The Learning Library is moving!

Exciting things are happening in the Libraries, and just in time for the holiday season! 😉

The Learning Library’s blog has merged with the Libraries’ Healthy Workplace and Libraries’ Diversity blog to form the all new – No Shelf Required. From today forward, please bookmark this library blog for staff, and check in for future news. Note – use of this page will be discontinued soon, so save the new link today to avoid missing out!


Protecting Climate Data

I had the opportunity to attend “Protecting Data in Times of Political Turmoil” on January 20th at UCLA.  All of my notes and the important links from that session are available here:

Recently there was another event at UCB where I think this movement is taking a necessary next step. To not just archive at-risk governmental data at the time of an administration change but to build a system to track, in the future, updates and major changes to governmental data automatically.  This will allow for tracking version changes to governmental data sets over time.  Read more: Diehard Coders Just Rescued NASA’s Earth Science Data.

Articles about the UCLA event:

Understanding User Needs

Do we really know what our patrons are thinking while they use our services and resources? Really really? We may not, especially if we keep our empathy for them framed in our own experience, according to Indi Young, author of Mental Models and Practical Empathy, co-founder of user-experience design firm Adaptive Path, and Internet Librarian 2016 keynote speaker.
Young pointed out that putting yourself in a patron’s place, or walking a mile in their shoes, etc., in order to understand what they’re experiencing, is not sufficient because we’re conflating their experience with ours. It’s still us, even when we have their shoes on, and our background, our motivation, our obstacles – are not theirs. “Our research methodologies are too often constrained by the organization we belong to and the tools we have available,” she said. Time to give those shoes back, stop walking, and start listening.
Her process is based on active listening, which she likened to taking a guided tour. Once the tour starts, Young said, you don’t interrupt the tour guide to ask about things not included in the tour (clearly, Young hasn’t seen me taking a tour!). Instead, you let the story unfold, you don’t change the subject, and any questions you ask should be prompted by what’s said and not by what you hope to learn.
Practical steps include:
  • Decide which segment of your audience you want to address
  • Consider using phones to conduct interviews to prevent appearance-based assumptions
  • Don’t be embarrassed by what you don’t know
  • Establish a rapport to unlock any filters the patron might bring to the interview
  • Ground the interview – what were they trying to do, how did they approach the problem, etc.
  • Write clear and thorough summaries after each interview
  • Spend about 10 times the interview time analyzing each interview
Ultimately, the goal is to learn their inner voice rather than their opinion.
Young also advised putting thought into how results are reported. “Why do we tend to use arbitrary, irrelevant categories, like age and gender, to breakdown statistics?” she asked. Better to look for patterns during analysis to help reveal meaningful correlation, if not causation.
She also warned about inserting such processes into the project cycle. Better to develop a separate “problem cycle” every five years or so to inform future project development.
Adaptive Path is currently the exclusive user experience consulting firm for CapitolOne, but their website offers tools, information and ideas to communities seeking to transform via design, and the company does regular pro bono work with “socially conscious groups.”
– Jeff Schneidewind

Engagement and Inspiration

One of the most important responsibilities we have as colleagues is to engage each other.  Engagement, while edifying itself, is also part of the foundation of inspiration we all need as we strive toward excellence in what we do.  The more we get to know each other and the more we learn of each of our strengths and weaknesses, the better we become individually and as a team.  We become more vulnerable and more supported. We become stronger – “We are Library”

Below are a couple links discussing engagement and inspiration.  They are quick reads and I found them helpful to me in reflecting on teamwork and excellence.  There is even a pyramid diagram and I like those.



Pokemon Go

With all the questions about Pokemon Go a couple of videos have been created, one which is for library staff and loaded to Google Drive:

If you capture pictures of Pokemon Go and the UCI Libraries and wish to share them with Library Communications:

  • Send an email with the photo attachment to Kat Gaffney @
  • If people are included in the photo please ask permission and mention that it could (don’t promise that it will be) be posted to the Libraries social media accounts.
  • Try to get their Instagram handles/names.

If you have any questions about Pokemon Go and Artificial Reality (AR) contact Danielle Kane at  Marketing / Communications questions can be sent to Kat.

Teaching in the Time of Google

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a new article by Michael Patrick Lynch, author of The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data, which we currently have ‘available’ via print dda.  This article’s a good read if you have 10 minutes, and I may well try to incorporate some of the takeaways from it in my W39-C classes.

One thing that stuck with me was the clause- in regard to Google searching- about “our human tendency to favor convenience without regard to consequences.” I myself started to send this out to our bibref-listserv, which is more convenient than posting on a blog, but then I remembered that our blog is arguably a better tool for making our collective staff insights more discoverable for posterity’s sake.


Augmented and Virtual Reality – Lunch2.0 Presentation February 10, 2016

As someone noted during this talk, some are calling 2016 the year of Virtual Reality.  Several devices long in development and surrounded by conflicting rumors are finally due for release, and working prototypes, with many of the bugs resolved, are finally showing up.  This lunchtime talk reviews the history and emerging projects in both augmented reality, where computer-generated information is overlaid on a real view, and virtual reality, where most or all of what you see is computer-generated.

Danielle Kane and Jeff Schneidewind

Hijacked Academic Journals

This is about a month old, so, apologies if you heard this one already, but the article below (from Science) explains how several academic journal websites (24 at the time of the investigation) had been effectively stolen when publishers allowed their Internet domain registrations to lapse.  Domain registrations are required to translate URLs into IP addresses, so a stolen registration can be redirected to any site the thief chooses.  Of the stolen journal sites, most were replaced with prank sites, but several had fake articles and subscription links!  As if it wasn’t already hard enough to explain to students how to identify authoritative sources…

How to Hijack a Journal

  • Jeff Schneidewind

Mobile Device Etiquette – Lunch2.0 Presentation October 23 2015

For those who were unable to attend the October 23 Lunch2.0 session on Mobile Device Etiquette (or for those yearning to relive the event), the slidecast (with audio) is available via UCI Replay:

Quick summary:  Given the rapid changes in mobile device development and the resulting changes in utility, and given the abundance of self-proclaimed experts who typically fixate on a single issue (like checking phones during meals), it’s best for groups to discuss and determine etiquette for their own activities (just like any other set of ground rules).  Putting smartphones down for a group discussion might make sense to one group, while another might benefit from members doing on-the-fly searches for material to contribute to the conversation.  Best to talk through the pros and cons, come to consensus, and then revisit the rules periodically as new apps and functionality provide new potential uses.

Please contact me with any questions or comments.

  • Jeff Schneidewind