Friday, September 30, 2005

More Librarian Pickup Lines

LISNews has posted The LISNews Library Pickup Lines. Some of my favorites:
  • "I bet you have quite a nice book worm!"

  • "So when's the last time you were 'on the desk'"

  • "I'll make you scream LC subject headings."

  • "Damn! You're so hot, I can't even imagine how fine you'd look in shoes that weren't sensible!"

  • "When I'm through, you're gonna need to get your books rebound."

  • "Librarians do it in stacks."

  • and my favorite...

  • "Well, stamp me received! You are checked out and I am cheeeeck'd in!"
Of course, please don't take this as an invitation to use these on me. :) They don't really work.

What I Learned....

I gave my first solo library instruction session today. Afterwards I was left feeling like my incoherent babbling had bored the students to sleep. So, I officially deemed it a learning experience and created a list called "What I learned from my first solo library instruction session and what I need to improve on". For you reading enjoyment:

1. Slow down girl! (Yes, they want to get out early. But WHO CARES?)

2. Practice runs might be more effective if you practice while actually using the library catalog and database... instead of just going through the talking part while driving to and from work. (Ooops, my bad. It's been a busy week!)

3. Practice using the outline you've created. No amount of multi-colored highlighting will keep you from losing your place if you haven't done that.

4. Repeat common terms to self over and over so you can't screw them up during the presentation. The Library Catalog is not "that thing you use to find books. *blank expressions* You know? That thing?" (okay, so I lie, I wasn't that bad. It's a funny thought though.)

5. It is inevitable that someone will fall asleep. Try not to feel too depressed during the presentation (you can cuss the person out later in the privacy of your office. Unless of course, your office, like mine, leads out into the reference area. Then at least be sure to shut the door before letting loose with a stream of unfriendly language).

6. Keep trying to think of ways to make the presentation more interesting. It's not hopeless! It can be interesting! (Keep reciting this one until convinced).

7. You can only improve (at least, I hope it's not possible to get any worse!)

Yes, a learning experience. Officially.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

$100 Laptop

MIT researchers are working on creating durable $100 laptops. These laptops would be sold in large quantities to countries for distribution to school children, from my understanding of the article at ABC News and the information on the MIT Media Lab site. According to the MIT site, "Initial discussions have been held with China, Brazil, Thailand, and Egypt." Pretty neat!

Looking for a New Author to Read?

Well, here's a new way to find an author whose books you may want to read:


Simply type in the author's name and you will be giving a list of names of similar authors which float around the screen. Of course, it is potentially headache-inducing (according to the Library Stuff blog) since they never really stop moving. Also, I tried Dan Brown as an author and Nora Roberts was one of the authors listed for him. Not sure how that relates since those reading Dan Brown may not be so interested in Nora Roberts. Best explanation I can come up with is that they are both quite popular authors.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Those Crazy Librarians

Wow, librarians (and perhaps others) are now using blogs to do presentations instead of powerpoint. Not sure what I think about that since you have to scroll down as you talk and such, but here's an example:

Weblogs and RSS: A Guide for Librarians

Interesting, huh?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tech Gadgets for Girls

Found an awesome blog in a Columbus Dispatch article recommended by a coworker. For all you females out there interested in tech gadgets and gizmos, check out:

Techie Diva's Guide to Gadgets!

She's writes about various gadgets, from the OQO I mentioned in a previous blog to solar handbags to rubber radios. I'd be a bit put off if she seemed to gravitate toward pink computers and extremely "girlie" gadgets, but she seems to cover quite a wide range. Definitely worth a look - they are really thinking up some pretty wacky stuff these days!

Bye Bye Jeeves

Get your last glimpse of Jeeves before it's too late!

The company that owns Ask Jeeves is sacking the cute old butler, who apparently conveys too antiquated an image and will prevent users from realizing the search engine has made some changes. Read about it here.

Poor Jeeves!

Monday, September 26, 2005


Back to posting multiple times per day....

Now here's an interesting site: Slawesome. According to the site, it's "email for your voice" but it is still "so alpha it makes us cry." Apparently you can record yourself talking and send it to others. I can't test it - no microphone. Neat idea though, although I'm not sure I'd use it...

It's Banned Books Week!

It's Banned Books Week! Read a banned book! For a list of books that have been banned or challenged visit the American Library Association's website for the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2001 and the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2004.

In January 2007, all new books will have ISBN numbers that are 13-digits long, instead of the previous 10-digit ISBN numbers. If you want to read about this in depth, download this. It's most likely way too much information for non-librarians (and perhaps even too much info for librarians - I don't know, I haven't read it yet).

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Yahoo's Instant Search (beta)

For those of us who apparently can't even wait for yahoo to return results after we click "search", Yahoo has an Instant Search out:

Yahoo's Instant Search (beta)

Wonder if it works on dial-up. You'll also notice, if you try a few queries, that it doesn't work well for various searches. It worked about half the time for me. But it's an interesting idea!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I Need Your Input!

I will be teaching a class in the spring dealing with information, the Web, using the library, finding resources, etc. It's a 2-credit course that meets twice a week.

I'm trying to come up with innovative assignment ideas that will help the students stay awake and actually learn. I want it to be fun (I have unrealistic goals, what can I say?). Plus, since I have not taught before (except for a few library instruction sessions), I'm basically a clean slate as far as teaching style is concerned, and I want to develop a good one right off the bat.

So, what I want to know is what you all do to learn about things. It's not really important what you are learning about, just how you do it.

For example, I am very interested in computer technology but not very knowledgeable. To learn about it, I read library blogs that are tech-oriented, pester my tech-savvy friends (you all know who you are) with questions, and attend the occasional workshop, conference, or presentation.

Anyone have other techniques you use? Wikis, friend networks, etc? I'd love to hear your ideas and comments!

By the way, for anyone who teaches, a really good article is Growing Up Digital, which is from the USDLA Journal (full-text available online).

A New Way to Raise Money for your Library

Well, I'm not sure how well or how long this link will work, but here's hoping:

Sexy Librarian Calendar

In case the link is problematic, I'll tell you briefly about it. Twelve librarians wanted to get their colleague a special going away gift. He's retiring after 32 years. So they decided to make a calendar with their pictures in it. Then, after talking to photographers they decided to basically pull a Calendar Girls stunt to raise money for their libraries. Down to six willing librarians they posed with oversized books covering their unmentionable areas (the article clearly states that they all had some clothes on during the photo shoot, the books just cover the clothes giving the appearance of being nekid except for the books). If the link doesn't work, don't be depressed - the article didn't have any pictures.

So this got me thinking. My library is desperately in need of funds....

To finally give appropriate credit - I found the link to this article on the LibrarianInBlack blog. She also mentions that Opera's browser is now completely free with no ads! I love Firefox, but perhaps I should check out Opera.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Have you thanked your librarian lately? : )

Well, aren't I just post-happy today. I didn't think my first post on library instruction had gone through since Blogger was apparently not happy with me this afternoon.


It's so nice to hear from students that your pitiful attempts at helping them find information are actually appreciated. I've had quite a few students thank me for helping them the past few days, one of which was in an email. No, unfortunately, the student didn't take it upon herself to write me an email proclaiming just how fabulous I am. I had written her an email as a followup to a phone conversation once I'd had time to find more resources. Anyway, the response I got back was:

"Wow, thank you so much! You have no idea how helpful this will be! I really, really appreciate it!"

That made my day. :)

"It's a Strange World. Fish it." -

So here's a fun search engine:


It finds free music on the web. I searched for David Lamotte, and it brought up the free mp3s that are on his website. The option to limit it to file type is nice for those of us who don't have Realplayer.

Of course, my favorite part of the site is where it says "Yes! We have a family filter. No! It will not filter out your family."


Some blog search engines that I saw in another blog which I once again forget the name of:

Google's beta Blog Search


And then this one is pretty interesting:


I'm not really sure I go to these "fake" pages all that often, but perhaps if I had SpoofStick, I'd find out that that's all I ever do! It's often called "phishing" which ties in nicely to the title of this blog entry - fishing/phishing. Okay, not so funny afterall...

Can Library Instruction be Fun??

I remember as a student feeling that library instruction was about the most boring thing I could possibly have attended. So now, in my new role as librarian, I’m trying very hard to find neat, innovative, entertaining ways to keep the students awake while still getting the information across.

So, my ideas so far are:
1. Using more examples
2. Choosing fun topics to search for (pornography anyone?)
3. The use of metaphors to explain concepts.

Anyone have any suggestions? I know most of you are not librarians, but you are or were students at one time. Is there anything that would have made it less boring? Anyone remember a good technique a librarian used?

For those librarians out there facing the same problem, there is a library instruction wiki here:
I’m slowly going through it to see what information it has to offer.

Monday, September 19, 2005

HTML Tweaking

It's amazing what you learn in library school. It is due to my Web Publishing class that I just wasted most of my evening monkeying around with the HTML in the template for this blog. I'm so glad that they let you tweak the code because now my cursors are crosshairs. That's highly important afterall.

Just wait until I have more free time and decide to play with the colors. I learned the important HTML.

Yay for crosshair cursors!

Itty Bitty Computer

Wow, talk about a tiny computer:

Hmmm, what possible use could the OQO have in libraries? Well, I suppose we could carry them around with us and hunt for bewildered patrons lost in the stacks. We'd just whip out our handy little OQO, search the online catalog using its wireless connection (note to self: library would need to have wireless for this to work), and tell the patrons what wonderful books they can find on their topic. And all of that without the inconvenience of walking back to a computer station. Wow.

Somehow I don't think that will fly as an explanation of why I need an OQO at my library. Oh well.

Thanks, Paul, for today's terrific tech tidbit!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Jumping on the Blog Bandwagon

I thought I'd give this whole blog thing a try. I'm forever finding neat things on the Internet that I think people should know about, so now instead of emailing these things to everyone (which probably drives them batty), I can just post it on here.

So we'll see how my foray into blogging goes.

Today's fun website is:

This site allows you to be on AIM, ICQ, MSN, and/or Yahoo without having to download anything to your computer. It's in beta form, but I've tried it out briefly and it seems to work pretty well. I've only tried one screenname at a time, but apparently you can be on multiple accounts at once.

I found Meebo on a library blog somewhere. I'd love to give credit but have no idea which one I found it on. I will have to remember to pay more attention to that in the future. I love reading Library blogs, particularly the technology-related ones, because I find some of the neatest things.