IPL-SI: Class page 2

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A Vision of the Future of the Internet Public Library

Link to IPL

[Internet Public Library (http://www.ipl.org)]

Links to information about IPL

Announcement of Drexel's plans for the IPL:


Article evaluating the use of Ask-A-Question on IPL:

Hye Rhan, C., & Holland, M. P. (2005). User satisfaction survey of Ask-A-Question service at the Internet public library. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 10(2), 61-73. File:MustLogin.jpg fulltext
(Note: This link will work as it is if you are on Drexel's network (e.g. DragonFly or DrexelVPN). For off campus access you can use online journal search feature of our library link.)

MarkW 14:41, 4 February 2008 (EST)

Wikipedia Link - IPL


Ajg1005 22:57, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

Readings and Web Sites on Web 2.0 in Libraries and Collaborative Learning

Wikipedia article on Library 2.0:


Article on Library 2.0 on LISWiki, a wiki devoted to Library and Information Science (includes a very extensive list of sites and articles about Library 2.0) :


"Teens and Social Networking in School and Public Libraries" (pdf):


Maness, Jack. "Library 2.0 Theory: Web 2.0 and Its Implications for Libraries." Webology, Vol. 3., No. 2, June 2006.


MarkW 14:57, 4 February 2008 (EST)

"Top *13* Web 2.0 Tools for Librarians" - This is a blog article recommending some tools to use.


--Baller 15:48, 9 February 2008 (EST)

Web 2.0 How-To Design Guide


Ajg1005 22:59, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

Links to other well built online libraries

LibraryThing [1] is a very good online library. It allows automatic book cataloging by importing data from various other libraries (like Yale university etc) and book sellers (like amazon.com) by making use of a Z39.50 connection. Along with the automatic addition of books from these various other sites to the LibraryThing website, it also supports manual addition of books to its storage. It thus allows it users to store their book list online and share it with other users using library thing.

The features it supports include:

1) Cataloging of books in the user space

2) Taging the books

3) Generate the total number of books shared in common between any two users

4) Support space for leaving comments about the books

5) Add other users as friends

6) A suggester feature to support book recommendations to other users of LibraryThing

7) Supports an Unsuggester feature to provide inputs about books the person sharing similar interest may not have

8) Supports internationalization feature (like www.LibraryThing.de (German), www.LibraryThing.nl (Dutch), and cym.LibraryThing.com (Welsh), www.LibraryThing.it (Italian))

9) Talk topic of the day

Important feature of LibraryThing website: The Vital Statistics page: [2]

--Shraddha 17:05, 22 February 2008 (EST)

Links to book cataloging and sharing websites

Anobii [3] is a very impressive book storing and sharing website. It supports social interacton among its users. It was one of the earliest Web 2.0 designed websites in Hong Kong. Anobii is now available in 10 different languages. Anobii allows its users to share reviews and recommendations about a book with each other. It also allows its users to find people having the same interest as themselves.

Its features include:

1) Adding books to their personal shelves

2) Adding books to the wish list section (books they would like to read in the future)

3) Informing their friends about the book they have read or liked

4) Sorting of books on the shelf

5) Find similar books on other user shelves

6) Providing shelf status

7) Providing a book description and comments

--Shraddha 21:10, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

Links to online communities sharing similar interests

Experience Project[4]is a very useful networking website. If one wants to find people with similar interest (say taste for reading similar kind of books) they can make use of the Experience Project website. They can write down a testimonial which can be set to public, private status and so it will be accordingly visible to the people using Experience project. In this way the user can reach out to other people by still maintaining his/her anonymity by not signing his/her name. The user can do other things like create his/her own groups by involving other people of his/her interest or by adding his/her own experinces on the website so that people facing same situations can reach him/her just to talk about it or to find out a solution.

--Shraddha 21:20, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

  • Gather - Gather is a place for you to connect with people who share your passions. It's a place where you can contribute thought, art, commentary, or inspiration

Members receive their own subdomain, where they can publish articles and share comments. Also, members can create groups pertaining to their own efforts, or to any other topic.

  • Hangout for Teens - The look and feel for Teens, quizzes for teens on reading articles and books….on winning gifts to them in terms of getting a free subscription of an online book for 1 week…etc., attracts teens to read abt stuff by involving them into a gaming mood and gaming scenario

--Abhishek 00:44, 21 March 2008 (EDT)Abhishek Verma

CSCL links

Here is a paper taken from reading assignments part of the course (description and concepts behind CSCL): [download] - Stahl, G. (2004) Groupware goes to school: Adapting BSCW to the classroom, International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 19(3/4), 162-174.

ITCOLE (Innovative Technology for Collaborative Learning and Knowledge Building) Project website (set up and install Synergeia server): http://bscl.fit.fraunhofer.de/en/download.html

ITCOLE project brochure (4MB): http://www.euro-cscl.org/site/itcole/itcole_brochure.pdf

Evaluation Report of the ITCOLE Project: http://bscl.fit.fraunhofer.de/en/evaluation.pdf

If you want to try out Synergeia, you have to install it first on the server, however you can get an account on BSCW website, a Synergeia's base system: http://public.bscw.de/en/about.html

Challenges of implementing CSCL designs in the Greek Classrooms (pdf article): link

A new way of learning to collaborate (web article): link

Fle3 is server software for computer supported collaborative learning: link

Lessons learnt from CSCL to enrich E-Learning (pdf article): link


Related Past Research Projects

a summary of the findings of the research project conducted at Lancaster University, UK.
  • Ariadne paper on a collaborative browsing project
    • DEBORA paper on developing an interface to support collaboration in a digital library
    • SELECT overview of the Select collaborative filtering system
  • Collaborative Browsing resources
    • Paper that argues browsing is a collaborative process
    • Paper on collaborative browsing and visualization of the search process
    • Cobrow project page from Ulm University
    • Links to available co-browsers

Murat 14:55, 7 March 2008 (EST)

Problems of the Present IPL

General Thoughts (Class Discussion)

  • There is very little social interaction software on the IPL right now -- only the "Ask A Question" service.
  • Who is the target audience for the IPL? Create user profiles with custom content for that user. Filter links and references for the user. Model after a real library, in which there is a stark difference between a children's section and the general library.
  • Presence of collaborative tools? With user profiles in place, two-way interaction tools needed(vmt chat, synchronous/asynchronous discussion groups, group whiteboard access).
  • Visibility? IPL homepage needs to present user with a clear summary of what they can do using the IPL. A more user-centric experience is preferable, including softer color scheme, fewer links, more varied visual presentation, and greater use of icons and imagery as opposed to text.
  • International user-friendliness?

Sat1385 18:57, 1 February 2008 (EST)

Suboptimal Design, Layout, and Structure of the IPL

One problem identified is the general layout, design and structure of the IPL. The site just doesn’t meet the expectations of today’s internet users and their understanding of Web 2.0 websites. There is no visible interaction or networking happening on the site and, thus, it can be said that the current focus is clearly on the static content. This becomes particularly clear when looking at how the different categories and options are aligned on the site. While the designer of the website had good intentions when creating the numerous categories and sub-categories a user gets to see when navigating through the collections, for many users this is an information overload. This is particularly true for users visiting the IPL for the first time.

Another problem of the current IPL structure is how target audiences are addressed. Basically, there are three target audiences addressed at the moment: kids, teens, and adults. While the sites for kids and teens are better designed and structured than the main IPL site for adults, the logical structure is not sufficient. The sites for kids and teens are actually listed among literature collections and other items. Not at all does it become clear that the two links in fact represent completely different websites that address different target audiences.

It is a general problem of the design and structure of the IPL that users are not guided to possible sources of interest but rather have to search for it. The suboptimal design, layout and structure of the IPL site must not be underestimated since it is proven that both are very important for the success of a website. Johannes 17:16, 7 March 2008 (EST)

Lack of Social Interaction and Networking

The present IPL provides a great collection of online resources and addresses numerous subjects and topics. However, at the moment the IPL website doesn’t provide a user-oriented experience but rather a highly subject- and content-oriented experience. While users can find many valuable resources on the IPL website, there is no motivation for them to actually participate in some way. In other words, interaction between users and the IPL or between the users themselves is not supported sufficiently. With the objective of the IPL to become a place where people come together and connect to each other, the currently realized concept is not sufficient. Therefore, options for social interaction, networking, and community- and knowledge-building have to be implemented and supported. Johannes 17:16, 7 March 2008 (EST)

Suboptimal Implementation of “Ask a Question” Service

The only current approach of making the IPL interactive is the provided email question-and-answer service. However, the question-and-answer service as implemented at the moment doesn’t provide sufficient support to make the IPL a user-oriented experience or to create social networking. Reasons for this failure is not the idea of this service itself but rather the way it is currently realized and implemented. Some of the identified problems of the service are listed below.

  • It is not placed well and is not seen by visitors directly (bottom of site).
  • It needs too many steps to submit a question (too many text fields to fill out).
  • The design is not modern and there is almost no use of graphics in place of text.
  • Answered questions are not promoted sufficiently although they are (should be) very important resources.
  • Answers cannot be searched efficiently.
  • There are no community options available, such as:
    • to rate a given answer.
    • to comment on given answers or questions.
    • to forward a question or answer to someone else.

In summary, it can be said that the three major problems described in this section prevent the IPL from being very successful. It shall be mentioned at this point that there are additional minor problems that hold back the potential of the IPL. Johannes 17:16, 7 March 2008 (EST)

Target Audiences

The target audiences of the IPL should be defined clearly in order to develop an adequate and appealing interface and to provide the best user experience. In the case of the IPL a variety or different target audiences is addressed, such as, children, kids, high school students, collage students, and professionals. It is important to recognize that the users of these audiences have different expectations and interests. For example, some information presented on the IPL site might be very interesting for a collage student but is not interesting for children at all. Even worse, some information could confuse and discourage certain users. To address all target audiences in an appropriate way the system should therefore present different options and information to users within different audiences.

A pre-defined list of audiences could consist of the following items:

  • children,
  • high school students,
  • college students in general
  • Library & Information Science faculty and students
  • professionals.

This would be similar to an actual library that provides separated items for different audiences. According to the selected audience the interface of the IPL site would provide best support and access to information to the user. The actual selection of the audience could happen either upon the first visit of an user and then stored in cookies, or once a user has registered and created his/her personal profile.

Johannes 12:31, 7 February 2008 (EST)

Proposals for functionality to enhance social networking on the IPL

Individual proposals

Links to individual conceptual design papers.

In my paper, I used the Microsoft Surface Project as a basis for developing software. If you are interested in learning more, go to this site: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/


MarkW 12:51, 7 March 2008 (EST)

Group proposals

Below is an in-progress summary of our proposals to enhance social networking on the IPL.

Team 1
 : --Recommend Books
 : --User groups (by interest)
 : --Search by interest
 Team 3
 : --Registration
 : --Login
 : --Ask A Question
 : --Answer/Comment on others' questions and answers
 : --Chat
 Team 5
 : --Chat
 : --Social Bookmarking

MarkW 12:49, 22 February 2008 (EST)

Proposed features chosen for prototyping

Here are the features chosen for prototyping by the teams. I invite the teams to rename these as needed if I have not appropriately captured the functionality.

Team 1
 Search by interest
Team 3
"Knowledge Strings"
Team 5
Shared bookshelf

MarkW 14:20, 22 February 2008 (EST)

Version History of Team Prototypes

Here is a summary of each team's prototype changes from each phase of development and evaluation.

Original Prototypes

Team 1
  Topic Search to find live book discussion. Discussions organized hierarchically in folder    
  tree. Clicking books icon next to a book reference adds that book to personal book list. 
  Can then navigate to personal book collection.
Team 3
  Searchable Topics search, produces results organized by content type. Search results
  organize social tools such as Discussion board. Discussion Board(Knowledge String) allows    
  users to read others' opinions on a topic, and to post their own. Tabs provide extended   
  workspace, and organize research materials.
Team 5
Version 1 -  Group bookshelf concept. A user add, write comments, and tag online resources.      
  These saved resources are available to a group via a group resource list page.
Version 2 - Shared workspaces, whereby users who are contacts with each other are able to 
  chat and share bookmarks.User can participate in a discussion topic, and bookmark links to  
  their personal bookmarks folder. link As859

Sat1385 19:30, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

Revised Prototypes after heuristic evaluations

Team 1
  New discussion interface, new book list icon. Now has feedback when a book is added to    
  the bookshelf. Book Collection now has colored backgrounds for each information section.  
  Book titles in the Book collection now are links.
Team 3
  Added "logged in" status indicator in page banner. Now there is a default Homepage tab  
  with curved sides for letting users know they are at the homepage. New color divider  
  line between tabs and content. New 'Create new discussion' and 'create new chat' buttons  
  added to search results. IPL Chat Rooms search header now reads "IPL LIVE Chat Rooms." 
  Reply to Discussion screen now features text formatting buttons. Newly posted comment in 
  Discussion string now features a Edit Post button.
Team 5
  New user login screen with Email, password, "remember me", login, "forgot password/",  
  and Sign up fields and buttons. New member profile featuring personal photo, Shelves 
  section, and Friends view. The chat window has been moved into the user profile screen. 
  Can now use existing IPL search in banner to do a topic search for Book results, 
  magazines, and newspapers. If a book is added, users may now view information about the 
  book, and click "Add to group shelf" so that other users in their group may view that 
  same book entry.


Final Prototypes

Team 1
  Color scheme change with the left panel navigation area to more neutral colors. There
  is a new large, bold header for the specific page telling the user where they are
  (i.e. "Book Search). There are new links at the bottom of the navigation pane for the
  new proposed IPL Networking features. The final prototype allows IPL users to conduct 
  searches for books based on author, ISBN, subject, and title fields. This takes you to
  a page that displays the book results, complete with links for the author info, book
  info, adding the book to your personal bookshelf, and to post/read comments. Clicking
  a book takes you to a page with the book's summary and further information. If the user
  clicks to add it to their bookshelf, a new feedback window appears to inform the user
  that the book was successfully added. By clicking on the Bookshelf link, the user is
  redirected to their personal bookshelf, displaying the books and a rating system.
Team 3
  There is a new color theme for the site, featuring a blue and white gradient background.
  The new homepage tab has an orange border on the tab itself to indicate that it is the
  active tab. The search the IPL feature has been moved to the homepage area itself. There
  is now a means to select which content type to conduct the search for (i.e. Search for
  only discussion boards pertaining to the search topic). The "IPL Users" section of the
  search results now has links to add the user to your friend's list, and to send that 
  user a message within the IPL's profiles system. When a new tab is first automatically
  opened when a search is conducted, there is now a feedback for the user to notify them
  of the change. To manage having the potential of dozens of search results, there is now
  a "show all results" link at the bottom of each content type. Also, there is a link on
  the right side of each content type to view all of the IPL's items for that particular
  content type. In the Discussion Board, there is now a "reply" button on each post displayed
  so the user can have that posting automatically appear in quotes in their reply. In the
  reply to post screen, there are now 2 sections. The top section features a scroll bar to
  view all of the current posts, and the bottom section has the text field to type a reply.

Sat1385 19:58, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

Team 5

Suggestions and questions for the final prototype included:

- make the search function more prominent

- just in time authentication

- chat search is confused as book search

- make clear what is a link and what is a heading

- consistency of links' colors

- consistency of wording "results"

- consistency of wording "bookshelf" (it is called a "group resource" on one screen, "group shelf" on another)

- what can you do with a book once it's on a shelf?

- who added the books on the shelf?


- search box was cleaned up (minimalistic tab design, changed color scheme) and initially was moved to the lower right corner of the page header. After some discussions, it was moved to the center of the header to make it more prominent.

- users have to authenticate to the website only when they try to use limited to authenticated user site features (login screen window pops up and asks to login)

- user's home page screen was removed from a prototype (it improved prototype workflow and made it more focused on its task)

- black bold text is not clickable

- links are of blue color (can be underlined or not)

- consistency issues resolved with wording

- screens were added showing that a user can post a comment about the book

- information who added the book is added

- breadcrumb links were added to improve site navigation and indicate what page the user is at

- user's username was moved to the header next to logout and options links


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