Monthly Archives: February 2007

Online Northwest 2007 Conference Report

General notes and thoughts about Online Northwest 2007 (Feb 16, 2007), by Elizabeth Nielsen

OSU Libraries were well represented on both sides of the podium. I attended the keynote and 3 sessions A full program summary is available.

Highlights (take-aways) of the sessions I attended:

Keynote by Stephen Abram

  • added values of libraries (and librarians) is to improve the “quality of the question” and the user experience
  • Google (commercial search engines) can answer “who, what, when, where” questions; libraries do best at answering “how” and “why” questions
  • in academic setting, library “instruction” needs to be linked at the “lesson” level (assignment, project, or task)

Session One: Creating Online Library Tutorials with Macromedia Captivate: Process and Product (Karen Munro, UC Berkeley)

  • strongly recommends flash files (*.swf) for delivery of tutorials — are seamless for user
  • keep tutorials short (3 minutes max; 1 minute may be better)
  • Captivate now an Adobe product
  • develop tutorials that can be used for a variety of purposes (across classes, courses, or disciplines)
  • adding audio doubles the development time
  • storyboard each action and write script
  • importance of tying tutorial to an assignment
  • put tutorial at the point of need
  • her powerpoint
  • sample tutorial (in beta testing)
  • her own “post mortem” of the session

Session Two: Observing Student Researchers in their Native Habitat (John Law, Proquest)

nothing astounding here

  • qualitative research (observing students doing research for class research project) and quantitative (survey)
  • used Facebook to place ad to solicit research participants (didn’t mention library or Proquest in ad)
  • many students started their research at course website
  • little evaluation of whether resource was appropriate for the specific task (used what they were familiar/comfortable with)
  • strong brand recognition
  • student researchers chose library resources because librarian visited class; professor required or suggested it; or brand awareness
  • students use google for primary research; to supplement research (make sure they didn’t miss anything); quick reference to get background information; or to locate known resources (known websites; major newspapers; library resources)
  • why students chose google for primary research: unfamiliar with library e-resources; bad experience with library (trying to search catalog for article; authentication issues; e-resources web page unclear)
  • students indicated do NOT use myspace or facebook for coursework or research — might use for group projects
  • once in library databases, users don’t have difficulty conducting research
  • full text is prerequisite; abstracts are essential

Session Three: Digital Archiving on a Shoestring: Development of the Oregon Documents Repository (Kyle Banerjee and Arlene Weible, Oregon State Library)

presentation outline
document repository

  • difficulty of distinguishing between publications and public records (perhaps a reason to use same repository for both)
  • use MARC records for description/metadata — allow integration of description of paper/electronic document
  • returning native file format not essential; most important to retain content
  • not trying to preserve the experience of using the original format
  • design determined by workflow

Archives in the Ancient World

Getting back to the classics & connecting to the ancient origins of the profession

Archives in the Ancient World.jpg

Archives in the Ancient World is a great introductory text for those researching the history of ancient archives. As the first general survey of archival techniques and institutions, Ernst Posner’s book explores the relationships between ancient archives and the organizations that created them from the Near East to the Neo-Parthian Empire.

Before its publication in 1972, archives professionals knew little about the practices of their Egyptian, Greek and Roman predecessors. In this work, Posner encourages us to look to the history of archives and records administration to guide us into the future. While his book is rich with historical details, he suggests that our reflection and use of this history should be practical, rather than just a function of our own curiosity. In our ever-changing profession, this book challenges archivists to apply historical background to our own experience as one way to enrich our professional practice.