OER Metafinder from George Mason University Library

Looking for Open Educational Resources? This looks like a very useful service from GMU:

The Mason OER Metafinder helps you find Open Educational Resources.  Unlike other OER repositories  (e.g, OER CommonsMERLOTOpenStax, etc.) with our Metafinder you aren’t searching a database that we built.  Many other sites already perform this important curation service and to be honest, we don’t have the time or staff to build or even maintain currency in that sort of database.  Instead, our contribution to the progress of Open Education is to concentrate on OER discovery—helping you find current content wherever it resides–even if it’s a new OER title that just dropped earlier today.

OER Metafinder icon

The OER Metafinder performs a simultaneous search across 18 different sources of open educational materials.   Because it is a real-time, federated search, it can take a bit longer than searches of pre-indexed, curated content; however, as compensation the results returned are absolutely up-to-the-minute for each search target.  Additional results will continue to trickle in as the search continues running and you begin examining your results.

A distinct feature of the Mason OER Metafinder is the scope of our discovery service.  We’re searching well-known OER repositories like OpenStaxOER CommonsMERLOT but also sites like HathiTrustDPLAInternet Archive and NYPL Digital Collections where valuable but often overlooked open educational materials may be found.

Our OER Metafinder is built using the Explorit Everywhere! software developed by Deep Web Technologies in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We use their software to provide a number of different metafinders for Mason researchers (e.g., our Sciences Metafinder is a quite popular example).

If you want to know more about the Metafinder or have ideas for additional search targets, contact Wally Grotophorst.

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To keep up with the latest news about the Metafinder, follow @OerMason What are we searching?

Drew University CommonsCon18

image: CommonsCon2018 posterCommonsCon is an annual event organized by the Drew University Instructional Technology group in collaboration with the library and university faculty partners. In Kristen Turner‘s excellent opening session, “The Importance of Evidence in a Digital Age,” she challenged us to reflect on the implications of hypertext and networked information in developing an argument. Citing Toulmin, she reminded us that when using digital sources, the links out are part of the argument.

I was honored to provide the closing session (PDF slides, with discussion notes). Please visit the event site for more information.


Looking forward to Open Learning 2018

OPEN LEARNING: A Connectivist MOOC for Faculty Collaboratives

February 4-March 29 , 2018


At last week’s 2018 ELI Annual Meeting, I attended a session with Gardner Campbell, Stephanie Blackmun, Susan Erickson, and Steven Greenlaw reporting on Open Learning 2017. This project is part of Virginia’s AAC&U LEAP initiative, advancing (among other things) “the broader goals and ethos of the AAC&U Faculty Collaboratives project.” Participation is open to anyone and may of of special interest to faculty, librarians, and instructional technologists, Take a look and consider participating.


A New Look for the Drew Library Online

On Thursday, January 11, the Drew Library unveiled our new online presence. Updated to match the main Drew website design, the library website has also been reorganized to simplify access to library resources and services. Our gratitude to the nearly 100 Drew students, faculty and staff who participated in our user testing/survey of the draft site in November!

You’ll find all the Research Resources  you are familiar with, such as the “Ask a Librarian Chat” – now on every page—  the Library Catalog and Journals list, subject and course guides, along with special landing pages for Faculty, Caspersen Graduate Students, Theological School Students, and Alumni.  We invite you to browse the special collections and exhibits online; we hope you’ll check out our improved  News and Events listing too.

The redesign was a team effort. Many thanks to University Communications, especially Justin Jackson, Faith Jackson, Lynne Delade, Lauren Nelson, and Neil McIntyre — and to the library & ITS team who worked on the project: Johanna Edge, Kathy Juliano, Brian Shetler, Rick Mikulski, Verna Holcomb and Jennifer Heise.
Although the site has changed, the URL has not. Please join us at www.drew.edu/library
For more information on how to navigate the new page please give us a call at 973-408-3588 or e-mail reference@drew.edu.


Let’s Keep Talking is back online

image: talking snails (bronze door plaque detail, Knight Library, Univ of Oregon)

After a lengthy hiatus, Let’s Keep Talking is back online, thanks to the excellent services of Reclaim Hosting and the generosity and creativity of my new colleagues at Drew University.  The rebuild is a work in progress, but stay tuned and watch this space for updates, observations, and reflections from the Drew Library, the Drew Domains project (thank you, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative.

With all best wishes,

Andrew Bonamici, University Librarian
abonamici [at] drew [dot] edu


UO Libraries Diversity Statement

UO Libraries Diversity Statement
The University of Oregon Libraries embraces diversity in all of its dimensions including, but not limited to, age, differences in ability, race, ethnicity, national origin or citizenship, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, and socio-economic class or status.

Our physical and virtual environments, programs, services, and collections support the work and pursuits of all University of Oregon staff members, faculty members, and students, as well as the community at large. In accord with the University Mission Statement’s references to diversity, we in the Libraries are committed to inclusion and non-discrimination; we recognize and celebrate the intrinsic value of each individual because we believe that a diverse community is a stronger community.

A number of individual staff, faculty, and administrators in the Libraries have prepared and signed the following open letter to the UO Community as a statement of professional philosophy and practice. Although the letter is not an official policy, we are publishing it on the Libraries’ diversity page as a reflection and affirmation of the UO Libraries’ Diversity Statement and of the UO’s institutional values of diversity, equity, and inclusion:

Open Letter to the UO Community on Diversity, Inclusion, Intellectual Freedom, and Equality

Big changes coming to UO Libraries website and search

Big changes are coming to the UO Libraries website, catalog, and search systems. Current ETA for launch is Friday morning, June 20, 2014.

(Note to  any library folks reading this — the LibrarySearch service is ExLibris Primo, managed consortially in the Orbis-Cascade shared ILS initiative. It replaces both Worldcat Local and our iii local catalog).

Here’s an intro from http://blogs.uoregon.edu/librarysearchnews/

Introducing UO LibrarySearch
Posted on June 2, 2014 by snb@uoregon.edu

UO LibrarySearch creates a single discovery interface for our users that allows you to quickly find books, journal articles, media of all formats and digitized items. LibrarySearch includes the complete collections of the 37 Summit libraries, close to 9 million titles and growing, and more than 26 million other resources, primarily articles and digital documents and images. This new discovery interface unifies book, journal and article searching and allows both Summit borrowing and interlibrary loan from within a single interface.

In addition to providing access to a broad collection in a single search, UO LibrarySearch offers users the ability to create and save lists of items they find, email items, to create alerts to be notified of new materials on a topic, to export items to bibliographic management software, such as EndNote Online, and to format a citation in APA, MLA or Chicago/Turabian style.

The software used for UO LibrarySearch will be used by all 37 members of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, the Summit libraries. In addition to this change in discovering library resources, Alliance libraries are implementing shared software to manage the selection, purchase, processing, and circulation of materials. This is a big project that, when complete in December 2014, will allow Alliance libraries to build our collections as a single collection, more easily share services and resources, and exploit new technologies. Better management of our resources and creating efficiencies in processes will enable staff to focus on value added activities that will benefit our users and institutions.
– Sara Brownmiller


Looking forward to thoughtvectors.net  aka Gardner Campbell ‘s cMOOC.  More info and links to follow

Heartbleed vulnerability

source: iStock via NPR
source: iStock via NPR

For current details, please refer to the
UO Information Services Heartbleed FAQ

Earlier Announcement:
Between 12:00pm (noon) on Thursday, April 10 and 11:59pm on Sunday, April 13, you may experience short service outages due to updates that must be installed. Most of this work will not cause outages. However, short service outages are possible.

Examples of a “technology service” are webmail and Blackboard.

Information Services is working to mitigate an Internet-wide security problem announced late on Monday, April 7. Due to the large number of services we are working with, we cannot at this time list all affected services.

You may receive more specific information about when a specific service will be restarted. That information supersedes this message.

For those of you who are technical, we are remediating the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability. With certificate providers very busy, we will need to restart services as replacement certificates become available over the next four days.

If you have questions, please contact the Technology Service Desk at techdesk@uoregon.edu or 541-346-HELP.

Information Services
University of Oregon

Technology Service Desk