Goldsmiths SU has successfully campaigned for changes in the opening hours of the colleges library and ICT facilities. I’m interested in exploring what other ways the information that is stored in the library building can opened up to the benefit of students and staff alike. I’m not so much speaking about new things that the library can do, rather I am interested in ways in which existing services and resources could be linked up, extending their use.

Currently recommendations for reading / viewing / listening are distributed to students as files to download from learn.gold.ac.uk (which we usually print) or in hard copy (which we then annotate). Students then navigate to the library website to find out whether a given publication is even available, and what its shelfmark is.

However, there is the potential to make the process of recommending, finding, borrowing and even commenting on the value and relevance of a particular library resource more seamless by linking-up the library website and learn.gold site.

libweb 2.0

I’d like to see the ‘smiths VLE (virtual learning environment) linked up with the library database. If the information in the library database was made available within the VLE, students and staff could do the following things:

  • make reading lists for students by clicking and choosing resources from the database, no more retyping…
  • make bibliographies for assignments that are ‘perfect’, in the right format etc and again, no more typing…
  • review and annotate our borrowing record of library resources…
  • export publication info / bibliography to use in other software, EndNote, TeX etc…
  • tag publications (like YouTube / Flikr etc)…
  • add publications from other places – own books, TV, internet references….

moodle – the VLE

The learn.gold VLE is created and managed using free/open source software. Goldsmiths are part of an international community that use this software. Members of that community are encouraged to develop and extend the tool and to contribute back to the community these modifications, as well in supporting each other in the sharing of experience and expertise.

Perhaps there are others at ‘smiths who would be interested in participating in some application development – either in ideas or in code hacking – to build a module for moodle that would interface with the library systems.

Get in touch.