Highlights from Computers in Libraries, 2007

In a talk on Web 2.0, Lee Rainie (of the Pew Internet & American Life Project) talked about how more and more people are turning to their friends and connections (he called it 'pinging their network) to validate the info they find online (whether it is professionally produced, like CNN, or more amateurish like 'Ask a Ninja' on YouTube) o So the librarian's job is to be on that network and be available to validate (or discredit) their info

Mary Ellen Bates (search expert) talked up: o scandoo, which is a search engine that checks for malware, phishing, and offensive content in real time. So you can conduct a search and if there is a green check mark by the page, you are OK to proceed. If there is a red X, then you should stay away (for example, that martinluther-king.org site is granted a red X since it is correctly identified as a site built by a hate group) NationMaster.com and StateMaster.com as wonderful sites that provide a very nice aggregation of statistical information - the sites also do a good job of presenting stats in a nice manageable format ANd allow for comparisons OneLook's Reverse Dictionary (start with a definition and end up with the word you need; for example, "fear of bridges" begets you "gephyrophobia") - it's better than a thesaurus

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Jessamyn West (librarian.net) presentation: "Pimp my Firefox" In a presentation on Mobile Search (did you know that there is new domain for mobile websites.mobi?!), the idea of providing SMS Reference Service was broached ('Text a Librarian') o This is something we should look into as Southeastern Louisiana U's Sims Memorial Library is providing this service (using a product from a company called Altarama) as is Curtin School of Technology.

Ellyssa Kroski (of Columbia U) presented on Information Design for the New Web and it was a very worthwhile presentation - she posted it to her blog at InfoTangle Web-based photo editors were much talked about: pixer.us and picnik.com - I prefer pixer.us Helene (silent 'E') Bowers presented on her 'baby' Learning 2.0 (here is her presentation in PDF format: http://www.librarybytes.com/presentations/cil2007.pdf). She makes the following very salient points: o o o Don't confuse learning with training - Learning 2.0 is a learning program not a training program Practice 'radical trust' (in her case, allow for anonymous blogging) "Learning 2.0 [is] really more about providing staff with exposure to...new tools and just encouraging them to get out their comfort zone..."

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Chad Boeninger (of Ohio University) presented on improving instructions with 'Dynamic Instructional Content' o Teach    off a blog, not a handout Blog entry can be printed out by those who prefer print Resources can be linked Assistance is a click away, via an embedded meebome widget or via Skype

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Can serve as a pseudo-tutorial, for those classes that are off-campus (or online)  Offer audio / podcast supplements along with blog entries (use Audacity) Supplement face-to-face with audio (using Audacity, free audio editor and recorder) and/or video For video/screencasting use Wink (which must be rendered before it can be viewed) OR Cam Studio (which saves as AVI, already a video format - so there is no need for rendering)) 

Steven Cohen (of Library Stuff) presented on "What's Hot in RSS" and shared some neat tools and ideas: o o o use page2rss for those pages you follow that lack an RSS feed (!) Justia Dockets allow for *free* PACER searching (for now, it only reaches back to 2006) See what other libraries are adding to their collections via their New Books RSS Feeds (use as inspiration for our own collection development)  http://libraries.ou.edu/rss  http://wally.rit.edu/feeds/ Recommends CiteBite (which allows you to link directly to specific quotes in web pages)


David Lee King shared this bon mot: "Whine with Purpose" (in a talk about Managing Change, for yourself or others) and I like the thought behind it (page 20 of his PDF-formatted presentation). The message I take away is that while complaining for complaining sake is wonderful and seemingly restorative, our workspaces and colleagues are better off of we do more than simply complain but instead offer constructive criticisms and/or solutions relating to the source of the complaint. Gary Price shared his highlights from his ResourceShelf blog: o o o o Webharvest is a distant cousin to archive.org in that it is a web data extraction tool (that requires a download) that allows you to keep (and find) website that go tend to get lost/disappear PortableApps OmniDrive - free online storage also you can use eSnips

Rich Wiggins (of Michigan State U) talked about the importance of the search box (See slide #6) o o Google has trained us to believe in the Search Box Search box = 50% of all user experience!!! 1 out of every 2 website interactions starts and stops with a given site's search box • see duke.edu for manifestation the idea Search Box importance - note how it is centrally located on 1st page of site

Princeton Public Library suggests librarians offer themselves to their patrons as technology gurus by providing 'Technology Training' classes (do *not* call them computer classes). One way to do this is to offer classes in specialized software (dreamweaver, photoshop, etc) and to offer classes relating to the myriad of *free* tools that you can find online o Where to find out about the various free/cool tools:     PC Magazine's Top 101 Sites Time Magazine's 50 Coolest Websites FileHippo Other techie librarian sites