Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Using mobile devices for library research, part 3

We're more than halfway through the fall semester, and you may be starting to get final research paper assignments in some of your classes. In this series of blog posts, I've been sharing ideas for how to get research done using a mobile device.

In my first post, I talked about how you can increase your productivity by using a mobile device to browse the catalog, search a database, or take notes in an app. In my second post, I showed how searching for articles in Ebsco databases or listening to music in the Naxos Music Library can be just as effective on a mobile device as on a desktop or laptop. This time, I want to focus on one of my favorite productivity apps, Evernote.

Introduced in 2005, Evernote helps you remember information by storing and managing digital notes. Notes can contain text, images, audio, documents from another program, or information clipped from a web page. Evernote lets you tag notes, organize them in folders, and find them using keyword searches.

The service has approximately 100 million personal and business users as of October 2014. Its secure revenue streams include over $250 million in venture funding and over $1 million a month in sales of accessories such as backpacks, pens and physical notebooks. This allows the company to offer a "freemium" price model (with free and paid tiers of access) without selling your personal information to advertisers. Most users find that the free tier (60 MB of uploads each month) meets their needs. The $5/month premium version removes the space limit, adds handwriting recognition and the ability to save notes offline on a mobile device.Notes are synchronized regularly between your device and Evernote's US-based servers, which utilize the latest security protocols.

Evernote is suited to situations where your thinking grows and changes over time, making it effective as a tool to log your research over the course of a project. You can create one note for your project and edit the note to add information each time you work on the project, or you can create an entire folder for a project and add a new note each time you get an idea. Evernote can adapt to your learning style: add images and textual notes if you're a visual learner, or record audio notes if you are an aural learner and want to talk into your phone.

For example, when I used Evernote to help me write an article recently, I compiled all my ideas about the research project in one Evernote, and took photos of the whiteboard in my office as I brainstormed what I wanted to say.

You can also easily save documents received as a web download or email attachment to Evernote using your mobile device's "open in" functionality.

Many faculty and students are adapting Evernote's functionality to their teaching and learning workflows. See the blog of City University of Hong Kong professor Allan Johnson for more ideas about how you could put Evernote to work for you.


Evernote. "Privacy Policy." Retrieved October 23, 2014.  https://evernote.com/legal/privacy.php

Johnson, Allan. "Tag Archives: Evernote." The Art of Academic Practice. Retrieved October 28, 2014. http://thisisallan.com/tag/evernote/

Mangalindan, J.P. "Digital Note-Taking App Evernote Thinks Bigger." Fortune, October 3, 2014.

Mossberg, Walter S. "EverNote Organizes Your Endless Stuff Onto an Endless Tape." Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2005: B1.

Tener, Rich. "Evernote Strengthens Privacy Position With New Security Capabilities." Evernote TechBlog, October 23, 2014. http://blog.evernote.com/tech/2014/06/24/evernote-new-security-capabilities/

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Student Art Reception, October 28 at 10am

Join us next Tuesday, October 28 from 10-11am for an art reception in the 2nd floor lobby of the Armacost Library. The artists are students from Professor RenĂ©e Azenaro's ART 132: Two-Dimensional Design and ART 145:  Introduction to Sculpture, and are an assortment of art majors and non-art majors.

I've been attending the last several receptions and have always valued the time I've had to talk with the students. I'll ask them about the decisions they've made, the challenges they've faced, how they responded to those challenges, what they learned about themselves and art in general. The students are open and thoughtful in their responses, and these conversations are quite educational for both myself and the artists who take the opportunity to think and reflect on their learning experiences.

In ART 132:  Two-Dimensional Design, students learn to design with picture-plane using the principles and elements of design. Designs are developed through learned skills in line, shape, texture, color and value; while learning to create well-developed designs with unity and variety, balance, scale and proportion within a composition.

In ART 145:  Introduction to Sculpture, students were tasked to create a planar sculpture for their first assignment. Students cast and carved plaster sculptures with several goals in mind

  • to learn to cast plaster keeping the integrity of the material so as to be able to carve a blank form and create a single sculpture of well developed planes
  • to make a piece considering the relationship of forms as they develop around the sculpture, and
  • to work towards excellent craftsmanship.  

If you have a moment, please stop by and join us!

Paige Mann
Physical Sciences Librarian

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Whatever the cost.....

"Whatever the cost of our libraries, 
the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation." 
Walter Cronkite**

Here are some facts about the cost of libraries:

     Academic librarians provide information that serves more than 44 million students yearly—reaching almost 12 million more than attend college basketball games.
College libraries receive just less than three cents of every dollar spent on higher education.
There are 584 students enrolled for every librarian in 2- and 4-year colleges and universities in 2010 in the U.S. as compared with 14 students for each teaching faculty member.
Americans spend nearly three times as much on candy as they do on public libraries.*

Something to consider!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What is the Student Engagement Board?

Have you noticed Armacost Library’s new Student Engagement Board?

Okay, it’s just a “rolling-magnetic-reversible-dry-erase-board.” But doesn't Student Engagement Board sound better? It’s currently stationed on the 2nd floor just adjacent to the east staircase. Armacost Library wants to ask informal (and sometimes amusing) questions to get to know our students (this means YOU!) and interact in a casual way. You may also see announcements of current library events listed on the board. We started out by requesting that you summon your artistic side and draw your pet (insert poodle, turtle, hissing cockroach, here). Last week we asked you what you like about college—feedback in the form of sarcasm and silliness are welcome. Do you like your instructors? Don’t you just love the library? (What an awesome place)! What about the double-half-caf-soy-extra-large-Frappuccino?

Be on the lookout for more scintillating questions in the weeks to come. Do you have any suggestions for questions we might ask? Contact Paige_Mann@redlands.edu with your thoughts and ideas. Or, feel free to post a comment below. Have a great day!

Submitted by Rebecca Clayton, Acquisitions/Cataloging Assistant
Photo by Debbie Alban, Administrative Assitant

Friday, October 10, 2014

Can Adobe see which ebooks you are reading?

As you probably know, Armacost Library offers a wide and growing selection of ebooks through our Ebsco Ebook Collection. Ebsco acquires distribution rights to the texts in EPUB format from various publishers and sells them to libraries. You can read these books online and take notes or print selected portions directly from your browser. If you want to read these books offline or transfer them to a mobile device, you need to download Adobe Digital Editions software, since the texts are protected by digital rights management (DRM) software at the publisher's request.

This week, Armacost Library learned that the latest version of Adobe Digital Editions automatically compiles information on users' reading history - including the titles of ebooks, the date and time they were read, a unique identifier for the reading device and its Internet address  - and transmits this information to an Adobe server in unencrypted, plain text that could easily be intercepted by a third party.

Protecting patron privacy is one a core library value. The functionality revealed this week goes against the tenets of anonymity and data integrity described in Armacost Library's privacy policy and undermines our ability to provide you with trustworthy resources for your teaching and learning.

While we pursue the matter further with Ebsco, there are a couple options you can take immediately if you feel that your privacy is being violated. According to user reports, only version 4 of Adobe Digital Editions transmits information to Adobe. You can install version 3 of the software from http://www.adobe.com/support/digitaleditions/downloads.html.

Alternatively, you can remove Adobe Digital Editions altogether and simply read ebooks in your browser. Ebsco's database interface allows you to view ebooks on computers and mobile devices alike, no special downloads needed.

Finally, we encourage you to contact your librarian if you would like help finding physical books from our collection, or from another library near you.

Best regards,
Sanjeet Mann
Electronic Resources Librarian
Armacost Library