Saturday, March 19, 2011

A scholar from Spain finds the UNCG Ayn Rand Collections useful

By Sha Li Zhang, April 26, 2010

I met Dr. José Rodolfo Hernández Carrión in late March 2010 at a chili party at the Casa Chu hosted by Dr. Clara Chu, Professor and Chair of the LIS Department at UNCG. As a librarian, I naturally asked Dr. Hernández what he thought about the UNCG Libraries’ collections in helping his research needs at UNCG. Without hesitation, Dr. Hernández told me that he was very happy with the Ayn Rand Collections at the Libraries. It was one of reasons for him to visit UNCG in 2010.

Dr. Hernández is Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Valencia in Spain. As a visiting scholar, he came to UNCG on a three-month research journey in spring 2010. According to the announcement from the LIS Department which hosts the scholar at UNCG, Dr. Hernández conducts research on Economics Education for Change: Internet 2.0 and New Pedagogies in Teaching Economics. He studies social media, information and communication technologies (ICTs), and learns management systems and new pedagogies, with the purpose of acquiring excellence in new strategies to more effectively teach and enhance economics’ curriculum in the Schools of Law and Economics at his home university.

Since 2007, the UNCG Libraries established the Ayn Rand Collections located on the second floor of the main building at Jackson Library. The collections were purchased through a BB&T fund donated to the Libraries. Dr. Hernández commented, “I found the area, where the collections were placed, very familiar and enjoyable. In fact I am using some books for my teaching right now in Valencia and I think that your library very well provided the materials for Critical Thinking Literacy in the Economic field.”

Dr. Hernández spent a lot of time at the Jackson Library. As a matter of fact, he has a small study on the seventh floor in the Tower. Dr. Hernández notes that “about my favorite place in the library is the seventh floor where you can find similar books for Critical Thinking in Economics. I think that the titles are very good. I didn't check missing things so I am finding items here, what there is, more than looking for specific titles here.”

With more and more scholarly publications on digital formats and on open access modes, Dr. Hernández also expects the library materials related his fields are available online. During his visit at UNCG, when Dr. Hernández started checking out more print books, he sent questions to me and asked why the Libraries do not provide pdf files or digital format for this kind of material. He assumed that these materials “should be free access right now and perhaps it could be attractive and at low cost to digitalize the old ones.” From the aspect of preservation, Dr. Hernandez notes that “we have to contribute to preserve these old books that are getting valuable by themselves as rare and ancient.” I explained to Dr. Hernandez that we have increased acquisitions funds in purchasing materials in digital formats, especially for electronic databases, datasets, and electronic journals. For monographic publications, we also increased spending on electronic books in past two years. While some of the digital monographs (published prior to 1923) are freely available on internet via Google and other vendors’ mass digitization projects, access to electronic monographs published after 1923 still need to be purchased (vs. freely available via internet) by the Libraries. According to the current copyright laws, we may follow the same pattern for some years to come. This may be different from European countries. Nonetheless, we made several rush orders on the requests from Dr. Hernandez. The titles that he suggested will be added to the Libraries’ collections soon.

More photos on Dr. Hernandez's visit at UNCG are at

Friday, March 18, 2011

LAUNC-CH 2011: networked individuals & networked libraries

On March 7 2011 I attended LAUNC-CH Annual Conference (Librarians' Association at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) at the Friday Center (yum, good food!) in Chapel Hill with this year's theme "Staying Vital in a Time of Change." My favorite part was the Keynote "Networked Individuals, Networked Libraries" by Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. His presentation slides are available online and worth checking out to see the latest data and details on social networking and technology adoption, the way people have changed the way they access, share and create info, and the way that libraries can adapt to this new information ecology to “stay vital” to their users. here are some of my notes from the session:

2/3 of Americans have broadband at home but digital divides are still really prevalent. Age still matters - after age 71 broadband drops off. Spanish speakers are less likely to be on broadband.

40% of people are now associated w/ religious groups that they did not grow up w. People are moving away from the family, small community,places where they grew up. They are developing their own beliefs and growing their own networked groups.

Wireless. Mobile. Fastest growing tech. 40-45% cell users surf internet on it. 55% own laptops up from 30% in 2006. Adults 57% use mobile Internet. But Hispanics and Blacks are higher users of cell than Whites. Prob more for money if they can't afford both. Rural is always lagging from urban regardless.

Apps world will rise and web will slowly die. Better for commercial world - you can sell them an app and learn more about the customer.

7%of adults own iPad type devices-up from 4% last year - and ebook readers growing too.

Info Ecosystem creates a sense of place and sense of presence. "Alone together" concept. Anywhere and any device. Contact people how we want, when we want, but on a social researcher perspective this is changing everything in how we related and communicate.
For libraries this changes not just collations but space - the world is becoming placeless! Be where your people are not hosting or expecting them to be in your place.

Social networking is growing to older adults too. Online videos growing, top area is comedy video. But second is news and educational. Older adults and women are top video creators. Online social networks and ubiquitous mobility. Libraries can be nodes in peoples network, to help them solve problems as well as learn from them too on what they want and need. Embedded librarians.
Expertise and influence in social networking has created amateur experts.

How networked information users are connecting:
  • Attention zones-hard to stay focused on one thing to get done . "Continuous partial attention." But also deep dives into info is possible, we all can become experts in any area. Info snacking (I love this term!) - quick 2-3 mins info snack, when you are waiting for something.
  • Media zones- social streams, toss a line in there every so often. Or try immersion like gaming. Creative participatory zone, libraries are adding to this creation. Study or work zones.
How networked information users reply on networks:
  • As sentries - word of mouth - from friends, login to facebook to see what friends are reading or doing, to share or ask opinions of them - what use to be city newspaper is now Facebook
  • Also as info evaluates- people go to their online "friends" - and ask friends is this true? and how much attention should I pay attention to it? what do you all think?
  • As forum for action- everybody's a publisher!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Time Management Workshop

Here are the slides from the Time Management/Project Planning workshop. Please let me know if you have any questions!