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May 30, 2007

Weinberger Gives Google Tech Talk

I mentioned David Weinberger's book Everything is Miscellaneous before. Librarians may find Weinberger's ideas complete ANARCHY. To think content on the web is growing and being organized in a miscellaneous manner with no authority may make you think that librarianship and library science is destined for the abyss like strawberry phosphates and candy cigarettes. That's not what Weinberger gets at in a recent Google Tech Talk he gave May 10th.

On the web, we now develop and own the tools to organize content on the web. It is no longer controled by an authoritative voice. We are not viewing this content in terms of Melvel Dewey but is terms of clusters of information and how they relate to us on a personal level. He talked about faceted classification Which allows you to browse in a tree-like fashion except you get to pick what's the root and what's the branch. For example, you can start out a search for 20th Century, then author's country of birth, then by gender, then change it all. In other words, you get to construct the tree. He also talked about how tagging has taken off. It's popular because we get to create our own categories. The reader decides what the content is about, what is means to them, how it relates to them.

Another concept he talked about was in comparing old world categories and new web categories. With old world categories information was excluded based on physical space. There was just not enough room to include everything. In the new web world, you can include everything because there is no space requirement. If something is not needed right now, postpone taxonomy until the user uses it. You can't know what people's interests are or will be so include everything.

Wikipedia: Something I found interesting is the statement that because Wikipedia is willing to admit their lack of credibility makes them more credible. Wikipedia is a good example of how we are building a rich layer of meaning that we can draw upon. We're doing this for ourselves and will be doing it for generations to come.

Very interesting talk. If you have the time (57 minutes) I would suggest taking a look at it. If anything, it will spark your interest in how librarians will grow and work with the web in the years to come.

Immigrants in Minnesota

Here are a few resources about Immigrants in Minnesota that would benefit both media specialists and teachers alike.

Immigration in MN Overview from the Minneapolis Foundation: http://www.minneapolisfoundation.org/immigration/overview.htm

Immigrants in Minnesota from MDL: http://mndigital.org/news_events/news_events.htm#educators

Energy of a Nation: Immigration Resources from the MN Advocates for Human Rights: http://energyofanation.org/Lessons3.html

QuotationsBook Launches Network for Finding Quotes

QuotationsBook Launches Network for Finding Quotes

May 29, 2007 — 12:42 AM PDT — by Kristen Nicole

QuotationsBook is a newly launched service that will find quotes from noted authors and provide additional information regarding the particular quote you need.

QuotationsBook acts as an online resource for quotes. You can search by author or by subject, and QuotationsBook offers a good amount of related quotes based on author and tag words that have been assigned. It’s also integrated a “suggestions” feature that operates like Google’s own Suggest tool, giving you search ideas as you type in your query. This is most helpful if you don’t know how to spell an author’s name. QuotationsBook has also included several ways in which to get your quote fix in every day. Choose from its RSS feed, email, or widget for having quotes delivered. As a registered member, you can save quotes to your own account, and see what quotes they’ve saved as well.

NYPL Best of Reference 2007

New York Public Library has released its' list of Best of Reference 2007: Big Top Reference.  Some of the items on the list include WorldCat, Pew Hispanic Center, Technorati, Wayback Machine, Google Patent Search along with recently published encyclopedias and other reference resources.  To see the complete list, visit: http://www.nypl.org/branch/books/index2.cfm?ListID=338

Customized Search Engines Discussed

Wondering how to apply the Google Customized Search Engine field to the library world, or to assist your patrons?  Read the latest issue of the Google Librarian Newsletter.  the article "Google Custom Search Engine: A Powerful Tool for Knowledge Experts" by Dan Appleman, provides a wonderful and powerful look as to how this feature enables software developers accomplish desired tasks more quickly and efficiently.  To read the article, visit: http://www.google.com/librariancenter/newsletter/0705.html

A library specific Customized Search Engine that has already been created is the Librarian's E-Library, at: http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=015271347771663724636%3Acmwvisovdsg

Another interesting website I found perusing the Internet is on Search Engine Showdown.  They compare six customized search engines with the topic of State Libraries.  See what you think of each search engine, visit: http://www.searchengineshowdown.com/cse/search-state-libraries/

As posted before, MINITEX has created tutorials on how to create a Google Customized Homepage and a Google Custom Search Engine.  To view these tutorials, visit: http://www.minitex.umn.edu/train-conf/webinars/archived.asp#149


May 29, 2007

Minnesota Rural Summit, 2007

Recently, I attended the MN Rural Summit held this year in Brainerd, May 10-11. There were about 200 in attendance to hear talks on improving community involvement in creating public spaces on interest, the digital divide and how to close in on that gap, and health care and education trends for the future. Unfortunately, the Rural Summit will be taking a break while organizer, Jane Leonard, focuses her efforts as Chair for the 2008 Minnesota Sesquicentennial that will be held next May. In the photo above, MN Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, and Dr. Reatha Clark King, Vice-Chair of the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission (holding the banner) and Jane Leonard hand over the "Official" Sesquicentennial banner and a book to Mary Ann Van Cura, Coordinator of Library Development and Continuing Education at Minnesota State Library Services. The banner and book will make its way to public libraries throughout the state over the course of the year in celebration of the upcoming state sesquicentennial. People will be encouraged to write their stories in the book to be shared as part of the celebration. Look for the banner and book at a library near you!

Surgery videos




They are more doctor-training than nurse-training oriented, but at least you can see the procedure. And if you actually need to have the procedure yourself, you can get an idea of what it will be like -- if you really want to know!

This is from a post on the LIBREF-L listserv by Phyllis Bratton.  This resource is great for science lirbarian in acadmeics to link to and promote; media specialists to aid their biology and other science classes in K12; public lirbarians to aid patrons in researching an upcoming procedure they or someone they know might be having. 

There are all sorts of videos of real surgeries on Medline here:



The Four Habits of Highly Effective Librarians

This article from the “Careers” section of the 5/23/07  “Chronicle of Higher Education” is worth a read.  To view the article, visit:


Also will be available on MasterFILE Premier in a month through ELM (1 month embargo).

May 24, 2007

Digg this, Tag that!

Have you ever dugg an article, blog or profile before? Digg is a social networking site that allows users (you, me and everyone we know) to submit and "digg" a story - vote on it's popularity or bury it based on a yay/nay, like/dislike attitude. If a story gets enough diggs it get promoted to the front page showing the number of diggs (votes) next to the title. Stories can also be posted to a user's blog as soon as they digg it. If you blog or write stories online (for your library or for personal enjoyment or necessity) posting your story to Digg will help give your site and writing more exposure and bring more traffic to your site.

Why do I care? You may ask. Well, as one librarian, the Connecting Librarian states,

For [stories] to get a lot of diggs, either the people posting the stories have to know a lot of people who they encourage to digg their entry, or it is an entry of great interest to a wide variety of people. Either way, its something that's of interest to a lot of people and therefore I think that I, as a public librarian, should be aware of.

Digg is not the only site out there that does this kind of thing. Another site that works on the same concept, stumbleupon actually has more registered users than (the popular) Digg. However, stumbleupon not only uses categories (mediated source) to separate and organize stories, like Digg, they also use tags (social networking) to organize stories. This form of filtering actually gives stumbleupon a leg up on Digg as far as user contributed content control.

Again, you may say, what do I care? You should, because as librarians, as organizers of content, we need to be looking at how users of the world wide web are not only categorizing and organizing content on the web, but also, how they perceive the information - important/not important. That's what these types of user-driven social content ranking sites are doing. They are letting us know what information people deem important and popular. Our role as filter for finding/suggesting best sources comes into play here as well as a good scrutinizing eye.

btw, if you would like more info about these sites and others like them, TechCrunch has a good article with summaries of major players.

NEW June 1 Teleconference Licensed by MINITEX

Copyright in the Digital Age: An Update

Friday, June 1, 2007
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM (Central Time)
S30B Wilson Library
West Bank Area, University of Minnesota

This is a national teleconference with an in-depth look at copyright issues facing librarians and educators in the digital age. This program expands on the highly successful copyright program aired in September of 2004, providing updates and new insights on international issues that impact the national scene. It promises to be both challenging and thoughtful.

• Kenneth Crews, Samuel R. Rosen II Professor, Indiana University School of Law
• Tomas Lipinski, Associate Professor, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
• Miriam Nisbet, Legislative Counsel, ALA Washington Office
No charge; registration is required
To register to attend this teleconference at Wilson Library, go to http://www.minitex.umn.edu/train-conf/teleconference.

Streaming to your desktop is not available for this teleconference. MINITEX is licensing one site. For more information about the teleconference and to host a downlink site at your organization, visit: http://www.dupagepress.com/COD/index.php?id=1281

An archived version of the teleconference will be available via streaming video. It will be active for approximately 30 days after the broadcast. MINITEX will also have a video of the teleconference available for checkout (information to follow).

Don’t miss out on this great professional development and enrichment opportunity!

Other Regional Downlink Sites

South Dakota State University
Briggs Library
To register, contact: Susan Schleicher, 605.688.5571, Susan.Schleicher@sdstate.edu

May 23, 2007

Web-Based Instant Messangers Reviewed

Robin Good of masternewmedia.org has put together this excellent and comprehensive Web-Based Instant Messangers: A Mini-Guide review of the top 12 clients available. In the review Good and his team give us a Comparison Chart the looks at presence awareness, supported IM networks, file sending, chat conferencing, history (text chat recording), personalized avatar, secure / encrypted communication, VoIP audio support, and video support functionality.

For a while now, I have been reading the reviews and write ups Robin Good gives about online communication and collaboration tools. The information he provides is invaluable and has led me to many new discoveries of fantastic tools that can be easily applied to libraries and services. Now you know one of my many resource jems that I use to hunt down information in this field!

May 21, 2007

Video streaming and checkout available for College of DuPage previous teleconferences

MINITEX is pleased to announce that availability of the highly popular (based on numerous Reference Services blog comments and attendee discussions) College of DuPage Library Challenges and Opportunities teleconference, “The Relevance of Libraries in a Digital Age."

The following streaming video link is available for teleconference. It will be active for approximately 30 days after the broadcast.


The video in VHS form may be checked out from MINITEX, and will be available in a few weeks.

The video from the College of DuPage Soaring to Excellence teleconference, “The Best from the Web” if now available for checkout!

The video in VHS form may be checked out from MINITEX by completing the below electronic form, or contacting Betsy Swanson at bestys@umn.edu or 1-800-462-5348.

Past teleconferences checkout form: http://www.minitex.umn.edu/train-conf/teleconference/checkout.asp
Don’t miss out on these great professional development and enrichment opportunities!

May 16, 2007

Teleconferences - Check it out!

I have attended a number of College of DuPage teleconferences sponsored by MINITEX this past year. Each teleconference has been thought-provoking, challenging, and great material for discussions. Some of them have been in an interview format of one or two librarians while others have had several guest panelists addressing particular topics, issues, or challenges in today's libraries.

The interviews have included Steven Bell, Director of the Paul J. Gutman Library, Philadelphia University and Aaron Schmidt commenting on new Web 2.0 technologies and their possible library applications and challenges. Another outstanding teleconference was an interview of Rachel Singer Gordon author of The NextGen Librarian's Survival Guide in which she presented a very balanced approach to the popular current issue of generational perspectives in the library workplace.

The panels have wrestled with charged issues such as the state of library education, professional development, and certification as well as library relevance in the digital age.

If you have not been able to attend these teleconferences in person, please check out the desktop streaming opportunities and borrowing past teleconferences on VHS tape to share with your colleagues. These are bound to inspire and spark good discussion in your own library.



From Calisphere:

"Calisphere is the University of California's free public gateway to a world of primary sources. More than 150,000 digitized items -- including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts -- reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. Calisphere's content has been selected from the libraries and museums of the UC campuses, and from a variety of cultural heritage organizations.

Calisphere is a public service project of the California Digital Library (CDL). Through the use of technology and innovation, the CDL supports the assembly and creative use of scholarship for the UC libraries and the communities they serve. Learn more about the CDL."

May 15, 2007

The Web: 2012

May 7, 2007 A panel on the future of commerce, journalism, and community on the Internet, featuring Barry Diller, Arianna Huffington, and Craig Newmark. Moderated by Ken Auletta. From "2012: Stories from the Near Future," the 2007 New Yorker Conference.

May 14, 2007

Join Me in Library 2.0 Land

A couple of months ago I joined the social networking group Library 2.0 which was created by Bill Drew. It's kind of like MySpace except it's only for librarians. I've have some finding looking at librarian profiles, playing with my own page, and creating my friend's list. I even was able to connect with a classmate from library school. It's been fun seeing what other librarians are up to having this other space to socialize in. If you decide to create a profile I would be happy to be your friend!

May 10, 2007

Learning 2.0

Recently on the ILI-listerv (ACRL's Instruction Section Information Literacy Instruction Discussion List) a discussion thread has been started on ways to deliver staff training for libraries on topics such as Web 2.0.

One of the members responded by pointing to an online resource called "Learning 2.0." It is a resource that can be customized and tailored to your own institution. The right-hand column provides links to other libraries doing the Learning 2.0 program.

May 9, 2007


Wow! This is a terrific video "starring" Vermont librarian, Jessamyn West. It shows her installing "Ubuntu" to two computers that were donated to The Calef Library in Washington, Vermont. Ubuntu comes bundled with Open Source software such as OpenOffice, Gimp (like Photoshop), Firefox, and Gaim (Instant Messenger). This is a great work-around for those who do not want to or cannot purchase various software programs. Check it out!

Encyclopedia of Life

Recently launced is a new "Wikipedia-like" website for biology enthusiasts, Encyclopedia of Life. The goal of the project is to create a free online resource that catalogs and describes all the planet's known species.

Exploring the Intersection of Gaming and Libraries

From American Libraries Direct:

Researchers from the Syracuse University School of Information Studies, the American Library Association (ALA), and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, are working together to research games in libraries through a project called Game Lab. Researchers will tackle the development of a classification structure for games and determine the public good served by the library that provides gaming programs. To read the entire article

To follow the work of this project check out the Game Lab blog

Wild Music - Experience the Sounds & Songs of Life

If you haven't yet visited the traveling exhibition, "Wild Music," at the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, you may want to as it moves on to Raleigh, NC on May 14th. The final day is this Sunday, May 13th.

It's a large exhibition at 4,000 square feet and is a production of the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music. Additionally, major support has also come from the National Science Foundation. Harman International, Inc. and the NEC Foundation of America are supporters as well. For more on the exhibition

However, if you won't be visiting the Science Museum of Minnesota this week or weekend, check out the "Wild Music" website - this can be a great source for student activities and/or personal enjoyment long after the exhibit has traveled far from Minnesota. The site can be viewed in English or Spanish.

Experience "Wild Music" online!

May 8, 2007

MNSCU Librarians Day

MINITEX was invited to participate in the session “Creating Online Information/Library Tutorials: Finding Best Practices” at MNSCU Librarians Day on May 1 at North Hennepin Community College. Sara Ring and Carla Steinberg Pfahl contributed to the presentation. Through examples of Articulate Presenter and Camtasia I illustrated some best practices and how MINITEX distinguishes tutorials from archived webinars. The handouts included a sheet of Recommendations for settings within Camtasia, along with a comparison of various tutorial products. I presented after a gentleman from the company Lode Star, which MNSCU will have a license to use to create tutorials- again Lode Star, like Camtasia, etc. does all the coding for you, so you just plug in your content and away you go. After my presentation Tom Eland from Minneapolis Community and Technical College discussed their direction and goals for tutorials in the distance learning arena and also to supplement in class instruction. The session brought up much discussion of best practices- hopefully this topic will be discussed further at MNSCU and statewide events.

Bill DeJohn Receives U of MN President's Award

University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks has notified Bill DeJohn that he will receive the 2007 President's Award for Outstanding Service.

Bruininks wrote:

I am delighted to give you this well-deserved recognition for your remarkable work. With this award you become a member of an elite group of faculty and staff members of the University community.

Your excellence is a model for your colleagues and co-workers to emulate. True to the mission of this great land-grant institution, you have done more than your share to make this outstanding university one of the preeminent institutions in the nation. Thank you and congratuiations on a job well done.

Bill will be honored during a reception at Eastcliff, the University President's residence on June 26, and he will be recognized at the next meeting of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents on June 8.

Congratulations Bill!

Miscellaneous gets reviewed

David Weinberger's new book Everything is Miscellaneous is reviewed by Karen Schneider on the ALA tech blog. I've been looking forward to this new book for some time now. Schneider calls the book "dangerous" - all you old-school semantic web lovers will cringe!

So long with order, so long with most relevant information. Instead Weinberger discusses the evolution of the web and digital content as ever-changing, shifting in meaning. The importance is not about what we find and the most relevant of information we are seeking, but to focus on the richness of relationships and more of a free-form catalog. This idea may scare some librarians but this book should not be overlooked or his ideas tossed aside. This book is definitely on my summer "must read" book list.

MN ESL, Bilingual & Migrant Education Conference

On Friday, May 4, MINITEX Reference Services exhibited at the MN ESL, Bilingual & Migrant Education Conference. I was amazed by the great turnout and amount of inquiring attendees, especially ESL and ELL K12 teachers that have never heard of ELM. They were VERY interested to hear that the databases were broken down by grade levels, and each entry had reading level indicators. The K12 teachers also perked up to hear that many education journals were freely accessible to them through the Professional Collection and Academic Search Premier.

We presented two mini presentations at the conference. One was an ELM Overview and the other was strictly on Informe. Both sessions were presentation based, but Q&A occurred during each slide. They were very dynamic groups, who wanted to know as much as possible about the resources, and gobbled up every extra handout that was left to pass along to their colleagues (too bad it wasn’t a full-day workshop)!

The booth next to me was the MN Advocates for Human Rights, and the representative there was the one who created teacher packets on immigration history and rights, complete with PowerPoint presentations. I told her abound MN Reflections and how she can find images and documents of early immigrants to MN, and she was overjoyed to know of such a resource to incorporate into her presentations.

The conference was a HUGE success, and we look forward to attending again next year!

May 7, 2007

Last Teleconference of the Season

Join MINITEX for the last College of DuPage teleconference for the 2006-2007 season!

College of DuPage Teleconference

Library Challenges & Opportunities 2007

The Relevance of Libraries in a Digital Age

Friday, May 11, 2007
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM (Central Time)

S30B Wilson Library
West Bank Area, University of Minnesota

Description: A panel of experts will discuss the future relevance of libraries as we know them. The digital age has been with us long enough to make some practical predictions of how traditional roles of libraries will change in information selection, acquisition, synthesis, navigation, dissemination, interpretation and archiving. New responsibilities in information aggregation, publishing education, research and development and policy advocacy will be explored. It promises to be a lively and provocative session.

James G. Neal, the Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University

Barbara Jones, Wesleyan University
Susan Kent
Bob Doyle, Illinois Library Association

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; please do not complete the billing information section of the web form. College of DuPage will forward links directly to registrants.

Other Regional Downlink Sites

NLLN and Fargo-Moorhead Tri-College Libraries
Moorhead, MN
To register, visit: http://nlln.org/continuinged.html

University of Minnesota-Duluth Library
Duluth, MN
To register, contact: Sue Trettel, 218-726-8130, strettel@d.umn.edu

St. Cloud State University Library and CMLE
St. Cloud, MN
To register, contact: Jennifer Schwint, jlschwint@stcloudstate.edu

Mankato, MN
To register, contact: smile@tds.lib.mn.us

Library Education: Facing New Realities streaming video

MINITEX is pleased to announce that availability of the highly popular (based on numerous Reference Services blog comments and attendee discussions) College of DuPage Library Challenges and Opportunities series teleconference, “Library Education: Facing New Realities.”

The following streaming video link is available for teleconference. It will be active for approximately 30 days after the broadcast.


The video in VHS form may be checked out from MINITEX, and will be available in a few weeks.

Don’t miss out on this great professional development and enrichment opportunity!

May 4, 2007

More Tutorials!

These two tutorials are at the top of my list for content and delivery. Check it out!

Plagiarism tutorial from Paul Robeson Library of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey:


CLUE - from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries (a tutorial to orient the student to UW-Madison Libraries and college level research tools and strategies):


Outstanding Tutorial on Business Research

Check out this outstanding tutorial!!

From the ILI-L listserv:

The Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online (PRIMO) Committee of
the Instruction Section of ACRL announces its site of the month for February 2007.

To read the full interview and browse the archive of previous profiles, please see

*** PRIMO Site of the Month Interview, February 2007 ***

A Beginner's Guide to Business Research

Author: Louise Klusek
Institution: Baruch College, The City University of New York

Interviewer: Britt Fagerheim

Description: A Beginner's Guide to Business Research is an e-learning
module designed specifically for students doing company research for the
first time. This module is a required information literacy component of
Introduction to Business, a 1000-level course required of all students
intending to major in business at Baruch College. The Guide covers two
major sources of information: company websites (including annual
reports, 10-K filings, webcasts and press releases) and business
databases for news, company profiles, histories and up-to-date stock

May 3, 2007

EXTENDED April issue of MINITEX Reference Notes

The EXTENDED April issue of MINITEX Reference Notes is up on the web and ready for viewing! This month’s issue includes information on Moving Beyond Train the Trainer, WebJunction Training Sessions: Challenging Current Conventions, ACRL's Women's Studies Section—Core Books Database, ALA's YALSA 2007 Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults, Homeschoolers Unite! MINITEX Visits MACHE Conference Again, Visiting the ACRL Conference Virtually, MINITEX Podcast of the Month and more!

To link to the current or past issues go to http://www-minitex.lib.umn.edu/publications/refnotes/.

Don’t miss out on this timely information!

May 1, 2007

3 New Online Tutorials

Now available on the MINITEX Webinars Training page are 3 new online tutorials relating to Web 2.0. These are quick and easy tutorials designed to introduce librarians to social networking tools, how to get started with them and apply them to your library setting and services.

The 3 new tutorials include Blogs, Wikis, and Del.icio.us. They run about 10-20 minutes in length and nothing is needed to download to view them.

Look for other new tutorials coming soon!


Recently, I've been playing around with Yuuguu which is a non-browser based downloaded chat window. Although the current version (in beta) requires each person to download the software to their own computer and register for a free account to communicate with another Yuuguu user, there are some very interesting components to the software. First, it allows you to co-browse with another user independent of OS (PC to Mac, Mac to PC, Mac to Mac, PC to PC) and using any browser (Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox...). Also, Yuuguu let's you share your desktop and files with another Yuuguu user. You can even co-edit documents and complete online forms together in real-time. The co-edit feature is a bit sluggish but it works. When connected to another Yuuguu user I have the opportunity to share my desktop and files and so does the other user.

It's not perfect but it does seem to be getting a step closer to what we librarians are ultimately looking for in a virtual reference environment which is to easily communicate with patrons via chat windows embedded in websites that don't require any downloading or registration on the patrons end and can seamlessly co-browse between different operating systems and browsers. Yuuguu is still in beta so it will be interesting to watch how this software develops and what other similar products are coming up with.