Tech roundup from the Computers in Libraries Conference 2009
March 31, 2009 at 5:04 PM
The library technology conference, Computers In Libraries, is currently wrapping up in Arlington, Virginia. Here is a list of interesting technologies that was presented by Aaron Schmidt for his "Best of the Web 2009" presentation. As always, techie librarians have done great work tracking and gathering these nascent technologies. Here is a list of the items covered in the presentation.
This content is extracted from the highly recommended blog, Librarian in Black.
* Google Reader: Helvetica Reader improves the display and function of Gogle Reader
* Bookj City Jackets: cute little paper jackets marked with "fiction" or "favorites" (suggested for book displays at the library - good idea!)
* Wikipeda Commons: open source images to use for library promotional materials, websites, etc. Different licenses for attribution exist, so check what the requirements are before using something.
* Flickr Image Search: also a good way to find photos by doing an advanced search for items with a Creative Commons license.
* Pictobrowser: lets you enter in a Flickr URL and it will give you a piece of code to embed on the website and give you a slideshow. No coding involved, just copy and paste the code.
* Skitch: a screenshot tool, you can annotate screengrabs and easily upload things directly to Flickr from Skitch or post it to their site.
* Jing: works for Mac and Windows, screenshots but also lets you record screencasts. Records all of your actions, lets you upload your final product to their site or download the files as Flash files and host them locally.
* Screentoaster: a completely web-based screencasting tool.
* Vimeo: YouTube but cleaner and with "less insulting comments." An audience member said it was "artier." You can get accounts for free and customize the way your video displays. Vimeo also has a Whitehouse channel, just like YouTube. Aaron also recommends that we look at Vimeo's sign-up process, and try to make our library sign-ups just as easy.
* PostRank: put in your feed addresses and it will tell you which posts are more popular than others. Can help you measure what content is more popular and what should be dropped.
* CopyAndPaste.com: includes symbols and non-traditional characters that you can simply copy and paste into your blog posts, Word documents, etc.
* Today's Meet: creates a temporary online space where people can gather and chat.
* Doodle: a tool to help you schedule meetings online with others
* When Is Good: another tool to help you schedule meetings online
* LetMeGoogleThatForYou: lets you do a Google search and then gives you a tiny URL to access those results automatically. The link shows people accessing it the act of typing something into the search box, hitting search, and then displaying the following text: "Was that so hard?" A bit of a smart monkey tool to tease friends :)
* Color Lovers: designs and color combinations and color schemes that you can grab for your own site design
* TagCrowd: enter a URL or a block of text and pulls out relevant tags and makes a tag cloud
* Wordle: similar tool for creating a tag cloud.
* Qapture: a real-time aggregation of what's going on on Twitter.
* Search.Twitter.com: search for your library's name, see who's talking about the library then reply to people's posts and connect with them virtually.
* TweetDeck: monitors Twitter activiity, lets you search for terms, includes access to your replies, etc.
* Vyew: Free online webcasting tool. Share desktops, do video, have chat, do a PowerPoint, etc.
* Bacolicio.us: Run any webpage through this and it super-imposes a piece of bacon over the site
* WordPress theme called Thematic: a basic framework, clean and good code, easy to modify and adjust.
* TED talks: really expensive conference held in Monterey with scientists, computer people, business people, artists, etc. The stie includes talks on a variety of topics that can be inspiring or expose you to new ideas and connections.
* Google Voice: You can get a new phone number from Google, give it to people, and calls to that number will be routed to your phone, and all voicemail gets transcribed into text.
* Google Forms: create a web form easily with this tool and copy and paste the code into your own site, and the data goes to a Google Spreadsheet. Aaron has used it to create a quick and easy sign-up form for Summer Reading.
* Book Bag: www.lizania.com/bookbag.php a bag that is shaped like a book. Unzip it and it turns into a canvas bag.
* Net News Wire: Aaron's choice for an RSS reader, but it only works on Macs. Bah. An audience member says that Newsgator offers something similar for Windows.
* Prezi: make neat looking presentations using this web tool. Aaron says there is a steep learning curve, but thinks it's worth it.
* 280Slides: online tool for creating and sharing presentations.
* Lovely Charts: lets you create wireframes, flowcharts, organizational charts, network diagrams, anything.
* Typetester: enter some sample text, choose all of the CSS paramaters and it displays the results below. You can compare three different options at a time. You can then copy and paste the CSS you like into your stylesheet.
* A commercial from Lithuania that airs often and adavertises libraries. The basic point is that you must use the right toolf or the job, and the library is the place to get that information.
The audience then started sharing their favorite sites.
1. Evernote: lets you tag sites and put them in folders. Kind of like a combination of bookmarks and del.icio.us.
2. Zotero: a Firefox plug-in that lets you pull citations from your OPAC into Firefox.
3. WorldTimeServer.com: shows the current time anywhere in the world. Also offers a meeting planner.
4. Tadalist.com: helps you create lists of sites. Save lists that you use often (e.g. conference packing lists, holiday lists, etc.). You can share your lists via RSS. Archives the lists.
5. Hulu.com: movies online. Good when your library copies are checked out or damaged.
6. Toodledo: Site for temporary to-do lists, lets you annotate, tag, put them into folders,
7. SendUIt: Lets you upload a PDF or attachment and create a link and email that to people instead of emailing them the attachment itself.
8. EMic4All.com: lets you record audio in MP3.
9. Audacity: free audio editing software
10. LogMeIn.com: remote support for computers, once you put the client on you can select a remote group of computers to connect to. Offers a free version and a paid version.
11. DropBox: put a client on a PC or a Mac and put files up onto the virtual storage site and you get updated real-time from either computer. Good way to have access to files no matter where you are and what computer you are on.
12. Xobni: searches email, links to Facebook, etc.
13. Google Chrome: fast, works like Firefo, for PCs and Macs only, not Linux. Also supposed to be super-secure.