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.
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.
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.
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.
Many of us have to update our LibGuides to reflect current system changes. In LibGuides, there is an easy way to integrate information into your LibGuide that will update whenever the information changes.
I have created an unpublished LibGuide named "Template." Template has a collection of boxes with system information that you can use in your own guides. Currently there is a chat widget and a "Contact Us" box available(with phone/sms/email info).
Reusing content in LibGuides is easy:
Choose "Add new Box"
Select the "Reuse Existing Box" tab at the top of the modal dialog box
Select the template to reuse (In this case "template" by Ward Smith)
Select the box to reuse ("Ask a Librarian" or "Contact Us")
You can rename the box as you want or position it wherever it best fits in your LibGuide
Please Do not choose the "make a copy of this box" option. This will break the link to the original. If the information changes, you will have to manually correct it.
I will be adding new boxes in the future. A WorldCat search box would seem appropriate, and we could even embed subject terms in the search related to a specific Research Guide. If you have an idea, please contact me. I would prefer to keep the content centralized so that we can all update information when it changes.