Stats Software Help @ WIC

Douglas AllenAt WIC, you can already get help with writing, speaking, technology, copyright and more. In addition, we’re glad to announce that Douglas Allen will begin providing assistance with statistical software. (Douglas was here last year thanks to GAPSA support.) Douglas will assist you in collaboration with our Social Sciences Data Librarian Christine Murray. Continue reading Stats Software Help @ WIC

Filter beyond ‘Filter’

excel-ipad-icon-100259374-largeFilter – the little funnel shaped icon in Excel, may be one of the most frequently used functions in Excel. Tell Excel one or several conditions and let Excel return those rows that meet your criteria. It works perfectly well in one single column.

However, sometimes you may want to filter one column according to the corresponding value in another column – in such a case, Filter may not be the most convenient way.

Continue reading Filter beyond ‘Filter’

Your words: Student Survey Results

Engaging Students Through Technology Symposium 2014Tomorrow, we expect over 220 people from all twelve schools at Penn to come together at our Engaging Students Through Technology Symposium. Our first one, in 2008, brought 48 people. Each year, the event has grown in popularity. It’s a rare opportunity to sit together, talk, and listen.

This year, we designed a survey with brainstorming sessions and launched our “Make Your Voice Count” campaign in early October. We are glad that 56 students took time to chime in! They gave us, in the 2014 Student Survey Results, fully 16 pages of ideas to mull over tomorrow.

Following opening remarks by Kim Eke, five faculty will speak on the morning faculty panel – Jeffrey Babin, Rosemary FrassoMarybeth Gasman, Jeffery Saven and  Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw. After they speak, Peter Decherney will facilitate an undergraduate student panel with Rebecca Hallac, Laura Petro, Virginia Seymour, Lucas Siegmund and Dyana Wing So.

We will live-stream the faculty panel, the student panel and the lightning round. Videos will available later on the Penn Libraries YouTube Channel. We also plan to use Canvas in many ways throughout the symposium. Looking forward to a packed day!

5 Ways to Make Your iPhone Battery Last Longer

kelliThis guest post by Kelli Liu, a sophomore from southern California majoring in biology and Apple campus representative, provides some tips for maximizing your iPhone’s battery life.

“Sorry, my phone died.” This short phrase is thrown around all the time—sometimes by us and sometimes to us. While it used to start out as an excuse for not responding to someone, more often than not now, it’s actually true. The transient nature of our battery lives is an increasing issue for phone-reliant college students. Luckily, there are little tricks you can learn to help keep your battery alive a little longer, or sometimes, even a lot. Check these tips out:

1. Turn off Parallax

You may have noticed that when you are at your home screen, your background will move with the tilt of your phone. While this feature is cool for some, it is often dizzying or unnecessary to others. Don’t think you need it? Turn it off through
Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion > On, and save some battery.

2. Quit Your Apps

Most people know this feature, but if you are iOS7 or iOS8, you can double click the home button to display all the apps open. You can then proceed to “swipe up” any app that you don’t need. People often forget to quit their apps after they are done, so even if you stop using the app, if you don’t close it, it’ll keep running.

A cool new feature of iOS8 is that you can now see what apps are using the most battery under Settings > General > Usage. This helps you know which apps to quit if you need them all or simply want to have your battery last a little longer.

3. Turn Off Location Services

Some apps like maps and weather are necessary for location services, but others really aren’t; they are unnecessarily and unknowingly draining your battery life when you open them. Edit these settings under Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

4. Turn Down Your Brightness

Unless you need your screen to shine like a flashlight, turn down your screen brightness. The level of brightness on your screen may seem like no big deal, but the energy your phone expends to keep everything a little bit brighter would really surprise you. You can also turn on auto-brightness if you want your phone to help when you forget.

5. Turn Off What You Don’t Need

This is like quitting apps, but for settings like WiFi and Bluetooth. When these features are on, they are constantly searching for connectivity and searching drains your battery without you even knowing it.

Recently moved to an iPhone 6 or 6+, or from Android to iPhone? Check out this post for more tips on using iOS 8.

How Do Libraries Create Services in the Electronic Age?

Libraries have been wrestling with an important issue for years: how can we (and should we) provide reserve materials in electronic formats? In print this was never an issue; if students needed to read an article, libraries could put it on reserve and students could copy it for personal study, or, alternatively, a professor could ask a copy shop to create a course pack which students could then purchase. Recently a case came up in court Cambridge U. Press et. al. vs. Patton (aka the “Georgia State Case”) which essentially is wrestling with that fundamental issue of what libraries can and cannot do with electronic reserves. Fundamentally, the answer comes down to one’s interpretation of fair use.

The courts did not exactly solve the problem for libraries (and the case is still ongoing). They have, however, affirmed some important principles to keep in mind:

  • Fair Use has to be done on a case by case basis. There are no broad rules that apply across the board to different kinds of material.
  • The four factors are not a checklist. If you have 3 of them, you may not have a fair use. If you only have one of them, you may have a fair use. It depends on the circumstances and the purpose of the use.
  • Speaking of checklists, the advice provided in various recommendations such as the Classroom Copying Guidelines and other forms of best practices are not legally binding. They can help to think about issues, but will not necessarily help you in court.
  • Library reserves (electronic or print) are not the same as coursepacks. There are certainly similarities, but the legal cases that apply to Kinkos and other companies which sell copies of articles to students do not apply to the services that libraries provide.
  • Most importantly, libraries have to pay attention to the market for reserve material. If libraries potentially affect the publishers’ ability to make money from their products, then it is even more important to look much more thoroughly at the other factors of fair use.

To that last point, there are certain questions that libraries need to consider whenever they assert fair use.

  • Does the use of the material clearly serve the purpose (pedagogical or otherwise) of the course or argument, and, perhaps more importantly, would that purpose be clear to a judge or someone from outside assessing the use?
  • Has the professor, assistant or researcher used whatever they need to make their point, but no more than is needed to make their point? Also, would an outsider (judge or publisher) agree that they used only the amount necessary to make their point?

So, as long as libraries are not causing market harm and they keep in mind those questions, then the courts have supported the rights of fair use. Nevertheless, the questions of how traditional reserve functions fit into an electronic world are still unanswered. More importantly, however, the community needs to decide its interpretation of fair use in certain contexts. Fortunately, the Association of Research Libraries’ Code of Best Practices for Fair Use provides a great deal of help in that regard, and can help individual libraries in assessing these questions.

If you’re interested in learning more, here are some further blog posts from real lawyers about these recent cases:

Conference Takeaway

It isconference kit.png2 our pleasure to announce two new “Conference kits” reservable online for faculty to borrow from the Vitale Digital Media Lab at the Weigle Information Commons. The kits can be borrowed for up to eight days. Each kit contains an Apple Mac-book Air and several video adapters to make it easy to present at a conference (as well as in a classroom).

To reserve, login to WebCheckout with Pennkey, click on “Add Resource”, and look under “Presentation Aids” for the “Laptop Presenter Kits”. Please review our equipment lending guidelines for loan details. WIC provides workshops and tutorials on presentation software such as Prezi and PowerPoint, so let us know how we can help make your next conference presentation the best it can be!