Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Librarian in 2020

Please read the attached journal article to find out the future for Librarians in 2020.

This is part three of a series of excerpts from Library Today: Today's Leading Visionaries Describe Tomorrow's Library'.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Wikipedia - Fact or Fiction?

Our class activity today was to review the Information Literacy Wikipedia Page. Our tutor posed a number of questions for us to consider, including the accuracy, scope, authority and general opinion of the page.

Our first impression was that the information was heavily biased towards the US context. This may be because the authors are largely US-based, but equally perhaps the field is more developed and researched across the water - we would need to follow up on this to be sure.

We also felt that some of the information was outdated, which casts doubt on the accuracy and relevance of the rest of the page. For example, it includes a brief reference to the SCONUL seven pillars model, but does not make mention of the updated lenses that have been applied to the model in recent years. Similarly, under the 'Specific Aspects of Information Literacy' section, there is no mention of the increasingly researched concept of 'Digital Literacy'.

The layout of the page came under fire in our discussions. We think the page would benefit from clearer categorisation and country-specific sections, where the UK and European context could be distinguised from that of the US. As is the case for all Wikipedia pages, it is difficult to determine the authority of the authors. More contributors - from a wider range of countries - would enhance the likely accuracy of the information. Verifiable contact details, on a Wiki people page, would help the reader to more easily trace the editor in order to assess their credentials and the impartiality of their contribution.

Our Favourite Web 2.0 Applications

We've discovered today that Group A are not big 'web 2.0' people! We do, however, have a couple of favourite applications, which we use primarily for personal interest rather than academic study. Top of the list is YouTube. We're all consumers rather than contributors to the video-sharing site, and use it for varying purposes: finding 'how-to' instructional videos (e.g. how to use X software, how to make cards etc.), informative videos and recreational interest (let's be honest, cute cat and dog videos!)

One of the group is a Twitter user and finds it helpful for keeping up-to-date with news, events, research and conferences in the information profession. Again, she finds herself more a spectator than contributor to the Tweet-o-sphere, but is hoping to change that over the course of this year!

Other web 2.0 applications discussed by the group included Pinterest, Vine, Instagram and Facebook, with the latter primarily used for keeping in touch with friends abroad...and 'encountering' those cute cats and dogs!

Monday, 21 October 2013

More Google & Database Search Tips

Here are some more tips from the Google and database searching sessions.

Google tip:
In the settings of Google Scholar there is the option of adding "Library links". This is useful because often Google Scholar will not have access to full articles, so by linking Google Scholar to your university you can get easy access to articles in databases the university library subscribes to.

Database tip:
The main databases to use when searching for articles related to Librarianship are Emerald, Library of Information Science Abstracts (LISA), Web of Science, Scopus and IEEE.

For both Google and database searching it is always best to use the Advanced Search options to reduce the number of search results returned and improve the relevance of the results.

Google & Database Search Tips

From my own experience of Google, the best search tip I have is to use some of the filters in Google's advanced search facility. For example, it is possible to search for a specific file type, e.g. PDFs, or a specific web address type, e.g. .gov or .org. These are particularly helpful in narrowing your search if you have too many results and in locating results that are more authoritative.

My top tip in relation to database searching is to widen your search, if necessary, by using truncation and wild card symbols to find variations on spellings and word endings:
  • Wild card symbol, e.g. wom?n to search for the words 'woman' and 'women'
  • Truncation symbol, e.g. cultur* to search for 'culture' and 'cultural'

Tuesday, 15 October 2013



Returning to student life after a gap from studying.

Getting used to Mole and other library databases which havn't used before.

Gettiing used to accessing course materials on-line.

Juggling work whilst being a part-time student.

Getting used to using Mendeley to  cite resources.

Monday, 14 October 2013

My Information Resources

My Information Resources

My experience described below is a description of my access to information as part of my course assignment for my post graduate qualification in Librarianship.

I was tasked with identifying two articles describing 'customer service' from a choice of databases, one from a management journal and the second from a 'library' journal.

From a choice of four databases i performed a search for articles covering 'customer service' articles; I also widened the search by using alternative terms for the phase i was using eg client rather then customer. From performing the search I then had a large choice of journal articles to chose from. I made a choice of documents to use by scanning the documents looking for details of the aims, methodology and findings, choosing two documents which contained this information.

I then read both journal articles in full and then selected the information I needed to write both an abstrat and a critique.