Ever wonder about the weather in space? The amazing work of Thayer Professors Lotko and Shepherd is profiled in the latest Dartmouth Engineer. Watch the video or click on the above image to link back to the article for more details.
An overall theme was customer service – how can our Web interfaces support good customer service. Why not learn from the extensive business literature!
A point was made that libraries and librarians should use terms that our patrons will understand. Yes indeed, we should! Heidi pointed to John Kupersmith’s interesting analysis: Library Terms that Users Understand.
Simplify, simplify, simplify … can we make our library Web materials easy to read and navigate? Where can we trim and save the time of our patrons? The one pager model could be used much more.
Can we write more like we talk!
Let’s be strategic about where we place our online help, and let’s be careful not to overdue things like chat widgets.
Be attentive to things that are broken or do not work well.
Can self service always be an option?
Libraries can and should provide a consistent positive experience on the Web.
Assessment is important for incremental improvements – tools like Crazy Egg, Optimizely, first click analysis, and Google AdWords were mentioned. And, getting feedback from patrons through focus groups, surveys, post-it notes on bulletin boards – whatever works.
A few people who have a voice in Library UX besides Heidi include: Aaron Schmidt, Amanda Etches, Brian Mathews, Matthew Reidsma and Steve Bell … I am sure there are more but these folks were called out during the session.
This just in from the DHE:
Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering’s (DHE) small-scale hydropower system is a cost efficient way of bringing electricity to isolated villages that are decades away from being connected to the grid. The system is powered by diverting water from the top of a waterfall, feeding it into a turbine that generates electricity to charge batteries. Since the cost of implementation and maintenance are low, the price to charge batteries is affordable even for people in rural areas of developing nations. Our hydropower systems improve the quality of life in poor villages by supplying the energy needed to foster local business, raise the standard of living, and make a positive environmental impact.
Not only is hydropower self-sustaining; it also has an overwhelmingly positive environmental impact, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving individual health, and preventing deforestation. In creating very small-scale hydroelectric sites, DHE provides clean power without creating the environmental destruction associated with larger sites.
Our systems stimulate economic development and education by allowing entrepreneurs and students to use cheap electricity during any hour of the day, promote a positive environmental impact by reducing Africa’s carbon footprint, improve individual health by limiting the cases of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases diagnosed each year, and overall raising the standard of living for the inhabitants of rural Africa. Our system has worked successfully in Banda and Rugote. With the help of DSIC, we envision proving the profitability of small-scale hydropower such that entrepreneurs in the developing world will install these sites without our assistance – that’s our solution to the problem of rural electrification.
Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering’s hydropower project is currently in the running for a $60k Dell Social Innovation Challenge prize, and they need your help to win! There’s a people’s choice component, which requires three easy steps to vote for:
1. Register an account with a non-Dartmouth address (people have had some trouble with blitz) http://www.dellchallenge.org/user/register
2. Check that email, and click the confirmation link.
3. Vote for DHE at http://www.dellchallenge.org/projects/hydropower-green-clean-life
What is SpringerMaterials (tutorial): Based on the Landolt-Börnstein New Series; a Resource for Physical & Chemical Data in Materials Science: 250,000 Substances & Material Systems | 3,000 Properties | 1,200,000 Literature Citations
“Substance Profiles for a large number of chemical compounds. These Substance Profiles show basic properties, 3D-structures, names, synonyms and identifiers such as the CAS-number or the InChI-Key of a selected compound.”
“A new Structure Search tool that makes it easy to search for aliphatic, aromatic and organometallic compounds”
“Starting with binary phase diagrams from the Linus Pauling files, SpringerMaterials now offers the possibility to determine precise data coordinates without having to rely on error-prone extrapolation techniques. We will soon add this feature to ternary phase diagrams as well”
New Landolt-Börnstein volumes uploaded:
- II/29D2: Structure and Molecular Constants – Molecular Constants Mostly from Microwave, Molecular Beam, and Sub-Doppler Laser Spectroscopy – Asymmetric Top Molecules, Part 2
- II/29D3: Structure and Molecular Constants – Molecular Constants Mostly from Microwave, Molecular Beam, and Sub-Doppler Laser Spectroscopy – Asymmetric Top Molecules, Part 3
- III/43A10: Crystallography, Structure and Morphology – Crystal Structures of Inorganic Compounds – Structure Types – Space Groups (140) I4/mcm â (136) P42/mnm
- IV/26B: Heat of Mixing, Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium, and Volumetric Properties of Mixtures and Solutions – Binary Liquid Systems of Nonelectrolytes II
- IV/26C: Heat of Mixing, Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium, and Volumetric Properties of Mixtures and Solutions – Binary Liquid Systems of Nonelectrolytes III
- VIII/2C2: Advanced Materials – Metal Forming Data – Non-Ferrous Alloys
- I/25A: Excited Nuclear States: Nuclei with Z=1-29, edited by. H. Schopper
- I/25B: Excited Nuclear States: Nuclei with Z=30-47 , edited by H. Schopper
- VIII/1B3: Laser Physics and Applications – Laser Systems Part 3, edited by H. Weber, P. Loosen and R. Poprawe
- VIII/6D2: Thermodynamic Properties of Polymer Solutions: pVT data and miscellaneous properties of polymer solutions, edited by M. D. Lechner
Good summary here concerning web-scale discovery services and the growing need for standards in this rapidly evolving market. Three relevant organizations are mentioned in this context: ODI (Open Discovery Initiative); NISO (National Information Standards Organization), and NFAIS (National Federation of Advanced Information Services).
[... synthetic biologists are currently working on the notion of “standard biological parts,” or genetic sequences that enable a cell to perform certain standardized tasks. Standardized parts will give practitioners the ability to work in a “higher level language.” In short, synthetic biology is going through the same transition in usability that computing saw in the ’70s and ’80s ...]
David J. Wineland of the United States and Serge Haroche of France will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems”….
Click on any of the links below to see what Feldberg student staff members Wajahat and Maryna are reading!
The new school year is off to a great start here at Feldberg! We’ve got more new books, wonderful data resources and a whole slew of “Knowledge Now” workshops (hosted by our librarians) planned for the term. Stop by sometime and see what we have that might interest you.
Here’s what’s on the new book shelf right now:
The Handbook of News Analytics In Finance
Culturematic : how reality TV, John Cheever, a Pie Lab, Julia Child, fantasy football, Burning man, the Ford Fiesta movement, Rube Goldberg, NFL films, Wordle, Two and a half men, a 10,000-year symphony, and ROFLcon memes will help you create and execute breakthrough ideas