Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Online education on NPR

National Public Radio broadcast the first of a two part series on online education this morning on Morning Edition. According to the story, one in five current college students is taking at least one online course. The story also includes interviews with online faculty, one of whom estimates that an online course takes twice as much work, in prep and teaching, as an on ground course. There is also a link to the Sloan Consortium 2007 survey, which is the source of the 1 in 5 statistic.

Look for the second part of this series tomorrow.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Library and the University will be closed for Thanksgiving Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday (Nov. 21-23). Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 24-25), the Library will have normal hours, and the Reference Desk will be open if you have questions or problems.

I'll be back on Monday, Nov. 26.

Have a good Thanksgiving for all those who celebrate it, and a good weekend for everyone.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Security Error" in library logins

The CSU system just implemented a security measure for CONSULS logins (electronic reserves, requesting books from the other campuses, etc.) When you log into CONSULS, you should now go to an https page, rather than a plain http page. Unfortunately, in most browsers this is now causing a "security error". The security certificate is registered to (like the databases) but the library catalog is The mismatch causes the error.

You can safely click Continue, or OK, or Yes, I want to proceed, or Accept, or whatever similar message you get. It's not a browser hijacking attempt or a phisher.

Depending on your browser you may get this every time you log into the CONSULS catalog. There is a similar security error when logging into Refworks--in that case, the Refworks company needs to update their website. It's also OK to Continue, Accept, Proceed, etc. into Refworks. Update 11/16/07: It helps when you actually read the security messages. (By the way, Firefox produces much better messages than IE7.) The problem is not Refworks' security update anymore, but something else. It may be something about our link or our network. In any case, you can definitely click through, and, with any luck, we'll figure this out and eliminate the problem completely. Thanks, Christine at Refworks, for getting back to me so quickly!

(I hate telling people to ignore the security messages they are getting from their browsers, but in these two cases it really is OK to proceed. Generally, do NOT proceed on other sites, especially ones that you don't know anything about. These security systems are in place for a reason and there is a lot of bad stuff out there. So speaks someone who used to help clean out people's computers after they visited certain websites. A few extra clicks is definitely better than reformatting your hard drive.)

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Yale books in Microsoft Live

According to a Yale Library press release, Yale and Microsoft will be adding over 100,000 English language, out-of-copyright books to Microsoft's Live Search ( There are already a good selection of Yale's books in Microsoft's digital book collection, which has gotten a lot less press than Google's digitization projects. While some of the results in a Live search for Yale are behind password walls, the open ones are easily identified by a "100% viewable" note. There's also a little dropdown box to filter your results to just the "100% viewable" ones.

Other digitization projects:
Google Books
Open Content Alliance
Internet Archive's Texts
Project Gutenberg
...more digitized book collections