Tuesday, November 25, 2014

LibGuides Project Update

Here's the latest on the the reorganization project for the LibGuides.

Since we will be migrating to Version 2 in the not-too-distant future, we have decided to hold off on trying to develop a new template in Version 1 (why re-do guides now and then re-do them again next Summer?). So I am going to start working on design ideas using Version 2 features. Ward is going to contact Springshare to find out when we will be migrating to the newer version (which does have some cool new design features).

That said, if you are interested in developing a new guide, go ahead; just remember that we will be asking you to migrate the content into a new template in a few months. Also, please continue to review your existing guides to keep them current.

On a semi-related issue, Springshare is also coming out with a Version 2 of LibAnswers. I believe it is still in the beta phase, so we will probably not be switching to that for a while.

Thank you, and have a pleasant Thanksgiving.

FP (on behalf of the Tech. Working Group)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Twilight of the LAC Reference Desk Computers

It's no secret that the PCs at the reference desk are overdue for replacement.  The computer mounted on the curve of the reference desk facing the entrance was up to its usual tricks at opening, requiring multiple attempts at start-up before finally booting; this process took a full fifteen minutes, which is slightly longer then usual.  While I'm used to that process being balky, I'm not used to Firefox completely freezing, which happened three times this morning.  The first two times it froze pretty much catastrophically, to the point where I couldn't even open the task manager and had to give it a hard reboot; the third time I was able to close the program before it froze the computer.  

So, tl;dr:  don't use Firefox on the computer in the front of the reference desk.  You might not want to use it on the other one, either.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Research Guides - Changes in the works

So, the Technology Work Group has started discussing plans to make some changes in how we develop and maintain our LibGuides. These are potentially very useful tools, and our students DO access them quite a bit (we have 3 guides with over 1000 views this year). We are hoping to streamline the process to make them easier for us to make & maintain, and easier for students to use.

We are looking at a three-pronged approach:

1. Develop some basic How-to guides (eg, How to find books, How use Reserves, etc). Then each subject guide can just link to these, rather than each librarian re-inventing the wheel with every guide.

2. Streamline the lay-out of our subject-based guides. Sometimes we fall into the trap of trying to give our patrons TOO MUCH information. Some of our guides have gotten a bit cluttered. Students can get overwhelmed if there is too much to read on any given web-page.

3. Try to identify gaps in our subject guides. We need to focus on serving all our departments, and some seem to have fallen into cracks.

Colin is taking the lead on this project, but it is something that is going to require a LOT of hands.

More about this in the future.



Long Beach City College is featured on the PBS Newshour:


Monday, September 15, 2014

Libraries and Millennials - Pew Research Report

An interesting article on how Millennials (16-29 year olds) view the public library and its services. A point from the Report to ponder:

Despite their embrace of technology, 62% of Americans under age 30 agree there is “a lot of useful, important information that is not available on the internet,” compared with 53% of older Americans who believe that. 

I wonder if this stat would be the same for Southern California Millennials.  What do you think?

The Report can be found on the site of the Pew Research Internet Project.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

The future of the CSU system, and by extension, the Community College system

Interesting article from the LA Times:


TL:DR - The California STAR Act (SB 1440) guarantees acceptance to the Cal State University system to any student who completes an appropriate associates degree at a California community college. This of course means an increase of transfer students which CSU says will mean a decrease in space for incoming freshmen since the state will not increase its budget enough. This could -in the hazy future- lead to a situation where CSU (and UC system) does not admit ANY freshmen, but rather serves as an exclusively upper-division college.

So, the community colleges become the only public post-high school education for the entire state of California. And are OUR budgets going to be up to the challenge? Sounds like a lot of online classes to me.

Any thoughts? Feel free to have your say in the comments.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Copyright article

Please take a minute to review this article, “Can I copy this for my student: Clearing up some copyright misconceptions,” in the California Educator Magazine, August, Vol. 19, Issue 1.

This article is relevant to our students’ needs.

Here’s a link to the magazine: