Spring into Summer

Why not take advantage of some free time and get a head start on some upcoming classes.

Free being the important word here….LIS Grad students love these sites.

Only after your morning bike ride and reading some chapters from your summer novel…there are free opportunities to learn some LIS skills.  First, Simmons offers a free account to lynda.com to their students using their own Simmons user name and password.  You can review html, Google analytics, or Excel to name a few general ones plus more advanced tutorials.  Second, check out Treehouse.com which my local library (mhl.org) offers as a free subscription.  Your local library might too!  They have individual courses or tracks to complete that focus on starting your own business, android development, or CSS.  Personally, I like healthcare and medical subjects so if you are interested as well take some free courses offered by the National Library of Medicine.  They have online courses specifically geared towards librarians using PubMed.  Finally, if you came to our ASIS&T Year End Event you would have heard about Kanopy.  This database is full of video based learning, documentaries, and independent films.  Just log into your Simmons Library account, [Research&Resources], [Databases], and [K] for Kanopy.

After your hard work learning on the couch don’t forget to relax.  Keep your local library card handy because they might have free subscriptions for you to use Hoopla or Freegal.  Also, take in some art, chase the ice cream truck, and head to the beach!


Tutorial Tuesday: Visualization

Libraries col?lect a?lot of data that encom?pass com?plex net?works about how users nav?i?gate through online resources, which sub?jects cir?cu?late the most or the least, which resources are requested via inter?li?brary loan, vis?i?ta?tion pat?terns over peri?ods of time, ref?er?ence queries, and usage sta?tis?tics of online jour?nals and data?bases. Mak?ing sense of these com?plex net?works of use and need isn?t easy. But the rela?tion?ships between use and need pat?terns can help libraries make hard deci?sions…

What if our transaction logs looked more like this?


Read more from Not Just Another Pretty Picture by Hilary Davis.

Do you have any data to present?? If you try out one of Hilary’s tools, leave us a link!

Tutorial Tuesday: Analytics for evaluation

This four-part tutorial at NeoLib guides you through planning for and measuring the effectiveness of a library website:

A Brief Intro to Web Analytics and Web Optimization for Libraries Pt 1
A Brief Intro to Web Analytics and Web Optimization for Libraries Pt 2
A Brief Intro to Web Analytics and Web Optimization for Libraries Pt 3: Social Media
A Brief Intro to Web AnaAlytics and Web Optimization for Libraries Pt 4: What Do They Think of Us?

It’s a good reminder that formal evaluation is important throughout your design process, no matter what you are designing.

Tutorial Tuesday: Reusing MARC

To kick off our Open Access Week celebrations, I would like to highlight one of my favorite digital archive projects: The Biodiversity Heritage Library. Why do I love the BHL? It’s focused, creative, and pragmatic, as you’ll see in this week’s Tutorial Tuesday.

Our tutorial this week comes in the form of an article published by the BHL in the code4lib journal last year: Geocoding LCSH in the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Reusing metadata generated through years of cataloging practice is a natural and pragmatic way of leveraging an institution?s investment in describing its resources. Unfortunately, many digitization projects disassociate metadata about the original object from the metadata about its digital surrogate when publishing that surrogate online.

The article describes in detail how the BHL extracts geographic subdivisions from the MARC records of books they have digitized and submits those subdivisions to the Google Maps API. It’s search visualization at its best – simple, intuitive, and relevant to the information needs of the users.

The BHL is just one of many interesting Open Access projects. Check out the Open Access Directory hosted by Simmons for more links!

Tutorial Tuesday: Mashups

Libraries are enhancing their own services using APIs from a variety of web services. You’ll be seeing many examples this semester in our Wednesday Spark posts, but it can be difficult to know where to start with your own mashup. This week’s tutorial from Programmable Web provides a high-level outline to help you plan for and build a mashup.

Follow the links at the end for API-specific tutorials, although you’ll want to check their currency.

How To Make Your Own Web Mashup

  • Pick a subject
  • Decide where your data is coming from
  • Weigh your coding skills
  • Sign up for an API
  • Start coding

Give it a try!

Tutorial Tuesday: Yahoo Pipes

Learn to use Yahoo Pipes by building something useful with this tutorial from Tony Hirst’s blog. Dr. Hirst presents a practical and focused use of the Yahoo Pipes service for tracking journal articles by subject.

2D Journal Search

Even if you’re not working in an academic library environment, as students we need to keep up with LIS literature. Try building a Pipe focused on your LIS interests or even the journals recommended by your professors this semester. Leave a link to your Pipe in the comments!

Worth noting:

Many URIs effectively provide an API to a web service. If you ever see a search form, run some queries using it, and look at the URIs of the results page. If you can see your search terms in the URI, you are now in a position to construct your own queires to that service simply by using the URI, rather than having to go by the search form.

Look for more on using APIs in next week’s Tutorial Tuesday!

Tutorial Tuesday: Feed bundles

MakeUseOf has a clear, simple tutorial for creating feed bundles in Google Reader, including some ideas for presenting the bundles to your community.

Google Reader gives you several ways to share bundles, letting anyone read the aggregated content or subscribe to the feed.? I added a link to our feed bundle in the sidebar of this blog, and can now present a stream of information from NEASIS&T on Twitter and the ASIS&T blog.

I can imagine libraries gathering information for their communities by creating bundles from town websites or academic departments, or promoting the library by creating bundles from internal blogs.

Which feeds would you bundle for your community?? Try it out, and send us your links!