On January 12, 2015 the Northeast Florida Library Information Network (NEFLIN) posted the first mobile thing (app) in their “23 Mobile Things” program. For the next six months NEFLIN introduced participants to one or more mobile apps each week. Participants learned about the app through text or videos, downloaded the app and experimented with it, and then answered a few questions about it. NEFLIN awarded Apple or Google gift cards to those who completed all 23 things by June 30, 2015.
The series started with common social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. They moved on to audio apps such as Spotify and SoundCloud. Of course, reading apps were covered including Flipboard, Goodreads, Google Play Books, and iBooks. Video editing, presentation, and even game apps were covered.
Do you have an ORCID iD? If you do research and publish your work, you should consider getting an ORCID iD. ORCID stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID.
What is an ORCID?
ORCID can refer to the organization issuing the unique researcher identification as well as the identifier itself. From the ORCID description:
ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.
Your ORCID iD is a unique 16-digit number (ex. 0000-0002-6374-9591) which points to a public profile (ex. orcid.org/0000-0002-6374-9591). The ORCID website can generate a QR Code which you can add to your publications and websites. Your ORCID record can contain education, employment, and publication information much like a résumé or curriculum vitae.
Major research database vendors support ORCID iDs and integrate ORCID into their systems.
Elsevier supports ORCID and has a Scopus to ORCID feature that adds your Scopus ID to your ORCID record. Elsevier’s manuscript submission system accepts an ORCID when submitting manuscripts for publication. Elsevier plans to pass it along as metadata to CrossRef.
Using an API, ProQuest integrates the ORCID into its Pivot application. Pivot users can link their profile in Pivot to their ORCID record.
Thomson Reuters, through its Converis research information system offers, supports ORCID throughout the entire research lifecycle from assigning ORCID iDs to importing publications from other online sources using the ORCID iDs. Their ResearcherID is ORCID compliant.
Our friend Amanda L. Goodman has created a map of 3D Printers in Libraries. The interactive Google map has well over 500 entries separated into categories: public, academic, library school, school library, government, and shared/traveling.
Next to becoming a member in a professional association like ALA or SLA, joining a social media group is the next best way to be part of a librarian community. Plus, they are free. Social media communities can be a great place to network and you’ll find that members are generally very helpful.
Surely you have heard the term “library UX” or have seen the letters “UX” during your professional reading or Internet browsing. You probably know that UX stands for “user experience”. But what does it actually mean?
Many think library UX applies only to the online library experience. Even if we assume that is true, a library UI is not the same as library UX. The online library experience goes beyond just the user interface. The complete library UX encompasses both the real-world and online library experiences.
According to Jakob Nielsen and Don Norman, the user experience “encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”:
The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce products that are a joy to own, a joy to use. True user experience goes far beyond giving customers what they say they want, or providing checklist features. In order to achieve high-quality user experience in a company’s offerings there must be a seamless merging of the services of multiple disciplines, including engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design.
It’s important to distinguish the total user experience from the user interface (UI), even though the UI is obviously an extremely important part of the design. As an example, consider a website with movie reviews. Even if the UI for finding a film is perfect, the UX will be poor for a user who wants information about a small independent release if the underlying database only contains movies from the major studios.
Library UX is a hot topic at the moment, and rightfully so. In a sense, we always should have been focusing on the library user experience. Since it has been given a name—and a catchy abbreviation complete with a cool #LibraryUX hashtag—its importance as a discipline has grown.
The User Experience Librarian is new job title. Institutions such as the New York Public Library, Cambridge University, University of Arizona, and the University of Virginia have a dedicated User Experience Librarian. Here is a typical job description from a University of Michigan job posting:
The User Experience (UX) Department at the University of Michigan Library is seeking a talented and enthusiastic UX Designer. The ideal candidate will be able to create beautiful and usable interfaces, have a passion for understanding users, strong problem solving skills, and be invested in improving the library web experience. The UX Designer will focus on interface design but also take part in the full range of departmental duties, including user research/usability, accessibility, and web analytics. The UX Designer works in a collaborative team environment and participates in all stages of development – from concept to implementation.
Read the entire job posting to see the responsibilities and qualifications of their User Experience Designer.
The University of Virginia Library has a Library Experience department. From their Our Organization page:
What We Do: We strive to make the Library environment, both physical and virtual, pleasant, welcoming, and easy to navigate for all of our users. We also provide quality point-of-need information services. Our work includes:
Connectingusers with information and other resources in-person and virtually at their point-of-need
Creating and maintaining a variety of beautiful, useful, and welcoming spaces
Developing and maintaining our search technologies and infrastructures that allow researchers to find and access our materials online.
Technologies include Virgo (online catalog), Libra (institutional repository), image viewers, specialized tools for making rare and unique materials accessible, etc.
Researching and implementing emerging technologies
Researching user needs and performing user testing on our virtual and physical systems