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Month: June 2017

Good Read: Top Library Tech Trends

Good Read: Top Library Tech Trends

Image of DuoSkin technologyThe May 2017 issue of American Libraries contained an interesting article about “Top Library Tech Trends” that libraries of all types may want to consider implementing for users. Some of these trends the MSU Libraries already is embracing, such as the inexpensive Google Cardboard virtual reality viewers, available through Music and Media on the Second Level of Duane G. Meyer Library. Others, such as creating a virtual tour of the physical library, using a 360-degree camera, are currently possible here, because we have the equipment and expertise, but have not yet been implemented. Still others, such as temporary body art designs that are also electrical circuits, which can control portable devices, would require more investigation and testing at the local level. The DuoSkin technology from the MIT Media Lab, for example, “is a fabrication process that enables anyone to create customized functional devices that can be attached directly on their skin.” Some libraries are using newer technologies to improve internal operations, such as new, less-expensive data analysis tools to improve workflows. Gamification platforms are being used in K-12 schools to make review sessions, pretests, and quizzes more engaging and entertaining, as well as instructive.

E-Resource Spotlight: Philosopher’s Index

E-Resource Spotlight: Philosopher’s Index

Rodin's sculpture, The ThinkerProduced by the Philosopher’s Information Center, which was founded in 1967 by Dr. Richard Lineback and is headquartered in Bowling Green, Ohio, the Philosopher’s Index is a both current and retrospective (to the early 20th century) comprehensive bibliographic database covering scholarly research and thought in all major fields of philosophy, from aesthetics to the philosophy of technology. Considered the most thorough index of journal literature on the subject, Philosopher’s Index, provided to the MSU community via EBSCO Discovery Services, features author-written abstracts covering scholarly research published in journals and books, including contributions to anthologies and book reviews. It is truly a worldwide resource, containing information about items originating from 137 countries and 37 languages.

Library Interdisciplinary Space Project

Library Interdisciplinary Space Project

photo of people using a data visualization wallThe MSU Libraries has begun a multi-year process to develop a new space and service that will enable members of the MSU higher learning community to use cutting edge technologies to fuel interdisciplinary teaching, learning, research, and service.

 

Two years ago the Provost provided funding for a 3D printer and scanner.  Jan Johnson and other library faculty and staff members began exploring other newer technologies.  Last year, an HTC Vive virtual reality headset was introduced. This summer, the library purchased a Microsoft Hololens, a computer for AR/VR (augmented reality and virtual reality) development, and is working with Professor Anthony Clark from the Computer Science department to bring robots to the library.  Summer Innovation Grants have helped fund this early work.

Earlier in 2017 Jan met with Professor Clark about robots and robotics at MSU. He wondered why MSU didn’t have more interdisciplinary opportunities for students. His question got Jan wondering and investigating the idea of interdisciplinarity and emerging technologies. After examining what other universities are doing, she developed a high level concept and discussed it with Tom Peters, Dean of Library Services.  The idea was introduced to the library faculty and unit heads who saw the value in developing the space.  With Dean Peters’ approval, Jan did additional investigation, including a site visit in June to Georgia State University Libraries to look at their data visualization space.

What’s the status of the MSU project?

  • We are assessing the best approach to providing interdisciplinary, tech-rich collaboration spaces to find the best-fit approach for MSU.
  • We are working with Janene Proctor, Research Administration Specialist in the Office of Research Administration, and with the MSU Foundation to identify possible funding sources.
  • We are engaging members of the MSU community to be part of the design process from the start.
  • A working group is being formed.

Why is this project being undertaken?

  • Interdisciplinary research/active learning
    • allows students and faculty from intersecting disciplines to look at data sets from new perspectives
    • increases workplace readiness by exposing students to language and ideas of other disciplines
    • increases learning through the use of concept bases instruction
    • reinforces learning through application of ideas to current issues and real life problems
    • enhances critical thinking skills
  • Disruptive technological products are being developed and will be part of our lives in the very near future.
    • Students who attend schools with large funding are introduced to new technology during their academic career.  That access gives them advantages in the job market.
    • Disruptive technology introduces additional layers of complexity to how society functions and advances.  Many questions about the impact of the technology need to be asked and answered.
  • Libraries are in an excellent position to provide:
    • Research assistance
    • Transliteracy instruction
    • Neutral spaces that are conducive to these types of activities
    • Shared, effective, and efficient use of limited resources

What will the space feature? 

  • Neutral space for faculty to meet in order to:
    • develop cross-discipline curricula
    • build relationships among departments, which will dovetail with the liaison program being launched by the MSU Libraries this fall
    • hold open discussions
  • Maker/group research/multi-media space
    • Provide access to emerging technologies in a maker/research space
    • Bring multiple disciplines together to discuss the larger social questions associated with new technologies (pro and con)
    • Space for intra/interdisciplinary group work
    • Multimedia space
    • Data visualization wall
  • Scholar Studio
    • Experts in one or more areas present thoughts on current topics of interest
    • Panel discussions
    • Student presentations
    • Open discussions

We see this project as a game changer for the MSU Libraries and MSU.  We’re developing the space and services from the perspective of the Public Affairs Mission of MSU, by providing a space where people can become more informed about the changing social and technological landscape, look at current issues, acknowledge and discuss gnarly questions, and develop multi-disciplinary solutions to complex problems. This will be an open, collaborative, respectful space where new ideas and methods can sprout and grow.  It offers opportunities for professors to develop different instructional methods, enables students to work in cross-disciplinary teams, and provides deeper, active learning in areas that impact our lives in the 21st century.

Reptile Day Redux

Reptile Day Redux

photo of a snakeMSU Library’s Amy Hankins is hosting another Reptile Day at the Fairbanks (1126 N. Broadway Ave. in Springfield). The event happens on Saturday, August 12th. This will be the second Reptile Day, and the only event of its kind held in the city of Springfield. Admission is free. All are welcome. Featured will be live reptiles and amphibians of all kinds for people to get up close and personal with. Knowledgeable herpetology enthusiasts will provide the animals and answer any questions you might have about these fascinating creatures, including information on native species and care in captivity. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. and the event will go until about 3:00 p.m. For any further information, contact Amy at (417) 834-9804 (call or text).

E-Resource Spotlight: World Folklore and Folklife

E-Resource Spotlight: World Folklore and Folklife

Logo of World Folklore and Folklife database

Folklore permeates the everyday lives of people around the world. We inherit a rich tradition of holidays, festivals, language, stories and fairy tales, proverbs, foodways, and folk remedies that define our society and our place within it. World Folklore and Folklife provides an exciting and accessible way to explore this vast and growing treasury of knowledge. Subjects covered in this database include: celebrations and rituals, food and drink, holidays and festivals, music and dance, religion and belief, tales, myths, urban legends, and traditional arts and crafts.  For colleges, World Folklore and Folklife offers the opportunity for students to research topics as varied as literature, gender roles, and cultural studies. All content is fully-indexed and cross-searchable, and the user-friendly interface makes searching or browsing quick and effective.

 

Summer Innovation: Transcribed Interviews for Info Anthropologists

Summer Innovation: Transcribed Interviews for Info Anthropologists

Old photo of two people browsing in the library stacksA group of information science researchers here at the Missouri State University Libraries has undertaken a major study of the information needs and habits of MSU faculty members. As we all know, information technologies, resources, behaviors, needs, and expectations have changed significantly in recent years. The “Meeting Faculty Where They Start” study, begun in January of 2015, is using survey and interviewing methodologies to gain knowledge about the current scholarly information seeking and behavior habits of 24 faculty members from the seven colleges of Missouri State University. Library employees involved in this major study include Lynn Cline (emeritus), Bill Edgar, Scott Fisher, Grace Jackson-Brown, Jan Johnson, and Andrea Miller. A summer innovation grant is being used to create typed transcriptions of the audio recordings of the interviews, which will expedite coding and analysis.

Welcome to the New Associate Dean of Library Services

Welcome to the New Associate Dean of Library Services

Photo of Rachel BesaraRachel Besara will be joining the Missouri State University Libraries team as the new Associate Dean of Library Services. Her Bachelor of Science degree, Summa cum Laude, with a concentration in Science Education, is from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. Her MLIS is from Florida State University. Most recently, Rachel has served as the Director of STEM Libraries and Research Initiatives at Florida State University. Among her many responsibilities as AD at the MSU Libraries, Rachel will coordinate BearWorks, MSU’s new Institutional Repository, serve as Director of the Ozarks Studies Institute, as well as editor of the OzarksWatch Magazine. She will come to the MSU Libraries as a tenure-track Associate Professor. Her first official day at MSU will be Monday, August 14, 2017. Welcome, Rachel!

E-Resource Spotlight: CLCD

E-Resource Spotlight: CLCD

CLCD logoThe Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD) is an acquisition, research, and reference service that contains over 2 million MARC fiction and non-fiction records for children’s and young adult media as well as more than 400,000 quality reviews for many of these titles accessed in a single search. Included are 1.2 million value-added elements such as awards, curriculum and author links and reading metrics, plus 90,000 cover images. CLCD has increased the number of foreign languages to 310 of which 100 languages have at least 100 books. It is the mission of the Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database Company to provide reliable one search access to all important and relevant information about Pre K-12 media of all types, including reviews from respected publications for those professionals who work with Pre K-12 media. The goal is to provide information about books, authors and illustrators around the world, and to connect children and young adults with the books that will make a significant difference in their lives.

Doggies from Finals Week

Doggies from Finals Week

Special Collection Spotlight: The Dial

Special Collection Spotlight: The Dial

Cover of the January 1950 KWTO DialThe Dial (Collection M 100), published from August 1941 to December 1951, was essentially a program guide for local Springfield radio stations KWTO and KGBX (though KGBX was dropped midway when the station changed ownership). While it included programming schedules, such as the nationally syndicated Korn’s-A-Krackin’ hillbilly variety show, the precursor of the nationally live TV broadcast, the Ozark Jubilee, The Dial also included biographical sketches and photos of local and national radio personalities (like Chet Atkins, the Carter Sisters with Mother Maybelle, and Porter Wagoner), answers to reader questions, games and puzzles, and columns written by authors, such as noted local historian May Kennedy McCord. This digital collection is now available online and is keyword searchable. Many thanks go to local historian Wayne Glenn, for allowing us to digitize the majority of these issues from his personal collection; to Ken Meyer for allowing us to make these available online; to the State Historical Society of Missouri for letting us digitize one of the issues from their collection; and of course to the excellent team in our new Digitization Lab.