Friday, March 21, 2008

Yet another list of library-useful web 2.0 tools?!!

Why not? Here is my own "Top 15" list of web 2.0 (and other) tools we are using or looking into using at my library, as well as a couple tools I use personally to help me do my job (this doesn't include my fave FireFox extensions - perhaps I'll add that at a later date):
  1. AwesomeHighlighter (starting to use this for certain reference situations)
  2. BlogLines (I use this to share my extensive lib blogs w/my coworkers)
  3. Blogger - to me, still the easiest to use full-featured blog platform out there (our library blog is on this as well as an internal library blog for sharing ideas)
  4. (working on using this to display librarian-selected, academic-quality web resources) - my tags - a bit outdated tho)
  5. Feedburner - use this to track subscriptions
  6. Google Analytics (we use this as our main source of usage stats for our public web site)
  7. Google Calendar (since our college still uses the virtually useless Lotus Notes calendar tool, I use Google Calendar to track just our library staff schedules, ref coverage, conferences, etc.).
  8. GoogleDocs (us this for putting together collaborative projects, presentations, etc.)
  9. LibGuides (proof of concept Nursing Guide I put together)
  10. LibraryThing (and LibraryThing for Libraries) - which I use to promote new book titles
  11. NetVibes (great way to bring together most of these other tools into one place)
  12. PbWiki (I used this for a presentation, too)
  13. TopCited - Scopus' useful site - I'm pushing to integrate these into our subject guides
  14. Widgetbox - great place to find widgets and not re-invent the wheel (e.g., linkroll)
  15. Wimba Virtual Classroom - we are using this more heavily now for info lit instruction for remotely located classrooms and eventually directly to students at home

Getting in on the Facebook action

So it appears I've convinced my boss to allow us to explore putting a library presence on Facebook. I am excited to get started on this, but the big issue I'm concerned about is promotion. How have others gotten students and faculty to buy into a library-Facebook resource? Our college has a community of several hundred, but I'm not sure how to tap into that community and help grow it without coming off like an intruder into student/personal space...

But hopefully I'll be able to put together a site for us that will offer enough incentive for some to become fans, etc. Widgets to search library databases (our Multi-database Search, WorldCat, ebook our catalog, ProQuest, Credo, etc.), new book title widgets, and more may go part of that distance, I'm not sure. Perhaps we could also eventually build a tie-in to our Wimba virtual classroom info lit workshops as well.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

ebrary API?

Is anyone out there using this ebrary API? On their site (including our admin page within ebrary), they have nothing at all about it that I can find beyond brief mention at the bottom of this page. Since ebrary represents the lion's share of our large eBook collection, I am eager to use it to promote new books and work content into subject-specific places on our site and hopefully eventually on Angel as well. I had requested a few months ago that they make a simple "New Books" widget tool available for their subscribers as well, but am not holding my breath on that. As a non-programmer I'd especially be interested in seeing examples or even just ideas of how this is being used and perhaps the code behind it so that I might adapt some for our own uses without starting from scratch...