NEWS from Washington State Colleges

Check out new publications, special events, and new buildings at libraries and by librarians throughout the state. 

Librarian in Print: Ro McKernan’s article on “Curating API Feeds to Display Open Library Book Covers in Subject Guides” will be published in More Library Mashups (Engard, Nicole. More Library Mashups. Medford: Information Today, 2014). You can review the contents here. Their description of the chapter reads:

“Building on a mashup which utilized a combination of an API from OpenLibrary.org and Google Drive API to display book covers on a website, Rowena modified the CSS to create a horizontal book flow and added PHP to allow auto-links back to her library catalog as well as simplified to JavaScript to get only the information that the library users really needed. This mashup also includes using WordPress as a subject guide site and installing a plug-in that loads custom JavaScript/CSS on specific pages.”

Seattle Colleges Event: Mike Eisenberg, Dean Emeritus of the University of Washington I-School, served as keynote speaker to the Seattle Colleges District Convocation event on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. Eisenberg’s presentation, “Essential Understandings and Skills for Success in the 21st Century: Helping Students Learn to Transform Data and Information into Knowledge and Action”, helped raise the profile of information literacy and library services at the three Seattle campuses. The event is held annually and attendance is strongly encouraged for all faculty, staff and administrators in the district.

Eisenberg’s speech touched on the data overload problems faced by today’s students (and teachers) and on techniques for turning data into meaningful knowledge. He highlighted the role of librarians in supporting faculty and students in managing information problems, and his keynote was followed by an invitational breakout session attended by several dozen faculty and staff.

Submitted by Shireen Deboo (2014-15 College Council Chair), Librarian for BEIT/International Business, North Seattle College.

Whatcom Community College reports:
As a way to increase productivity, our library is investing in new book trucks for each librarian. They are colorful, the right size for any type of book, and they do not have squeaky wheels. Each is a different color (the librarians are color-coded!). The book trucks are proving very useful as we weed our reference collection in earnest. We have indicated in various areas throughout the reference collection where students might go for related online information by posting signs that provide website screen shots and QR codes.

Our newest database is the PBS video collection. We haven’t done much to market it yet, but we have received good responses from those who have used it. We rolled out Primo (as OneSearch) this fall but we have taken a “soft launch” approach and note that it is better for some things than others. Our library will soon be engaged in a major website overhaul, getting underway shortly after the new college site is launched next month. We are very fond of certain aspects of our existing site so we hope to not “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” but will be soliciting feedback for ways to improve.

Plans for Whatcom’s newest building, The Phyllis and Charles Self Learning Commons, are well underway. We have passed from the Schematic Design to the Design Development phase. We are very much looking forward to the day we roll our colorful book trucks across the street to new digs. Submitted by Sally Sheedy.

News from Highline Community College: Like other community colleges around the state, Highline College has added Bachelor of Applied Sciences programs to its offerings (this change also resulted in the new institutional name, changing from “Highline Community College” on July 1, 2014). With initial curriculum planning taking place in the 2013/14 academic year, we in the Library designated a full-time reference librarian to act as a liaison to each B.A.S. program. The librarians met early with program faculty, with the initial focus being on collection development. With additional funds allocated by the college administration to the Library to support these programs, we spent the last academic year building up a base collection of monographs for each program as selected by both librarians and B.A.S. faculty, as well as identifying possible database subscriptions. With classes underway in the new programs, we have already begun discussions with the B.A.S. faculty on integrating systematic information literacy into each level of the programs. Submitted by Deb Moore.

South Puget Sound Community College – The library and student life co-hosted a Maker Day event on December 5 at 1pm-5pm. Students, faculty, staff—everybody was welcome to participate. The event was based on the makerspace idea, which basically encourages people from all disciplines to meet up and make, build, or create something together in a place for creativity. Everybody at the event is encouraged to share their knowledge, learn from others, and create from what they learn.

Many of the activities blended art with science, computers, and math. Led by the Tomodachi Club, students learned to make origami cranes, one thousand of which will be hung on a kinesthetic art structure that the Maker’s Club will create in collaboration with the Math Club (we have hopes of installing this art piece somewhere on campus). Earl Dunning demonstrated how to design and build model ships with remote controls using inexpensive household items. The Christian Club manned a holiday wreath making station which used ornaments created by the Welding Club. Paula McMichen and Mandy McCullough provided a free beading station where Native American dream catcher ornament or beaded jewelry could be made. A 3D printer was also available for the curious to learn how to use.

We had a fantastic turnout and received wonderful feedback from students, faculty, and staff. Many of the participants commented that they would love to have another Maker Day event happen every quarter. Lily Kun, librarian, and Cindy Uhrich, student life, are brewing tentative ideas for a Winter quarter Maker Day. Submitted by Lily Kun.

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