Monday, May 11, 2009

New Search Engines

Check out Zuula --

The benefits:

1. It is much quicker than Dogpile
2. You don't have to retype the query over and over
3. It has tabbed results for Google, Yahoo, Ask and Live, as well as several other smaller engines that you can select from available list.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Google map of nearby libraries

Check out my Google Map! This custom map marks all of the Somerset County Libraries (I think) in blue tacks, and other nearby libraries that are not part of the county system in red tacks. If you click on a location an information box with the library hours and (hopefully) a link to their homepage will appear. The tiny url for this map is (for Somerset County Library System map).

By the way, if you haven't played with yet, I highly recommend it, although apparently there are many websites with similar functions. At tinyurl, you can take any long url and have it translated into a shorter one that is easy to copy/paste, send in an email, stick in a blog post, or put in a tweet. You can allow tinyurl to generate a short but generic url, or you can try to create a customized one, as long as someone hasn't already used it. Besides the map url, I've made a tinyurl to my Creating a Works Cited in Word 2007 document, which I published through Googledocs - It's not THAT tiny, but it's more memorable than the URL Googledocs assigned.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Popculture Multi-Media and Library Instruction

CyberZed Shed: “Popculture Multi-Media and Library Instruction”
Nedra Peterson, Director, Library, Woodbury University

Nedra Peterson demonstrated film clips related to information literacy concepts that she uses to capture students’ attention, illustrate the concepts, and encourage discussion in a library instruction class. Film clips are good for visually oriented learners, but they also trigger emotions which stimulate brain activity, thus enhancing memory and learning. She suggests using the captioning feature so if the sound is not great, students can read the dialogue. For ACRL Standard I (organization of information), Nedra shows a clip from High Fidelity where the main character is organizing his record album collection. This humorous clip spurs discussion about the many possible ways of organizing information, and how it is important for an organization system to be useful to many users. For Standard II, a scene from The Ring shows the research process in action, including a keyword that becomes a clue to find more information, appropriate research methods, related terms. The protagonist even has to go to PRINT RESOURCES to find what she needs! For Standard I & IV, a scene from School of Rock is used to explain how research builds upon previous research, the same way musicians “sample” earlier pieces of music and build upon them (always giving credit to the original source!). Other media Nedra uses include a tv episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “I Robot – You Jane”, which questions this issue of quality control on the internet. The song American Idiot by Green Day includes the lyric “one nation controlled by the media” which can also spur discussion about evaluating sources. Nedra says she just notices these things in her normal television and movie viewing and they make for great lesson components.