« December 2007 | Main | February 2008 »

January 31, 2008

Librarian Perceptions on Automation

An interesting new study from LibraryTechnology.org - Perceptions 2007: an International Survey of Library Automation talks about "major differences in satisfaction in the products and companies from which libraries acquire their automation systems". This should be of great interest to any librarin to works with or is part of the decision process for purchasing products and dealing with vendors. I have my own perceptions and in my own circles of librarian talk about using products, dealing with vendors, and the effects of these products. So many times the librarians I have talked to and I come to the conclusion we wished we could combine the best qualities of certain products/software to have the one perfect product/software instead of the give/take relationship we continually have to play. It's great to see reactions and perceptions from other librarians and what we could possibly use/take from the survey is also an interesting thing to think about.

Facebook application now available at WorldCat.org

From OCLC Abstracts - January 21, 2008, Vol. 11, No. 3

"The new WorldCat Facebook application provides access to WorldCat searches and user-created lists from personalized pages within a Facebook account. The application includes a home screen with the WorldCat search box, as well as quick links to WorldCat searches based on topics listed in a Facebook profile as personal interests. The application also includes:

-- a built-in, advanced WorldCat search;

-- a panel that allows users to invite other Facebook friends to install WorldCat;

-- a "Something to Read" panel that displays books recently added to WorldCat lists; and

-- a "Favorite WorldCat Lists" panel where users track their own lists or those of other WorldCat users."

To read more click here.

Grassroots Group Grows Mini-SKILLs Bill in Washington State

- Excerpt from American Libraries online current news -

"Characterizing school library media specialists as "an endangered species," Washington State Sen. Tracey J. Eide (D-Federal Way) introduced a bill January 22 that codifies through a per-pupil formula how many credentialed school library media specialists should be employed by each district and offers some $55 million to fund the initiative. Its aim of guaranteeing the presence in school libraries of certificated staff echoes the language of the federal SKILLs (Strengthening Kids' Interest in Learning and Libraries) Act, introduced in June 2007 as an unfunded amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act and scheduled for Senate committee review in February."

Read the full article here.

Also read, complementary blog entry "Building True Advocacy for School Libraries" - January 25, 2008.

January 29, 2008

Hot Off The Press: The Horizon Report 2008

The annual Horizon Report describes the continuing work of the New Media Consortium NMC)*s Horizon Project, a five-year qualitative research effort that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression within learning-focused organizations.


Notable Emerging Technologies for Education in the 2008 Report Include:



***Grassroots Video

***Collaboration Web

***Mobile Broadband

***Data Mashups

***Collective Intelligence


The report can be found at: http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2008-Horizon-Report.pdf



Posting from ili-l@ala.org listserv

British Study Says "Google Generation" a Myth; Libraries Must Step Up

In Library Journal, Norman Oder summarizes a new study commissioned by the British Library and JISC, Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future.  In the report, it states" says that the "Google Generation"—youth born or brought up in the Internet age—is not particularly web-literate, and their research traits—impatience in search and navigation and zero tolerance for any delay in satisfying their information needs—are becoming the norm for all age-groups."

  • Young people not very web-literate
  • Libraries must make interfaces easier
  • Libraries must integrate content with commercial search engines
  • To read Oder's summary, visit: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6525984.html?nid=2671

    To read the report, visit: http://www.bl.uk/news/2008/pressrelease20080116.html


    EBSCO Enhances Visual Searching

    Library Journal recently descibed the EBSCO changes to Visual Search. 

    To read the entire article: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6526196.html?nid=2671

  • Two visual search interfaces for EBSCOhost
  • Boon for visual search learners
  • Results returned as colored blocks or columns
  • MN Statewide Virtual Reference Project moves forward

    AskMN The Librarian Is In, Minnesota's new statewide virtual reference program is underway behind the scenes getting ready for a spring launch to all Minnesota residents. Last week Hennepin County Library System was the first library group to go through training on the service and QuestionPoint software. The session went well and the group was enthusiastic and excited to get started! Training sessions with the other participating libraries are scheduled throughout the month of February. Look for an announcement about the new program in upcoming listservs and MINITEX publications.

    January 28, 2008

    Reference Game Online


    Carnegie Mellon Libraries has created two library games. The "I'll Get It" game features you as the librarian helping students with electronic and print materials to answer their questions.  A good game to brush up on reference skills. 


    January 25, 2008

    Building True Advocacy for School Libraries

    If you haven't done so already, take some time to read Debra Kay Logan's article, "Putting Students First" in the January/February issue of American Libraries. This one is worth your time, attention, and discussion.

    Logan passionately pursues an essential question, "When we talk about advocating for school libraries, what do we truly mean?" Moreover, she urges readers to think about this question from administrative and budgetary viewpoints. Logan states, "School libraries are traditionally seen as rooms with resources, with school librarians viewed as keepers of materials. Under this pretense, it's no wonder that libraries and librarians are sometimes thought of as expendable."

    So, what do we do to effectively advocate for school libraries? Logan sums up our strategy by stating that we need to:

    1.) Change the nature of our advocacy messages

    "To become effective advocates, our profession must shift the focus of our messages from speaking out about school libraries to promoting and supporting student learning and achievement. Student success is the business of schools. Student learning is at the core of meaningful advocacy messages."

    "We need to have stakeholders advocate for them, and it is our job to build this stakeholder support."

    2.) Motivate stakeholders to advocate

    "When research evidence is presented in isolation, listeners inevitably question the validity of research. Instead of simply sharing research studies, school librarians need to 'mash up' research findings with what we know about our specific programs."

    3.) Mash up the data

    "To start, we need to clearly and consistently articulate and highlight the research showing the connections between strong school library programs and student learning and success. This forms a firm foundation for stakeholder advocacy."

    "Next, document the connection between research in the library and reading and writing standards as an integral part of the weekly lesson plans."

    "When crafting an advocacy message, focus on specific and essential student needs..."

    "Share evidence that ties research findings with what is happening in your school."

    4.) Remember that it's all about the students

    "All along we have known that school libraries play a critical and unique part in helping schools achieve their goals for students. However, our messages have sounded like school libraries and librarians are an ends, not means. It's time to adjust these messages and become advocates for students and student learning."

    We want to know what you think of Logan's article. Post your comment here, on our blog. In what ways have you promoted your school library? Have you built stakeholder support? If so, how? Have you experienced success with your advocacy efforts?

    Logan, Debra Kay. "Putting students first: we must change the focus of our messages from school libraries to student learning and achievement." American Libraries 39.1-2 (Jan-Feb 2008): 56(4). Professional Collection. Gale. MINITEX. 25 Jan. 2008 http://find.galegroup.com.proxy.elm4you.org/itx/start.do?prodId=SPJ.SP00.

    January 24, 2008

    New Feature on Minnesota Reflections!

    The Minnesota Digital Library is pleased to announce that people may now comment on the images in our “Minnesota Reflections” collection. The MDL designed a wiki site that allows us to provide this resource. Look at a photo, map or document, click on the “comment on this item” and leave your comments.

    We are looking for public support in providing information on the items in our collection and we would like people to ask questions and share stories.

    Here’s what you need to do:

    • Visit Minnesota Reflections ( http://reflections.mndigital.org/ )

    • Search for items you want to view.

    • When you are looking at an individual photo, document or map, you will see a button in the blue menu bar above the image. The button is red with yellow type.

    • Click on that button and you will go to a wiki page. From there, comment as you like on that particular object.

    No registration is required. We do ask people to focus their comments on the item in the collection.

    The Minnesota Digital Library will monitor comments. This is still a prototype service. We are still designing it and answering questions about how to share the information people provide.

    If you have general comments, suggestions or insights to offer regarding the Social Side of Reflections, please send them to Marian Rengel, MDL outreach coordinator (mrrengel@stcloudstate.edu).

    Thanks for helping the MDL with the project and have fun.

    Visit the Minnesota Digital Library’s collection site at http://reflections.mndigital.org/ and our home at http://www.mndigital.org/

    EBSCO - Outage

    EBSCO is experiencing a power outage, and therefore databases are not working. They hope to be up and running soon.

    January 18, 2008

    People Watching With a Purpose: Meeting Needs Before They Need It

    Presented by the College of DuPage
    Friday, February 8, 2008, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM (Central Time)
    How many times have you planned and prepared a program or service based on what you thought was a “community need?” And how many of these didn’t quite work out like you thought? Libraries—public, school, and academic—are re-visioning their roles in communities, moving beyond the rapidly outdated paradigm of creating services for patrons and students and instead partnering with community members in building meaningful experiences: whether those happen within the library’s walls, on a digital network, or in cultural and political spaces. Taking an “asset-based,” grassroots view, librarians and library educators advocate using a “community informatics” model toward library services, where significant—even delightful—engagement can happen. In this program, we discuss this paradigm shift, why it’s so necessary, and what it “looks like” in the real world.
    • Ann P. Bishop, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    • Nancy Kranich, is a past president of the ALA, past Assoc. Dean of Libraries at New York University
    No charge. Registration is required to view the event via desktop streaming OR at Wilson Library. To register, visit: http://www.minitex.umn.edu/events/teleconferences/#peopleWatch
    OR – Participate at a regional downlink site to view the teleconference and discuss afterwards! For a list of downlink sites, visit: http://www.minitex.umn.edu/events/teleconferences/downlink.aspx

    Library of Congress and Flickr

    In case you haven't heard, the Library of Congress is undertaking a new pilot project with Flickr. If all goes according to plan, the project will help address at least two major challenges: how to ensure better and better access to LOC collections, and how to ensure that they have the best possible information about those collections for the benefit of researchers and posterity. The LOC is looking to enhance their metadata. The project is beginning modestly, out of some 14 million prints, photographs and other visual materials at the Library of Congress, more than 3,000 photos from two of their most popular collections are being made available on their new Flickr page, to include only images for which no copyright restrictions are known to exist.

    January 12, 2008

    Evaluating Emerging Technologies Featuring Aaron Swart

    Info from flyer:
    As librarians, we have to keep up with the latest innovations.
    But with so many competing technologies, what’s to keep us from wasting our time and money on fads and faulty solutions?
    Aaron Swartz, will be sharing his strategies for analyzing emerging technologies. As the co-creator of the Open Library project, co-founder of Reddit, former adviser to Creative Commons, and co-developer of RSS, he has been one of the web’s most insightful pioneers.
    His presentation will provide a framework for guiding you toward the resources that can best help you serve your customers.
    This is an opportunity to listen to a leader in the information field and to engage in a dialog with him.

    How to Pick Winners
    “some technology is best left alone”
    but which?
    Maybe better to say how to pick losers

    Story #1
    9/11 truth people – have a movie to tell you what they think – Dick Cheney knew about 9/11 before it happened, other suspicious thoughts, conspiracy theories – going down technical raffles quibbling over details.
    Need to step back and look at bigger picture. The conspiracy theory that Bush and Cheney were in on it. Doesn’t make sense. Want to go to war so make elaborate plan.

    Story #2
    Second life. There’s all these great things about it like distributed metaverse. Why do we need this? What this or that. Step back and look at bigger picture. Showing example of “The Office” and characters on the show using Second Life.

    Rules are a substitute for thought

    “Should we use Second Life?” then go off on tangent on how Aaron thinks Second Life is for losers.

    Think for yourself

    Not going to give us a series of rules today but things to think about that may be useful
    Start out with ideas
    Most of you probably already have an idea out there to evaluate
    Give us tools to evaluate
    People think in categories – once people have a category for a product they won’t think of it in other terms
    Reddit similar to Digg, trying to explain the differences but couldn’t get through to others
    Google, yahoo, a lot of internet tools are locked into their own silos – can’t add or edit to your liking

    DRM – digital rights management – perfect example of making something people don’t want – “Wow, I really wish I could do less with my ebook today!”

    Reddit – they got a lot of people who found out about it, have core base, but hard to find new people
    You can’t google for unknown unknowns – lot’s of similar products like that out there

    You have to make something that people can want, find, and do

    Million of ants strategy
    -everyone knows something about something – put these people together – wikipedia

    it has to fit into reality

    censorship – everything in computers is read in 0’s and 1’s – the internet can’t figure out what’s going on in the middle, only end to end, if no one can see what’s going on in the middle, can’t see your credit card numbers, porn, whatever, you can’t censorship

    DRM also uses encryption – DRM wants you at the end from reading it, but only sometimes, have to give someone the key to unlock it so they can read it, music industry hasn’t figured this out yet

    Data availability – thought that everything is available on the internet – not necessarily true

    Need an idea, unique, people will want, find, use and has to be openly available

    Aaron’s test case – Open Library
    Currently have 6 employees working on the project
    What does it look like? – one page per book
    One site, has to be editable, like wikipedia but more complicated, has fields instead of open text
    Has to be a hub, buy borrow, or download a book
    Currently @ ½ mill. Books digitized so far
    Also has reviews
    Goal – make all the books more interesting
    Libraries (catalogs) don’t have much of a presence on the web – yet
    Want to use FRBR but much more – this book rebuts this book, is a response to that book and so on
    Scan ondemand, pay 10 cents per page to scan the book if it isn’t up yet
    Print on demand is the other part of that
    Author bibliographis

    The Test
    It has a lot of competitors – like Amazon
    Amazon doesn’t go back that far
    OL’s goal is to make more books available
    OCLC WorldCat – not very open, their trying to work with them on that
    Google – doesn’t have much of a community around their book search, their bad at building community
    OL wants to be the wikipedia of books, make it open and have many people working with them

    LibraryThing – place where you can go to keep track of your books in your library, people have uploaded 22 mil. + books

    Research – a lot of people think this means “search” or google
    OL wants to integrate in where to find info like “this book you’re looking for is at this library which is 1.2 miles from your house”

    Reality of OL
    Structured wiki
    Infogami – built to load all the books into and it holds pretty well
    Need data availability – been a bit trickier – it’s been difficult to have libraries collaborate and give them copies of their catalogs, other companies are being more helpful but libraries are sticky
    Plea to get libraries to be more flexible – go to your library and talk about this project

    Questions from audience:
    Q: Most catalogs are available on the web. Why don’t you want to use that?
    A: Most OPACs you see on the web is end user view, they need the data, other end

    Q: Open WorldCat can do that. How do you compare?
    A: Open WC doesn’t really let you collaborate, it takes your info but doesn’t let others work with it. We do link to Open WC

    Q: Do you think these traditional websites work anymore? What do you see that’;s on the horizon that’s more about library site just about clicking links to find info
    A: You have to dig down, go to a special interface to find stuff, one thing libraries can do is create a community to allow people who are interested in the same kind of books come together. It would be really exciting if libraries started embracing that. We’ll see that kind of technology develop and become more and more poplular

    Q: Are you hoping to extend OL to other formats than just books?
    A: Yes, definitely, we have a plan to expand and take on other things such as journal articles, after journal articles move on to music and movies.

    Q: How are you working with publishers?
    A: They have been more willing to work with us than libraries. They have been giving us feeds to add to books. Rights issues, working on getting rights from publishers, working with public domain books, being careful not to step on the rights of publishers.

    Q: The borrow option in OL – where does that go?
    A: Right now it links to Open WC but we would love to open that up to libraries directly, we would like to work with libraries to do that.

    Q: How do you deal with duplicate records?
    A: We’re working on that right now. Merger algorithms, FRBRization, when you do a search you will be able to get a result and then from there to other editions and then to locations.

    Q: Talk a little bit more about how the OL would be useful to libraries. Contributing to your project would help to know how will this impact students and libraries.
    A: I think we need to start thinking of the bigger picture long term. We need to start thinking that libraries aren’t going to be existing on their own, look towards a shared catalog. One site to search shared catalog and then from there bring them back to their localized level. I don’t have a perfect solution but it’s time to start thinking about this and I think OL is good foundation to work from.

    Q: What’s your long term goals?
    A: Collaboration will be done by users, little money as oversight to contribute to the sight. Everything will be open in as many ways as possible. We want as many people will be able to integrate with it as possible.

    Q: What is the usage so far?
    A: Right now it’s still a demo site so it’s still early. We see dozens of people going in and making changes so it’s hopeful, want to work with wikipedia and that should open more doors to more people. Promising way of looking forward.

    Q: What are your community building ideas?
    A: Partly linking to LibraryThing, support what they’re doing, linking to other community building sites, intergration of other parts. What you’re reading right now and seek out others that are also reading those books and connect with them, get suggestions for other books, collaborate in other ways.

    Q: Why did you come up with this?
    A: I have an irrational love for libraries. Weird to say to this audience, I’m not pandering. I always wanted to bring this place I love online. Being able to build a reputation for obscure books to the web and share that with others.

    Q: Library catalogs are authoritative – idea. How are you going to deal with other people going in and messing with the data? Like if someone doesn’t like a particular book.
    A: There’s just not much you can do to add your political view. Also, it’s really obvious when people add errors. Ask reasons why people added or made changes. Maybe changes will have to be reviewed but start as open as possible and only start locking it down as needed.

    Q: How do you see other digital library objects, special collections, how will they become part of OL?
    A: OL can start making digital scans available to more people. Connecting more people to the resources. We want to include the rare and special collections in one place.

    Q: What about primary source stuff?
    A: Right now it’s kind of out of scope because we’re focusing on books but it’s a long term thing. The more data the better. If you’re reading a bibliography about an author or person it would be incredible to be able to link back to original letters and documents to have a better well-rounded view of the works.

    Q: Is your project for profit or non?
    A: We are totally a not for profit collaboration between as many groups as possible, in the open.

    Q: Have you approached the IMLS people about your project?
    A: We have but not much. We don’t hold out too much hope but maybe long term we’ll start to be able to use them to have the OPAC people to come to us.

    Q: Are you hoping that libraries will eventually start using OL for their OPAC instead of what they already have?
    A: No, but it will be an underlining thing, there will always be a difference between the actual OPACS and open OPACs.

    Q: Open WC and social tagging.
    A: I would love to see Open WC add social tagging to their catalog. But their moving slow. OL is not just social tagging, there’s more to it but we would still love to work with OCLC and seeing if there is a place/way for collaboration.

    January 10, 2008

    AskMN - Minnesota's Statewide Cooperative Virtual Reference Service

    MINITEX Library Information Network, working in collaboration with eight participating libraries, is delighted to announce the creation of AskMN: The Librarian Is In, Minnesota's new statewide cooperative virtual reference service!

    In December, eight academic and public libraries came together to discuss the issues involved in cooperatively creating and running a Minnesota statewide virtual reference service. It was decided to move forward with the initiative to provide quality reference service and assistance online to all Minnesota residents with the use and support from the ELM databases (elm4you.org). Initially, the service will be operated by the eight libraries: Hennepin County Library -- Suburban and Minneapolis locations; Rochester Public Library; Minnesota State University, Mankato; St. Cloud State University; Joint Libraries of the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University; College of St. Catherine; and University of Minnesota, Duluth, as well as MINITEX Reference Services, with plans to extend participation to many more interested libraries in the near future.

    The service will use OCLC's QuestionPoint virtual reference management software, which is well suited to handle multiple-library and cooperatively run programs like Minnesota's. Staff members of participating libraries will work together to answer questions from residents during selected hours Monday-Saturday with backup service provided by the QuestionPoint national cooperative virtual reference program to give us 24/7 coverage for anywhere, anytime answers. The service will be launched sometime this Spring.

    Look for more information to follow throughout the coming months!

    January 9, 2008

    ALA Midwinter Prep

    I will be heading off to ALA Midwinter later this week and will (technology willing) be, once again, blogging my way through the conference.

    I have been frantically trying to arrange my schedule for the all the meetings and presentations I want to attend. I think this every ALA conference - if I could only clone myself life would be much easier.

    Are you going to be at ALA Midwinter? Maybe we can get together or I'll see you at one of the events. If your not going I will try to send out some useful information via the blog about happenings. Check back regularly.

    Google Tricks

    In today's issue of American Libraries Direct (1-9-08) they cite an excellent article with Google Tricks & Tips.  below is the excerpt: Gina Trapani writes: “When it comes to the Google search box, you already know the tricks: finding exact phrases using quotes like ‘so say we all’ or searching a single site using site:ala.org. But there are many more oblique, clever, and lesser-known search recipes and operators that work from that unassuming little input box. Dozens of Google search guides detail the tips you already know, but today we’re skipping the obvious and highlighting our favorite obscure Google web search tricks.” Don’t forget to look at the comments for more tips.  The full article can be read at: http://lifehacker.com/339474/top-10-obscure-google-search-tricks 

    January 8, 2008

    Copyright & Media

    David Pogue wrote a great article December 20, 2007 for the New York Times called "The Generational Divide in Copyright Morality."  It is a great article to stir up discussion on what is copyright in the digital age, and what is okay and not okay!  Excellent for conversation with the k-12 audience and beyond!  You can find the article at: http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/the-generational-divide-in-copyright-morality/ 

    January 7, 2008

    Pew Report on Information Search Techniques

    This is a little late but still worth mentioning. There is a new Pew Report out as of the first of the year on Information Searches That Solve Problems. From the skimming I gave it I thought it was a really good report that will definitely be in my del.icio.us tags waiting for a full review. I apologize for being so pathetically busy, but if you want a more thorough review of the report I would suggest checking out Meredith Farkas' blog.

    23 Things On a Stick Program to Launch in January


    23 Things On a Stick Program to Launch in January

    St. Paul, Minnesota (January 7, 2008)--Minnesota's seven multicounty, multitype library systems (multitypes) will launch a twelve-week 23 Things on a Stick: A Library Learning 2.0 Program online on January 20, 2008. Staff in academic, school, public and special libraries, as well as members of library Governing and Advisory Boards are invited to participate in this fun, self-paced program that encourages participants to experiment with various Web 2.0 tools including photo editing, wikis, blogs, RSS, and more. Those who complete all 23 Things on a Stick within twelve weeks will win a completion prize.

    This program will be the focus of breakout sessions on January 28th at the MEMO Midwinter Conference in Alexandria, MN. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the program and set up their blogs. It is not necessary to attend Midwinter to participate in 23 Things On a Stick. All details for participation and completion will be available online after January 20th at http://www.23thingsonastick.blogspot.com.

    The 23 Things are online activities that encourage participants to experiment and learn about new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the context of information on the Internet today. The activities are hands-on with experiential exercises, short readings and discovery work. Each Thing can take as little as one hour or as much time as you'd like to give it. The Minnesota Voluntary Certification Program has approved this program for 12 contact hours to meet public service and technology competencies. Continuing Education Units will be available to all participants as well. Early endorsements of this program include but are not limited to, MLA, MEMO, MINITEX, and State Library Services. Others are expected to add their support and will be mentioned on the 23 Things On a Stick blog.

    Participants who wish to receive the completion incentive must register their blogs (Thing 1) by February 15th and complete 23 Things (and blog about each one) by April 16, 2008 (National Library Week). Receipt of the completion incentive enters participants in a statewide drawing for additional prizes.

    According to Ann Walker Smalley, Metronet Director, "23 Things On a Stick offers ideas to 'jump start' your learning. We hope you will share your ideas on how these Web 2.0 tools can be used in your libraries and media centers. We have used many Web 2.0 tools to design this program, including Blogger, Flickr, YouTube, PBWiki and Bloglines, which we learned as we went. You can learn them too!" Participants are encouraged to work with others in their libraries or regions and to share their insights and discoveries either through the participants blogs or in person.

    This program is the Minnesota twist on the 23 Things: Library Learning 2.0 program, developed by Helene Blowers at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenberg County. Library organizations across the country have used the 23 Things concept to encourage staff to learn and use these Web 2.0 tools. The directors and staff of the seven Minnesota Multicounty Multitype Library Systems are the core of the 23 Things On a Stick team, with additional coaches available across the state. This group has worked together to develop 23 Things on a Stick and to customize it for Minnesota library staff. This group will track participants' progress as shown in the individual blogs and provide helpful hints and encouraging words.

    The multitype library systems respond to the needs of Minnesota librarians by providing library support services, including continuing education. The multiytpe systems believe that knowledgeable library staffs are better able to meet the needs of their library users. The multitypes connect library staff in all types of libraries to professional and staff development opportunities and look forward to broad participation in this exciting learning program.

    Contact: Ann Walker-Smalley, Metronet Director

    23 Things On a Stick blog is online at http://www.23thingsonastick.blogspot.com

    This press release is also available in PDF at


    January 3, 2008

    EBSCOHost News: Visual Search, Image Quick View

    Check out the new EBSCOHost features!

    • Visual Search
      EBSCO has changed their visual searching. When you click on the VISUAL SEARCH tab, a short tutorial automatically plays on the opening page. Take a few seconds to see how this new feature works.


      For further help, download EBSCO documention:

      EBSCOhost Visual Search Help Sheet - Block Style Result List

      EBSCOhost Visual Search Help Sheet - Columns Style Result List

    • Image Quick View
      You can now see thumbnail images in an article citation (provided the article contains images). To enable this new feature, go to the PREFERENCES link at the top right-hand side of the page. In the DISPLAY OPTIONS menu, look for "Show Image Thumbnails". Click the ON radio button.


    To see other new EBSCOHost features, click on the the NEW FEATURES link at the top right-hand side of the page.

    December MINITEX Reference Notes

    The December issue of MINITEX Reference Notes is up on the web and ready for viewing!  This month’s issue includes information on the Discovering Collection’s New Interface and Functionality, A Nightmare or an Opportunity?, Institutional Technology; Barriers to Teaching Internet Literacy, NEW MINITEX Webinars, December M.O.R.E. Webinar Training Participants, Opinions from Youngish Professionals, Best Free Reference Web Sites, Homeschooling Educators, 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!

    January 2, 2008

    ELM makes reference website list!

    This little-known website is an extraordinary online resource." stated the blurb on ELM in the most recent issue (Jan 2008) of the MPLS/ St. Paul magazine!  The Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) was the only reference website listed in the article "Guide to Weird, Wacky Wonderful Local Websites" (p 186).  Let's make ELM more than just a "little-known website" this year!  For training or promotional materials contact the MINITEX Reference Services department at 1-800-462-5348.

    Information searches that solve problems

    Just out on December 30, 2007--PEW/Internet "Information searches that solve problems"   GREAT data on use of libraries by Americans and very good news for public libraries.   53% of Americans reporting having used a public library in the past year and, drum roll, highest use is amoung Gen Y (age 18-30).
    Here's the URL:
    click on reports, it's the first one.