What do you do when numbers don’t tell the whole story? The University of Washington Libraries received data from faculty members about undergraduate research skills in its 2013 Triennial Survey. Confidence had dropped regarding student abilities to develop and refine research topics, find scholarly information, and critically evaluate sources. To find why these numbers were lower than desired, we interviewed 13 faculty members in ten different departments who teach UW undergraduates, asking them about their expectations for students, important research skills in their discipline, and factors that do and don’t lead to student success. Using the qualitative data collected, we formulated recommendations for the UW Libraries Teaching and Learning Group. These recommendations will help librarians work toward measurable improvement in student research skills, while taking into account the size of the university, programs that are already in place, and the comments and suggestions heard most often during our faculty interviews.
Voices on the World Stage: Processing the Power of Individual Experience in Recommendations for Action
Women Weave the Web” is a digital action campaign sponsored by World Pulse, a global women’s advocacy network. In Phase I of the on-line campaign, 182 journal entries from women in 41 countries over a 10 week period were analyzed to make recommendations not only concerning world-wide internet access, but also library development, internet affordability, internet rights, and technology related violence against women. Advocacy partners wish to access World Pulse data to augment their agendas with compelling stories on women’s issues for communication to global leaders. Through a process which focuses on the journal entries, women’s advocacy groups are shown real solutions to global problems while maintaining the integrity of individual experiences. Included in campaign advocacy packages, graphic summaries of recommendations, specific examples, representative quotes and links to original entries present the information in layers that will increase the utility of this powerful and unique data collection.
Our mobile application, Waitless, addresses the problem of an outdated user experience that is found in almost every restaurant around the world. The current ordering system is inefficient, requiring the customer to wait for an employee to bring them a menu, and wait yet again before ordering. Waitless is a more efficient ordering system that improves the customer dining experience, bringing it into the digital age. Waving down a waiter will be a thing of the past with orders going from the user’s mobile device straight to the kitchen. The impact of Waitless is to save our users time and provide them the convenience of ordering throughout their meal, something that is difficult with a traditional menu. By speeding up the dining process from start to finish, restaurants will be able to flip tables faster and serve bigger tickets, meaning more profit for business owners.
We CAN is a proposed nonprofit organization providing nature and animal assisted activities for youth victims of violent crimes in the greater Tacoma area. Being the victim of a crime should not be a lifelong punishment. We feel that children who participate in our programs, along with traditional therapy, should have a greater chance for successfully recovering from trauma and abuse they have had to endure. Our programs use animal assisted activities and nature adventures to help children who have experienced trauma or abuse learn to develop healthy trusting relationships to live full and productive lives.
In response to the rise of aggressive email marketing and high volumes of spam, email clients have introduced partitioned inboxes and bolstered spam filters and now users expect a high level of control and low clutter in their inbox. Why don’t we think about our phone calls the same way? Phones currently provide the ability to blacklist specific numbers individually after the user sits through a solicitation call. This method ultimately proves futile, as your phone remains a direct line to your person - accessible by anyone at any time. Unfiltered. Built from a whitelisting concept, our project attempts to solve this issue and provides a non-invasive call and voicemail management service to finally put control in hands of the user. Only the calls that you want to receive will come through, and a minimal user interface allows you to handle precisely how unknown calls are treated. Welcome to Whitelist bliss.
YouTube Cooking Shows (YTCS) want to interact with their users and know who is using their instructions to cook in real life. YTCS cannot get this information through YouTube’s default user engagement methods such as total views, comments, liking, and subscribing. We designed a YouTube app called YouCook that gives users recipe suggestions, a cookbook, a meal plan, and a grocery list. YouCook records and analyzes user data and provides YTCS with metrics to measure what their viewers are cooking. YouCook bridges an information gap: user’s will be able to have cooking resources in one convenient location, and YTCS will have more data and analysis that will allow them to cater to their user’s needs by providing user-centered content based on user’s interests.
CenturyLink Arena is responsible for maintaining over a hundred refrigerators to keep products fresh for their customers. Every broken fridge costs CenturyLink more than $1000 in replacement parts and products. Existing Device Monitoring Systems (DMSs) can be used to track fridge failures, but are difficult to navigate and require data analysis training to use. Web 10.0 has teamed with Seattle startup Ombitron Inc. to create a new platform-as-service DMS to solve these issues. Ombitron hardware detects a variety of critical metrics about a device, then Web 10.0’s Dashboard interface delivers this information to users in a streamlined and visually appealing style for at-a-glance notification. Detailed metrics and time graphs are also available for each device to track history and changes in performance. This Dashboard will be adapted to suit a wide range of devices, and is currently being considered for use by multiple companies.
Public libraries are always looking for ways to ensure that they cater to each demographic group in their communities, in particular marginalized and underrepresented groups. My project helped Wilsonville Public Library in Oregon cater to a group that previously flew under its radar. I have developed and implemented a book club at a controversial, recently-constructed women’s prison within the Wilsonville community. As the ultimate goal of the Oregon Department of Corrections is to reduce the rate of recidivism, our uncensored book material will provide for constructive discussions aimed at promoting literacy and pro-social behavior in the inmates. This book club provides an effective liaison between the Department of Corrections and Wilsonville Public Library in a way that benefits all stakeholders. Even auxiliary benefits of such a connection are apparent, as community awareness has led to several donations of books to the prison library.
Local courts noticed an increase in ‘pro se’ or self-represented litigation. In order to help better prepare these litigants, King County Superior Court judges and administration have commissioned a study to design the delivery of web-based information to better suit these users. Detailed analysis was conducted on the current website through the review of content inventories and sitemaps. Surveys of user behavior and observation were used to streamline assistance for domestic violence and consolidate Spanish language resources to facilitate ESL needs. In person testing was conducted with potential jurors to determine public perception and usability when facing tasks involving eviction, divorce, and juvenile justice. All data was compiled into a proposal for redesign, and presented to King County Superior Court as a set of recommendations for website improvement to better serve the needs of the pro se population.
Have you ever held a musket ball or a three-foot long walrus tusk? Ever wondered what a sad iron is, and how it was used? Artifacts like these are just a few of the more than 600 items the Museum of History and Industry uses in support of its programming for children and families. With curriculum covering everything from the Coast Salish Tribes of Puget Sound to Century 21, the Seattle World's Fair, MOHAI's programming brings local history to schools throughout Puget Sound. With the museum's move to their new location this collection is now at a storage facility in Georgetown, across town from South Lake Union where Education staff have their offices. Using CollectiveAccess, a customizable open-source collections management database, we have described and organized this collection so the Education Department staff can continue to access and share this valuable collection.