12/06/2016

It’s Here -The Touchjet Pond!


There’s new technology in the library and we’re ready to show you what it can do!

At its basic level the Touchjet Pond is a portable projector. But ultimately it’s a portable touchscreen tablet that can be projected onto any surface. 

The Pond has wireless and Bluetooth capability. It can project an image from 12 to 80 inches on any surface. With the power of 80 lumens it can produce a nice display that allows its users to interact with it via the stylus pens and the air mouse that come with it.  

There are several ports on the back, one that allows you to connect it to a USB drive for external storage. It has 16 GB of internal storage, but the external option gives more flexibility for sharing. Which comes in handy for libraries! Plus, there is always the cloud! Also, there’s an HDMI adapter that allows you to connect the Pond to laptops and desktops so they can be mirrored and projected onto a larger surface. It has both AC and DC power. Once it’s charged it can move around for a few hours without the bothersome cord.

The Pond comes equipped with an Android operating system, so you can connect and download apps from Google’s Play store. This gives you the flexibility to choose between the wide varieties of apps to suit your needs. We’ve taken the initiative and preloaded apps like, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe. There are many educational apps as well as fun gaming apps that may be useful in a classroom. Its interactive capability gives you many options. You may also choose to login to your Netflix or Hulu account and watch a movie, just don’t forget to logout when you’re done!

We are giving a demo for librarians next week and then for faculty in January. Once we’ve educated them, be sure to ask about it and learn how to see what it can do for your class!

Coming soon - Touchjet Wave - turning computer screens and TV’s into touchscreen. We have 3 on order and will be setting them up in the library!

For more information on this technology www.touchjet.com

12/05/2016

New Materials at Langsdale!





Did you know that Langsdale Library offers a list of all of our newest materials? We do! Each month we'll post an update letting you know about a few select titles, but there are far too many to mention here so be sure to check out our comprehensive online list. There is an RSS feed to the list, so you can subscribe and be updated when new materials get listed each month.

New Materials at Langsdale:

America at the ballot box : elections and political history


"A chronological collection of essays, America at the Ballot Box uses the history of presidential elections to illuminate both the fundamental character of American political democracy, and its evolution from the early Republic to the late twentieth century."


The ethics of invention : technology and the human future 


"A professor of science and technology studies at Harvard Kennedy School candidly documents society's embrace of technological solutions and technology's complex interplay with ethics and human rights, challenging readers to build a future in which we work together to manage the risks and promises of technology"


Learning leadership : the five fundamentals of becoming an exemplary leader


"The book offers a concrete framework to help individuals of all levels, functions, and backgrounds take charge of their own leadership development and become the best leaders they can be. Arguing that all individuals are born with the capacity to lead, Kouzes and Posner provide readers with a practical series of actions and specific coaching tips for harnessing that capacity and creating a context in which they can excel."

These are just a few of the many new books, movies, and games at your Langsdale Library. To see the complete listing of new materials check out our list right here! If you want to receive updates when new materials get listed each month, you can subscribe to the list through the RSS feed.

12/01/2016

Living in a Post-Truth World

The Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 Word of the Year is Post-Truth : 'relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief."  This word seems all too appropriate for 2016 as social media has proven particularly well-suited to creating a post-truth future.  There have been numerous reports about the spread and influence of fake news reports that thrive on confirmation bias, people’s tendency to believe things that reinforce their pre-existing beliefs.  This is compounded by social media’s tendency to create filter bubbles, where people tend to only see opinions with which they would agree.  You only need to look at the Wall Street Journal’s Red Feed Blue Feed site to see how differently people are seeing the world.
 
On top of all this comes a new study by the Stanford History Education Group where the authors were “taken aback” by how poorly students were able to identify fake and highly biased sources of information.  As libraries have adapted to a world where “everything is online” teaching how to evaluate information sources has become a key part of our mission.  In Jan of 2016, the Association of College and Research Libraries formally adopted a Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, with the first frame being “Authority Is Constructed and Contextual.”  This frame holds as its central tenant that students who master it should be able to identify reliable content, while also recognizing that authority is not always black and white.  At first glance, this might be taken to fit in with the post-truth society; if we question everything, how do we know what is real.  However, as Kathleen Higgins points out in a recent commentary in Nature, this type of “epistemic relativism” should not be taken to mean that truth does not matter.  Instead, it means that “truth” can be tricky and often requires more thoughtful reflection and investigation.  It requires us to take the time to examine and understand all sides and question our own biases before reaching a conclusion.


If you find your own social media to be an echo chamber, one simple thing you can do (in Facebook anyway) is to make sure you click, like or comment on posts from people whose views don’t necessarily match your own.  Otherwise, Facebook’s algorithms will hide posts from those people and you might miss out on alternative points of views.

11/30/2016

What you might not know about Michael Shochet

Our own Michael Shochet, Head of Reference at Langsdale is featured in this issue of UB's Alumni Magazine.  The article, however, is not about Michael's extraordinary research and sleuthing skills (which are known worldwide), but his prowess in Aikido.

Check out the full article in the UB Magazine.

11/29/2016

Dial 386 for FUN

Why does this game controller look like a phone? And what would you do with these numbers? Come find out at the end of semester game night in the Learning Commons lobby, December 1st from 6-10.  Sponsored by Langsdale and the Simulation and Digital Entertainment program.


11/21/2016

Langsdale Holiday Hours



Here are Langsdale's holiday hours to help you plan your study schedule this week. We'll be back in full swing on Monday. Have a great holiday!

11/20/2016

The Joy of Archives

Holiday billboards on Antique Row. From the BLI Collection. 

University of Baltimore has a brief holiday respite coming up this week-- a perfect time to reflect on what is sparking joy for us in Langsdale Library Special Collections. To wit: