Monday, February 19, 2007

Introduction to Information Literacy

In my humble opinion this is a better title for a course that traditionally is called "Bibliography". Of course many of my Russian colleagues will ask - "WHY"? The answer is rather simple. Usually this course contains not only the rules of bibliographical description, but the students are also taught some practical things on using library catalogues (card and e-catalogues), searching Internet and subscribed databases.
Lots of information for my lecture I've taken from the site, devoted to Information Literacy.
We've discussed the definitions of IL, the skills (or competencies) that are required to be information literate.

CILIP says that
Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner.

This definition implies several skills. We believe that the skills (or competencies) that are required to be information literate require an understanding of:
a need for information
the resources available
how to find information
the need to evaluate results
how to work with or exploit results
ethics and responsibility of use
how to communicate or share your findings
how to manage your findings.

The next lecture will be devoted to bibliographical description. My task as a lecturer and as a librarian to explain my students this difficult topic in such a way, that they understand everything. If you have some teaching experience on this topic - please, tell.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Playing with LibraryThing

Today I decided to spend "15 minutes" on LibraryThing - a nice tool to make a virtual catalogue of you own library. I ll start with books I have in English (cause there are few of them), and if i like the process - I'll catalogue the whole library.
To start is surprisingly simple - you don't need to register. It's great! I, like most users don't like to fill in long web-forms.
To find and add a book is easy too. The Thing allow you to search Amazon, Abebook, Alibris and many other resources.
The first book I've chosen for search is The Lord of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien and I even found the book in that very cover I have at home.
And I also found out that 5,934 members have the book in their library, and there are only 13 books more popular (I wonder what :)
Now I'm thinking of finding the full text and attaching it to MyLibrary.

Hmmmm..... I"ve just found out that I cannot automatically add books in Russian unless I type the information myself... and if I make up my mind to do it, I don't know when the work will be done :(

Monday, February 12, 2007

Learning 2.0 for russian librarians

15 Minutes a Day: A Personal Learning Management Strategy by Stephen Abram made me think over a program Learning 2.0 for my colleagues and myself.
The problem is that the sources advised by Steven to explore and play with are in English. Hope there should be some similar things, blogs or live journals for example, in the runet. If I find any I will sure tell here about my impressions. And maybe post some "Learning 2.0 for Russian librarians".

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Russian version of this blog

Today I'm glad to present the Russian version of this blog. I hope it will not differ much from the English version.
To see the Russian version see the link in the upper-left part of the page.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Plans for the future

My scientific adviser was surprised, when I told her about my initiative of creating a blog, and wondered why it is in English. The only reason - I want to practice the language i haven't spoken for a long time (since I graduated 2 and a half years ago) and used my knowledge for reading and listening.
So we decided (if it is possible) to make a Russian version of this blog. And I think sooner or later I will realize this rather good idea.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Conception of Virtual Reference Service in the University Library

Coming back from the seminar "Creation and developing virtual reference services in a modern library" held in Moscow, I suggested an idea of creating such service at our library. The one thing to do was to carry out a survey of our users, the preliminary results of which are presented in my previous post.
The next thing - was to bring together everything I've read and learnt from the experience of other libraries and present board of directors the conception of VRS with reference to our library.
To do that I (and any library, that decided to provide such service) was to answer some questions.
1. What type of VR to choose?
  • e-mail
  • web-forms
  • IM
  • e-conference
  • or something else?
2. What will be the working hours?
  • 24/7
  • during the working hours of the library (or the Reference department)
  • during particular hours or days
3. Who will answer the patrons' questions?
  • several reference librarians
  • the whole Reference Department
  • the staff of the other library departments
  • the staff and the faculty of the University
  • all above mentioned
4. What resources to use?
  • Internet resources only
  • only the Library collections (print and digital)
  • the collections of the other city libraries
  • available resources of the libraries in other cities and countries
  • all the possible variations
5. To whom provide the service?
  • the patrons of the Library only
  • only the University students, faculty and staff
  • only the citizens of our city and region
  • for all comers
6. Will the service be free of charge and if not, how to get the payment?
7. Shall we register our users and what information do we need for registration?
8. Do we need an archive of the reference made, will it be available to our patrons or only for the staff?
9. What will be the deadline for providing the answer?
10. Shall we answer questions in other languages?
11. Shall we limit the subject of the questions?
And many other important things that must be considered, if we want to make this service helpful for our patrons.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Preliminare results of the survey "Virtual reference services in the library"

I have been studying the problem of Virtual reference for about 2 years, and came to a conclusion, that our library need this type of services. My boss said - you are welcome - do it if you want.
So, to learn our students', staff and faculty's opinion we started a poll.

Yesterday I received some results and decided to compare the answers of 110 students (55 internal students and 55 external students).

Here they are

How often you need to get information without coming to the library?

  • 24 internal and 15 external students need such help very often
  • 26 internal and 33 external - sometimes
  • 5 internal and 7 external don't have such need at all

If you have a question, what will be easier for you to do?

  • 9 internal and 13 external students have chosen to write an e-mail
  • 9 internal and 11 external preferred to fill in a web-form
  • 12 internal and 11 external have chosen IM
  • 11 internal and 20 external will use a telephone
  • 28 internal and 16 external will come to the library to ask the question at the reference desk

What kind of information do you usually need?

  • 45 internal and 42 external students want to know whether there is a particular book or a journal in the library
  • 12 internal and 14 external students are interested how to search the Internet
  • 18 internal and 35 external students want to know about different aspects of the library activities, such as:
  • working hours (5 and 10 students correspondingly)
  • services (7 and 8 students)
  • resources (6 and 9 students)
  • library rules (8 external students)

Would you prefer to get a concrete answer?

  • 40 internal and 47 external students prefer to get a concrete answer
  • 15 internal and 6 external students prefer to get a consultation on search
  • 2 external students prefer to get both - an answer and a consultation

Do you know, what the virtual reference is?

  • 32 internal and 35 external students answered "YES"

Have you ever used virtual reference services?

  • 39 internal and 42 external students have no experience with virtual reference
  • 12 internal and 10 external students used such service, provided by libraries
  • 4 internal and 4 external students used such service, provided by organisations

Do you think our library needs this type of service?

  • 38 internal and 41 external students think, that our library should have virtual reference services
  • 17 internal and 14 external students said, they don't know.

The fact that nobody answered "NO" for this question was predictable, but nevertheless - very pleasant.

The survey continues - so the complete results and analysis will be posted here later.

Friday, February 2, 2007

It's high time to get started

for the last week i've been studing different blogs.
I must admit that i've learnet lots of interesting ang useful information,
so it made me feel it is high time for me to become a part of a world library community and to share my own thoughts and findings.