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Archive for November, 2013

Visual Literacy Competency Standards

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Visual Literacy Array based on ACRL's Visual Literacy Standards

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) recently released Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. According to the standards “visual literacy is a set of abilities that enables an individual to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media. Visual literacy skills equip a learner to understand and analyze the contextual, cultural, ethical, aesthetic, intellectual, and technical components involved in the production and use of visual materials. A visually literate individual is both a critical consumer of visual media and a competent contributor to a body of shared knowledge and culture.”

In education today emphasis has been placed on many forms of literacy. As more visual and media elements are incorporated into education, visual literacy will continue to play a role in education. Today’s learning environments are rich with media and visual elements. Digital technology is also increasing access to visual content. Through the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices students also have increased ability to create their own photos and post visual content online. Although students are engaging more and more with visual media, they may not have increased visual literacy skills.

According to the standards put forth by the ACR, “visual literacy education is typically a collaborative endeavor, involving faculty, librarians, curators, archivists, visual resources professionals, and learning technologists. Libraries play an important role in this process by selecting and providing quality image resources, developing research and subject guides for images, teaching image research strategies, and raising awareness of the ethical use of visual media. Libraries are also established partners in working with students to develop the critical thinking and evaluation skills essential to participation in visual culture.”

Also addressed in the new standards is accessibility of visual materials for individuals who have visual impairments. The standards stress the importance of the use of assistive technologies which include audio descriptions of visual materials.

A complete overview of the standards as well as additional information about visual literacy can be found on the ACRL’s Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education webpage.  Librarians and educators are encouraged to review the content and incorporate visual literacy into information literacy instruction and interactions.

Turkey Time!

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Autumn Cornucopia

It’s that time of year again! Cooking meals for friends and family is one of the best parts of the holidays–be sure you know how to do it safely.

The four biggest health issues when preparing a turkey include:

  • Thawing
  • Preparing
  • Stuffing
  • Cooking

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven. It’s also important to be aware that turkeys must be thawed at a safe temperature; between 40 and 140°F is when foodborne bacteria multiply the fastest!

As always, be mindful that preparing raw poultry includes the risk of spreading bacteria. Preparation areas (including hands, utensils, and work surfaces) should always be thoroughly cleaned before and after working with the turkey!

From the CDC: “For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook the stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole dish. ” If you decide to cook your stuffing inside the turkey, however, use a food thermometer to make sure it’s been cooked to a safe temperature.

When cooking a turkey, be sure that you use a food thermometer to guarantee that it’s been cooked thoroughly and to a safe temperature (minimum internal temperature of 165°F) . If you are unfamiliar with using a food thermometer, get familiar with them here and learn to calibrate thermometers that haven’t been used in a while.

For more information on food preparation safety, visit the following resources.

Foodsafety.gov — Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures

Medline Plus — Food Safety

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service – Leftovers and Food Safety 

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — 4 Basic Steps to Food Safety at Home 

Project Spotlight: Environmental Health Student Portal

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Guest author: David Duggar, MLIS, Reference Librarian and Will Olmstadt, MSLS, MPH, Associate Director, LSU Health Shreveport, Health Sciences Library

David Duggar Presents at a ConferenceIn 2011 the National Library of Medicine debuted the  The Environmental Health Student Portal.

In May 2012 the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport Library (LSUHSC-S) received an Express Outreach Award to promote the Environmental Health Student Portal (EHSP) through the Caddo Parish public school science teachers and librarians. Caddo Parish had 23 public schools covering 7th grade life science, high school biology, or environmental science. Working with the District Science Supervisors and the Supervisor of Libraries for Caddo Parish Schools, 22 science teachers and librarians from 15 middle and high schools received in-service training during the June 18-19 Explore the Common Core Mini-Conference. The new portal’s purpose was displayed on the homepage, Connecting Middle School Students to Environmental Health Information, and the site defined environmental health as the interrelationship between human health and the environment, either natural or manmade. The online reliable environmental health information resources and career information would assist in meeting the new common core objectives coming to Louisiana.

Attendees were encouraged to work as a team (teacher and librarian together) to create a classroom program that would use the EHSP, and submit it for a one-hour share-a-thon presentation at the November 2012 Joint Louisiana Science Teachers Association – Louisiana Association of Teachers of Mathematics (LSTA-LATM) Conference. Registration for teachers was paid for the meeting and presenters would have a chance to receive an iPad for their classroom or library. One school participated in the team classroom project for the fall conference and another school requested to conduct the team classroom project in the spring semester.

David and Charles at an exhibit booth

The LSUHSC-S librarians exhibited the EHSP over 15.5 hours at the November 12-14 Joint LSTA-LATM Conference talking to educators from a minimum of 14 parishes in Louisiana. The one-hour presentation on the EHSP was given on the 14th.

A surprise outcome from exhibiting was the request from the members of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to come to the February 22-23, 2013 Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium in Baton Rouge to present and exhibit on the portal, specifically mentioning ToxTown.  The LSUHSC-S Librarians exhibited the EHSP over 8 hours during the two days and talked to environmental health and science educators from a minimum of 12 parishes. On the 23rd a one hour presentation was given incorporating all of the information and materials from the share-a-thon presentation.

The last planned method of promoting the Environmental Health Student Portal was the creation of metric rulers at the request of the District Science Supervisors inscribed with the name and URL of the portal. These were given to educators for use in their classrooms at all of these activities during the 2012-2013 year.

LSUHSC-S Librarians have been asked to continue to exhibit at future LSTA Conferences and Environmental Education Symposia.

NLM’s New Traveling Exhibition

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

NLM Exhibition_From DNA to BeerThe National Library of Medicine’s Exhibition Program has a new traveling banner exhibition: From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry. The exhibition explores some of the processes, problems, and potential inherent in technologies that use microorganisms for health and commercial purposes. Over the past two centuries, scientists, in partnership with industry, have developed techniques using and modifying life forms like yeast, molds, and bacteria, to create a host of new therapies and produce better foods and beverages. The exhibition illustrates the history of this dynamic relationship among microbes, medicine, technology, and industry, which has spanned centuries.

This newest exhibition is now available for booking.  More information about the traveling exhibition can be found on the booking page at:  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/about/exhibition/fromdnatobeer-bookinfo.html along with links to the online exhibition at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/fromdnatobeer/index.html.

For more information on all of the National Library of Medicine’s Exhibitions, go to: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/about/exhibition/exhibitions.html .

Social Media for Crisis Communications

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Last week HowTo.gov hosted a free webinar devoted to social media communication use in crisis situations. Social Media for Crisis Communication; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly presenter Nicole Stillwell from the United States Department of State provided ten best practices for using social media during a crisis. In this presentation Stillwell presented a crisis as not only a natural disaster or unexpected event but also a public relations crisis.

An overview of the 10 best practices for the use of social media include:

  1. Cease Normal Operations – Halt any scheduled posts that were to be sent out once a crisis has been identified. Sending scheduled messages can make your organization appear uncaring of unaware of a crisis event.
  2. Acknowledge the situation immediately – Being a leader in the face of a crisis is important to earning and keeping your organization’s credibility. Acknowledging a situation as soon as it happens, even if it is a public relations related crisis, is best.
  3. Get your message to as many platforms as possible – Consider the use of new Twitter alerts to help send your messages out to the widest possible audience. Post messages about the event through all social media channels your organization uses.
  4. Be prepared to address vulnerabilities – Crises can bring increased attention to social media accounts. Be prepared to address or report hacking, bugs, or glitches.
  5. Find the right balance – Don’t change the content of a message, only edit so that is appropriate for social media or link to full or detailed information if necessary. Ensure that staff can continue operational tasks while balancing with social media content delivery.
  6. Don’t participate in a conversation when your brand doesn’t belong – Trying to insert your organization’s name into a conversation using hashtags to capitalize on publicity is not appropriate.
  7. Don’t feed the trolls – Social media accounts are seen by the public as the official voice of the organization. Engaging in debates with or getting defensive about comments to your social media accounts can be viewed negatively. Stay professional.
  8. Correct; don’t delete – If something has gone wrong on any of the social media accounts you manage don’t delete the posts or accounts. Deleting information or an account is viewed as suspect behavior and may harm your organization’s credibility.
  9. Listen to your audience – Social media outlets may provide your organization with unfiltered information from witness. Be sure to listen but also verify information through community managers.
  10. If you have to disengage; say so – If you are unable to updated a social media account for your organization as the result of a crisis, perhaps staff are needed elsewhere or our organization must close, provide a public statement on social media outlets with information about what is going on and when you expect to begin updating the account again.

Social media is an empowering tools that connects organizations and the public, often times to vital information. Proper use of social media in a crisis can ensure that your organization remains a credible source for information.

HowTo.gov provides free webinars and recordings on a variety of technology topics. Visit the DigitalGov University Course Catalog for a full list of topics.

Social Media Icons

Data Management Curriculum Now Available

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Ones and zeros

The Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has recently released the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum which offers openly available materials that librarians can use to teach research data management best practices to students in the sciences, health sciences and engineering fields, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The materials in the curriculum are openly available, with lecture notes and slide presentations that librarians teaching RDM can customize for their particular audiences. The curriculum also has a database of real life research cases that can be integrated into the curriculum to address discipline specific data management topics.

Each of the curriculum’s six online instructional modules aligns with the National Science Foundation’s data management plan recommendations and addresses universal data management challenges. Included in the curriculum is a collection of actual research cases that provides a discipline specific context to the content of the instructional modules. These cases come from a range of research settings such as clinical research, biomedical labs, an engineering project, and a qualitative behavioral health study. Additional research cases will be added to the collection on an ongoing basis. Each of the modules can be taught as a stand-alone class or as part of a series of classes. Instructors are welcome to customize the content of the instructional modules to meet the learning needs of their students and the policies and resources at their institutions.

 

 

Top Strategic Tech Trends for 2014

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Images of items on a desk top

Leading information technology (IT) research advisory company Gartner recently revealed their Top 10  Strategic Technology Trends for 2014. According to Gartner a strategic technology is “one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years.” Included in the factors defined as significant are the potential to disrupt current IT or business models, the need for financial investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

Strategic technology may be an emerging technology that offers benefits to early adopters or it may be an existing technology which has matured or become suitable for a wider range of uses. Overall, strategic technology “impact an organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.”

According to Garner Analyst David Cearley, “the convergence of four powerful forces: social, mobile, cloud and information, continues to drive change and create new opportunities…”

The top ten strategic technology trends for 2014 include:

  • Mobile Device Diversity and Management – The growing variety of devices, computing styles, user contexts and interaction paradigms will make “everything everywhere” strategies unachievable. The unexpected consequence of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is a doubling or even tripling of the size of the mobile workforce. This is placing tremendous strain on IT and Finance organizations. Enterprise policies on employee-owned hardware usage need to be thoroughly reviewed and, where necessary, updated and extended. Balance flexibility with confidentiality and privacy requirements.
  • Mobile Apps and Applications – Improved JavaScript performance will begin to push HTML5 and the browser as a mainstream enterprise application development environment. Gartner recommends that developers focus on creating expanded user interface models including richer voice and video that can connect people in new and different ways. Apps will continue to grow while applications will begin to shrink. For the next few years no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several.
  • The Internet of Everything – Imagine digitizing the most important products, services and assets. The combination of data streams and services created by digitizing everything creates four basic usage models – Manage; Monetize; Operate; Extend. These four basic models can be applied to any of the four “internets” (people, things, information and places).
  • Hybrid Cloud and IT as Service Broker – Bringing together personal clouds and external private cloud services is an imperative. Enterprises should design private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind and make sure future integration/interoperability is possible.
  • Cloud/Client Architecture – Cloud/client computing models are shifting. In the cloud/client architecture, the client is a rich application running on an Internet-connected device, and the server is a set of application services hosted in an increasingly elastically scalable cloud computing platform. The increasingly complex demands of mobile users will drive apps to demand increasing amounts of server-side computing and storage capacity.
  • The Era of Personal Cloud – The personal cloud era will mark a power shift away from devices toward services. Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared from the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself.
  • Software Defined Anything – Software-defined anything (SDx) is a collective term that encapsulates the growing market momentum for improved standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability driven by automation inherent to cloud computing, DevOps and fast infrastructure provisioning.
  • Web-Scale IT – Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting by rethinking positions across several dimensions. Large cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc., are re-inventing the way IT in which IT services can be delivered.  Their capabilities go beyond scale in terms of sheer size to also include scale as it pertains to speed and agility.
  • Smart Machines – A proliferation of contextually aware, intelligent personal assistants, smart advisors (such as IBM Watson), advanced global industrial systems and public availability of early examples of autonomous vehicles. The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT. New systems that begin to fulfill some of the earliest visions for what information technologies might accomplish — doing what we thought only people could do and machines could not —are now finally emerging.
  • 3-D Printing – Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 75 percent in 2014 followed by a near doubling of unit shipments in 2015. The consumer market hype has made organizations aware of the fact 3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing.

It is important to note that while many of the trends listed here are identified on the 2014 list as strategic technology they have the ability to begin making an impact during the coming year on businesses and IT departments and continue to evolve moving forward.

Understanding more about how these technologies will impact businesses and consumer behavior will be key to developing tools and service models for the future.

e-Collection Publication Model for PubMed

Monday, November 11th, 2013

A new publication model (PubModel) called Electronic-eCollection was recently introduced for PubMed citations from electronic-only journals. The PubModel value is carried in the journal citation and is used for the citation display in PubMed. The new value Electronic-eCollection means an article is published electronically on a specific date (this date must include year, month, and day in numerical format) and then is also associated with an electronic collection date (akin to an issue; this date can be a year or a year and month, but never a year, month, and day).

PubMed ecollection model

 

 

New Titles Added to Lending Library

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Two book covers are shown

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region added two new books to the Lending Library. Among the new titles are another book on video creation which provides many good tips and best practices for video creation and a book on supervising library staff.

Fundamentals of Library Supervision (Second Edition)
Author: Joan Giesecke and Beth McNeil
Description: Two experienced library managers explain how to create a productive workplace as they weave expert advice and commentary into an easy-to-use resource. This revised edition focuses on daily, real-world practices offering

  • Specific strategies for new supervisory staff
  • Hundreds of tips for encouraging a positive work ethic, maintaining productivity, and building teamwork
  • Proven advice on practical supervisory issues like hiring, firing, interviewing, and training
  • Policies and procedures that maintain fairness while addressing potential legal landmines

Guiding supervisors through the intricate process of managing others, this comprehensive handbook addresses the fundamental issues facing new managers. It also serves as a welcome refresher and reference for experienced managers facing new challenges in this complex and changing environment.

Rapid Video Development for Trainers: How to Create Learning Videos Fast and Affordably
Author: Jonathan Halls
Description: Rapid Video Development for Trainers meets the needs of companies and individuals who are thinking about or have dabbled in video production. Although producing focused, high quality video is well within the capability of nearly every development professional, the skill sets required to do so have not traditionally fallen within most trainers’ job descriptions. This is where Rapid Video Development for Trainers comes in: a comprehensive tutorial covering every aspect of web-based video development, this book provides both the theoretical overview and the nuts-and-bolts instructions for creating professional quality video quickly, easily, and inexpensively.

Written specifically for trainers by a 20-year media industry veteran who has worked in Europe, America, and Asia, Rapid Video Development for Trainers explains in clear, nontechnical language everything needed to create exceptionally instructive, cost-effective videos.

Some of the topics discussed include:

  • the opportunities presented to trainers by the advent of inexpensive digital technology
  • the principles, psychology, and philosophies behind effective video
  • what constitutes and appropriate situation in which to utilize video as a training medium
  • the various, distinct layers (visual, spoken word, music and sound effects, and more) that comprise an effective, high quality video
  • techniques for using effects to enhance-rather than detract from -the impact of your video
  • designing and implementing an efficient, productive workflow
  • thorough coverage of the tools you’ll need, with a heavy emphasis on the most cost-effective software and hardware for your project
  • detailed input on how to shoot great video, with sections on lighting, framing, and safety
  • important tips on basic digital video camera care and use
  • how to edit your video for maximum clarity, consistency, and aesthetics
  • a full chapter on the digital technology involved with putting your video on the web
  • a summary 12-point plan for achieving success with your training video

At a time when training and development budgets are being decreased, staff must be able to do more with less. And, since web-based video is rapidly assuming a critical role in corporate training, the ability to create highly effective video in-house is crucial. Rapid Video Development for Trainers is an invaluable educational resource for every aspect of professional-quality, cost-effective web video production.

Not All Digital Natives Connected

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Measuring the Information Society 2013

The term digital native has been on the rise for several years. According to the International Telecommunication Union report Measuring the Information Society 2013 report the term digital native is used to describe “young people who were born into the digital age and are growing up using information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their daily lives.”

Discussion about digital natives and digital immigrants, “individuals born before the existence of digital technology and adopted it to some extent later in life”, continues and this study was aimed at revealing the number of digital natives who are part of the total population.

Because digital natives are defined as being born into the digital age, it stands to reason that the majority of those born in recent generations such as millennials would be considered digital natives. However, according to the study only about 30% of the world’s youth population (ages 15 – 24) have been active online for at least five years. Overall, there are approximately 363 million digital natives out of a world population of nearly 7 billion (5.2 percent).

The study finds that while high rates of digital natives exist in many rich countries, smaller countries where conflict is common and access to the internet is limited have a significantly lower percentage of digital natives.

The study found that Iceland (13.9%), New Zealand (13.6%), South Korea (13.5%), Malaysia (13.4%), and Lithuania (13.2%) had the highest percentage of digital natives as a percentage of the total population. The United States ranked sixth with 13.1%.

The study suggests that as access to digital technology and the internet are made more available, especially in small and unstable countries, the number of digital natives is likely to climb. With estimates that the digital native population in these countries will double by 2017.

In the field of higher education understanding the needs of students of all ages and designing classes that are appropriate for all backgrounds is important for ensuring the success of all learners. As the number of digital natives continues to grow it is also important to understand that despite access to digital systems, not all youth are focused on digital trends. This study demonstrates that despite the stereotypes or preconceived notions about youth or millennials, not everyone is connected. Individual preferences about access to and use of systems continues into younger generations.