Friday, March 12, 2010

My Favorites Feature in CONTENTdm: Providing Students and Faculty with More Digital Library Power for Research and Study

The Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository (DMR) system includes more than 200,000 digital assets across 89 collections. These digital resources, each of which has a research and teaching focus, can be searched, read, played, and captured for class presentations, lectures and other research endeavors. The My Favorites module in the CONTENTdm system includes a variety of useful tools for repurposing these digital assets for academic use.

The My Favorites link can be found on the Global Menu bar in the DMR, At this site, users are presented with the My Favorites page, which includes controls in the left column and any objects marked for inclusion in My Favorites on the right. Of course, users must select digital assets as they search or browse the DMR with the “add to favorites” option to populate My Favorites. CONTENTdm allows up to 100 digital objects to be saved in My Favorites.

The BSU PowerPoint Generator is the last option in the My Favorites left column. This powerful tool was developed by library personnel for use with the CONTENTdm system. The BSU PowerPoint Generator creates presentation files with images and metadata that can be used on Windows and Mac OS X systems. The Library Insider highlighted this timesaving tool in an article in the October 2009 issue, page 11, a link to which is available on the University Libraries’ homepage.

The first four options in the My Favorites left column are viewing and sorting features for digital objects:

Slideshow viewer – Create a display of digital image files saved in My Favorites for viewing in a new window with slideshow controls. Available within every installation of CONTENTdm.

Compare feature – Select two objects in My Favorites for a side-by-side comparison in a new window. From the new window, choose another digital image to compare.

Remove item – Easily remove items from My Favorites by selecting the object number and clicking the remove button. An “are you sure” prompt is presented before the object is removed from My Favorites.

Move item – Sort or rearrange items in My Favorites using their object numbers.

The fifth option in the left column, “Save as a Web page,” provides the opportunity to create a new Web page with links to objects in My Favorites. Click the “Create” button to build a custom HTML-formatted Web page that can be loaded into Blackboard or linked on a Web site for use by students or colleagues. The objects on the saved page are clickable, leading the viewer back to the record for the object in the DMR. The filename under which the file is saved will be used to create a title presented at the top of the page.

For more information, contact Bradley D. Faust, Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services,, 765-285-8032.

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