Your Resource for Information Literacy
I am one of more than 8 million people who call New York City home. With so many people, it is nearly impossible not to meet someone new everyday, and the conversations usually leads to what I do for work. When I mention that I work for EasyBib, they always go, “Wow! I love EasyBib.” With over 40 million users, I’m no longer surprised by just how many people are aware of our product. It is the enthusiasm with which they respond that blows me away; genuine excitement for a research tool, our research tool. These chance encounters have me thinking, “How many students use educational technology to assist in their research and what has been the outcome?”Read More
While at ACRL, I had the pleasure of speaking with Michele Van Hoeck of Project Information Literacy and Instruction Coordinator at California Maritime Academy. She really summed up why ACRL is such a great conference.
I couldn’t agree more. I talked to so many interesting people and attended so many interesting sessions, including one hosted by Michele about using Wikipedia to strengthen students’ information literacy skills.
I was also able to speak with two MLS candidates from the University of Maryland iSchool, Bridgette Hendrix and Margaret Leist, who were both ACRL first-time attendees.
Margaret said of the conference, “As a first-time attendee, I really appreciate the opportunity to interact with practicing professionals in the field and to see first-hand the innovative products that are shaping where the field is going.”
I was also able to talk to Bridgette about a very exciting project that she, Margaret, and several other students from the University of Maryland are currently working on. She and her fellow students have learned a lot about the fact that many current and incoming college students lack the research skills necessary for post-secondary education. These students are now taking action on this issue and are planning an information literacy mentorship program with a few students at the University of the District of Columbia. After careful training, students involved with iDiversity would partner with a UDC student, and would lead them in a series of information literacy lessons, starting during their second summer session this year.
The group is currently exploring the information literacy instruction and assessment provided by ResearchReady and may use it with this student population.
It’s conversations like these that make ACRL worth the trip! We hope to see you in Portland, OR in 2015!Read More
Weren’t able to make it to Indianapolis for ACRL 2013 last week? We missed you! The EasyBib team was there talking to librarians about education technology, student research, and information literacy skills and challenges. We also demoed our new product, ResearchReady.
I was also lucky enough to attend a couple of sessions, but of course, not as many as I would have liked to. Geoffrey Canada, social activist, educator, and founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, kicked off the conference with the opening keynote. EasyBib subscriber Kelly Frost, User Education Librarian at Kellogg Community College in Michigan, gave us a recap of his remarks.
There were so many incredible sessions, but some of the hot topics at the conference were assessing student information literacy skills and improving research instruction to make it fun and interactive for students.
Randy Hensley, Head of Instruction at Baruch College, talked to us about his presentation, The One-Shot Mixtape: Lessons for Planning, Delivering, and Integrating Instruction.
Some of our EasyBib subscribers also came by the booth to say hello and talk a little bit about how our information literacy platform is making in an impact on their students! Micaela Ayers, Director of Library Services for Butler Community College in Kansas said, “We love you, EasyBib! You are what we needed and fulfilled our expectations for citation!”
Check back here in a couple of days to read more about ACRL2013!
Emily Gover is an information literacy specialist and in-house librarian for EasyBib. Her professional interests lie in web services and design, usability, information literacy, instructional services and reference work. She continues to work part-time at the Hendrick Hudson Free Library, and has previous work experience at Berry College, Reader’s Digest and the University at Albany.
With the last days of school quickly approaching–surely within the next month or so!–the topic of summer reading must be on the minds of many. When I was younger, I would make valiant efforts to read on long car rides to various holiday destinations, but typically failed and ended up feeling more nauseated than anything else. Sadly, I did not discover the wonder of audiobooks (which were still books on tape then!) until the days of sitting squished in the back seat among suitcases and sunblock were long behind me.
Fortunately, your students won’t have to worry about reading-related car sickness on family road trips this summer. SYNC, an ongoing partnership between AudioFile Magazine and audiobook publishers, is offering two free audiobook downloads every week for 10 weeks from June through August. The titles are a blend of contemporary publications (published between 2003 and 2012) and correlating classic novels that share a similar theme. Books are in .mp3 format–therefore compatible with many devices–and can be downloaded from Overdrive.
Some of the available titles include:
The audiobooks will be available for download starting the week of June 14. Sadly, we don’t have any solutions for stopping a kooky relative from belting out showtunes while cooped up in the minivan… they’re on their own with that one. (We’d like to think getting lost in a good audiobook is the best way to deal with that situation!)Read More
Chris Johnson is an entrepreneur and currently the co-founder of Wakefield, a daily email read by students that features startup companies, people, and products.
We often get asked why we created Wakefield. (In startup parlance, it’s typically framed as: “What problem does this solve?”) The answer is that while there’s growing attention on the tech/startup sector as a career path – there’s also a huge problem in how students ‘discover’ information about the space and what it’s like to work there. It’s worth noting that we also run a large tech startup recruiting event called UNCUBED which attracts hundreds of students; this gives us an unusual vantage point to observe how they get their information.
We call this problem “barbell” awareness. On one end, students know that it’s possible to start a company right out of school (or even while you’re still there). But not everyone’s a founder – it’s hard and it’s risky. On the other end: students recognize that you can work at one of the tech giants out there – the Googles and Facebooks. While these companies are growing quickly and seemingly hiring as fast as they can, they represent a very small number of jobs and they’re extremely selective (because they can be).
So that brings us to the middle. This is where we think the opportunity is, especially for people trying to break into the space for the first time. The middle is full of 5- to 100- person startups, a great many of which are well funded, generate real revenue and are growing quickly. For new hires, they represent a tremendous opportunity. They offer competitive salaries, health insurance, significant responsibility, and fun culture (bean bag chairs, not cubes, office karaoke, and dogs) and real excitement. In New York alone (where we are) there are 100s of companies like this – and huge numbers in other cities as well (from Des Moines to San Jose).
When students can access these companies, they’re astounded at how many are hiring for all skill sets (i.e. marketing and business development in addition to more technical jobs). We see this at each of our job fairs. But it turns out, it’s really hard to find information about these companies. The tech news websites and blogs are great for scooping news. But they don’t seem to deliver consistent discovery of new companies unless they’re getting funded or acquired, and you have to be disciplined enough to read it every day. Which is why Wakefield is built around email – each day, subscribers get a short, entertaining email in their inbox, highlighting companies, people, products and the related culture of the startup space.
The other reason we’re doing this? Each of us took a more traditional path before finding entrepreneurship. We hoping to help students overcome the “barbell” and find it sooner.
Sign up for Wakefield’s daily email at www.getwakefield.com.Read More