CIL 2008: Learning Commons: The “IN” in CIL

Learning Commons:   The “in” in CIL

Tom Ipri   (aka Tombrarian)

Tom has been in Las Vegas for 9 months
Tom connects the idea of place (his old home versus new home)

Tom can see a pyramid and the Chrysler building from his office

Learning Commons=Library Commons=Learning Spaces

Tom says that his Information Commons does not allow for modular furniture.   Most of the furniture is bolted together to the floor.

It was predicted in the late 1990’s that libraries would not exist as a result of the web.

Now, libraries are now putting a lot more money into their spaces.

Typical learning commons stuff
movable furninture, more computer apps, study rooms, laptop loans, tutoring services, writing services, practice presentation room, etc

People have an emotional attachment to space
they form an opinion when the walk into a space

Space can facilitate or hinder learing
space should match teaching objectives, learning styles, and social setting
If students don’t respect the physical environment, they likely won’t respect the teacher

How do you add value to a laptop?
Put Adobe Creative Suite on it.   Students are likely not to have that on their own laptops.

CIL 2008: Mobile Search

Mobile Search

Gary Price

Megan Fox

getting to the search box is still a challenge for many users

Gary mentions that he used an iPhone the other day.   The older network on the iPhone (AT&T) was slower than the 3G on his Treo (Sprint).

A very fast but good presentation.   Links available at web.simmons,edu/~fox/mobile.

CIL 2008: Library Web Presence

Library Web Presence

Emily Rimland
Binky Lush
Penn State Library

Kristina DeVoe
Derik Badman
Temple University Libraries

Penn State
Research JumpStart page
built around the idea of widgets
designed for the novice user
includes a few tools that users need the most and use the most
provides instant help
includes search box to the catalog
includes search box for proquest   (demonstrates proquest by searching gnomes, but it did not ask her to authenticate.   )
also includes Research Quick Start   (links to research guides)
also includes quick links
good for teaching, as all the resources you are going to teach a class should be on this page
widgets can be added to iGoogle
Binky went to a place called WidgetBox   (maybe a cool idea to do a business search page)
register with WidgetBox, then click to make a new widget
WidgetBox lets you test your widget, and also gives you analytics.
this may make a lot more sense than doing a toolbar, as all you have to do is update the widget and it will update on all pages.
WidgetBox does allow you to make a facebook app, but it does not allow you to take advance of the social
next up is to do some assessment
been a successful project thus far

Temple University
Subject Guides 2.0
Engaging Patrons Empowering Librarians
old subject guides were static pages
used a Contribute system, but didn’t like it
LibGuides   –purchases in Spring 2007
key benefits of LibGuides
1.   Ease of Use–easy to add stuff–copy and paste urls, add descriptions, etc.
2.   Content is modular
3.   organization is flexible
4.   comments, polls, etc are available
5.   quick bibs

what the numbers say
looks like the month of march was more than most of fall semester
fairly impressive numbers

guides need marketing

other software options
good article in Code4Lib

Meebo Chat for Tech Tools Talk

Paul and I hope you enjoy the talk.  Please use this chat room to interact during the presentation.

New Rules of Web Design

Jeff Wisniewski
University of Pittsburgh

Simplicity Rules
Everyone wants to be like Google.  But Google is a single purpose site.  Library websites differ because they serve multiple functions. 

Content is king, but design matters alot.  Novice users judge in the blink of an eye, and may only judge based on how your site looked.  With an increase in professional design, comes an increase in credibility. 

Need to design your website for what your users are doing.

The rule of seven
Somewhere between 5 and 9 categories for top level navigation

The 3 click rule
This rule is dead
Design for SCENT
Users will click so long as they feel they are on the right path

Design for 800 X 600
Best to optimize for 1024 X 768
Need to think about other platforms, such as handhelds
Use CSS media types  (there is a CSS media type for handheld)  I really need to look at this. 
Make sure you have a flexible design. 

Colors for the web
Most users browse with 24-bit color rendering

For Redesign Inspiration
Take a survey or the general web.  Don’t just look at other library websites. 

How often do you redesign?
A constant, more iterative design is less disruptive. 

Follow your own conventions
Be consistent with what you call things

Established web standards and conventions
home link in the upper left
if you have a banner, make it clickable

Does greater bandwidth give us more design freedom?
Mobile users are on slower networks

Need to support all browsers
For basic content—YES!

Separation of presentation and content means that you don’t have to design a text-only version of the site

CSS support for layout is good enough for modern browsers
“Be a


The very top of the page is most likely to be ignored or only looked at briefly.  “banner blindness”
Don’t put anything at the very top of the page if it is mission critical. 
Google heat map shows what parts of the page are visible to the user, while showing which parts are ignored.  Note to self, the top right is ignored. 

Flash can be used for effective animation and interactivity

Mouseover menus raise usability considerations.  The menus often require ninja-like mouse skills

Tell people when you are going to be opening a new window. 
Content such as PDF, Word, etc, it makes sense to open in a new window. 
Tabbed browsing makes this less of an issue. 

What about scrolling?
these days users are comfortable scrolling
but keep most important content above the fold

Images of people
generally images increase trust
labeled people increase credibility the most