Monday, August 29, 2016

Book Review on 'Google Search Secrets' to MyLISA Members

Hi Friend, 

Sometime feel, should I write (blog) or not ! But, later realize it is good to have someone who only listen and will not revert back...like...so keep blogging. It was not a good Sunday yesterday, came to know about sudden demise of our staff member - Mangalamma's husband in the morning. After paying last respect...came home...got irritated with TV shows... so, thought of sharing some thoughts shared during the book review presented to MyLISA members on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at Mysore University Library, University of Mysore, Mysuru (Namma Mysuru)... Dell supported a lot.

Like to share with you...

'Google’ has become synonymous with ‘Search Engine’ claiming 68% of stake globally in the search engine market. It is common to say ‘Google it’ if you could not recall or reply for a query raised. The inclusion of the word ‘Google’ as verb in Oxford English Dictionary demonstrates the company hold on both information. Having understood the presence of the Google, the rich features available makes us think - Are we really using it fully to meet our information needs? This can be answered after reading the book ‘Google Search Secrets’ by Christa Burns and Michael P. Sauers, published by Neal-Schuman – An imprint of American Library Association (ALA) in 2014. 

As librarian, having experienced Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) to fetch information from our libraries, the search experience in Google helped us to understand the magnanimity of search engine and its capacity to crawl the depth of Information Ocean. This was only possible after examining the features listed in ‘Google search secrets’. Earlier experiences were restricted to first two pages of the search results and blaming Google for not getting right information. This book make us laugh at our foolishness of not knowing – how to ask Mr. Google?

‘There is a method in madness’ true to this saying ‘there is a method to ask Mr. Google’ this methodology is unveiled by Christa and Sauers in a step-by-step approach in the form of Chapters. The uniform methodology in organizing the content, style, explanation, examples shared under basic and advanced search functionality, and use of feature - are easy to navigate and greatly helps the reader to structure the learning. 

Let me discuss on Chapter 1, 2 and last chapter Tips and Tricks. Any reader who wishes to get familiar with Google, these chapters are recommended. These 3 chapters are like ready reckoner for such users. It helps the reader to understand Google, the basic search strategies and common techniques. To put it in a nut shell, the 3rd chapter makes a good quick guide to search Google more effectively, for any information user. 

The contents on Google Images, Google Videos, Google News, Google Maps, Google Blog Search, Google Scholar, Google Patents, Google Books, and Google Alerts, discussed from Chapter 3 to 11, is systematically organized in tune with Chapter 1 and 2. The explanation with appropriate screenshots, simple English, examples and uninterrupted flow to different flavors of Google Inc., makes users to understand Google beyond normal web-browsing. 

As a librarian, I lot of expectations from the authors who are librarians. An introduction about how Google searches i.e. search mechanism or search strategy; and a brief on search engine and indexing mechanism, would have added more food for thought to the readers in understanding Google better. This may help the reader to think like Google. 

The book would have more appealing if the authors had adopted a case study approach in solving effort for a literature review or any assignment, which can bring the academic community more closer to Google. The screenshots in some instance could have been avoided, instead the author could have given web links as followed in International Student Edition format. The key aspects which I am totally disappointed is about abruptly closure of each chapter and the book itself. Authors being information professionals, they would have shared more resources and given directions at the end of each other towards the next. This aspect is totally neglected. 

Overall it was a nice journey to know Mr. Google in a systematic manner. A good book for any Information Literacy Program. I expect a much updated book with new tools and techniques from the authors at the earliest.



Friend, Happy Learning...!!! and many thanks for listening...No More to Key!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

MyLISA Website @ Weebly

Yesterday happens to be a 'Weebly day'. After my office hours almost 4 hours spent on Weebly designing and updating the Mysore Librarians and Information Scientists Association (MyLISA) website. I enjoyed it :)

Many thanks to Weebly for offering such rich tools which has made designing and having webpresence is a jokers job. I am using Weebly from past 7 years but experiencing after a gap of 3 years really made to explore more. Indeed really a useful service.

MyLISA website has been update, Friends u can access the same @ URL http://mylisamysore.weebly.com/.

The newsletter and membership forms are also shared on the website. I am sharing in this post also.

MyLISA Newsletters

  1. Newsletter No.1 - May 2002
  2. Newsletter No.2-3 - May 2004
  3. Newsletter No.4 - July 2005
  4. Newsletter No.5 - May 2006

Membership Form - Portable Document Format (PDF) | Microsoft Format (DOC)

Once again thanks Weebly :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hello Friends,

After a longtime I thought of add something my blog. When started blogging, I made my mind to place information about my academic activities like article presentations at conference, seminar, invited talks, journal papers, etc., to share my personal opinions which I cannot do in academic publications. Today, a bright Sunny Sunday made me to restart bogging with the conference paper.

I was at ShravanaBelagola - the Jain Kashi in Karnataka, where 57 feet Bhagawan Bahubali stands symbolically to the testimony for legendary mental strength of Tyaga (renunciation) and the soft tender message of Ahimsa (non violence). Yes, the place has a vibration which provokes anyone on his/her Duty, Devotion and Dedication. Sorry, I moving some where, carried away by the facial expressions of 57 feet ತ್ಯಾಗಮೂರ್ತಿ. I had been to KALA conference on "Library and Development: Present and Future" scheduled between June 7 and 9, 2012. It is good KALA has planned to hold the conference at such religious, tourist place, out of the huzzle and buzzle of the city culture.

I have been invited to present my paper "The Status of Higher Secondary School Libraries in Mysore District: A Study" scheduled on June 8. My fried Dr. Sunil Kumar, working as Professor at Bahubali Engineering College asked what made me to started writing on School Libraries, which is away from domain of B-schools (Business Schools)? I simply gave a artificial smile and kept quite. Because what made me to write on school libraries was not a good source of motivation, which can be discussed.

I was going through the reports of Sarva Shikshana Abhiyan (SSA) of 2009 and recent too. I was stunned to see that 80.2% of the Government Higher Secondary School in Mysore District has working "School Libraries"(???) and started the exercise to study the actual situation. I selected 30 schools located in Urban region and conducted the survey - it was a observatory and interview approach. I was shocked that only only 40% (12 schools) claims the existence of library. The existence of library is about the few books stacked in a cupboard either in Head Master’s or Staff room under lock an key.  It need not be emphasised that this will definitely NIL usage of books by children. The head masters who are aware about the availability of funds for library development (i.e., SSA claims 10% of the total fund / fee is spent on library development) purchase newspapers. Ofcourse it is for his personal use and rarely used by the other teachers and office staff.

Here is the abstract of the article - "The Sarva Shikshana Abhiyan and Karnataka Jnana Ayoga give utmost importance to the library services in primary and high schools recognized by the Government of Karnataka schools. They have even stressed on building reading habit and guidance on use of information at the elementary level. The authors have analysed the data pertaining to 30 Higher Secondary Schools in Mysore city. The findings of the study are shared as experiences and the key research trust areas are identified. This paper is an attempt to place before the library community about the understanding of these public or government institutions, their perception of “school libraries”.  It is also shown how much employability chances are lost for library graduates in school libraries.  Finally an attempt has been made to study the road map of the school libraries for their development."

Once I complete the article, it made me to think about -

  1. Why these reports are projecting the baseless and unrealistic data?
  2. What will be learning curve of young minds who are deprived of reading habits, information sources, books and learning environment?
  3. Why our library associations, ministers and higher authorities concerned to libraries, who agree with the need of school libraries and a librarian is not making any effort to provide placement for 4000 library graduates? (as per SSA Karnataka alone has 4102 schools - think about the entire India!)
  4. Where is the benefits, funds and resources for school libraries are going?
  5. The prime government bodies which provides accreditation, recognition and assess the private schools and demand the need for library to provide permission to start a school. Why they don't follow the same?
Friends I need your suggestions on the study conducted. If you need the full text send a mail to sunilmysore@gmail.com

ಇಂತಿ ನಿಮ್ಮ,
ಸುನಿಲ್ 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Information Literacy @ B-School

Planned to present the paper "Collaborative effort in B-School Information Literacy Program: A case study of SDMIMD, Mysore" authored with Prof. Kumbar and Dr. Hari at Conference on IL organized by Tumkur University.

Here is the abstract of the paper -

The availability of information resources for the course curriculum in different pockets – online journal, financial database, open repositories, e-learning portal, library collection, etc. – has made the courses in b-school incomplete without teaching the students how to be an effective information manager. The process of teaching effective information management makes the student ‘information literate’. This study discusses the importance of collaborative effort of the faculty community and the librarian of a b-school in Information Literacy Program (ILP) of the institute. Further, the paper discusses on embedding the ILP in the course outlines of b-school curriculum. The authors opine that this collaborative effort will increase the critical thinking and better decision making, which are the key requisites for an effective manager.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I had been to workshop on "Academic Qualities and Problems of Librarians" on invitation by Mr. Kadadevaramutt, the president of Karnataka College Librarians Association on Feb 26, 2011. Mr. Kadadevaramutt asked me to speak on the online resources, use of digital libraries, institutional repositories, etc., As per his request I had mapped the thoughts, but suddenly I remembered the words of my friend AT (Ayesha Taranum, I used to call her AT) - first understand the audience and their state - I switched off my thoughts which already mapped. I started thinking about the workshop theme.

I felt the theme is very good (whoever may have selected), but, is it making the audience to think and debate on is the point. I consulted 8 college librarians of Government First Grade Colleges, I am sorry to say they could not able clearly say What is Academic Qualities? and if u ask them about the problems they will give a huge list, which is very difficult to consider them as the problems pertaining to Academic Qualities. With the discussion I decided to have my talk on the theme of the workshop so that I can justify my presence with the 'College Librarians'.

It was Mr. Kumar, who is working with Govt. First Grade College, Mandya discussed the issues pertaining to Academic Qualities of Librarians with regard to college in India. It was a great discussion which provided insight into the current status, problems and expectations from the assessment & accreditation committees from librarians. He gave several reference with whom I could discuss on the topic of the workshop. It was interesting at the same time sad to here about the status of librarians in college libraries. Even though Govt might have equated the librarians to the academic staff in salary, we are not given the privileges to define out roles and responsibility. I was shocked to know that as per the RTI (Right To Information) described by the Govt. the role of librarians is to "Issue the book to the needed user and accepting the returns of the same". Where as for the sweeper and peon they have made a complete list. When we are not clear about the role of librarians or library in academic activities of colleges in India, how can be aware about the roles which we have to play - it will take me some where else.

Let us come to our workshop topic discussion, I could able collect the information pertaining to academic qualities of librarians in college libraries in India, the problems they have (ofcourse I have included some of the problems which are not at all related to academics) and the suitable solutions for the said problems in the PPT



My session was scheduled post lunch, hope u can understand the situation of the audience who were sitting throughout the morning session discussing the problems with the Deputy Director of collegiate education. I started with the question 'What do you mean by Academic Qualities of Librarians?' and it went on and on...

I concluded with the following statement - 'Past is Experience, Present is Experiment and Future is Expectations..." so we librarians should 'Use our Experience in current Experiments to achieve our Expectations'

Even thought the audience appreciated my presentation, I am not satisfied about my role as a invited speaker in addressing the problems my college library friends.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Manasa 2011



I don’t know when I will come out of the habit of planning everything in the Nth movement.

Manasa 2011- academic exhibition, a week-long event organized by the University of Mysore, wherein ‘My’sore University Dept of LIS had stalled their knowledge.

As a professional librarian in Mysore I should have visited on the day 1 and probably should have involved myself more actively. But self alleged busy schedule did not allow me to visit the exhibition till last hour of the last day.

The welcome kept me warm in the chilling evening even at the winding time of the event, by my teachers and friends of library & LIS department. I am greatful to them for keeping me warm inspite of my erratic punctuality.

Mysore University Library had stalled their knowledge on the information sources and services extended with the aid of Information and Technology.

The LIS department exhibition was quite interesting with the welcome arch designed with thermo-coal books. The display was about how information and communication has grown over the years and how the technology has been used in libraries.

The pupil across the stall was very enthusiastic in explaining their thoughts behind organizing the materials and the display style. Starting with introduction to writing materials of the ancient age, they took me a tour through the evolution of writing, the forms of knowledge records like stone, palm leaves, animal skin, parchment paper, cloth, paper, … CD, DVD, iPOD, … virtual world. The de-tour was really educative and learning experience.

The ‘Temple of Knowledge’ made out of thermo coal was very impressive. The students were busy explaining the exhibits to the visitors, who are mainly the students from the schools and college in and around Mysore. It was interesting to see My DLISc students explaining the Web 2.0 concepts - Social Networking, Web technologies and communication technology – as it was my area of research. The other exhibits like Worlds famous libraries, Forms of documents, Physical forms of resources, etc., were colorful and attractive. Dr. Kumbar explained me the growth of technology with mankind it was very interesting.

It was a chance for me to visit the entire department. I felt, current students are very lucky to have a department equipped with computer lab with 35 systems (computers), class rooms with LCD and audio-visual facility, clean and presentable corridors. Some where I was J... of the neo-students, as I could not enjoy these facilities in my student days. I still remember, it was a great struggle to get the slot to work on computer (where only 3 systems were constituted the computer lab) to test our skills with the basic programming taught by my ever favorite Teacher Dr. SRU (Shalini R. Urs).

I was very much impressed by the ‘Classification Game’, where student give varieties of writing and reading materials asking the visitor to classify them logically. On doing so, they explain how the same logic has been used in classifying and organizing the library documents. Mr. Murali, student of 2nd year MLISc was very enthusiastic in explaining the video conferencing sessions conducted for public by the eminent personalities about library services and IT enabled services. The cartoons, quotes and messages were catchy.

Finally, it was a wonderful evening having a chance to have glance about library and information services to the knowledge society.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Next generation library services in context of Web 2.0

(Views shared at the Symposium on "Next generation libraries: opportunities and challenges" organized by KALA (Karnataka Library Association), at City Central Library, West Zone, Bangalore, INDIA, on October 29, 2010)

The experience with the literatures and implementation of web based services at SDMIMD I feel that the heart of Library 2.0 is user-centered change. At its most basic level, the Library 2.0 model gives library users a participatory role in the services offered and the way the services are used.

The Library 2.0 model seeks to harness our user’s knowledge to supplement and improve library services. This allows them to comment, write reviews, create their own tags and ratings, and sharing them with others through a more versatile OPAC interface. Ultimately, this creates a more informative product for subsequent users. Users want to know what their neighbors are reading, listening to, and watching.

Some examples of the Library 2.0 services which may be considered for this discussion are:

• Email and Q&A Chat reference; Facebook pages
• Text-based tutorials Streaming media tutorials with interactive databases
• Email lists Blogs, Wikis, RSS Feeds

An important development that will undoubtedly influence the future course, not only of open source ILS, but also commercial vendor offerings, is the OLE Project (www.oleproject.org), led by the Duke University with funding from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. The Project is expected to define a next-generation technology environment based on a thoroughly re-examined model of library operations, based on service-oriented architectures and workflows that facilitate the reuse of modules in an ILS, and to connect to other enterprise technology systems such as Learning Management Systems, ERPs, subject portals, e-Journal publishers database, etc., this greater degree of interoperability is based on Open Standards and permit access to winder information base and to avoid unnecessary duplication of similar data across applications. This is a small example in which the contemporary library technology projects are in place to bring the Web 2.0 features in library services. The other projects of the similar line are eXtensible Catalogue Project, Recommendations of the Digital Library Foundation, National Information Standard Organizations (NISO) and OCLS’s project to move web-spaced platform using cloud computing.

Libraries have a tendency to plan, implement, and forget. Parallel to this, no matter how hard we try, many of the services we offer are not being used by a majority of our population. So, before jumping into conclusion please ask yourself - is your library ready for this type of shift? – When I asked several librarians, overwhelmingly, the answer is NO. This is because launching such Library 2.0 features often brings unique challenges to librarians, administrators, and patrons. These include: technological constraints, issues of accessibility and diversity, staffing, cost, copyright concerns, privacy and the overall impact on the nature and culture of the library itself.

Coming to the Library 2.0 services, I opine that any service, physical or virtual, that successfully reaches users, that can be evaluated frequently, and makes use of user input is a Library 2.0 service. Even older, traditional services can be Library 2.0 if criteria are met. Similarly, being new is not enough to make a service Library 2.0.

Many current library OPACs tied to the ILS vendor are librarian-centric do not provide the discovery experience that users are accustomed to in collateral systems such as Amazon.com, eBay, Google, LibraryThing and other social networking applications. User centric OPAC is the gateway for the Library 2.0 services. If we keep our content locked up on in our own web sites and don't get it out there for people to use as they want to use it, then our content will fall by the wayside.

To meet the needs of information users of SDMIMD, the library has the following initiatives in action –

• Blog – Blogspot (http://sdmimd.blogspot.com/)
• Open Journal System – SDM Journal of Management
• Learning Management System - Moodle
• OS Integrated library system – NewGenLib (http://opac.sdmimd.ac.in)
• Content Management System – Drupal (www.sdmimd.ac.in)
• Instant Messaging

Coming to today’s panel discussion, I think the goal of the panel is to help the information professionals to navigate this terrain technology to foster the creation of innovative Library 2.0 services for their users, and reveal areas that require further attention by the profession and academia alike.