September 30, 2008

using social media to reach the social media-less

Not everybody is using social media - sites like Yelp, YouTube, Twitter, etc.  But Marshall Kirkpatrick has some suggestions on ReadWriteWeb on how you can get non-social-media people information using those very tools they don't use.   Read his post: Five Ways to Use Social Media to Reach People Who Don't Use Social Media.  Some very interesting ideas in there...

September 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Google Book Search API widgets

Google just launched some new widgets for its Book Search API, which lets other sites embed book previews, link to books, or query the database for specific book info.  The display of the book preview is quite customizable - you can easily determine the content, size, etc.  Google talks about this on their blog.  Watch and wait...let's see what some more creative library coders do with this!

September 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thanks to a friend for pointing me to  A non-profit company, purchases expensive government reports or codes and publishes them for free on the open web.  For example, online access to the California Code of Regulations would normally cost $1,000, but on this site it is up for free.  Other examples include the Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Register, and the U.S. Code.  The full list is on their Government Printing Office page.  There is a lot there - Congressional Documents and Reports, GAO Reports and Decisions, Public Laws...literally millions of pages (5,177,003 to be exact).  The San Francisco Chronicle just featured an interview with Carl Malamud, the site's creator (who lives in Sebastapol CA, just north of me).  Here's to the public domain and to open access!

September 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

2008 Technorati State of the Blogosphere report

The 2008 Technorati State of the Blogosphere report has been released.  The report includes oodles of statistics about who bloggers are, why they blog, their favorite blogging and blog-related tools, and how bloggers' voices affect brand success or failure.

Who are bloggers?  3/4 are college graduates and 42% attended graduate school at some point in their lives.  59% of bloggers have blogged for over two years.  I also found it interesting that there were four times as many "professional" bloggers who blog abou ttheir work in an unofficial capacity (like me) than there were "corporate" bloggers who blog as officially sanctioned bloggers for their companies.  That says a lot right there.

There are lots more interesting stats.  Check out the fulll report.

September 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Internet Tips and Tricks

Check out Aaron Schmidt's Internet Tips and Tricks presentation, outlining ways to best use the web and tools to use to do just that.  Thanks Aaron!  I can see this being a useful presentation for library users too.

September 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 29, 2008

MaintainIT webinars:

The MaintainIT Project is offering two upcoming webinars that might be of interest to readers here: "How much help should you provide patrons with laptops?" and "Get Your Game On: Quick Tips to Start a Gaming Program in Your Library."  If either is of interest to you, check out MaintainIT's website for other topics of interest.  They cover a lot of different topics in very little time!

September 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Laws for Using Photos You Take at Your Library

One of the questions I get almost every time I speak, and many times from blog readers, is: "Do I have to get waivers to take photos of people at my library that are going to go up on Flickr?"  A great article was written for the September/October issue of Marketing Library Services by Bryan Carson: "Laws for Using Photos You Take at Your Library."  If that is a question that has plagued you and your library, read the article.  You will leave with some answers, if not all.

September 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New ALA Website

Ah yes, the long-awaited new ALA website is here.  Hurrah!  Huzzah!  And w00t!  This is something many of us who are at least semi-active in ALA have been waiting a long time for.  It was so hard to find stuff on the old site, and so hard to navigate yourself around.  From what I've seen of the new site so far I am very happy.  Not only does it look more up to date and professional, the search works better.  Good work ALA!  For more info, read their press release.

September 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Text a Librarian

Interested in offering text messaging reference services to your users but unsure where to start?  Take a look at  This was created by a small start-up mobile Q&A service called Mosio.  They won the Mobile Category at SXSW this year.  They have a number of beta library customers including Yale, UC Berkeley, University of Kansas, and UC Merced among others.  There is a demo on the website that you can try to see how it works, including both sides of the conversation (basically you get to text in a question, and answer it yourself through the web interface). 

I was highly, highly impressed.  The demo interface was easy to use as the librarian--clean, crisp, simple.  No or very little training would be required of the librarians staffing it.  And for the user on the phone end, it was easy to ask a question and the response came back easy to read too (as text messages usually are).  Nice work, Mosio!

I am all over this as soon as our library is ready to go in that direction (which I hope will be soon).  I have a feeling I'm in the same boat as many other libraries who are also still hoping to get IM Reference into the library culture.  It will happen someday for all of us ...  it's just a matter of time.

September 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

hakia: semantic search (you mean experts' opinions count?)

Hakia_logo_large Yes, yes, it's been in all the news, I know.  But I still don't know how I feel about hakia, the new search engine designed to "unlock the credible and free resources on the Web for all users."  This semantic search technology gives higher ranking to those resources recommended by professional groups with different areas of expertise.  To get an idea of what search results look like, here are the results for a search on "Marfan Syndrome."  Note the top few and the little pop-up info on the right when you hover over the results.

The company invited librarians to suggest URLs that we "as information experts, believe lead to the most credible websites for any given topic."  To me this is really Librarians' Internet Index turned into a search engine.  I'm curious to see how the market takes to this, beyond librarians and teachers.  If the regular-old-person won't use it, it won't make it.  You can read more details on the hakia site if you're interested in learning more.

September 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)