Advanced Google

I had great fun with Google Maps, especially the street views.  I looked up my house, my son’s, my sister’s…  They also appear to be current views, because I recognized new features on neighbors’ houses, etc.  For the map-challenged this might be a great way to help with directions.  Some people just need visual cues when looking for an address.  One time I helped a patron looking for a picture of a house up for public auction, but I used the Cook Co Assessors Office website (didn’t know about Google maps yet). On the down side, I can see this aiding stalkers.  I wonder if someone can have Google exclude an address the way you can have an unpublished phone number?

I’m quite familiar with Google News, but tried out the Shopping for the first time.  I put in a specific item and got lots of eBay hits as well as retail stores.  Didn’t quite have the patience to look at the details in each hit, but then again I don’t enjoy shopping much in any venue.

FYI –  the Google translation feature under Language  Tools is pretty good.  I tested it by having my Italian-speaking brother-in-law give me phrases to translate to English and it seemed quite accurate.  Now, will I get too lazy to even get up and look at a foreign language dictionary in the Reference Room?


1 comment December 9, 2008

I’m supposed to what with my wiki?

I had a little trouble getting my wiki to work.  First I started a book review on a page where the previous user was logged in, and couldn’t erase the mistake because I didn’t have editing rights.  Then I didn’t have the account verification I thought I had and couldn’t get the tabs to work.  Finally got the review on, though, and that process seemed just like the one used to add book reviews to the library’s web page.  Our book review page does seem like the logical use for libraries, as well as answers to common questions, such as a communal FAQ page.  Since the start-up wasn’t smooth for me, I can see that the administrators or moderators of wikis may have to spend time trouble-shooting.  Is it hard to get someone to stay with that job?

1 comment November 25, 2008


I asked a gardening question to AskAway and got good information, but felt a little awkward about this new format.  Without seeing the other party or having their voice on the phone, there aren’t the little prompts that tell you they’re listening, they understand the question, etc.  I also brought along my reluctance to give another librarian a hard time, so wasn’t as persistent as I could have been for specific answers to specific questions.  To me, the value of this service is the availability 24/7 for patrons needing help when libraries are closed.  I can also see this format being comfortable for the shy or introverted who want to be anonymous.

Greatly enjoyed the AIM Acronym Dictionary – it included some old fashioned and polite phrases, like BITD Back in the day, and YW, you’re welcome.  My children are too old to have had internet as teenagers, but I’m sure they would have used CD9, Code 9:Parent nearby and POS Parent over shoulder.  It would be justice for them to have to deal with it with their own children.

Add a comment November 20, 2008


I’ve never tried these before, but I’m going to love it! I’m a huge NPR fan. Not only do I use an MP3, but it would be fun to listen to something if I have boring computer work to do.  Betty, can we sit at the Ref Desk with earbuds on?

Right now I’m listening to guys who write for the Onion – hilarious!

I can see a library use for this.  Book talks, the current events group that meets here, even the special events around One Book Everybody Reads.  I suppose we have to have permission from participants to make these recordings available.  This may connect us to patrons who don’t get into the library much.

1 comment November 6, 2008


Whew!  Here’s an assignment I know something about – I use the databases all the time.  But NovelistPlus has a new feature that I’m looking at for the first time.  Whereas it used to be limited to fiction, it now has nonfiction titles.  I looked at the “recommended reads” link on the left and there are interesting categories which are a great starting place for someone looking for something to read, but not having a specific idea.  Examples: biography & memoir, arts& entertainment, business writing.  I noticed that the fiction categories are also there – mystery, romance, fiction a-z, etc.  If your interest is more specific, Novelist can do that too.

I typed in “quilting” and got 122 titles, both fiction and nonfiction.  Cool!  Now, if I can just find time to READ all these great suggested books… I find that having a job interferes with my hobbies.  But then again the grocery store clerk probably wants money instead of a nice book synopsis…

1 comment October 28, 2008

Train from Spietz to Interlaken, Switzerland

This isn’t my video, by we took the same trip to attend a family reunion in Interlaken.  To someone born and bred in the flat prairies of Illinois, these mountains were an amazing experience.

1 comment October 23, 2008

Italian Alps

To give Neil equal time, here’s video of the region his family is from.   I decided to choose videos reflecting a trip our family took in 2001 visiting the places in Europe our families emmigrated from: mine from Switzerland, Neil’s from Italy.   I can see that videos can be used to promote features or programs in the library, but the stuff you see right away are popular culture and current events.  It takes some searching to find less common topics.

1 comment October 23, 2008

Flickr experience

I followed the instructions, but I had to search around a little.  It wasn’t as intuitive as I’d hoped.  But, I did manage to upload a photo (someone else’s, not mine).  The website is a good source of interesting photographs by topic, so the tags are really useful, but I doubt that I’d make my own photos public.  Is there a way to make photos on Flickr only available to people you want have access?

1 comment October 14, 2008

flute and music

flute and music

Originally uploaded by Slisbet rules ok!

I’ve played the flute since I was 10 years old, and studied at Lawrence University, although my degree is from the college and not the conservatory. I’ve always loved it, but don’t get many opportunities to play now.

3 comments October 14, 2008


After a summer season of gardening, I’m ready for fall so I can put the garden to bed.  As much as I love flowers, the late fall and winter give me more time to read and sew.  Working on a birthday quilt for my brother to be given next summer.  Finishing Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears which is fascinating, and started American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld and find it kind of boring so far.

3 comments October 3, 2008






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