E-books after the iPad

Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg, considering the future of e-books, shares "some random ideas." It's not hard to imagine the implications that some of the features he fancies could have on education, higher education in particular. For instance, consider the prospect of an instructor leaving notes in certain passages of a text. Or a rich multimedia reference function (definitions, animation, video)in text - how might that change the textbooks for biology, chemistry, physics?


What’s happening on the main floor of the Library?

You may have noticed that we are renovating a small portion of the library near the Reference Desk.

This spring, we held design workshops with students to talk about what they needed in the library that was not currently available. Roughly 45 students participated in the conversation and we received some really great suggestions.

We shared the student suggestions with the folks at Ayers/Saint/Gross, a design firm in Baltimore, and they helped us to design a space that would address as many of those ideas as possible. We are planning to have spaces where you can plug in your laptops to a shared screen to collaborate on projects, view videos on large screens together as a group, or work on your laptop in technology-equipped lounge chairs. We’re also planning to update the look and feel of the space with better lighting, brighter colors, and more comfortable furniture. And, most of the furniture will be on wheels, so you will be able to rearrange it to meet your needs.

Here are a few sketches that the Ayers/Saint/Gross folks shared with us.  We may be making some changes as construction gets underway, but these images will give you a general idea of what we’re thinking:

You may be wondering about the café tables pictured on the portico in the images. One of our librarians noticed how great it was to have the temporary tables on the portico during our design sessions and students agreed, so we’re also planning to add café tables in time for the Fall semester!

We’ll be posting photos here on the blog as the space transforms to keep you up-to-date, but feel free to stop in and check out the changes for yourself over the course of the summer!

Major Changes to OED Online

In a letter on the Oxford English Dictionary web site, the company announced that they would be making major changes to OED online based on readers' comments and their own vision for the future of the site.  The new version will be launched in December 2010.  While the letter offers little in the way of details, the editor mentions the plan to include the content from the Historical Thesaurus of the OED.

Read the letter from the editor 
Visit the OED


Best Anti-Plagiarism YouTube Video

I stumbled across this anti-plagiarism video created by the University of Bergen in a recent American Library Association newsletter...


Multilingual WorldWideScience.org Launch Broadens Access to Global Science

WorldWideScience.org now allows 'users to search non-English databases in China, Russia, France, and several Latin American countries and receive search results translated into one of nine languages.'  And, more languages will be added in the future.  Here's a clip from the DOE's announcement:

"Scientific language barriers were broken today in Helsinki with the launch of Multilingual WorldWideScience.org. While a large share of scientific literature is published in English, vast quantities of high-quality science are not, and the pace of non-English scientific publishing is increasing. WorldWideScience.org will now enable the first-ever real-time searching and translation across globally-dispersed, multilingual scientific literature using complex translations technology."

"WorldWideScience.org was formally launched in 2007 with federated searching of 12 databases in 10 countries. Through early 2010, it had grown to search national scientific databases in 65 countries, covering some 400 million pages of science."

Read the DOE Announcement
Visit WorldWideScience.org


200-year-old ‘tweets’ found in diaries

Here's an interesting post from Futurity.org:

200-year-old ‘tweets’ found in diaries
CORNELL (US)— In reviewing volumes of diary entries—mostly written by women—from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a researcher at Cornell University has found many terse Twitter-style records about what was happening in daily life.

Entries ranged, for example, from what was for dinner to reports of deaths, births, marriages, and travel—such as “April 7. Mr. Fiske Buried. April 27. Made Mead. At the assembly,” from the 1770 diary of Mary Vial Holyoke of Salem, Mass.

“We tend to think of new media as entirely new and different,” says Lee Humphreys, Cornell University assistant professor of communication, who has studied social media for five years. “But often we see people using new media for old problems that people have always had to think about and engage with.”

Read the entire article on Futurity