Category Archives: Internet

Increasing the accessibility of web technologies for library users with disabilities

This was recently presented at the Library Technology Conference in St. Paul, MN.

Universal Access: Engaging the Complexity of Web Accessibility Through Collaboration” by Katherine Lynch, Jackie Sipes, and Kristina De Voe

Web accessibility is a growing concern for many libraries and higher education institutions. Temple University is currently undergoing a campus-wide effort to increase accessibility of web technologies for users with disabilities using guidelines modeled on Section 508 of the U.S. Workforce Rehabilitation Act and the WCAG 2.0 document released by the W3C for best practices in web accessibility. As part of this effort, the University Libraries is evaluating its information technologies to ensure that university web accessibility guidelines are met. Library public services and technology staff alike are faced with remediation of content and information systems. This session will offer insights into the opportunities, obstacles, and options of applying web accessibility guidelines across a library’s vast web presence. Presenters will discuss general tools, standards, and guidelines for content remediation and the outcomes plus challenges. The session will highlight concrete strategies for educating and training staff on web accessibility, working collaboratively across library departments and units, and communicating with vendors.

OCLC and Yelp collaboration

OCLC library data now supplementing Yelp.com listings to improve public access to library information.

http://www.oclc.org/en-US/news/releases/2013/201350dublin.html

Social media platforms, collaboration, and libraries

This paper was presented at the Charleston Conference last year:

Social Research Collaboration: Libraries Need Not Apply?” by Jan Reichelt, Christopher Erdmann, and Jose Luis Andrade

Abstract

Social media was born an efficient method of personal networking. As more and more researchers took to social media platforms, we have witnessed an organic growth of collaboration among scholars, faculty, students, etc. This phenomenon has led us to a profound change in the way we conduct research through social media. Research through collaboration is now increasingly important in order to achieve a higher impact throughout the research community. But where does the library fit into this? The simple answer is that researchers are now bypassing the library.

This presentation will look at the new reality of social research collaboration and discuss what kinds of webbased tools can support the workflow and peer collaboration of researchers. The presenters will also discuss why it is essential for libraries to become part of the solution before they are left out in the cold.

Future of the Internet, Future of Higher Education

“The Pew Foundation’s Internet and American Life Project has just released a report on the future of higher education; as with a number of other reports in their “Future of the Internet” series done in collaboration with the Elon University “Imagining the Internet” project, including the one on big data that I highlighted two weeks ago, it’s a compilation of comments on some specific questions by a wide variety of people that are collected together with some synthesis. These can be quite helpful in getting a sense of the range of (often quite informed) opinion on the issues. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of emphasis on the role of the Internet and of technologies broadly.

The announcement and pointers to the report both online and in downloadable PDF are at: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Future-of-Higher-Education.aspx

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

A note about the book Net Smart by Howard Rheingold

Howard Rheingold has been writing about the impact of the Internet and other types of social networks on society for over 30 years.  Earlier this year, he finished his most recent book, Net Smart: How to Thrive Online.

The introduction (PDF) notes what the intended audience is, and why he wrote the book.  Concerning collaboration, the most relevant section is Chapter Four, in which the discussion:

Moves from the personal and interpersonal to the cybersocial. The know-how at the core of this literacy is about the magic of several different flavors of collaboration made possible by networked media. The realms of collaboration are broad and deep, so this chapter offers both a high-altitude map of the territory of online collaboration and close-up conversations with the people who have created famously successful collaborative enterprises.

While I personally find that he uses the term “crap detection” a little too often for my tastes, I suppose it is a good way to get the point across to your average undergraduate student.

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Pew Internet & American Life Report on Big Data

“The Pew Foundation’s Internet and American Life Project has just released a report on the future of big data; as with a number of other reports in their “Future of the Internet” series done in collaboration with the Elon University “Imagining the Internet” project, it’s a compilation of comments on some specific questions by a wide variety of people that are collected together with some synthesis. These can be quite helpful in getting a sense of the range of (often quite informed) opinion on the issues.

The announcement and pointers to the report both online and in downloadable PDF are at: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Future-of-Big-Data.aspx

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

MIT and Harvard collaborate on an online education service

MIT and Harvard announce edX. This is “a transformational new partnership in online education. Through edX, the two institutions will collaborate to enhance campus-based teaching and learning and build a global community of online learners.”