Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wikipedia in the classroom

I was reading an article about using Wikipedia as a part of classroom projects (having students create or update an article, for example). It sounds like Wikipedia itself has a page with ideas and examples of ways university classes are using wikipedia:

It sounds like an interesting idea for information literacy classes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

University gives away iPhones

Abilene Christian University is giving away iPhones to all incoming freshmen. (Similar to how some schools gave away laptops.) Some people are criticizing it as a publicity stunt, but they say it was as a result of studying how technology could be integrated into the university. They have a video on their site that's supposed to show how it would work with classes:
I tried to download it but it wasn't working... Maybe someone else would have better luck!

Online book clubs

My sister was telling me that she just signed up for an online book club at her public library. Each day, they send her an email with a 5-minute excerpt from one of their online books. After a week, you'll have read 2-3 chapters.

Here's a link to her library's site on it:

It reminded me of an article I just read in the Chronicle of Higher Education talking about how fast-paced students today are. They try to do everything at once. The author was bemoaning this fact, and urged professors to help their students slow down and focus on something. But he also talked about other professors that do work to fit with these new types of students. I can see both sides. From a library perspective, it seems like we do have to recognize that people do live in a fast-paced world, and reading five minutes a day will be more than most people do!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Google Books in the OPAC

Google announced today the release of a Google Book Search API (Application Programming Interface) that allows you to display links from bib. records to the Google Book version of the book using standard numbers such as ISBN, LCCN, and OCLC number.

You can see an implementation of this API at Northwestern here (look for the "Preview of Google Books" text under the title).

You can also read more about this on the Librarything blog including how this API will be implemented on LT.

Google also announced static URLs based on standard numbers for linking to titles in Google books. This will make lists like the one on our Faith and Film page much easier to do.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Stephen Abram at NSLS

Today Rebekah and I got to hear Stephen Abram talk at NSLS. Here are some highlights that stood out to me:

  • Libraries need to get better at communicating what they do and why it is important.
  • We need to align ourselves with the technology users are using not what we are comfortable with (or think we can afford)
  • We will probably not have DVDs around much longer
  • Much of what we think we know about groups of people probably isn't correct eg.:
    • People don't read as much as they use to (they read more)
    • Women don't play video games (he said the avg gamer is a woman...)
    • Only young people play video games etc. (and she's 31 years old)
  • Abram suggested we should be planning for the Facebook generation not the Google genteration
  • We should ask people why they use/value libraries - often library staff get this wrong
The slides of the presentation are here.