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April 28, 2010

Government Data: Open, Accessible, and Interesting?

Yes, absolutely interesting! Anyone who's used the American FactFinder to research their neighborhood can attest to that. And, according to a new Pew Research report called Government Online, the number of people who've conducted such research is fairly staggering. 40% of adult users have gone online to research some aspect of government spending or activity.

  • 23% of Internet users have visited sites like Recovery.gov to track how stimulus money is being spent.

  • 22% have read or download the text of legislation, perhaps from sites like Thomas. (Brave souls.)

  • 16% have used sites like Data.gov to find governmental datasets. (Also brave.)

In a turn of happy coincidence or bleeding edge thinking, depending on your viewpoint, Minitex Reference is on top of this curve. We've recently offered several very popular webinars on Census Bureau data, an archived version of which can be viewed here. And we have an upcoming series of sold-out webinars on using government data from the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development to help job-seekers. Sign up for the waiting list and watch for an archived version of that one here.

Update: We just added two more sessions of Census 2010: Power, Money, Data. Sign up now!

April 13, 2010

Technology Trends Teleconference Available for 30 Days

If you didn't get a chance to catch Marshall Breeding and Eric Lease Morgan's live online discussion of the future of finding, creating, and using information in libraries, presented by the College of DuPage, you can view it online for the next 30 days or so.

To get the link, drop a quick email to mtxref at umn.edu.

In "Technology Trends in Libraries: Tools, Skills, Staffing, Training" which was broadcast on April 9th, Breeding and Morgan discuss next generation discovery services and the semantic web; digital preservation; and open access publishing.

April 8, 2010

March Reference Notes

The brand-new issue of Reference Notes is now available on our brand-new website!

In the March issue, we unveil several new pages on the AskMN website, hear feedback from a librarian using AskMN, spotlight the EBSCO HealthSource databases, provide strategies and resources to tackle even the toughest readers' advisory question, and take a break from text with several library-related cartoons, like this one.

Here's the March Reference Notes TOC:

Readers' Advisory: A Practice
AskMN Updates
AskMN - A Librarian's Answer in Real Time
Library Technology Conference 2010
ELM Spotlight: Health Source
EBSCO Purchases Netlibrary
ELM Vendors Offer Webinars
Multilingual Minnesota
Note Taking in Today's World
Mobile Funnies
New Policy to Get Broadband up to Speed?
WebJunction Minnesota: New Group and New Courses

Thanks for reading!

New Minitex Website

Hey, check out Minitex's new website, if you haven't already. It's the result of a lot of planning and some great work by our IT department. It reorganizes our content around functions and user tasks, rather than Minitex department names. From any page within the site, access our products & services, trainings & events, and communication pieces by hovering over the appropriate heading along the top banner.

The Browse All Training Sessions page is a go-to site to find upcoming in-person or online instructional sessions, as well as archived webinars and tutorials from any Minitex department.

The Reference Services home page organizes the services we offer in the menu along the left. The home page also provides more information about us front and center - including our upcoming webinars and recent Reference Notes publications. A new feature on the Reference Services page is the Instruction Request Form. If you have a group of colleagues, teachers, or students that would benefit from learning more about ELM or any of the other reference-related instruction we offer, use this form to request a no-cost online or in-person session from us.