Friday, November 27, 2009

File Converters

I loved Google Docs, what a great little tool and so easy to use. It is a must to know and will certainly help our patrons with converting files. There were many times in the past when I have received Word 2007 document at home and could not open it with my Word 2000 application and so this a great solution for users like me who had in the past an older version and couldn’t view it.

Below are my findings after converting the file:
Graphics are still in the same place
The image of the bullet has changed to normal bullet
Font style is still the same throughout the document
Font size has decreased in some places by 2pt
Bold and italics are still the same throughout the document
The table lost its black borders but the layout of the table is still the same.

Despite the minor changes that did occur while converting the file, the document is still very much readable and in terms of the layout, it is still the same so definitely recommended to all and a great service to offer in all our libraries.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Google Specialist Search Engines

I have always used You Tube in the past but looking at blinx for the first time and getting to use it, I personally like it a lot especially their Advanced Search option. It really helps when you want to search under different or specific providers or when you want to limit your content providers to the ones you think will have the results or the videos you want in one hit rather than having to go on each provider's website and search for what you are after. You Tube tend to only show you what it is been uploaded to You Tube results rather than searching other providers for results. I would definitely recommend blinx and will be using it in the future.

Since everything these days is done online, including shopping, viewing your bank statement and social networking, it makes sense to have magazines to view easily online and what a great way to search for your favourite magazine on Google and to be able to view it like a magazine and read it easily and what is even better is that on the contents page of a magazine you can actually click on the topic and it will take you straight to the page you would like to read more about. I believe this magazine option is useful for whether you are after a very old edition that you can't find or even a current edition where it is easier to search for and read without having to go anywhere to find it.

Google Web Searches

Sometimes we think that the word or the phrase that we type is meant to give us a great search result but in fact we get the opposite and sometimes it is not even related to what we are after.

So I started off with Google and I searched for the following "tips in the garden", I then viewed my results using show options and looked at videos, news, blogs etc. The search took less than 43 seconds and results were great. I could watch videos for some tips in the garden I can read forums and blogs. In fact the results were relevant to my query.

I then used exactly the same phrase in Yahoo, despite the fact that it was still as quick but the results were nothing like Google. And when I clicked to view videos and images using the links at the top of the screen, it took time to think. I wasn't impressed at all.

Next was bing, used the same phrase and results were good however you can't view videos or forums or blogs easily using a menu but they did have one positive tool and that was related searches on the left hand side. Simple and easy to use search engine but not a lot of search results like Google.

As for Exalead, very similar layout to Yahoo website however the results were more for websites that are selling goods so more for leads rather than knowledge based. They also had an added feature beside each of the search result and that is a small screenshot of the website itself for each search result which is something I am not very familiar with since we use Google all the time and this looks like an added feature to Exalead. The results weren't bad and they did have links to view all images related and videos related separately.

Likes, Google's show options especially wonder wheel and timeline. Bing for being so simple and their related searches feature.

Dislikes, Exalead's search result especially it is more to promote websites that sells rather than tips and knowledge.

Other Ways of Keeping up to Date

In this exercise I thought about something useful to be informed for so I have chosen three topics: My first was related to a subject which always I try to find information about it as I really love my roses so it was “Organic Rose care”. My second and third was “What is on in Auckland” and “Auckland weather” and that is because I need these information for my guests visiting Auckland during Christmas. My search was straight forward no duplicates or lengthy steps perhaps Google for most of us is really easy to use.

As a librarian myself I strongly recommend this service to my patrons who come to the library seeking latest information in one or two subjects and how wonderful it is to have all the updates they need with just setting an alert in Google.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

RSS Feeds

Exercise 1- After creating my account with Access Science I decided to make my search on Global Warming and its effect on Antartica. The results were amazing, alot of articles some with images others with graphic tables, it made it easy for me choose one. I chose "Glacial geology and landforming", I then bookmarked it and saved it to my account. I also scrolled down to view images and added some to my saved images. Steps were very easy to follow and I think many patrons will like it too as it is easier to view information that are saved and handy and also because the search procedure was short and easy.

Exercise 2- My search in the e-resources was about flower arrangement. I did a set up to my search alert and scheduled it to send daily updates to my inbox. Within few minutes I have received confirmation that account is set and ready to deliver alerts to my e-mail address. I can also reset the expirey date if needed. So that was really cool to have an update to a subject you like and continuosly receive up to date info to your e-mail.All went well until I tried to add the URL of the feed to my Bloglines account, where the message popped up saying ' no feeds were found, please verify that the website publishes an RSS feed.' I am pretty sure that the link is correct as I used copy and paste to paste the link. But I kept getting the same error everytime so I was disappointed and couldn't go any further.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Twitter and Libraries

1. I had a look at Wellington City Library, and it seems like they use twitter to promote firstly their library and secondly any new cds or books or events or even to introduce good websites that aim to provide patrons and readers with value information and knowledge. What a good way to keep up to date with your favourite library.

2. Here is my tweet:
Did you know that Glenfield Library is 1 of 6 in the shore that has Wireless Hotspots available 4free! So bring your laptop &start surfing.

Searching Twitter

I searched twitter for the word "library" and got a lot of people who used the word "library" in their tweet which was rather irrelevant to what I was hoping to see but then again the word is broad and it could be why it had irrelevant search result. I then used Tweetgrid search to search for the same exact word which is "library" and same thing I ended up getting a big list of people who has used "library" in their tweet. I must say, Tweetgrid is rather different as it has a live feed where it updates the list that you are currently viewing as each user adds the word you are searching for.


The first one I looked at was the below:

I couldn't believe how condensed each recipe was. And the fact that it serves 3-4 with Delicious ideas from all over the world is great.

I see she has used tweet for every single recipe which basically restrict her to 140 characters long. She has 327 recipes and 17,947 followers.

This is clearly been used to share recipes with other users or followers that are short and easy to make.

Second one I looked at was for John Key; clearly our PM uses twitter account to promote and to keep everyone up to date with his news.

I can definitely see the value of this especially if you want to keep up to date for a particular topic/person in one place. Short messages make it easier as well to read and what a nice way to be kept informed.

Creative Commons

a) Web 2 learning programme work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License. So the user is free to:

1. share - to copy, distribute and transmit the work
2. remix to adapt the work for non commercial purposes.

Attribution — you must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).


The license for this image is creative commons attribution 2.0 Generic, which basically allow the user to:

1. Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
2. Remix — to adapt the work

Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

Open ID

Since this is my first time reading about Open ID, I am still hesitant to consider using my Google Account to open up other web accounts especially when those accounts are for banking etc. I am sure in time the idea will sink in as I do find it hard to memorise every single username and password I have or even filling out a new sign up forms every time I want to access a secured website.

Open ID seems to have the two things that we consider important and those are convenience and security.

Online Privacy and Security

I believe the resources provided in this topic are useful to share not just with patrons but also with family and friends. We seem to think it is safe because we see others signing up to many websites without having the knowledge behind online privacy and security. In particular teenagers who look up at each other and seem to copy what others are doing. Having clear guidelines would benefit every user online and would certainly make us "users" think twice before we post our personal information online.

My advice to our patrons about online security and privacy when they use the library’s online facilities is not share their passwords with their friends/family and to keep it in a safe place where no one can see it and not to write it on a piece of paper as this may lie in someone's hands. Always keep your information secured and do not attempt to tick anywhere that says remember me as a user nor remember my password as these are public facilities. And make sure you have logged out safely when you are done.