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June 28, 2008

June Reference Notes

The June issue of MINITEX Reference Notes is up on the web and ready for viewing!  This month’s issue includes information on the Midwest Library Technology Conference, 2008 Minnesota E-Learning Summit, Who knew? [We Did!] Mn/DOT Library is little-known gem, Site Visit Google Map, EBSCOhost 2.0 Arriving in a Month, Stock Up for Summer on Cool Tool Promotional Materials, ELM Portal Change 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!

June 23, 2008

50 Best Websites

Time just released its list of the best 50 websites for 2008.  With oil prices climbing, it is no surprise that a website used to locate the cheapest gas in town made the top of the list!  For the complete listings, visit: http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1809858_1809957,00.html?xid=site-cnn-partner

June 17, 2008

ELM Portal Changes

We'd like to notify you about some changes for the ELM Portal as we work to increase access to the ELM resources.
Due to contractual restrictions, we will need to reinstate and require the use of public library barcodes to access the EBSCO databases via the ELM Portal. Our apologies for any inconvenience or confusion this may cause. Feedback from members of the MINITEX Policy Advisory Council indicated that we should continue to provide access through IP (Internet address) authentication to the rest of the ELM resources and use barcodes as a backup procedures when necessary.
The rest of the ELM Portal remains accessible to Minnesota residents with recognizable Minnesota-based Internet addresses. We'll monitor usage during the summer months.
If you have any questions, please be sure to let us know, http://elm4you.org/contact/.

Algorithms are Out the Human Touch is In

Wired magazine in the April 2008 issue had an interesting article about the tech business, “Upside of the Downturn.” Thing 9 discussed how the human touch is still needed, if not necessary, to understand and location information that now exists. The article discusses such ventures as Squidoo and Mahalo. Though, there is no mention of libraries or information professionals, it is easy to substitute the names when you read the word curators. 

EBSCOhost 2.0 Updates!

Dear EBSCO Customer,
We are excited to announce that you and your user community now have the opportunity to try out the BETA version of EBSCOhost 2.0, right from the New Features page in EBSCOhost!
For some important details concerning the functionality of the BETA, click here. or copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://support.epnet.com/knowledge_base/detail.php?id=3993.
Get a head start on how to use the new design, which will be fully implemented in July, by clicking on the Test Drive link on your EBSCOhost New Features page. (Access the New Features page from its link in the upper right corner of your EBSCOhost screen.)
Visit the EBSCOhost 2.0 Marketing web site (http://www.ebscohost.com/2.0) to view these helpful marketing tools:
  • Flash demonstration (run time: ten minutes, no audio)
  • PowerPoint
  • Full descriptions of the new features and functionality of EBSCOhost 2.0, including screen shots
  • Printable brochure
Visit EBSCO's 2.0 Support Center (http://support.epnet.com/ebscohost2) to access these support materials:
  • Printable poster
  • Help Sheets
  • User Guide, presented in topical sections to enable printing of the specific information you need
  • Online training registration form
The EBSCOhost 2.0 BETA will remain available on the New Features page for you to sample, until its final implementation in July. We will send you a final notification a few days before the cutover takes place.
Visit EBSCO's Support Site (http://support.ebsco.com) 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).

June 13, 2008

Gale's New Blog - The Sizzle

Going forward, to minimize the number of emails you get from Gale, you may read them at The Sizzle, Gale’s new blog intended to ensure your success. All product/content/technology enhancements will be posted here for all to discuss.
You may also sign up for an RSS feed (http://sizzle.gale.com/rss.xml) or email alert if you'd like this information pushed to you and your staff.

MINITEX Library is featured on MinnPost

MinnPost recently wrote a wonderful article about the “secret-gem” Mn/DOT Library. The library, founded in 1957, contains a wealth of over 50,500 items, and answers over 4,500 questions a year. Immediately following the collapse of the 35W Bridge, the library staff sprang to action providing an archive of information online regarding the bridge. This was not the first time the library was involved in a historical event. In 2001, the Library received a call from the Office of the President. (To know what the call was regarding, you will have to read the article.)  Hopefully, many readers and potential patrons will make the trip to visit the “Temple of Transportation,” and other wonderful collections held by MINITEX libraries this summer. 

Site Visit Google Map

To enhance our Blog, Reference Services created a Site Visit Google Map. The map contains a pin for each location the Reference Services department has traveled to for a site visit back to about 2006. When you click on the pin, the name of the location, address and the date(s) of our site visit(s) will be displayed. For some, there will also be a small picture of the location. The photos I am still working on adding. 
To view the map, click on the below link, or the interactive map on the right pane under the Flickr badge.  http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=118389482041307513704.00044f697c236dc0d26c1&z=6

June 10, 2008

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Is Google Making Us Stupid? by Nicholas Carr. Atlantic July/August 2008:56-63 http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google 
At the risk of giving away the answer, here is one sentence from the article:
“Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a financial stake in collecting
the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from link to link—the more crumbs,
the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage leisurely reading

or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their economic interest to drive us to distraction.”


- Posted to the ili-l listserv by David Kent, Instruction Librarian, Peninsula College 06/10/08


June 6, 2008

Google Managing Your Health?

“Google's newly-launched Google Health provides consumers with a facility for storing their personal health record, via a combination of blog posting, webcast and what it terms a "factory tour" - a press briefing in all but name.” – Outsell (June 6, 2008). 

To read more about this initiative and the pilot program that Cleveland, Ohio is doing with health care providers using Google Health to manage patients' records, visit: http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9875967-7.html or http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/google-health-begins-its-preseason-at-cleveland-clinic/?ref=technology

June 2, 2008

The Parallel Information Universe

In The Parallel Information Universe Mike Eisenberg, Dean Emeritus and Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, asserts that the Web 2.0 buzz is just as much about a change in focus as it is the new technology. This "change in focus to participation, user control, sharing, openness, and networking" is the core of Eisenberg's point - that these new Web 2.0 technologies provide a "parallel information universe." And since the libraries' founding principles are based on meeting patrons' information needs, then libraries must take a lead in this "parallel information universe." The purpose of the article is to provide an environmental scan and a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis for a variety of new technologies.

Take a moment to check out this article in Library Journal - May 2008. A pdf full-text version is available through Academic Search Premier.

Eisenberg, Mike. "The Parallel Information Universe." Library Journal 133.8 (2008): 22-5.

Exclusive Twin Cities Appearance - David Hajdu

The Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries and the Children's Literature Research Collections proudly present the exclusive Twin Cities appearance by David Hajdu, author of The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America.

Tuesday, July 8
7:30 p.m.
Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 21st Avenue South
University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/maps/EALib/index.html


Dessert reception follows with books available for sale courtesy of Red Balloon Bookshop. David Hajdu will be signing books during the reception.

Comic books, not rock-and-roll, created the generation gap. They also spawned juvenile delinquency, crime, sexual deviance, and things of unspeakable depravity. Long before Elvis appeared on Ed Sullivan from the waist up, long before Jerry Lee Lewis married his cousin, long before James Dean yelled, "You're tearing me apart," teachers, politicians, priests, and parents were lining up across from comic book publishers, writers, artists, and children at bonfires and Senate hearings decrying the evil that was the ten-cent plague.

David Hajdu's The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America comprises the last book in an informal trilogy about American popular culture at mid-century, and radically revises common notions of popular culture, the generation gap, and the divide between "high" and "low" art.

This special event with David Hajdu is part of an evening celebration honoring John Borger and his gift of almost 40,000 comic books to the Children's Literature Research Collections at the University Libraries.

For more information contact Lanaya Stangret at (612) 624-9339 or stangret@umn.edu.