Monday, October 24, 2016

Mobile Technology for Students – Evolution and Revolution

Jackie Sherlock, campusM

Mobile technology has come a long way in a relatively short space of time. In the the early days, mobile telephones came with batteries as big as suitcases and the only thing that you could do with them was make a phone call. 

Compare that with the smartphones of today. These devices are so much more than a means of telecommunication. To many they are an essential part of their lives, so much so that in a recent survey 74% of students said they couldn’t live without their phone.

This evolution of technology has led to a revolution in user expectations. In a higher education environment, 88% of students say they would struggle to complete their studies without digital technology and they overwhelmingly say that they find this technology easy to use.

Students expect that services will be available to them via their mobile devices. More than that, these students don’t want to go looking for it – they expect relevant, personal, and in-context information delivered directly to them. While this can seem challenging for the institutions that need to provide this information, the direct delivery of in-context, personalized information is where mobile apps become incredibly powerful.

With today's technologies, institutions must make sure that they are delivering content and services to each stakeholder that are as individual as they are. No two people are the same and their app experience should be unique to them. User roles and profiles allow universities and colleges to easily present each member of the university community with exactly the services they need.

Want to find out more? At the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, the campusM team will be showcasing the power of personalization and how campusM apps give you college at your fingertips. Come along to booth 735/834 or learn more now.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Innovations from Our Customers: A Look at IGeLU Developers Day 2016

Miryam Brand, Ex Libris

At Ex Libris we pride ourselves on our amazing customer community. A chief
benefit of our active community is the innovations that our customers continually develop and share. This was particularly evident at the Developers Day at the IGeLU conference in Trondheim, Norway in September of 2016.

We are excited to share the customer and Ex Libris presentations from Developers Day. These presentations show how the community benefits from the openness of Ex Libris products by using APIs and "hacks" that allow them to add even more functionality to their library systems.

Below are links to customer presentations and finally, presentations that the Ex Libris team shared at Developers Day. These presentations include a wide range of functionality -- analytics, search, booking, inventory, UI  -- and products -- Alma, Primo, and Aleph, You can find a page with all the links here. (You can also find a video recording of three of the presentations here.)

Thank you to all the presenters who shared their presentations with us!

From Our Customers:

Presenter: David Lewis, Curtin University
David provided an overview and an introduction to the Perl Analytics API framework and how to use it to automate tasks.

Presenter: Mehmet Celik, K.U. Leuven
This presentation demonstrates the image collection viewer built by Mehmet at K.U. Leuven and ported to the new UI.

Presenter: Karsten Kryger-Hansen, Aalborg University
When users search for lots of different terms over multiple search sessions, it can be hard to remember the records they have seen before. Karsten and the team at Aalborg University have reduced the cognitive burden with a system that saves and highlights records seen before in future searches.

Presenter: Dean Lingley, Purdue University
Dean Lingley discussed Purdue's use of Alma APIs to extend Alma functionality in the areas of booking, inventory control, and third-party search tools.

Presenter: Bettina Kaldenberg, UB Mannheim
Bettina provided an in-depth explanation of the integration of Alma and bibliotheca at UB Mannheim.

Presenter: Joan Kolarik, Weizmann Institute Of Science
Many Ex Libris customers have begun to use Tableau for data visualizations. This presentation discusses Tableau features, template-sharing, and introduces the Tableau/Ex Libris Support Group.

Presenters: Christine Moulen, Rich Wenger, MIT
For a number of years MIT has been running an Article Scanning service, which handles request and delivery of scanned PDFs of articles from materials in storage via Aleph, SFX, and ILLiad. This year, the service was expanded to include materials from all campus libraries, with the centralized scanning facility remaining in the Library Storage Annex. Rich Wenger and Christine Moulen discussed how they experimented with add-ons and added other custom scripting to enable the expanded service. Supplementary material can be downloaded here.

Presenter: Lukas Koster, Library of the University of Amsterdam
This presentation presents the CORE pilot project at the University of Amsterdam, mapping EADs to Primo Collection Discovery using an agnostic data management hub.

From the Ex Libris Team:

Two-Way Communication with Alma Using Webhooks
Presenter: Josh Weisman, Ex Libris
Alma is releasing early support for webhooks, allowing institutions to subscribe to receive notification when certain events happen in the system. This technology opens up new ways to orchestrate processes and integrate systems with Alma. Josh demonstrated the initial Alma webhook support and built a client to receive the notifications.

Presenters: Guy Ben-Porat and Noam Amit, Ex Libris
Guy and Noam presented a technical session on how to customize and work with the new Primo User Interface, including live development demos and various code examples. (The link is to the presentation slides.)

Check out our dedicated Developers Day page with all the links above, and thanks again to all our presenters!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Creating a Better Course Resource List

Having looked at the most pressing challenges in resource list management in the previous installment 
of this blog series, we will now turn to the latest practices and technologies that can help us address these issues.

As noted last time, the VALA 2016 paper entitled “A global and institutional resource-list repository:  a treasure trove for deriving new insights and providing innovative services” identified several key aspects of modern resource list management: standard practices, access to lists and materials on the lists, compliance with copyright regulations, usage information, and integration. This categorization will help us to frame the solutions put forward by the paper’s authors, Tamar Sadeh of the Ex Libris Group and Victoria University Librarian Janet Fletcher, for the creation and use of modern academic resource lists.  

Sadeh and Fletcher referred to Ex Libris Leganto as an example of a resource list management tool that comprehensively addresses the issues they raised. Leganto was developed by Ex Libris in collaboration with five international partners: UNSW Australia;  the University of Oklahoma; Imperial College, London; Kingston University, London; and the University of Leuven.

Standard Practices
Modern resource lists include written, visual and digital formats, and are often dynamic and modified during the semester. With current practices and systems, this often requires instructors and students to use a variety of tools for managing and accessing resources that reside in the same resource list.

In Leganto, the heterogeneous and dynamic nature of a resource lists is easily managed by a uniform, coherent interface that instructors, students, and the library use to manage and access resource lists.. A robust data repository “supports the persistency, updatability, and scalability of the lists,” according to Sadeh and Fletcher. However, they note, adapting to the new standards “may cause a degree of disruption, at least in the short term.” A large part of this disruption is actually a good thing, as “such a technology would highlight inconsistencies, duplications, lists that have not been modified in a long time, outdated information, and broken links.”

Access to Lists and Materials 
Current communications technology has changed the way in which instructors and their students interact and access information. An effective resource list must reflect the most current user expectations, or else it will fail in its purpose.

A prerequisite for a successful solution is an appealing, engaging, and easy-to-use interface, tailored to the user or type of user. The Leganto system, Sadeh and Fletcher noted, was so designed, enabling instructors to easily add to their resource lists from a variety of applications without the need for complex processes. Innovative services (such as student suggestions and automated recommendations) and comment threads engage both instructors and students.

Sadeh and Fletcher further highlighted an extremely beneficial potential consequence of better access to reading lists: interaction and collaboration among instructors, students and librarians.  With Leganto, for example, instructors can get direct and immediate feedback about their resource lists from colleagues, librarians and students. Such back and forth can help instructors discover new types of resources, while encouraging student engagement.

Compliance with Copyright Legislation
In their description of the challenges libraries face in managing resource lists, Sadeh and Fletcher devoted attention to copyright issues in academia. With resource list tools such as Leganto that enable instructors seamlessly share reading list data with the library, librarians can proactively clear copyrights and better monitor resources added to course reading lists. When needed, librarians can receive automatic alerts, inform instructors of a problem, and take immediate corrective action.

Usage Information
A centralized system for resource list creation, promotion and access can provide extremely valuable insights into the impact and effectiveness of the library collection and services offered. As Sadeh and Fletcher noted, Leganto is designed to provide analytics based primarily on resource usage data. This allows librarians to identify trends, information needs and user behavior. “Analytics that highlight the ways in which such lists are used, at the institution or globally… help librarians assess and demonstrate the library’s contribution to teaching and learning,” the authors said.

Each stage of the lifecycle of a resource list has different requirements, from creating a list through making sure the items on the list are accessible to meeting student demands to revising lists and applying lessons learned. Leganto takes the needs of all stakeholders, at each stage, into account, with cross-system workflows that automate procedures and enable the library to scale up to support all the institution’s courses.

In order to facilitate cross-system workflows, Leganto easily integrates with institutional and third-party systems and services. Specifically, Sadeh and Fletcher wrote, the technology involved “interoperates out of the box with the institution’s authentication, learning management system, and library management system, and can be integrated with copyright clearance services, the campus bookstore, and more. As a result, a single workflow can involve multiple participants, such as an academic and a librarian, and several systems and services, each automatically interacting with others as necessary.”

The Necessary Prerequisites

In their paper, after detailing what can be done to raise the value of resource lists today, Sadeh and Fletcher acknowledge that “it is the engagement of both students and academics that will result in high usage and demonstrate the value of a resource-list tool to all stakeholders.” They add, however, that Ex Libris’ Leganto, with its easy-to-use interfaces, cross-system workflows, and a mechanism for evaluation, is likely to be the tool that appeals to the various audiences and provide both educational and institutional value.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Course Resource List Challenge: Where We Stand Now

Welcome to the second installment of our blog series on the thought-provoking 2016 paper entitled, “A global and institutional resource-list repository: a treasure trove for deriving new insights and providing innovative services”, which was published as part of the proceedings of the VALA 2016 conference. This time, we are taking a quick bird’s-eye view of the most pressing challenges in modern course resource list management.

The paper’s authors, Tamar Sadeh of the Ex Libris Group and Victoria University Librarian Janet Fletcher, noted a problematic mismatch between the needs of users – instructors, students, and librarians – and the current (lack of) efficient practices. The issues they identify can be categorized under the following themes.

Standard practices
When an academic resource list can be anything from an online, interactive, multimedia “experience” to a pile of books on a professor’s desk, the problem of standard practices is quickly evident. This is compounded by the fact that resource lists can include all manner of written, visual and digital formats, presented to students through multiple interfaces. Some of these lists are also dynamic and modified during the semester.

Bringing all types of materials together in a useful resource list often falls to the university librarians. They must be extremely creative in developing workarounds to overcome an inherent lack of a standard way of handling, displaying, and making resources available to students.

Access to lists and materials on the lists
As the type of available academic resources has proliferated, so too has the communications technology through which academics and their students interact. While “students expect a direct link to online resources and a clear path to physical ones,” Sadeh and Fletcher note, the reality is that they “need to use several systems and services to find and gain access to all course resources.” As instructors may bypass the library entirely to share list items, the maintenance of the resource list becomes more challenging, and can create logistical issues for the university.

Another issue raised by current technology is the ability to limit access to resource lists and items on these lists, as different institutions have different policies. For those that want to allow wider access or that have open online courses, considerable technological support is often needed to do so securely.  

Compliance with Copyright Regulations
What happens if an instructor emails students a PDF of an article needed for their course or personally uploads it to a learning management system? Is it a breach of copyright law? How about an excerpt from a book? And if it is only conditionally a breach, is there any way to log distribution in practice? Of course, the short answer is: it depends.

Sadeh and Fletcher note the complex copyright rules in academia and the challenges in complying with them. Many university libraries provide detailed guidelines for teaching staff and promote some form of risk mitigation policies. However, the authors observe that “academics are quite likely to find these detailed rules complicated and hard to understand.” Such rules also run the risk of being overly restrictive on the individual, as only a centralized library can coordinate copyright issues.

Usage Information
The ad-hoc nature of current practice in creating course resource lists and making them available to students obscures some of the most valuable data for maintaining a robust library collection. Librarians may not ever know of usage of the resources currently in their collection or of other resources they should urgently acquire or license. Furthermore, strategic library decisions regarding the services offered may be hit-or-miss without accurate resource usage data that identifies trends, information needs and user behavior.

Academic librarians try to take part in each stage of the lifecycle of a resource list. They can help with the creation of lists, obtain relevant materials and facilitate access to them, maintain the lists, monitor them, and coordinate the usage of items across courses. Sadeh and Fletcher note that “such lists cannot be easily created and maintained with the current workflows and the lack of integration between the various systems and services that are involved....” The current use of multiple, non-integrated software, and even hardware, leads to instructors and librarians finding their own solutions, or to in-house tools of very limited scope.

So, Is It Broken? And Can We Fix It?

The problems arising from traditional practices for the creation and use of academic resource lists can be overcome, according to Sadeh and Fletcher. Advanced technology that drives new and innovative practices, they explain, are the keys to change. Next time, we’ll delve in and see what that means in practice. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

How Can We Improve Course Resource Lists?

Once called a “reading list,” because it referred exclusively to books and journals, the academic course material provided by an instructor to his or her students has long since expanded to include all variety of resources – written, visual and digital. In addition, communications technology is constantly developing, changing the way in which instructors and their students interact, and what they have access to.

What that has meant for academic libraries and librarians is that obtaining materials for these resource lists, as they are now known, maintaining them, monitoring them, and facilitating access to them now require handling multiple, non-integrated workflows.

“This shifting reality requires a rethinking of current practices to deliver an easier, more efficient, and more trustworthy way to assemble and manage persistent resource lists; make them available to students; and enable students to use them,” according to a recent conference paper by Tamar Sadeh, Director of Discovery and Delivery Strategy for the Ex Libris Group, and Janet Fletcher, University Librarian at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

In their 2016 paper, entitled “A global and institutional resource-list repository: a treasure trove for deriving new insights and providing innovative services,” Sadeh and Fletcher identify several key challenges in modern resource list management. These include:
  • ·         Lack of standard practices for modern reading lists
  • ·         The need to restrict access to course materials
  • ·         Risk of copyright infringements
  • ·         No way to track usage and obtain insightful statistics
  • ·         Lack of integrated workflows for handling resource lists

They suggest, however, that these challenges can be overcome with innovative, comprehensive resource-list solutions, which will contribute towards new practices of resource list management.

In the following series of posts, we will review Sadeh and Fletcher’s characterization of those challenges, as well as their proposed solutions for a “cost-effective, engaging, insightful, collaborative, and easy-to-use environment for both academics and students.”

Next time, we will look at how academic resource lists are currently organized, and how their content is made available to students.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Future of Academic E-reading, Still a Long Way to Go

This post was originally published on the ProQuest Blog

Chan Li, Senior Data Analyst, California Digital Library

Can academic reading happen as effectively with ebooks as with print books?
Our users told us - not now.
However, our study indicated that it is possible in the future, especially with improved usability of ebooks and new technologies that can support online deep reading.

Over the last ten years, the number of ebooks licensed by the University of California (UC) system has quadrupled and is still growing rapidly. In 2014, there were over 6 million ebook downloads by UC users. At the same time, we often hear from our users that print is still their go-to format for academic book reading.  
The conflict between the large quantitative ebook usage numbers and anecdotal stories about heavy print book use from our users makes us want to better understand the ways our students interact with print and ebooks. Improved understanding will assist us in developing the best services and strategies for managing and providing access to existing and prospective book collections.
In the fall of 2015, librarians from the California Digital Library and the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC)* conducted a series of focus groups with 31 graduate students from the arts, education, history, and literature departments at UCSC to learn about their experience using both print and electronic monographs. The interview questions emphasized both students’ actual behaviors and their preferences, to explore when, why and how graduate students use print books and ebooks to support their research.

Print books are not going away soon

When asked about the format of their most recent book use, the majority of the students indicated that they used and preferred print, although they all use ebooks extensively as well. Most of the print books that students requested were available within the UC library system. Therefore, interlibrary loan was the default print access method for most students we interviewed. 

Access restrictions and usability challenges can make ebooks frustrating to use

Why do our students use and like print books so much? The biggest factor that impacted students’ format selection from our study is accessibility and usability. Despite a few concerns mentioned for print books, for example, short loan periods, personal storage space limitations, library copies that cannot be annotated, and others, print is consistently considered to be easily accessible and convenient to use, especially for a long and deep reading. 
On the other hand, a long list of access restrictions and usability challenges with ebooks were discussed by the majority of the students. Some ebooks have watermarks, some have restrictions on the number of pages that can be downloaded, and some have a limited number of simultaneous users. 
One student joked that because of the simultaneous user limit, he always had to read at 2:00 a.m. Working off campus is a big challenge because some ebooks are only accessible on campus. Students are often very frustrated when the downloading process is slow. One student complained that “That lag is so painful that it brings back my childhood dial-up internet memory.” 
The poor layout of certain ebook platforms makes them very hard to navigate and doesn’t show the whole book in context. Some students reported that many library ebooks are not optimized for e-readers, or the content on e-readers is hard to use, e.g., content not being searchable, incorrect pagination and others. 
Students reported different experiences with annotation tools on ebook platforms. Some students thought that the tools work well especially when the annotations can be centrally stored. Some students complained that the annotations cannot be exported for future use and different platforms design tools differently, which made them challenging to use. 
All of the issues discussed by students demonstrate how much improvement is needed in the area of ebook usability and accessibility.

Reading online can cause physical discomfort

Another factor is physical discomfort. Many students complained that they have experienced fatigue, worsened eyesight, back aches, and other physical discomforts while reading online, which is mainly associated with reading on computer screens. Students reading on e-readers reported less physical discomfort.

Reading online is perceived as less conducive to learning, especially with lots of distractions and little physicality

Then, there is the comprehension factor. One of the students we interviewed compared reading in different formats to running in parks versus treadmills. 
She said “I know what 15 miles feels like, based in part where I am in Golden Gate Park when I run 15 miles and how it feels on my body. But when I run on a treadmill, I don’t have an effective imprinting about what any amount of time or space feels like, because it is uniform...And I am not learning as much.” 
What she vividly described illustrates the role of physicality in reading, where the structure of the text can facilitate comprehension. Navigating text in print books can create a mental path of the content within context, which is critical for learning. 
Students also reported that when trying to locate the particular information they often remembered where in the text it appeared. 
However, scrolling seamless streams of words on ebooks loses the sense of space and the context of the entire text. Some ebooks are displayed as one page. The endless scrolling can greatly inhibit students’ learning experience and comprehension. 
One student reported that “When it hits minimum scrollbar size, I am out. I need a thicker scrollbar that tells me that there is an end to this thing, that I will be able to go through. Because otherwise, there is hopelessness to massively long documents that extend to the ether.”
Also, students reported that they tend to read fast, scan quickly, repeat lines and get distracted easily while reading online, but they tend to slow down and read closely if it is a print book.
So, does it mean that people cannot comprehend and absorb information online? Experiments have been conducted for decades in this area comparing reading on screens versus reading in print. The most recent studies suggest that reading can happen effectively on both formats, with the right technology and adequate digital training. 
At the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, Maryanne Wolf, Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research, gave a great presentation on deep reading in the digital age. She discussed the importance of deep reading, how the human brain works, how print facilitates reading, and most importantly, how digital learning can be taught and encouraged so that deep reading can happen online as well. 
Even though some students we interviewed still have a bias against ebooks, their attitude and perceptions could change if ebook technology improves and if they become more familiar with e-reading techniques. 
More research and development is definitely needed in this area.

Some reading behaviors create opportunities for more ebook use, some pose challenges

During our interviews and discussions, a few academic reading behaviors were identified as factors impacting students’ book format selection. Some of the behaviors create opportunities for more ebook use, while others pose challenges.
Annotation is considered by most of the students as an important part of the reading process. One student said, “It is important to me that my future readings are guided by the things that I marked up.” Another student said, “If I annotate and it doesn’t stay, then I might have well just not read it, because it doesn’t work for me.” Some students even found other people’s notes valuable. 
In terms of formats, some students think it is easy to annotate print books, because they can underline and dog-ear, which helps them memorize the text. Annotating print books is only useful when students purchase their own copies, as library copies are not meant for social annotation. From this perspective, it is quite inconvenient to use library print copies. 
Ebooks licensed by libraries, on the other hand, can provide annotation alternatives. Users can annotate ebooks either through ebook platforms or through a third party annotation tool. Although annotation tools are not offered by all ebook publishers, and sometimes they are cumbersome to use, a few students had successful experiences. They reported that they could underline and write things by hand on a tablet and save the annotations for future use. 
Multi-tasking during reading is easier with ebooks. Reading, writing, and researching are often integrated. Students highly valued ebooks’ search, copy and paste features so that they can write while reading. The hyperlinks on ebooks can make research easier as well.
Repetitive reading is another behavior revealed in our discussions with students at UCSC. When asked about their last book use, all the students indicated that they had either used the book before or were planning to use it again, maybe for different purposes. 
If it is for long and deep reading, it is convenient to use print books. A few students indicated that repetitive reading is one of the reasons for purchasing their own print copies. However, if it is to look up information quickly library books are inconvenient to check out multiples times. From that perspective, ebooks are more accessible. 
Recursive reading is often challenged by reading online. Reading is not a linear, but a recursive process. It requires reading back and forth and comparing content between pages and books, which is often inhibited by reading a single virtual page on the screen.  
One student said, “I can have two to three books open on my desk at the same time and be picking out pieces comparatively through them.” It is easy to put multiple print books together, but not so easy with ebooks. Also, students often found footnotes and appendices very important sources of information – they easily returned to the book checking out the appended notes. With most current ebook layouts, it is often challenging to easily flip between the appendix and the rest of the content.

E-readers create a better reading experience

When asked how they read their ebooks, more than half of the participants read the books on computer screens. They all dislike the experience due to physical discomfort, difficult navigation, and poor layout. 
About a third of students reported that they read their ebooks on e-readers. Most of them enjoy that experience. One student even said that he can only read ebooks that are in the e-reader format. 
Annotation features work better on e-readers than computer screens. Students reported that they can export and print out the annotations as well.
At the same time, a few concerns about e-readers were raised. Pagination is not correct sometimes making ebooks difficult to cite. Some ebooks cannot be searched on e-readers. Some e-reader features depend on apps which are not consistent across publishers. Also, not all ebooks licensed by libraries are optimized for e-readers.

How to make ebooks desirable?

In order to turn challenges into opportunities, first libraries need to conduct product evaluation and usability tests on ebook platforms regularly to understand what features are available on all ebook platforms and what limitations and restrictions exist. Libraries need to work with publishers to improve ebook features, and to design tools, particularly for ebook reading. 
In addition, digital learning doesn’t happen overnight, especially for deep reading. Libraries need to provide better training and technology support to encourage students’ digital reading and learning.
Now let’s hear what our users want from ebooks.
“The closer it is to have the functionality of a real book, where you can quickly...with the flick of a hand, the closer to that experience in general, the more I like it.”
“The ease of actually reading a paper book so don’t get tired, and the portability, taking notes, annotating and storing on an ebook, combining those two things would be absolutely phenomenal.”
We can eventually get what users want, but there is still a long way to go.
Chan Li received her MLIS in 2006 from UCLA. She is the senior data analyst at the California Digital Library, where she manages all aspects of electronic resource assessment activities. The UCSC focus group research project originated from her participation as a scholar in 2014 Institute for Research Design in Librarianship at Loyola Marymount University.
*Key project contributors: Danielle Watters Westbrook (CDL), Kerry Scott (UCSC), Sarah Troy (UCSC), Ivy Anderson (CDL), Emily Stambaugh (CDL), Felicia Poe (CDL)

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Library’s Buzz

School is in session again (at least in the Northern Hemisphere….). This is the perfect time to take a look at the top 50 universities in the world, as well as the top 10 challenges libraries at such academic institutions are facing in 2016 and may continue to face into the future. Speaking of the future, we note that the role of the librarian in India is changing rapidly, as is the design of libraries worldwide and the popularity of visual media resources. To round out this forward-looking picture, we present an article on the risk of “future fatigue” – when novelty becomes a distraction. 

For the twelfth year, the Times Higher Education magazine presents its World University Rankings at the start of the academic year. While the University of Oxford, in England, takes the lead this year for the first time, the magazine also noted that institutions from East Asia have clearly risen in the ranks. Ex Libris is proud to note that our products are facilitating academic excellence at 49 out of the top 50 universities on the list. Read about the rankings here >>>

Jen Cheng is Content Marketing Strategist for Wiley Exchanges, an online community for advice, ideas, and collaboration opportunities. She writes that Wiley took the opportunity of the Sustainable Academic Libraries: Now and Beyond 2016 conference in Hong Kong to poll attending librarians about the top challenges they face today. The list included traditional issues like budgeting and career advancement, as well as several challenges specifically related to the current dynamic technological environment. See the survey answers here >>>

“Librarianship in India is seeing exponential advances in technology and globalization,” according to Shafina Segon, of Taylor & Francis India, and ProQuest’s Nicola Bacon. Their conclusion is based on a series of interviews with librarians at several academic institutions in India, providing a unique perspective on the kinds of changes these advances are creating in the field. Read more here >>>

As part of a series on dealing with disability on campus, The Chronicle of Higher Education presents a video by multimedia producer Julia Schmalz on what is known as “deafspace” (adaptations to make an environment more user friendly for those with hearing disabilities). The video presents some examples of this at Gallaudet University, noting how an approach focused on a broad understanding of accessibility can benefit people with various disabilities. Libraries can learn from this to improve accessibility in both the spatial environment and the online systems that serve patrons. The new discovery user interface of Primo, for example, is continuously tested to ensure that it meets the latest regulations and best practices of user accessibility. Watch the video here >>>

David Lee King, the Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library and an international commentator on emerging technology trends, shares some eye-opening statistics regarding online video. Alongside each stat, he offers his perspective on what it means for the modern library. Check the stats here >>>

With all of the focus on adapting libraries to the rapidly changing technologies of the 21st Century, the Library Journal asks, “How much looking ahead is too much?” Executive Editor Meredith Schwartz suggests that there are dangers in obsessing about novelty, including a quiet, undermining cynicism whenever someone rolls out “the next big thing.” But she also offers some “strategies to combat future fatigue.” Read about them here >>>