Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category
Wednesday, November 6th, 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.
Monday, November 4th, 2013
Last week, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) released an enhancement to MedlinePlus Connect.
With the enhancement, MedlinePlus Connect will respond to SNOMED CT codes with information from both MedlinePlus and NLM’s Genetics Home Reference (GHR) web site. GHR is the NLM’s web site for consumer information about genetic conditions and the genes or chromosomes related to those conditions. This feature is available exclusively for English SNOMED CT requests. The GHR information will be available using either the MedlinePlus Connect web application or web service.
Additional details are now available in the MedlinePlus Connect technical documentation.
Monday, November 4th, 2013
Telehealth Resource Centers is presenting a free webinar on Practice Guidelines for Telemedicine on November 21, 2013 at 1:00 CT as part of its regularly scheduled webinar series. The National Telehealth Webinar Series provides timely information to support and guide the development of your telehealth program by experienced telehealth professionals from the HRSA-designated Telehealth Resource Centers. These webinars are FREE to the public on the 3rd Thursday of each month.
Presenter: Elizabeth A. Krupinski, Ph.D.
Description: Telemedicine practice guidelines for telemedicine form the basis for uniform, quality patient care and safety and area critical tool in promoting the deployment of telemedicine services. Standards help accelerate the adoption of telemedicine by payers, administrators and providers along with industry, government agencies, medical societies and other stakeholders. Dr. Krupinski, Chair of the American Telemedicine Association’s Standards and Guidelines Committee will discuss how ATA’s practice guidelines are helping to shape service delivery in today’s healthcare environment.
Join the webinar: https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/sbtelehealth/
Test your connection: https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
Does your library offer technology engagement that is on the cutting edge? If so the American Library Association (ALA) wants to know. Since 2009 ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy’s America’s Libraries of the 21st Century subcommittee have been soliciting nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology. This award seeks to recognize libraries serving their communities with novel and innovative methods, as well as to provide the library community with successful models for delivering quality library service in new ways.
ALA is currently accepting submissions for the best library practices using cutting-edge technology. Nominations must be submitted by November 15, 2013, and winners will be announced at the upcoming 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting, which will be held January 24-28, 2013. Libraries selected for the recognition will be featured in a program at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, highlighted through ALA publications and publicized via ALA web channels.
A joint selection committee of members from the Subcommittee on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century and the Library & Information Technology Association will review all nominations and may conduct selected interviews or site visits to identify those libraries that are truly offering a best practice or most innovative service.
Nomination guidelines include the following:
“Cutting edge” refers to tested and successful implementations of technological advancements used in services such as:
- Improvements in traditional services and processes by inventing/re-inventing/twisting technology
- Introduction of new, innovative services that are flexible and responsive to community needs
- New technology-enabled methods for connecting libraries to their communities
- Funding initiatives or organizational models that ensure library information technology will remain current
- Must involve the use of technology
- Must be a novel idea or implementation of a service
- Must be able to be documented for replication by other libraries
- Must be for a library that has been involved in the development of the service or product (can’t just buy something off the shelf) or has significantly enhanced the product for added value
A full list of guidelines can be found online at the application/nomination page.
To find out more about past Cutting Edge winners the ALA has produced case studies which follow the latest technology trends and how libraries on the cutting edge are embracing technology. The case studies provide overviews of projects by other libraries which can be replicated by other libraries.
Monday, October 14th, 2013
Staff members at the newest branch of the Bexar County Public Library System in San Antonio, TX are calling it the first “bookless library.” In addition to its catalog of 10,000 e-books, BiblioTech also provides a digital lifeline to a low-income neighborhood. BiblioTech opened its doors Sept. 14 on the south side of San Antonio, a mostly Hispanic neighborhood where 40% of households don’t have a computer and half lack broadband Internet service.
Although the library houses no printed books — and members can even skip the visit by checking out its e-books online — BiblioTech’s staff says the library’s physical presence is still key to its success. BiblioTech’s efforts have attracted 7,000 members so far, and staffers relish sharing anecdotes about the people who walk through their doors.
The 4,800-square-foot space looks more like an Apple store or a Google breakroom than a library, with brilliant orange walls and a playroom for children (of all ages!) with plush seats and big screens. The space houses lots of devices for in-library use: 45 Apple iPads, 40 laptops, and 48 desktop computers, and more.
The initial idea for BiblioTech came from Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, a self-described book fiend who felt libraries aren’t evolving with technology. Wolff gathered about a half-dozen county employees to brainstorm ideas for a library that would help an underserved neighborhood in a truly modern way. Last October, the group began researching to find other libraries that had gone completely digital — but they couldn’t find any. So, they worked to create one.
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit BiblioTech last week, while in the San Antonio area — and even have the T-shirt to prove it! If you’re in the area, check it out!
To read more, see the October 8 story on CNNMoney and the article in American Libraries Online.
Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
Fundraising in the 21st century is not just about the bake sale anymore. Today technology is helping to open up fundraising opportunities to many. Crowdfunding is harnessing the power of technology and helping people around the globe donate to projects they might not have heard about before.
Crowdfunding “is a collective effort by people who network and pool their money together, usually via the Internet, in order to invest in and support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.”Crowdfunding allows individuals with a common interest or goal to raise money while also allowing other individuals, no matter how near or far, to get involved and contribute if they support the goal.
Crowdfunding is being used by libraries for many different purposes. A look at some online crowdfunding sites finds projects for repainting a local public library, purchasing books for a library in South Africa, building little lending libraries across the country, and many more. Many libraries have turned to crowdfunding as a way to boost donations, especially from individuals who may not be able to get out to a typically library fundraising event.
While online donations have been possible through credit card and PayPlay links, crowdfunding allows an organization to focus on a specific project or goal and use the crowdfunding platform to more widely promote the project. Online services for crowdfunding typically include the ability for creators to upload videos and share details about their project. Many crowdfunding sites also allow creators to offer incentives for contributors. Creators may offer t-shirts or hand written notes as an incentive to people to contribute to their project.
In additional to libraries, other industries are also turning to crowdfunding to boost funding. Crowdfunding projects for everything from digital thermometers, cell phones for everyone, research support, and even college tuition are seen online.
While crowdfunding is taking off, it is important to be familiar with the terms of service associated with the many online crowdfunding sites. The Library Journal article Crowdfunding the Library explores some of the ins and outs of crowdfunding for library purposes. The article includes information about some library projects and first person experience with crowdfunding for a library.
It is important to consider that online funding sites typically keep a percentage, usually very small, of the funds raised as overhead for platform use. For most sites this fee is only charged when a specific goal is met.
An overview of some of the most popular crowdfunding sites is provided in the list below (alphabetical order):
- Crowdtilt – Legally certified in securing fundraisers for non-profit organizations. Users are allowed to contribute to and create campaigns of their choosing. A 2.5% fee is charged only if a campaign successfully reaches its goal.
- Funding4Learning – Helps students raise financial resources for study, volunteering and education related initiatives. Uses PayPal as their main provider for all the fundraising payment’s processing and transaction services. Collected funds are disbursed only if the fundraising campaign is successful. However, a contributor is allowed to make a “direct contribution”, which is guaranteed to be paid whether or not the campaign is successful. Funding4Learning charges 5% of funds disbursed from a successful campaign, and 5% of all direct contributions.
- Fundly – Makes it easy for non-profits, charities, politics, clubs, schools, teams, churches, and many other causes to quickly raise money online from friends, family, colleagues, donors, and other supporters via email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and social media networks. It is also an app for social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. It uses WePay to process donations. Donors are charged when they make a donation.
- GoFundMe – Allows people to raise money for events ranging from life events such as celebrations and graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents and illnesses. Allows users to share their project with people through integrated social network links and email. A special section of GoFundMe is dedicated to users who are trying to raise money to cover their tuition costs.
- Indigogo – Disburses funds immediately, when the contributions are collected through the user’s PayPal accounts. When your campaign raises funds, Indiegogo charges a 9.0% fee on the funds you raise. If you reach your goal, you get 5.0% back, for an overall fee of 4.0%. Registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits qualify for a 25% reduction in platform costs.
- KickStarter – Provides tools to raise funds for creative projects. Project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected. Kickstarter takes 5% of the funds raised.
- Neighbor.ly – Civic crowdfunding website. Focused on helping local governments raise money for civic improvements. Designed to accept projects only from local governmental and civic-natured entities including; constitutionally chartered municipalities, county and metro-conglomerate government entities, public / private partnerships, and institutions, private, or non-profit organizations whose mission caters primarily to civic infrastructure (e.g. bike share startups).
- PetriDish – Crowdfunding for scientific research. Aimed at projects that might not be eligible for government funding as well as projects that need funding not typically covered by grants such as translating research into educational papers or projects. Charges a percentage of funds collected
A comparison of crowdfunding services can be found on Wikipedia.
Has your organization used crowdfunding? Let us know in the comments.
Monday, October 7th, 2013
Guest Authors: Robert O. Marlin, IV, Archivist, Truman G. Blocker Jr. History of Medicine Collections and Mira Green, Head of Technical Services, Moody Medical Library, UTMB
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region’s Digital Preservation and Access (DiPA) Award enabled the Truman G. Blocker Jr. History of Medicine Collections (Blocker Collections) at the Moody Medical Library at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX to create a digital repository containing materials from the personal library of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895). The goal of this project was to increase the awareness and accessibility to the thoughts of one of the world’s most celebrated scientists through the digitization and translation of unique materials such as original letters, manuscripts, and a number of rare offprints of articles originally published in French medical and scientific journals.
The material covers a variety of topics: a description of the process for the “pasteurization” of wine; a plea to the French government for the reimbursement of 2000 francs for research paid for personally by Pasteur; and a request for funding to build a new bio-chemistry laboratory at the École Normale. The remaining items are: rare offprints that were prepared in editions of fewer than 100 copies, one of which covers his early work on crystals; and a five-page lecture given by Pasteur in 1850 in which he presented his research results on molecular dissymmetry.
The Louis Pasteur Collection has been added to the Blocker Collections website, and contains original handwritten letters and their translations that are accessible as viewable and downloadable PDF files. This site also displays additional documents including journal articles that date from 1861-1889. Included are two items written by Pasteur, Theories Des Germes, 1878 and La Maladie Des Vers A Soie, 1867. Also available on this page is a brief biography of Louis Pasteur with his portrait and additional links to original papers written in French. This information can be found using the navigational menu button for digital collections.
In an effort to assist those interested in the life of Pasteur, considerable time was dedicated to compiling the Pasteur Bibliography of secondary resources. Only high-quality material covering all age groups was considered. Several works in the bibliography were also annotated including Patrice Debré’s monograph written for the 100 year anniversary of Pasteur’s death that offered the reader a helpful chronology and focused on Pasteur’s discoveries and the controversies surrounding his work.
The DiPA award enabled us to create a major exhibit utilizing as many original source documents from the Collection as possible. For the creation of the exhibit, accessibility, target audience, informative content, and aesthetics were of paramount importance. The overall concept for design and structure began with months of research transpiring into a timeline of influential events derived from the life and legacy of Pasteur. The timeline, as the design approach, allowed for the creation of various sized pieces containing unified graphical elements, imagery and descriptions, and informative content pertaining to each titled display panel measuring 36”x 36” in size.
Metadata was created for the collection by researching the individual(s) mentioned in the letters. Name authorities were researched and added accordingly. Subject headings were chosen from both the Library of Congress and MeSH headings.
The Pasteur Collection metadata and items were also added to our institutional repository in the Texas Digital Library in early April 2013. The permanent URL for the collection is https://repositories.tdl.org/utmb-ir/handle/2152.3/491. The Texas Digital Library is indexed in Google as well as Google Scholar and the collection is already showing up in the results list when a search for Louis Pasteur is initiated. The collection statistics show that the highest number of views has been from the United States; however, Turkey, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, Canada, Switzerland and Mexico show usage as well.
The ContentDM institutional repository was created and customized. The URL for the UTMB repository is http://utmb.contentdm.oclc.org/. Metadata and files were the same as the submission to the Texas Digital Library institutional repository.
Scholars across a variety of disciplines, including general history, may request the materials for publications, scholarly papers, presentations, and exhibits.
Friday, October 4th, 2013
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region office remains open, regular business hours, during the government shutdown.
The following post provides information on the broad impact of the shutdown on libraries and research.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has posted the following message on their homepage:
“Due to the lapse in government funding, the information on this web site may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the web site may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.”
This message is echoed on the National Library of Medicine homepage.
Resources from the National Library of Medicine:
- PubMed is available however the following message is displayed: “PubMed is open, however it is being maintained with minimal staffing due to the lapse in government funding. Information will be updated to the extent possible, and the agency will attempt to respond to urgent operational inquiries. For updates regarding government operating status see USA.gov.”
- Other databases from the National Center for Biotechnology Information are also available with the following message posted: “The information on this web site remains accessible; but, due to the lapse in government funding, the information may not be up to date, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. For updates regarding government operating status see USA.gov.”
- MedlinePlus is available however the following message is displayed: “Due to the lapse in government funding, the information on this web site may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the web site may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at USA.gov.”
According to USA.gov:
- Research into life-threatening diseases and other areas will stop, and new patients won’t be accepted into clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health.
- Work to protect consumers, ranging from child product safety to financial security to the safety of hazardous waste facilities, will cease. The EPA will halt non-essential inspections of chemical facilities and drinking water systems.
According to the American Library Association libraries may be impacted by the shutdown in the following ways:
- U.S. Census websites and collection surveys will be unavailable until the government is funded.
- The Government Printing Office (GPO) is closed. Gpo.gov will not be updated during the shutdown. Federal Register services will continue in a limited capacity.
- The Library of Congress will be closed to the public and researchers for the duration of the shutdown.
The Library of Congress website is unavailable. As of Friday, October 4th the website was available but not being updated.
Medical Librarians have already been posting about the impact and chronicling federal websites that are inactive during the shutdown. Posts from Michelle Kraft, Alisha Miles, and the Eskind Biomedical Library at Vanderbilt University provide detailed information about the status of online access to some of the most used library and medical library resources during the government shutdown.
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s report Who’s Not Online and Why, 15% of American adults 18 and over do not use the internet.
While the internet has become an information hub with websites on countless topics according to the report 34% of those not online think the internet is not relevant to them. Another reason reported by 32% non-internet users was the sense that the intent is not easy to use. Those who reported in this category found it difficult or frustrating to go online, they reported physical barriers as well as fears about spam, spyware, and hacking.
Other reasons for not going online include:
- 19% of non-internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an internet connection;
- 7% of non-users cited a physical lack of availability or access to the internet.
According to the survey findings age, along with household income and education level are factors for accessing the internet. Age continues to be one of the strongest indicators for use of the internet. The survey found that “44% of Americans ages 65 and older do not use the internet, and these older Americans make up almost half (49%) of non-internet users overall.”
Will this non-internet users ever go online? According to the report 92% say they are not interested.
Survey findings also show that 9% of the US adult population does not have access to the internet in their home.
For many of use reading this post the internet is part of our daily lives. But what about the 15% of adults who are not online? Exploring ways to provide services or information to these groups that does not necessitate an internet connection can be important. For the 9% of adults without access to the internet in their homes public computer stations in locations such as the public library may provide the only means of access to the online world.
Thursday, September 26th, 2013
According to several recent studies looking at internet download speeds in the United States vast differences in internet connection speed can be measured across the county. Gizmodo recently posted maps that visually demonstrate the results of several of these studies. The results suggest that the South Central Region (SCR) area includes some of the lower speeds in the US. Typical findings show that in areas of finical wealth internet speeds are higher. In rural areas including parts of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico speeds tend to be lower as necessary infrastructure is usually not in place to support high speed connections. While areas of high density populations may have access to higher speed connections, the data showed that these speeds were often slowed by heavy use in these densely populated areas.
According to the Akamai State of the Internet report, compared to other developed nations the United States reports some of the lowest internet connection speeds. The study ranks US internet speed at ninth-fastest average internet connection speed in the world. This places US internet connection speed behind that of South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Sweden. In last year’s State of the Internet Report US internet connection speeds were ranked eighth in the word. The report looks at over 200 countries and the US continues to rank in the top 10 for internet connection speeds.