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January 28, 2005

Library News and Subject Blogs at GSU

Wow, now this is cool: Library News and Subject Blogs at Georgia State University Library. I posted a while back about an article outling the efforts at GSU, but just today caught a glimpse of what they've been up to.

I would love to know what they've used to set this up. Looks like it might be a home-grown application that they've built for their own use, and not a commercially available blogging system. Coooooool!

Posted by Sherri at 12:17 PM

January 27, 2005

Enhancing Internal Communications with Blogs, Wikis, and More

Enhancing Internal Communications with Blogs, Wikis, and More by Nick Finck, Mary Hodder, and Biz Stone provides an excellent overview of how to approach knowledge management in organizations with some of the new slick information/communication tools out there such as blogs and wikis. This presenation provides more than just description, and offers practical and actual examples of usage within each of the authors' respective workplaces/organizations/lives. This is a must-see for anyone interested in these apps or getting one off the ground in their own organization.

An overview:

With so many virtual teams today, along with what some are calling the "collapse of email." Organizations are looking for new and innovative ways for teams to communicate. For many, the integrated communication and information-sharing system that inexpensive Blogs and Wikis provide are just what the doctor ordered. In this session, attendees will learn:

The Resources section points to some great articles. One which I found particularly interesting was Ten things your web sites should be doing by Nick Finch.

Posted by Sherri at 10:19 AM

January 25, 2005

Google Debuts Video Search

via SearchEngineWatch

Hot on the heels of Yahoo's video search announcement, Google is launching Google Video, a new experimental service that allows you to search across the full-text transcripts of San Francisco bay area television programs from 10 channels, as well as the programming from CSPAN 1 and CSPAN 2. Google Video functions by pulling down television signals through antennas and satellite dishes on the roof of the Googleplex and indexing the closed-caption information that's transmitted along with each broadcast. more

Posted by Sherri at 12:34 PM

Wanna chat? Skype me!

I'm looking for some guinea pigs to test out my software find du jour: Skype. It's a free instant messaging client that also has free chat/voice support. So anyone whe has dowloaded the client can 'talk' - for free! The sound quality is excellent.

I've been using this on and off as an IM for a while, but am thinking about integrating it into distance ed support here at the Libraries. If things go smoothly, I'll possibly offer it up as one more way for distance students to contact me, since we don't have a toll free number that out of town people can use if they want to call us.

So if you're interested, follow the link below to download the free software and add me (sherri.vokey). Of course Mac users don't need to bother with external mics *grin* (unless you're annoyed by a bit of feedback) but Windows users will in many cases need to hook up something external.






Posted by Sherri at 12:18 PM

January 19, 2005

Sirsi gets RSS-ified

Yesterday, I posted about the acquisition of Docutek by Sirsi Corporation. Today, the shifted librarian (Jenny Levine) reports that Sirsi will be the first ILS vendor to offer native RSS feeds out of the catalog. Very exciting news indeed! Here are some of the preliminary features (via the shifted librarian):

The feeds will be part of their Rooms 2.0 and Enterprise Portal Solution (ESP) release around March. Features will include:

The ability to take any OPAC search strategy and convert it into an RSS feed. Because text search engine for our ILS system enables a user to embed MARC and other field codes in the search string, a user could construct a search that searches against title, author, subject, ISBN {020} and any other indexed field within the ILS.

The ability to create an RSS feed based on a search of any sources within SingleSearch, Sirsi's MuseGlobal based federated search product (EBSCO, LoCZ, etc.).

The ability to create an RSS feed of Google results.

The ability to create an RSS feed of our 'Best of the Web'.

The ability to sort the results by date, author, title, or relevance, where applicable.

Posted by Sherri at 11:02 AM

January 18, 2005

Sirsi acquires Docutek

In an email to the Docutek ERes Usergroup, Phil Keston, VP Marketing of Docutek, announced that Sirsi Corporation has acquired Docutek Information Systems Inc. Joining the Sirsi family as a wholly owned subsidiary, Docutek will continue to design, develop, sell, and support its Docutek ERes, Docutek VRLplus, and Docutek atSchool products. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Sirsi, Docutek will retain the autonomy and independence required to continue the ongoing successful development and support of Docutek products.

Docutek sales, support, product delivery, training, and other routine contacts and procedures will remain unchanged. Current Web and email addresses, telephone numbers, and fax numbers used to interact with Docutek will remain unchanged. If any of these details must change in the future, customers and other interested parties will be notified in advance.

Posted by Sherri at 12:56 PM

January 17, 2005

Best Free Reference Web Sites 2004: RUSA's Sixth Annual List

This is an annual series initiated under the auspices of the Machine-Assisted Reference Section (MARS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of ALA to recognize outstanding reference sites on the World Wide Web.

Best Free Reference Web Sites 2004

Posted by Sherri at 9:24 AM

January 16, 2005

LJ Article: Virtual Reference: Alive & Well

In her article, Virtual Reference: Alive & Well, Brenda Bailey-Hainer takes on some of the more negative press that virtual reference has been getting in the past months and highlights success stories such as AskColorado. Though much of the focus is on state/public library initiatives, there are some good points made regarding marketing, in particular.

Posted by Sherri at 10:23 PM

January 13, 2005

Openly's OpenURL Referrer for Google Scholar

Openly Informatics, Inc. has added OpenURL 1.0 to a Google Scholar plugin [read press release]. Openly's OpenURL Referrer is a new extension for the Firefox web browser, which adds a link to GoogleScholar's results page that points to a specific library's full-text copy of the article. This extension is based on Peter Binkley's earlier proof of concept.

Posted by Sherri at 10:21 AM

January 11, 2005

Delivering the News with Blogs @ GSU

An interesting article that discusses the use of Blogs in an academic llibrary environment as an alternative news delivery system: "Delivering the News with Blogs: The Georgia State University Library Experience." The article is a preprint, and will be published in Internet Reference Services Quarterly, Volume 10, issue 1 with expected publication in March 2005.

From the abstract:


To deliver information about library news, services and resources to the science faculty and students at Georgia State University, several librarians developed a blog, Science News. Despite the increasing popularity of blogs (or weblogs), few libraries have taken advantage of what they offer. Blogs can be updated easily, frequently and continuously, making them an appealing alternative to static newsletters.

Posted by Sherri at 7:31 PM

UNLV Google Scholar FAQ mentioned in Search Engine Watch Blog

The UNLV Libraries Google Scholar FAQ was mentioned in Search Engine Watch Blog in a posting on University FAQs relating to Google Scholar.

The On Google Scholar blog also gives a nod in our direction.

Posted by Sherri at 11:38 AM

January 6, 2005

Pew Internet Survey: State of Blogging

Just came across this bit of info on the diglib listserv, and included some of the snippets, below. You can also read the full results of the survey.

Blog readership shoots up 58% in 2004 6 million Americans get news and information fed to them through RSS aggregators

By the end of 2004 blogs had established themselves as a key part of online culture.

Two surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in November established new contours for the blogosphere and its popularity: * 7% of the 120 million U.S. adults who use the internet say they have created a blog or web-based diary. That represents more than 8 million people.

* 27% of internet users say they read blogs, a 58% jump from the 17% who told us they were blog readers in February. This means that by the end of 2004 32 million Americans were blog readers. Much of the attention to blogs focused on those that covered the recent political campaign and the media. And at least some of the overall growth in blog readership is attributable to political blogs. Some 9% of internet users said they read political blogs "frequently" or "sometimes" during the campaign.

* 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online. This is a first-time measurement from our surveys and is an indicator that ***_this application is gaining an impressive foothold_***.

* The interactive features of many blogs are also catching on: 12% of internet users have posted comments or other material on blogs.

* At the same time, for all the excitement about blogs and the media coverage of them, blogs have not yet become recognized by a majority of internet users. Only 38% of all internet users know what a blog is. The rest are not sure what the term "blog" means.

Posted by Sherri at 10:51 AM