Serendipitous learning and the library

I am a firm believer in serendipitous learning at the library. I cannot remember how many times a key piece of information for my assignments came from a book I picked up while searching for something else on the bookshelves. Shelf browsing does a lot for me. Walking from shelf to shelf, I can observe the development of a branch of knowledge. I note with interest how certain call numbers have a bigger collection or lack of it. I recognized some titles and laugh at others. I discover books on topics that I did not even know existed. I learned about Continue Reading

Effective Lecture Is Possible [workshop notes]

An effective lecture is possible according to this workshop I attended. I was surprised how many strategies can be used in a lecture to help a student learn. Introduction The traditional lecture and the reasons for using them are being challenged today. Technology and pedagogical research present major challenges for the traditional lecture. Lecturers drone on and students are bored. But lectures are still useful when there is a large number of students to teach. This workshop looks at how you can make lectures worthwhile for students and strategies for making them more interactive. Outcomes By the end of this Continue Reading

Identifying Learning Outcomes and Planning Learning Activities

Planning learning activities that contribute to the learning outcomes and using Bloom’s Taxonomy to identify good learning outcomes are my take-away from this workshop. Introduction This workshop addresses two key elements of course design: student learning outcomes and learning activities, and the important relationship between them. The underlying concept in the workshop is that of ‘alignment’. In the case of the topic of this workshop, alignment means that first, the learning outcomes are clearly expressed in terms of what the students will be able to do by the end of a course. Secondly, the activities the students undertake in the course Continue Reading

Supporting open research [workshop notes]

Supporting open research is a 2-day workshop I attended regarding research data management and open data publishing. This post contains notes and hyperlinks to relevant resources. Content included: Introduction to Research Data Management (RDM) What is RDM What is open research Barriers to data sharing Engaging researchers with services Common issues Successful approaches Co-designing services Communications strategies Data selection and licensing Why should you select data for retention and publications? Which criteria inform selection? What are appropriate licences for data? Data description and repository selection Metadata for research data Deciding what to publish Selecting a repository Preserving data which can’t Continue Reading

The Transformed Library: E-books, Expertise, and Evolution [Review]

The Transformed Library: E-Books, Expertise, and Evolution by Jeannette Woodward My rating: 4 of 5 stars My Review: It is a sobering read about the future of libraries, especially the section on academic libraries and how university administrators’ view us. And how most of our efforts to create and articulate value fell short because we are missing the point. She made observations about initiatives and projects libraries embarked on and how there are more misses than hits. Her observation about how social media engagement in libraries is done without true commitment rings true in my own library. She isn’t gloomy about Continue Reading

Organizing Book Talks In The Library

My reflection of organizing book talks when I was a Communication librarian at NTU Singapore.  The highlight of my first year at NTU Libraries is the successful planning and organisation of 2 book talks featuring journalists. The first was Neil Humphreys and the second was Tom Plate. Neil Humphreys A simple email from Marshall Cavendish to the Library turned into a public talk by Neil Humphreys at the School of Communication and Information before he left Singapore for Geelong, Australia. Neil’s Tour of Singapore … in 60 minutes was held on 29 August 2006 during lunch time. More than 200 Continue Reading

Self-publishing a book? Make sure you get an ISBN and CIP data for it

An article about self-publishing a book, getting an ISBN and CIP data. This article was originally written for the January 2016 issue of NTU Libraries’ newsletter “Library Xpress”.  2 books lay on the table in front of me. Both are donated by a faculty member to the library. I think they contain fairly good content and I wanted to add them to the library’s collection. However, both publications lack International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) and Cataloguing-In-Publication (CIP) data. Without these 2 pieces of information, these books are like orphans, aliens, unknowns in the world of information. Nobody knows about them Continue Reading

Storytelling: An investigation of the process of learning during an Information Technology implementation at RMIT University

I have been meaning to clean up and upload my 2003 Master’s thesis. Today, finally, I decided that it should be done. So, here it is. I apologize for the long unsexy title. Not very library related I guess but a load of fun to write…from hindsight. Abstract Information Systems (IS) failure research would define the Academic Management System (AMS) project at RMIT University a failure because it did not deliver its expected outcomes. In spite of all the unflattering reports, the AMS has become a permanent fixture in the workplace for staff at RMIT University. They had learnt to Continue Reading

Bookings: Making Makerspaces for Artists’ Books | ARLISNA2014

Makerspaces in libraries is getting a lot of attention lately. Although well received and implemented in public libraries, academic libraries are still trying to explore what they can do with makerspaces. A number of makerspaces in academic libraries centred around cutting edge technology like 3D printing and multimedia editing tools. But makerspaces is more than that. This Bookings: Making Makerspaces for Artists’ Books workshop explores the possibility of developing a makerspace focused around the book. This implies offering space and having equipment and tools in the library necessary for making artists’ books. By making 3 types of handmade books through Continue Reading

Incorporating Technology: Apps for Reference and Teaching in Art and Architecture Libraries | ARLISNA2014

Incorporating Technology: Apps for Reference and Teaching in Art and Architecture libraries is a workshop. It introduces several apps that the presenters used at the reference desk in their libraries. After the group discussion, most of the academic librarians found the list wanting. The truth is, not many of the free apps or even paid ones are good information sources. Quite a number of academic librarians express reservations about using them to answer reference questions. These apps are mostly content aggregators. For example, Art Authority. It “takes” content from museum partners and present them in an app form. It may Continue Reading

Librarians & altmetrics : tools, tips and use cases

Librarians & altmetrics : tools, tips and use cases is a webinar hosted by Library Connect. My first webinar with Library Connect. The 3 presenters cover the following 3 topics: 1) What are altmetrics 2) Why it is relevant to a librarian 3) Research impact beyond counting Here’s the webinar Here’s my learning points 1) Various providers of altmetrics. I’ve heard of but not the others. Knowing more alternative providers allow librarians like me to think about which can be more appropriate and meaningful. – focus on re-use plum analytics PLOS – one of the first to Continue Reading

Exploring 6tag, an Instagram Photo App for the Window 8 Phone

Thing 2 of 23 Mobile Things: Philippines and Singapore is about photo apps. Photo applications help us manage the photos we took with our mobile phones. As I use a Window 8 Phone, I thought it would be good to showcase 6tag. It is a free WP8 photo application for Instagram before Instagram developed an app for Window. I like this photo app a lot for a few reasons: 1. Although it was designed for Instagram, you can also share your photos simultaneously to other social media accounts. It currently has Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Tumblr VK and Foursquare. You can Continue Reading

Changes to ThomsonReuters’ Web Of Science

Thomson Reuters announced the launch of the re-design of their flagship search platform Web of Science recently. The change should take effect on Monday 13 January 2014. The TR team was here at NTU Library to brief the librarians about key changes. The first 2 changes are merely name changes: The search platform known as Web of Knowledge will be re-branded as Web of Science. The current citation indexes consisting of the Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Conference Proceedings Citation Index, Book Citation Index, Current Chemical Reactions and Index Chemicus will be re-named Continue Reading

Exploring Scimagojr and Journal Citation Reports

In this post, I retrieved and presented listings of top journals from Scimagojr and Journal Citations Reports. According to its website, The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a “portal that includes journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus® database (Elsevier B.V.). These indicators can be used to assess and analyze scientific domains.” Journal Citation Reports is the current de-facto database to retrieve impact factors of scholarly journals. Both lists are presented in tables. The Scimagojr list is created in a simple table. Straightforward with no frills. I created the table in Microsoft WORD Continue Reading

Letting Art & Design Books and Journals “Sell” Themselves

When I first started work at the Art, Design & Media library, I felt that we were under-utilizing the beautiful covers of the art & design books and journals in the library to market the items themselves. When users walk into the library, immediately to their right are 3 current periodical shelves containing major art and design publications. Most come with full color covers. However, all they get to see are 3 end panels with boring shelf guides bearing unfamiliar letters and numbers (Library of Congress Classification Numbers). The New Arrivals were displayed on a low bench and only a Continue Reading

Getting Organized in the Google Era by Douglas C. Merrill and James A. Martin

This post contains my thoughts after reading Getting Organized in the Google Era by Douglas C. Merrill and James A. Martin This is a book about personal information organization. It is about managing the information floating around us and our brains’ inability to contain it all without some help. A lot of Amazon reviewers’ complaints about this book was Merrill’s personal anecdotes about how he coped with information overload during his girlfriend’s terminal illness. I thought this differentiated him from the rest of the pack. Most personal organization books are quite matter-of-fact and cover mostly business or normal family activities. Continue Reading

Information Management Possible? by Alan Flett

This post is about this article I read: Flett, A. (2011). Information Management Possible? Business Information Review, 28(2), 92-100. Retrieved from on 2 September 2011. (you need to be a NTU staff or student to access full text from this link). I enjoyed reading this article perhaps because it was timely and relevant for a project that I have been agonizing over how to start. I seldom feel helpless but this one is like “where do I even begin?”. Before I proceed, a summary by the author. Author provided abstract Information Management often goes awry in organizations due to Continue Reading

From Library Stacks to Library-in-a-pocket: Will Users Be Around? By Choy Fatt Cheong

This post is on: Choy, F. C. (2011). From library stacks to library-in-a-pocket: will users be around? Library Management, 32(1), 62-72. Retrieved from Click to get the full text free at DR-NTU Amidst myriad of library projects here at NTU Library, it is timely to read a viewpoint written by my University Librarian that reminded me of why I am working on some of these projects. Author-provided abstract It is not sufficient to provide useful, high quality and innovative library resources and services. The acid test for their success is whether they will be used frequently. 4 factors are Continue Reading

Digital Consumers: Re-shaping the Information Profession by David Nicholas and Ian Rowlands

This post is on this book: Nicholas, D., & Rowlands, I. (2008). Digital Consumers: Re-shaping the Information Profession. London: Facet. The title seems to convey the hope that by understanding the digital consumer, we can re-invigorate the library profession and perhaps avoid certain demise. Or at least that was my intention when I picked up this book. David Nicholas made a few concluding remarks in the last chapter “Where do we go from here?” and I have some thoughts about them: Live with the prospect of constant change As consumers are the drivers of change, this entails getting very close Continue Reading

Libraries as history: the importance of libraries beyond their texts by David Pearson

Pearson, D. (2007). Libraries as history: the importance of libraries beyond their texts. Paper presented at the Senate House Library Friends: Charles Holden Lecture. Retrieved from Let me reproduce the abstract here to establish context and background: In this edited version of a lecture given in October 2007, David Pearson (Director, University of London Research Library Services) discusses the importance of recognising that the history of libraries is a valid and worthwhile subject, that libraries are interesting things as integral parts of our cultural heritage, and that both they and the books they contain have historical and research value Continue Reading