Monday, February 23, 2015

Music findability

I just read this article:

Dougan, Kirstin. “Finding the Right Notes: An Observational Study of Score and Recording Seeking Behavior of Music Students.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 41, no. 1 (2015): 61-67.

They are using “a local federated search tool with a module specific to the Music and Performing Arts Library (MPAL Easy Search)”: ). I don’t know what the difference between that and a “commercial discovery layer (Primo)” is – and which is the equivalent of GVSU's Summon?

Kirstin says, "When we educate our patrons about our specialized recording databases and how to search for music, we should not hesitate to give them concrete examples showing how the catalog and library streaming tools compare to Google and YouTube. This will help patrons see the benefits of each type of tool rather than generate the feeling that we aren't keeping up with the tools they already use." [emphasis added]

Yes, I already show/discuss Google & Wikipedia compared to Oxford Music Online, and should also ask what other tools they use (e.g., YouTube) and show those compared to our tools!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Indigenous North America

On December 3, 2014, I attended a forum on Gi-gikinomaage-min, a GVSU-Grand Rapids project of recording urban Native American experience, co-sponsored by the Kutsche Office of Local History and the University Libraries/Archives. I'd like to be a volunteer interviewer. This spurred me to continue learning:
In late December I watched a 3-part sports documentary, Iroquois Lacrosse, about the Iroquois Nationals (Haudenosaunee) playing in the 2014 World Lacrosse Championships, and then the dramatized version, Crooked Arrows, about the original, ancient game and contemporary players coming together as a team, developing both skills and Haudenosaunee character. The Nationals were not allowed to go to the Olympics because their sovereign passports were not accepted by Great Britain.

I just finished reading Unraveling the Spreading Cloth of Time: Indigenous Thoughts Concerning the Universe by MariJo Moore and Trace A. Demeyer, a 2013 compilation. Interesting, thought-provoking pieces. I loved "Tangled" by Kim Shuck, would like to read more by Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Doris Seale (a librarian who compiled books like A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children), and Susan Deer Cloud, who has several books of poetry out. Update 3/1/15: I've read 2 of Deer Cloud's chapbooks: The Last Ceremony, and Braiding Starlight. She wrote a poem of local interest, called Stuck in Grand Rapids Airport, Our Words Make Peace Cranes.

I came across the book above when I met Siobhan Senier via some friends during Thanksgiving weekend. She is an English prof who specializes in New England Indigenous literature (e.g., Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England and its accompanying website Writings of Indigenous New England). She recommended the author Tomson Highway, a Canadian First Nations writer, and said that I might start with Kiss of the Fur Queen (GVSU 4th floor PR9199.3.H472 K57). She also recommended David Treuer's Hiawatha (MEL). David and Anton Treuer are brothers, Ojibwe from Minnesota. I had already read Anton's Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians but Were Afraid to Ask, a greatly informative book, because he had visited GVSU in the fall semester but I had missed his talk. I had also already sampled pieces from Voice on the water: Great Lakes native America now edited by Grace Chaillier and Rebecca Tavernini; it is an Anishanaabe (Ojibwe) anthology project from Northern Michigan University's Center for Native American Studies in Traverse city.

I would like to read at least portions of In the Hands of the Great Spirit: The 20,000-year History of American Indians by Jake Page (GVSU 2nd floor E77.P14 2003), perhaps "We are still here": American Indians since 1890 by Peter Iverson and Wade Davies (2015) and That dream shall have a name: native Americans rewriting America by David L. Moore, Centering Anishinaabeg studies: understanding the world through stories (search for urban), Living with animals: Ojibwe spirit powers by Michael Pomedli, Anishinaabe ways of knowing and being by Lawrence W. Gross, and most definitely The queerness of Native American literature by Lisa Tatonetti. And Fighting colonialism with hegemonic culture: native American appropriation of Indian stereotypes by Maureen Trudelle Schwarz. Look for Michigan in Encyclopedia of Native American music of North America. Look at the last chapter of Imagic moments: indigenous North American film.

I read: Unsettling America: the uses of Indianness in the 21st century by C. Richard King. Amazing book, eye-opening. He discussed Blue Corn Comics' Peace Party, and from there, I found Newspaper Rock, a forum subtitled, "Where Native America meets pop culture."

Here is a searchable in English or Ojibwe pronouncing Ojibwe People's Dictionary, from Minnesota, Ontario, Wisconsin.

Quaker Inspirational Fiction (a.k.a. Romance)

  • Ellis, Mary. The Quaker and the Rebel - I can see if the 1st few pages that she has done as little research on Quakers as she has on the Amish (the protagonist has ribbons on her dress, curtsies, uses "sir" and "ma'am" and the title of "Miss" to introduce herself. Meh.
  • A compilation called The Quakers of New Garden (Romancing America series) has 4 stories of different generations:
  1.  Taylor, Jennifer Hudson: AWFUL! She clearly did not do any research and is a poor writer.
  2. Schrock, Ann E.: excellent story about the Underground Railroad, well written.
  3. Sanders, Claire: good story about a woman who stays true to her Quaker beliefs and practices even when "married out." 
  4. Williams, Suzette: a contemporary story, good, or even excellent until the end, when the protagonist leaves her Meeting to join an evangelical church - what about this makes it a Quaker romance? Williams puts herself on the same level as Beverly Lewis, whose so-called "Amish" romances all have the same message: Old Order Amish are not fine as they are but need to become born again--truly an evangelical message--so why not have the characters move to the Evangelical Friends branch if being Liberal (Friends General Conference) was too uncomfortable for the writer? 
Just finished A Quaker Christmas (Romancing America), again with 4 stories:
  1. A Crossroad to Love by Lauralee Bliss.
  2. Simple Gifts by Ramona K. Cecil.
  3. Pirate of My Heart by Rachael Phillips
  4. Equally Yoked by Claire Sanders.
On the whole, a gentle collection of stories about 1800's Quakers, explaining that Friends consider each day as holy/sacred, which takes the pressure off the huge expectations of gifts, huge meals, etc. Sanders' "Equally Yoked" nicely demonstrated the dangers faced by abolitionists.

Some minor quibbles: one of the authors (Bliss, I think) used "thee" as the formal and "you" as informal and clearly didn't understand that "thee" was used in place of "thou" --the singular informal, and that "you" is the plural formal--considered incorrect to use when addressing one person, especially as used in 1600s England to address "betters" such as titled landowners and church officials. "Friend" was also used as a formal title used with the last name, again the opposite, as Friends don't use titles. To be formal, one uses first and last name: "John Davis" for example, or "Friend John."  

One major quibble: Phillips used the stereotype of Shawnee river cave pirates, which I found detestable. That is truly comodification - just trying to make money off of a bad idea. 

Cote, Lyn. Honor. About Quakers in 1819-20, slavery, and the Underground Railroad, I enjoyed the story. I want to read the 2nd one, Blessing, on order 3/1/15. Cote used "thee" as the plural, when addressing multiple people. Clearly doesn't understand the grammar. Interestingly, in the Historical Note at the end, Cote mentions Elizabeth Margaret Chandler, an abolitionist and poet who moved to Michigan, and the first woman to write about abolition. Cote included one of her poems in Honor.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Limberg, Louise, Olof Sundin & Sanna Talja (2012). “Three Theoretical Perspectives on Information Literacy.” Human IT 11.2: 93–130. <>

"A similar conclusion was drawn by Limberg (1998; 1999 see below) claiming that it is the differences between students’ ways of using information that interact closely with the quality of their learning outcomes, not their ways of seeking and finding information" (Limberg et al 2012, p.100).
  • LIMBERG, LOUISE (1999). “Three Conceptions of Information Seeking and Use.” Exploring the Contexts of Information Behaviour. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Research in Information Needs, Seeking and Use in Different Contexts, 13-15 August 1998, Sheffield, UK. London: Taylor Graham. 

"An identified information need is often indicated as triggering information
seeking and is seen as an essential dimension of information literacy by librarians, while lecturers rarely experienced or expressed an explicit information need" (101)

"as information seekers we are at the mercy of Google’s individualised ranking of search hits. Likewise, we are dependent on the functionalities offered by Facebook or Twitter. In a similar way, the language tools available within a scientific discipline shape – to a degree – what can be thought, said or written" (105).

"information and the meaning of information is seen as shaped through dialogue with artefacts in practices" (106).

While there are generic aspects of "information literacy," it is also situated in disciplinary practice. "A focus on the tools attributes individual books, databases, journals or web sites particular importance in user education, while a focus on contexts attributes a particular role to the practices where significance and meaning are negotiated" (109).

"Content and form mutually shape each other and should therefore be considered as a whole."..."meaning in information is created through the meeting between people, practices and tools." ... "it varies between practice, situation and medium." (120)
Cope, Jonathan. & Sanabria, Jesús E. (2014). Do We Speak the Same Language?: A Study of Faculty Perceptions of Information Literacy. portal: Libraries and the Academy 14(4), 475-501. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved December 16, 2014, from Project MUSE database.

"The interviews revealed that faculty members did not view IL as distinct from their disciplinary practices. When asked about information literacy, faculty members would discuss their discipline and IL in a language that suggested that they did not consciously distinguish between the two. Mostly, they did not regard knowledge of the research process and subject-specific knowledge as disparate entities. Mostly, they did not regard knowledge of the research process and subject-specific knowledge as disparate entities." (490)
"most faculty think about issues that are deeply related to IL, but they are more likely to use the language and rhetoric of their own discipline." (498)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Info Lit: Discovery

Once again Barbara Fister got to the heart of the matter in her opinion piece:
"The new information literacy framework makes an effort to redefine what it means to be information literate by focusing on seeing the context within which knowledge is created and shared, as well as understanding how authority is constructed and why making good choices is such an important part of the process.... discovery is greatly influenced by developing habits that predispose us to be inquisitive and help us navigate a world of information that doesn’t necessarily begin and end with the library. ... It's a combination of developing personal curiosity and opportunities to join conversations being held by communities exploring the world in a variety of ways. Can librarians help with that? I would argue that’s one of our most important jobs."

Yes, I have never been able to subscribe to the idea in the old standards that discovery "means determining an information need." Really? That's not what sparks me to start looking for info. I'm curious. Something interested me. Someone said something I want to verify or disprove. I want to do something in a different way than I have done it before. And so on.

Fister, Barbara. Peer to Peer Review (October 16, 2014). Redefining What Discovery Means. Retrieved from on November 11, 2014.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Frankl: Meaningfulness Matters More Than Happiness

Emily Esfahani Smith. "A Psychiatrist Who Survived The Holocaust Explains Why Meaningfulness Matters More Than Happiness." The Atlantic. Oct. 22, 2014, 2:55 PM. 
  • People who spent more time thinking about the future or about past struggles and sufferings felt more meaning in their lives.
  • Meaning ... is enduring. It connects the past to the present to the future. 
  • People who have meaning in their lives, in the form of a clearly defined purpose, rate their satisfaction with life higher even when they were feeling bad than those who did not have a clearly defined purpose. "If there is meaning in life at all," Frankl wrote, "then there must be meaning in suffering."
  • Partly what we do as human beings is to take care of others and contribute to others.
  • Frankl worked as a therapist in the camps, and in his book, he gives the example of two suicidal inmates he encountered there. Like many others in the camps, these two men were hopeless and thought that there was nothing more to expect from life, nothing to live for. "In both cases," Frankl writes, "it was a question of getting them to realize that life was still expecting something from them; something in the future was expected of them."
  • This uniqueness and singleness which distinguishes each individual and gives a meaning to his existence has a bearing on creative work as much as it does on human love.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lilly Conference On Evidenced-Based Teaching and Learning, Traverse City, 2014

Ranger, Kim L. and Veenstra, Victoria. (2014) “Informed Learning in Photography: Collaboration through Visual Communication.” 2014 National Lilly Conferences on College and University Teaching & Learning: Traverse City, Refereed.

Via our session, we shared our insights gained from faculty-librarian collaboration in Photography at GVSU with 25 participants.

What I learned / new insights gained: 

"Practicing improvisation as pedagogy" -- explain to students why they have to do the learning (not me the teaching)-they are doing the assignments, not me; they are (or are becoming) the photographer/dancer/PR specialist, etc.

Items to consider for "Interdisciplinary teaching and collaboration:"
  • how to handle sharing student evaluations, teaching styles & use of time in class sessions, grading expectations, sit in on a class to observe teaching partner in preparation, assess outcomes to know if student learning was enriched by interdisciplinary team teaching 
  • agree on rubrics, norm language between the 2 disciplines; be explicit on expectations for each other in terms of prepping students, class time and content; note how our teaching changed (lecture language, activities, tag-teaming, etc.)
"Exploring unintentional biases and their impact in the classroom:" listen, listen some more, listen again. Don’t rush to connect, empathize, fix, or defend. “Stereotype threat” means that one starts questioning or doubting self; it affects all minorities.

"Meeting student resistance with empathy in the college classroom:"
in library sessions, in order to connect with students’ feelings and perspectives but still be separate, “I didn’t do library research when I was an undergraduate but learned afterward how it helped me save time and write better papers (for better grades); it is important to me that you hve the same opportunity!”

"New science of learning:"
  1. students look for meaning and patterns, and stop thinking when they have found something (whatever it is)
  2. most effective study techniques:
  • high: practice testing, breaking practice or study up into chunks
  • moderate: elaborative interrogation (asking questions of oneself about concepts and elaborating on them), explaining concepts to oneself, interweaving practice (connecting concepts to each other)
3. Implementation science: incorporating evidence-based programs or innovations into practice
  • builds capacity to sustain innovations
  • bridges gap between research and using it or putting plan into action
  • learning moment = failure and wish to improve
  • goal to change behavior, establish “x” as the norm (even when no one is watching)
  • what works:
· diffusion – people talking to others over time
· one-on-one mentors/facilitators/coaches/consultants who show why and how to do it
· people follow the lead of those whom they know and trust
· start with high structure and decrease as skills progress
· keep number of perspectives low at first and increase in complexity
· start with a lower degree of asking learners to connect concepts to their personal lives and increase
· start with small degrees of community and interaction, then increase 

4. National Implementation Research Network core components:
· staff or team selection
· training
· one-on-one mentors/facilitators/coaches/consultants
· support (safety, trust, etc.)
· data systems (collection, analysis, sharing)
· system-wide interventions
· staff performance evaluation
5. peer-led team learning (
· 6-8 people in temas, each team has a peer leader who did well in previous class/training
· cooperation inspires greater efforts to achive than competition or individual striving, results in more positive relationships between team members, and greater psychological health
  • mentor qualities:invites people to change, listens, nudges gently, questions, balances, cares, provides avenues for retreat when necessary
  • fast idea implementation: idea/innovation is visible, short-term evidence is provided, doesn’t violate previous beliefs, is test-drivable, not tedious, is technically simple, and makes life better for practitioners and clients