2018 Students and Technology Research Study

“This hub provides findings from the 2018 student study in the EDUCAUSE Technology Research in the Academic Community research series. ECAR collaborated with 130 institutions in 9 countries and 36 US states to collect responses from 64,536 students.” Source – From Article

This research explores technology ownership, use patterns, and expectations as they relate to the student experience. Colleges and universities use these findings to better engage students in the learning process, improve IT services, plan for technology shifts that impact students, and become more technologically competitive among peer institutions.” Source – From Article

Source: Educause

Top 5 services deployed by Library Websites

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:

  1. User Services: Checking how items that have been borrowed, reserved status and so forth.
  2. Reference/Research Services: Asking a librarian question, live chat services.
  3. ILL/Document Delivery Request.
  4. New materials recommendations
  5. Library alerts, News, and Events.

chat

Top 3 Social Media tools deployed:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Youtube

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.

  • Should we worry that library websites are no longer the main source to get information?
  • How much of an impact have those services had on our users?
  • How do we measure the success rate of each visitation? How do we define success?

These are just some of the questions swirling in my head …

Below is the list of benchmarked library web sites that we had used:

library

ListBenchmarkedLibs

See how easy it is to keep track of things

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.

  • Evernote
    evernote

    How this tool has helped me:

    • Keep all my critical notes by different category.  I can easily organize all my notes under different headers.   For example, I could slot several notes on electronic resources such as important IP ranges, Proxy information, useful tips and so forth under Electronic Resources.
    • Organize all my ideas, thoughts and suggestions in a single place.  These items could be stuff to write about any potential conference(s), training topics, improving workflows/procedures or even paper for submission to journal(s).
    • Import any significant Outlook emails into Evernote for future references.  So instead of searching/browsing those emails in Outlook, I can extract them into Evernote and save them under different headings.
    • Keep interesting presentation slides and make side notes on them.
    • Clip interesting articles on the Internet and convert them into Evernote notes.  I can then read these articles at a later time.
    • More info can be found here.
  • Trello
    trello

    (I got to know this while on a study visit to Duke University. I met the Head of the Acquisitions team who showed me how easy it was to track their purchases using Trello).  How this tool has helped me:

    • Organize different tasks for separate projects under one roof.  I can create multiple ‘boards’ to store various functions.  I can then monitor the progress of each of these tasks.
    • Control tasks that I have delegated to other team members.  I can track and check if there is a backlog.
    • Attaching file from DropBox or other places to the task(s) that I have created.  In this way, I do not have to toggle the different apps while looking for some information.
    • Create checklists and due dates for various tasks.
    • Import Outlook emails and embed them into a task.
    • Check this site for a tour of Trello.
  • DropBox
    dropbox

    • Save my documents (pdf, ppt, doc, Xls and much more) in the cloud.  I can retrieve them later wherever I am (need Internet connection).
    • Save the space on my laptop/desktop
    • Access on different mobile devices.
    • Info on Dropbox.

What about you? What tool(s) work for you and what doesn’t?

And we have another ‘toy’

sketchnote project management
After months of research, communication, and discussion, our ERM (Electronic Resources Management) team finally got what we wanted …. a new ERM System (ERMS) to replace the obsolete one. Thank God.

We decided to go for Proquest 360 Resource Manager.  One of the advantages is that we are currently using 360 Core, 360 Marc Updates and Summon; all on the same platform and vendor.  Thus seamless integration.

Now that I have finished the recommendation report, I am planning the Implementation Phase of this ERMS. Exciting times.

The road ahead will be challenging and hopefully rewarding.  Given that we only have a small team with varied expertise level, there will be some learning curve (hopefully NOT a steep one).  Thinking back, it was interesting to note the technologies that we had used before in relation to ERM:

  • Innovative Millennium ERM > Replaced by Proquest 360 Resource Manager
  • CASE > Replaced by Proquest 360 Core
  • Encore > Replaced by Proquest Summon
  • MS Outlook > Complimenting the future ERMS
  • MS Sharepoint > Storage point

as well as the challenges that we faced.

I’m thankful and glad to have the opportunity of leading those projects listed above.

Stay tuned.

Tools of trade

Below is the list of tools (not exhaustive) which I find useful in my area of work.  (Not the ones in the illustration 🙂 )

Tools

My favs are Evernote, Trello and MS Sharepoint

Why Evernote? Helps me in keeping track of outstanding e-resources issues – I can attach information  to the notes in Evernote.  These also serves as a knowledge-base for me whenever I’m resolving similar e-resources issues.   Another feature that I find useful is collecting information from various sources such as internet, email snippets, etc.  On top of that, Evernote is also a tool that helps me collect and manage my information when I am planning for family activity such as vacations.  I’d plonked useful information into a notebook in Evernote for future references.

Trello is another tool: Simplifying project management.  I’m still learning this and it’s fun.  I ‘jot’ down all the tasks needed to be done for a particular project, tracking their progress, marking their completion dates and so forth.

MS Sharepoint:  I can create team worksites, document libraries, wiki and blog sites and even forum discussions.  I can share documents selectively, providing admin rights for certain staff and so forth.  There are loads of other features in Sharepoint.

What tools work for you? Appreciate your comments.