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Library Student Resource Group November 13 2012

Present: Darrel Chia, Allison Demes, Chris Dunlap, Samantha Lee, Wilson Miu, Yiwei She, Julia Sizek, Zhui Wang
From the Library:Judi Nadler (chair), Rebecca Starkey, James Vaughan
Guests: Jason Edelstein, Allison Kallo (IT Services), David Bietila (Library)

Welcome and Introductions

Welcome to Yiwei She, graduate student in Mathematics and new LSRG member representing the Physical Sciences.

The IT Services TECHB@R: Support, Equipment, and Training

(introduced by Jason and Allison)

The TECHB@R opened in October 2011 as a joint project between IT Services and the Library.  Staffed by both full-time IT Services staff and student employees, the TECHB@R offers four types of services:

Equipment lent by the TECHB@R

All equipment lent by the Techb@r is available for short-term checkout (usually 24 hours). Our equipment list includes laptops and tablets (Dell Latitude, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPad 2), peripherals such as video and power adapters, and audiovisual/conferencing equipment (projector, camcorder, digital camera). We have an inventory of roughly 100 items, and do  about 600 checkouts/week. We do keep statistics on turnaways.  In the future we're planning to purchase more laptops, probably more ultrabooks (e.g., the Mac Air) -- we've noticed these machines are much more popular than the Dells.

LSRG members suggested the TECHB@R also consider other equipment:

Generally the LSRG suggested advertising the inventory more widely -- it would be great to have "X laptops available now" feature. (This is possible through Lens, but not many people know about it.) This sounds like an ideal function for an app, and IT Services would love to know if the LSRG had other suggestions for apps/widgets.

Technology training at the TECHB@R

We offer workshops each quarter on a variety of software programs supported by the University. Additionally, we also subscribe to video tutorials for elearning, and the Library has access to a variety of manuals via services like Safari.

One new service we've just begun is software consultations, where you can have a 1:1 consultation with an expert student about using a particular program. Currently we offer consultations for MS Office software, statistics and math software (SPSS, Stata,, SAS, R, MatLab, Mathematica), some Adobe applications (Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat), LaTeX, Google Apps, and perhaps more -- we're happy to take suggestions. Users can drop by for an informal consult, or make an appointment.

Are there other programs or training services the LSRG would find useful?

Any suggestions how to promote TECHB@R offerings? One LSRG member suggested flyers targeted to students taking classes (e.g., put up flyers advertising statistical program help outside classrooms where statistics or econometrics are taught).

New Catalog Interface

David Bietila, Web Program Director for the Library, previewed the new Library Catalog interface for the LSRG. The new interface is based on VuFind, an open-source interface used by several libraries including Brown, Villanova, and HathiTrust, although we are heavily customizing VuFind for our own needs. We're nearing the end of the first of three development phases for the interface: this cycle focused on the Search and Browse displays, while succeeding development cycles will focus on other aspects of the interface. The new catalog is intended as a replacement for both the classic Library Catalog (HIP) and Lens.

The Search and Browse options we plan on supporting include:

Basic SearchAdvanced SearchBrowse

General (all fields)

Standard numbers (ISBN, ISSN, etc)







All Basic Search options, plus:

Uniform title (keyword)

Performer (keyword)

Notes + Contents

Publication Place







 There will also be several pre- and post-search limits and refinement options. We're taking some the lists that were formerly "flat" and making them more hierarchical, as well as (hopefully) allowing each user to set up customizable defaults and a search history. Mobile support is built-in from the beginning: the screen elements will dynamically change/resize based on the size of the window.

The new interface will display content from the following data sources:

LSRG discussion and comments about the new catalog

Other Topics

Rebecca displayed the new College Newsletter. LSRG members were generally appreciative and a few members said it rendered well on their mobile devices.

Our next meeting will take place in Winter Quarter 2013. Please let Rebecca know if you plan to study abroad (or otherwise be out of residence) in Winter or Spring.