Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wowio - More Books for Information Compulsive Persons

Wowio is a free web based service that allows you to download books, magazines and graphic novels. It gives folks an opportunity to catch up on the classics like Two Gentlemen of Verona or discover classic comics/graphic strips like Steve Canyon by Milton Caniff.

They have books in wide variety of categories such as Arts and Design, Philosophy, Business and you can't have too many Science Fiction and Fantasy books as far as I'm concerned. The books are in the Adobe PDF format.

There is a daily download limit of three books a day but how fast can you read on the screen anyway? It is free but you do have to register and they ask you not to pass the books around to other folks.

I've read a few and they are not bad. The main problem is having the time to read what I've downloaded before I grab a few more. It is an interesting idea and I hope that it will grown and develop.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Superintendent of Documents Classification System

If you want to locate federal publication documents you don't need to learn the Superintendent of Documents Classification System (SuDocs). The Government Printing Office Catalog of U.S. Government Publications allows you to type in keyword or perform advanced searches.

If you plan on working in a federal library, an academic depository library or you need to access U.S. government produced documents on a regular basis then you might need to learn this classification system.

SuDocs will make it easier to understand which agency is publishing the document and when it was created. SuDocs is a system based on:
  • the agency or department that created the document
  • the sub-level of that agency (if any)
  • the series designation (if any)
  • the number that designates the title of the publication
  • the date of publication.
For example: HE20.2:H81 translates to Health and Human Services Department Public Health Services publication entitled National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

To learn More About SuDoc Classification

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ning and the Library 2.0 Vibe In Action

Ning provides users the ability to create their own social network tailored to their exact interest. I found a library support staff group and other types of library social networking groups

With Ning you can set up a public or private social network. I found an Anime in Youth libraries group via Ning. You also can decide if this will be a public, members only or private network. So if you were to collaborate on a project that you didn't want others to know about then Ning might be for you.

Library support workers (and those studying to join the ranks) should make time to visit Tech United. It has been really hard to find viable library worker blogs that talk about the day to day work life of library support workers. These are folks with on the job work issues and solutions.


Visit Library Technicians United


For those of you that dabble in Second Life and are considering becoming librarians there is a group for Second Life Librarians as well as Maps and GIS librarians and iBrary for Teacher-Library to figure out the new terrain.

To be honest, many of the Ning groups seem to crash and burn out after a post or two. So it might take a little time to find the good stuff and people that you definitely want to know and network with in your spare time.

Library Technician Opportunities for September 13, 2007

Mrs. Kim has been busy scoping out potential employment goodies. Dive in and make with the contacts

Library/Media Technician II at Rialto Unified School District. From the website: this is an extract of the essential duties:
  • Performs technical processing of instructional materials, including bibliographic records,
  • Compiles and maintains requisition and purchase order files for instructional materials and textbooks,
  • Supervises student library assistants in order to maintain proper library procedures; organizes daily assignments and coordinates the activities of library students,
  • Compiles slide video/film requests; coordinates ordering and distribution of all videos/films,
  • Supervises the routing of incoming and outgoing materials to departments/schools; circulates materials,
  • Records all material costs and posts to purchase orders,
  • Assists with reviewing catalogs and recommending materials for purchase,
  • Maintains a professional library, including all books, pamphlets, periodicals, California codes and similar materials and other tasks.
Job ID: 3197; Full-time; $2,899/month Closing date: 3:30 pm, Sept 20, 2007
Inquire at www.rialto.k12.ca.us or Call at (909) 820-7700, ext.2100.

Library Technician I at County of San Diego From the job post at the website:

This is the entry level in the Library Technician class series. Incumbents perform library services in a branch library or headquarters division. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Charging and discharging books, audio-visual materials, periodicals, pamphlets,
  • Documents and other library materials on an automated circulation system;
  • Registering library patrons, answering questions, and assisting in the use of library facilities, resources, and reference materials;
  • Shelving library materials; assisting in ordering, receiving, cataloging, and processing library materials; processing inter-library loans on an automated circulation system;
  • Assisting in children’s services, young adult programs, and other activities serving the public.
Job Code: 07401605; Full-time starting at $932 to $1,131/biweekly or $29,432/yr. Inquire at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov, or Call at (619) 685-2458

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Welcome to Fall 2007

Greetings to all of our PCC Library Technology students!! I know some of you from previous classes. Others I had the chance to meet last Wednesday when Ann Dallavalle's class came to the Circulation Desk at the Shatford Library. (And, of course I know Joe and Damaris from the computer labs downstairs and Ernest and Jared because I am lucky enough to work with them in Circ.) I hope that you will all keep reading (or maybe even subscribe to the RSS feed for) this wonderful blog. Gena does a terrific job of providing us with all the latest helpful and interesting information. Thanks, Gena!

For those of you who don't know me yet. My name is Diana Lopez. I'm one of the techs in the Circulation Department at Shatford. If we haven't met yet, I'm sure I'll see you if you are in the Circulation class, or stop on by to introduce yourself! I know that I speak for everyone at our beautiful library when I say that we are glad you are with us!! Now, if there is any way that I can be of assistance to you with your program at PCC (or with anything else for that matter), please stop by the Circ Desk or our office on the second floor of the library. Sometimes we are a little busy, but we are always willing to help you!! We wish you success in the program and beyond. Have a terrific semester!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Better Searching with Google Cheat Sheet

Quotation marks? Is that what you use to search Google? For shame. There are loads of Google shortcuts that will help you get what you want faster and reduce the fuzz factor.

Google has an advanced search cheat sheet for those who want to move past the hope and pray it lands on the first page surfers.

In addition to the standard AND, OR, NOT you also have other search terms like:
  • The minus sign to indicate what should not be selected if you were searching for Harry but did not want Harry Potter then you would type Harry -Potter
  • The tilde ~ to indicate search for the word and synonyms like ~chicken soup will also bring stew, recipes and books for your soul
  • I'm Feeling Lucky - Google's best guess of what you are looking for in a web site.
You also can use Google as a calculator, a dictionary or with the colon a way to find information inside of a specific web site such as Martian site:jumptheshark.com will search for the word Martin only at www.jumptheshark.com

Other search engines have special pages to help you use their sites:
  • Ask.com Advanced Search Tips
  • Hakia is a semantic search term search engine. The Labs page allows you to explore features that are not available in other search engines. The Benefits page explains how Hakia is different that the competition.
  • Windows Live Search - can be accessed via Microsoft Internet Explorer search bar or by going to the main web site.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What Is RSS Video by Common Craft

Yes, you have to understand what RSS (Really Simple Syndication). You are a 21 century person. I promise, this won't hurt a bit and might even help you down the road of life, or you job. Ok, it might help you get a date. Or not. But why take that chance?


For a captioned version of the video you can visit dotSub to see the text of What Is RSS?

dotSub is a multinational volunteer network of folks adding captions to video. Not just for the hearing impaired folks. The site volunteers translate the audio content from videos from one language to another.

If you like this video and want to check out other work by Common Craft slide on over to http://www.commoncraft.com

Information Literacy Resources For Time Staved Students

This is an additional listing of web based information literacy resources. Information literacy has many people writing, talking and producing videos on this topic.

For example, the tutorial at the City University of New York incorporates traditional writing skills (for presentations, reports and papers) and those skills necessary to evaluate the information found on the Internet.

Stanford University's Stanford Key to Information Literacy is similar but includes a self quiz to help you check your comprehension. This tutorial is based for Stanford students but there is good stuff to be found, particularly in the Use Criteria section.

Speaking of which, there is a search engine that only allows content from authoritative sources. The Undergraduate Search Engine was created by volunteer librarians for use by freshman and sophomore students.

Librarian bloggers certainly have much to say about the topic. You should take a peak at Michael Lorenzen's work at The Informational Literacy Land of Confusion, he writes about library and non-library related issues with info literacy.

Information Literacy Weblog connects the topics with current world connections such as social networking, Second Life (how should librarians present themselves in Second Life) and work-based learning.

You don't necessarily have to read or work through modules to understand information literacy. On YouTube there are a number of videos contributing their two cents about the topic.
This is just a small sample of what is out there. Dive in and drink deep.

Monday, September 03, 2007

University of Idaho - Information Literacy Modules

There are rumblings from academia and high tone thinkers that state that bloggers, wiki participants and twitters are not equipment with the skills of evaluating information, let alone deciding to create content.

That we do not (collectively) possess the information or critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate the torrent of information that is being produced.

They argue, in the classic sense, that there needs to be gatekeepers such as the traditional news media, intellectuals and professionals trained to filter and evaluate content. These folks would have a certain level of educational background to properly present the information to the teeming masses. I think these people may be called librarians but I'm part of the great unwashed so you didn't hear it from me.


University Of Idaho Information Literacy

And for the record, I have never said to get rid of traditional news media or that bloggers will wipe out traditional news. But I digress.

Let's say the high tone thinkers are right. That information literacy skills have not been transmitted from academia to the teeming masses. I'm just a blogger but I've locate an on-line source to help me learn the skills that the upper crust is so toasted about.

The University of Idaho has an on-line series of modules to learn about information literacy and has a self-test to check your comprehension.

When you get a chance work your way through the modules. They do have a direct application to our coursework and the life outside of school.

Special Library Association

There are a variety of libraries that serve special collections. These are known as "Special Libraries"

Special Library Association

This particular association focuses on the need of member that work in academic, corporate and governmental library professionals. I'm getting the sense reading through the website they make it clear that they are really focusing on Information professionals.

In today marketplace that is not just restricted to librarians but to those individuals that use information as a method of supporting the goals of the company that employ them.

For example, News Librarians use all of the skills of research and information gathering but those skills are using to support the newspaper, magazine or broadcast news industry.

There is also the Transportation division of that focuses on transportation issues. This will include air, land, water, rail mass transit and a host of other information research.

The SLA is a membership organization that provide job and career information, research and networking opportunities to the membership.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Creating Tutorials & Demos - AuthorStream & AuthorPoint Lite

AuthorStream is a service that allows you to upload Microsoft Powerpoint presentations and host on the site. This may leave users of other presentation software out of luck unless OpenOffice Impress and Apple Keynote users convert the presentation to the .PPT or .PPS formats.



This is an example of an AuthorStream presentation. AuthorStream is free. I checked out the FAQ and you do have choices such as:
  • Your presentation can be private or public. Private presentations can be uploaded but only those who are given an invitation can view the presentation. Public presentations (like the examples I've posted below) are open to be viewed and shared by any user.
  • You can make use of some of the transitions available in PowerPoint, but trust me, less is more.
  • You can have an RSS feed that folks could subscribe to your presentations.
With any of the free hosting services I do feel the need to mention if they disappear or go out of business so does your presentation. Make sure you have a back-up copy.

Other Examples from AuthorStream:
AuthorPoint Lite

Here is where it gets interesting. AuthorPoint Lite is a free PowerPoint to Flash converter. You create your presentation, convert it using AuthorPoint Lite and then upload it to AuthorStream or your blog/website (if you know how to code the HTML)

Flash Animations can be seen by most users so it is (almost) a universal format. There are some accessibility issues. If you like the format of AuthorStream and are looking for a way to upload via Flash animations you should check out the information page.

AuthorGen (creators of AuthorStream and AuthoPoint Lite) do have a commerical version of the product for sale that has additional features.