New databases for January

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the A-Z list of Resources, as well as those for which the title, vendor, or platform has changed, from January 4-29. You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject guides. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month. You can also find a list of the newest resources, and those for which a trial is underway, at http://libraries.indiana.edu/electronic-resources-trials-and-new-additions.

African American Communities
https://libraries.indiana.edu/african-american-communities

American Consumer Culture, 1935-1965
https://libraries.indiana.edu/american-consumer-culture-market-research-american-business-1935-1965

American Indian Histories and Cultures
https://libraries.indiana.edu/american-indian-histories-and-cultures

Docuseek2
https://libraries.indiana.edu/docuseek2

Embase
https://libraries.indiana.edu/embase

First Release (formerly Science Express)
https://libraries.indiana.edu/first-release

First World War : Visual Perspectives and Narratives
https://libraries.indiana.edu/first-world-war-visual-perspectives-and-narratives

Global Commodities, Trade, Exploration and Cultural Exchange
https://libraries.indiana.edu/global-commodities-trade-exploration-and-cultural-exchange

Harper’s Bazaar Archive
https://libraries.indiana.edu/harpers-bazaar-archive

Joanna Briggs Institute EBP database
https://libraries.indiana.edu/joanna-briggs-institute-ebp-database

Popular Medicine in America, 1800-1900
https://libraries.indiana.edu/popular-medicine-america-1800-1900

Vocal Masterclassics
https://libraries.indiana.edu/vocal-masterclassics

Women’s Magazine Archive
https://libraries.indiana.edu/womens-magazine-archive

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New databases for December

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the A-Z list of Resources, as well as those for which the title, vendor, or platform has changed, from December 1-22. (Any databases added from December 23-31 will appear in January’s monthly posting.) You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject guides. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month. You can also find a list of the newest resources, and those for which a trial is underway, at http://libraries.indiana.edu/electronic-resources-trials-and-new-additions.

60 minutes : 1997-2014
https://libraries.indiana.edu/60-minutes-1997-2014

Informe Academico (formerly Informe Academico (English Interface) and Informe Academico (Spanish Interface)
https://libraries.indiana.edu/informe-academic

National Citizen & Ballot Box
https://libraries.indiana.edu/national-citizen-ballot-box

The Revolution
https://libraries.indiana.edu/revolution

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Accessibility is Important for Everyone!

After attending a training workshop on accessibility, I left with a new appreciation for the importance of web accessibility.People with disabilities, affecting their sight or aspects of their lives,  use screen readers to enjoy their online experience. So many people use the internet that it’s widely accepted that everyone is online, staring at Youtube videos of cute kittens and birds jumping on paper towels.

But there are people who use the computer without a mouse, or even a monitor when they check their Facebook or email. Creating websites that are easily accessible for everyone, regardless of disabilities, should be an important consideration when designing a website or maintaining sites for organizations. There are legal implications for not having an accessible site, outline by the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which specifically applies to schools of higher education. Online discrimination is unacceptable, and taking acceptability into consideration is  important to avoid this.

Beyond the legal implications, I think keeping accessibility in mind is just good practice for web development. With HTML 5 in full swing, giving semantic meaning to your code not only makes screen reader users much happier, but it also affects your site from a Search Engine Optimization standpoint, allowing Google crawlers to pick up on the intended meaning of content and reflect that in your ranking on Google searches.

The lecture I attended outlined what the Assistive Technology and Accessibility Center (ATAC) at IU considers the top ten most important considerations for accessibility when building a site.

screenshot of JAWS for Windows screen reading software

JAWS (Job Access With Speech) a screen reader software package available at IU on ALL IU STC Lab Build Workstations and on IUanyware

They are:

  • Text Language 
  • Page Title 
  • Alternate Text for Meaningful Images 
  • Good Heading Structure 
  • Programmatically Labeled Form Controls 
  • Working Skip to Content link 
  • Keyboard Accessibility 
  • Meaningful HTML Markup 
  • Captioned Video and Transcripts for Audio 
  • Careful Use of Color and Avoid Sensory Dependent Instructions

I invite you to take a look at the slides from the presentation for detailed explanations of each of the ten accessibility concerns, but to I would like to focus here on a few that I thought were particularly important. Identifying your text language is easy to do an important. Web users use the internet in many different languages, and if you don’t specify what language your content is in, a screen reader will try to read the text in the user’s preferred language. This can lead to problem such as an Asian user’s screen reader trying to read English content to them in Thai, or going to the FBI website and having it read to you in a British accent (true story, the FBI’s site had a Great Britain language code on it, so a screen reader would read the content to the user with a British accent. It was mentioned in the workshop but I had a hard time finding a citation for this online, I guess the FBI was pretty embarrassed.)

Having a page title is essential, your site looks silly when you save your code as “Untitled.html” and it is especially frustrating to web users using a screen reader, since this is the first thing read to them whenever they access a site. Giving your page a title that clearly and succinctly identifies it is important because many screen reader users are using them because of visual impairments. Since they can’t see the site, having a title which clearly identifies it makes their browsing experience a lot more enjoyable.

Finally, providing alt text to images is really important for people who can’t see the images. Think about if you were describing something you saw to someone over the phone. You would include the most important details of what you saw, enabling the person you’re having a conversation with to understand the context of what you saw. Likewise, when providing alt text, you want to provide a detailed description of the image without going overboard on irrelevant details. Say you have a picture of the cutest kitten in the world. 

cute kitten with big blue eyes poking its head out of a jeans pant leg”

You want to provide alt text to your image that will give a screen reader user the gist of the image, without getting hung up on the different shades of brown on its face, or its whiskers, unless you really think these details are important for understanding the image within the context that you have presented it in. If you’re image is decorative, you can have a screen reader skip it by leaving empty alt text (<img alt=”“>).

I highly encourage anyone interested in learning more about accessibility to check out ATAC. Their office is on the third floor of the west tour in the Wells Library and they can help you make your site accessible or show you impressive demonstrations of assistive  technology, including screen readers.

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New databases for November

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the A-Z list of Resources, as well as those for which the title, vendor, or platform has changed, from November 2-30. You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject guides. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month. You can also find a list of the newest resources, and those for which a trial is underway, at http://libraries.indiana.edu/electronic-resources-trials-and-new-additions.

American and Foreign Companies with Global Operations (formerly American Firms Operating in Foreign Countries)
https://libraries.indiana.edu/american-and-foreign-companies-global-operations

Guide to the Presidency and the Executive Branch (formerly Guide to the Presidency)
https://libraries.indiana.edu/guide-presidency-and-executive-branch

Henry Stewart Talks: Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection
https://libraries.indiana.edu/henry-stewart-talks-biomedical-and-life-sciences-collection

Homeland Security Digital Library
https://libraries.indiana.edu/homeland-security-digital-library

Latin American Newspapers, Series 2
https://libraries.indiana.edu/latin-american-newspapers-series-2

Lexis Securities Mosaic (formerly Knowledge Mosaic)
https://libraries.indiana.edu/lexis-securities-mosaic

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Jewish Studies
https://libraries.indiana.edu/oxford-bibliographies-online-jewish-studies

Science Careers (formerly Science’s Next Wave)
https://libraries.indiana.edu/science-careers

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Our thoughts on web governance: ACRL TechConnect post

Following last year’s launch of the Libraries’ new Drupal website, we in Discovery & Research Services have continued to clean up migrated site content, provide guidance and support for creation and management of existing content,  and plan for the future. Recently the three of us – Courtney McDonald, Rachael Cohen, and myself – spent some time talking about our website, and academic library websites in general, and discovered we had some thoughts about what those websites should be like and how they should be managed.

Sharing is caring, as they say, so we wrote up our thoughts – collaborative writing can actually work, if you have the right collaborators! – and the resulting paper has been published on the ACRL TechConnect blog. It’s something of a position paper, a bit of a manifesto, somewhere between a scope statement and a strategy. We’d love to hear any responses that you might have! You can read it here – From Consensus to Expertise: Rethinking Library Web Governance.

(By the by, if you find web governance and that sort of thing interesting, you might also enjoy the slides & notes from my recent presentation at Confab Higher Ed – “Cleaning up after a messy website migration: How to start fresh when you can’t start over.” Shameless self-promotion, sure, but I promise it’s relevant! And it will give you a bit of context/background on how “From Consensus to Expertise” came to be. And, you might also like the IU Digital Library Brown Bag presentation that Courtney and I gave earlier this fall – also web governance-related: “Content Strategy as a Model of Web Stewardship.”)

ACRL TechConnect logo

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New databases for October

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the A-Z list of Resources, as well as those for which the vendor or platform has changed, from October 1-30. You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject guides. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month. You can also find a list of the newest resources, and those for which a trial is underway, at http://libraries.indiana.edu/electronic-resources-trials-and-new-additions.

Brill’s Medieval Reference Library
https://libraries.indiana.edu/brills-medieval-reference-library

Frank Leslie’s Weekly
https://libraries.indiana.edu/frank-leslies-weekly

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New databases for September

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the A-Z list of Resources, as well as those for which the vendor or platform has changed, from September 1-30. You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject guides. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month. You can also find a list of the newest resources, and those for which a trial is underway, at http://libraries.indiana.edu/electronic-resources-trials-and-new-additions.

Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center
https://libraries.indiana.edu/hobbies-crafts-reference-center

Late Qing Dynasty Periodical Database
https://libraries.indiana.edu/late-qing-dynasty-periodical-database

Music Industry Data
https://libraries.indiana.edu/music-industry-data

NCCS Data Web
https://libraries.indiana.edu/nccs-data-web

Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive
https://libraries.indiana.edu/shoah-foundation-visual-history-archive

Springer Protocols
https://libraries.indiana.edu/springer-protocols

WindowsWear Pro
https://libraries.indiana.edu/windowswear-pro

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Content Strategy as a Model of Web Stewardship

brown bag with Steve Jobs' photo on it

Steve Jobs Ultra-Geek Lunch Bag | Photo Giddy on flickr

Heads up! Two-thirds of DRS – that would be Courtney McDonald and Anne Haines – will be presenting a short talk in the IU Libraries’ Digital Library Brown Bag series, coming up Wednesday, September 9th at noon (Eastern Daylight Time).

Content Strategy as a Model of Web Stewardship: Content strategy is an emerging area of expertise related to user experience design work, defined as “planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content.” This session will provide a brief overview of content strategy concepts and describe how a well-articulated content strategy can enable a better user experience through thinking holistically and strategically about web content — in other words, in stewardship. We’ll also present a brief case study of how, through implementing these tools and processes, our small department was empowered to stop simply chasing web pages around and instead invest our efforts into crafting a user-centric, sustainable web presence for the IUB Libraries (http://libraries.indiana.edu).

So if you’re curious about content strategy, the Libraries’ website, making websites more user-centric, or how many cute kittens and puppies we found a home for in our slide deck, either come to Hazelbaker Hall in the Wells Library (E159, behind the reference desk in the Scholars’ Commons) or tune in online at http://connect.iu.edu/diglib.

The presentation will be archived if you can’t make it next week. If you do attend, either on-site or online, plan to share your thoughts and questions on Twitter using the hashtag #dlbb. We look forward to seeing some of you!

Later this semester the other one-third of DRS, Rachael Cohen, will be speaking about our library catalog and user-centered design approach – watch for that in November, and check out the full fall semester DLBB series schedule.

 

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New databases for August

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the A-Z list of Resources, as well as those for which the vendor or platform has changed, from August 3-31. You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject guides.  New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month.

Films on Demand Master Academic Collection
https://libraries.indiana.edu/films-demand-master-academic-collection

Henry Stewart Talks Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection
http://libraries.iub.edu/henry-stewart-talks-biomedical-and-life-sciences-collection

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New databases for July

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the A-Z list of Resources, as well as those for which the vendor or platform has changed, from July 1-31. You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject guides.  New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month.

Integrum Profi
http://libraries.iub.edu/integrum-profi

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