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October 31, 2006

WebJunction Spanish Language Webinar

Spanish Language Outreach In Depth: Conversation Clubs/Talk Time - Beyond the ESL Class! Join us November 14 from 1-2pm ET.
Go to: http://webjunction.org/do/Navigation?category=14186

LISZEN: Library Blog Search engine

LISZEN: Library Blog Search engine
from http://librarianinblack.typepad.com/librarianinblack/2006/10/liszen_library_.html
By sarahfaery@hotmail.com

Ever want a Technorati-esque site that would only search for biblioblogosphere posts? Well, your wait is over! Per an announcement on the Library Zen blog, LIS Student Garrett Hungerford has created LISZEN, a library-blogs-only search engine that trolls 530 different library-related blogs. The site has been up and down today as, I suspect, we have overloaded the server. Many readers have commented with suggestions for improving the engine. Keep an eye on it!!!

October 30, 2006

MLA Emerging Technologies Webcast

This is a GREAT follow-up to the "Best New Technologies" College of DuPage teleconference that MINITEX hosted.


The University of Minnesota's Bio-Medical Library is a NN/LM Greater Midwest Region Sponsored host site for the MLA Emerging Technologies Webcast: Moving at the Speed of Byte: Emerging Technologies for Information Management. The Webcast is Wednesday, November 8 from 1 to 3 p.m.

For more information on the content of the webcast, see http://www.mlanet.org/education/distance_ed/technologies/index.html

It will be shown at Bio-Medical Library in Diehl Hall 555. To get to Diehl Hall 555, take the elevator in the library lobby to the 5th floor. Go left out of the elevator, and follow the signs to 555.

Please contact Cindy Gruwell ( gruwell@umn.edu or 626-3995) to register to attend or if you have any questions.

October 20, 2006

New technologies teleconference 10/27

Did you know you can view the College of DuPage Challenges & Opportunities and Soaring to Excellence teleconference?

This conference will be a nice discussion of web 2.0 tools, such as wikis, blogs, and social bookmarking. (To prep for this webinar consider watching our recorded webinars on podcasting and folks-a-what? Visit http://www.minitex.umn.edu/train-conf/webinars/archived.asp to view them!)

To register to attend this teleconference at Wilson Library, go to http://www.minitex.umn.edu/train-conf/teleconference.

To register to stream to your desktop, go to https://www.cod.edu/secure/software/registerteleconf.htm. Residents of MN, ND, and SD will not be charged. College of DuPage will forward links directly to registrants.

Soaring to Excellence 2007: Library 2.0 and Beyond

Best New Technologies: Keeping Up with the Storm

Friday, October 27, 2006

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM (Central Time)

S30B Wilson Library

West Bank Area, University of Minnesota


Description: New technologies keep coming at a rapid pace, and librarians are subject to the stress of being expected to both absorb and implement them. Is there any surprise that the challenges faced in keeping up with this storm of new technology is where the talk turns when librarians gather? Our cause for optimism is that a handful of these new technologies may actually help librarians to more effectively connect with their communities and involve community members in developing resources and content.

This program will examine the challenges librarians face as we enter the world of Web 2.0. It will explore several of the newest technologies, investigate why librarians are adopting them and how they're being used, and examine sensible approaches to choosing and implementing the technology that are right for your library.

Speakers:

Steven Bell, Director of the Paul J. Gutman Library, Philadelphia University
Aaron Schmidt
Fee: No charge; registration is required.

To register to attend this teleconference at Wilson Library, go to http://www.minitex.umn.edu/train-conf/teleconference.

To register to stream to your desktop, go to https://www.cod.edu/secure/software/registerteleconf.htm. Residents of MN, ND, and SD will not be charged. College of DuPage will forward links directly to registrants.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

We look forward to seeing you later this month!

Cool FREE science simulations

I can’t take credit for finding these resources, the booth next to ELM’s at the STEM conference was demonstrating these to teachers and it was a HUGE hit!

These agent based simulations can be used to demonstrate a variety of concepts in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and social systems. There are many tools that do this but two of the “best” are NetLogo and Breve.

I can’t take credit for finding these resources, the booth next to ELM’s at the STEM conference was demonstrating these to teachers and it was a HUGE hit!

These agent based simulations can be used to demonstrate a variety of concepts in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and social systems. There are many tools that do this but two of the “best” are NetLogo and Breve.
• Both are open source projects, so they’re free for you (and your students) to download and use. netLogo can be found at http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/ and breve can be found at http://www.spiderland.org
• Both run on a variety of platforms, including Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows.
• Both come with pre-built demos, so you can demonstrate a variety of concepts without ANY programming on your part! (i.e. ants foraging for food, evolution of walking)
• They also come with built in programming languages so you and your students can build new simulations.

*Copied from Nic McPhee’s handout.

STEM Conference

Mary Parker and I exhibited at the STEM conference (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Education. We interacted with a few eager teachers who never have heard of ELM before and wanted to learn how to incorporate it into the classroom. See a few examples in the extended entry!

Mary Parker and I exhibited at the STEM conference (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Education. We interacted with a few eager teachers who never have heard of ELM before. They were very excited to see a few things that we demoed in their areas of interest, such as:
1. Find the publication Nature. Can you read all the articles from this journal? (Academic Search Premier)
2. Where can you view a video on the Doppler Effect or see a speech by Albert Einstein? (Discovering Collection)
3. Where is the journal Science Teacher? (Professional Collection)
4. The book Windows XP for Dummies is located where? (NetLibrary- depending on the library’s collection)
5. What database can you locate reliable information for an animal report for K-5? (Kids InfoBits)
6. What resource gives you a timeline for your project? (Research Project Calculator)
7. Teacher toolbox, which contains worksheets on citing sources ad other information literacy is provided by which vendor? (Gale databases)
8. An old photograph of a Mayo brother performing surgery could be located where? (MDL)

Try some of these examples in an in-service session or meeting with teachers in the STEM subject areas to illustrate how powerful ELM is for them in the classroom!

Technology Integration & You Tube dilemma

While at the MEMO conference the Reference Staff were invited by TIES to participate in their Key Instructional Contacts monthly meeting that following Tuesday. I was able to attend and meet many technology staff members from schools such as Wayzata, Blake, Eden Prairie and so forth. The meeting was very interesting with several examples of in-house surveys that were created and administrated to measure technology integration in the classroom. During the open agenda discussion the topic of video sites was brought up (i.e. You Tube and Google Video) to determine what the practices of the schools were. It was split about 50/50 that some blocked the sites completely, others “heavily” filtered, but a few were encountering issues at their schools, especially if they offered video production courses- these are the sites that teachers often pull good and bad examples from. One suggestion, that I particularly liked, was to restrict the sites from the whole school but allow access to the IP address for the teachers’ computers only. Very interesting dilemma they are now facing. I look forward to their next meeting in December which will discuss student testing standards.

October 17, 2006

Reference Notes September 2006

September 2006

Reference Notes August 2006

August 2006

Southwest Minnesota – A Circuit Rider’s Report

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I may not have been on horseback riding along roads winding through the prairie but by the way of a University of Minnesota Twin Cities vehicle, I found situated in the wide-open, sunny corner pocket of southwest Minnesota the Pioneerland Library System office (PLS) in Willmar and the Plum Creek Library System office (PCLS) in Worthington. I had the pleasure of visiting both sites in September and discussing such topics as current reference trends, MINITEX reference referral service, ELM training and technical support, and small town and rural library needs.

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In my conversations with Amanda Raetzman and Ralph Hansen at Willmar Public Library and Mary Rae Oxborrow and Chris Lang at PCLS, I learned that though many are experiencing an overall trend of fewer reference questions libraries continue to be a very active and busy place with patrons utilizing computers and Internet resources, checking materials out, browsing, and leisure reading in comfortable chairs. Moreover, most of the reference questions received by library staff nowadays tend to be the kind that take a little more time and require the use of reference resources that a particular library may or may not own as well as skillful use of specialized databases. The databases included in the Electronic Library for Minnesota are those that many library staff turn to in answering those questions.langoxborrow.jpg

Each office and library I visited provided a link to the ELM Portal (http://www.elm4you.org) along with additional resources for their patrons. Whether it’s the lack of resources needed to answer a question or a matter of not having the time due to various job demands please take advantage of the reference referral service provided by the MINITEX Reference staff. Questions can be submitted over the phone using 1-800-462-5348, e-mailed to mtxref@umn.edu, or sent in via the web form at https://www.minitex.umn.edu/reference/refdb/index.asp. We are happy to take any reference question with which some assistance is needed.

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While in the southwest region of Minnesota, I also enjoyed providing four training workshops on using the ELM databases, two each at Benson Public Library and Slayton Public Library. slayton.jpg
Each hosting library had a computer lab outfitted with presentation equipment and Internet connectivity. Public and school library staff attended and made for an engaging workshop. During the workshops, we examined each of the databases by vendor addressing updates, search features, search results management, limiters, publication title lists, and other aspects such as EBSCOhost’s folder features, Gales’ Tool Box, and viewing e-books in NetLibrary. We also had time to do practice searching with sample questions and sharing a variety of ways to answer those questions. Near the end of each workshop, I discussed the multiple ways in which the ELM databases are and can be accessed. It was a fruitful workshop for all – myself included! If you would like to host an ELM training workshop at your library, please give us a call at 1-800-462-5348 or e-mail us at mtxref@umn.edu.

I learned much on my trip to southwest Minnesota libraries and hopefully met training expectations, but one thing that has impressed me the most is that the library staff are working hard to maintain a well-functioning, purposeful library and provide much needed quality services to their patrons and community despite limited finances and/or resources. This is a battle faced by most libraries these days, to be sure, and the small town and rural libraries of southwest Minnesota are facing the challenge and maintaining their friendly spirits.

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Post Script – 350,000 lbs. of Sod
On my drive from Willmar to Worthington I didn’t have time to visit historic Walnut Grove, but I did stop to discover a soddy and dugout, replicas of an original sod house and dugout designed and built by farmer Stan McCone in 1987 near Sanborn about ½ mile off U.S. Route 71. (These replicas include some lumber from an 1890 flourmill that once stood in Minneapolis Butler Square, glass windows, and a wood burning stove – definitely an upscale soddy.)

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I was fortunate to meet Stan and his wife, Virginia. It was a lifelong dream of his, and it has been featured on a History Channel series called “Save Our History.” The episode title, however, is Frontier Homes. Find it in WorldCat, another state-funded ELM resource, and see who owns a copy in Minnesota!
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October 11, 2006

Publications

We want to know about publications by the librarians in the tri-state region. Have you published something, or know a colleague who has? Please provide us the citation and a brief summary and post it to the blog, so we may spread the word about your accomplishment!

October 2, 2006

Offender Records

Wondering what some of our questions are? Recently, I was asked to locate information regarding a historical crime, and confirm whether or not the person was still in prison. During the research process I stumbled upon, with guidance of a warden, the Department of Corrections Offender Search at http://info.doc.state.mn.us/publicviewer/main.asp. Here one is able to locate if a person is still under the Commissioner of Corrections jurisdiction.

Name change

FYI- Kristen Meyer has changed her name to Kristen Mastel. Her e-mail and phone number will remain the same.