Monday, November 6, 2017

NEW DATE: December 5, 2017! Hoaxes, memes & bots: Learning how to navigate our polluted information streams

***Update and edit to this post: Unfortunately, Claire Wardle is unable to make it, so we are very happy to welcome her colleague Nic Dias (the day and time remain the same).

New date! Please join LITS for this rescheduled talk in our series on information and technology issues affecting society at large with a lecture by Nic Dias, “Hoaxes, memes & bots: Learning how to navigate our polluted information streams.” The talk will take place Tuesday December 5th, 2017, from 4:15 PM - 5:30 PM in the Williston Library Reading Room at Mount Holyoke College.



Nic Dias is a senior research fellow at First Draft News, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting truth and trust on the internet. He has a background in computational journalism and social science. His recent research interests include the use of bots to boost hyperpartisan perspectives, misinformation and disinformation on social media. In this avenue, he has studied the use of social bots to amplify misinformation in the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Germany—particularly during elections. Other curiosities of his include the psychological principles dictating the correction of false beliefs.

In 2016 the world woke up to the severity of the polluted information environment. This lecture will explain why we need to consider the whole spectrum of the misinformation ecosystem, what we have learned from monitoring disinformation in the French, UK, and German elections, and why we have to stop using the term “fake news.”  Most importantly, it will include practical tips so you can make sure you don't get fooled by the hoaxes, misattributed, and manipulated content that surfaces online.

This event is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served.


LITS is committed to providing universal access to all of our events.  LITS’ event and exhibit spaces are wheelchair accessible.  Please contact accessible-lits@mtholyoke.edu to request disability accommodations.  We ask that requests for accommodations be made as early as possible.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

CANCELED: Hoaxes, memes & bots: Learning how to navigate our polluted information streams

***UPDATE: we're so sorry to report that this event has been canceled for the time being! Please stay tuned to the LITS blog as we are working to re-schedule this talk as soon as we can.***

LITS’ speaker series on information and technology issues affecting society at large continues this month with a lecture by Claire Wardle, “Hoaxes, memes & bots: Learning how to navigate our polluted information streams.” Join us October 19, 2017, from 4:15 PM - 5:30 PM in the Williston Library Reading Room at Mount Holyoke College.


In 2016 the world woke up to the severity of the polluted information environment. This lecture will explain why we need to consider the whole spectrum of the misinformation ecosystem, what we have learned from monitoring disinformation in the French, UK, and German elections, and why we have to stop using the term “fake news.”  Most importantly, it will include practical tips so you can make sure you don't get fooled by the hoaxes, misattributed, and manipulated content that surfaces online.


Claire Wardle is one of the world’s experts on user-generated content and Director of First Draft, a non-profit dedicated to finding solutions to the challenges associated with trust and truth in the digital age.  She has served as Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, head of social media for the UN Refugee Agency, and Director of News Services for Storyful.  Wardle designed and led the social media training for BBC News, training over 4,000 journalists around the world, and currently sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Information and Entertainment.  


This event is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served.


LITS is committed to providing universal access to all of our events.  LITS’ event and exhibit spaces are wheelchair accessible.  Please contact accessible-lits@mtholyoke.edu to request disability accommodations.  We ask that requests for accommodations be made as early as possible.

Monday, September 11, 2017

It's Your Turn, Pegasi -- Senior Study Carrel Choosing is This Weekend!

Carrel sign-ups for the senior class will take place in the LITS Whiting Alcove this Sunday, September 17th, from 9 AM -- 11 AM.

Carrels are assigned on a first come, first served basis, so we recommend that you line up early.  When the library opens at 9 AM, students from Access Services will be at the main entrance to hand out choosing numbers.  A line will then form outside of the Whiting Alcove, which is located on the 6th floor landing that overlooks the atrium.  You will be called in one at a time to make your selection, and floor plans will be available to assist you in choosing your carrel.

There are carrels on both quiet and limited talking floors.  You are encouraged to take a walk through the library to see what is available prior to Sunday.  It is best to come to carrel choosing with a few back-up selections in the event your first choice is taken.

We have a limited number of accessible floors and height-adjustable carrels.  Please let us know if you need one of these when you sign up for your carrel.  We will do our best to grant your request, as space allows.

If you have a scheduling conflict and cannot attend carrel choosing, you can assign a proxy to attend in your place.  Proxy forms are available at the Circulation Desk, require your signature, and must be presented at the time of carrel selection.  Please note that each proxy may make a carrel selection for one senior only.

Sign-up for carrels that remain unassigned after choosing ends at 11 AM will take place at the Circulation Desk, and will continue until all carrels are assigned.

Happy studying, Class of 2018!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Top 5 Things To Know about Moodle 3.1

It may not be obvious at first glance, but we have upgraded our Moodle software and the new version 3.1 comes with some enhancements we think you’ll find handy. Most of these are improvements that make managing a course site easier for faculty, but a few apply to all Moodle users, students and faculty alike. Here are a few highlights.

1- Assignments - especially their grading and feedback:

There’s been a significant overhaul of the assignment tool in Moodle, which will save you steps in reading and commenting on submitted assignments. You can now download selected assignments rather than all or one-at-a-time. You can also do substantial comments and grading, even of submitted Word or PDF documents, right within the Moodle interface. We recommend this short video showing the key features of the revamped Assignment tool.

2- Global Search of Moodle:

Beginning this fall, you will now have the ability to search all your Moodle courses at once. You’ll see a small magnifying glass icon and search box next to your name at the top right of your screen. When you enter search terms there (and apply any filters you like on the next screen), it will search all of your Moodle courses and show you a list of resulting matches. It’s handy for jumping to a specific item you remember, or for pulling together a list of items from different courses.

3- A Recycle Bin:

Faculty: Ever deleted something from your Moodle course and then said “oops”? Now you have a safety net! At the bottom of the Course Administration block you will see a Recycle Bin. Anything you’ve deleted will remain in the Recycle Bin for 7 days and can be restored to your course with just a click.

4- Forum enhancements:

There are a couple of new features available in the Forum activity, one for faculty and one for everyone. Faculty can now “pin” a particular post to the top of a discussion. And all users will now find a permalink function on every post, making it easy to give a link directly to that item. Check out this 90 second video to get a quick look at these Forum features.

5- Other Small Enhancements:

A few smaller, but still handy new functions.

  • Easier Section Editing -- faculty can now change section headings right on the Moodle course page screen. With editing turned on, just click the pencil icon next to the section heading and type in your change. It will immediately change in the course navigation block as well.
  • Bulk Download of Folders -- when resources such as readings, lecture powerpoints, image files, etc., have been grouped into a folder, you now have the option to download the whole folder at once, rather than each individual file.

What's the best way to get quick answers on Moodle questions? Take a look at our Moodle help site.  A lot of the basics are covered there! Or if you prefer, you can always send a question to Research & Instructional Support (ris-d @mtholyoke.edu) or to your specific RIS Liaison.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Alternatives to using the Five College Library Catalog

7/13/2017 Update: 

As of 7/13/2017, the Five College Library Catalog is back online. If you encounter any problems or have questions about library materials that were due or needed to be renewed during the outage, please contact ask-lits@mtholyoke.edu.

Original post: 

As of 7/10/2017, the Five College Library Catalog is temporarily offline, so there are some changes in how you identify and locate certain library materials.

You can:

  • Borrow/check out items from the library.
  • Search in Discover (the main search box on the LITS home page) to find call numbers and locations for print books.
  • If the book location is MH Stacks, write down the call number then either come to the library to see if the book is available on the shelf or call the Circulation Desk at x2622 with the call numbers.
  • If the book location is another library, physically go there and check to see if the book is available on the shelf. You may call their circulation desks, but not all libraries are set up to retrieve books from the stacks on demand.

You cannot:

  • Search for items using the catalog.
  • Request print books from other 5 College libraries.
  • Connect to most ebooks, streaming videos, and streaming audio you locate in Discover.
  • Access your library “My Account” to see the status of holds, due dates for checked out items.
We apologize for the inconvenience and will post an update when the library catalog is functional.

Please let us know if you have any questions. Call or email: x2622, ask-lits@mtholyoke.edu, or ris-d@mtholyoke.edu.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

LITS Student Employee Profile: Sarah Robinson in Web Services

A few minutes ago Sarah Robinson crossed the stage at Commencement, but before that step we asked them a few questions about their three years on the Web Services & Application Development team here in LITS. After you read their answers we encourage you to read more about Sarah's most recent web project!

We're very proud of Sarah and of all of our 2017 graduates, and we wish them the best!
Name: 
Sarah Robinson

Hometown:
New York City

Class Year:
2017

Major/Minor:
Computer science major, mathematics minor

Student Employee Position:
Lead Web Programmer

When did you start working for Web Services?
I started with the Web Team in June of 2014.

How did you hear about the position, and why were you interested?
I found the position through JobX. I was a TA for CS 201 that Spring, but I was looking for an opportunity to learn more about web development and work on cool projects.

What is your favorite LITS Web project thus far? Least favorite?
My favorite project was the most recent version of the campus map that launched in March. The project I enjoyed the least was researching different libraries that could be used for testing projects, since it involved a lot of comparison and not that much coding.

How do you think this position has helped your professional development?
The Web Team helped me develop better programming skills as well as critical thinking and teamwork. After a year working there, I was able to do a software engineering internship with Google as a rising junior.

Favorite class at MHC?
I've enjoyed a lot of classes at MHC; one of my favorites was Christine DeLucia's Place and Power in the American West and Pacific World, because we visited the museum often and worked with objects and atypical sources.

Career goals?


I would like to work in industry as a software developer for a while and continue learning on the job.

Friday, May 19, 2017

LITS Student Employee Profile: Mahima Ghale in Web Services


Mahima Ghale spent several years working in LITS' Web Services & Application Development team. Before she graduates this Sunday we asked Mahima to answer a few questions about her experience working with us as a programmer.

Name: 
Mahima Ghale

Hometown: 
Kathmandu, Nepal

Class Year: 
2017

Major/Minor: 
Computer Science and Math

Student employee position: 
Web Programmer

When did you start working for the LITS Web Team?: 
Freshman year summer (2014)

How did you hear about the position, and why were you interested?
I saw the job in JobX. I wanted to explore web programming which is why I applied.

What is your favorite LITS Web project thus far? Least favorite?
My least favorite one was going through new and old CSS files and delete the unnecessary ones. My favorite one was to develop a Drupal module that would search pages and files based on what their tags or how they are linked on text/html.

How do you think this position has helped your professional development? 
I think this position helped me understand the importance of scalability—it was great seeing how web programming comes into play in a big website like our campus website.

What's next for you? 
I will be working as a full time software engineer.

Favorite class at MHC thus far? 
Stochastic Processes (Math class)