New databases for November

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the Resource Gateway from November 1 – November 30 (and some for which the vendor has changed). You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject pages. If you have questions about a particular resource, please consult its “About” file to find contact information for the resource advocate. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month.

World Newspaper Archive, Latin American Newspapers, Series 2
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=22759448

New databases for October

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the Resource Gateway from October 1 – October 31 (and some for which the vendor has changed). You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject pages. If you have questions about a particular resource, please consult its “About” file to find contact information for the resource advocate. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month.

Career Insider
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=21512573

Career Insider Law
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=21512574

Dissertations and Theses @ CIC Institutions
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=22295058

Energy Statistics Database (UN)
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=22139941

Gale Archives Unbound
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=21823581

IMF eLibrary
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=21665621

Liberation Movement in Africa and African America
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=21823580

Oxford Handbooks Online: Philosophy
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=21981713

STATS Indiana
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=22450204

Visionet
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=21512572

World Biographical Index Online
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=22139942

So what’s UX anyway, and why should libraries care?

rubber duckieOur department, Digital User Experience (aka DUX), is a fairly new one in the IUB Libraries organizational structure. In fact, having a department devoted to user experience (UX) is a fairly new concept for libraries in general. There are a few others scattered thither and yon; for example, the University of Michigan Libraries have one, although theirs is a part of their Library Information Technology unit, while ours is a part of Library Academic Services (our public-services division).

So if you’re here at IUB, you may still be wondering just what we mean by “Digital User Experience” (never fear, we occasionally wonder this ourselves) and how it relates to the mission of the Libraries. I recently came across a great article from UX Magazine which struck me as a great summary of the principles of UX and how they apply to the way people actually think and process information:

Weinschenk, Susan. “The Psychologist’s View of UX Design.” UX Magazine May 19, 2010. Web. 19 October 2011.

When you read this article, keep good old Ranganathan and his Five Laws of Library Science in the back of your mind. To refresh your memory, those are:

  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every reader his [or her] book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the reader.
  5. The library is a growing organism.

Granted, Ranganathan only talked about books, since digital resources didn’t yet exist in his time – but these laws apply to users of electronic resources as well. Check out this article from LibraryJournal.com discussing how the third law, in particular, applies in the digital world:

Cloonan, Michele V. and John G. Dove. “Ranganathan Online: Do digital libraries violate the Third Law?” Library Journal April 1, 2005. Web. 19 October 2011.

I would argue that the fourth law is even more important in the digital world – a huge part of user experience design involves getting people to the information they want as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Anyway, as you can see, Ranganathan’s laws largely revolve around the relationship between the library user (“the reader”) and the library’s intellectual content (“the book”) – and it is precisely that relationship, in particular the quality of the user’s experience when using the library’s resources and services, that UX practitioners hope to improve. In the case of DUX, of course, we’re specifically concerned with the library’s digital resources and services along with the digital representation of the library’s analog content (e.g. paper books and in-person resources).

Once you’ve read through the two articles I’ve linked here, I hope you’ll have a better understanding of what we mean when we talk about UX, what DUX can do to help improve the lives of our libraries’ users (patrons, customers, whatever we’re calling them this week), and why when you think of DUX you shouldn’t only think of cute little yellow quackers. If you have questions or comments, of course, we’d love to hear from you!

rubber duckie in a tub

image credits:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/realestatezebra/2608418319/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mediawench/5916102939/

New databases for September

The following list represents new subscription databases added to the Resource Gateway from September 1 – September 30 (and some for which the vendor has changed). You may wish to add one or more of these to your subject pages. If you have questions about a particular resource, please consult its “About” file to find contact information for the resource advocate. New databases will be posted to reDUX at the end of each month.

CQ Researcher
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=21359194

Gale Virtual Reference Library
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=21359195

ThomsonONE
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=21206274

 

Get your IUB Libraries news on the go…

I think being mobile-optimized is one of the niftier features of our new blog service. Using a plugin (WPMS Mobile Edition), we are able to simply flip a switch and … pow! automagically enable mobile-friendly blogs.

Curious what this looks like? Here are a couple screenshots of the reDUX blog taken on my iPhone.

mobile friendly blog (screenshot)mobile friendly blog post

Shiny! If you are running your own WordPress site (just a single site, rather than a multi-site installation like ours), you might want to try something like WordPress Mobile Pack.

Blah-gs No More: Newer, Faster, Better, Shinier

Join Anne Haines & Courtney Greene of DUX for an overview of the new IUB Libraries Blog service (http://blogs.libraries.iub.edu), launched earlier this month. In this session, they will discuss the new features and functionality of the blog service, give a peek into the day-to-day of maintaining a blog by demonstrating the staff interface, and present an overview of how to get started blogging for a department, unit, or Libraries group for interested parties.

When: Thursday, June 30th, 1-2p

Where: Wells 043

Some highlights of the new blog service:

  • a combined RSS feed, allowing people to easily subscribe to all content from all IUB Libraries blog service blogs
  • a set of themes that are customized for the IUB Libraries (fully branded & in conformance with IU identity standards)
    • plus, all blogs are now mobile-ready!
  • blog content will now be returned as part of the library site search, making it easier to find
  • statistics tracking using Google Analytics
  • a more robust server and an updated WordPress platform
  • support with setup and blog maintenance from DUX

A policy statement for the IUB Libraries Blogs can be found on the intranet.

Thanks to everyone who helped launch this project, and special thanks to Keith Welch and Brian Wheeler for their technical support.

Happy blogging, & we hope to see you at the DRET workshop!