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NCSU Libraries developing toolkit to make it easier to collect and preserve social media

NCSU Libraries News - Tue, 2014-09-09 14:33

The NCSU Libraries has been awarded a grant to tackle a significant emerging opportunity for academic libraries and the historians, social scientists, and other researchers that they support:  how best to capture and save the increasingly critical but ephemeral social media conversations that now regularly document our lives and times.

The EZ Innovation Grant from the State Library of North Carolina will enable librarians Jason Casden and Brian Dietz to lead a team to develop a freely available web toolkit to help guide institutions that preserve our cultural heritage by collecting and curating the primary documents that are the raw materials of history. Increasingly these materials are created and shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms.  But since few institutions are systematically saving these conversations, much of our current history’s raw material is quickly and irrevocably disappearing as quickly as it is produced.  And while tools to save these materials are becoming more sophisticated and less expensive, very little has been done to help libraries and others deploy them in thoughtful, effective ways.

The NCSU Libraries has previously taken a lead role in this area with its award-winning Lentil platform, an open-source tool that harvests and makes it easy to present collections of social media images from the Instagram platform.  The new grant would build on this work by exploring methods and best practices for integrating social media into existing ways that libraries collect primary materials.  The team will start by investigating social media associated with campus events, spaces, student groups, and campus units at NC State—and will develop software, procedures, and documentation to cost-effectively implement social media archiving at the NCSU Libraries.

This work will then allow the team to develop a web toolkit to help other institutions:

●      Collect official communication of various organizational groups

●      Collect unofficial, crowdsourced communication from communities of interest

●      Develop techniques for enriching collections at a minimal cost by taking advantage of harvesting interfaces provided by social media platforms

The toolkit will also include materials to help other cultural heritage institutions design and document criteria for what they collect and strategies to begin collecting social media. These materials will include a scan of work being done in the area, a risk assessment for potential legal concerns, and a discussion of the impact of social media on archival research.

The social media toolkit is planned for release in Summer 2015.

Jason Casden is the Lead Librarian for the Digital Services Development group at the NCSU Libraries, where he helps to develop and implement scalable digital library applications. Casden was named a Library Journal “Mover & Shaker” in 2011, a designation for young leaders who show promise for fundamentally changing how we gather and share information.

Brian Dietz is the Digital Program Librarian for Special Collections at NCSU Libraries. Dietz has served as principal investigator on several LSTA-funded projects. He recently moderated “Getting Things Done with Born Digital,” a session at the Society of American Archivists’ 2014 annual conference.

The EZ Innovation grants are made possible through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

Hunt Library wins AIA award as exemplary education project

NCSU Libraries News - Mon, 2014-09-08 14:46

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has awarded the Hunt Library a 2014 Educational Facility Design Excellence Award for furthering NC State’s “mission, goals and educational program while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.”

Hunt Library wins AIA award as exemplary education project

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has awarded the Hunt Library a 2014 Educational Facility Design Excellence Award for furthering NC State’s “mission, goals and educational program while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.”

Hunt Library listed as one of the world’s most spectacular

NCSU Libraries News - Thu, 2014-08-21 16:28

Echoing Oliver Wendell Holmes’ declaration that the Boston Public Library is “a palace for the people,” The San Francisco Chronicle has listed the Hunt Library among “the most spectacular libraries in the world.”

Hunt Library listed as one of the world’s most spectacular

Echoing Oliver Wendell Holmes’ declaration that the Boston Public Library is “a palace for the people,” The San Francisco Chronicle has listed the Hunt Library among “the most spectacular libraries in the world.”

NCSU Libraries offering grants to help faculty develop free or low-cost open textbook alternatives

NCSU Libraries News - Thu, 2014-08-21 16:02

(Raleigh, N.C.)—In the latest of several initiatives designed to help students reduce the expense of textbooks as part of their university educations and make it easier for faculty to explore and create new resources for their teaching, the NCSU Libraries is inviting North Carolina State University faculty to apply for grants to adopt, adapt, or create free or low-cost open alternatives to today’s expensive textbooks.

Ranging between $500 and $2,000, the competitive Alt-Textbook grants will be awarded to help faculty pursue innovative uses of technology and information resources that can replace pricey traditional textbooks.  Larger grants may be available for larger-scale or especially high-impact projects.

Textbook costs have outpaced inflation by 300% over the last 30 years. These runaway prices have become a major strain on students, with textbooks averaging $1,200 a year and 7 out of 10 students admitting on a recent Public Interest Research Group survey that they have not purchased a required text because of its cost.

Grants are available to develop textbook alternatives for the Spring 2015 and Fall 2015 semesters. Possible approaches include:

  • creating a new open textbook or collection of materials
  • adopting an existing open textbook
  • assembling a collection of open resources into new course materials
  • licensing an e-textbook, video, or other media content for classroom use or e-reserves
  • using subscribed library resources

As faculty work on their proposals, NCSU librarians are available to collaborate and to share expertise in copyright, licensing, open access, course management software and tools, electronic reserves, subject-matter content, and multimedia resources.

“Academic libraries have always been a powerful way to reduce the financial burden of a university education by pooling key resources for everyone to use,” reminds Susan K. Nutter, Vice Provost and Director of the NCSU Libraries. “The Alt-Textbook grants offer an innovative way to leverage that advantage in the digital age while at the same time giving our faculty a powerful tool to tailor their course materials to the exact needs of their students.”

The NCSU Libraries will hold several information sessions about the project in September.  Faculty can learn more about the project, review the call for proposals, sign up for information sessions, and download grant applications at the Alt-Textbook Project website.

The Alt-Textbook initiative builds on a successful partnership with the university’s Physics Department that resulted in a free physics e-textbook that is now used by 1,300 NC State students each year.

Other NCSU Libraries initiatives to reduce costs for students include providing at least one copy of every required course book on reserve each semester, supplying online reserves to electronically disseminate materials within the bounds of copyright law, and Library Course Tools, an innovative use of the Libraries’ website to present custom, course-related library content for every course at the university.

Alt-Textbook is supported by a grant from the NC State University Foundation.

WRAL: “Hunt Library hailed as a modern marvel”

NCSU Libraries News - Mon, 2014-08-18 14:20

WRAL explores how the extensive press coverage about the Hunt Library has raised the profile of N.C. State, North Carolina, and the Raleigh community in global discussions about innovative research and education.

WRAL: “Hunt Library hailed as a modern marvel”

WRAL explores how the extensive press coverage about the Hunt Library has raised the profile of N.C. State, North Carolina, and the Raleigh community in global discussions about innovative research and education.

Free Workshops for Makers and Creators at the Libraries

NCSU Libraries News - Fri, 2014-08-15 15:03

Do you want to build a robot that interacts with Twitter, a banana piano, or your own wearable electronics project? Are you interested in learning about 3D Printing but aren’t sure where to start? The Libraries are offering several exciting Makerspace workshops this semester that will provide an awesome introduction to a variety of innovative technologies. All workshops are free for all NCSU students, faculty, and staff, and no prior experience is required to participate!

Register here for workshops: Getting Started with 3D Printing - Friday Aug. 29, 2-3:30pm, Hunt Introduction to Arduino & MaKey MaKey - Thursday Sept. 4, 6-7:30pm, Hill Getting Started with 3D Design - Friday Sept. 12, 2-3:30pm, Hill Getting Started with 3D Printing - Tuesday Sept. 30, 6-7:30pm, Hill Introduction to Arduino & MaKey MaKey - Friday, Oct. 3, 2-3:30pm, Hunt Getting Started with 3D Design - Thursday Oct. 9, 6-7:30pm, Hunt Introduction to Arduino & MaKey MaKey - Tuesday Oct. 21, 6-7:30pm, Hunt Spooky Sounds with Arduino - Tuesday Oct. 28, 6-7:30pm, Hill
A full calendar of workshops is also available at go.ncsu.edu/makerworkshops

The new Ask Us center at the D. H. Hill Library

NCSU Libraries News - Thu, 2014-08-14 13:28

D. H. Hill Library has some changes! You’ll now find the Ask Us center at the top of the main staircase on the First Floor. Just look for the big red-and-white Ask Us sign!

Need to find data or information for your research project? Need help using iMovie? Need to check out a charger? Need to print a poster? Everything you need is in the main lobby on the First Floor. You’ll find friendly staff ready to help.

Library staff are also happy to help you online. Just look for the Ask Us link on the library’s website. You can chat, call, text, or request an in-depth research consultation with a librarian. No matter where you are—in the library, on campus, in your dorm, in your office—we’re ready to help!

The Farm at Black Mountain College: A Hunt Library Happening

Join David Silver, Visiting Scholar at the NCSU Libraries, for a multimedia happening that chronicles the rise and fall of Black Mountain College, founded in 1933 near Asheville, North Carolina. There will be two performances on Monday, August 4. The morning performance will start at 10:30 a.m. and conclude at noon. The evening performance will start at 7 p.m. and conclude at 8:30 p.m. Both performances will start at the Hunt Library iPearl Immersion Theater.

Education practitioners can still learn from what worked and what didn’t work at Black Mountain College, especially here at NC State where several of the College’s principles are still at work. Focusing on the Black Mountain College farm and work program, Silver will lead an exploration of the College’s lesser-known but vitally important participants. David Silver is associate professor of media studies, environmental studies, and urban agriculture at University of San Francisco.

Using the entire Hunt Library as a storytelling building and featuring never-before-seen photographs, this dynamic event will examine the most experimental college in American history. Silver will employ an unconventional storytelling approach that unfolds as participants walk through the building.

Free and open to the public. Presented by the NCSU Libraries. For more information contact Mike Nutt at mrnutt@ncsu.edu.

The Farm at Black Mountain College: A Hunt Library Happening

NCSU Libraries News - Mon, 2014-07-28 08:54

Join David Silver, Visiting Scholar at the NCSU Libraries, for a multimedia happening that chronicles the rise and fall of Black Mountain College, founded in 1933 near Asheville, North Carolina. There will be two performances on Monday, August 4. The morning performance will start at 10:30 a.m. and conclude at noon. The evening performance will start at 7 p.m. and conclude at 8:30 p.m. Both performances will start at the Hunt Library iPearl Immersion Theater.

Education practitioners can still learn from what worked and what didn’t work at Black Mountain College, especially here at NC State where several of the College’s principles are still at work. Focusing on the Black Mountain College farm and work program, Silver will lead an exploration of the College’s lesser-known but vitally important participants. David Silver is associate professor of media studies, environmental studies, and urban agriculture at University of San Francisco.

Using the entire Hunt Library as a storytelling building and featuring never-before-seen photographs, this dynamic event will examine the most experimental college in American history. Silver will employ an unconventional storytelling approach that unfolds as participants walk through the building.

Free and open to the public. Presented by the NCSU Libraries. For more information contact Mike Nutt at mrnutt@ncsu.edu.

Wall Street Journal: Hunt Library helps inspire New York Public Library renovation

Citing the need for inspiring “collaborative spaces, stocked with tools for creative projects,” the New York Public Library looks to the Hunt Library for the planned renovation of its landmark Fifth Avenue building.

Civets and Tarsiers and Tapirs (oh my!)

NRL News - Tue, 2014-06-03 13:11

This post is contributed by Ashley Williams, Project Archivist, Animal Rights and Animal Welfare Collections.

Included in the Animal Welfare Institute Records is a collection of photographs by Ernest P. Walker. When I first encountered the photographs I was amazed by the sheer variety of animals photographed. There are pictures of lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!), but also several animals I had never heard of or did not know what they looked like: civets, lemmings, tapirs, and tarsiers (also known as bush babies), to name a few. I was intrigued to learn about these animals and curious as to the images I would come across. The collection did not disappoint.

Civet

Given the number and quality of the photographs, I realized this collection was likely not created by an average animal-loving person. My thoughts turned to “who in the world is Ernest P. Walker and why did he take all of these pictures?” I was quickly able to learn more about him: he worked as a warden and inspector for the United States Bureau of Fisheries in Alaska in the 1910s upon graduating from college. After a three year stint as a game warden in Arizona and California, Walker returned to Alaska in 1921 with the United States Biological Survey as a fur and game warden and executive officer for the Alaska Game Commission. In 1927, Walker moved to Washington, DC and assumed the role of assistant director of the National Zoological Park in 1930, where he remained until 1956.

Lemming

Walker was more concerned with mammals as living animals rather than their individual biological components. Over the years, he observed their feeding habits, care of young, and other behavioral characteristics and began taking photographic portraits of many species. To observe certain small mammals more closely than his duties at the zoo would allow, he brought them into his home as pets. Most of the photographs date from his term as assistant director.

Tarsier

Upon retiring from the National Zoo, Walker, along with his qualified assistants, compiled data, prepared photographs, and arranged a manuscript into what would become the three-volume Mammals of the World. Two of his other works are Walker’s Bats of the World and Walker’s Primates of the World, all of which are available at the NCSU Libraries. Information about the animals’ breeding, habitats, food, and physical description, along with a photograph or illustration, is included for all but four animals. Additionally, Walker wrote two books for the Animal Welfare Institute: First Aid and Care of Small Mammals and Studying Small Mammals.

South American Tapir

To learn more about Ernest Walker’s photographs, or about the Animal Welfare Institute Records, be sure to check out the collection guide.

The Hunt Library honored for public relations and interior design

The James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University has been recognized with two of the library profession’s most prestigious honors: a 2014 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award and a 2014 ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Award.

Sponsored by EBSCO, the H.W. Wilson Foundation, and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award has been given annually since 1946 to celebrate excellence in library public relations. The communications to open the Hunt Library were recognized for creating “a bold, new campaign that helped the community imagine ‘The Library of the Future.’”  “The true star of this campaign,” the award concluded, “was the way the community told the story. Students were asked to imagine themselves in the space, and they took to the challenge wholeheartedly.”

Sponsored by the International Interior Design Association and the ALA, the Library Interior Design Award honors “excellence in aesthetics, design, creativity, function, and satisfaction of the client’s objectives.”  The Hunt Library was recognized as winner of the “Academic Libraries, Over 30,000 sq. ft.” category.  The Hunt Library’s lead designer was Snøhetta; its executive architects were Clark Nexsen; and Another Inside Job consulted on interior design.  Gwendolyn Emery—the NCSU Libraries’ Director of Library Environments—as well as other library staff, also played a significant role in envisioning and creating the interior of the building.

“Our intent with the interior design of the Hunt Library was to create inspiring spaces that would encourage inspiring work,” says Susan K. Nutter, Vice Provost and Director of the NCSU Libraries. “We, in turn, have been inspired by just how much our students and faculty appreciate this building, and we are grateful that the IIDA and ALA have honored us for the interior design that is so much a part of this building’s appeal.”

“We are also proud and delighted,” she concludes, “that the communications about the Hunt Library have been able to further ongoing and fruitful discussions about the future of academic libraries, the centers of the learning and research that make universities so productive for our communities.”

Among other awards and prizes, the Hunt Library has also been recently honored with the 2014 Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries (SPIRL).

“What will become of the Library?”: the Hunt Library in Slate.com

Concluding that “the high-tech future of libraries might lie in buildings like the Hunt,” Slate.com uses NC State’s second main library to explore the range of challenges and options for libraries “as the world goes digital.”

Hunt Library wins “Most Modern Architecture”

In honor of National Library Week, libraries across the country competed in the “Your Beautiful Library Photo Contest,” a contest designed to showcase some of the most amazing libraries in the United States. Thanks to everyone who voted, we’re thrilled that the Hunt Library won the “Most Modern Architecture” category, featuring the very photogenic bookBot! To see all the winners and learn more about the contest, visit: http://solutions.cengage.com/beautifullibrary/

Hunt in “16 Coolest College Libraries”

Business Insider has included the Hunt Library in “The 16 Coolest College Libraries in the Country,” an article on how libraries inspire students with “both traditional and modern marvels.”

“Many of these buildings are iconic structures on their campuses, and have housed generations of studying students,” the article concludes. “Others were built more recently, and show how technology can shape the future of education.”

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