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November 30, 2007

November Reference Notes

The November issue of MINITEX Reference Notes is up on the web and ready for viewing!  This month’s issue includes information on the MLA Annual Conference, Research Project Calculator Plus, Being Information Efficient, Academic Librarians and the Faculty Blogoverse, CMLE Annual Meeting & Workshop, MORE Training Opportunities, November is NaNoWriMo, New from ALA TechSource Web 2.0 & Libraries, and more! 
To link to the current or past issues go to http://www.minitex.umn.edu/publications/refnotes/ .
Don’t miss out on this timely information!

November 28, 2007

Top Social Media and Networking Sites

VirtualHosting.com just released its Top 100 Social Media and Social Networking Blogs list for 2007. Yes, we are already seeing the "best of 07" lists coming out and there is still a month to go!

Interesting sites on the list:
#2 SMogger Social Media Blog: SMogger addresses the "ethical use of social media for business and regular folks."
#6 Social Media Club - the go-to blog for anyone interested in developing or learning about social media standards, trends, and communities.
#15 SociableBlog - a great site for librians interested in learning how to best leverage use of sites such as FaceBook, MySpace, YouTube and other social sites to reach out to and connect to people.
#34 Everything 2.0 - researches social media and Web 2.0 trends and posts helpful reviews of the latest products and downloads.
#65 SocialNetworkingNews - get all the latest information about online communities and tools. Great place to go for new ideas to connect with users!

Collaborative Work: Tips for Better Wikis

There's a great slideshow posted by eWeek.com about wikis that I highly suggest reviewing if you work with or involved with wiki in anyway: 25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment. Setting the right tone administering wikis allows for better interaction and and group knowledge. Very useful and straightforward information.

November 21, 2007

EBSCO Visual Search Redesign Coming Soon!

In early 2006, EBSCO introduced a third search option to EBSCOhost users, aptly named Visual Search.  The graphically-appealing user interface was well-received by visual learners, providing zoomable frames populated with circles and squares which represented subject groupings, citations, and articles.

At the end of calendar year 2007, EBSCO will implement an advanced, newly-designed Visual Search option, continuing the graphically-appealing premise, with added punch and functionality.  Users will enjoy the bonus of being able to select either of two Visual Search interface styles, presented in Adobe's Flash format.  Library administrators who have access to the EBSCOadmin administrative tool will be able to control which of the two styles will serve as the default for their institution's subscription to EBSCOhost.

One of the two styles will include colorful blocks, each of which will represent a record or article related to the initial search criteria.  Sorting and filtering options by date and relevance will provide users with the ability to focus and manage search results easily and efficiently.

The second user interface style will feature rows, or columns of results, where each item represents a subject, or article:

The Columns interface style will let users conduct a search and see resulting rectangles (which represent articles neatly formed in columns), zip down the screen. Users will be able to see more articles by gliding their mouse to the edge of the screen.  As with the block design, results will be "stacked" by publication or subject, sorted by relevance or date, or filtered using a date range slider bar.

Users will be able to select subject clusters to narrow a search and display a new column of results. When a user clicks on a subject, the previous sets of results will be retained, and the subjects will be illuminated and connected to form a bright “breadcrumb” trail to assist users in visualizing the path taken to reach their end results. This design will streamline the process of backtracking and embarking on a new path, for Visual Search users.

Click here if you want to see what these will searches will look like.

Finding Trends that Matter

The video Mapping the Library Landscape: “Finding Trends that Matter  from the College of DuPage Soaring to Excellence teleconference series is now available for checkout in VHS and DVD!

The videos 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:https://www.minitex.umn.edu/events/teleconferences/checkout.aspx

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

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 20, 2007

Cool Free Online Tools

Thanks to the October Issue of Information Today I am aware of two tools, that I love!

-  Image Generator.org (www.imagegenerator.org) which has hundreds of free customizable graphics and clipart.  Easy way to make simple new signs, logos, etc. 

-  ePassportPhoto (www.epassportphoto.com) - This website lets you upload photos taken with a digital camera and then validates them with passport photo regulations.  What a time saver and cheaper than any instore price!  The basic photos are FREE! 

November 19, 2007

October Reference Notes

The October issue of MINITEX Reference Notes is up on the web and ready for viewing!  This month’s issue includes information on MEMO Conference 2007 – "Creating a New Literacy Landscape"; School Media Specialist Blogs; Friendly Southwest Minnesota Calls Again!; WebJunction Minnesota Update; Teleconferences Via Streaming Video; MINITEX Podcast of the Month and more!
To link to the current or past issues go to http://www.minitex.umn.edu/publications/refnotes/.
Don’t miss out on this timely information!

Library Technology Reports on Web 2.0 available through Professional Collection

New from ALA TechSource
Web 2.0 & Libraries, Part 2: Trends and Technologies (vol. 43:5)

by Michael Stephens, Ph.D
In this issue of LTR, librarian and educator Michael Stephens states, "We'll revisit some of the social tools presented in 'Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software,' address some trends guiding social technology in libraries, take a look at some newer tools, and cover some best practices for using 2.0 tools in your library." Topics include:
  • Value-added blogging
  • Building a community Web site with a blog
  • Ten best practices for Flickr and libraries
  • Social sites like MySpace, Facebook, YouTube
  • Tagging and social bookmarking
  • Messaging in a 2.0 World: Twitter & SMS
  • Podcasting
  • The OPAC rebooted
  • How libraries such as the Hennepin County Library and the Arlington Heights Memorial Library are using 2.0 tools
This issue and others for Library Technology Reports is available at no extra charge on ELM through the Professional Collection. To access this issue, go to the Professional Collection, click on Publication Search and enter “Library Technology Reports.” Then select Volume 43 Issue 5 to obtain all the chapters!
For more information on the publication, visit: http://link.ixs1.net/s/ve?eli=s149931&si=u130992230&cfc=3html

November 14, 2007

Library Software Manifesto

Roy Tennant over at TechEssence.Info has published his Library Software Manifesto. He offers a good list of relationship expectations between library and vendor and library and patron. Something we all could brush up on now and then.

Meredith Farkas also points out that John Blyberg also published a great post on ILS Customer Bill of Rights that coincides with Tennants piece nicely.

November 13, 2007

Research Project Calculator Plus is Online!

If you have a link to the Research Project Calculator (RPC) on your website, you may have noticed today that the new Research Project Calculator is now available.  If you check the “include teacher information” dialog box, you will see both the student information and advice for teachers planning research projects.
Imagine a teacher’s manual where the student page is surrounded by information for the teacher. Sample exercises and tip sheets are also included. For a complete description of this link to the November issue of the MEMORANDUM.

The new RPC also has an option where students can enter their email address and receive periodic reminders about their timeline, with links to further information.

RPC Plus is still under construction so you will see further changes.
Please use the “Tell us what you thought of the RPC” link to report issues or suggestions.  Check it out here: RPC.

November 1, 2007

Tom Shaughnessy Podcast


 Tom's Podcast: Download file

During October, I had the opportunity to interview Tom Shaughnessy, former METRONET Executive Director, on reflections on his career, aspirations and future retirement plans. One thing that Tom brought up was, “how do you go beyond your job description on a daily basis?” This thought and others will help library staff in all areas of their career, from thoughts on beginning librarianship to preparation for retirement (the second go around). 
We encourage every librarian to be the “voice” behind a MINITEX podcast and share your expertise and experiences with the greater community.  Podcasts are featured on the MINITEX Reference Services blog under the category “On the Road with MINITEX.”  If interested in participating in a podcast or you know someone who would be great to interview, please contact me. 

Internet Librarian

If you were like me, you were too busy with MLA Annual Conference to pay attention to Internet Library Annual Conference that took place this past weeken in Monterey, CA. However, Jenny Levine over at The Shifted Librarian gives some good notes to share on some of the sessions that took place. Thanks Jenny for blogging your way through the conference! Much appreciated.

Of particular note is the session on Integrating Libraries & Online Communities Online by Glenn Peterson and Marilyn Turner of Hennepin County Libraries talking about bookspace.org.

Faculty Blogoverse

A must read!

In College & Research Libraries News - October 2007:

Murray, David and Steven Bell. "Exploring the Faculty Blogoverse: Where to Start and What's in it for Academic Librarians." p. 576-579.

"A successful strategic keeping-up regimen requires more than a steady diet of content from within one's own profession.  To invigorate inspiration and ideation, it's of great value to go beyond the borders of one's own professional literature.  That is why every academic librarian's keeping-up strategy should include, for example, feeds from standard higher education sources (The Chronicle's Daily News, Inside Higher Ed, Wired Campus Blog, and other academia-related blogs from organizations, such as EDUCAUSE).  This article seeks to take academic librarians into a lesser explored territory, where vast potential lies for those willing to explore.  Too few of us have yet to discover the value of faculty blogs" (p. 576).

Murray and Bell succintly address what has drawn faculty and librarians alike to blogs and blogging, where to begin one's hunt to locate faculty blogs, the benefits of reading faculty blogs, and how to get started (e.g., a disciplinary focus to reading blogs).

Murray and Bell argue that two key values of reading faculty blogs point to an academic librarian's collection development and outreach/liaison responsibilities.

"Despite protests that keeping up already takes too much time, and that what time is available is hardly enough for adequate reading of the library literature, we argue that ignoring faculty blogs is something we do at our own professional risk" (p. 579).

Read the complete article here.