Posted by: Mighty Mike | September 20, 2008

Evaluating an Integrated Library System: UP’s iLib

Our very own UP Integrated Library System (iLib) is an in-house, web-based integrated library system that uses open source programming to cater the needs of the whole UP System. It integrates all library processes throughout the UP System, giving ease both to librarians and its users – the students and faculty members.

The Pilot Testing of the system started last February 11, 2008, and I begun using it just a month after its release –March; the time I started my librarian career.

iLib has three main features – the Online Catalog, My Library, and the Visitors Area. Under Online Catalog, you can do an advance or basic search for any material you wish to borrow from the library. This is very user friendly; basically, all you have to do is to key in the title or subject of what you are looking for. The advance search will help you refine your search into more specific search strategies. You can also take a look at the new acquisitions from this feature. A View Cart function is also available under this feature which shows you the materials you have chosen from the search result.

E-Library Card, Recommend a Title, and Feedback are under the features of My Library. E-Library Card helps you manage Items on Loan, Reservations, and Titles Recommended. It also shows the history of your library transactions. In Recommend a Title, you are being allowed to suggest a specific title which you wish the Library to purchase. Once your request is approved, you’ll be notified through email so you can start using the new material. Feedback is the area where one can suggest about the over-all performance of the system, including its collections.

In the Visitor’s Area, one can know about the latest library news and other Library information.

The iLib is very user-friendly and very portable. Though it don’t appear to have more graphics like images of book covers, information retrieved from the system are very useful, especially in my case, where I am using the system both for my work and studies. Before, I only use it as a reference for call numbers which I am doing for the library collections of the institution I am working at, but now, I realized that it has many other features which I can use as a graduate student in UP, thus, I am very thankful that we have this online library system that is very accessible anywhere with the internet. I am hoping that this would transform into an “Online Digital Library” in the years to come.

Posted by: Mighty Mike | August 8, 2008

A Critique on the Use of Web-based Information Systems

A Critique on the Use of Web-based Information Systems

‘Google it!’ Just ‘Google it’ and you’ll find what information you are looking for. With the advent of technology, information nowadays is just a click away as long as you have a computer connected to the World Wide Web, or, the Internet.

The use of web-based information systems provides fast and easy access to vast amount of information seeded in the web. Once connected to the internet, you have a lot of options on which search engine you want to use to retrieve information. You can have Google, Yahoo, Altavista, Ask Jeeves, Magellan, Infoseek and a lot more to choose from. Others specialize on certain fields, while most are for general use. Each of these engines will show you links to voluminous pages on the web containing the search terms you keyed in. These overwhelming options lead to ‘information overload.’ That is why relevance is very important in the use of web-based information systems. Not all of the links that will flash on the page are useful. One must have a keen understanding on the subject when retrieving information from the web. Aside from relevance, reliability is also an issue. Information on the net can be seeded by anyone from anywhere in the world. One must be careful in choosing which website to trust. Therefore, having fast and easy access to vast amount of information is not as simple as eating. One must be critical in choosing which information is relevant and reliable.

In my own experience, I use Google a lot. I make sure that I only click up to three pages at a time to avoid ‘information overload.’ Before choosing three sites, I carefully read the simple description found with the link to the site for relevance. For reliability, I am familiarizing my self to information authorities on the web on certain fields. For fast access, once I found that a site is very useful, I include it to my bookmarks.

It takes to time to master effective and efficient information retrieval from the web. It takes a critical mind to retrieve the most relevant information from the web. Not everything that is given to us is just there for us to easily use.

Posted by: Mighty Mike | July 26, 2008

A Critique on the Use of Online and Digital Media

A Critique on the Use of Online and Digital Media

“It is easy to foresee a future in which the library and the computer center are organized into one information service organization. Such a pattern is already beginning to emerge in industrial organizations, particularly in information conscious areas like the pharmaceutical industry. One can also foresee a power struggle, sometimes open, sometimes disguised, as to who will manage such organizations. Whichever faction, if you will, has the clearest claim to having expertise in information service would seem to have the upper leg. If librarians want to be in that position then we must orient our activities and our training to information service, not just bibliographic service.” – Eugene Garfield, Ph.D.

Powerful! For us, information professionals, the advent of modern information retrieval system opens limitless possibilities to efficiently and effectively retrieve information in whatever media, wherever we are. It is powerful, a very powerful tool for us to learn and master. This is what I’ve learned from the article above by Eugene Garfield.

From my experience in using these tools, I can say that it has provided me with a lot of ease in retrieving information I need for my researches and assignments in the past. It is very convenient and easy to use –very user friendly. However, I noticed some biases when it comes to cultural aspects. They are more “Westernized” – especially when it comes to history. Despite the biases, I can still say that these modern information retrieval systems had made our job a lot easier and opens a greater future in our field.

As I am writing this article, I am thinking of the implication of this new thought: “The Power of Modern Information Retrieval Systems.” I want to be an expert in the field of information service. This is where we are going as information professionals. I am seeing a greater future if I will master the art of information retrieval with the use of modern technology.

Electronic Reference:

http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/papers/234.html [July 26, 2008; 7:30 AM]

Posted by: Mighty Mike | July 17, 2008

Web 2.0 Technologies for the Library

Web 2.0 Technologies for the Library

  1. Blogs and Blogging – the advantage of having a blog for a library is like having a more personal webpage and a lot more. In this case, no technical syntax or html codes are needed to put up a webpage or website in the internet. What you see, is what you get! Librarians can easily and personally post announcements or its current awareness program, provide links to useful journals and scholarly articles, upload files, videos and images and a lot more. If you are computer savvy, you may even maximize the use of other extra applications incorporated within the blog, just like instant messaging, were library users can send an instant message to the librarian as a form of query service. I am seeing a lot more possibilities and advantages in the use of blog as a library tool in bringing the users closer to the information they need as the technology keeps on revolutionizing.
  2. Instant Messaging – instant messaging means instant service for the library, a guaranteed customer satisfaction! However, this may entail a lot of challenges for the librarian in attending to all instant messages coming from different users from different places and of course, in providing the right answer. Therefore, training and careful planning are needed to effectively use this tool. Only registered users should be allowed to send messages to monitor and control the amount and content of the messages being received, since there may be other users online who may use this for non-sense queries and would just be a waste of time. Aside from answering queries, Instant Messaging, can be also used to send documents through file transferring. If properly planned and managed Instant Messaging can be a very useful tool in delivering information efficiently and effectively to users anywhere on the planet.
  3. Really Simple Syndication (RSS) – A method of syndicating or publishing information on your website through an XML application. This allows other websites or applications to import your RSS feed, which contains the information you are publishing, into their website or application” -bleepingcomputer.com. In a library setting, RSS can be a very useful tool when it comes to posting announcements and other library updates in an automated manner. With RSS, I can see an effective and efficient way for the selective dissemination of information.

Posted by: Mighty Mike | July 17, 2008

Wow! That’s my blog site!

Web 2.0 +Library 2.0 +Librarian 2.0 — after hitting the return key, Google surprised me with the first page of the search results having the url for the reading assignment about Web 2.0 on this blog. Wow! That’s my blog site!

Web 2.0 +Library 2.0 +Librarian 2.0

Screen shot of the search result for terms: Web 2.0 +Library 2.0 +Librarian 2.0

Posted by: Mighty Mike | July 17, 2008

Forum on Effective Search of Information!

Forum on Effective Search of Information

Speaker: Dr. Angelina P. Resurreccion

July 16, 2008

Jose Rizal University (Multimedia Section)

Yesterday, July 16, 2008, I attended the “Forum on Effective Search of Information” by Dr. Angelina P. Resurreccion at the Multimedia Section of the Jose Rizal University in Mandaluyong City. It aims to introduce new tools and techniques in searching for information.

Just by reading the title, it is clear that this forum will surely help me and the rest of the participants on our future search of information. But then, I was wrong. Before going to the forum, I am saying that I should be able to search effectively and efficiently any kind of information when I get back to my seat at the library. But then, I was wrong! Though the speaker mentioned about pathfinders, and web harvesting, the strategies thought for effectively searching information are already known to me, perhaps, us. She did not include any new tools for searching of information. I already knew about pathfinders and web harvesting, however, you still need to effectively search for the information needed for these tools.

To be clear, I am disappointed because I am expecting to know new tools and techniques for effective search of information, but what were thought in the forum is not new to me. I am also upset with the way the forum was conducted. She moves the slides too fast, not explaining the topics well. We should have learned more about web farming if she emphasized on it. She even had a hard time answering the questions thrown by my classmates. Our teacher even threw her a question which I think she failed to answer right.

Nevertheless, I still made it a point that I will learn something from this activity. I think I can use the pathfinder, web farming, and information literacy program in our library. These tools are not new to me; however I am still thankful that she reminded me about these useful tools.

Title of the Article: Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and Librarian 2.0: Preparing for the 2.0 World

 

Author: Stephen Abram, MLS, SirsiDynix Vice President of Innovation

 

URL: http://www.imakenews.com/sirsi

 

 

Abstract:

 

            Stephen Abram, in this article, discussed and defined the interrelation between WEB 2.0, LIBRARY 2.0 and LIBRARIAN 2.0. He introduced first the emerging WEB 2.0, its environment, and the technologies using its infrastructure and then related it on a library setting. Furthermore, he defined the wonders of Library 2.0 and becoming a Librarian 2.0.

 

 

Three things I learned from my reading assignment

 

1. WEB 2.0 – from this article, I found out about the ongoing transition in the World Wide Web from a collection of websites to a full-pledged computing platform serving web applications to end users. This is WEB 2.0. The new environment in the Internet which changed the way we use the Internet to communicate and retrieve information. With WEB 2.0, Internet communication and productivity tools are now user-centered, collaborative, social, interactive, content-rich, multi-media rich and de-centralized in control.

 

            2. Library 2.0 – with the WEB 2.0 platform, Library 2.0 is a modernized library service that reflects a transition in the library world in the way that services are delivered to users.  Services are frequently evaluated and updated to meet the demands of library users. The participation or the flow of information and ideas between library users and the library enables rapid evolution of modern library services. Obviously, the advent of WEB 2.0 technologies has a great impact in the library world especially in the flow of information and improvement of library services.

 

            3. Librarian 2.0 – from the structures of WEB 2.0, integrating it to online library services, comes Library 2.0. A librarian using WEB 2.0 technologies for his Library 2.0 can be called a Librarian 2.0. The challenges we are facing here as librarians is more on understanding the technology and how we can maximize the use of these technologies to continually improve our library services.

 

           

 

Implications of the new things I’ve learned to my work / to me as a person.

 

            While reading this article, a lot of ideas are playing in my mind. As I become exposed to the concepts of WEB 2.0, Library 2.0, and Librarian 2.0, I am thinking of how these emerging technologies can be applied in my own workplace.

 

Our school has a website, however, we haven’t included a section for the library, and that’s one of our project. As of now, we are in the process of encoding the catalog into a database using Access, once this is done, we will move on to the creation of our own Integrated Library System, however, this may take a few more months. Now, with my new knowledge on the 2.0 platform, I am planning to create a blog for the library while waiting for our Integrated Library System to be included in the school’s website. It sounds simple for me, and my plan after putting up the blog, is just to ask the web administrator of our site to just put a link that will direct the students to the new Library blog.

            Superb!

Title of the Article: Chapter 13: Evaluation of information retrieval systems

Title of Book: Introduction to Modern Information Retrieval

Author: Chowdhury, G.G.

Abstract:

Major issues related to the evaluation of information retrieval systems are discussed in this chapter. The author also identified the different factors to be considered in measuring the performance of an IRS. At the end of the chapter, the author discussed the major steps in designing a program for evaluation of IRS.

Three things I learned from my reading assignment

1. Purpose of evaluation. IRS is evaluated in order to ascertain the level of its performance. Effectiveness and efficiency are the two basic parameters in measuring the performance of a system. Evaluation determines specific reasons for successes and failures of a certain system, thus providing a room to explore the techniques for increasing the effectiveness of a system. Basically, evaluation aims to improve an existing system or determine the strengths and weaknesses prior to application.

2. Criteria for evaluation. Among the different criteria for evaluation, recall and precision are the most important. However, it is quite difficult to measure these criteria because it still depends on the user whether the set of retrieved items are relevant. Thus a relevance criterion external to the retrieval system is needed to properly measure recall and precision.

3. Steps of evaluation. As identified by Lancaster, there are five steps of evaluation:

a. designing the scope of evaluation – the phase where the set of objectives that the given study is going to meet are being prepared.

b. designing the evaluation program – designer identifies the points on which data are to be collected.

c. execution of the evaluation – data are collected in a way prescribed at the design stage.

d. analysis and interpretation of results – here, observations or the data are matched against the set of objectives of the study.

e. modifying the system in the light of the evaluation results –if necessary, IRS are modified to achieve optimum results.

Implications of the new things I’ve learned to my work / to me as a person.

This reading assignment is very timely since in ESA library, we are currently on the automation stage where in we are transferring and organizing our library files into a database. We are in the process of creating our own simple IRS, thus knowing the different criteria as well as the steps of evaluation will surely help me in the development of our own simple IRS.

Posted by: Mighty Mike | July 9, 2008

READING ASSIGNMENT: Boolean Search and Retrieval

Title of the Article: Chapter 9: Searching and Retrieval

Title of Book: Introduction to Modern Information Retrieval

Author: Chowdhury, G.G.

Abstract:

In this chapter, the author discussed about the searching subsystem of an IR system. It includes the different retrieval models, in which Boolean search model is mainly discussed from the its basic concepts to its limitations and provisions to enable an end-user to search in a more effective manner.

Three things I learned from my reading assignment

In this reading assignment, I’ve learned about the limitations of Boolean search model which I never noticed before since I do not usually use complex search statements.

1. Formulation of search statements. It is difficult for user to formulate an exact search combination of the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT, which often requires a trained one for an effective search and retrieval process.

2. Number of retrieved items. The number of retrieved items may sometimes be too many, thus it is quite difficult to find the exact information you need. On the other hand, the number of retrieved items may be very few if the search statement is too narrow, giving a possibility for the user to miss some relevant items.

3. Relevance of retrieved information. In a Boolean search, all retrieved information are treated equally and not weighted according to relevancy. The problem here is in choosing the right information out of all the retrieved items.

Implications of the new things I’ve learned to my work / to me as a person.

Knowing the different limitations of Boolean search and retrieval will help me in my future research projects, finding for the right information. Boolean operators, once mastered are very powerful in searching for information over the internet as well as other online databases.

Posted by: Mighty Mike | July 4, 2008

Reading Assignment: Inside a computer -How it works?

Title of the Article: What’s Going On Inside Your Computer

Title of the Book: Computing Concepts

Author: Haag, Stephen et. al.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin

Abstract of the article:

In this part of the book, the author discussed how information is processed inside a computer. Starting from the representation of characters and symbols into Binary digits of 1 and 0 up to the processes that takes place inside the CPU and how information travels in the whole computer system.

Three things I learned from my reading assignment:

1. Binary Coding Systems – Now I know why in Microsoft Word, sometimes you can’t open a document or sometimes the file you opened displays unfamiliar characters and symbols. You first need to choose which type of code you want to use to open that particular file especially if it was created from a different version of Microsoft Word or from another word processing software such as Open Office. That is because that file or document contains characters that are not represented in ASCII or EBSIDIC or from the current coding system being used by the program you are using to open the file. Therefore you need to use other available Binary Coding Systems from the options to open that file in order to view the characters or symbols. Oh, that explains why…now I know!

2. Software Performance – Now I know the details on why a program or application runs slower than other programs. Other programs require less computing or less processes to in order to perform the function you want to happen. Before, I thought that it all depends on your Memory (RAM) or CPU Clock. A simple application like typing on a Notepad will perform at the same speed whether you are using a Pentium 4 or a Pentium 1 processor because the Notepad requires less computing process which can be easily done by a Pentium 1.

3. Different Parts of the Motherboard – Now, I know well about the parts of a motherboard. Before, I just knew that a motherboard has CPU, video cards, sound cards, LAN cards and RAM. I also knew what AGP, PCI and ISA stands for. AGP for Accelerated Graphics Port, PCI for Peripheral Component Interconnect and ISA for Industry Standard Architecture.

Implications of the new things I learned to my work / to me as a person:

I’ve been studying computers since high school and I can say that what I knew then was not enough. Knowing about the different Binary Coding Systems will help me understand any word processing program or encoding system. For me I’d prefer using the Unicode system since it supports almost all known characters and symbols to mankind.

With the new knowledge on factors affecting software performance, I am expecting that the applications or programs I am using or running will not hang often as long as I am not requiring the CPU to do more tasks simultaneously. Programs hang when you want to process too many things at the same time. Slowly but surely, each problem will be solved, just like in our real life.

The specific things I learned about the motherboard will surely help me in troubleshooting computers in the office and at the internet shop owned by our family. If I used to get the computer working before by unplugging every component in the motherboard then putting them back, now, I can specifically unplug any component from the motherboard and test if the bug or problem is really coming from that part.

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