Resource of the Week – MERLOT

MERLOT is the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching,  ‘a free and open online community of resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students of higher education from around the world to share their learning materials and pedagogy’.  A program of the California State University, MERLOT allows individuals and institutional partners to access and contribute to peer reviewed online learning materials. 

Unlike other resources focused on higher ed, MERLOT includes Library and Information Services as a specific academic discipline.  Resources are available to review and use, and by becoming a member (which is free) you can contribute to the collections as well as establich contacts within the profession.

Resource of the Week – Reference Shelf

The Federal government provides historical and cutting edge information on just about everything and make an effort to make that information available to everyone.  The portal has created a Reference and General Government resource page that allows you to delve into specific topics and set up accounts and feeds to be kept aware of information as it becomes available.  No matter what your role in academic libraries, I’m sure you will find something personally and professionally useful at Reference Shelf:

Find U.S. government common abbreviations, calendars, contact information, forms, gadgets, photos, maps, news and more.

  • Government Photos and Images 
    A large collection of photos and images made available by the U.S. government
  • Historical Documents 
    Articles of Confederation, Bill of Rights, Constitution of the United States, Declaration of Independence…
  • Laws and Regulations 
    Business laws, code of federal regulations, database search of laws and regulations…
  • Libraries 
    Local, federal, and national libraries; online library databases; grants and benefits for libraries…
  • Maps 
    Local, national, world, and specialized maps from multiple government agencies…
  • News 
    Federal press releases, news, foreign news service, government e-mail newsletters…
  • Publications from the U.S. Government 
    Consumer publications, educational resources, federal agency publications, Government Printing Office…
  • State Photo and Multimedia Galleries 
    Find photos from the U.S. states.


Resource of the Week – ACRL Professional Tools

It doesn’t look like much, but the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Professional Tools page leads to a lot of valuable information for anyone working in academic libraries. 

You can use the site as an introduction or overview of ACRL, exploring the diversity and opportunities of the Association ( AzLA’s CULD is a recognized Chapter of ACRL).

You can also home in on practical information like Standards or Toolkits that have been devised to guide you through common issues in academic libraries and provide examples of best practices devised by colleagues who have faced similar challenges before you.

And you can network and expand your knowledge and experience by connecting with colleagues through publications, conferences, and social media. 

There is a lot of information and opportunity out there if you know where to look.  The ACRL Professional Tools page is a good place to start.

Resource of the Week – Library Webinars

Simply put, Library Webinars is a one-stop shop for…Library Webinars!

Created by the NorthEast Florida Library Information Network (NEFLIN) for its members, this site provides access to webinars from over 40 organizations from ACRL to WebJunction.  While it’s not geared specifically towards academic libraries, many of the organizations offer items that may be of interest and, except where noted, the webinars are free!

You can also subscribe to an RSS feed or get blog postings emailed to you so that you have time to decide and prepare for the sessions.

Resource of the Week – ResourceShelf

ResourceShelf has an intriguing catchphrase, “We find the sources; you get the credit”.  The criteria for selection of sources seems to be:  high-quality, free, and of interest to information professionals.  In this day and age, there may be a lot of resources that meet this criteria, but who has the time to search, let alone for the latest stuff?  ResourceShelf!

Each item is ‘hand-selected’ by researchers and librarians, and made available in various ways to meet your information intake preference:  the blog is constantly updated and provides RSS and Twitter feeds; a weekly newsletter provides a sampling of resources; and the Archive provides access to over 25,000 resources back to 2001!  That’s a lot of information.

It is a lot of information.  Be aware that they generally share between 300 – 500 resources per month.  Not every item will be of interest to you, but you may know someone for which it is, and it’s easy and free to share.  And, as they say, you get the credit.

Resource of the Week – Stephen’s Lighthouse

There are lots of free, quality resources online to assist us in the wide variety of tasks and components which comprise the work that we do in academic libraries.  I would like to use the blog forum to share a different resource every week.  Let me know if you have a resource you’d like to share and we’ll get it posted!

Those of you who get my occasional CULD Resource Round Up email know that I am a big fan of  the Stephen’s Lighthouse blog, by Stephen Abram.  Abram is an international librarian who is Past President of the Special Library Association, Past President of the Canadian Library Association, former Vice President of Innovation for SirsiDynix.  He is currently Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Markets at Gale Cengage in Toronto, Canada.  He has extensive experience in library technology and trend forecasting, and travels extensively, speaking (and listening) to librarians around the world.

While the blog doesn’t speak to academic libraries exclusively, his questions, exploration, and insight on a variety of issues  always gets me thinking.  He has a sense of humor but also challenges us on issues that need to be raised.  With his guidance, I often come to understand technology and other library issues that I may have heard about, but haven’t really dealt with.  He also presents new ideas/perspectives on issues that are fundamental to libraries but need constant tweaking.  A perfect example is a post from today, Information Literacy Videos

I bet if you take a look at his archive for just January 2011, you’ll find several items of interest.