Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Libworm: Search Library Blogs

Libworm is a site I discovered through delicious. It is a search engine for library blogs. Here is what they have to say about themselves.

Frankie Dolan, a UK-based IT engineer, built the infrastructure for David Rothman, a medical library paraprofessional and blogger in Syracuse, NY, suggested to Frankie that this infrastructure would also work very well for making the biblioblogosphere more searchable. Frankie liked the idea, and said she was game if David would take on the day-to-day administrative tasks. David collected the feeds, applied categories, proposed some pre-set searches, and made suggestions about functionality and interface design; Frankie built everything that makes LibWorm work.

It is a wonderful site. I used it to search for North Texas Regional Library System and it showed me all of our blog postings and any other blog that mentioned us. Sweet! I then added the search to my My Yahoo news page so I can monitor the biblioblogosphere for any mention of us.

I think the tool would be especially helpful for newcomers to the biblioblogosphere. You can monitor your favorite feeds with it and even store articles on your account. You can easily create an account and they make a point of mentioning that the service is free.

If you need to find out what they are saying about a hot library topic in the biblioblogosphere, this would be the first place I would go.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

IM Slang: Websites to Translate them

I have been asked quite a lot lately about whether I know the IM and Text Messaging Language. I have to profess that I do not. However, thanks to Stephen Cohen of Library Stuff, I was able to find three sites that will do the translation for you.

Here is the quote from the Cnet Article that Stephen mentions in his blog.

Despite the secrecy, Internet-savvy parents have more and more tools to decipher the code, causing a kind of chat-and-mouse game. Befuddled by lingo seen through monitoring software or over their kids' shoulder--like "wu" for what's up, or "plox" for please--parents are turning to sites like, and for their acronym dictionaries--much to teens' chagrin.

I checked out NoSlang. It lists the top 25 for Parents to know.

Age Sex Location (Race / Picture)

Boyfriend / Girlfriend

Be Right Back

Code 9 - means parents are around

Get Naked on Cam (webcam)

Got to Go

I don't know

(Lets) meet in real life

Laugh Out Loud

Male or Female

Mom Over Shoulder

Naked in Front of Computer

Newbie - often an insult to somebody who doesn't know much about something.

Not much, you?

Parent Emergency

Parents are Watching

Parent In Room

Parent Over Shoulder


Parents Are Watching

Send To Recieve (pictures)

Talk Dirty To Me

Pirated Software


What the ####?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How Many Web Sites Are Porn? Feds Count

About 1 percent of Web sites indexed by Google and Microsoft are sexually explicit, according to a U.S. government-commissioned study. Government lawyers introduced the study in court this month as the Justice Department seeks to revive the 1998 Child Online Protection Act, which required commercial Web sites to collect a credit card number or other proof of age before allowing Internet users to view material deemed "harmful to minors."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Michigan High Court to Hear Case about Public Library Privileges

This article, which I found on the Library Link of the Day, details a case the Michigan Supreme Court case is hearing about a resident of one community suing to be allowed to use the public library of another community. Something for all us to monitor.

At issue: Can some municipalities decide to invest more in their libraries, providing extra services that only local residents enjoy? Or should any citizen of the state be able to check out books from any library, from Sault Ste. Marie to Saugatuck?


The case began when the Bloomfield Township library told George Goldstone of Bloomfield Hills that he couldn't check out books there.

If Goldstone's attorney prevails in his argument that the Michigan Constitution gives all residents equal access to any public library, then librarians fear that the local taxes some communities now assess to enhance their libraries will disappear -- along with the special programs that the taxes fund.

Calculating the Value of Your Library

The November 6, 2006 Library Journal highlights The Maine State Library's "Library Use Value Calculator." This calculator answers the questions "What is your library worth to you?" and "How much would you pay out-of-pocket for your library services?"

You can customize how to figure the value of the calculations and use on your library's website. Seeing the figures based on my usage of my local library was eye-opening.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Public Libraries - Share Your Stories About Public Access Computers!

Hi. I am on the steering committee for the MaintainIT Project. We are looking for some information. Please see below for more details. Please help if you can. If you can't share a story, pass it on to someone who can. Many thanks.

The MaintainIT Project ( is gathering stories on how libraries maintain computers and Internet services for their communities. From the information collected, the Project will create best practice guides tailored to different types of public libraries and will distribute the free guides beginning in Spring 2007.

Librarians, IT staff, and technology consultants are invited to share both challenges in keeping public computers running as well as successes and lessons learned. Stories can be submitted online at or by contacting the project at, or 415-633-9390 and 800-659-3579 x 390.

Until December 15, the emphasis is on gathering stories from small, rural libraries, as the first guide will be oriented towards your needs.

The MaintainIT Project is a three-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. MaintainIT is a project of TechSoup (, a nonprofit serving fellow nonprofits and public libraries with technology information, resources, and product donations.

Thursday, November 02, 2006 - Compare book prices online fast and easy is a neat tool to use to compare prices of online retailers for books, DVDs and music. The webmaster emailed me and asked if I had ever used her site. I decided to give a go and blog my impressions.

Overall Impression: Although most of the prices do not compare to the discounts received through our preferred vendor, Brodart, it is a handy, easy-to-use tool to see if an item can be found more cheaply online. I was pleasantly surprised by the tool and will be returning to it when I go shopping for a book online.

Here is what they write about themselves:

What is BooksPrice? What do you do? BooksPrice is a free service that searches for the best deal in books, cds and dvds among the main on-line stores. BooksPrice is specializing in price comparisons on several books, cds and dvds together. BooksPrice is an independent web site, not owned by any bookstore. The search result is therefore totally objective.

I did a search on the title Wisdom of the Crowds and received a listing of different media types of the item. Once I figured out which listing was for the book, I clicked on the Compare Prices button. This took me to a page listing several online retailers and their price for the item. It even included the shipping price which was handy. Some of the choices were for used books so I checked the New Books checkbox at the top and got a shorter listing of the vendors offering the book new. I clicked on the Buy link and was taken to the vendor's website.

Some of the vendors I did not recognize so I went back to FAQ and here is a listing of the retailers they currently search. Nice list!!!!

Abebooks Blackwells page1books CDUniverse Alibris Barnes & BiggerBooks A1Books Tower Records Family Christian Stores Overstock bookpool HKFlix christianbook Bunches of Books ClassBook allbooks4less iChapters textbookx Ignatius Chapters halfvalue iUniverse ValoreBooks Wal-Mart ecampus PhatCampus BestPrices BookCloseouts halfpricecomputerbooks Biblio Powells BOOKS A MILLION Amazon MarketPlace bookbyte Amazon Pickabook Countrybookshop JeannieMay IEShop Footprint Press B&N BookQuest Marketplace Marketplace Alibris Market

You can search by ISBN number as well which I believe some librarians will love. They even have an API so you can place a search box widget on your website if you so desire.