Professional Development

MOOC from EdX with Stan Lee and Michael Uslan on The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture

The Smithsonian and EdX are offering a free MOOC called The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture co-taught by Stan Lee and Michael Uslan. It begins on May 5th and run for 5 weeks. Go here to learn more and register!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpPBs3M-4Rs]

From Superman® and Spiderman®, to The Avengers® and The Hulk® and beyond, who are these heroes? And, how have they evolved from folklore and myth, across all cultures and religions?

Learn from Smithsonian and industry experts including:

Stan Lee, who created the modern superhero template. His early comics featuring Spiderman, Iron Man®, The Hulk, Thor®, and The Avengers led Marvel to success. He continues to reinvent himself to create modern global superheroes and appear in cameos in superhero films and TV, such as Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Michael Uslan, executive producer of top grossing, award winning movies, including The Dark Knight series, Lego® Movie, the animated Batman films and Batman® VS Superman.

In this course, we explore the following questions:

  • Why did superheroes first arise in 1938 and experience what we refer to as their “Golden Age” during World War II?
  • Why did the superhero genre ebb and flow in popularity over the decades?
  • How have comic books, published weekly since the mid-1930’s, mirrored a changing American society, reflecting our mores, slang, fads, biases and prejudices?
  • Why was the comic book industry nearly shut down in the McCarthy Era of the 1950’s?
  • How did our superheroes become super-villains in the eyes of the government, clergy, educators, and parents of the mid-20th Century?
  • When and how did comic books become acceptable again, and eventually become valid teaching tools in universities and schools?
  • When and how did comic book artwork become accepted as a true American art form as indigenous to this country as jazz?
  • Finally, when and how did comic books become “cool” and the basis for blockbuster movies, hit TV series, top-selling video games, and acclaimed animation, while also impacting fashion and style- and even the moral and ethical codes of children- around the globe?

via The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture | edX.

Professional Development

Thoughts on SXSWi from a Librarian

Henry Stokes, Library Technology Consultant at the Texas State Library, recently attended South-by-Southwest Interactive and has shared his thoughts on what he learned here and here. The future sounds pretty amazing… wearable drones and ingestible technology! I found it interesting and thought you might, too! via SXSW Interactive 2015: Future Perfected, part 1 | Library Developments.

Information Science · Professional Development · Public Libraries

MOOC on Public Library User Experience

The School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is hosting a MOOC on Public Library User Experience that sounds pretty interesting.

The objectives of the course are:

Students completing the Customer Service Module will be able to:

  • Identify overarching principles that guide high quality public library service.
  • Describe trending options for experiences and spaces in your library that engage patrons and create a third place or refuge for the public.
  • Recognize the need for ongoing staff training that can build relationships and keep a safe environment for learning.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the diversity in audiences and the techniques available to reach out and provide great service.
  • Recognize the importance of programming as a commitment to library customer service that will create experiences beyond patron expectations.

Students completing the Youth Programming module will be able to:

  • To become aware of the past, present and potential future of library services for children and young adults.
  • To develop skills in assessing needs and utilizing goals and objectives to plan services and programs, and in evaluating services and programs.
  • To build specific programs appropriate for various age groups and to observe and conduct model programs in real settings.
  • To become aware of the potential of technology as well as other media in providing information services, in meeting educational needs, and in promoting total literacy.
  • To develop a philosophy of service for youth.

Students completing the Technology module will be able to:

  • Describe the basic library system components (OPAC, Circulation, Cataloging, Acquisitions, Serials) and how they serve us.
  • Identify current Discovery Systems and evaluate their impact on the traditional catalog for library users.
  • Show familiarity with technology standards (from MARC to OAI-PMH) that make a library work.
  • Understand how inventory control works with barcode/RFID technologies to ensure that both staff and library users can find what they want — and keep it safe.
  • Recognize basic networking strategies for cabled and for wireless access along with management and security concerns for all users.
  • Demonstrate awareness of current and upcoming library technologies and place these technologies in context for the public library community.

Students completing the Community Engagement module will be able to:

  • Identify community issues and challenges, including illustrating an area where community engagement is lacking and would be beneficial.
  • Describe the role their public library can play in identifying and addressing the issue.
  • Recognize the types of relevant community partners that can help support and enhance a community engagement project.
  • Describe and assess potential community engagement methods based on an analysis of community need and available resources.
  • Create a plan of action for their public library to take when implementing a community engagement project.
  • Evaluate the steps, resources, and knowledge needed to set the community engagement plan into action.

I had to learn more about how they combined subjects in the School of Informatics and Computing. Apparently it is the first program like this in the US and it combines computing, social science, and information systems. Fascinating! With the Rutgers School of Communication and Information recently dropping “Science” and calling the degree a Master of Information, we are probably going to see many changes like this in the way we define an education in information.

Anyway, this MOOC sounds interesting. You can enroll for the course here.

Professional Development

Free Webinars for Librarians This Week: March 30-April 3

The Texas State Library has put together a handy dandy list of free online professional development opportunities for the week. I will add any others I see. Go learn! Wednesday April 1, 2015 How to Kill Your Book Club (Or Never Be Asked Back Again) (NCompass Live) On this April 1st, we take a light-hearted look… Continue reading Free Webinars for Librarians This Week: March 30-April 3

Professional Development

Free webinar series on technology tools from the Texas State Library

This is a series that TSLAC has been doing for several years now. I just registered for the first one in late April on Social Media. They topics they are going to cover are

  • Social Media: Needs Analysis
  • Social Media: Marketing Strategy
  • Social Media: Engaging Patrons
  • Online Fundraising
  • Arduino (mail order kits for building digital and interactive devices

The archive going back to 2010 is also available. Register for the current series or view the archive here.

Please join us for a special series with technology trainer, Christine Walczyk, all about popular online tools. The series is meant to be short on talk about library context and higher concepts. It’s really all about the tools themselves! Our aim is to demonstrate how to use one tool in each webinar in under 60 minutes with time for Q&A built in.

Christine Walczyk is currently a PhD candidate at the University of North Texas in Library & Information Science as well as an independent technology/library consultant with Trainers-R-Us.. She has 10+ years in libraries and is a former software trainer.

via Webinars | TSLAC.

Digital Content

eBooksAreForever

The problems associated with digital content are perhaps some of the biggest facing libraries today, in my opinion. As the demand to access digital content rises, libraries are more and more at the mercy of licensing agreements from publishers. Our budgets are wrapped up on content that we don’t own or control.

Someone wants to help us with that. eBooksAreForever is trying to create a collection of ebooks for libraries in North America at sustainable prices that will be completely controlled and owned by the library. They also are working to allow unlimited simultaneous use for patrons.

Ebooks are forever. So why can’t libraries buy ebooks at affordable prices, and own those ebooks for eternity?

Now libraries can.

At eBooksAreForever, our goal is simple: easily deliver great ebook content to libraries all across the country. Not only will libraries own the ebooks they buy, they’ll have easy access to as many copies as they need so more than one patron can borrow a title at the same time. And buying a single title will allow the library to lend it in all ebook formats, both present and future.

Our Plans

Imagine a single point where libraries can come to purchase the titles their patrons want; a system that interfaces with any and every library, regardless of what ILS they are running; a marketplace that is constantly adding content, while growing with the industry it serves. Imagine a service that brings all of the random branches of the current library community together for the very first time.

We’re working to make it easy, fast, and lucrative for libraries to acquire ebooks. Yes, we said lucrative (read the FAQ for more information). Libraries are asking for solutions… and eBooksAreForever is listening.

via About Us and Meet Our Authors | eBooksAreForever.

They are only in beta. I am very curious as to how they will accomplish simultaneous use. And I am sure they, like other ebook platforms, will suffer from unknown or unwanted collection content. But I applaud the effort. When I try to think of how we can get out of the choke hold publishers have us in, my mind hurts by all of the obstacles we face. ANY effort to make the information flow more freely is good by me… but that is just me with my radical ideas. Going to keep my eye on this!

Professional Development

Library Management in the Digital Age with Dr. Julie Todaro: FREE!

TLA is hosting a webinar with Dr. Julie Todaro, dean of libraries at Austin Community College and current candidate for President of ALA. For FREE! Register here.

April 7, 1-2pm Central Time

Managing and leading in library and information settings today requires: different techniques to address change in general; techniques for identifying change specific to organizations and workers; timing considerations for faster moving work and umbrella organization settings; using contemporary visuals for illustrating issues; finding unique data for articulating value; and, persuasive content to match techniques to target populations. This one-hour webinar offers specific ideas and techniques for managers and leaders as well as a handout with extensive web links of content and examples.

via Digital Age Management and Leadership: Five Critical Steps to Integrating Digital Age Techniques into the Workplace | Texas Library Association.

School Libraries

Search literacy lesson plans from Google for the classroom

Google Search Education provides search literacy lesson plans that can be used in the classroom to teach students about picking the right search terms, understanding search results, narrowing a search to get the best results, searching for evidence for research tasks, evaluating credibility of sources. Each of these topics has a plan developed specifically for… Continue reading Search literacy lesson plans from Google for the classroom