I often receive emails asking about the research pathfinders I create as part of the collaborative process. Check out the video tour of a new research guide I’ve created and the information sources I’ve incorporated into this guide created using LibGuides.
We are kicking off Teen Read Week 2009 with a brand new research pathfinder for some of the most popular authors and books at The Unquiet Library! Check out our new Georgia Peach Book Award Nominees and Reading Bowl research pathfinder page! I have created a landing “home” page with general resources and information as well as book widgets for the Georgia Peach Award nominees and the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl.
I am also in the process of adding tabs for each nominated author that will include:
- RSS feeds for each author’s blog (if available)
- RSS feeds for each authors’ Twitter account (if available)
- YouTube videos featuring the author and/or his or her works
- Websites related to the author and his/her books
- The “Books from Our Catalog” feature spotlighting some of the books by each author; there is also a link to the Destiny catalog so you can search on your own
- Other links of interest, such as interview with the author or official websites for a book or for a series by the author
- Book widgets with previews of the author’s books when available
This is a work in progress, so please check back often!
My latest research pathfinder, Travel Across America USA, came together rather quickly, but it is one of my favorites to date. Although I did not get to collaborate as much as I had hoped with the teacher on the project as of this evening, I feel confident we will conference next week and make any adjustments that may be needed since we have worked together, and he is really enthusiastic about using Google Docs and now moving on to Google Sites.
In this project, the students essentially must research and collect information about travel destinations between Juneau, Alaska and Key West , Florida. You can see the requirements on the pathfinder page, but students are responsible for collecting multiple forms of data and representing it in an interesting and meaningful way. I think the use of Google Docs (the presentation and spreadsheet tools) , Google Sites, and Google Maps can be instrumental in this project! I am hopeful that I can confirm we will be using all three sets of tools to embed content and showcase the student projects.
This research pathfinder incorporates some of my favorite forms of social media:
- A widget featuring a travel guide via Google Books
- RSS feeds from Frommer’s and Lonely Planet Twitter accounts
- RSS feeds for blogs from these two travel powerhouses
- RSS feeds for travel podcasts and vodcasts
- Widgets featuring Flickr photo group pools sponsored from Frommer’s and Lonely Planet
- The use of “kwout” to highlight key websites that can be helpful for the assignment
- A Google Map I created to show some of the travel destinations I would choose if I were doing the assignment to model how students might use Google Maps; in addition, I have provided links to tutorials although students will have to use some of the instructional videos at home since they are embedded from YouTube
- An iTunes iMix of “travel music” created by National Geographic music (fun!)
I find it incredibly exciting to create a pathfinder that integrates so much social media to help students see how helpful and fun these resources can be. What else would you add to this pathfinder? Your suggestions are welcome!
A week or so ago, my library’s subscription to LibGuides went live! I have designed three research pathfinders so far, and I am totally in love with the clean design I can produce with ease. I had looked at LibGuides last summer but held off on purchasing as our district was in the midst of a major web authoring software transition. Thanks to Twitter and Library 2.0 friend Elisabeth Abarbane, I became aware of what a perfect fit LibGuides would be for me and my library program!
LibGuides allows you to integrate your favorite Library 2.0 features, such as embedded video or SlideShare presentations, your favorite del.icio.us linkrolls, PollDaddy polls, and more! They also have their own great “in house” apps, such as an easy to add “rate this page” feature. If you use the “links and lists” feature, users can evaluate each resource you add to that box (see the link to this example).
I also love the integrated “Share This” web 2.0 feature; in addition, I love how easy it is to “Tweet” that your guide has been published. Being the widget addict I am, I also love how easy it is to create a widget for your LibGuides site! :-) Best of all, you do not not have to have any special HTML or web authoring knowledge to create professional and organized looking pathfinders—the LibGuides platform makes it easy to publish pathfinders that are easy to navigate and browe. I am incredibly happy with the content I have created and am energized by the possibilities for additional content I’ve yet to add!
They also provide extremely reasonable pricing in addition to excellent tech and customer support—I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out of thanks to my customer care specialist Mazen M. Khoury, Springshare CEO Slaven Zivkov, and the great folks in tech support who are incredibly helpful when you have a question.
While there are a few final tweaks to add, here are the three pathfinders I have created so far:
While I still love and will use the library wiki as portal, I believe LibGuides is going to eventually become our main information commons or hub by July 2009.
I feel LibGuides is going to help our library in our mission of helping our students hone their information literacy skills and prepare them for research beyond their time at Creekview—take a peek at the schools in Georgia using LibGuides!
I will be rolling out these first pathfinders next week, so stay tuned as I gather feedback from our users to help me tweak the pathfinders and to see how they like the new LibGuides platform!