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Mashup Magnificents

Submitted by Teresa Koltzenburg on September 11, 2006 - 6:16pm

If you've ever visited the user-outreach Mecca that is the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL)—either physically or virtually—then it's likely no surprise to you that the winner of the Talis-sponsored "Mashing Up the Library" competition is none other than AADL's very own John Blyberg (also of blyberg.net). John's entry, the Go-Go-Google Gadget (more information about it on blyberg.net here), "shows how simply library information can be integrated into the personalized home page offered by Google," says Talis's technology evangelist Paul Miller.
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Building a Better Beta

Submitted by Michelle Boule on September 8, 2006 - 8:28pm

Every day companies are coming out with new tools to reach their users on the Web. Many companies have learned that rolling out products before they are completely formed—in beta or even in alpha mode—can save them development time and money. By giving their customers an early look at a product, companies are empowering customers to use the tool in new ways and are providing them with an opportunity to ask the company for functionality that product developers may never have considered.

Companies in Beta
Meebo, a robust, widely used instant-messaging (IM) service is still in an alpha phase. Meebo allows users to sign into more than one IM account with more than one IM provider at the same time, so all of a user's accounts appear together on the same screen. For people in restrictive IT environments, there are no downloads when using Meebo.
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Wowio: It All Ads Up

Submitted by Tom Peters on August 17, 2006 - 6:43pm

Wowio, an LLC based in York, Pennsylvania, recently launched a free downloadable e-book service. The company's collection at launch is pretty sparse, but it does include both public domain and copyright-protected e-books. During my first use of the collection, I downloaded both The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—if for no other reason than to relish Emmeline Grangerford's mournful Ode to Stephen Dowling Bots—and Slaughterhouse Five. YOUR AD HERE!!!!!!!
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Steal this Idea: Learning 2.0 at PLCMC

Submitted by Michael Stephens on August 15, 2006 - 9:39am

A librarian colleague e-mailed me yesterday and asked about the libraries I'd visited this summer: "Which ones really had some cool things happen? Which ones were innovating?" Truth be told, there were many to choose from, like: Read More »


UC Libraries Join the Google Books Library Project

Submitted by Tom Peters on August 9, 2006 - 5:36pm

Tom PetersSoon after Google announced in late 2004 the collaborative project—currently called the "Google Books Library Project," involving the five research libraries of Stanford, Michigan, Harvard, Oxford, and the New York Public Library—to scan millions of books, the five libraries became known as the "G5 Group."
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Mammoth Mammonistic Snippets

Submitted by Tom Peters on August 3, 2006 - 10:02pm

Just when we thought it was safe... Just when we thought it was safe to return to the snippet-infested digital content pool, HarperCollins came along and launched today its own snippet-dangling service that tries to lure readers, especially "young-adult readers" (is that phrase becoming an oxymoron?) to buy more books (primarily) and read more (coincidentally).
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A Compelling Committee (or The Story of UHLSDSC)

Submitted by Michelle Boule on August 3, 2006 - 10:42am

We will anticipate and respond to the ways our users find, create, and share knowledge, and we will be fully integrated into the personalized library experience for each user and welcoming spaces for collaboration and discovery.

On campus and online, we will be a valued partner in the academic life of our students, faculty, and community. Read More »

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A New Addition

Submitted by Teresa Koltzenburg on August 1, 2006 - 4:08pm

It's a special day here at ALA TechSource. Not only did Jenny Levine begin at ALA today in her new job as Internet Development Specialist and Strategy Guide, but also today Michelle Boule, of Wandering Eyre Blog fame, officially starts as a contributor to this blog. (Watch your aggregator for her first post about utilizing committees to influence technology-related decisions.)
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Flickr + Libraries = Scary, Scary, Scary to Some Folks

Submitted by Michael Stephens on July 28, 2006 - 12:19pm

"Another benefit of using Flickr at your library and tagging your photos with your library's name and location is that it gets you found in the great pool of all of the photos in Flickr. Maybe someone is searching Flickr for his or her hometown and discovers images of the local library and learns of services or programs he or she didn't know about... Participating in this type of social software community is relatively inexpensive, can offer presence, and it's fun!"—Michael Stephens, "Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software," LTR (42:4) Read More »

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It's Too Darn Hot: A Curmudgeon's Asides

Submitted by Karen G. Schneider on July 26, 2006 - 10:48pm

This week it's hot as a pistol across the United States, and as I sit in my office without A/C, a feeble fan drying the sweat on my face, I'm grumpy. Grumpy enough to line up a few peeves against the wall and slap them around.

Open-source software
Yes, I know, open source is a saint and you'd let your sister or brother marry it. But I hate the idea that for some librarians if a particular software is open source, hands down, it's the right choice. The right choice is the software that meets the mission. While the principles behind open source are admirable, when an open-source product doesn't meet your library's needs, your first obligation is to your users.
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