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December 21, 2006

Librarians as Writing Instructors

MINITEX's new CPERS librarian, Rita Baladad, along with Karen Bronshteyn, published the article "Librarians as Writing Instructors: Using Paraphrasing Exercises to Teach Beginning Information Literacy Students" in The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Volume, 32, Number 5, pages 533-536.

"This article promotes the use of paraphrasing exercises and add-ons to information literacy instruction in order for students to gain proficiency in thinking critically about a source and expressing their own voice with the convention of parenthetical citation. Examples are provided for development and assessment of a paraphrasing excise to promote the effective utilization of information."

December 20, 2006

Web-based Chat

There is a new(er) player in the rhealm of chat software available to libraries, a web-based chat tool called meebo. Just like Gaim or Trillian, meebo is a multiplatform IM tool that allows you to talk to anyone with an AIM, Yahoo, GoogleTalk, or MSN screen name. However, Meebo differs from Gaim or Trillian because nothing needs to be downloaded. You just sign in to your (FREE) meebo account and start IM'ing with anyone and everyone.

Another great feature that Meebo has recently unveiled is meebo me. Which is a small web to IM gateway widget that librarians can put on webpages that allows people without IM accounts to IM the library’s screen name. It is pretty much 90% of the functionality of vendor driven web-based chat products….but it is FREE. And it just works. And doesn’t commandeer their whole browser. Etc, etc.

Here’s the full post on the meebo blog: librarian love. There are a few nice, “Yay libraries!” comments on it.

December 19, 2006

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection

The Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection is a general collection of more than 250,000 maps covering all areas of the world. This online collection has been created by the University of Texas at Austin Libraries.

This amazing collection includes maps of:

  • The World
  • Africa
  • The Americas including United States, Canada and Mexico
  • Asia
  • Australia and the Pacific
  • Europe
  • The Middle East
  • Polar Regions and Oceans
  • Russia and the Former Soviet Republics
  • The United States including National Parks and Monuments

    Furthermore, you can find historical maps, outline maps, and maps of current interest (i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Somalia).

    Explore the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection online!!

  • HCL visit

    On a recent trip to Ridgedale Public Library, I was lucky to run into my aunt, Sue Colten, who is a children’s librarian there. I was amazed to see how well Ridgedale has incorporated early literacy steps into their environment http://www.hclib.org/BirthTo6/EarlyLit.cfm.

    Some examples involved magnetic letters to mount on decorated cookie sheets to word games on the floor. The large chandelier cut-outs hanging from the ceiling looked familiar, and when I asked where they were from, I learned that one of the children’s librarians had worked out a partnership with the local Target store to get a few of the large display pieces you see hanging over the lobby areas during the holidays. The teen area was also jazzed up simply by laying a funky wrapping paper over the middle of the table overlapped with contact paper. These simple ideas are very easy to incorporate but really stand out to a visiting librarian and patron. Thank you to all the reference staff at Ridgedale for introducing yourself to me- it is so nice to put a name with a face. The friendliness continued when I visited the Brookdale Public Library, where the information desk staff also introduced themselves to me and assisted me with my microfilm hunt. Thank you HCL for the great service to patrons and fellow librarians!

    Printable Maps of the U.S.

    Made available FREE at nationalatlas.gov, these sets of printable maps include:

  • Congressional Districts for the 109th Congress
  • Federal Lands and Indian Reservations
  • Precipitation of the Individual States and of the Conterminous States
  • Presidential Elections 1789 to 2000
  • Reference and Outline Maps of the United States
  • Satellite View
  • Territorial Acquisitions of the United States
  • Time Zones
  • West Nile Virus 2000

    Check it out!

  • December 18, 2006

    ProQuest Newsstand Complete - Advanced

    To view the complete list of upcoming training sessions and register at no charge please visit:http://www.minitex.umn.edu/train-conf/webinars/.

    ProQuest Newsstand Complete - Advanced
    Wednesday, December 20, 2006 10:00 PM (Central Time)

    National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition

    "The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition has as its mission to support and advance efforts to improve student learning and transitions into and through higher education. We achieve this mission by providing opportunities for the exchange of practical, theory-based information and ideas through the convening of conferences, teleconferences, institutes, and workshops; publishing monographs, a peer-reviewed journal, a newsletter, guides, and books; generating and supporting research and scholarship; hosting visiting scholars; and administering a web site and electronic listservs."

    For a guide to our profession's literature on the First Year Experience and Students in Tranisition see the annotated FYE Bibliography.

    Central Pennsylvania K-16 Information Literacy Network

    The Central Pennsylvania K-16 Information Literacy Network is a website primarily designed to support the K-16 Information Literacy iniatitive of Central Pennsylvania. Their Resources page, however, can be quite helpful to any school library media specialists or academic librarians focusing on instructional programs.

    Family Genealogy and History Internet Education Directory

    Family Genealogy and History Internet Education Directory, a project of V. Chris & Thomas M. Tinney, Sr., established in 1997, offers free coverage of the Genealogy World in a Nutshell. SEARCH This Site, provides updated site search engine access by Google, Pico, and Yahoo!

    "This is a professional worldwide humanities and social sciences mega portal, connected directly to thousands
    of related sub-sets, with billions of primary or secondary family history and genealogy database records. It encompasses all other key worldwide genealogy sites. Our goal is to promote scholarly educational access to all key worldwide Internet genealogical and family history databases and resources. Independent researchers are
    always invited to voluntarily email us, to report any broken, changed, inappropriate, misdirected, new, outdated or undiscovered pertinent genealogy and family history links."

    December 14, 2006

    Strong Ties: 43% of Internet users feel as "strongly" about virtual communities as real ones

    From Darlene Fichter's blog "Blog on the side"...

    The 2007 Digital Future Project annually surveys more than 2,000 people across the USA about the impact of online technology on users and non-users. This year they noted that Internet is finally having a powerful personal and social impact on people's lives.

    Key Findings (PDF):

    Internet use is growing and evolving as an instrument for personal engagement Â? through blogs, personal Web sites, and online communities

    More than 1/5 of online community members have taken off-line actions related to their online involvement

    Participation in online communities leads to social activism with more than 40% saying they participate more

    Number of internet users who blog or post photos is up three fold since 2003

    56.6% log into their community daily

    Internet users are more actively communicating with friends and families since going online and have made new friends

    Time spent with close friends or family face-to-face has not decreasedd since going online

    "The Digital Future Project found continuing growth of the Internet for connection to family and friends Â? but with virtually no negative effects on time spent in person with them."

    Read more at: http://www.digitalcenter.org/pdf/2007-Digital-Future-Report-Press-Release-112906.pdf

    December 12, 2006

    New Library 2.0 Webinar

    MINITEX Reference has added a new webinar to its portfolio looking at Library 2.0. This new webinar will focus on what Library 2.0 is about, aspects of social networking, social networking services and how they relate to libraries, and tools you can use to create a more interactive atmosphere with your patrons and extending the online reach of your library. We will also go online and take a look at what some libraries are currently doing and talk about some of the legal issue that are taking fold around social networking sites and minors.

    Webinars currently available are:
    Wednesday, December 13, 2006 from 12:00pm - 12:45pm
    Thursday, December 21, 2006 from 12:15pm - 1:00pm

    Sessions currently full but have wait lists are:
    Thursday, December 14, 2006 from 12:15pm - 1:00pm
    Monday, December 18, 2006 from 12:45pm - 1:30pm
    Wednesday, December 20, 2006 from 1:45pm - 2:30pm

    More sessions will be added in January. You can look for those here: http://www.minitex.umn.edu/train-conf/webinars/upcoming.asp#140

    New Pew Report on Internet Use and Science Information

    The Pew Internet and American Life Project has just released a new report on the use of the internet for information seekers titled “The Internet as a Resource for News and Information about Science: The convenience of getting scientific material on the web opens doors to better attitudes and understanding of science.” The report found that 40 million Americans use the internet as their first choice for finding news and information about science. Also, overall, 87% of online users use the internet as a research tool, which comes out to about 128 million adults. They found that convenience was the largest reason why people go online first to seek information and that half of all internet users have visited a website that is scientific in content. If you would like to read more about the interesting findings from the Pew report you can access it via this link: http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Exploratorium_Science.pdf

    Biographical Database Covering All Minnesota Legislators

    Staff members at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library are pleased to announce the public availability of a biographical database covering all Minnesota legislators back to territorial times, Legislators Past & Present (http://www.leg.mn/legdb). While a handful of states have lists of legislators available electronically, we believe this resource is unique in the nation.

    For more details on the database, see an article published in the St.
    Paul Legal Ledger, scanned with permission and available at:

    Records have been added for more than 5000 legislators, with added information about each term served by legislators for the most recent 45 years. The database is still a work in progress; we have only scratched the surface of the resources we could use to augment the records, and we plan to improve the searching options.

    As it develops, the database will feature a rich collection of audiovisual and print materials about legislators. For example, the Star Tribune has granted us permission to scan copies of obituaries we have in our print files, and links to video interviews done by the House of Representatives Media Department are included for many recent House members.

    December 5, 2006

    Finding Quotes

    We regularly get requests for finding information about quotes: the correct wording, its origin, or the author of a quote. Sometimes we find what we're looking for and sometimes we don't. Quotes are a tricky one. While we rely mainly on the resources here at the University of Minnesota Libraries, they too can be limiting. That is why when we come across a good resource, especially for quotes, we bookmark them for future use. We also like to share the knowledge of resources available, especially when they are free!

    Here is one we have come across as an addition to our arsenal of quotation resources: The Literature Network, http://www.online-literature.com/advancedsearch.php. This is a good resource when you want to locate a particular quotation by searching through a database of the author's works. As I mentioned, it is a free resource so you will have to deal with banner ads and the ocassional pop-up, but still, it's a good resource.

    December 4, 2006

    Southwestern Ohio's Return from Investment

    Economic Benefit Study Released November 29, 2006
    Southwestern Ohio's Return from Investment
    in Public Libraries Nearly 4 to 1
    A new study released November 29, 2006 shows that nine public library systems in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties in Southwest Ohio create an annual economic impact of nearly four times the amount invested in their operations. The report from Levin, Driscoll & Fleeter in Columbus concludes that, using a conservative measure of value the libraries' cumulative expenditure of about $74 million returned a quantifiable direct economic benefit of $238.6 million, or $3.81 for each dollar expended in 2005. The study also recognizes that these libraries add significant value to their users and communities that cannot be assigned a dollar value including, "improved economic prospects and an enhanced quality of life."

    Read more at: http://9libraries.info/docs/EconomicBenefitsStudy.pdf

    Reference Notes November 2006

    Check out November's Reference Notes at: http://www.minitex.umn.edu/publications/refnotes/2006/nov2006.pdf

    Career College Libraries: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

    Here is an article written by Melissa Aho, a career college librarian at the Minnesota School of Business.

    Career College Libraries: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly in LIScareer for Novemeber 2006