International / Technology

17 thoughts on “Digital Makeover: Updating a Study Abroad Library

  1. Justin–I am so inspired by your work and contribution to the study centre–your intiative and crativity will have a lasting mark!! Dr. Christie Koontz

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  2. Justin,
    What a fantastic opportunity to leave lasting beneficial effects!
    It is indeed hard to imagine that there are card catalog libraries in active use but as you noted, perhaps it is still currently the best tool for the job. I think the important point is that you are exploring and trying new ideas given the resources at your disposal. Implementing a forward-thinking solution is progress. Even if it isn’t perfect, you’ll learn more as part of the process.
    The social aspect of hauling the library into the digital age is another great benefit. Just with this post, by reaching out to the greater community you and your library patrons can both benefit from others’ experience and knowledge, as well as provide same to those with similar challenges (those perhaps closer to home).
    I look forward to following your progress (and footsteps).
    a presto
    Jo

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    • As someone who plays a small role in this process (supervisor of FSU internship program)–I grovel at both of your brilliant ‘feets’–so exciting to envision and see the Florence library leap forward!! All puns are good–Dr. K

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  3. Well, certainly you need to start with a limited scope. My advice would be to start with the most circulated items in the collection, assuming of course there are circulation records? And to keep your primary target audience at the center of all your thinking, are they predominately from one discipline, like History students or something for example. Once again a limited scope is probably the best way to start. In a more perfect world I would recommend conducting a simple survey of the students coming into the library to see what the actual users of the library feel should be in the digital library. Of course, users probably don’t want to take a survey so you might be limited to just asking people through short interviews. I would also talk to Dr. Oh as she is our resident prof with digital libraries. In class we used Omeka so the university might already have some deal with them. Now Omeka might not be the best choice as I found plenty of usability problems with it over the course of the semester and LibraryThing might be easier. But starting small and setting up a plan for future growth to leave the next administrator is probably your best bet. The main thing here is to develop a good technology plan. I’ve got a couple of good examples I can send you and the Florida Electronic Library also has the Alachua county plan as an example on their website as well.

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    • I started off on the first shelf but then got kind of wise and headed towards the most circulated bits (art history and popular literature). I’m sort of headed to total inclusion as an end goal with the digital library. I hadn’t considered leaving materials out, just wanted to decide whether there was a better system for my needs right now. I’ll surely prioritize what materials I load first. But if I can keep loading books, why not? Is it possibly for a digital library to get ‘bloated’? It’d just be a matter of time spent, and I have (student) library assistants to help.

      I’d love to see some technology plans. I’ll send you a message about that.

      I also didn’t mention that I’m already in touch with my successor for next year and I’m going to keep them in the loop with my projects to get them off to a running start.

      Thanks for the feedback everyone!

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    • No barcodes here. Are you recommending generating, printing, and attaching individual QR codes for each book? Or just the highly circulated ones? Or just having a QR code on the website so people can grab the book info to go find it on the shelf?

      There are a few smartphones, but most students will just get a cell phone locally, usually dumbphones.

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  4. This sounds so awesome Justin! I am totally jealous of your experience. Sounds like you’ve got quite a challenge but you’re taking the steps towards a solution. Enjoy your time in Italy!

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  5. Pingback: Digital Makeover: Updating a Study Abroad Library « Hack Library …

  6. Sounds like a lot of hard work, Justin, but it also sounds like you’re really committed to the process – and to making sure that there’s something for your successor to build on. I’ve been struggling with “passing it on” in the ephemeral grad school world in my own way, with student leadership. My idea is to create a quick less-than-five-page guide to Student Leader Start-up, to give them access to frequently asked questions (both theirs and other people’s of them) and an idea of what they’ll need to know. I hope you’re keeping track of your thought processes and work, to help inform future supervisors’ decisions!

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  7. As Justin’s successor I cannot compliment him enough on his thought-process-tracking and leave-it-to-be-built-upon work.
    Your idea, Stephanie, is a good one for almost any application (library or not). In both the incoming and outgoing positions, I have found a Hot Sheet of FAQ and a “Typical Day” rundown is a good place to start. Particularly for the person leaving, the process of writing these two basic documents requires them to think through what information they might be taking for granted but the new person might not know. Coalescing it all to something manageable is it’s own challenge but you are just giving the keys and principals, as you noted it is up to the successor (or student leader) to take that and build on it.

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  8. Pingback: MLIS beyond borders « Hack Library School

  9. Pingback: Perceptions of a Very Small Public « Hack Library School

  10. When most people hear the term “study abroad,” they think of a semester or even a year overseas their junior year of college. Outside of spending your whole masters program at an international university, most people don’t think of study abroad in graduate school, let alone study abroad for an MLS or MIS.

    Labels:QR Code barcodes

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