I collect a variety of odds and ends that I find interesting but don’t warrant a full blog posting.  Here are the latest.

New Columbus Metropolitan Library App

As a heavy user of the CML, I had created a bookmark/website link as an app for the Columbus Metropolitan Library.  In March CML released an app for both the iPad and the iPhone, perhaps other platforms as well.  I have realized that OSU Thompson does not appear as a location in this new app.  I’ve asked about it and CML reports that it will appear in the next version of the app.  Check it out on their home page at http://www.columbuslibrary.org/ or get it in the App Store.

iPAD Apps for Children’s Books

Yes, it is true – there are eBook readers designed especially for children (http://www.leapfrog.com/leappad/index.html) as well as apps that run on any Apple or Android platform.  I don’t know about you, but I see more and more extremely well-behaved children in restaurants absorbed in a game or book on mom or dad’s phone or iPad.  They are our future students.  Here’s a nice article about 10 iPad apps based on classic children’s books – http://www.mediabistro.com/ebooknewser/ten-ipad-apps-based-on-classic-childrens-book_b12733.  Also check out these examples – http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/great-interactive-ebooks-kids-android-ipad/

OhioLINK – OCLC Collection and Circulation Analysis Project 2011

This OCLC report by Julia Gammon (Akron) and Ed O’Neill (OCLC) was conducted to “gain a better understanding of how the resources of OhioLINK libraries are being used and to identify how the limited resources of OhioLINK member libraries can be utilized more effectively.”  The study collected and analyzed circulation data for books (30 million items in the final set used for analysis) in the OhioLINK union catalog using FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) analysis.  It would take me pages to explain what FRBR does, but put most simply, it helps you look at items from a title level (all formats and types of holdings) rather than each type of format of the same content as separate.  Check out page 14 for a better explanation of FRBR.

For those of you looking for new research projects, the full data set for individual institutions is available from the project website at http://www.oclc.org/research/activities/ohiolink/circulation.htm.  Figure 3 in the report shows the spreadsheets for OSU.

Here are a few conclusions that the authors draw

  • “The academic richness and histories of the OhioLINK member institutions are reflected in the uniqueness of their library collections. Unique items are not limited to a few large institutions but are widely distributed across many different types of member institutions. The membership should avoid collection practices that homogenize the state-wide collection through unnecessary duplication.
  • Individual institution members commented with surprise on the low use of their non-English language collections. Further study is needed to discover potential causes and trends of these collections’ usage patterns.
  • The most fascinating result of the study was a test of the “80/20” rule. Librarians have long espoused the belief that 80% of a library’s circulation is driven by approximately 20% of the collection. The analysis of a year’s statewide circulation statistics would indicate that 80% of the circulation is driven by just 6% of the collection.”

The full report is available at http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2011/2011-06r.htm

Usability Testing for e-Resources Discovery: How Students Find and Choose e-Resources Using Library Web Sites

An interesting article by Amy Fry and Linda Rich at Bowling Green State University is published in the Journal of Academic Librarianship, v. 37, no. 5 (2011), pp. 386-401.  Here are a few key take-away for me:

  • “Students Stick With What They Know.  If students have used something successfully in the past, they will return to that resource for other research questions.”  The authors go on to recommend that “libraries should get specific in our promotions, capitalizing on the brand recognition students already have and marketing brands that students will remember.”
  • “Students Do What Their Professors Tell Them To Do.  If a professor requires students to use a particular database, they will. … As a result, librarians should collaborate closely with teaching faculty to develop guides, promote collections, and teach students about resources.”
  • “Therefore, getting to that ‘one search box’ for all of the library’s content is crucial to helping students.”
  • “Students Generally Understood the Term ‘Database’”
  • “Subject Lists are for Librarians.”