February 24, 2014

#scioTradLit at #scio14

I'm excited to be leading a discussion at this week's ScienceOnline conference in Raleigh called “How Traditional Research Literature Should Change to Improve Access to Scientific Knowledge.”

Many of us at ScienceOnline read primary research literature, but even here, the audience of readers is quite diverse. We range from high school students to professors of PhD students; we include journalists and public relations experts; some of us are science fans with no scientific training.

Here are some of the questions we'll ponder together:
  • Is there a way for teachers and/or journalists to teach readers not only how to read the scholarly literature, but also how to be skeptical of science? 
  • How can scientists help non-experts understand their work?
  • How do we access the primary literature? 
  • How can we encourage publishers and authors to participate in more open access publishing, and is that realistic? 
  • What are other ways that students, faculty, journalists, and the general public can access the primary literature?
 If you'll be at the conference, join me Thursday Feb. 27 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm in Room 6 (McKimmon Center).

If you're following from afar, join in the discussion & follow the thread at the ScienceOnline Forum site.

January 07, 2014

Stephanie's Vision

One of my goals for 2014 is to take more photos. To help with that goal, one of my 2013 vacation goals was to create a website for my photos. The second goal has been achieved!

Check out my zenfolio portfolio at http://stephaniewbrown.zenfolio.com, and if you have Flash enabled, you can check out a slideshow of my recent photowalk at the Eno River State Park:

(if you don't have Flash enabled, here's a link to the collection)

Happy new year!

January 05, 2014

Honey Oat Quick Bread

Honey oat quick bread. It's what's for lunch. 

The flavor was quite good, but it was a bit dense (like a good quick bread should be) and not quite right for peanut butter. Still, it's a good solution for a no-yeast bread.

Recipe from Eating Well.

January 04, 2014

Cheerful Winter Soup: Tom Yum!

I made a delicious Thai recipe from EatingWell in Season: The Farmers' Market Cookbook tonight: Tom Yum Soup. I'd never had it in a restaurant, but it looked tasty: shrimp, pineapples, red peppers, and tomatoes ... (I omitted the mushrooms). I went to a big healthy food store to get lemongrass and lime leaves, and I'm glad I made the effort.

It's in the winter section of the Farmers' Market cookbook, but none of the ingredients are in season around here ... still, it is a nice cheerful winter soup.

Next time, I'd add more ginger (in addition to the dried galangal) and also some red pepper paste.

Aromatics creating the broth: jalapeƱos, galangal, lemongrass, and lime leaves
Stirring the soup

Eating the soup (I added rice noodles)


December 26, 2013

Christmas Eats

As usual, Christmas was a day of good eats! Here's what we had:
Started the day with a cup of Willoughby's decaf
in a new Spode mug

Goat chops, frozen

Darnarian supervises
Cooked carrots (with maple syrup & mustard)
Cooked chops, before the red wine reduction

Garlic smashed potatoes

This was what we ate, in the end. Delish!
The finished product

December 23, 2013

Mama Leah's Chicken Soup

"When a man eats a chicken, one of them is sick," says Tevye in _Fiddler on the Roof_.

We recently had the need AND a stewing hen for soup, thanks to a cold and a stewing hen from Little Tree Farm.

Our favorite chicken soup recipe is from Mama Leah's Jewish Kitchen, by Leah Loeb Fischer and Maria Polushkin Robbins (c1990).

The best part of making the soup was that the stewing hen came with feet!

Chicken feet!
Chicken feet in the soup ...
The second best part was eating the soup!
Tasty soup!

December 18, 2013

What They Learned in Class

I taught a "one-shot" session of The World of Mass Communication this semester. It's a 100-level class designed to introduce students to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

I went in to talk about doing better Google searches AND to show them some of our spiffy news databases. I created a LibGuide for the class which got a lot of use that day in class an a wee bit of use following the class.

As usual, I asked the class to write a bit about what they learned in class. Because the class had over 300 students, we were not able to talk about what they learned. Instead, the professors asked students to write in Sakai (our course management system) a sentence or two about what they learned.

Professor Boynton sent me a copy of what they said. The comments themselves were helpful, but I also enjoyed looking at what they learned in a word cloud.

I was happy to see that several of the things they said they learned were topics I had taught in class: "I learned how to use quotes in google to get more exact search results" and "I really like the chat option that the library offers so that many of our questions can get answered!"

One of their assignments was to find a blog and analyze it over the course of the semester, so I taught them that they could do a fancy Google search with inurl:blog -- which is why that phrase shows up in the tag cloud.

The class was great fun to teach, and the word cloud helps me analyze what they learned in my session.

December 15, 2013

Ginger snaps!

As I do every year, I made a ginormous batch of ginger snaps. My work, spouse's work, our fridge ... so many reasons to have ginger snaps!

The cookies taste best after a day or two, and they freeze beautifully!
The wet stuff: eggs, butter, molasses, vanilla.
The dry stuff: flour and four tablespoons of ginger powder (and a few other things).
The dough is very sticky!
Lots of little dots on the baking pan turn into ...
Lots of ginger snaps!
Check out the recipe on Evernote.

November 04, 2013

Infographic: Research on Students' Research Habits

The good folks at the University of Washington's Project Information Literacy created a great infographic of their findings about 11,000 college students' research habits:
Project Info. Literacy infographic
For the text-based learners among you:
  • 70% use Wikipedia 
  • 92% use search engines
Other resources students use for course research:
  • 88% library databases
  • 83% instructors
  • 30% librarians (emphasis mine)
What's most difficult about doing research?
  • 84% getting started
and check out the 12 adjectives students use to describe how they feel about research assignments!

For more, check out the Project Info. Literacy website, where you can read an article from College & Research Libraries about Alison Head's research, watch a video, and more!

October 29, 2013

Advertising & Libraries

I got some great ideas from the Next World Media Symposium held at UNC Chapel Hill on October 25, 2013. So many of the topics & takeaways were tweeted by students at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, so I created a Storify of the speakers' pronouncements -- and how they relate to libraries.

I went to the session hoping to get some ideas on how to better help my advertising students ... and I came away with ideas about how to better promote and advertise libraries.

Above all, keep it simple. Think about Daryl Evans' quarters -- let's throw only one or two quarters at at time rather than the 100 we think they might need someday.

Read on for more.

Thanks to UNC JOMC professors Gary Kayye, JoAnn Sciarrino, and John Sweeney for a wonderful session!