Recently in Tools Category

Libraries on your new iPhone?

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Find the Libraries in the Palm of Your Handmobile.jpg

As mobile devices have become the primary means of Internet access for more and more of our users, we have been busy designing a robust version of our Web site optimized for the small screens of smartphones. On-the-go users can now:

* Search for books, videos, maps, and music, and more using the library catalog.
* Find magazine and journal articles using library databases.
* E-mail citations of the resources you find.
* Browse for article databases that have mobile interfaces.
* Check library building and collection hours.
* Contact librarians by e-mail or phone.
* Look up when your checked out items are due.

The first time you browse to from your handheld device, you will be given the option to automatically be sent to the mobile site for all future visits. Those without Internet-enabled phones can view the mobile site from any computer at

Legal Opinions added to Google Scholar

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Here is something from Google on the addition:

and here is one other blog post from a law librarian who reviewed it:

Top 5 citation apps

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How do you organize your research? There are more and more tools to help:

1. BibMe
2. Citation Machine
3. EasyBib
4. OttoBib
5. Word 2007

Check our our new comparison chart of the citation managers recommended through the libraries: Introduction to Citation Managers Chart

Let me know if you have more questions!

author and share

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I just came across two different ideas on tools that will float above the search engine and both recommend and help you cross platforms with information. I need to read and think a bit more but here they are:

Circulate: (somehow connected to Associated Press?)

Mozilla Labs' Ubiquity

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Google Initiative - OIT

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Have you heard of how Google will be moving into the U of M? Here are some Q/As from the OIT site:

Why is the University moving towards using Google Apps?
Partnering with Google will give University students, faculty, and staff access to a suite of state-of-the art communication and collaboration tools that will enhance their ability to work together. In addition to increased productivity opportunities, Google Apps also will allow the University to save costs in the long run by reducing the need to buy and support software, hardware, and storage to maintain our own independent e-mail service.

What applications will be available?
The University will use the Google Apps for Education Edition, which includes the following applications:

* Gmail (e-mail)
* Google Docs (word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations)
* Google Calendar
* Google Talk (instant messaging)

Keep in mind that the project team still is investigating whether all of these applications will be available in the University Google space.

Read more at:

Zotero 2.0 - Inside Higher Ed

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zotero.jpg"The distinctive thing about Zotero 2.0, now in its beta version, is that it will allow you to store your collection (i.e., digital document archive, plus notes, plus bibliographical data) on a server, rather than on your hard drive. This has at least two important consequences.

The first is that you can add to your Zotero files - or retrieve them - from any computer with web access....

The other major development is that Zotero 2.0 allows users to create groups that can share data. Members of a class or a research group are able to transfer files into a common pool."

Is it time to learn Zotero?

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Why do I want to learn Zotero?
7 Things you should know about Zotero (PDF)

How do I use Zotero?
View our archived workshop
Zotero Basics (58 min)
An introduction to the *free* Firefox extension that allows you to collect, manage and cite your research citations with ease.

Find out more at

I would be happy to share what I know as well if you want to set up a one on one consultation. Email me.


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I tripped across this today:

What do you think? How can it be used in teaching? it gives both news of the day but then the colors indicate where news is happening--e.g. world, health, technology. Interesting example of multimodal information.

What is zotero?

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Zotero seems to be a buzz word these case you want to know a little bit more about you go:

Operation Organization

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summer.jpgAs the weather outside turns nice and as all the finals and grading is finished it is time to turn to other academic pursuits...namely research and writing. It is with relish that I begin research for a paper I am working on. Being a librarian, of course, I love the research part (the writing...not as much).

I can happily follow every rabbit hole I find starting with Library Literature database and then on to Academic Search Premier with a bit of ERIC and Google Scholar thrown a squirrel before winter I collect article after article not just of my current project but also others I am interested in. But how do I organize it all?

There is a similar post in a blog on the New York Times called Defeating Bedlam.

"As a system, it was a little clumsy — photocopying was a bore, and if I wanted to spend a couple of months writing somewhere other than my office, I had to take boxes of papers with me — but it worked. I knew what I had and where it was.

Then the scientific journals went digital. And my system collapsed.

On the good side, instead of hauling dusty volumes off shelves and standing over the photocopier, I sit comfortably in my office, downloading papers from journal Web sites.

On the bad side, this has produced informational bedlam."

I am currently experimenting with Zotero. I am avid user of RefWorks but often get lazy when my focus is keeping up not real research.

Do you have any issues with your organizational schemes? What do you think students need to know of such things?

p.s. The image above is from the Scenery Collections Database.

Great place for Undergrads to start research

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The library homepage can often be overwhelming and confusing for new researchers. We created the Undergraduate Virtual Library as a great starting place for undergrads. It includes a search box and links to Research QuickStart, the Assignment Calculator, Full Text finder and more.

Here is the link:

mylibrary.jpgWe know the University Libraries and the homepage can be overwhelming. We have so much great stuff it can be difficult to get quickly to the most useful places for you. We have a solution.

Do you use the myLibrary tab? This is a page you can use to organize your favorite resources, indexes, ejournals, databases and more. It includes the books you have checked out and dates they are due back.

To get to your page, click on "my Library" from either of the the following two locations.
1. Library homepage:

2. MyU portal

Then as you use the University Libraries, simply click on the "Add to myLibrary" button whenever you see it. It will then become part of your page.

And students can do this too!

Sound good?

Digital Writing tool--Google Docs

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Here are some suggests from Google on how to use Google Docs in the classroom:

including using collaborative writing and their new survey function to get feedback

Assingment Calculator

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Get your students on track for their research and writing assignments with the Assignment Calculator (

The Calculator breaks down the research and writing process into 12 steps and gives students a date by which they should complete that step. It also provides help with each step and sign-up for email reminders.

We are working on enhancing the Assignment Calculator so expect to see a link to a new "beta" version coming soon.

Resources for First Year Writing Instructors

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I have created a page specifically for instructors of FYW with activity suggestions, tools and resources. Please take a look: I will be adding more content over time. If you have any suggestions please let me know and I will add them as well.