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We’ve Moved January 8, 2011

Posted by asistubc in announcements.
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It was getting to be kind of silly to have so many web-presences around, so we’ve consolidated over at blogs.ubc.ca/asist/. Please visit us over there. All of the posts and comments below have migrated over, so we hope you’ll update your bookmarks. (We’ve also turned off comments across this site to encourage you to go to the new one.)

The RSS feed for the new site is right here if you’re reading this via RSS and don’t want to go to all the trouble of clicking through to sites and finding stuff.

Thanks very much!

ASIS&T Productivity Workshop March 6, 2010

Posted by asistubc in events@UBC.
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Last Thursday, March 4, UBC’s ASIS&T student organization hosted another in its recurring student-led workshop series. Members Alex Garnett and Justyna Berzowska led 20-minute presentations on the open source citation management platform Zotero, and the collaborative wiki solution PBworks, respectively.

Approximately twenty SLAIS students were in attendance. Alex began with a functional overview of how to import several different resource types into Zotero, as well as how to make use of its built-in web annotation and PDF metadata lookup features. He concluded with a demonstration of the Microsoft Word 2007 Zotero plugin, using just a few clicks to compile a brief bibliography of the books, journal articles, and websites he’d worked through as examples.

Justyna began the workshop’s second half with an overview of best practices for using PBworks, including effective sidebar management and the logistics of embedding files in the workspace. She also provided a demonstration of some of the embeddable “gadgets” available within PBworks (e.g. a calendar), noting a favorite quandary of web design: “Is this useful or shiny?”.

Both students remained afterward to answer questions and engage participants with the software in greater depth. Cheers, guys!

Wrap Up – ASIST 09 Conference November 11, 2009

Posted by asistubc in conferences, events, events@ASIS&T, meetings.
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by: Ro McKernan

Today was the final day of the 2009 ASIST Conference and it was sad to walk out of a session and see everything being all packed up.  The last two days were a whirlwind of sessions, if you haven’t checked out the conference backchannel do so and read the thoughts from the participants to get a sense of what people thought were the most salient points during each session (and other conference news). Very insightful.  It would be interesting to see if they organize the twitters a little more next year so that every session gets some coverage (although anything about social media may get flocked) as well as whether ASIST is going to work to preserve the tweets for their digital archives. Worthwhile stuff.

Other people have also been blogging about their conference experience.  Alan Cho put up a post about historians of information that can be found here: http://www.allanslibrary.com/2009/11/asis-and-historians-of-information.html.  If anyone else has blogged the conference, be sure to tag your blog posts with #asist09 for easier retrieval – tagging can be such a great tool!

Although the commute never got any better (today’s parking woes involved a ticket machine that did not dispense tickets … I think I paid thrice…) I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend the conference as a volunteer.  It truly was an amazing experience.

Next conference in Pittsburgh, PA – will you be there?

Conference Musings Day 2 November 9, 2009

Posted by asistubc in conferences, events, events@ASIS&T, meetings.
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What a difference a day makes – I brought my power cord with me so I had juice in my laptop and was able to tweet with a frequency that would ordinarily have concerned me – I try not to normally overwhelm my followers – but there was so much information to share and so many mindblowingly insightful tweets to retweet that I am temporarily justified. #asist09

I went to many sessions today and I think I found my favorite (so far) …  Mike Crandell and Karen E. Fisher’s presentation “Free Access to Computers and the Internet at the Public Library”.  From the iSchool (is your school) at UW, they did a fabulous presentation about the research they’ve done (also in book form) and I hope that they develop a model to share with other libraries on how to identify the impacts of PACs (Public Access Computers) in their communities as I feel this would be a good tool to help us evangelize in these tough economic times.  The early finding that they shared with us (on a difficult to read slide – fix please <grin>) were that the top domains of PAC use are social inclusion, education, employment, health & e-government which feels right to me as I observe the patrons in my rural library.  I wish there was more research for public librarians (in general) at this conference …

There was no lunch today …  for a conference of nerds they sure aren’t feeding us.  I had crepes with some fellow attendees including the other student conference blogger (http://crywhite.blogspot.com/) at a wonderful crepe spot on Robson street (turn right).

By the end of the last session today – I was failing at understanding all the new information.  I think I can only absorb so much info in a single day so I left the conference for the day with much fonder memories and a history of tweets I will have to one day turn into a long form blog post, complete with high quality links…

And I also realized that no matter what I do, I always get turned around at skytrain stations and spend many minutes panicking when the parking lot looks completely different and unfamiliar until I realize I need to find the entrance and backtrack from that because the exit always exists you somewhere completely different.  It’s not me, its bad user design.

Ro McKernan

The Killer App of the Internet is Other People – ASIST Day 1 November 9, 2009

Posted by asistubc in conferences, events, meetings, outside events.
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Wow!  That was quite the first day for us at the ASIST 2009 conference.  This was my first time attending and I was given a wonderful opportunity to blog my experiences by the conference organizers (thanks Letisha!).  This year the conference is being held in beautiful Vancouver (can be seen through the raindrops if you squint) and the hotel is conveniently situated right next to the skytrain station.

Us volunteers (around 20 or so?) were given our marching orders then we were set loose to mingle.  I am very amazed at the awesome friendliness displayed by everyone.  Complete strangers, introducing themselves!  I can be shy – so if I look alone please introduce yourself (or if you want to say something on this conference blog – going to try for one post a day… input is always appreciated).

The lunch was entertaining and the plenary session by Tim Bray (@timbray) was very insightful.  Here of the highlights of what I though were some of the more poignant tweets:

@emmalawson: There’s no substitute for human judgement–@timbray

@bezanson: “This community isn’t that concerned about marketing” – Bray. Really? We should be!

@joe_sanchez: Virtual Worlds have more immediacy than email/twitter/sms more so than phone perhaps? @timbray@danhooker: Twitter’s “hideous grievious flaw” is that it’s owned by a company

@kjersti: Tim Bray: What happens on the Internet stays on the Internet… forever.

@asistpratt: Tim Bray, “The culture of online is epistolary…we are in a golden age of writing…a golden age of archiving and libraries.”

The twittering was fast and furious at times – everybody seems to have adopted the #asist09 hash tag and there is a list of ASIST twitterers compiled here if you want to follow everyone in one fell swoop (let me know if I’ve missed you or if you want off).  Many people were tweeting the individual sessions, its quite educational and informative to search back through the tweets (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23asist09)

Things to note beyond the official program:

Monday 8p – 10p at Smiley’s Pub, Pender & Hornby http://tinyurl.com/y8t877o (too late at night for me!).

Sig Knit
(saw someone with a sign – can publish time and place …)

That CD in the conference tote – not a coaster – it seems to contain the full text of all the papers at the conference.  Should be good reading material for those times where you’re waiting for the next session.

Posted by: Rowena McKernan (romckernan@gmail.com)

Open Access Week keynote speaker, Frits Pannakoek October 22, 2009

Posted by Emma Lawson in events@UBC.
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Frits Pannakoek, president of Athabasca University, delivered a keynote for UBC’s Open Access week that was a call to action for librarians. Forty percent of the world’s population is currently in the teenage years, and two hundred thousand potential students among them will be competing for three-quarters as many opportunities in higher education; what, he implored us, is to be done? He admitted that Athabasca’s own initiative was born of financial need – they simply couldn’t afford to maintain journal subscriptions. From Athabasca’s crisis came Pannakoek’s supplication: the “World’s Best First Year.” Librarians, he implored, should take it upon themselves collocate the best possible set of materials for learning a relatively obtuse yet popular subject (i.e., he clarified, calculus), which could then be used by anybody, anywhere. The audience was told confidently that proceeds would still be collected from a need for user support, and from the ever-important need to issue credentials. The imminent need, in Pannakoek’s view, was that librarians make themselves present at the bargaining table, if not for which “we’d have chaos.” The speech, which was jointly televised at UBC Okanagan, was met by applause from librarians and non-librarians alike, and began the conference on a definitively optimistic note.

-Alex Garnett

ASIS&T citation workshop October 15, 2009

Posted by Emma Lawson in events@UBC.
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Today was the debut of a new ongoing series of student led workshops sponsored by the UBC student ASIST organization.  Our innaugral topic, presented by Dan Hooker & Emileigh Kinnear was Managing Citations with Zotero and Word.

About 10 students took time from their busy schedule to attend the workshop which started out with Dan presenting on Zotero.  He showed us some of the available features including how to import and export references and grab references from various web pages automatically.  How to change the default citation style on the fly and other brief features such as adding by ISBN or DOI number and info about an Open Office plugin that is an additional option in citation management.  More documentation available at www.zotero.org

The second half of the workshop focused on Word 2007’s built in citation features.  Navigating the active text and drop down fields she demonstrated how to convert citation styles, manage both in-text and final bibliographies and how to work within the available citation fields.

Handouts were provided and they both remained afterword to answer questions.

Great job guys!!

Note:  Our second workshop will be held Nov. 5th at 12:00.  We will be demo-ing two open source content management systems popular in libraries today (Joomla and Drupal) including a live demo of an active library site.  Hope to see you there!

-Ro McKernan