Essential tools and technologies for the library and information professional – video and slides for #AskMmIT19

MmIT hosted their annual webinar on what tools and technologies should librarians and information professionals know about in 2019. We smashed all MmIT webinar records with over 230 professionals attending over the course of the 50 minute session.webinar image

The webinar panel was chaired by Andy Tattersall who was joined by three experts to look at tools and technologies new and old as well as answer questions for the event which had the hashtag #AskMmIT19

The Panelists were Christina Harbour – Anglia Ruskin University @tinalpool Claire Beecroft – University Teacher at the University of Sheffield @beakybeecroft Luke Burton – Digital Development Manager at Newcastle City Council @biblioluke and Andy Tattersall – Information Specialist at the University of Sheffield @Andy_Tattersall

MmIT Chair Alison McNab @AlisonMcNab has created a Wakelet of the event which you can view here

Useful links from the workshop

H5P Resources
There’s a page in the documentation for Canvas: https://h5p.org/documentation/for-authors/h5p-for-canvas
Massachusetts Library created resource guide: http://guides.masslibsystem.org/h5p
Anglia Ruskin University Library Guide https://anglia.libguides.com/readinglists/navigation
Adding images to Padlet https://en-gb.padlet.com/features
MmIT Resources
YouTube
Slideshare
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MmIT Webinar – 12th December: Using video in your library and information service

Video is an extremely useful technology for any library or information service. You can use video to help promote your service and your work, deliver teaching and training and help communicate with wider audiences. There are misconceptions that you need lots of money and time to make effective videos, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whatever sector you work in we are certain that this webinar will show you how you can apply video in your role. Join the Cilip Special Interest Group Multimedia and Information Technology Group (MmiT) for a one hour webinar to explore some useful tools for making videos and animations to help you make effective use of video technology.

Hashtag for the event #MmITvideo @MultiMediaIT

Register for the event here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/using-video-in-your-library-and-information-service-tickets-52661074692

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We have three expert speakers for the event.

Claire Sewell (University of Cambridge)

Claire is Research Support Skills Coordinator in the Office of Scholarly Communication in Cambridge where she oversees the professional development of library staff in areas such as copyright, Open Access and research data management. Focusing on the rapidly developing area of scholarly communication Claire develops training initiatives in order to ensure that library staff are best placed to support the research community. As part of her role she also manages the Research Support Ambassador Programme which enhances staff training skills so that they can provide frontline support.

Tweets @ces43

Christina Harbour (Anglia Ruskin University) MmIT Committee member

Christina has worked in libraries since 2003 and received her MA in Information & Library Management from John Moores University in 2007. Christinia’s library experience consists of working in the NHS and academic libraries. From 2006-2012 Christina worked as an Academic Liaison Librarian at Writtle College managing library resources for animal, equine, sport, agriculture and business subjects. This involved collection development, user education and liaising with lecturers.

Christina has since moved over Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford campus to take up the post of Subject Librarian for Business, Health & Education. As we speak I am currently on secondment working as a Project Manager to implement the Reading Lists software from Talis Aspire.

Christina is a member of the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals as well as a CILIP mentor. Christina also works on a freelance basis, recently providing content provision to the JISC Intute service.

Tweets @tinalpool

Kim Donovan (University of Brighton)

Kim Donovan is the Information Adviser for St Peter’s House Library, University of Brighton. In this role, she co-ordinates library support for City Campus and the Schools of Art, Humanities and Media. Teaching Information Literacy is a big part of this role, and Kim is interested in experimenting with new technologies with the aim of enhancing student engagement.

Chairing the webinar

Andy Tattersall (University of Sheffield) Chair of MmIT 

Andy Tattersall is an Information Specialist at The School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and writes, teaches and gives talks about digital academia, technology, scholarly communications, open research, web and information science, apps, altmetrics and social media. In particular, their application for research, teaching, learning, knowledge management and collaboration. Andy received a Senate Award from The University of Sheffield’ for his pioneering work on MOOCs in 2013 and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Andy was named in Jisc’s Top 10 Social Media Superstars for 2017. He is also Chair for The Library and Information Association – Multi Media and Information Technology Committee. Andy edited a book on Altmetrics for Facet Publishing which is aimed at researchers and librarians.

Tweets @Andy_Tattersall

Joining Details

Join the live session by clicking the link below:

https://sheffield.adobeconnect.com/mmit

The session takes place in an Adobe Connect webinar – headphones and a microphone are advisable, but the microphone is not essential. You can also join using a tablet or smartphone with the Adobe Connect mobile app.

We look forward to meeting you online soon! If you have trouble joining and the guidance below doesn’t help contact us at scharr-tel@sheffield.ac.uk

Troubleshooting:

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect session, a quick start guide can be found at: http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/products/adobeconnect/pdfs/VQS_Guide_for_Participants.pdf

Adobe Connect provides an online connection test for troubleshooting connection problems. This tests the four key components for a successful Adobe Connect experience:

  • Flash Player version
  • Network connectivity to the Adobe Connect Server
  • Available bandwidth
  • Acrobat Connect Meeting Add-in version

You can access this test at the following URL:

https://admin.acrobat.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

 

Libraries and free technology – Bargains to be found if you look around and avoid the pitfalls

This post was originally written by Andy Tattersall ahead of his and fellow MmIT committee member Christina Harbour’s participation in the next #uklibchat

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https://uklibchat.wordpress.com/

There is the line that you can never have too much of good thing and these days there are so many good things that librarians and information professionals can employ in their working environment. The great thing is that since we emerged from the world of Web 1.0 to 2.0 that a lot of these newer tools are free and actually quite useful. The flipside is that a lot aren’t that good or just can’t be applied in a library setting, regardless of how hard you try and knock a square peg into a round hole, it won’t go (unless the square peg is smaller of course).

Libraries are no different from any kind of organisation, they have to use formally licensed software for the day to day running of their service. Even though this does not always mean the leanest or most dynamic of packages serving your library, but it does mean you will get a good level of service support and that is essential. The smaller, more niche tools have a part to play in this technology ecosystem – just like the microbes and bugs on Planet Earth – if we remove them the whole system would collapse. The larger technology companies often need the smaller companies to keep the environment from becoming stale and predictable. They also can eat them up from time to time, just like our bugs and other real world creatures. Take for example how – at the time independent company – Mendeley changed reference management dramatically for the better. The smaller technology companies are less likely to get bogged down by bloated platforms run by large companies who focus first on foremost in delivering a stable product for their users. Like I say, the stability of large platforms is essential, the flexibility and dynamic nature of smaller technologies is often where the real action is at.

The last ten years has seen a tremendous growth in new technologies that can be applied in a library setting. The financial cost of these tools, such as Canva, Twitter, Adobe Spark and Eventbrite can be free. Yet with freedom can come a cost as problems can start to float to the surface, although not all of these problems are that worrisome. The old adage ‘If you are not paying for the product – you are the product’ certainly rings true with how some technologies will give you a free ride if you give them your data in return. There are also issues around what do you do when you become hooked into a useful platform, but want more from the premium add ons and the person holding the purse strings says no. How do you know whether the tool you are using will be here tomorrow – remember PageFlakes, Storify, Readability, Google Reader and Silk anyone?

Another question for the typical library or information professional is which tools are best and how can they be applied and which will work on their system – take for example a librarian in an NHS setting. The final and most crucial issue is around the investment of time used to master new tools and that can be problematic depending on the learning curve, but if you know how to use Microsoft Word you’ll probably master most lightweight tools in very little time. The sheer number of tools that can be used in the library sector is overwhelming, regardless of whether you are a public, NHS, business or academic librarian. One tool may solve a host of problems for one librarian but be as useful as a chocolate teapot for another. It is all about application and one of the greatest things to see in technology uptake in the library is how one person can use a tool and then another take that same tool and apply it in a totally unexpected way just as successfully. This is the wonderful thing about these technologies, whether it is Menitmeter for polling, Pocket for curating or Piktochart for posters, you you use it may be totally different from how someone else does.

 

MmIT Join #uklibchat Technology in libraries. Monday 3rd September 7.00-8.30pm BST

Join #uklibchat this September with MmIT Chair Andy Tattersall and committee member Christina Harbour to discuss the ever growing and changing topic within Libraries, Technology. cropped-uklibchatskysegoe

We will have a featured post in the next few days, along with some articles (keep an eye on Twitter) for now the Agenda is up and running so please add your questions.

This is open to all sectors of the library profession, so feel free to pop along on Monday the 3rd of September at 7pm, as usual, join in using the #uklibchat hashtag to make your voice heard.

Spring issue of our journal out now – focus on sound and vision

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Editorial by Clare Brown

Listen? Can you hear anything? It’s the sound of the library! The theme of this edition of the MMIT Journal is primarily ‘sound’. The intention was to give our varied contributors a broad brief, with a free rein to explore what is important to them, their organisations, and the wider information sharing environment. The imaginative responses around audio and visual communication have been a revelation and I hope you will as inspired by these pieces as I have been.

 

 

This month’s journal can be viewed and downloaded here

Editorial – Clare Brown 1-2

Using Adobe Spark to create short animated information videos– Andy Tattersall 3- 6

Virtual Reality: does it really matter?- Antony Groves 7 – 9

National Aerospace Library Sound Archive – Brian Riddle 10 – 12

Making in libraries: a brief history of the Makercart in UK libraries – Carlos Izsac 13 – 15

A Library is Not Just Books: The Musician, the Engineer, the Librarian – Clare Brown & Remy Maisel 16 – 19

Raspberry Pi Driven Digital Signage – Jon Knight & Jason Cooper 20 – 23

A Sound Space for Reading and Interaction – Madeline Wilson-Ojo 24- 25

Listen: an introduction to the British Library sound archive– Steve Cleary 26 – 27

Broadcasting the library – Shush! Sounds from University College Cork Library – Martin O’Connor & Ronan Madden 28 – 32

Podcasts Empowering Personal and Professional Development – Sarah Braun 33 – 35

24 Hour Inspire – How two information professionals set up a pop-up radio station.– Andy Tattersall & Mark Clowes 36 – 38

Remixing the Library: Revolutions Per Minute with ‘Sounds of the Stax’– Marilyn Clarke & Andrew Gray 39 – 41

An introduction to text mining with AntLab and Voyant Tools

By MmIT Committee Member Antony Groves

Image of Antony Groves
Antony Groves

Increasingly you may hear researchers, librarians and other information professionals talk about “text mining”. Although this is a process aligned with information retrieval, it is not always clear how we can support and engage with these related activities. The following post brings together a number of resources that show the value and benefits of text mining, and introduces two free tools to help you start exploring this growing area of work.

The introduction to the PLOS Text Mining Collection, a useful selection of open access research and essays relating to text mining, explains that:

“The maturing field of Text Mining aims to solve problems concerning the retrieval, extraction and analysis of unstructured information in digital text, and revolutionize how scientists access and interpret data that might otherwise remain buried in the literature”.

An example of this is Yale University’s Robots Reading Vogue project where a huge volume of text and data (over 6 TB) has been analysed to show, amongst other things, how the use of particular words has risen and fallen over the publication’s history (the n-gram Search). At the University of Sussex there are numerous projects coming from the Text Analysis Group and the Sussex Humanities Lab exploring large corpora (collections of written text by particular authors or about particular subjects) through text mining. We have even started to run workshops in the Library introducing tools to help students who are interested in this area of research. I would like to share two of these resources here: AntLab and Voyant Tools (you can find even more in the TAPoR collection).

AntLab contains a number of freely available tools (although donations and patronage are welcome) built by Dr Laurence Anthony, which can be found on the Software section of his website. For the purpose of this post, I would like to highlight AntFileConverter, a tool for converting PDF and Word files into plain text for analysis – something that can also be helpful for improving accessibility. To use AntFileConverter download and open the appropriate software version for your computer, drag the file you wish to convert into the ‘Input Files’ box, and click ‘Start’. For this demonstration I have used the PDF of the first Open Access volume of the MmIT Journal:

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As explained in the user support, “the converted files will be saved in the same directory as the original files with the same name but with the “.txt” extension added”. This .txt file can then be used with other AntLab software, although here will be analysed with Voyant Tools, a free “web-based reading and analysis environment for digital texts”. To do this, upload the .txt file created with AntFileConverter into the Voyant Tools box:

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Click on ‘Reveal’ to run the analysis and view the results:

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The default tools include Cirrus, Reader, Trends, Summary and Contexts, which you can learn more about in the Getting Started Guide. There are also a number of additional tools, including the TermsBerry. To use this particular tool, click on TermsBerry next to Reader above the second panel:

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The TermsBerry shows how often particular terms occur and how frequently they appear next to other terms. The TermsBerry I have shared above shows that in Volume 43 of the MmIT Journal, the words ‘library’ and ‘information’ are two of the most common (they are in larger bubbles). If you hover over one of the terms, for example ‘digital’, you will see that this word appears 121 times in the text, most commonly co-occurring with ‘literacy’ (29 times), followed by ‘skills’, ‘media’ and ‘information’; topics that should interest MmIT readers!

To enable this mining and sharing, reforms to Copyright legislation mean that copies of a work can be made for the purposes of text and data analysis (providing you have lawful access to the original work, which in this case is open access). Additionally, as explained in the ‘Sharing outputs’ section of this Jisc guide, the results of the analysis can usually be shared with anyone (although there are exceptions to this when the analysis goes beyond counts and ‘facts’ about the work, and includes large amounts of the original copyright material). So armed with a few tools, and copyright law on our side, it’s time to make text mining yours.

 

 

 

Pocket: Read when you have the time, not when you find the content: #CILIPConf18 bursary winner

Lizzie

 MmIT is delighted to announce that the bursary to #CILIPConf18 has been won by Lizzie Sparrow, Leventis Library Manager.  Lizzie provides library and information services to the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and nine internationally-focused nature conservation organisations.

 We asked entrants to draft a blog post about their favourite technology.  Below we publish Lizzie’s blog post on her favourite tech tool is, Pocket.

Pocket: Read when you have the time, not when you find the content

If you’re reading this, you’re probably like me. You enjoy reading blogs to keep up with professional news, trends and ideas. Reading opinion articles and industry news can be a valuable tool in your professional development toolbox. But lots of us find that either it ends up devouring time we want to (or should!) be spending on something else, or we end up with a mountain of links to articles we were going to read but haven’t got to yet.

pocket
Lost track of time again? Image attribute: Designed by Freepik

We all know the scenario: you open a webpage looking for information and notice a link to an interesting article. You follow the link and start reading the article, which links to two more articles that grab you. Suddenly, you realise half an hour has slipped by. It’s not that reading those articles was pointless, but maybe it wasn’t the best use of that particular half hour. So maybe next time you come across this situation you discipline yourself, refusing to let your attention be diverted from the task in hand. Instead, you bookmark the articles or email them to yourself. Do you ever get around to reading them? Probably not.

If this sounds familiar what you need is Pocket. One click and the article is sat in your phone or tablet ready for the next time you find yourself with a spare few minutes. Arrive early to a meeting? Get your phone out and start reading. Miss the bus and have to wait 10 minutes for the next one? No problem, that’s two blog posts read. As of March 2018, the Android and iOS Pocket apps even give you an estimated reading time for each article to help you decide which of your ‘pocketed’ articles best fits the time you have available. And you’re not limited to text. Pocket can handle images and video too.

WomanLookingAtPhone
“Pocket fits into those little gaps in your day.” (no attribution required)

With Pocket, like many other forms of tech, it’s not the tech itself that’s so special – Pocket is a pretty simple tool. What’s special is how it can easily fit into your life to provide a solution to a problem. The one click entry makes adding content quick and easy when you need to avoid being distracted, and the access via an app makes your content available wherever you happen to be when you have the time to read it.

Pocket works on multiple operating systems and browsers, and automatically syncs. So, once you’ve set it up it doesn’t matter which of your devices you have with you. Once synced, your content is available offline, so you don’t have to worry about mobile data blackspots. That’s why Pocket is one of my favourite tech tools. I used to spend my commute aimlessly browsing social media feeling unproductive, then get to work and find trying to keep up with professional reading distracting me from more important priorities. I’ve been using Pocket for a couple of years now and feel more productive both on my commute and at the office.

With my information literacy training hat on, Pocket is also one of the tools I regularly recommend to my library users. I run a workplace library and many of my colleagues tell me they just don’t have time to keep up with news in their field of expertise because they’re too busy running projects and managing their teams. If, when I dig deeper, it’s finding time to read that’s the problem, Pocket and a smartphone is often the solution.