Last week’s COLD meeting in Chico included some extended discussions of resource sharing and how it will work in ExLibris. This is both a technical question (how well does ExLibris play with other systems like Link+, how well do Link+, ILLIAD, RapidILL, play with ExLibris); and a policy question, since our shared system provides for unmediated borrowing within the CSU “network zone” but this will require common policies and practices (as if we were our own little Link+). We’re beginning to get a peek under the ExLibris hood and getting a better feel for the implications of this migration. Lots to explore and follow on the ulms.calstate.edu site and our local ULMS project site on the wiki. And if you’re just getting tuned into this and you haven’t already reviewed other campus’ overviews of the project, take a look, they’re great.
As the applause dies down for your colleagues’ exceptional work finished up last week on the new ‘architecture loft’ reading area and the cozy new TRC collection on the third floor, we’re beginning to gear up for next phases on that floor (construction on CTLT/APP offices should start in the next week or so, furniture orders are in the works). We’re also turning our attention to the first floor (111, 24-hour spaces, and the new home of the Innovation Sandbox). We should have some interesting updates by the end of November, as the details are worked out on several fronts, including finalizing plans for the Sandbox project. One of the ideas for the first floor space (in addition to expanded 24 hour study), is fueled by a new mini-grant from OCOB: a new concept in job-readiness support. This is major strategic theme in OCOB and a growing area of support for libraries too.
A couple of weeks ago I picked up this article from the Proceedings of the Royal Society (that’s where it all started if you’re into scholarly publishing!). It’s a fascinating report on practices by animals in nature of social learning versus individual trial-and-error learning. They asked, since “using information filtered by others is quicker, more efficient and less risky than randomly sampling the environment,” why do animals continue to use trial-and-error (or, “foraging”)? They found that competition for limited resources explains the mixed learning strategies that have evolved in nature. “Without competition, social learners are always fitter than individual learners. With competition, each strategy is more fit than the other when it is rare.” Among other things, does this shine a new light on the age-old library (and web design) ‘versus’ battle between search and browse? Or give us a new way of thinking about information skills as individual competitive edge versus collaborative information skills?
Happy Halloween and enjoy the weekend!