The Current Awareness & Personal Information Management (CAPIM) Collaborative at the University of Minnesota Libraries was organized in response to results from a user survey. Faculty and students alike indicated frustration with keeping current and organizing their personal information, and they indicated that they wanted our help.
Along with the user survey, librarians also conducted a scan of the available electronic tools in the area of CAPIM. One of the results was a recommendation that as we helped users, we should consider these characteristics for any software tools: efficiency, simplicity, stability, and effectiveness.
Other academic libraries have done work in this area, including guides that spell out the characteristics of different citation managers, or assistance with setting up alerts or RSS feeds.
Building on this preliminary work, a number of other recommendations were made for the work of the Collaborative, including 1) educate the library staff about these topics and tools, 2) build a Web toolkit to support both staff and users, 3) more fully supporting the range of citation managers that our users employ, 4) identify experts among the library staff and cultivating more, 5) reach out to library users with information about how they could enhance or simplify their CAPIM tasks, and 6) map out how all of our local tools work together, and improve the connections when possible
Our poster will highlight our work to support citation managers as well as develop staff education and a Web presence.
As we developed materials, these four themes emerged:
* Current Awareness and Social Tools
* Citation Management Tools
* File and Data Management Best Practices
* Organization and Process Tips.
The category of organization and process tips includes a wide range of tools and skills that fall into personal or group tasks. The personal area includes annotation software, note-taking software, syncing multiple computers and mobile devises, storing passwords, and customizing/personalizing your electronic workspace. Group tasks and tools cover citation sharing, collaborative writing, project management software, communication tools, and tagging.
We feel that this is a new area where librarians can make a contribution to students and researchers in all disciplines. Our survey revealed that users believe we have the right skills and knowledge, and a quick scan of nearly any academic library should yield a number of staff with expertise.
Poster presentation, ACRL 15th National Conference (March 2011)
Brooks, Kate; Fransen, Jan; Bach, Virginia; Haycock, Laurel; Kelly, Julia A.; Kempf, Jody; Lafferty, Meghan; Nault, Andre.
Taming the Tempest: An Initiative to Help Users Cope with the Information Flood.
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