I was introduced to a new word “hygge” via Blinklist today. I wanted to discover more about hygge and started googling it as well as reading online articles about this new term. What I got from Oxford online dictionary, the word ‘hygge’ means “A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)” (URL: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/hygge)
Several interesting articles on hygge:
At that moment, I wondered whether there are any Hygge spots in the library. Places where our community can just unwind, huddle-up, or touch base with one another.
I ventured in the library locating every nook and cranny for Hygge spots – somewhere users can sit down and huddle, catch up or touch base with one another. Here are some of the spots that I got:
Not sure whether it’s correct to say this, but here goes: “Happy Hygge-ing” 🙂
Alhamdulillah, today mark the first day (27 May 2017) of the blessed month of Ramadan. This is the month where Muslims all over the world observe ‘fasting’ or ‘sawm.’ Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn till dusk. Muslims also abstain from sexual activities. “Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year.” (http://www.islamicity.org/10254/about-fasting/, Accessed on 27 May 2017). In addition to that, “avoiding immoral behavior (for example backbiting) and anger and showing compassion is part of the requirements of the fasting.” (http://www.islamicity.org/10254/about-fasting/, Accessed on 27 May 2017).
Some useful sites on Ramadan:
Over here, there are some things to note:
Information about Ramadan is shared throughout our campus community. For non-Muslim and first-timers experiencing Ramadan here, a number of talks, activities and information sessions are conducted to inform them about the meaning of Ramadan and what do Muslims do during this blessed month. Community areas are open till early morning. A whole range of activities is organized for the family and individuals living on campus. Our community is also treated to a whole range of Ramadan treats and not forgetting the Arabic coffee.
We have spent close to 8 years over here. There are many beautiful things that we have experienced during Ramadan. The spirit of hospitality and generosity are prevalent. During this time, neighbors exchange food just before Iftar. (Community spirit). Being an international community, we got to taste the different kind of food from all around the world.
It is also a time to increase our spiritual activities and to get closeness to God. Our Grand Mosque on campus is always a hustle and bustle of activity during this month as congregational prayers plus the Qiyam (early morning prayers) are conducted. Muslims would also spend time in the mosque reading the Holy Quran. (especially during the last 10 days of Ramadan). Muslims also visit the 2 holy cities of Makkah and Madinah during this time.
Even then, we still miss Ramadan back home in Singapore. We miss going to the food bazaar to buy food for breaking fast, miss breaking fast with family and Singaporean friends (though we occasionally meet with friends over here for Iftar) and the Taraweeh prayers at our local mosques (plus attending the nightly Ramadan sermons that constantly remind us of life as a true believer).
From my comparative study on benchmarked library websites (2015) which was conducted together with my colleague, the Senior Subject Specialist, we noted that the top 5 services deployed the library websites were:
Top 3 Social Media tools deployed:
Digressing a bit: Social media is another avenue apart from the library websites where our users can also do stuff that is available on library websites. We have already had library alerts and news announced on Facebook and Twitter. We have seen library videos on how to borrow books in the library and so forth. LibAnswers (online reference services) can be activated in Facebook and Twitter as well. Users do not need to visit library websites anymore to get information. On top of that, I had listened to a talk by one of the library directors that mentioned the low rates of library website visitations.
These are just some of the questions swirling in my head …
Below is the list of benchmarked library web sites that we had used:
In my line of work, there are just too many things to keep track. Among them are meetings, project datelines, notes, troubleshooting issues, expiration dates of e-resources, renewal dates, license agreements, metadata issues, access questions, ebook/e-journal requests, … the list keeps going on.
How do I keep track of all these? One of the first methods that I used was noting down in a little notebook followed by pasting 3M post-its on my table, computer screens, coffee mugs … and anything else that I can use to stick those post-its. I would not say that writing down and post-its are not productive/efficient. They do. But as the list keeps growing at an alarming rate, I realized that I needed something more dynamic and robust to keep track the various projects, tasks routines as well as other miscellaneous stuff.
I tried to use different notebooks for various projects, daily routines and the like but it would be too troublesome and I could build a big library keeping all those notebooks. (I’d rather keep one journal to note down the daily happenings in my life). I needed something that could allow me to see everything on one page at a single glance. That’s when I discovered the following 3 cloud services while trawling the internet for answers.
What about you? What tool(s) work for you and what doesn’t?
I’m not into Gardening that much. About 3 years back, I grew a little banana plant in my backyard. Tried to see how far it would go. Did the usual stuff, watering and fertilizing the plant. A few days back, I saw this:
Anyway, I did some research on the best time to pluck the banana from the tree. Got to the following links. Anybody out there has other information on this. (Not the alternative facts please …)
I’m wondering when I should pluck those bananas. Won’t want to do it prematurely 🙂
I’ve just completed the slides for the Electronic Resources Management Systems ERMS project. Highlighted the library’s journey to the new ERMS – Proquest 360 Resource Manager. I recalled the 3 phases that the project went thru. Each of them posed challenges and issues that the project team had to face head on. Endured late but not sleepless nights. Discussions, disagreements, and compromise. Yes, it was hard work; at times it can be nerve-wracking but all in all, it was an enriching experience.
Looking for more adventures on this road …..
Why? Well, the library gets the most number of questions via LibAnswers on Sundays especially between 9am- 12pm. Most questions that the library received revolved around the electronic resources issues as well as circulation issues.
Drilling down further the e-resources issues: they are mostly related to access issues such as broken links, site maintenance, links that went to a different location altogether etc etc.
With all these data, what can the library do to improve their services:
I thought of the following:
More can be found in my slides here.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have drones who can ‘deliver’ print books to our users on campus? And even program the drones to collect them (books) when the due date is up. Perhaps, the drones can even double-up as ‘security’ to patrol the library and identify any shenanigans 🙂 Reminded me of Skynet and the Terminator movies.
Thinking along that line, I decided to Google for more information and found interesting sites on the same topic:
If this is implemented here, it would be a major milestone in the history of the library. Then again, what would become of librarians if more and more of such drones, gadgets and AI technology are introduced? My guess is ….
Just completed my first draft of my paper entitled: An Exploratory study on the use of LibAnswers to Resolve, Track and Monitor Electronic Resources Issues: The KAUST Library experience. Researched on the most common questions related to E-Resources as well as making recommendations for service improvement in this area.
What I found:
Drill Down on Access Issues:
Turnaround time to resolve the e-resource questions: Approx 12 hours
For further discussion(s)/suggestions:
The article can be found here.
It’s almost been a year since we roll-out our library’s web discovery layer known as KORAL: KAUST Online Resources Access Layer (powered by Proquest Summon). [Check out my earlier post on our journey to implement Summon. ]
What are the 3 main lessons that I learned?
(1) Management buy-in: It’s imperative to obtain management buy-in and support; without which, things may go bumpy. With management support, resources may be spared to aid your cause; tasks delegation made easier and fund(s) may be released to boost your project success chances.
(2) Testing(s) and Engaging the User community: I have always believed in engaging our user when implementing any public-facing interface projects. At the end of the day, our users are the ones who will ultimately use the interface/system. They are not at all dumb as some of us would think. By getting their feedback, we are made to see things in a different light; some of which are those that we least expected. Examples of some of these user engagement activities are:
(3) Communication: Whether you are communicating to team members, communicating upwards to library management or communicating to the users, there has to be openness and transparency. We have to be receptive to the feedback; some may be stinging to the ears BUT if it is for the common good, then we have to put our egos aside. At the same time, if it’s necessary to deliver some negative news, then we have to inform that as well. However, when dealing with negative news, there has to be tactfulness and sensitivity involved. Not many could react well to negative information. Most importantly, communication is always a 2-way ‘street’. Be prepared to take as much as you are ready to give.
These are the main ones among the others that I have learned during the project implementation.
Our library uses LibAnswers to track and monitor all our library inquiries. Inquiries received range from directional questions to complex ones such as access issues. Here are my findings on the most common questions received in the first quarter of 2017 (Jan – March 2017):
A quick breakdown of electronic resources issues:
On another note, circulation/access questions cover:
These questions bring up further discussions on
Stay tuned for more updates.