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December 27, 2007

Get Ready for 23 Things on a Stick!

Sponsored by the 7 multitype library organizations in Minnesota, "23 Things on a Stick: A Library Learning 2.0 Program" will be launched on January 20, 2008. Staff, trustees, and Friends in all types of libraries across the entire state of Minnesota are invited to participate. This is a 12 week self-paced, self-directed program designed to get staff involved in learning and using web 2.0 tools such as Flickr, blogs, RSS, wikis, and other useful, interesting, and intriquing tools. Anyone that registers for the program by Feb. 15 and completes all 23 Things by April 13 will receive a gift for completion and be eligible to win other cool prizes.

If you want to read more about this learning program check out the news post on SELCO/SELS website and look for a more indepth article in the January issue of MINITEX Reference Notes.

December 26, 2007

EPA Libraries to Reopen

From Library Journal: Thanks to $3 million from Congress, EPA will reopen closed libraries. Six libraries out of 24 libraries had closed due to funding cuts from the government will reopen over the next 18 months. In addition, they will continue with plans to consolidate nine laboratory libraries to save money and streamline services with the purpose to increase access to digitized materials.

December 19, 2007

Ring in the New Year with professional development!

  bellRing in the New Year with a goal to increase professional development! 
Let MINITEX Reference Services help you keep abreast on topics of librarianship through the College of DuPage teleconferences and MINITEX Reference Services webinars; both at NO CHARGE!
People Watching With a Purpose: Meeting Needs Before They Need It
Friday, February 8, 2008
To register to attend this and other teleconferences at Wilson Library, go to http://www.minitex.umn.edu/events/teleconferences/#peopleWatch
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; do NOT complete billing information.  College of DuPage will forward links directly to registrants.
For a list of other regional sites, go to: http://www.minitex.umn.edu/events/teleconferences/downlink.aspx
MINITEX Reference is offering many webinars in January and February including a new webinar: Best Practices in Online Reference Services.  To register for this and others, visit: http://www.minitex.umn.edu/events/training/webinars.asp
Best wishes in 2008!

December 18, 2007

XO Laptop and Digital Divide

More interesting MN blogging discussion about the XO laptop and the Digital Divide. This time from Erica M at Metroblogging Minneapolis:

While reading MNspeak response to the MPR story on the University of Minnesota Institute on Race & Poverty's report "Digital Justice: Progress towards Digital Inclusion in Minnesota," I had this thought:

Isn't it as much about access to the hardware as it is about access to the internet connection? Is $30/month for your broadband connection really more difficult to come by than a chunk of change on the order of $400-$1200 for a computer?

(read full post here)

EBSCO Visual Search Update

On 11/21/07, we announced plans to upgrade the Visual Search option on EBSCOhost and other user interfaces, at the end of this calendar year. We are pleased to announce that the new version of Visual Search is about to become available to your users. Please note that a comprehensive tutorial will open automatically when a user clicks on the Visual Search tab in EBSCOhost, to guide them through the functionality of the new Visual Search screens.
In conjunction with the Visual Search release, we are introducing an enhancement to EBSCOhost Result Lists: Image Quick View. This exciting new feature will include the appearance of thumbnail images on Result Lists which, when clicked, will instantly reveal full-sized images to users. Open records will include links to thumbnail images, where applicable. Users will be able to try the new feature in EBSCOhost by clicking on the Try It! box beside Image Quick View on the New Features screen, and enabling Show Image Thumbnails under the Preferences link in the upper right corner of the screen. For more information about the new Visual Search design and the Image Quick View feature, please see the first two top stories on EBSCO's Support Site (http://support.ebsco.com).
EBSCO's Support Site is also a great place to visit whenever you want to learn about new features, search among thousands of FAQs, download Flash tutorials, Help Sheets or User Guides, or communicate with Technical Support at any time, using the EBSCO Support Form (http://support.epnet.com/contact/askus.php). You may also contact Technical Support by telephone, as follows:
  • In the United States and Canada: (800) 758-5995
  • Outside of the United States and Canada: access code, (800) 3272-6000

December 17, 2007

One Laptop per Child

Minnesota blogger, Aaron Landry, just got an XO Laptop from the One Laptop per Child program and gives an excellent write-up about his experience on his personal blog.

December 14, 2007

Web Layers Explained

On the ili-l listserv a great graphic to help illustrate the various layers of web visibility was discussed.  Janet Moelzer suggested the following article and graphic:

A Nightmare or an Opportunity?

It is the second-most-visited education/reference site on the Internet, 400 million answers and searchable archives, natural language recognition - also dubbed "every middle school teacher's worst nightmare about the Web." What is it?!

Find out by reading our December issue of Reference Notes coming soon! Look for it here.

December 13, 2007

Gale Articles Audio

New & Notable
Coming soon! Student Resource Center, Discovering Collection, Junior Reference Collection and Opposing Viewpoints will have auditory capabilities after the new year! The option to listen to articles with in these resources will open up a whole new world of engagement for students that struggle with reading, English or just plain like the technology—Watch your resources after the new year or ask for a trial if you do not already subscribe!

December 12, 2007

Open Invite from MN SLA Division

To all MLA Members:
MN SLA Library 2.0

After hearing Michael Stephen's lecture on Library 2.0: Trends and Technologies, several SLA members and I decided it was something we wanted to explore. We decided to use the 9 Week Learning 2.0 plan developed by Helene Blowers of PLCMC as a tool to explore the technologies in an informal group. Every week, starting in January and concluding in March, we will learn about a new technology/tool. Every couple of weeks we'll get together to brainstorm these technologies and how they could be used in Special Libraries. I've created a blog that discusses this program in more detail: http://mnslalibrary20.blogspot.com

Please fill out my 3 question survey after viewing the blog: http://tinyurl.com/2uvsuw

Thanks! Feel free to email me at kathy.degenhardt@target.com with any questions or comments about this program.

Kathy Degenhardt

December 11, 2007

RUSA New Reference Definition

The ALA's Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) currently solicited feedback on the definition of reference, and possible changes to that definition with the idea of presenting a new definition—or reaffirming the current one—to the RUSA board at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January.

The current and suggested changed can be read and commented on at: http://www.rusablog.org/blog/_archives/2007/11/14/3352903.html


Have you checked out Minnesota's latest newspaper?  MinnPost is completely online and a non-profit organization.  Check out the thoughtful journalism at: http://www.minnpost.com/

ALA Midwinter anyone?

If you will be at ALA Midwinter in January there is a session on Saturday, Jan. 12 I highly encourage you to rearrange your schedules to attend. The speaker, Aaron Swartz, is leading the Open Library project, which is something I wrote about in a previous post (see July 17) and in Reference Notes. From what I've read about Swartz his presentation at Midwinter should be a notable highlight.

Evaluating Emerging Technologies
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Philadelphia Convention Center (PCC), Room 108A
1:30-3:30 p.m.

As librarians, we need to keep pace with the innovations that are transforming how we reach and serve our customers. But with the vast number of competing technologies, how can you be confident that you are selecting the best solution for your customers? How are you certain that you are not squandering your limited finances and resources on fads and faulty solutions?

Aaron Swartz, co-author of RSS, co-creator of the Open Library project, co-founder of Reddit, and former adviser to Creative Commons, will be sharing his strategies on how to analyze competing technologies. His insights will help us invest in the resources that will best meet our customers' needs.

This is an opportunity to listen to a leader in the field and to engage in a dialog with him. Come explore this discussion on emerging technologies. You can't afford to miss it!

December 7, 2007

Online Reference of the Future?

Hi, this was passed around on the DigRef listserv and I have to share it. I saw this and was floored. It's a great eye opener of how things could look like in the future (a little too invasive).

December 5, 2007

Your Life Work: The Librarian

Enjoy a ten minute break and a chuckle with this one! This short video is one installment in the "Your Life Work" series entitled, "The Librarian," from Vocational Guidance Films, Inc. produced in the 1940s.

Meebo Training Video

Nebraska Library Commission has posted a neat video showing one of their training sessions on Meebo for their staff. You can access it on blip.tv at: blip.tv/file/520398. It's about 18 minutes long but interesting if you are concidering or want to look into Meebo a little closer for your library this gives you some good information about working with the program and how to set up a MeeboMe widget (like the one on the right side of this page ->).

On a side note, there is a discussion going on on the DigRef listserv about Meebo's sound option for notifying when a patron is asking a question. I too have found this to be problematic. I have missed or responded late to a lot of mesages simply because I didn't hear the little "thunk" noise. A couple of solutions people have brought up is loading the meebo account on a Pidgin account (Pidgin replaces GAIM) and using Pidgin's sound options. Another neat option someone replied with was to embed the Meebo screen in the left sidebar of your Firefox browser. All you need to do is bookmark the meebo page then right click in your bookmark and click on properties. Check the box that says to load it in the sidebar. Then left click on the meebo bookmark and it loads in the sidebar. I just tried that and will test it out for a while to see how it works. I'm not sure what will happen when I'm not in the Firefox browser and have it minimized or in the background working on other stuff and someone comes through. But it seems pretty handy.

December 3, 2007

Metronet Information Literacy Initiative, Round 2

Metronet, a Minnesota Multitype Library Cooperation System servicing all library types in the 7 county metropolitan area, has embarked on a new project for their second year in collaboration with the St. Paul Public Schools on integrating information literacy skills. This year's project or initiative is incorporating the concept of "23 Things" which helps teachers and media specialists become more familiar with technology and how it can be applied to libraries and the K-12 classroom.

Read more to learn how the Metronet Information Literacy Project is incorporating the "23 Things" model into their initiative at: http://metromili.blogspot.com/

Exhibits at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Libraries

Online Exhibit from Plant Path - "Botanical Art of a Different Kind"
Highlighting botanical art in phytopathology from the Plant Pathology Library collection.
To see it, go to the Plant Pathology Library website:
and click on Online Exhibit: "Botanical Art of a Different Kind"

The World in the Libraries: International Collections
Periodicals and Government Publications Library (GPL), Basement Wilson Library
Through December 20

Art in the Libraries Exhibition
Music Library (70 Ferguson Hall) and Wilson Library
Through December 20

The Map that Named America, 1507-2007
James Ford Bell Library, 4th Floor Wilson Library
The Bell Library staff will be happy to schedule group and class--and holiday guest--tours during regular hours as well as evenings and weekends. Call Maggie or Lynnette at 624-1528, or send an e-mail to jfbell@umn.edu
Through December 31

Worlds Within: An Exhibit of Works of Fantasy from the Children's Literature Research Collections
Elmer L. Andersen Library Exhibit Gallery
Through January 2, 2008

Destination Shaanxi: Material Culture at the End of the Silk Road
Elmer L. Andersen Library, 2nd and 3rd floors
Through February 15, 2008

Social Bookmarking Demographics

Very interesting post from E-Strategy.com: Social Bookmarking Demographics. This is extremely interesting and may find useful to see who is using the different types of bookmarking sites and what can be promoted to different audience groups.

In an article about social bookmarking in the Winter 07/08 issue of Search Marketing Standard, Joe Whyte cites Quantcast demographic data for some of the top bookmarking sites. This data is hard to come by, so it is valuable in helping to understand the respective services' audiences.