At the Ref Desk (5/12/20): We have entered the Age of Lookups. [more...]
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Leo Klein's blog

Today's Hike

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 5/28/20 (7:37pm)

Some beautiful shots from today's hike downtown to State & Roosevelt. (Actually the last one was when I got back home -- resting up & munching on a sandwich).

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The Value of Library Reference : You Decide

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 4/28/20 (5:51pm)

It’s 8:30pm on a Tuesday evening. Student contacts Reference Desk saying he/she is looking for ‘research’ articles on effects of poverty on success in education. Instructor wants list of articles from student by class tomorrow.

Student Worker Solution:

  1. Sends link to Research Guide for Education
  2. Says ‘good evening’.

Reference Librarian Solution:

  1. Explains that there are several databases -- some focused on education, some focused on social science
  2. Steps through how to access these databases by pointing to library’s home page and link to ‘Research Guides’ -- where databases are arranged by subject
  3. In background does quickie search through standard databases, sizing up the lay of the land and then recommends to student strategies/pathways that appear most promising
  4. And oh yeah: Explains how to identify ‘research’ articles through a number of characteristics
  5. Says ‘good evening’.

Observation : Both responses did in fact answer the student’s question. So what’s the diff?

Today's Story : Burger on Bench

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 4/3/20 (6:04pm)

Out on the green with a number from 5 Guys.

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Our Current Predicament (Academic Library Edition)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 4/2/20 (9:55am)

Digitization in an Emergency: Fair Use/Fair Dealing and How Libraries Are Adapting to the Pandemic (Ryan Clough, ARL Blog):

“Like every other major institution operating during the coronavirus pandemic, research libraries are confronting sudden and radical shifts in their daily realities. Foremost among these challenges is the near-total loss of access to paper books and other physical library holdings. As of today, nearly every ARL member in the United States and Canada has closed its brick-and-mortar facilities and discontinued or severely limited access to print collections.... This emergency is truly unprecedented in modern times, even during times of war.”

More here...

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Alas No ALA 2020

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 3/25/20 (2:03pm)

The news came out on Tuesday (3/24/2020): No ALA in Chicago this year :-(

Already for a couple of days, I was wondering if maybe the organizers were taking a chance: you know, maybe things would clear up by June. Apparently not. Below is the official announcement sent to members already registered for the event. There's always next year, I guess.

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Home Rule

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 3/23/20 (2:12pm)

We got the notice last week that the university (library included) would shut down. Students had to move out of dorms. Instructors had to reconfigure their classes -- not just for next quarter (Spring 2020) but for finals happening that very week. For the foreseeable future, we'll be handling library questions from home using email and IM (instant message). At the moment it's all about what to do with borrowed materials and when will the library reopen.

Schools across the country (not to mention world) are experiencing the same. I have absolutely the greatest sympathy for both our students and faculty. This is something none of us will ever forget.

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Current Cites for Feb. 2020

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 3/1/20 (11:58am)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for Feb. 2020 is out! You can find the issue here...

Wrote about an interesting study that looked at the characteristics of transfer students at the undergrad level. Rang a bell.

Snack time at the RefDesk

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 2/25/20 (6:54pm)

People at work were kind enough to bring in some munchies.

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ALA Annual 2020 in Chicago

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 1/25/20 (9:13pm)

Yahoo! The ALA Annual Conference is coming back to Chicago! Me? I'm already registered.

Update (3/25/2020): Bummer, ALA Conference for 2020 cancelled! More here...

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#SaveDotOrg

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 1/15/20 (7:36pm)

One way to demolish the Internet is to take over its address names.

Electronic Frontier Foundation:

"This month it was suddenly announced that the nonprofit that owns the .ORG domain registry was planning to sell it to a private equity firm, Ethos Capital. This could impact the millions of individuals and organizations that have a .ORG website, subjecting them to potential censorship and leaving the door open for price increases on domain registration and renewals."

More here and here.

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