Archive for the ‘library 2.0’ Category
QR codes. What are they? There is a lot of talk about them but just how can they help libraries and learning resource centres? Well, I don’t want to repeat what my colleagues in other RSCs have put together (take a look at Scott’s eLearning Library: http://scotthibberson.co.uk/eLearningLibrary/?tag=qr-codes and the RSC Wales Learning Resources Blog: http://blogs.rsc-wales.ac.uk/lr/category/lrc-technologies/qr-codes-lrc-technologies/) but I just thought it would be worth getting into words some of my thoughts and observations from the last year or so relating to these codes.
The first thing to get across is that they are not in any way difficult. I gave a training session at one of the colleges here in the North West recently and realised that to get this part of the session longer than 10 mins I would really have to draw it out. (We spent the rest of the time looking at Web Conferencing and the benefits this could bring to libraries which I may blog about later).
Let’s start with a traditional barcode. They usually represent (in a library context) either a reader number or an ISBN or other machine-readable information. They have been used in libraries for a considerable number of years for use primarily with interacting with the library management system. A scanner is held close to a barcode (or visa versa) and the information contained within the barcode is transmitted to the device attached to the barcode reader. Over recent years mobile devices such as smart-phones and games consoles have introduced barcode readers and are being used more and more to scan barcodes. (Think of the price checker apps available on smart-phones).
So, what are QR codes? QR stands for Quick Response. Think of them as an “upmarket” barcode. The beauty of a QR code though is the amount and type of information it can store. QR codes can store images, text, URLs, email addresses; a variety of content. They can be created freely and easily using any number of QR code generators available on the internet. Each generator will create an image that you can download or print to use anywhere.
In the same way as a scanner or reader is required for a traditional barcode, a QR code also requires a reader or a scanner but these are available (free in the main) for smart-phones and mobile devices with cameras. Take a look at the video below for a good overview (although the speech is a little slow).
So what use are they to libraries? They could be a really useful and important part of the library marketing strategy. Some libraries have already started adopting them for:
- reading lists within the library, the relevant classrooms and online on the Virtual Learning Environment
- links to individual eBooks positioned on the shelf or even stuck on the book
- ask a librarian service
- links to the library catalogue
How else could they be used in the library? Take a look at the following videos:
I also believe that IS Oxford have incorporated QR code support into their newer versions of the Heritage Online Library Management System.
Some QR code generators that I am aware of. Just select your favourite. Each one creates an image of a QR code that you can use anywhere you wish.
Have a go and see what you can do. It doesn’t take long and they could become a talking point in your library and increase your online resources usage at the same time! Let me know if you have any novel ideas for using QR codes in your library.
I was recently asked by a colleague for some good examples of videos on Youtube that could potentially be used within a Library Induction. Through a quick search of YouTube a found a considerable number. This abundance of videos made me rethink my strategy. I therefore asked my RSC and Twitter colleagues to recommend videos they would use for library inductions. This blog entry shows a small selection. Hope you find them interesting and useful.
This video from the University of Washington is extremely popular. Very tongue in cheek.
This video is in Norwegian, just click the button that says watch on YouTube and then use the cc on the bottom right of the video for English subtitles.
An interesting video about Plagiarism modelled on identity theft videos.
This one is long (18 minutes) and getting dated but still well worth watching.
The University of Liverpool’s guide to using online resources. A lovely brief introductory video.
Finally, I’m not sure what I think about this one because it seems a bit messy but it does have a good message. See what you think.
14th October 2010 – so, what will this date be remembered for? The end of the 2010 Commonwealth Games? The day all the Chillean miners were rescued? or even Cliff Richard’s 70th birthday? Well, for me I’ll remember today as the day that the Greater Manchester police promoted the day-to-day work that they are undertaking and proved just how powerful Twitter can be.
Since 5am this morning Greater Manchester Police have been tweeting every reported incident. It is absolutely amazing reading and shows just what one of the largest police forces in the country have to contend with. The tweets show quite clearly the number of social problems that the force have to deal with and also the number of 999 calls that they abandon due to a number of reasons. This is invaluable information for learners on public services courses. Where else can you experience so closely the work of a police force without actually being there?
At 8am this morning I set up CoverItLive site (a web based live blogging site) to automatically display all the tweets being published by the force. This could be easily displayed in college libraries and Learning Resource Centres without the need for a Twitter account. By lunchtime I had 30 people watching the feed which I continued to monitor to ensure no inappropriate use. With no intervention required by watchers, I hope those watching the feed and showing it in their libraries found it useful.
The feed will stay available for the near future at:
Twitter could be so powerful if used productively and this particular example is just one innovative use for the tool. I don’t think I would ever be comfortable promoting a similar site that just searched hash tags which anyone with a Twitter account could use, but for authorised accounts such as the ones used by the GM Police there should be no reason why libraries can’t use Twitter in this manner. Have a think about using Twitter in your library to show “A day in the life” or “latest news” or even what’s happening at Number 10?
Did you display the GM police Twitter feed in your library? Are you considering showing Twitter in this way more often? Get in touch, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
I’ve just spent some time having a look at the Case Studies that have been produced as part of the JISC Shared Infrastructure Services (SIS) Landscape Study and found some very interesting links and ideas.
My main gripe with the studies is that they are all text based and do take some working through. To hopefully make finding the information you require easier, I’ve tried to summarise some of the studies below and have extracted the links. Hope you find it useful.
Anne Welsh, LIS Lecturer – University College London
- Using WordPress (Blog) to distribute monthly acquisitions lists via RSS-express
- Using Twitter and Twitpic for posting brief news items and project progress
- Using koha Open Source Library System for a volunteer-run library in conjunction with LibraryThing
- A brief assessment criteria for adoption of Web 2.0 technologies
- Using Facebook to stay in touch with friends and students
- Using Pageflakes as a personal transferable homepage
- Using Wikis for documenting and updating procedures
- Building up “trust” on forums and discussion boards
Manish Malik, Senior Lecturer in Mobile and Wireless Computing – University of Portsmouth
Using Twitter in a number of ways:
- as a micro blogging tool with students for personal reflection
- combined with a Wiki to create a community of interest for learners with recognition of the privacy and data protection issues with using such mediums
- for pastoral care
- for personal CPD
- managing projects
In addition Manish uses Wikis:
- as a repository for open and shared working combined with Google Talk
- as a collaborative examination revision site
Professor Martin Weller, Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University
- Blogging using Typepad
- Enhancing blogs using Gliffy, Flickr and YouTube
- Using Tumblr to keep track of references and resources
- Using Twitter for communications
- VLEs as a ‘walled garden’
- Posting presentations to Slideshare
- Experimenting with Xtranormal
Jamie Wood, Learning Development and Research Associate – University of Sheffield
Sheila Webber, Senior Lecturer – University of Sheffield
- Blogging about Information Literacy http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/
- Blogging about Second Life http://adventuresofyoshikawa.blogspot.com/
- Created an Information Literacy Pageflakes page http://www.pageflakes.com/informationliteracy/
- Using Del.icio.us to store links related to the use of Second Life in Libraries http://delicious.com/lilacsl/
- Using Ning as a social network
- Using blogs with learners for dissemination and for interaction around things of current interest
- Using Netvibes for aggregating interesting material
- Using Wikis for collaborating on content creation
- Using Second Life as a place for learning, teaching and communication
Paula Roush, Artographer – London South Bank University and University of Westminster
- Using Flickr to disseminate the outcomes of art projects
- Publishing art works through Lulu.com
- Using a combination of lifelogging platforms from wordpress to twitter, and live videostreaming including skype, webcamnow, oovoo, and TokBox
- Using Zotero in Firefox to collect, manage and cite research resources
- Created a full marking grid for an art placement project which incorporates the use of social media
- Using Twitter and Tweetdeck for communication
- Publishing using Issuu
- Working in Second Life
The University of Sheffield Library
- Undertaking a project “Evaluating Web 2.0 Technologies”
- Using WordPress (blog) to raise student awareness
- Using Twitter to post library news
- Using a Netvibes to help customers keep up to date with the latest news feeds and scholarly information sources
- Using Instant Messaging to support reference queries
- Developing an Information Skills showcase http://www.librarydevelopment.group.shef.ac.uk/showcase.html
Gareth Johnson, Information Library – University of Leicester
- Using a wordpress blog an informal place for all University of Leicester Library staff to share, debate, reflect and comment on matters relevant to their working activities
- Using Slideshare to post presentations online
- Using Google Docs to share and edit versions of documents with people scattered across the campus/country
- Using Twitter as a social and professional network
- Experimenting with Yahoo Pipes
- Evaluated Second Life
During the JISC RSC Annual Conference this year, a number of the team gave Pecha Kucha sessions (see http://www.pecha-kucha.org/) which were extremely well received. I’ve added audio to my session entitled Diary of a Twitter Virgin and uploaded it here. Apologies for the quality of the audio, I had problems getting the slides to move on whilst I was narrating it
Chris McAllister from Blackpool and The Fylde College has recently been looking at potential “Library 2.0″ tools ready for their new look library in a few years. She’s recommended a useful Wikipedia article which lists lots of tools for Instant Messaging, SMS and Reference Chat. Have a look at:
Following the link you can view how Teeside University and the Open University are using instant chat software to support students