Wednesday, April 19, 2006

More News from the Library - and Beyond

Our interim arrangements for interlibrary loan seem to be working well. We should be switching back to having direct requests within MnPALS and MnLINK next Monday.

Teacher Reference Center
is a new resource provided to us at no cost by EBSCO, the database company for many of our databases. Primarily of interest for for the Education program, it provides indexing and abstracts for over 280 of the most popular teacher and administrator trade journals, periodicals and books, covering assessment, curriculum development, literacy standards, and other topics.

OCLC, the worldwide mega-catalog service that provides us with WorldCat, has been interested in "weaving libraries into the Web" for some time. One earlier project was to make "find in a library" links in Google and other search engines. If you do a Google search on a book you're interested in and add "find in a library" it will let you check whether its avaialable for borrowing locally. In another weaving project, they now are allowing users to add content. Like Amazon, you can post your own book reviews and ratings. Or your aunt can post a glowing review of your book. Like Wikipedia, anyone will be able to edit content if they don't like it. Of course, whether that is a good thing remains to be seen ...

Microsoft is going head to head with Google Scholar with their beta Academic Live. Currently this search engine only searches journal content for the disciplines of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Physics. Gary Price reviews it in The Resource Shelf; Information Today also provides a preliminary assessement.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Where There's an ILL...

The new interlibrary loan feature in MnPALS will be temporarily disabled while several libraries join the the MnPALS system. Between April 13-24th you will be able to make interlibrary loan requests in four ways:
  • submit a printout of what you need to the interlibrary loan office
  • fill out a paper form available at the interlibrary loan office or
  • use the online request form for books or articles through the interlibrary loan link (though the forms will have a different look for the duration)
  • use the "find it" button in our databases; there is an interlibrary loan option for materials we don't have in either online or print format.
Though you will not be able to place requests directly through MnPALS - or through the MnLINK statewide gateway - during this time, we will be processing all interlibrary loan requests that come in by means of any of these four options. Question? Just contact the infinitely patient Kathie Martin at x7564.

Nothing to read? Have no fear, we have lots of new books.

If you've been putting things off here are some fascinating new tools to help you procrastinate. The Web 2.0 awards showcase some of the new Web-based social technologies that are keeping us from getting things done. Check out the best of wikis, podcasts, mashups, and more.

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