Archive for Web Tools

CML’s Toolbox

Posted in Learn and Play with tags , , , on November 20, 2008 by moamcm

I actually use the library catalog search plug-in for IE already.  I did use the Firefox toolbar when it first came out, but it kept crashing Firefox after I installed it, so I had to lose that unfortunately.  This is no way a reflection on the usefulness of that tool.  The CML FF Toolbar was cool, but I suspect it was incompatible with some element of another plug-in I had running (I run a pretty loaded version on my home PC).  Either way, it’s cool to be able to search our catalog directly from the browser though.

I did however discover Book Burro though while doing this exercise.  Book Burro, I like.  I have since added it to my FF plug-ins and I use it when I am cruising Amazon.  Since I work at a library I don’t actually buy books from Amazon (though they get my hard earned cash in other ways), but I do cruise there constantly looking for reviews and titles to reserve.  Book Burro puts me in instant touch with CML catalog (through WorldCat).  So now I can instantly see without leaving the page if CML has what I want.  Yes indeed, I like this a lot. 

Now if someone would just create a tool where I could submit all the things I want that we do not own!  You know, like a one click “submit this to Collection Development Division” button.  I just know the people at CDD are looking forward to that day.

Tools 2.0

Posted in Learn and Play with tags , , on November 8, 2008 by moamcm

Finally got around to thing 18.  This one has been tough since there are so many things to look at (ok, so I did not have to look at all of them, but I ended up getting sucked in and checking on many of these).

The top two I really liked were:

Pandora.com – A good friend of mine actually introduced me to this a while back and I like it for a quick play of music when I don’t feel like digging through what I already own.  I also have found several things I like that I did not know about through the associations to favorite artists.  I’m actually listening to The Sisters of Mercy on Pandora as I type this (a favorite group of mine – one track from a CD I often listen to in my car at high volume – just get out of my way when you hear this playing behind you, really, it’s for your own safety).

Imcooked.com – Cooking and video – nice.  I can’t stand recipes without pictures.  I want to know what the finished product looks like.  I’m one of those weird food people who believe that a good plate is as much about appearance as flavor.  Without pictures, a recipe is dead text.  Now to be able to see a recipe from start to finish… that seems very useful considering that not all recipes are clearly put together.  Like most things with the internet, some of these are pretty good and others just suck for quality, but it’s worth digging for the gems.

Other than that, many were interesting, but not particularly useful to me personally.  Note that this does not include things like the already mentioned Flickr or Delicious.  Since I already covered my feelings on some of these in previous blog entries I did not include these thoughts here.

I think the application in the library setting is simple.  I think it’s time to consider things like setting aside space on our site to allow users to post things like a recipe database or tutorials for various subjects.  Completely user interactive and people get to add directly to their local library.  Interactive event calendars for the community would seem to make sense as well.  Anything that directly allows our users to contribute and search content at the local level would be a good thing in my mind.  So what are we waiting for?