Friday, September 29, 2006

ViewScore Aggregates Product Reviews

ViewScore is every shopper's dream come true. It takes reviews from different sources online, aggregates the product scores and gives you an overall score. Right now, it only deals in electronics. A great tool for you and your patrons...

ViewScore develops a product search-engine to provide users with consistent, uniform and easy-to-follow/easy-to-compare product recommendations. ViewScore product ranking technology eliminates the time-consuming search process and enables consumers to find the most suitable product within the shortest time. Shoppers can then continue to the next phase, selecting a vendor or purchasing the product.

ViewScore aggregates and processes product review content from thousands of data sources - compiles a unique numerical product review score for each product; ranks the aggregated product review scores; and present the user with final product recommendations. Users can then drill down further and dive into individual product reviews to learn more about each product and the reviewer’s opinion, refine their product search, move to the "where to buy" phase or go directly to a merchant site to purchase the product of their choice.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sustaining the Rural Library: A Discussion of Current Trends Facing Public Libraries

Here is an interesting online program on rural libraries. According to the site, you can partcipate if you have a web browser. Here is the info from the OPAL website:

Sustaining the Rural Library: A Discussion of Current Trends Facing Public Libraries What are the current trends and issues affecting the operation and administration of rural public libraries? What are some strategies for sustaining rural libraries? Join Dr. Bernard Vavrek for a discussion of current challenges and future opportunities for rural public libraries. Bernard Vavrek is Professor of Library Science and Chair of the Department of Library Science at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He is also director of the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship, an entity dedicated to supporting rural and small libraries across the United States. He is an active member of the American Library Association and the Association of Rural and Small Libraries. Currently, he serves in an advisory role to the Rural Library Sustainability Project, and MaintainIT, two programs sponsored by the Gates Foundation. His teaching specialties include reference resources, rural library services, marketing, and public access computers.

Its on October 4th and starts at 9 AM. If you can't make it to the live broadcast, they let you listen to an archived Podcast of the event.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Gurulib: Catalog for Personal Collections

I read about Gurulib on Superpatrons blog. The site itself is a useful tool for indivuals who want to track their various personal collections. However, I found out that through it you can search from a list of 530 public libraries. Most automation software will do this for you today so you can easily copy catalog new items in your collection. If you do not have access to a cataloging tool, you might want to try out Gurulib. I created an account in less than five minutes. I then clicked on the button, Add Item. I was given the choice of searching Amazon or a public library. You can add as many public libraries as you want, but you can only search one at a time. It is a new tool so give it some time and I bet they build in the ability to search multiple sources at once. I really liked the interface as well. It was easy to use and seemed to take advantage of all the Web 2.0 functionality.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Online Resources for Teens and Programming

I just ran across two interesting online sites - one for teens and one for programming for all ages. Both have great ideas and encourage input from librarians - take time to check them out.

The Alternative Teen Services website is a grassroots publication maintained by teen librarians for the purpose of exchanging ideas, resources, and passion about serving young adults. By using grassroots media and new social learning tools to discuss teen librarianship, we hope to learn and be inspired by each other in a fun and supportive environment. Our efforts should work towards the end goal of improving teen library services through information sharing and grassroots media.

The EZ Library Program Directory was created by the Mid-Hudson Library System to help librarians find easy, inexpensive program ideas covering a wide range of topics, activities, costs and ages--from infants to adults.

To look for a program idea, choose Search for a Program and search by one or more of the categories or search by keyword. If you wish to share programs that have been successful in your library, please use the Submit a Program section.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Charred laptop at Yahoo!

Charred laptop at Yahoo!
Charred laptop at Yahoo!,
originally uploaded by Chico Gino.
If you have laptops in your library, be careful and make sure to take advantage of battery recalls if you qualify. This laptop was at Yahoo's headquarters in California.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wyoming Authors Wiki

I read about this wiki on Library Stuff. Wiki's are great tools to utilize for several reasons. First, it can be used on your website by your patrons. For example, you can create a wiki on the best books to read and have your patrons make contributions to it. Secondly, it is a great tool for project management. If your staff needs a inexpensive tool to track that critical project, wiki's allow for easy interaction between the project team because anyone can contribute and edit a wiki page. Finally, if you are working on a publication with a group of people from different locations, a wiki allows you to centralize the document so tracking versions is not so difficult.

We plan to start using wikis here at NTRLS in the near future. We have discoverd PBwiki which is a free for the basic service. Keep an eye out.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Future of Libraries - Top Ten Trends

This article lists ten trends in the library world + mentions areas the library needs to be ready for the future. Thomas Frey has some outside of the box thinking and ideas - worth your time to read.

The Future of Libraries Beginning the Great Transformation

By Thomas Frey, Executive Director of the DaVinci Institute

We have put together ten key trends that are affecting the development of the next generation library. Rest assured that these are not the only trends, but ones that have been selected to give clear insight into the rapidly changing technologies and equally fast changing mindset of library patrons.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Resources for Teens and FAEQs

If you have ever had that uncomfortable teen approach your desk, mumble a personal question, and then leave quickly, this site is for you. A great link for your teen webpage is at the Internet Public Library's FAEQ (Frequently Asked Embarrassing Questions) - a source for health and sexuality.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Online Legal Resources

TexasLawHelp, is your one stop, online resource for free and low-cost civil legal assistance in Texas. This website provides general legal information, a legal assistance directory, and links to other assistance organizations such as 2-1-1.

One area of specific interest, is the Do It Yourself forms such as filing for a divorce in Texas.

While we can not give legal advice to patrons, will provide excellent legal information that will assist your patrons. It is one of the best, user friendly websites I have seen online.