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Author Archive | Don Hawkins

See You Next Year!

1985 to 2015

1985 to 2015

As we were reminded at the registration desk, this was the 30th anniversary of CIL.  Like the previous ones, it was a great conference.  I attended lots of interesting and educational sessions on subjects like:

  • MOOCs and their effects on libraries
  • Makerspaces
  • 3D printers in libraries
  • Bibliometrics–a subject near and dear to my heart dating back to my initial experiments when I was working in the AT&T Bell Laboratories Library Network in the 1970s and 1980s.  (Many searchers should be able to turn up a couple of papers that I wrote on the subject.)
  • New uses of social media in libraries
  • E-books
  • Graph searching
  • Personas

… And the list goes on!

Of course, there was the usual Exhibit Hall, and it seemed to have more exhibitors and be better attended this year that in the past couple of years–no doubt a reflection in the improving economy.  I had fun in the Exhibit Hall participating again in another ITI Author Book Signing (couldn’t resist getting that in!).

Kudos to Jane Dysart and her team of organizers for coming up with another winner!

So as CIL enters its 4th decade, what will we find?  You will just have to come back next year to find out.  The place is the same–the Washington Hilton. Here are the dates–mark your calendars now!

2016 Dates

Will I see you there?

Don Hawkins
Conference Blogger

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Data-Driven Decision Making: Using Bibliometrics for Collection Analysis

Stacy Bruss

Stacy Bruss

Stacy Bruss, Reference Librarian at the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), described how she used bibliometric analysis in the NIST library to develop the collection. (The conference website contains supplementary material with details of Bruss’s methods and sample outputs.)

Annual Collection Study Methodology

Annual Collection Impact Study Methodology

The annual collection impact study examines cited references and NIST publication authors to measure the impact of the collection.  Doing this manually used to take 5 librarians a month. Now, using bibliometric analyses, it takes Bruss only 16 hours. Here are the key fields measured (for journals–books are not a focus of the NIST collection):

Study Output

Study Output

Here are the study findings and outcomes:

Study Output and Findings

Study Output and Findings

Study Outcomes

Study Outcomes

Outlying data were checked to see why journals are not in the collection; for example, a highly cited article on astrophysics by a NIST reseracher was published in a journal that was not in the library’s collection.  But astrophysics is not a significant NIST area of research, so the journal was not added.

It was a surprise to realize how much historical journals (over 25 years old) continue to be used in current research.

The biannual research study is done every other year. It looks at all NIST indexed journals over the past two years and correlates citations with journal subscriptions.

Biannual Research Study Methodology

Biannual Research Study Methodology

Here are the study output and findings:

Study Output

Study Output

Study Findings

Study Findings

Many journals are obtained under contract, so changes sometimes cannot be made. It is important to note that this study prioritized journals based on downloads, publications, and citations, but not costs.

Some journals are designated as “core journals”, and those not subscribed to are often purchased if they have many downloads.

Collection Insights

Collection Insights

Collection insights show where most of the downloads come from; the above example shows which publisher’s journals are cited the most. Journals from the top publisher are cited more than 3 times more than those of the one in second place. This study gives evidence-based data for subscription decisions.  Formerly, printed surveys were sent to the researchers, but they never suggested dropping anything and just added titles!  These data showed that the survey was not representative of actual use, so it was dropped, which was supported by the researchers. The advantage of a survey like this is that budget changes can be made quickly.

Archive Journal Holdings Study Methodology

Archive Journal Holdings Study Methodology

The methodology for an archive journal holdings study. has been developed, but the study has not yet been conducted.  Archive journals take up 20,500 feet of shelving in the NIST library. It is difficult for researchers to shift their work practices if they must come to the library to get an article in an archive journal or through ILL.

Here are the anticipated outcomes of the study:

Anticipated Study Outcomes

Anticipated Study Outcomes

The NIST collection contains materials that may not be available anywhere else in the world; they must continue to be held somewhere.  The archive journal holdings study will identify “nice to have” items as well as “must have” ones.

Below are the types of tools and resources used in these bibliometric studies.  Note that Google Scholar does not work very well in working with bibliometric data, and Excel 2013 has a relational database built into it.

Tools and Resources Used

Tools and Resources Used

Top Takeaways

Top Takeaways

Summary

Summary

Bruss concluded that bibliometrics has come a long way and is finding new uses in libraries; they are “not your mother’s bibliometrics any more”!

Don Hawkins
Conference Blogger

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“Geek Squad®” at the NIH Library

James King

James King

NIH Buildings and Library Staff

NIH Buildings and Library Staff

James King, Branch Chief and Information Architect at the NIH Library described the NIH and its library, which has 48 employees working in three branches.  Teams are focused on strategic and operational issues. The NIH library serves as a virtual organization for other organizations.

Wed AM 017

A key component of the NIH library is the “Informationist Program” that started in 2001 which has 15 employees. An Informationist is a technical specialist working as part of the library that can be embedded with a research team.  They spend 75% of their time with the research groups and the rest in the library.  Thus, they can deliver more targeted solutions than a generalized IT department, and bring information architecture and specialized solutions to their teams, although they do work with the IT department. They deliver services in these five areas:

"Informationist" Service Areas

“Informationist” Service Areas

Sample projects include development of APIs for the Pandemic Influenza Digital Archive  (PIDA), creation of the International Alzheimer’s Disease Research Portfolio (IADRP), digitization for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Library, and community building.

Libraries are well positioned to be advocates for their services:

  • The NIH library is hosting the Drupal government conference, Drupal Gov Days and Capital Camp, on July 22-24, 2015 at NIH in Bethesda, MD.
  • A “Technology Sandbox” was developed in a space formerly occupied by books where people can collaborate.

    Technology "Sandbox"

    Technology “Sandbox”

  • Technology is being offered as a service.
  • A 3D printer pilot was carried out.  It was so successful that two more printers were acquired.136 successful models were printed.
    3D Printing Project Overview

    3D Printing Project Overview

    3D Printers at NIH Library

    3D Printers at NIH Library

    Protein Models Created Using 3D Printer

    Protein Models Created Using 3D Printer

  • Partnerships and networking are critical.

    Partnerships Are Critical

    Partnerships Are Critical

Don Hawkins
Conference Blogger

 

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Redefining a Corporate Library With a 3D Printer

Theresa Dillon

Theresa Dillon

Theresa Dillon, InfoDesk Team Lead at the MITRE Corporation, described how 3D printing was used to redefine the MITRE library. InfoDesk Services is the first point of contact for answers to research questions and document delivery. Here is a photo of the library at MITRE’s Bedford, MA location.

MITRE's Bedford, MA Library

MITRE’s Bedford, MA Library

The open environment of the library encourages collaboration.

3D printers arrived in August 2014. Some staff wondered why 3D printers belong in the library:

Why Offer 3D Printing?

Why Offer 3D Printing?

The 3D printing service is self service on a first-come first-served basis.  There is no cost to users.  3D printing is for work-related uses; weapons or objects covered by copyright are not allowed to be printed. To get started, you need a printer, some filament, and tools. Here is a photo of the library’s installation.

3D Printer Installation

3D Printer Installation

Some things the printer has been used for:

3D Printer Uses

3D Printer Uses

Marketing and promotion of the 3D printer consisted of display screens, signage, employee news articles, demos, social media, and displays of 3D printed objects.  Professional 3D printers produce higher quality objects than consumer desktop models. Here are some of the things that have been printed:

3D Printed Objects

3D Printed Objects

The printer has sparked lots of conversation, with a positive reception.  It has brought awareness of InfoCenter spaces and InfoDesk services.  Clients have been brought to the InfoCenter to see the printer. The printer has been a success for the InfoCenter. People are very excited about the collaboration and the problem solving.  Downsides are that the device needs maintenance and is often down, printing can be slow, and some people need a lot of of instruction and help.

things to consider when setting up a 3D printing service:

Considerations

Considerations

  • Safety:  ventilation is needed because fumes are generated.
  • Noise: the printer can be noisy
  • There is a lot of market volatility resulting in a lot of churn.
  • Downtime must be planned.
  • Intellectual property: objects can be covered by copyright. Liability can be against the person making the object.

From the user’s perspective, here are some important considerations :

Considerations From the User's Perspective

Considerations From the User’s Perspective

The more plug & play the better.

Common problems include extruder clogging, curling, surface quality, poor extrusion, filament tangling, power outages.  People’s expectations must be tempered. Have some backup extruders for when they’re clogged. Sometimes jobs must be left running overnight, so when a filament tangles and breaks, the job will fail.

3D printers have elevated the credibility of the InfoDesk and have improved it in the eyes of management.  They are helping them to meet non-library users and are an exciting addition to their services.

What’s next at the InfoDesk:

What's Next?

What’s Next?

Resources:

Resources

Resources

Conferences to follow: MakerCon, 3D Printer World, Consumer Electronics Show

3D model repositories:

Model Repositories

Model Repositories

Free 3D modeling programs:

Free 3D Modeling Programs

Free 3D Modeling Programs

Don Hawkins
Conference Blogger

 

 

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Decades of Innovation and Tips For the Future: The Tuesday Evening Session

Tuesday Evening Panel

Tuesday Evening Panel: (L-R) Marshall Breeding, Meg Backus, Jason Griffey, Jan Holmquist, Darlene Fichter

Led by Marshall Breeding, long-time CIL attendee (very long–he has attended every CIL conference since it began!), the Tuesday night session featured a lot of history, information, and amusement.  The panel included Meg Backus, IT Manager, Anchorage Public Library; Jason Griffey, Founder and Principal Consultant, Evenly Distributed, LLC; Jan Holmquist, Global Librarian, Denmark; and Darlene Fichter (GovInfo Librarian, University of Saskatchewan).

Marshall began with a trip down memory lane, looking back at CIL’s 30-year history. Libraries have experienced incredible change since the first Small Computers in Libraries conference took place 30 years ago, and so has library technology. At the start, not only did the internet not exist, but networks did not even exist. Here is an early IBM 360 mainframe for which the data was contained on those reels of magnetic tape (left rear).

IBM 360 mainframe

IBM 360 mainframe

One of the first online interfaces to the mainframe was through Telex terminals that operated at 9600 baud (a blazing speed at the time!).

Telex Terminal

Telex Terminal

Strategic library systems ran on mainframes; small computers provided tools for innovation and productivity beyond the more formal and structured mainframe systems. Here is a photo of Marshall working at home on his small computer with a monochrome monitor.

Marshall's Small Home Computer

Marshall’s Small Home Computer

The kinds of computers that were coming into libraries when CIL started had 20mB of storage, which was considered ample for the needs of the day. The operating system was CP/M–MSDOS  did not exist yet! Performance was measured in megahertz in contrast to today’s gigahertz. Here are the communication technologies of that time; there was no internet and no LANs.

Communication Technologies

Communication Technologies

Then the internet began to emerge: Telnet allowed catalogs with text menus; HyTelnet provided access to library catalogs.  FTP was used to transfer files, and e-mail became international.  CD-ROMs were used for content distribution; library databases were distributed on physical media, and they were initially intended for use on a single computer. CD-ROM networks enabled broader access. Here is Marshall managing Vanderbilt University’s CD-ROM networks.

Managing a CD-ROM Network

Managing a CD-ROM Network

Then Gopher was developed in the 1990; it had two search engines–Archie and Veronica. A new magazine, Campus Wide Information Systems, was published by Alan Meckler, and Brewster Kahle invented Wide Area Information Systems (WAIS).

In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee invented the Web, and in 1991, it began to see use outside CERN, mainly by academics.  The Mosaic client was developed in 1993 by Marc Andreeson of NCSA, and its use expanded into the general population.  Since then, many other topics have been considered at CIL:

CIL Topics

CIL Topics

Nancy Melin  Nelson, VP of Meckler Corp., was the editor of Computers in Libraries, and the conference organizer. Eric Flower started the Tuesday night sessions on “Dead Technology”, which made the point that libraries are good at doing new things but not so good at letting go of old things.  The conference was started by Alan Meckler in 1985. Tom Hogan bought it in 1995, and Jane Dysart has been Program Organizer ever since.

After the history lesson, the panelists discussed their views of today’s technologies. Meg Backus wondered where the jet packs and anti-gravity boots are that were in early books given to kids in school. We still have only simulations of cool things. The amount of creativity is disappointing; we need a broader range of imagination. Technology has actually given us fewer options because we already have it. Funding has shifted from technology to finance because that’s where the money is.  We need time for thinking and structures that reinforce the cycle of creativity.

Jason Griffey said that we don’t create enough technology because librarians are often beholden to interests not their own.  The interesting thing about technology is the speed at which it changes; at present, we are at its slowest and most expensive point; normal goods get better over time and cost more.  We have just started making technology; the next 20 years will be like nothing has happened yet. Today’s emerging technology has the capacity to change the way we live and do our jobs. We are building robots that look like things we already use, like cars. In 10 years we will see self-driving cars everywhere.  The first thing in the library world that computers will destroy is reference.

Jan Holmquist said that we should celebrate all our mistakes because they have gotten us to where we are now and make us wiser. Local is cool and depends on the wisdom of the crowd. Although we are online more, sometimes we need to be offline, and there is even an app for that! But online will be even more present in the future. Libraries should not be quiet places but loud places where all types of stuff is made. We can be inspired locally and act locally as librarians. We will be even closer in the world because of social media platforms.

Darlene Fichter showed a video: “Welcome to Tomorrowland’s Libatorium Tour”. (When she had trouble getting her computer to show the video, she predicted that in the future, devices will be personal and will work only for you because they know you.)

IBM’s Watson envisioned book reading.

IBM's Watson

IBM’s Watson

Google built an AI-driven interface to answer any question asked. Here are some early book reading devices.

Early Book Readers

Early Book Readers

Today we are talking about customized stories and social reading.

The rights we enjoy today such as the right to be forgotten, right to cloak, and right to go online are because a lot of library people were activists.

Don Hawkins
Conference Blogger

 

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Community: Engagement, Partnership, and Impact

Sue Considine

Sue Considine

Sue Considine, Executive Director, Fayetteville NY Free Library (FFL), described how her library became an early adopter of making in libraries.  The power of fabrication is social, not technical or in the equipment or technology. The library creates an environment that promotes community engagement and connecting.  Community members transformed their lives.

3D printers were initially embraced and were enthusiastically embraced by the community.  FFL hosted makerspace labs once a month; hundreds of people who were very excited about the events came from the local community and surrounding area. The library staff soon realized that many talented people in the community wanted to share their talents, so an instrument to capture conversations and let people apply as a volunteer to get involved was developed.  The library was opened as a platform for them to share their knowledge with no middleman involved.

Here are some of the programs led by community members:

Programs Led By Community Members

Programs Led By Community Members

These programs incurred small or no costs, and the community is getting the advantage of skills in it as a result of what the library did.  The programs were led by participants, not library staff, and their number grew dramatically in the last two years:

Program Impacts

Program Impacts

The platform was openly accessible to an engaged community.  It would not have been possible without the library’s involvement.

Case studies:

  1. Sewing: Classes, clubs, events, and spaces developed for community members by members.  The library bought two inexpensive sewing machines and put notices in the restrooms, and the response was enormous, from people age 7 to over 84. Additional donations of machines and supplies were made. Here are the impacts of the sewing classes:

    Sewing Impacts

    Sewing Impacts

  2. Lego robotics: Community members said there was nowhere in the community where children could become members of the First Lego League. Over 30 families came to the initial meeting, and the library has now hosted 4 sessions. The coaches witnessed students who did not know each other working together and learned to have the mindset of an innovator and were not afraid to fail.
  3. FFL Geek Girl Camp: An informal STEM opportunity was provided for girls in grades 3 to 5. The camp sought to provide female role models and provided hands-on activities led by women in STEM careers.  Here are the impacts of those camps:

    Girl Camp Impacts

    Girl Camp Impacts

  4. The FFL Fab Lab includes 3D printers, sewing machines, and much more equipment that people can use independently after they have completed a brief safety training class.  Participants have led over 2,800 equipment certifications, 62 3-D modeling sessions.  The impacts:

    Fab Lab Impacts

    Fab Lab Impacts

Every FFL staff member is empowered to capture users’ stories and share them with the community as powerful evidence that the library is having in the community by creating access to things that would not be accessible anywhere else. A local company used the lab to develop prototypes of products they were developing.

Having access to making in the center of the community contributes to discovery and having an impact for the 21st century. It results in new types of impacts, facilitation of the development of inventions, and spreading STEM technologies.

Don Hawkins
Conference Blogger

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