Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Evaluating Websites

Thanks for the interesting article on Evaluating Websites in the module 6. I have also referred students to the Research Tools guide on our NSL database Student Resource Centre. It covers areas like Encyclopedias, Books, Magazines Newspapers and sites on the World Wide Web. I can remembering studying about this in one of my papers as we were evaluating a variety of different resources.

Library thing- Provides assistance with a help key. Has a pleasant page layout, with visual attraction and factual information. It also has links to book sellers like Amazon and Google books. Provides links to others who may read similar titles and provides the facility to customise your search to your individual needs.

Shelfari- Shelfari introduces readers to our global community of book lovers. It is a gathering place for authors, aspiring authors, publishers, and readers. Covers a wide range of genre.It is user friendly, has a 'help' icon to provide assistance. Shelfari is connected to Amazon, therefore is current and accurant with titles providing some factual information and some subjective notes contributed by members and discussion groups on Shelfari.

Good reads - Has a facility similar to Library Thing where members can create their own bookshelf, view books of their chosen genre and submit their thoughts on a book via a book review. Members can access author information, interviews, actually pretty much anything to do with a books, writing and their authors. It's purpose is to connect book lovers with books via discusion and referrals by others who have contributed their book reviews. Some content is subjective, some factual data.

Anobii - Is 'committed to building great tools that let like-minded people connect with each other and strike meaningful conversations'. It is a private company. It allows members to build bookshelves to keep track of read items, search for books, blog about books in a book related environment. All good book related stuff. Information is factual and subjective accessable when the member logs in.

Bookarmy - Bookarmy is a social networking website for every sort of reader. Whether you’re a bookaholic or someone who picks up a book only once a year while relaxing on holiday, bookarmy is the place to discuss and review books, build reading lists, get the best book recommendations, and where you and your friends, family or classmates can read books together.
Book lovers can access titles, read books online, view videos, read about authors,Chat with other members about a book. This site is managed by five professionals who have a passion for books and a desire to provide an easy and reliable way for people to talk to other readers and decide what to read next.

These all seem to have the social networking facility that help connect readers with books. I refer libary users seeking the 'next read' to these sites

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Author's Perspective

Have a look at this link to Morris Gleitzman's website:

http://www.morrisgleitzman.com/This site has great information is all different sorts of formats, video and podcasts. Looks pretty up to date with how authors are use technology to promote their books.

I had my first look for podcasts in the Authors on Tour site. I think the alphabetical author archive is great as the first couple of searches came up with no results. As I looked down the list I came across Neil Gaiman, with the book Anansi Boy-which we have on our NSL shelves in the adult section.
The link gave a brief summary of the book and provides a link to the podcast. It also tells you of further authors on tour that will be likely to have podcasts. I think this is great. It provides those who have reading problems with a chance to hear about the story, before they read the book.
I enjoyed browsing around the Authors @Google site looking at the selection of videos on authors. Viewed a couple of Michael Morpugo's interviews.
While hunting for 2 podcasts I went into the site Open books. I was disappointed that the site did not have an alphabetical listing of the authors, as the list provided was just a random list. But they were interesting podcasts to listen to. I didn't know any of the names so guess they might be local fellas.

Using the Free library of Philadelphia had trouble finding podcasts. Maybe the authors I was searching for did not have a podcast made of them. I couldn't find any of children's authors that I knew. I did listen to one with Frank McCourt 'Tis. Interesting to listen too.

Reading Rockets was great as it provided a list of video interviews to choose from. So i didnt have the hit and miss effect, and actually got some good results. Looked at Avi about the book Crispin. Good having the transcript to view too. Just loved this one.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sites for Readers and Booklovers

Here is a fantstic trailor of the book 'Alabama Moon' by Watt Key. It is worth well watching.

Trailors are a new way that authors are marketing their books on the internet.


I started searching for adult books that I would be interested in and then moved onto children's reads.
I really liked the Library Thing and Good Reads site for connecting with books. I found these particularly friendly to use.
I also get regular email alerts from a group called "Lovereading4kids". They have great updates on titles for all reading levels / ages.Its a site worth looking at as it provides a summary of the book, ages level the book is most suitable for and places where this title can be purchased from.Also displayed are other relevant categories that the user of the website my be interested in.
Have a look at
I really like the site Shelfari. Its very easy to use, especially as it is flexible with the order that the authors name is entered. I subscribed to this site. I looked up two authors, Joyce Meyer and Max Lucado, and got results. I enjoyed reading the reviews of others about certain books I looked up. Its great to see the rating option here too. More information to guide the prospective reader.
This site also caters for authors of children's and teen books. Some of the other sites did not provide this option.
I couldnt make Goodreads work for me but enjoyed using Anobii for the same reasong as Shelfari. Anobii provided a list of similar links at the bottom of the page. Inspiring me to read more.
The discussion group option was good, providing an opportunity to share ideas about the book read with others. An online chat scenario, real social networking!!
Book army was pretty awesome. Similar to the others and displays 'most read', top books and top author options. Also has childrens and teen books as well as adult items.

Monday, November 30, 2009

File Converters

I wouldn't say I found this an easy exercise. I ended uploading my document about six times before I realised I had already uploaded it. And I didn't even do it the way we were instructed to do. Boy was I baffled. Any way I have got there now :-) In retrospect I think that I saved myself hassle by opening the attachment up in the Google Docs format to start with.

I think that it's great to know how to do this so we can help our patrons when they come into the library with documents saved in other applications our computers don't have. At least the information is still in the document even if the formatting changes.

I was quite surprised at how much the Google Docs altered the email word document. Yes, it was still recognisable, but fancy headings and bullet points were changed and the table lines removed, although the positioning of the information was still in a readable format.It changes the positional layout on the page too as some of the information aligned to the left of the page.

By having a Gmail a/c it certainly saves time when downloading files. It would be great if we could encourage our patrons to use Google for uploading files. They seem to require this type of help when they are writing there Cv's or applying for jobs.
I also had a go at uploading a file in Zoho writer as I would like to use this in the future

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Google Specialist Search Engines

What fun to be had with the specialist search options. This was a result of searching sport with pink colour, clipart and large image. I Just had to include this on my blog. I thought the 'Usage rights'information was useful, saving time with searching for an image to use.

My search on Blinkx and You Tube was refined from letterbox to mail box, I sourced heaps of irrelevant material. Probably due to the fact that various cultures use different words for different things. So I need to be aware of the use of mailbox,postbox,letterbox terminology useage. I searched all three terms.In each case I did get other useless links.Gee! It's easy to get side tracked looking at the links.

I also searched Blinkx and You Tube with Raglan, Zealand. Prompted because I had just been speaking to my daughter who lives in the farming district of Te Mata, near Raglan. Blinkx delivered me with searches predominately from You Tube but also others sourced from other video search engines like Revver,Google,Blip tv, My space.com and All daily motion videos. I never heard of these but obviously Blinkx sources from a wider field than just You Tube. Results on Blinkx were 85 links and showed the tags at the bottom of the listings,

You tube selected 298 search links. I did like the way they were displayed, and the variety of hits as it gave me more to browse at. However the advanced search mode in Blinkx was good to have as it probably refined the search more.

Book Search provided me with a language option so obviously chose English.Great that it provides us with archival material,content page viewing and enables us to search magazine material no longer in print. It's also handy to have digitalised access to work in full print, and ready limits to suppliers who may have the magazines available for purchase.
Just like the google books video link stated, its great to have access to this information for those who are studying or not able to directly source them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Google Web Searches- Amazing what they do!

I chose the subject of Mosaics as I am preparing a chair for outside to mosaic in concrete and tiles during the Christmas holiday period. I was fascinated by the different ways I could search in the different search engines, using the related terms and different formats of videos,books,news,forums etc. All the search engines had similar extensions available to be used, which I reckon speeds up and can expand the array of information one views. This is great. I could play here all day, if time allowed.
Guided by these wonderful easy to follow instructions on the "getwithit' programme I found it easy to search the different sites. Thanks for the guidelines.By doing these exercises, it has certainly made me more aware of the different options available within these search engines.
I dont have a favourite site as they all appear pretty useful, however I did like the layout of "bing" and the ability to hold the mouse over the listed result to geet a preview of the information.I find having a navigation bar on the sites very useful.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mustering or Clustering

These are brillant! What a great resource to be able to type in and search under a topic or search term and get related terms to search with. I had a look at Clusty, Quintura (I have used this before),webclust and have previously used the Google wonderwheel before. What a resource! I am so pleased I have looked at the other sites as they all have something useful to add searching.T thought the timeline was interesting. Good to get the visual interactiveness.I goud get addicted to the video clips, as I am a visual learner and found these very entertaining.