it to the scholarship board there was an obvious effort to open up the communication roadways and it’s made it easier to understand what’s happening at every step. Which means less worry for me.

Now I can focus on completing the long winter break to-do list I’ve created. Maybe I’ll share that with you guys later. But for now I’m going to catch up on my DVR shows and try to get some sleep, wish me luck!

Ethics and Wikis

Citizens protesting/invading the Stasi buildin...

Image via Wikipedia

I would like to say I’ve managed to conquer that back log of stuff-to-do-asap but atlas no such things can be said. I finally buckled down and made my end-of-the-semester big to do list. I try to make it one month before the end of all my class obligations. This semester it’s December 10, when I’ll hand in my final project for Digital Libraries. Don’t even get me started on the fact that there’s one month left in the semester, ohmgee where does the time go?

This weekend I did manage to make a dent in the back log, I turned in three papers and completed a quiz. I even managed to squeeze in some time to do some more shopping for professional wear. I stocked up on some awesome cardigans, I love cardigans.

Back to the topic of this post, in Archives we talked about Ethics this week. Our paper was on Ethics. We had different articles assigned to us and we had to react to them. Mines was on the Stasi files from the fall of the German Communist Government. It was interesting to think that they decided it was in the best interest of the country to open the archives to the point where people could find out who had reported them. One of my main issues was that the article kind of glossed over the real effects this had on the country. It mentions there were some divorces and some suicides but you know that’s nothing. It might not have been mass chaos and mayhem but I’m sure it wasn’t all peachy keen.

In class we were grouped together and shared our articles to the class. One group had an article about negatives of the Dead Sea Scrolls that were found in a California Library. It was originally supposed to be stored there by a woman who convinced the Israeli government to trust her to keep a back-up copy safe. Because the Israeli government was keeping the Dead Sea Scrolls under lock and key and limiting the access when they were found by a new director of the library he decided to share them and put them up for open access. A lot of people in the class thought it was wrong of the Israeli government to even think of limiting the access, however I thought it was wrong of the director to open them up like that. It wasn’t his place to decide what to do with them like that, in any event if the lady or descendent of the lady wasn’t around they should have contacted someone over in Israel to decided what to do with them. The original purpose was to be stored not to be open for access. Information Freedom or Right to Information is a very new thought (dare I say even a very Western thought), it’s not shared every where.

What right do we have to any information? I mean yeah I think Israel was being rather stingy keeping the information to themselves, but I’m not about to start shouting I have the right to see them, because I don’t. I didn’t find them, I don’t know who wrote them, my life ultimately will go on without seeing them. Yeah I really want to see them. But it’s really more of a courtesy then a right. I’m grateful that I live in a country where I can claim Intellectual Freedom and the Rights to Information. But I’m not naive to think it translates to other cultures and countries. As I joked with my friend try going to China and shouting about Intellectual Freedom and let me know how that works for you.

And just so this isn’t a long block of text here is a screencap of my wiki I turned in this weekend.

Dreamweaver Why Must You Hate Me?

As some of you may remember I was in a summer course this past summer that involved Web Productions. Our last project was to create a webpage on a topic of our choosing, well through all the mess with the summer issues I wasn’t able to finish the final. Also since I’ve recently been getting to graphic novels and was having a hard time finding suggestion list for girls and women like me I thought it would be a perfect thing to kind of jump-start a personal project. If you don’t remember this course take a look here for a refresher and to see the first initiations of possible site ideas.

At any rate I’ve been steadily working along on this project but I keep hitting snags. I’ve done websites via dreamweaver before, granted that was nearly five years ago and there might have been a couple (okay a few) upgrades since then. And since then I’ve been learning and working with HTML. So what’s the problem? Well here are some snapshots of what I’ve done so far since the last post…

(Click for larger picture)

It’s coming along don’t you think? Well at first the template was not acting right and I was following the instructions and it just wasn’t working. So after a meeting with my professor via Skype (gotta love that share screen option). We figured that out. Then I started moving right along and hit another snag. I’ve pushed my images to the server, and amazingly they show up. However when I make an update and push them again they don’t update entirely. And what’s more puzzling every time I save and update the index page it doesn’t save in the place I tell it to. For instance I say save in the folder named Final inside of the folder named LIS Capstone. It saves it outside of the Final Folder inside of the LIS Capstone folder.

So then when I go to check for errors inside of Dreamweaver using Firefox of Safari (I’m on a Mac by the by.) Everything works fine, the links work and the images work. When I go to the live version on the server the links don’t work on the index page, and then when I type in a specific page the links work but the Home links to a different index page. It’s all sorts of confusing.

I do believe I’ve screwed up somewhere but I’m not sure where and it’s hard to try to trouble shoot it. I would just start all over but I don’t want to make the same mistakes. Hopefully I can get through this snag in the next week or so. Any tips would be appreciated!

But right now I’m going to go do some metadata scheming. Wish me luck!

Site Visits

Guilford College Historic District, Greensboro

Image via Wikipedia

These last few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to visit three different local archival depositories. The first one we visit was the site of our professor Gwen Erickson at Guilford College. Even though I had done my internship there and was convinced that I had already known what she was going to show us, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I still enjoyed being in that space and looking at all the artifacts and documents.

Next we visited the Greensboro Historical Museum. I’ve wanted to visit that museum since I learned about it but never got the chance. It’s such a wonderfully designed place and the exhibits are breathtaking. Their preservation/conservation set up was interesting and they really seem to love their job.

The last one we visited was Jackson Library’s Archives and Special Collections. I had working in the Archives over five years ago when I helped the then University Archivists on a major project that surrounded the women of UNCG. That was a fun and interesting project and really was the first time I thought about working in archives.

It was interesting to see three different types of depositories: university, religious, and museum. While there were many difference they overall still faced the same issues, namely not enough money, not enough staff, and not enough space. It makes me think about how the things I’ve read and learning about in my digital libraries course plays a role. Especially this weeks readings, digitization is not preservation. And makes me wonder is new technology really solving problems are creating more?