Thursday, March 02, 2006
February was a busier month for OPAC than January was, again with a day or more than out because of the power-cut which caused some downtime. The OPAC figures are harder to use to get a feel for how the service is operating. It might be interesting to compare the 7245 requests for the '/TalisPrism/placeReservation.do' script which OPAC uses to record reservation requests with the total number of reservations placed that month. There are other questions that we might like answering, like how many OPAC pages are viewed because they are mentioned in Reading Lists Online.
March is usually a busy month before April begins a slowdown in OPAC use which seems to last until the new academic year begins.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
At the start of a new month it is worth checking over the usage stats for the Library web site to see if there are any clues there on how the site is being used. There was more activity on the web site in February than in the previous month, despite it being a shorter month and having more than one day out because of power cut-offs in the Library building.
The figures show some clues about the patterns of usage. One surprising feature is the popularity of the Email directory (which has links to staff and student email as well as to Blackboard and Netstorage. This area is followed in popularity by the Databases pages. E-Journals and ExamNet are also highly used areas of the site.
You can view the February usage figures on the Library web site.
One area underreported would be the amount of people who use the site to start Google searches. They would tend to use the Google searchbox on the side of the screen and the results from the search appear from the Google web site, not the library one, despite the common look and feel.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
I had the chance to think about how librarians interact with the environment in which people learn. I guess a library is a 'learning environment' in lots of ways. For example we ordered the fixtures and fitting, the seats tables and display boards that make a physical environment. We can help set the social environment by creating a friendly or forbidding atmosphere. It is all do easy to achieve one or other of these entirely unconsciously. We also provide the tools in the way of OPACs, web sites and authentication systems that variously assist or hinder learning.
It strikes me that another, possibly unconscious, way in which we influence the learning environment is the way we model learning behaviour to others.
This might be seen in the way we welcome or reject new ideas. Or share bookmarks through services like del.icio.us. Often though the way librarians learn is invisible as we do not choose to share the learning process with others. What if we did share the way we learn with others? Would they be able to learn from our experience as learners?
Blues dovetailed in yellow is a print made by Patrick Heron in 1975. It was hanging in my office for a while, but it is currently part of an art exhibition in another building.
I am not sure if it is supposed to 'be' anything, but I am interested in the way the colours butt against each other and your eye is drawn from one to the other without finally settling anywhere.