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December 30, 2009

Upcoming Training Sessions - EBSCO & Gale

Upcoming training provided by EBSCO:

EBSCOhost Basics
This class lasts one hour and covers the features and functionalities of EBSCOhost for basic searching techniques.

19 January 2010 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. MT
27 January 2010 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. MT

EBSCOhost Advanced
This class lasts one hour and covers the features and functionalities of EBSCOhost for advanced searching techniques.

12 January 2010 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. MT

Consumer Health Complete
A 1-hour overview of Consumer Health Complete. The key features covered include accessing Evidence-Based Reports, Reference Book content, Animations and Video as well as searching a variety of health topics utilizing some of the key functionality of source type searching, alerts and My Folder.

7 January 2010 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. MT

Science Reference Center
SRC is a comprehensive database research database for students that provides full-text articles that are correlated to curriculum standards. It also includes science experiments.

11 January 2010 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. MT

Student Research Center
A one-hour overview, for teachers and librarians, of the Student Research Center interface (designed for Grade 6-12 students). A variety of search techniques using the Student Research Center functionality will be covered including searching by Lexiles, subjects and topics.

6 January 2010 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. MT

If you'd like to attend any of the webinars listed above, go to the EBSCO Request Training form: http://www2.ebsco.com/en-us/app/training/Pages/TrainingFrom.aspx. You will find dropdown menus to choose the course you are interested in. (Note: you do not need to have an EBSCO account number)

EBSCOhost online tutorials are available at: http://support.epnet.com/training/tutorials.php

Upcoming training provided by Gale:

Power Search 2.0
Gale's newly enhanced PowerSearch platform is unlike any other, providing libraries with a sophisticated, yet simple, solution for managing a wealth of periodical, reference and primary source information. Moreover, PowerSearch provides your patrons with access to all the Gale content in your library's collection through one, single search query. The result is that you maximize usage of your Gale databases while patrons enjoy the time saved through a streamlined common user interface that can be customized to match their skill level and habits.

20 January 2010 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. MT

To register, go to: http://www.attendeenet.com/gale_training/index.cfm?fuseaction=cor_sectionView¤tMonth129=1&eventCatView129 and click on the name of the webinar you wish to attend. You will be directed to a form to complete. (Note: you do not need to have a Gale account number)

December 22, 2009

Gale Databases iPhone Application

I just read the Librarian in Black blog entry at http://librarianinblack.net/ and the following caught my eye... "Gale has announced a new iPhone application to help people use library resources. Building off of the AccessMyLibrary identity that Gale has promoted publicly,the application does two things:

1. detects physical library branches within a 10-mile radius of the user on demand
2. and uses a web product to connect people to the Gale online resources that their local libraries subscribe to.

The app is downloadable from accessmylibrary.com or from the iTunes store.

For more info, see Gale's website on the app & ResourceShelf's review."

Now, if I only had an iPhone.

December 14, 2009

November Reference Notes

After receiving a complete makeover, the new issue of Reference Notes is now available. Check out the newsletter's new look, which makes the following articles ever the more enjoyable:

  • ELM Workshops for Students and Pre-Service Teachers
  • Hands-on in Thief River Falls
  • A Southwest Minnesota Training Trip
  • Kitchigami Regional Library System
  • Annual MinneTESOL Conference
  • No New News: The Library Job Market Is Rugged
  • Google Wave (Guest column by LeAnn Suchy, Metronet; Rudy Leon, University of Illinois Champaign Urbana; and Rita Baladad, Minitex)
  • ELM Spotlight: ArchiveGrid and EBSCOhost Mobile
  • You No Longer Have a Choice (Guest column by Mary Mehsikomer, Network Coordinator with NWLINKS)
  • Mobile Phones Decrease Social Isolation, Increase Library Usage?
  • Research Project Calculator Update (Guest column by Michael Berkowski, Minitex Information Technology)
  • Trend Watching from the Reference Desk
  • Professional Development Opportunities

Sure, this November issue might be a little delayed in coming, but the new design ensures its appearance on the web is not simply late, but instead *fashionably* late.

December 4, 2009

Real-Time Communication - Rising Trend for 2010

CNN released an article yesterday, 10 Web trends to watch in 2010, that lists the top trends for the coming year. First on the list was the importance of real-time communcations:

Real-time ramps up

Sparked by Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed, the real-time trend has been to the latter part of 2009 what "Web 2.0" was to 2007. The term represents the growing demand for immediacy in our interactions. Immediacy is compelling, engaging, highly addictive ... it's a sense of living in the now.

This is a perfect time for libraries with online reference services to promote the skills they have and how it is useful/helpful to users. Most useful and beneficial exposure to a library's online reference service may come from outside the library through partnerships with community organizations, news reports or articles, social networking and web 2.0 skills such as blogging, twittering, facebook and much more.

Other trends on the list from the article include "Content Curation" (I like this term. We librarians are Content Curators!):

The Web's biggest challenge of recent years is that content creation is outpacing our ability to consume it: "Information overload" has become an increasingly common complaint.

Another on the list, "Convergence conundrum". What devices will win out and what devices will be deemed unnecessary. Mobile technology will continue to drive the market and device that claim to do/be everything including a Pez dispenser will win out. Well, maybe not a Pez dispenser. Devices whose purpose is singular in nature such at the e-reader, GPS devices, and even hand-held video camera will be shed for multipurpose tools.

Another interesting trend talked about is "Augmented reality" where we will be able to overlay pictures with information. One product talked about was Layer which allows you to take a picture from your video camera and then it will take information from various other tools such as Wikipedia, Yelp and Twitter and overlay it with information about the images being viewed. I see so many opportunities for use with libraries for something like this from location tools, video maps of the library, to identifying a credible resource.

Library 2.0 has started to take foot in many libraries and librarians have found a lot of ways to connect and engage with users. I think this will continue through 2010 and there will more tools to allow us to connect and engage.