Friday, April 28, 2006

Susan has been looking at the statistics for the papers in UResearch. Jeepers. It's amazing how many hits these things get once they're "out there".

  • Eastman School of Music has 27 masters thesis and dissertations in dspace. Collectively, they have been downloaded 10,533 times!
  • Three computer science undergrad research papers have collectively been downloaded 753 times .
  • Two economic phd theses with 590 collective downloads

Monday, April 17, 2006

Do you think students equate librarians with finding the physical book? I've been rereading some of the data we've collection for our undergraduate research study. They will ask someone in the library (librarian?) if they need help finding a book. But, I'm struck by how few problems they report *finding* the information they need, i.e. electronic information. They seem to seek out more help from the folks at the writing center than they do from us at the reference desk.

Friday, April 07, 2006

I've been reading all this stuff how this generation of students wants, needs, expects to participate. How do we do that in libraries? How can they participate in the catalog (book reviews?), the web site (blogs), etc.

Here is a very cool, commercial example of user participation. You upload your own pictures into the Kodak commercial. Slick

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Linda Musser just won a big award from ELD. I am so happy. I used to work with her at Penn State and she is amazing. Incredibly smart, productive, organized, energetic. Did I also mention that she's very *practical*?! I could go on and on.

The ELD Awards Committee is pleased to announce that the 2006 Homer I. Bernhardt Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Linda R. Musser, Head of the Fletcher L. Byrom Earth and Mineral Sciences Library at the Pennsylvania State University. All nominations were incredibly strong this year. The committee cited as determining factors Linda's: inspirational, no-nonsense leadership to advance the profession; approachability, generosity, wisdom, and many other mentoring skills; prolific, extensive, significant, and practical collaborative record of scholarship including research, presentations, editorships, and publications; appointments to national and international committees or leadership teams; and last, but not least, lasting, far-reaching, and substantial contributions to ELD, other societies, the field of engineering and science librarianship, and beyond. "Linda is ... one of the people who helped establish the culture of ELD that we see today: a culture that is welcoming, knowledgeable, energetic, respectful of colleagues, and interested in the evolving mission and role of engineering librarians." Linda's nomination received a record number of support letters from ELD colleagues, former co-workers/mentees, Bernhardt honorees, and faculty from Penn State. One quote that best summarizes the views expressed in those letters and the committee's decision: "All of these factors lead to a greater appreciation of the positive impact that Linda has had on engineering librarianship."

Monday, April 03, 2006

We're doing a little pilot project offering late (or at least later) evening hours on the reference desk. As I suspected, we have little to no traffic at the Science Library. In fact, our reference desk business is way down; the "main" library still seems to be hopping. Why?

We don't have very many faculty or graduate students come ask for help verifying citations any more. Lots of citations just automatically link to the full text; you don't have to figure out the abbreviation, navigate the OPAC, find it on the shelf, etc. And if you really did need the abbreviation, you can type them into Google, and almost always find the full title. Yikes! Maybe people just don't bother when the article is in print; if they can't get it from their desk top - forget it.

And most undergraduate in the sciences only need a few articles to write a paper. They don't have the vocabulary or knowledge to read the scholarly literature. They used to come to us to use the print indexes or the cdrom databases. Now you can find very good stuff on google. So why ask at the reference desk?

Data? Did people ever ask for data? I don't think I can remember the last time I was asked a real data question. And now where are they going? Well obviously - google!