Friday, April 11, 2014

Computers in Libraries Day 3: Ebooks and Content Management

While my first day at Computers in Libraries had the discrete theme of discovery, and I returned to the library to get some work done on day two, day three was spent bouncing around between tracks.

I attended Jennifer Waller's presentation on Google Glass. I'm a noted skeptic, for reasons that are hard to articulate. I find wearable technology with a built in camera creepy (and I'm not alone in that; a search for "google glass is creepy" in that search engine is chalk full of the same sentiment), yet at the same time I understand that in the past peoples' reactions to then-new-now-ubiquitous technology mirror my reaction to Google Glass. Wearable tech may be a bridge too far for me (us?) at present, or, as Polly-Alida Farrington put it

I appreciate that the Glass is an ice breaker, a conversation starter, something that gets a community excited about a library, and even a tool to start discussions of privacy, but I'm not sure if these benefits outweigh the risks. Does using the Glass to teach privacy subvert Google or further empower it? There are some tough conversations to be had concerning giving a community what it wants when technology like this comes into play, and I appreciate that Waller not only raised these questions, but engaged them. I suspect I'll have more to say about Google Glass later.*

Miami's excellent Shelvar application also made an appearance. It has the potential to liberate our student workers from shelf-reading.

I jumped over to Track C for a discussion of students' use of ebooks. This presentation had an impressive amount of quantitative data that corroborates the qualitative data I've seen: students do not like ebooks. They'll use them if they have to, and some will use them if they deem it convenient. Purchasing both an electronic copy and a physical copy of the book is, based on the data presented, a waste of money.

Survey results from Delaware County Community College (PA), however, countered the first half of the presentation. Even though DCCC's students often use mobile technologies, they prefer either print or a choice between print and electronic. Im sum, different communities have different wants and needs, and it's important that we library staff ask and listen.

At the 1:30 session for Track C I (re)learned that what we ask ourselves and faculty to do in order to embed or link content to within a Course Management or Learning Manage System (CMS or LMS) is nothing short of sadistic, wrought with friction.

I grabbed two cookies on the way out and went back to work.

Elsewhere on this site:
Computers in Libraries Day 1: Discovery
The BeerBrarian's Guide to Computers in Libraries

* Full disclosure, Waller and I are friends and she bought me lunch. I owe her at least a beer.

No comments:

Post a Comment