Archive for May, 2007
The Humanities and Social Sciences Library (as it is officially known) may be used by anyone, but none of its 43 million items (including 15 million books) may be checked out. It’s a research library, and materials are always there when you want them because they can’t be checked out. And that’s a good thing, in my opinion.
The library has changed many times in the last 96 years and one of its newest additions is the rich and diverse digital collections, which includes several award-winning online exhibitions. Another recent development is the creation of the Education Department, which reaches out to the K-12 community by offering classes and workshops. Happy Anniversary, HSSL!!
The Pew Internet & American Life Project, which has been conducting research on how Americans use the Internet for several years now, recently released a report categorizing information and communication technology users. According to this report, 49% of Americans only use social networking sites occasionally. This includes blogs, IM, chat rooms, and sites like MySpace, Facebook and Flickr.
They categorize users into three main types: Elite, Middle-of-the-Road and Few Tech Assets. Each of these categories is broken down further. Elite users, which make up 31% of the population, are broken down into the following categories: Omnivores, Connectors, Lackluster Veterans and Productivity Enhancers.
Curious about what kind of user you are? Take the quiz, then read the report. It’s quick and easy and you’ll get results immediately.
One caveat though: I took it and it classified me as a Connector, which was a bit of a surprise, since I don’t own a cell phone. I think I’m a lackluster veteran, as depressing as that sounds. What’s your internet type? Let us know.
NJCU celebrates commencement today at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ. Nearly 1,600 students will graduate and their names will be announced. For more information, see the university’s official commencement site.
For memorable commencement speeches, take a look at this archive, which includes commencement speeches by Bono, Madelaine Albright, Desmond Tutu and Elie Wiesel.
Just as there are indexes for magazines and journals, which we at the library refer to as databases (but many students prefer to call search engines), the blogosphere has grown so rapidly (there are currently close to 70 million blogs in existence) that blog search engines have cropped up to help you find blog postings quickly.
The largest blog search engine is Technorati. Search for the tag NJCU to see how often NJCU is mentioned in posts, and what (some) people have to say about us. (Smaller blog search engines include Ice Rocket and Sphere.)
To get an idea of how faculty and students are using blogs to support the curriculum, read this EDUCAUSE report which illustrates practical ways in which educators can use blogging. Blogging provides students with a range of opportunities including chances to:
- practice writing in English or another language
- see their peers’ work and respond to it
- turn in and access assignments at any time
- be creative with their blog and postings in an informal setting
- interact with other students through comments
One NJCU Arts professor has used a blog to highlight her student’s work. An NJCU staff member uses her blog to explore developing a blog. Other NJCU students have set up blogs to accompany their course work in Educational Technology. See examples here and here. While I agree that it’s great to use blogs for educational purposes, I sort of think their creators might consider deleting them once the course has ended. Otherwise, we risk clogging up the blogosphere with potentially millions of blogs which were only actively maintained for a semester or two. What do you think? Are blogs truly useful in education or just a passing fad?
Right now many of us are in the midst of end-of-semester busyness, whatever that may entail. But when the semester is finally over next week and you’re looking for an interesting read take a look at the Best of Technology Writing 2006 from the University of Michigan Press and the University of Michigan Library.
In the intro, Brendan Koerner, who compiled the volume, talks about wanting to select ” . . . stories that may ostensibly be about bits or motherboards but never lose sight of the human element at their core . . . ”
Farhad Manjoo writes about Google Books; Steven Johnson, who spoke at convocation a few years ago, writes about how the Web is like a rainforest; and David Bell writes about how the Web has influenced scholarship. These are short and easy to read. For more information about the series, take a look at the intro page.
As you’re running around from one final to the next, take a minute to appreciate how lovely our campus is, especially at this time of year. I took a little stroll during my lunch hour the other day and captured some lovely scenes, both inside and outside the library. Can you tell where this was taken?
To see the other photos, go to our Flickr page.