Informania’s guest Anna Bjartmarsdottir talks about Nordic education, Icelandic libraries, literature and music, and the SWIM Information Literacy role-playing modules from Denmark. To be replayed Thursday, 5pm, on KRUA, 88.1

Interview to be replayed Thursday at 5:00pm, November 29, 2012.

Anna Bjartmarsdottir, Asst. Professor of Library Science, shared information about education in Sweden, and universities and libraries in Iceland and the Faeroe Islands.  The following map was found at

The CIA World Factbook includes overview information about countries (like an online Encyclopedia only with more detail like economy, energy, and communications).  For information about Sweden, go to:

For information about Iceland, go to:

For information about the Faroe Islands, go to:

Sources to help you learn Nordic languages, and More…

Resources discussed this week include Mango Languages, a language learning database (that includes Icelandic!) that all Alaskans have free access to thanks to the Alaska State Library and an Interlibrary Cooperation Grant.  To access Mango Languages, go to  You can find Mango Languages under A to Z, or Middle School, High School, and Education categories.  To request a user name and password in Alaska,
call 1-800-440-2919.

Anna talked about the combined national/university library of Iceland in Reykjavik.  When you go to the National and University Library of Iceland’s web page,, you will see the phrase Access to Knowledge for Everyone.  This idea is reinforced with links on the page for Researchers, Students, and International.

Anna also mentioned The Nordic House in Iceland.  Their library web page is .  The link under Nordic Cooperation on this page will explain the idea behind these houses throughout the Nordic countries.

In my pursuit for more information about the Nordic Council, which was mentioned, I discovered the Scandinavian Library Quarterly!  View the current issue, Volume 45, No. 3, 2012, titled Education for Librarianship, at  The Nordic Council has an informative web site also.  Following is a link to the Nordic Council Resources web page:

Innovation in information literacy education in Denmark:

When a question about best practices from Nordic universities / libraries was asked, Anna shared information about an innovative, interactive, role-playing game that places you as a member of a study group researching a topic.  Your success with this group project depends on good information retrieval.  Developed at Aalborg University in Denmark, this tutorial is called SWIM (Streaming Web-based Information Modules).  You can check out SWIM at .  Learn more about the SWIM project at

Speaking of universities,  I mentioned that Governor Brownback of Kansas initiated a program to offers free tuition for training in select state-needed technical professions.  For more detail on this, go to:

Nordic Literature and Music Sources shared by Anna:                        Following is a good article from the Guardian on the “unstoppable rise of Scandinavian Crime Fiction”:

A blog about Scandinavian Crime Fiction

This link provides a great list of authors in the genre

Icelandic Music scene

Icelandic music label and store

Faroe Islands – Music label and store

Music played during Informania, the week of Nov. 26, 2012:                         Information by Dredg, Take a Chance on Me, by ABBA, It’s Oh So Quiet, by Bjork

Interview with Kenrick Mock, UAA Computer Science Professor about Eye Tracking Software and More

Hear interview with Kenrick Mock on Thursday, Nov. 22, 5:00pm on KRUA, 88.1, The Edge in Anchorage, Alaska!  Also available online.

November 19, 9:00-10:00am Alaska time, Deb the Librarian interviewed Kenrick Mock about his patented eye tracking technology and other technological research, the patent application process at UAA and the Computer Science Program.                                                                                                         

Read Kenrick Mock’s vita:

Professor Mock explained that having a patent on the specific eye tracking software allows UAA to have the ownership rights to that technology for 20 years.  He has developed this technology with Bogdan Hoanca.  Watch videos about their eye tracking technology:

Watch a video demo of eye tracking technology

Watch a video of Kenrick Mock talking about eye tracking software  development:  (3:34)

UAA funding for this project initially came from the INNOVATE Award, established by the Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies. This year “the INNOVATE grant is providing up to $200,000.00 to UAA faculty members and researchers in its’ program.  Awards will be announced in December 2012 with funding to begin January 2013.”

Kenrick Mock and Bogdan Hoanca, as co-principal investigators, also received a $126,183 grant from the National Science Foundation to support the “acquisition of high-end eye trackers for research in information management, computer security, learning mathematics, and interdisciplinary research at UAA.” (see Professor Mock’s vita) Congratulations Professor Mock and Professor Hoanca!

Information Resources talked about included:  IEEE and ACM Proceedings that can be searched under, selecting Subjects (in QuickSearch box, and then selecting either Computer Science or Engineering to see the Computer Science and Engineering databases.

I, Deb, mentioned that Poland was adding coding to their elementary school curriculum based on an article I read recently.  Well folks, I was wrong!  The country is Estonia!  Thanks to George Eberhart, Editor of American Libraries Direct for finding this for me.  Even librarians need help finding information!  Read more about Estonia’s implementation of coding into their education curriculum below:

Guess who is winning the brains race?
Jolie O’Dell writes: “It’s Estonia! We’re reading that Estonia is implementing a new education program that will have 100% of publicly educated students learning to write code. Called ProgeTiiger, the new initiative aims to turn children from avid consumers of technology (which they naturally are; try giving a 5-year-old an iPad sometime) into developers of technology (which they are not).”…
VentureBeat, Sept. 4; Tiigrihüpe              The relevant link is:

I also mentioned an article in Oprah Winfrey’s December issue of O Magazine that talks about the development of a comedian robot that adjusts the jokes it tells according to how the audience responds; and the development of robots with different personalities for different functions.  For example, a robot working in a parking garage would have a different personality than a robot working in a preschool.  For more information about the company discussed in this article, go to

Music played today on Informania included: Information, by Dredg;  Somebody’s Watching Me, by Rockwell, Code Monkey by Jonathon Coulton, and A Laptop Like You by Jonathon Coulton

Interview with Mike Robinson, Head of Library Systems, Consortium Library

On November 12, 9:00-10:00am, Deb the Librarian interviewed Mike Robinson, Associate Professor, Library Science, and Head of the Library Systems Department at the UAA/APU Consortium Library about computer technology and online access to information at the Consortium Library.  Library Systems includes 4 employees that oversee the functionality of the Library Catalog and online databases, Library computers and the software that is on them, and web design and development.  They constantly work to enhance online service to students, and keep them all that is offered at the Library.

How many computers does the library have for students to use? 

At this time there are 50 computers available in the Library!  There are 5 computers for people from the community to log in and access the internet (beyond UAA resources) for one hour, but otherwise all of the databases that UAA and the State of Alaska pay for are available to students and guests alike!

The Consortium Library also offers iPads and laptops that students can check out for in-library use.  Library Systems ynamic department; they with the constant evolution of technology, increased need for software on Library computers, and responding to the demand for quick, easy access to library resources.

How is the Library improving access to resources?

QuickSearch, the meta-search box on the Consortium Library’s home page at, was discussed.  QuickSearch searches all of the records in the Library Catalog, including ebooks, and 80-90% of the Consortium Library’s subscription databases, which include the full text of articles.  If you search QuickSearch, you will have the ability to limit your results to scholarly/peer-reviewed articles, books, newspapers, dissertations, and reference sources.  You can also save article or book records and email or print them in one of many popular citation style formats (APA, MLA, etc.).  Another option is to export the records to your RefWorks account.  This is a research management database that allows you to create folders to store the book and article information you use, and create a bibliography from that folder.

I created a brief QuickSearch video, which you can view here:

Subject Guides, which you can link to under the QuickSearch box at, include subject-specific web sites, article databases and other resources relevant to that topic.  These are created by librarians that are liaisons to various UAA Departments.  Take a look at the Subject Guides here:

The Subject Guides have been created using LibGuides software.  To see what LibGuides have been created by other university and public libraries, go to:  You’ll be amazed by the many subjects covered!

Songs played:  Information, by Dredg, Help, by Bananarama, and We Can Work it Out, by Stevie Wonder.

Interview with Professor of Political Science, James Muller, about the History of Elections

On November 5, Deb the Librarian interviewed Political Science Professor James Muller about the History of Elections.

Read Professor Muller’s vita at muller.cfm.

Professor Muller talked about a number of historical elections including the election of George Washington, the election of 1800 (Jefferson vs. Adams), the election of Lincoln in 1860 , and the election of 1932 (Roosevelt vs. Hoover), and the election of 2000 (Bush vs. Gore).

He also explained how the electoral college works, and the constitutional basis of  U.S. elections.  Professor Muller reminded us that it is significant that we can make choices by ballots, since originally the changing of political power was a bit more violent.  He also gave examples of elections that resulted in one candidate winning the majority of popular votes, while the other candidate won the majority of electoral college votes.  This was the case in the 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush.

When I asked Professor Muller about songs related to historic elections, he provide the following list:

1800    “Federal Convivial Song,” “Jefferson and Liberty,” and “Election: The People’s Right” (the last by John J. Hawkins)

1832    “Our Jackson is coming, oh, ho! oh ho!…”

1840    “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”

1860    “We Are Coming, Father Abraham,” “Battle Cry of Freedom,” “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again,” and “Bonnie Blue Flag”

1876    “We’ll Vote for Hayes and Wheeler”

1932    “Happy Days Are Here Again”

1952    “Whistle While You Work, Stevenson’s a Jerk, Eisenhower’s Got the Power, and He Can Do the Work”…

There are many other entertaining songs that politicians have played for campaign purposes.  I found that in 1960, Frank Sinatra had recorded a version of High Hopes for John F. Kennedy’s campaign.  Presidential candidates seem to select songs that make a statement about their philosophy on leading the country, and that engage listeners with enthusiasm and patriotic emotion.