Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sammy Marks Museum, Zwartkoppies, Pretoria, South Africa

Sammy Marks House, Zwartkoppies, Pretoria
Image: Wikipedia

Source: Ditsong Museums of South Africa

In 1980 the National Cultural History and Open-air Museum asked the Marks trust whether it could purchase 40 hectares of Zwartkoppies as a site for an open-air museum. Neill Maisels, eldest grandson and chairperson of the Trust, explained the conditions of the will and suggested instead that the Museum leases the house and surrounding ground and purchase the contents. The Museum did not have enough money to do that. Mendel Kaplan, Johannesburg businessman, planned to transfer Sammy’s private papers to the UCT and heard about the Museum project. He offered to donate half the money to the museum through his family foundation and negotiations could continue. Eventually the Museum was opened in November 1986. In March 1989 Zwartkoppies was declared a national monument.

Click here for more information  

Study finds how parents respond to their infant's babbling can speed the child's language development

Source: Medical Epress, by Sara Agnew, 27 August 2014

Parents may not understand a baby's prattling, but by listening and responding, they let their infants know they can communicate which leads to children forming complex sounds and using language more quickly.

That's according to a new study by the University of Iowa and Indiana University that found how parents respond to their children's babbling can actually shape the way infants communicate and use vocalizations.

Read full article  

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) available as Linked Open Data

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as Linked Open Data was released by the Getty Research Institute.

The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names is a resource of over 2,000,000 names of current and historical places, including cities, archaeological sites, nations, and physical features. It focuses mainly on places relevant to art, architecture, archaeology, art conservation, and related fields.

Read full announcement: Getty Research Institute (via The Iris)  

Ebola could eventually afflict over 20,000, WHO says

Source: The New York Times, by Nick Cumming-Bruce and Alan Cowell, 28 August 2014

GENEVA — As the tally of deaths from the worst known outbreak of the Ebola virus continued its seemingly inexorable rise, the World Health Organization said on Thursday that the epidemic was still accelerating and could afflict more than 20,000 people — almost seven times the current number of reported cases — before it could be brought under control.

The dire forecast was made as the W.H.O. reported that the number of known cases and fatalities had risen once again. The organization also acknowledged that in areas of intense transmission “the actual number of cases may be two-to-four times higher than that currently reported.”

Read full article 

BOOK (2014) The organized mind: thinking straight in the age of information overload

Title: The organized mind: thinking straight in the age of information overload
Author: Daniel J Levitin
Published: Dutton Adult, 19 August 2014
512 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525954187

New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details.

The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.

But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.

With lively, entertaining chapters on everything from the kitchen junk drawer to health care to executive office workflow, Levitin reveals how new research into the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory can be applied to the challenges of our daily lives. This Is Your Brain on Music showed how to better play and appreciate music through an understanding of how the brain works. The Organized Mind shows how to navigate the churning flood of information in the twenty-first century with the same neuroscientific perspective.

SOUTH AFRICA - Free Wi-Fi setup guide for dummies

Source: Fin24, by Duncan Alfreds, 28 August 2014

Cape Town - With the apparent inevitable march toward public access Wi-Fi, it is important that vendors, whether they be corporate or municipal ensure that the deployment is accessible for users.

The City of Tshwane leads the country with a mammoth public access Wi-Fi network rollout, but smaller projects are underway all over SA.

Read full article  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dissertation (2014) Use of Wikipedia by Legal Scholars: Implications for Information Literacy

Maher, D. (2014) Use of Wikipedia by Legal Scholars: Implications for Information Literacy. Masters Dissertation, Victoria University of Wellington.

"This study examines the use of Wikipedia across a broad range of judicial and administrative bodies within New Zealand. The primary focus of the study is the use of Wikipedia in courts (and other legally influential bodies) and how this affects the way that information literacy is taught in legal studies, particularly with regards to Wikipedia and other similar internet-based resources."  

Crowd-Sourced Peer Review: Substitute or supplement for the current outdated system?

Source: The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), by Stevan Harnad, 21 August 2014

The problem with peer review today is that there is so much research being produced that there are not enough experts with enough time to peer-review it all. As we look to address this problem, issues of standards and hierarchy remain unsolved. Stevan Harnad wonders whether crowd-sourced peer review could match, exceed, or come close to the benchmark of the current system. He predicts crowdsourcing will indeed be able to provide a supplement to the classical system, hopefully improving efficiency and accuracy, but not a substitute for it.

Read full article  

EdD Dissertation (2014) Critical information literacy in practice: an interpretive synthesis

McDonough, B. A. (2014) Critical information literacy in practice: an interpretive synthesis. EdD dissertation. Graduate School of Western Carolina University.

"The purpose of this study was to review and synthesize the literature of critical information literacy through a critical interpretive practitioner lens in order to uncover pedagogy and instructional content to inform my own teaching practice and that of other individual teaching librarians who wish to take a critical approach to information literacy with undergraduate students." 

Z Launcher - Less Tapping and More Apping

By working hand-in-hand with you, we’re making a more intelligent and personal mobile experience that’s better suited for real life. Throughout the day, Z Launcher is learning how you use your phone and promoting your favorite apps so you can get to them faster. Whether you’re texting a certain someone, trying not to search for apps in the car, or multi-tasking at the office, your screen changes based on your everyday life. The more you use it, the better it gets. The fastest way to find any app on your phone in one second is by scribbling in the first letter – right on the home screen. It's easy.


Should children run wild in art galleries and museums?

Image: JLP/Jose Luis Pelaez/Corbis
Source: BBC News, by Michelle Warwicker, 27 August 2014

New research suggests that children learn best when allowed to zoom about in galleries and museums – but what about everyone else? Michelle Warwicker weighs the arguments.

Read full article  

Yellowstone supereruption would send ash across North America

An example of the possible distribution of ash from a month-long Yellowstone supereruption. The distribution map was generated by a new model developed by the US Geological Survey using wind information from January 2001. Credit: Credit: USGS
Source:, 27 August 2014

In the unlikely event of a volcanic supereruption at Yellowstone National Park, the northern Rocky Mountains would be blanketed in meters of ash, and millimeters would be deposited as far away as New York City, Los Angeles and Miami, according to a new study.

Read more 

Gratitude can win you new friends, study shows

Source: Medical Xpress, 27 August 2014

A UNSW-led study has shown for the first time that thanking a new acquaintance for their help makes them more likely to seek an ongoing social relationship with you.

Read full article  

The '10,000-hour' rule revisited: Why practice may not make perfect

Source: CBC, 27 August 2014

Mark Gollom writes: 

When Malcolm Gladwell published Outliers, his bestselling book proposing that practising a certain task for around 10,000 hours is necessary before one can ever achieve great success, he gave hope to millions of wannabe Bill Gateses, Carl Sagans, Tiger Woodses, Yo-Yo Mas and yes, even Malcolm Gladwells.

But he also dashed the dreams of millions of slackers hoping to justify their poor work habits, believing no matter how hard they tried, they could only get so far.

However, just in time for school, there may be a sliver of good news for the terminally lazy.

Read full article  

Two VIDEOS on the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

Robo Brain Lets Robots Learn From The Internet

Source: Sky News, 26 August 2014

Cornell University has turned on its Robo Brain project that could allow robots to learn skills by analysing images, YouTube videos and how-to documents.

Read full article 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Instagram unveils new time-lapse app called Hyperlapse

Source: BBC News, 26 August 2014

Photo and video-sharing service Instagram has launched a new time-lapse app called Hyperlapse.

The US social media company says it can capture high-quality videos while the user is on the move using built-in stabilization technology.

BOOK (2014) The Maths Calculator Book

Title: The maths calculator book
Published: Penguin Books, July 2014

About the book:
Guess it, press it and check it with a cool calculator

The Maths Calculator Book is packed with cool maths, perplexing puzzles, and brilliant brain-teasers, complete with a colourful calculator to check your maths. The book builds your child's reasoning and problem-solving skills with practical problems, maths puzzles, calculator games and activities to get the brain buzzing. Can your brain beat the calculator? Crunch the numbers and find out. For young learners that want to sharpen their brainpower, these maths games and multiplication games will show them that maths is fun.

The Maths Calculator Book is perfect for anyone looking for a fun way to boost their child's reasoning skills and ability to problem solve.  

Why Students Should Own Their Educational Data

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, 21 August 2014

Jeffrey R young writes: "Designing a textbook or lecture with the average student in mind may sound logical. But L. Todd Rose, who teaches educational neuroscience at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, argues that doing so means that the lesson is designed for nobody."

Read full article  

Libraries and ebooks: a good fit, but a very bad deal, or why library users should just say no to ebooks

Source: WMTC, 24 August 2014

Do you ever borrow ebooks from your public library? Do you have any idea how your library adds ebooks to its collection, or at what cost?

The number of library customers who borrow ebooks is growing all the time. How many of them, I wonder, are aware of how their library gets screwed every time they do.

Even some library staff is unaware of the raw deal libraries are getting when it comes to ebooks.

Read full article  

Superman debut comic sells for a record $3.2m

Some 200,000 copies of the comic were printed in 1938 - but very few
have survived in good condition

Source: BBC News, 26 August 2014

One of the best-preserved copies of the first Superman comic has sold for $3.2m (£1.9m), a record price for a comic book, according to eBay.

Read full article  

ARTICLE (2014) Mobile phones in Africa: opportunities and challenges for academic librarians

Bolton Palumbo Laura , (2014) "Mobile phones in Africa: opportunities and challenges for academic librarians", New Library World, Vol. 115 Iss: 3/4, pp.179 - 192


Abstract: Lack of internet access and availability of computers in Africa has hindered learning and teaching there. However, the growing prevalence of mobile phones in Africa and elsewhere has created a way for information to be quickly and easily disseminated in areas where access to the internet and computers are limited. This paper aims to discuss these issues.  

ARTICLE (2014) Collaboration between rural school and public youth services librarians

Smith Daniella , (2014) "Collaboration between rural school and public youth services librarians", New Library World, Vol. 115 Iss: 3/4, pp.160 - 174


Abstract: The purpose of this article is to determine the types of collaborative activities public youth services and school librarians in rural locations engage in and to ascertain whether there are methods that youth service librarians believe can be employed to improve collaborative activities with public school librarians.  

ARTICLE (2014) The impact of Facebook on libraries and librarians: a review of the literature

Vassilakaki Evgenia , Garoufallou Emmanouel , (2014) "The impact of Facebook on libraries and librarians: a review of the literature", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 48 Iss: 3, pp.226 - 245

Abstract: Social networking sites are becoming more and more popular triggering an increase in published research and impacting different aspects of daily life. One such aspect concerns libraries and librarians and the way they have adopted social networking sites. The purpose of this paper is to present a selective review on libraries’ adoption and use of a specific social networking site such as Facebook in order to promote their services.  

ARTICLE (2014) Retaining students by embedding librarians into undergraduate research experiences

A. Knapp Jeffrey , J. Rowland Nicholas , P. Charles Eric , (2014) "Retaining students by embedding librarians into undergraduate research experiences", Reference Services Review, Vol. 42 Iss: 1, pp.129 - 147


Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to identify an important area for librarians to positively impact student retention. This programmatic and conceptual piece describes how embedding librarians into the growing enterprise of undergraduate research experiences (UREs) lays a framework for a context in which libraries and librarians directly contribute to the retention of undergraduate students. 

CHAPTER in BOOK (2014) Creating Shared Back-Office Services in a National Library

Darryl Mead , Steve Homer (2014), Creating Shared Back-Office Services in a National Library, in Anne Woodsworth , W. David Penniman (ed.) Mergers and Alliances: The Operational View and Cases (Advances in Librarianship, Volume 37) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.175 - 199

DOI: 10.1108/S0065-2830(2013)0000037012

Abstract: This is a case study on the implementation of shared services across back-office functions between the National Library of Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland in the period 2008 to early 2013. It describes the potential benefits of a Library doing business in a less conventional way, at a time when the public sector is facing challenges of high customer expectations and tight budgets. From 2004 the concept of building shared services in the cultural sector was promoted by the Scottish Government as a means of achieving improved performance and more cost-effective service delivery. The initial four attempts to create shared services in the cultural sector failed. This study looks at the first attempt that succeeded and draws out the factors contributing to that success. Key precursors to progress included finding common ground and developing trust between parties who were initially suspicious of each other, establishing an effective governance framework, obtaining ongoing commitment from senior management, and aligning everyone’s agendas to make them compatible. By 2013 the program had delivered a common Information Systems network, as well as two parallel finance systems sitting on the same server. In March 2013 the HR teams entered a phase of living together for six months to test their integrated operations prior to formally becoming a shared service, treating both the Galleries and the Library as a single client. Building a shared service with another cultural partner has been a useful, though demanding experience. Both organizations are better off for committing to sharing.

ARTICLE (2014) Factors contributing to successful collaboration among Omani academic libraries

Al Harrasi Nabhan , Hassan Jabur Naeema , (2014) "Factors contributing to successful collaboration among Omani academic libraries", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 42 Iss: 1, pp.26 - 32


Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to identify contributing factors, both internal and external, that will ensure a successful collaboration between Omani academic libraries. A qualitative research approach was adopted, and 23 individual interviews were conducted with representatives from participating libraries. 

ARTICLE (2014) Integrating Web 2.0 into an academic library in Tanzania

Tandi Lwoga Edda , (2014) "Integrating Web 2.0 into an academic library in Tanzania", The Electronic Library, Vol. 32 Iss: 2, pp.183 - 202


Abstract: This paper aims to demonstrate work undertaken by Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) Library in an effort to integrate Web 2.0 technologies in its functions to enhance the quality of its services in Tanzania. 

CHAPTER in BOOK (2014) Academic libraries and open access strategies

C. Sean Burns (2014), Academic libraries and open access strategies, in Delmus E. Williams , Janine Golden (ed.) Advances in Library Administration and Organization (Advances in Library Administration and Organization, Volume 32) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.147 - 211

Abstract: With the rise of alternate discovery services, such as Google Scholar, in conjunction with the increase in open access content, researchers have the option to bypass academic libraries when they search for and retrieve scholarly information. This state of affairs implies that academic libraries exist in competition with these alternate services and with the patrons who use them, and as a result, may be disintermediated from the scholarly information seeking and retrieval process. Drawing from decision and game theory, bounded rationality, information seeking theory, citation theory, and social computing theory, this study investigates how academic librarians are responding as competitors to changing scholarly information seeking and collecting practices. Bibliographic data was collected in 2010 from a systematic random sample of references on and analyzed with three years of bibliometric data collected from Google Scholar. Findings suggest that although scholars may choose to bypass libraries when they seek scholarly information, academic libraries continue to provide a majority of scholarly documentation needs through open access and institutional repositories. Overall, the results indicate that academic librarians are playing the scholarly communication game competitively.

ARTICLE (2014) Academic Libraries in Finland: Different Models of Integration

Vuokko Palonen , Sirkku Blinnikka , Ulla Ohvo , Susanna Parikka (2014), Joint Academic Libraries in Finland: Different Models of Integration, in Anne Woodsworth , W. David Penniman (ed.) Mergers and Alliances: The Operational View and Cases (Advances in Librarianship, Volume 37) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.223 - 242

DOI: 10.1108/S0065-2830(2013)0000037014

Abstract: Different operational models of joint libraries of universities and polytechnics are examined in this chapter. These joint academic libraries were founded in Finland during the 2000s. Although universities and polytechnics have different objectives, educational programs, and educational degrees, they are nevertheless expected to cooperate. Library services have become a well-functioning model of cooperation in four provincial centers. Joint libraries serve their parent organizations, but are also open to the public and in this way they support the availability of scientific and vocational information in their regional areas. The emphases of this case study are the administrative solutions and matters concerning personnel. In addition to this, electronic resources are dealt with. Since the electronic licenses are institution specific, they complicate the joint library services. Because the operational environments of the libraries differ, the models will not be placed in any order of supremacy. Regardless of the challenges that the joint libraries face, they still show how relatively small educational organizations can develop the library services within their own community through cooperation. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Google Aims to Archive All Human Knowledge

Image: Discovery News

Source: Discovery News, written by Glenn McDonald, 21 August 2014

According to an intriguing report in New Scientist, Google is building a next-generation information database called Knowledge Vault that’s designed to index and store what we can reasonably term facts. And not just some facts — the Vault is intended to continually catalog and store all facts about our world and our history.

Read full article  

5 days away from computer screens boosts preteens' social awareness

Source: Los Angeles Times, 21 August 2014

Deborah Netburn reports:
What happens when you take about 50 sixth-graders and send them to a nature camp with no access to computers, tablets and mobile phones? A new study suggests that after just five days their ability to understand nonverbal social cues improves. 

Read full article 

BOOK (2014) Intellectual freedom for teens: a practical guide for young adult & school librarians

Authors: Kristin Fletcher-Spear and Kelly Tyler for YALSA
Published: ALA Editions, 2014
144 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1200-3

Year after year a majority of the titles on ALA’s Banned Books list, which compiles titles threatened with censorship, are either YA books or adult books that are frequently read by teens. It’s important for YA librarians to understand the types of challenges occurring in libraries around the nation and to be ready to deal with such challenges when they occur. The Young Adult Library Services (YALSA) has tailored this book specifically for these situations, providing much-needed guidance on the highly charged topic of intellectual freedom for teens. Among the issues addressed are
  • How to prepare yourself and your staff for potential challenges by developing a thoughtful selection policy and response plan
  • Resources for help when a challenge occurs
  • The art of crafting a defense for a challenged book, and pointers for effectively disseminating your response through the press and social media
  • The latest on intellectual freedom in the digital realm, including an examination of library technology
Using examples of censorship battles in both school and public libraries to illustrate possible scenarios, this guidebook gives YA librarians the foreknowledge and support to ensure intellectual freedom for teens. 

Journal hijackers target science and open access

Source: Research Information, 11 August 2014

Hijacking of journal websites is a worrying side product of scholarly communication’s move online and a topic that Iran-based journalist and researcher Mehrdad Jalalian is particularly concerned about. We asked him about the problem and how researchers and others can address the issue.

Read his answers to the following questions
How do hijacked journals occur? 
What problems do they cause? 
How do you identify hijacked journals? 
What can authors, readers, publishers, and others do about hijacked journals? 

Book Buzz: Study finds people absorb less on e-readers

Image: David McNew, Getty Images
Source: USA Today, 19 August 2014

Kelly Lawler writes:
A new study has found that readers using an e-reader were "significantly" worse than print book readers at remembering when events occurred in a story, The Guardian reports.

The study, which was presented at a conference in Italy in July, gave 50 readers the same Elizabeth George short story to read. Half read on a Kindle and half read a paperback. Afterward the readers were tested on plot, character, objects and settings.

Read full article  

NSA search engine allows law enforcement to scour data on citizens

Source: RT, 25 August 2014

The United States National Security Agency has built a massive information sharing system intended to allow intelligence community analysts from across the US government access hundreds of billions of records detailing the lives of people the world over.

This “Google-like” search engine, according to journalist Ryan Gallagher at The Intercept, was developed by the NSA as early as 2007, but was only made publicly available on Monday this week thanks to classified documents disclosed to the news site by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

According to the leaked documents and Gallagher's own reporting, the ICREACH search engine created by the NSA lets analysts from nearly two-dozen other government agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency, among others, share an array of sensitive details collected by the US intelligence community and its partners concerning not just foreign terror suspects, but “millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing,” Gallagher wrote. 

Read full article 

There is One New Book on Amazon Every Five Minutes

Image: TechCrunch

Source: TechCrunch, written by John Biggs, 21 August 2014

In an interesting post, writer Claude Nougat estimated the total number of books on Amazon – about 3.4 million at last count (a number that could include apps as well) and then figured out how many books were added in a day. Nougat noticed that the number rose by 12 books in an hour, which suggests that one new book is added every five minutes. And, most likely, it’s probably an indie book.

Read full article  

The Diploma is the Message: Doug Rushkoff Invents a Master's Program That Matters

Source: Good, 1 June 2014

Jed Oelbaum writes: 
City University of New York’s Queens College and digital media theorist Douglas Rushkoff are teaming up to create a Master’s program in Media Studies for the technologically minded, socially conscious upstarts who will define the way we see the world for years to come. “Instead of training people to become marketers or to write the next useless phone app, we’re going to support people who want to see through the media, and use it to wage attacks on the status quo,” Rushkoff says. “This is media studies for Occupiers.”

Read full article  

Scientists manipulate magnetically levitated objects

The objects are embedded in a magnetic liquid and manipulated with two external magnets

Source: BBC News, 25 August 2014

Maria Dasi Espuig reports that "researchers from Harvard University have discovered how to orientate small objects in any direction using magnetic levitation."

Read full article  

The research results of this study, titled Noncontact orientation of objects in three-dimensional space using magnetic levitation, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United states of America (PNAS). 

The management skills employers seek

Source: Careers24, 5 May 2014

The importance of key management skills to international MBA recruiters, along with their satisfaction with the standard of these skills displayed by new hires, has been a regular feature of the annual QS Jobs & Salary Trends Reports. In its latest edition, over 4,300 MBA employers gave their opinions in 15 sub strains of management skills, divided into the categories of soft skills and hard skills.

This article focuses on the four top soft skills.  Click here to read about the soft skills.  Click here to read about the hard skills.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

USA - Enabling a new future for cloud computing

Source:, 21 August 2014

The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced two $10 million projects to create cloud computing testbeds—to be called "Chameleon" and "CloudLab"—that will enable the academic research community to develop and experiment with novel cloud architectures and pursue new, architecturally-enabled applications of cloud computing.

Read more 

Reading 'Fifty Shades' linked to unhealthy behavious

Source: Medical Xpress, 21 August 2014

Young adult women who read "Fifty Shades of Grey" are more likely than nonreaders to exhibit signs of eating disorders and have a verbally abusive partner, finds a new study led by a Michigan State University researcher.

Further, women who read all three books in the blockbuster "Fifty Shades" erotic romance series are at increased risk of engaging in binge drinking and having multiple sex partners.

Read full article  

Would you like to work in a bookless library? New Florida University unveils bookless library

The Innovation, Science and Technology building
courtesy of Florida Polytechnic University

Source: LibraryJournal, 18 August 2014

Sharon Riley says that "Florida’s newest public university—Florida Polytechnic University (FPU)—is so new it doesn’t even have accreditation yet." She further explains that the mission of this university is to educate students in the STEM fields.

She writes: "FPU features a lot of innovative, not to say controversial, departures from tradition, including a no-tenure model for its 26 newly hired professors and a library without physical books."

Read full article  

BOOK (2014) Transforming students: fulfilling the promise of higher education

Authors: Charity Johansson and Peter Felten
Published: Johns Hopkins University Press, 21 February 2014
128 pages
ISBN-10: 1421414376
ISBN-13: 978-1421414379

The recent trend of trying to measure higher education’s return on investment misses a fundamental point, argue Charity Johansson and Peter Felten. The central purpose of a college or university is to transform the lives of students—not to merely change them or help them mature. This transformation is an ongoing process of intentionally aligning one’s behavior with one’s core sense of personal identity. It is the university’s central role to lead students in this transformation, a process that shapes students into intentional, critical, and engaged individuals.

Recognizing the remarkable influence of the college experience on peoples’ lives, the authors offer a guide to how colleges and universities can effectively lead students through this life-changing process. Drawn from extensive interviews with students and graduates, faculty and staff, Transforming Students gathers diverse stories to show how students experience the transformation process, which rarely follows a neat or linear path. The interviews illustrate central themes from the literature on transformative learning and the undergraduate student experience.

Click here for more information  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SlideRule - Your Online Learning Hub


The world is increasingly putting their amazing courses online. They believe we are in the early days of a revolution that will not only increase access to great education, but also transform the way people learn. SlideRule is their way of contributing to the movement. They help you discover the world's best online courses in every subject - courses that your friends and thousands of other learners have loved. Let them help you determine the best course for your needs or browse all 17,543+ courses! 

Ebola death toll in West Africa rises to 1350 & Ebola-like illness kills several in Congo

Source: Reuters, Death toll from Ebola outbreak in West Africa rises to 1350, 20 August 2014

The death toll from the Ebola oubreak in West Africa has risen to 1,350, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, with 106 new deaths reported between August 17-18 in three countries.

Read more 

See also the following news articles:

Illness with Ebola-like symptoms kills several in Congo (News24, 20 August 2014)
Kinshasa - Democratic Republic of Congo has sent its health minister and a team of experts to the remote northern Equateur province after several people died there from a disease with Ebola-like symptoms, a local official and a professor said on Wednesday.

Nigeria may be Ebola-free in a week, Minister says (BusinessDay, 20 August 2014)

Nigeria's Ebola death toll hits five as Liberia imposes Ebola curfew (eNCA, 

Over 300 Ebola deaths traced back to a healer in Sierra Leone (eNCA, 20 August 2014) 

Ebola outbreak 2014 Statistics:

Current suspected case and death counts (WHO, 20 August 2014)

- 579 cases
- 396 deaths

- 972 cases
- 576 deaths

- 15 cases
- 4 deaths

Sierra Leone
- 907 cases
- 374 deaths

How 'Google Science' could transform academic publishing

Source: Wired, by Liat Clark, 13 August 2014 is in possession of a document, sent anonymously, detailing how "Google Science" would bring together existing services such as Google Docs, Google Plus, YouTube and more to create a platform that challenges the paid-for model of scientific publishing and provides academics with an opportunity to connect with each other more efficiently.

Read full article  

Conference Paper (2014) Beyond Assistive Technology: Presentation at Texas Library Association Conference

Todd Kate Ms. , (2014) "Beyond Assistive Technology: Presentation at Texas Library Association Conference: ", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 31 Iss: 7, pp. -

The author summarizes her presentation about improving library services to people with disabilities made at the 2014 Texas Library Association annual conference.

Topics covered include early approaches to library accessibility, sample assistive technology apps for iPad, iPhone or Android and suggestions for developing a plan for improving services. 

5 Ways to instantly improve your data profiling performance

Source: The Data Roundtable, 15 August 2014

Dylan Jones writes: "Data profiling is essential. So why do so many data quality teams fail to get the most out of this crucial technique? In my short video, you’ll discover the answers to unlocking the full potential of your data profiling efforts."

Click here to read more and watch the short video (7 minutes) 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Academic Book of the Future

Source: British Library, 18 August 2014

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Library are launching a two-year research project which will explore the future of the academic books in the context of open access publishing and continuing digital change.

Read full press release 

What makes a conference really irritating? How to get the most out of a conference

Source: BBC News, 16 July 2014

Sean Coughlan writes: Conferences are an inescapable part of academic life. They have many positive virtues - such as air miles and a chance to polish your reputation in public. But let's be honest, they can be irritating. 

Read full article  

See also:
How to get the most out of a conference (Half an Hour, written by Stephen Downes, 26 November 2011) 

More information on the Ebola Outbreak in Africa 2014 (18 - 20 August 2014)

Air France staff refuse to fly to Ebola-hit nations (Medical Xpress, 19 August 2014)
Some Air France flight crews are refusing to board planes bound for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria over fears of the Ebola outbreak, the airline said Tuesday.

Commentary focuses on 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa (Medical Xpress, 19 August 2014)
The Ebola epidemic is spreading in West Africa, with little hope for treatment, and an experimental therapy is unlikely to be provided to African patients, according to two commentaries published online Aug. 19 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Ebola virus outbreak 2014: FDA warns of phony drug treatments (HNGN, 19 August 2014)
Phony Ebola treatments are making their rounds online, and the FDA is warning against drug scams that claim to treat the deadly disease or prevent infection, News 10 reported Sunday.

Government of Barbados - Office of the Prime Minister: Postpone travel to regions with Ebola (noodls, 19 August 2014)
The Ministry of Health is advising Barbadians to postpone non-essential travel to the Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone indefinitely or until the outbreak of the Ebola Virus has been deemed to be under control.

Statement on travel and transport in relation to Ebola virus disease (EVMD) outbreak (WHO, 18 August 2014)
The risk of transmission of Ebola virus disease during air travel is low. Unlike infections such as influenza or tuberculosis, Ebola is not spread by breathing air (and the airborne particles it contains) from an infected person. Transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals, all unlikely exposures for the average traveller. Travellers are, in any event, advised to avoid all such contacts and routinely practice careful hygiene, like hand washing. 

Suspected cases in Austria not Ebola: ministry (Medical Xpress, 19 August 2014)
Austria's health ministry gave the all-clear Tuesday evening after regional authorities earlier reported two suspected cases of Ebola in two men recently returned from Nigeria.

Ebola situation in Nigeria and Guinea: encouraging signs (WHO, 19 August 2014)
The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in west Africa continues to evolve, with cases confirmed in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. At present, no cases have been confirmed anywhere else in the world outside these 4 countries. Nigeria: The situation in Lagos, Nigeria, where the first imported case was detected in July, looks reassuring. At present, the city’s 12 confirmed cases are all part of a single chain of transmission. Guinea: The outbreak in Guinea, where the virus made its first appearance in west Africa last December, is less alarming than in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Ebola crisis: Liberia finds 'missing patients' (BBC News, 19 August 2014)
Seventeen suspected Ebola patients who went missing in Liberia after a health centre in the capital was attacked have been found, a minister has said.

Ebola: Liberia soldiers ordered to shoot border crossers (News24, 19 August 2014)
The Liberian armed forces have received orders to shoot any persons crossing into the country from the neighbouring Sierra Leone.

Health workers given untested Ebola drug improving (The Hindu, 20 August 2014)
Three Liberian health workers receiving an experimental drug for Ebola are showing signs of recovery, officials said on Wednesday, though medical experts caution it is not certain if the drug is effective.

Liberia imposes curfew as Ebola crisis grows (News24, 20 August 2014)
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf imposed a night-time curfew from Wednesday and quarantined two affected neighbourhoods in a bid to stem the Ebola epidemic rampaging through West Africa. "Commencing Wednesday, August 20 there will be a curfew from 9:00pm to 6:00am (21:00 to 06:00 GMT)," Sirleaf said in a radio address late on Tuesday.

Liberia fights Ebola in capital, West Africa toll tops 1,200 (Yahoo Daily News, 20 August 2014)
Liberia battled on Tuesday to halt the spread of the Ebola disease in its crowded, run-down oceanside capital Monrovia, recording the most new deaths as fatalities from the world's worst outbreak of the deadly virus rose above 1,200.

Photos from the frontline of Liberia's deadly Ebola outbreak (Huffington Post, 20 August 2014)
One of the biggest challenges in combatting the Ebola virus, which has claimed more than 1,200 lives in West Africa, is misinformation about the disease. Local communities that don't have access to information about how the virus spreads and its health consequences have resorted to ineffective traditional approaches like herbal treatments, and in other cases have denied the virus exists. 

Ebola crisis: A doctor's view from Sierra Leone (BBC News, 20 August 2014)
West Africa's Ebola epidemic, the deadliest on record, presents particular challenges for medical staff. Here, Irish doctor Gabriel Fitzpatrick describes working for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) at the centre of the outbreak in Sierra Leone.

Government slams Ebola tourism concerns (EWN, 19 August 2014)
Government has slammed reports that growing fears over the deadly Ebola virus is beginning to impact  the country's tourism industry. Reports emerged earlier today that hundreds of tourists due to visit South Africa from Thailand, China, Japan and other Asian countries had cancelled their trips. 

100,000 elephants killed in Africa, study finds

Female bush elephants in Tanzania. Females usually lives in herds.
Image: Wikipedia
Source:, 18 August 2014

Poachers killed an estimated 100,000 elephants across Africa between 2010 and 2012, a huge spike in the continent's death rate of the world's largest mammals because of an increased demand for ivory in China and other Asian nations, a new study published Monday found. 


The study - which was carried out by the world's leading elephant experts - found that the proportion of illegally killed elephants has climbed from 25 percent of all elephant deaths a decade ago to roughly 65 percent of all elephant deaths today, a percentage that, if continued, will lead to the extinction of the species

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Excited about 3D printing at home? Don't hold your breath warns Gartner

Source: ZDNet, written by Colin Barker, 19 August 2014

Consumers anxious to sample the delights of 3D printing are going to have to wait, according to analyst Gartner which says it is more than five years away from mainstream adoption.

While some uses for 3D printing - rapid prototyping for example - have already hit the mainstream, other uses such as 3D printing on medical devices and industrial 3D printing are still a way off. 

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ARTICLE (2014) Public administration approach: What do libraries need for consistent information services evaluation

Citation: Rudžionienė Jurgita , Dvorak Jaroslav , (2014) "Public administration approach : What do libraries need for consistent information services evaluation", Library Management, Vol. 35 Iss: 6/7, pp.495 - 507


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to define the problem and to initiate discussion on library evaluation as significant part of institutional evidence-based management from public administration approach.