Library and Information Science Syllabi

I’ve been focused (and procrastinating) on my DIY education by finding LIS syllabi for the past several months. Then over the long Labor Day weekend I decided to turn my hobby into something I can share with the world at Library and Information Science Syllabi.

This is already on its  second theme!

I’m trying to toe the line and avoid receiving cease-and-desist letters by merely linking to the syllabus after calling out the following information: instructor, school, semester taught, course description, required textbook, and a link to the syllabus. Of course, this limits some future options as the syllabi may be taken offline at any moment. However, by capturing the core components, I hope the site remains useful for fellow lifelong learners. I am already starting to see patterns for the most common textbooks.

Therefore, I am humbled that on the site’s sixth day of the site’s existence to have Anna-Sophie from Hack Library School (HLS) notice the site already:

Amanda Goodman has started a really important new site, pragmatically titled Library & Information Science Syllabi, to act as a repository for, well, syllabi from library and information science courses. I think this is the start of an excellent and much-needed tool for transparency that can help prospective students evaluate programs, offer data for crucial research on LIS education, and start to hold LIS programs accountable for providing quality courses.

Thank you, Anna-Sophie for the nice write-up!

My Interview with Not Safe 4 Libraries

Thanks, Michael Schofield for the chat! We spoke on the phone for about 90 minutes last week discussing what I do as a UX librarian, how I found my job, a bit about the future of libraries (I mostly rattled off a list of things that I’ve read elsewhere since it’s all a giant melting pot in my head now), and I revealed what my #bigproject is.

Check out the podcast interview!

Note: I’m taking the Nicole Kidman and Johnny Depp approach and not listening to this for now. AKA I’m too embarrassed.

Planning a Class via Google Docs

The ALA Techsource class that I am teaching with Polly-Alida Farrington starts next month. Polly and I are using Google Docs to write the class content. An overview of the process so far:

  • Polly created a folder in Google Docs to hold all the documents for our class.
  • For each section that we write, we start a new document and give it a name corresponding to the week of class.
  • I am using headers (h2 and h4 respectively) to organize a document’s structure.
  • When a section is finished, I add to the end of the document title to indicate that the document is for review.
  • To control who is over which section, Polly has created a document about the class outline. I’m adding notes here and there in bold with my initials to ask for clarification.
  • I also created a document to keep track of stylization, major section titles which may be used repeatedly (e.g. More Information, Advanced Skills) and the timeline.

We ran into each other on one document and had a short “hello!” “hello!” moment of commentary across the topic of the document. Otherwise, it is strange writing out the class text since I am more familiar with screencasts and in-person teaching.

In Chunks

Today I’m posting earlier to get it out of my system so I can then go back to my NaNoWriMo project.

First up, I was darting around the first 30 minutes checking my email, removing spam from the website, and then quickly designed a new sign to replace one which was a twisted mess by the front desk. In the remaining time I started the process of pulling some video off the tester camera I had left in last night’s program to see how it did capturing audio. Within minutes I felt my frown slopping to my knees and then onto the floor where my chair’s wheel rolled on top of it. The audio was completely wasted. I have some testing audio from October 25th to compare it to (that one was better), but I’ll do another test later to see if the audio equipment has failed. If so, I will have to write a report about it and then work with my boss on resolving the issue. I’m pretty unhappy about this outcome.

Next up, I worked with the other UX person to install GIMP onto the thirteen computers in our tech classroom. FYI, GIMP takes forever to open. I’ll be interested in the class feedback. In between updates, we helped out the person watching the computer rooms. While we were at it, we then went ahead and upgraded Firefox to get rid of the nag screen. An overview of those steps:

  • Sign off as patron then as admin.
  • Close the client control program.
  • Download Firefox updates.
  • Reboot with saved changes.
  • In patron mode, close the client control program.
  • Configure Firefox (saves nothing, sets homepage to the Library’s, don’t check for updates).
  • Log off as patron and back on as Admin.
  • Check the configurations.
  • Reboot with saved changes.
  • In patron mode, close the client control program or sign in as yourself then check Firefox.

Continue reading →

Friday Catch-Up

Since I’m working my way through National Novel Writing Month, I haven’t been too eager to write up my daily what-I-did-at-work posts. So here’s an overview of last Friday:

Spent way more time than necessary trying to fix the panels after seeing that the program was showing a wildcard assortment of panels. When my boss came down and we walked through the process, it turns out that what I thought needed to be done needed to be in reverse. The documentation for the digital signage program is extremely weak, the company offers no online FAQ/forum so clients can share their knowledge base, so you have to rely on their slow staff emails when you ask for help.

Helped out in the printing lab trying to resize patron’s prints on the photocopier. I got to share knowledge on how to use the laminating machine with a coworker which was a bonus. Hopefully, the hardware ninja can help teach us how to get the photocopiers to auto-scale images to the size of the paper so we don’t waste time/paper trying to guess.

I am participating in a PLA ebooks webinar on Tuesday, so I spent some time with the other speakers trying out the equipment. I still need to figure out what I’m going to say! I am relying on institutional knowledge from my coworkers to help answer questions.

Cleared out the Help Desk tickets. The system we use does not automatically notify us when a new ticket is sent in, so we’ll get surprises when people burst into the UX office wanting to know why haven’t we fixed X yet. I’m hoping that we’ll be switching to another system soon!

Work through emails, set up more meeting plans (I need to work on the website redesign this month but oh, the meetings and classes!), and manage Twitter a bit. Finished the day up doing a variety of tasks.

Using WordPress to Build Library Websites eCourse

The class that I have been hinting about is finally available! I will be working with Polly-Alida Farrington to teach a practical, hands-on version of her book that she wrote with Kyle Jones. It’s a small world since Kyle used to work at my library in reference! This past month at Internet Librarian, I got to meet Polly face-to-face where we had a great chat about this course. We will be covering some basic information that will get you familiar with the bolts of using WordPress and specifically how to use it for library websites.

My WordPress experience besides running this severely design-neglected blog (easier to clean someone else’s house than your own!) is having co-designed, built, and managed the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s website. It is currently being successfully managed by new webmasters. My professional portfolio is also on WordPress. I have also taught a others in face-to-face and virtually how to use WordPress. In fact, it’s come to my attention in recent weeks, that library patrons have been very interested in creating their own websites. I sent them a link to my WordPress.com introductory video and was then given a follow-up that they had started their own website!

My favorite WordPress + Librarians resource is the WordPress and Librarians group page on Facebook.

Stanford’s Introduction to Databases Week 1

I am about half-way through the videos for the first week (due date 10/16) for the Introduction to Database course. The class is open and available for free to all who wish to spend their fall learning about databases. On their Twitter account, they mention that they have 70,000 people signed up. The class is taught by Professor Jennifer Widom.

Class Structure
The class consists of two primary portions: watching videos and taking quizzes. In the videos, Professor Widom presents slides (available for download as PDF or PPT) with the pertinent information typed on them. As she talks, she writes on the slides in different colors to highlight certain aspects. Her head occasionally bobs in and out of existence in the lower right corner. I find it distracting to watch someone looking off-camera at a monitor that lights up their eyes like smoky lamps. The only quiz I have come across was embedded right into the video. You are given multiple chances to answer and then offered an explanation. There seems to be a glitch since I have only come across one quiz while my fiancé has had more quizzes appear. If you have one of the four suggested textbooks, you can follow along in more depth.

Critique
I do not own any of the textbooks which might be hindering me. I find the videos within a section to be fluid as I go from each one, but otherwise the videos jump around. For instance, at the end of the relational databases video, she talks about her recommendations on watching the relational algebra and SQL videos. Then when you go to the next set of videos, you are brought to XML. The other two topics are further along.

My Study Method
I am using Microsoft OneNote to screencap slides with information that is new to me. I am also annotating a little bit defining concepts in further depth. The vocabulary that is sticking out most to me right now is tuple = row.

Professional Presentation Workshop Notes

This workshop was action-packed with lots of good tips! One attendee reminded us to hide our Favorites on various websites, such as Youtube. I came home and fixed that ASAP! An interesting discussion that evolved was whether HR and hiring managers are too quick to judge highly talented people who may have an appearance outside of the norm. What are your thoughts?