Wednesday, September 26, 2007

RSS feeds: a brief introduction

What is an RSS feed and an RSS feed reader?
This three minute video will give you a basic understanding of RSS feeds and readers.

Check out Suzanne's shared items in Google Reader.

How can I get started?
Tutorial for getting started with Google Reader

What kind of information can you subscribe to in your reader?
book reviews
database training podcasts
photos from photo sharing sites (Flickr, Multiply…)
news articles
library database rss feeds
library database searches (available in Gale databases)
library catalog searches
government agency feeds

Where can I find out more about the use of RSS feeds in Libraries?
RSS Feeds for Libraries

Where can you put RSS feeds?
courseware (Angel)
faculty pages
library research portal, e.g. LCC Firescience portal

What if a webpage doesn’t offer an RSS feed?
You can create a feed with Feedity or Ponyfish

How can I put an RSS feed in a webpage?
Use this free tool Feed2JS

Please post ideas about how you might use RSS feeds for professional development or how the library and tutoring services might use RSS feeds to serve students and faculty.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I read about this on the Parent Hacks blog, of all places.

LibraryLookup is a bookmarklet that, once installed on your browser's toolbar, will allow you to search your local library from inside Amazon, Barnes&Noble, etc. They didn't have one created for LCC so I made one: Lansing Community College.

If you are using Firefox, just drag it up to your toolbar and you're set!
If you are using IE, right click on the link and add to your favorites; approve the addition; and choose the Links folder within your favorites. (Contact me if you would like instructions on how to break your links drop-down out into a horizontal list)

ETA: Per the wikipedia definition, a bookmarklet is a small JavaScript program stored as a URL within a bookmark in most popular web browsers, or stored within a hyperlink on a webpage.

In order to use this bookmarklet, you first add it to your toolbar following the directions above and then search for a book in or To see if LCC owns that book you then click on the bookmarklet and it will re-run your search in our catalog by stripping the ISBN from the your Amazon search and then searching the catalog by that same ISBN.

I know that some of the selectors work through Amazon so I thought it would be helpful if they were able to check the catalog without leaving Amazon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pictures from Howell Parker High School visit

Here's the link to my Picasa Web Album so you can view all of the photos from our trip easily. Click on slideshow at top left once you see the pictures.

Death to Library Jargon

I wanted to post the following announcement about a workshop which gives tips for marketing library resources in language that is understandable to library patrons. This is a free, online workshop at 11am on October 11 offered by OPAL.

Presenter: K.G. Schneider, Research & Development Consultant, College Center for Library Automation

"You spend valuable time and money maintaining your library's resources. Are you certain that your users are getting the most out of what you provide? Attend this workshop and you will learn writing techniques that will showcase the library's databases, events and collections in print and on the Web. Karen Schneider, noted technology expert and author of the Free Range Librarian blog, will discuss her top tips for avoiding library jargon and re-framing library services using positive language. "

Social sites for the older set

According to last week's NY Times article, it's not just the Millennials who are using social sites. They are now becoming popular with Boomers. As we discuss bringing the library into Second Life, etc., we would do well to remember the social sites that are geared to an older demographic.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Generation Next 2.0

PBS is airing a documentary about Millennials called Generation Next 2.0 (People ages 16 to 25 comment on technology, social activities, and the future of the U.S. - desc. from WKAR). It's airing again Thursday, September 13, 11pm. The film also interviews the authors of Millennials Rising, which is available here at the LCC Library.