Friday, December 19, 2008

Lists 2008--Best of . . .

Here's an aggregate list of many of the end-of-the-year best of/ worst of lists. What's this fascination with lists? Maybe because they are so neat and tidy. Maybe they simplify our world into nice linear value-laden predigested cultural schedules. I dunno. All I know is that I'm off for the weekend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Google Street view

I have probably blogged about this at least once already, but it still blows my mind everytime I encounter a reference to it. If you haven't done this yet, you need to try it--if only to see how easy it is for information-literate-trained stalkers to find you. Many streets in U.S. cities have now been photographed. Looks like pictures of my house were done sometime last winter.

Go to Google; choose Maps; enter your address/zipcode. When you get the map, click on Street view in the box that pops up. Now you can navigate by clicking on the arrow in the middle of the street or rotating the picture using the carets (sp?) in the top corner of the view.

Should you ever see a car driving your street with a set of cameras mounted on the roof, be sure to wave and say hello to the world!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tic Your TOC

I love electronic databases, especially those with full-text articles. But, alas, I miss the serendipitous finding of articles I wasn't looking for, but really like or need or explode my mind. Just got notice of a utility from the UK that allows us to specify (tic) a list of our favourite[sic] journals, save the list, and then cruise the Table of Contents (TOC) of our choices whenever we wish. And the name is. . . . ticTOCs!

"Welcome to ticTOCs - where researchers keep up-to-date

* ticTOCs is easy to use, and it's free.
* Find 11,393 scholarly journal Table of Contents (TOCs) from 414 publishers.
* View the latest TOC for each journal.
* Link to the full text of 291,071 articles (where institutional or personal subscription allows).
* Export TOC feeds to popular feedreaders.
* Select and save journal titles to view future TOCs (Register to ensure your MyTOCs are permanently saved).
* And more!"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Library Elf

Sounds like a Christmas story; it's not. Ellen Wilson, our ingenious technology librarian, alerted me to this utility several months ago, and every month I'm really glad she did.

Sign up for an account. Enter your Mobile Public Library card number and password and Library Elf will connect with your account. You can set it up to let you know which books you have checked out and send you an email alert before they are due.

It works for MPL and Hancock County library for both me and my husband. You can check and see if any other libraries are included. There are a couple of academic libraries, but not this one, though I will look into it. Library Elf may not work with our system.

It has saved me from fines several times and I love just being able to see what I have, what I've put a hold on, and when everything is due. Perfect if you have kids that use the public library. So easy.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I think it was the Washington Post that used to have a contest every year for the best made-up word. This website is based on the same concept. The Word of the Day is:
noun, The anxiety and stress stemming from having the in-laws over for dinner over the holidays.

So many words that ought to exist!

Thanks to
Marylaine Block

Friday, December 05, 2008

Just for Fun--Sleeveface

Now that exams are going on, I think it's too late for anything but some stress relief. Heard about this website on NPR the other day. Too cool! This is something anybody can do with an old album cover and a friend with a digital camera. Submit your photo to the website.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Mechanics of Finding an Article in the Library

I just finished updating a web page that, I hope, elucidates the steps you need to take to find a full text article through the USA University Library Homepage in a couple of general databases. I wish it were easy, but it's not. Here are seven steps that take you through the mechanics of the process. The actual search strategy is a whole 'nother ballgame. Maybe I can talk Ellen Wilson into doing a Captivate demo on constructing a search strategy--after the Holidays, of course.

Monday, December 01, 2008

World AIDS Day

How much do you know about how AIDs? Take the test.(Give it a few moments to load.)