Friday, 24 November 2006

Online Treasure Trove

Did you know you can access a huge amount of information online via your local public library website? Despite working in a library I rarely investigate our online resources and have recently been amazed by just what I can access. Our current list includes NewsUK, Britannica Online, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford Reference Online, Oxford English Dictionary, Grove Music Online, Grove Art Online and The Times Digital Archive. Might not seem like a long list but each resource has a multitude of other searchable resources linked to it. For example the Oxford Reference Online includes Bilingual Dictionaries, quotations, maps, and pretty much every subject dictionary that you can imagine OUP publishing. Some titles that have caught my eye include: A Dictionary of World Mythology, the Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, A Dictionary of Contemporary World History, The Oxford Companion to the Body, A Dictionary of Writers and their Works. Now this is starting to sound like an OUP advert so bear in mind that this is just an example of what is linked to each resource. NewsUK includes a searchable archive for national and regional newspapers including The Times from 1992, The Guardian from 1992 and even the Wigan Observer from 2002!

This is an amazing resource and is available free to most people in the UK via their local library website. How many people know that it exists? How many people use it? I'm sure most people looking for information use Google and Wikipedia before they logon to their library website. But have you even heard about this resource in the news? In your local library? If we can't advertise the library service via a resource like this what hope is there for library marketing?

Sorry about the rant but when even the library staff don't realise what they have...

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Qwerty Warriors

Just been catching up on all those blogs I've been meaning to read and discovered something terrible! Actually it's a great game which involves shooting aliens with your speed typing skills - but this is terrible because it's addictive and now I will never finish reading those blogs... Check it out if you dare Qwerty Warriors

Public Library Blogs - 1st search

Not much luck so far! A Google search returned a few academic libraries and specialist libraries but no public library blogs in the UK. Plenty of US public libraries came up on Google and on a Bloglines blog search but nothing closer to home. A couple of articles referred to Gateshead Public Libraries but looking at their website it looks like the blog has gone - certainly no sign of an RSS feed or an ability to comment on news items listed.

I did find an online article by Ian Winship in Update's May 2004 edition which looks at using weblogs in libraries - Weblogs and RSS in information work but this again only refers to the Gateshead project.

Are there really no UK public library blogs out there???

Ann Arbor District Library

Before coming across any UK library blogs I thought I should mention the one US library that has been all over the Library 2.0 news. John Blyberg of Ann Arbor District Library recently won a the Talis competition Mashing Up The Library for his Go-Go-Google-Gadget. Ann Arbor's homepage consists of a library blog which simply and effectively gives library news, event information and other interesting library posts. The Shifted Librarian referred to this as the Perfect Library Blog Example last year and it will be interesting to see how it compares to any UK blogs I find.

Public Library Blogs

It seems that the US public libraries are way ahead of the UK when it comes to Web 2.0 activities. Whenever I see an exciting reference to a public library blog or wiki or a library using an RSS feed to publicise their books or events it is always based in the US! Is this just the location of the blogs and news sites that I use or a reflection of UK libraries' attitudes to new technologies? With this in mind I'm on a blog hunt - are there any libraries in the UK using 2.0 technology??? I'm off to find out...

Phil Bradley's Website

Now I finally have a broadband connection up and running at home I can try out all those sites that didn't really look work related at work! First port of call when trying to figure out blogs, wikis and anything other web jargon has always got to be Phil Bradley's Website. Especially useful are all the articles in the "I want to..." section and the huge amount of information on different search engines - all tried and tested. Phil Bradley also writes an excellent column every month in CILIP's Update - a monthly journal for library and information professionals in the UK. Thank you Phil!!

Folkestone Beach

Folkestone Beach
Originally uploaded by swashford.
I've just had my first go at uploading photos to Flickr. This is my favourite photo - for the authentic touch you really need the smell of the fishing boats behind me (I'm the shadow on the wall!).

Friday, 17 November 2006

Cato Street Conspiracy

Another great set from this band last night at the Railway Inn in Winchester. Poorly attended but those who missed it really did miss out. Check out their website - Cato Street Conspiracy - if you enjoy good rock by talented blokes!

Info Junkie Arrives

The First Post...

Couldn't decide what to blog on - far too many interesting things in the world. Think I'm addicted to information, hate not knowing about things and at least like to know where to find the answers!

Therefore, this is the birth of Info Junkie

Looking for info on:
Libraries esp public libraries and interlibrary loans
Good information websites
Book and book related websites
Family History
and anything else that catches my eye

Discoveries will be listed here...

My Blogroll