Archive for January, 2007
Hey I just wanted to post a brief report on the NJLA Information Technology meeting that was held on Thursday at the East Brunswick Public Library. LG’s Tyler Rousseau gave a great presentation on Gaming in Libraries! The full presentation and handouts will be available very soon on the “Links of Interest” section on the NJLA IT page.
After Ty’s presentation everyone got a chance to do some hands-on gaming! We provided Play Stations with Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero (one of my personal faves); some online gaming and the new Nintendo Wii. The only downside to this event was that NOW I MUST HAVE A Wii!!! ;-)
I don’t consider myself to be much of a “gamer,” but once I tried this I found out what all the fuss is about! It comes with the sports game that includes bowling, tennis and a few other things. I played the bowling game (against a very formidable opponent, Mary Martin, who kicked my butt!) and I am really hooked! The “real action” play of using the wireless hand-held controller while performing actions very similar to “real” bowling was just so much fun! I am officially saving up my money as of yesterday!
Funny aside: The other night a newscaster was reading from the teleprompter and read “Wii” as “World War II”!
Also, if anyone is interested, our next meeting will be held March 8, location TBA, and will focus on Vodcasting! Check our page on the NJLA website for more information!
And, I wanted to point people to a great tool shared by Jessica Adler at the meeting (one of the regular features of our meetings is sharing information and sites or tools of interest)! The tool is Snipshot and it allows you to edit photos online before you share them. There is nothing to install – it is 100% web-based, with a one-click important from any site, and you can save to a free, permanent URL. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks great! Thanks, Jess!!!
At some point I’ll post some thoughts about ALA Midwinter, but at least I’ve gotten my pix uploaded to Flickr.
I learned a bit about web widgets at the last Internet Librarian conference, but this is the first very interesting (and fairly in-depth) article in the mainsteam press that I have read discussing widgets. Not sure what these “widgets” are all about? Check out today’s New York Times Technology Section’s “Some Bling for your Blog” article, describing what widgets are, what they can do, how you can use them, etc. Some of my favorite excerpts from the article:
“Widgits are elements, often in the left or right columns of a blog, that enhance its usefulness or aesthetic appeal. (The term “widgets,” confusingly, can also refer to compact applications that operate on a computer’s desktop.)”
“‘Widgets pull content or services from some other place on the Web, and put it into your personal page,’ said Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist at Union Square Ventures in Manhattan.”
“Ed Anuff, a co-founder of Widgetbox.com, divides widgets into three categories. ‘One is self-expression widgets, like photo galleries, games or YouTube videos that you like,’ he said. The second category includes widgets that generate revenue for a blogger, like a box that displays auctions from a particular eBay category, or a blogger’s favorite DVDs from Amazon.com. The third category, Mr. Anuff said, encompasses ‘site-enhancement widgets, like discussion forums, news feeds or a guest book, which provide better utility for your Web site.’ Widgetbox is a site begun in September that collects widgets, spotlighting the newest and most popular ones; it offers more than 500 widgets.
According to Widgetbox, its most popular widget allows bloggers to incorporate an updated feed of news items from the site Digg into their blogs. Matt Mullenweg, creator of the WordPress blogging software, says the widgets that his users have been incorporating into their sites lately include Meebo, an instant-messaging application that allows blog authors to chat with their visitors.”
The article goes on to discuss the benefits of widgets to blog visitors and publishers, more examples of their use, and people, companies, and sites that promote and supply widgets. A very interesting read, I must say, again. I am looking forward to playing around with various widgets, and I hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I did!
In this morning’s USA Today Tech section, a short article was written about the U.S. search market from comScore Networks, showing that in December 2006,…
* Google sites were ranked as #1 with 47.3% of U.S. search market
* Yahoo sites as #2 with 28.5%
* Microsoft sites as #3 with 10.5%
* Ask Network as #4 with 5.4%
Also interesting from the article…
* “An estimated 6.7 billion searches were conducted by U.S. Web users in December, up 1% from November.”
“The number of U.S. Web search queries has grown 30% since December of 2005, comScore said.
Go to the actual January 15, 2007 press release of comScore Networks survey cited for some more detail, which also lists…
* Time Warner Network as #5 with 4.9% of the U.S search market,
and it states there that “Google Sites led the pack with 3.2 billion search queries performed, followed by Yahoo Sites (1.9 billion), MSN-Microsoft (713 million), Ask Network (363 million), and Time Warner Network (335 million).”
I am sitting here watching the local evening news when a story comes on about the fact that if a library reports your overdue fines to a collection agency you can lose anywhere from 50 to 100 points from your credit score. Wow, that is a lot of points for overdue books!
I only caught a portion of the story (Mommy duties intervened), but what I did catch was an interview with a library director stating something to the effect that in times of budget cuts it is essential that libraries make it know that overdue materials affect the bottom line.
I went searching for some reference to this story, and found an article published today on Kiplinger.com called Boost Your Score that starts with this tidbit:
Pop quiz: Which affects your credit score more, getting married or having overdue library books?
Surprise answer: A library fine that goes to collection can shave 100 points off your credit score — and boost your annual interest payments by hundreds of dollars. But getting married doesn’t affect your score at all unless you co- sign for a loan with your new spouse.
I am not entirely convinced that library fines are even needed in the first place, so my gut reaction to having someone’s credit score ruined by late library books doesn’t sit well with me at all. I might be more sensitive to this as I protect my credit score with a passion ever since I had to work so hard to build it from scratch when I first moved to the USA 9 years ago. None of your credit history follows you across the border (so I discovered, much to my dismay) and I could not get a credit card, car loan or any other other loan to save my soul for several years. A few points off your credit score can make a big difference in loan rate and I am sure that the average citizen watching this news segment did not get a warm fuzzy feeling about libraries learning that we could be the ones to impact their future mortgage rate.