July 27, 2007
Digital Dailies Draw Demand
Earlier this month, I mentioned the ways that digitization projects were spawning new service programs. Today, we see that there is nothing the media likes more than stories related to the media.
As proof, see the stories in our local paper, the News-Gazette and on our local NPR affiliate, WILL, about the launch of the Digital Urbana Daily Courier project.
While both stories aim at strong local interest, the radio segment, in particular, provided Mary Stuart, Head of the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library, with an opportunity to discuss issues such as digital preservation, best practices for providing ongoing access to endangered information resources, and the range of academic inquiry and popular interests that might be supported through support for digital newspaper projects like this one.
July 19, 2007
K-16 Educational Programs
The UIUC Library is unusual among research university libraries in that our system includes a high school library - a distinctive feature that allows us to reach out to local students (and parents), and to take a broad view of information and technology literacy as a critical component of lifelong learning.
For over a decade, students at University Laboratory High School have been required to take a two-semester Computer Literacy course sequence - a sequence that includes the study of safe, responsible, and ethical use of information and communication technologies. Classroom faculty, librarians, and school counselors come together in this program to present role-playing scenarios, facilitate online discussions, and helping students to engage in discussion and debate on the ethics of information use.
This program dovetails nicely with the NetSafe program recently developed by the Illinois Library Association. The NetSafe bookmarks provide an opportunity to extend the Uni High information skills curriculum, both by reinforcing lessons given to students on "Safe Blogging" and "Cyberbullying," and by providing another avenue for discussing information skills instruction with parents (who already take part in the course Web site evaluation project). They also provide an opportunity for us to work with our colleagues in local public and school libraries also taking part in NetSafe.
Safe blogging, or the related issue of appropriate use of social networking sites, is an information and technology literacy issue that bridges the gap between high school and college, and the University Library is fortunate to have a unique resource for studying that transition (and helping to prepare future college students for the rigors of academic life) in the Uni High Library and its librarian, Frances Jacobson Harris.
July 18, 2007
New Librarians, New Services
The "down-side" to successfully promoting the value of your library to your users and to the members of your community is that you have to meet new service demands. Now, that is a problem that we like to have!
This week brings us new resources to meet our commitment to serve a broad range of user needs. Jim Hahn has joined the UIUC Library as Orientation Services Librarian in the Undergraduate Library, and will be focusing his attention on service to prospective, incoming, and first-year students through collaboration with programs such as Campus Visit, Parents' Programs, New Student Programs, Quad Day, and University 101.
The UIUC Library is committed to providing a full range of services to our student community, and Jim's arrival is welcome. We promise to keep him busy.
July 17, 2007
Digital Engagement a Deux
In earlier posts, I've talked about the importance of digital engagement with the community, and about the importance of building service programs for digital initiatives. The hazy days of summer bring us two more excellent examples for the UIUC Library.
First, our digital books project (produced in collaboration with the Open Content Alliance) has a new blog: Digitized Book of the Week. If you are an Illinois alum, a citizen of the State of Illinois, or simply a fan of great books about Illinois, its people, or its concerns, there is something in here for you. Books featured so far include: The Dance of Death (1892), the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Champaign County (1905), and Practical Corn Culture (1914). Illinois buffs can even receive weekly updates through the RSS feed.
And, if that wasn't enough, you can find even more digital content for local historians at the launch of the digital version of the Urbana Daily Courier (1916-25) at the Urbana Free Library on Saturday, July 28th, at 10 am. Digitization of the important source for the study of Illinois history has been coordinated by our History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library, and made possible by support from a grant from the Illinois State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, with additional support from the Clifford Family Endowment.
Both these projects will help to bring the rich resources of the UIUC Library to our users across the State of Illinois, and around the world, and we look forward to helping you use it for your research, teaching, and study.
July 6, 2007
Visions of the Future
The Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET) has produced an engaging vision of the future - one in which library services are:
*designed to meet assessed user needs and to be accountable to the user community;
*primarily digital, with digital content and services aimed both at "local" users and "global" users; and,
*designed and delivered in close collaboration with user communities.
The library of the future is "a collaborator and facilitator in providing information services."
The UIUC Library has already made great strides toward this future with our focus on assessment of services, our commitment to creating robust digital content focused on areas of interest to students and scholars at Illinois, and our strategic goal of fostering new service models that retain the best of our tradition of high-quality service to students and scholars while embracing new user communities, new service commitments, and new ways of doing business.
There's always more to do, but we're on our way!