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Minnesota, United States

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hyperlocal Sites

How would you like to receive news and information, not just for your city but for a certain block in the city? EveryBlock does just that. EveryBlock provides civic information, news articles, blog entries, fun stuff, and announcements. Right now data is only available for a limited number of cities and the Minneapolis-St. Paul area where I live is not available yet.

Patch is another hyperlocal website but rather than focusing on neighborhoods like EveryBlock, it focuses on the entire small town or city. I was disappointed to find that the list of cities is quite limited and none are in Minnesota.

Placeblogger is a site that helps you find blogs based on their location. You can then gather the news feeds from all of the places you're interested in. Unlike the previous two sites, I was able to find information for Minneapolis.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Location-Based Social Networks

After reading about location-based social networks such as Foursquare and Brightkite I've decided I'm personally too concerned with my privacy to take part. I don't want people to know where I am all the time and I worry about potential stalkers. If I chose to use such networks, I'd limit it to very close friends. But most likely, I'd just tell them where I was through traditional methods like phone or email. So I guess I'm old fashioned that way. Still, its good to be aware of what these sites are and what they can do as they are gaining in popularity.

Location-based social networks can be used to post tips and reviews on places. For example, if you're at a restaurant, you can recommend certain dishes. Then again, you can do this on just about any social networking website.

If you visit a site frequently and check in, you can earn "Mayor" status which can qualify you for free stuff. This part of foursquare I find appealing. Too bad Foursquare is only accessible through a mobile device.

Book Talks

Here are the links to two booktalks I did for Hennepin County Library's youth services readers advisory meeting a few weeks ago. I did the booktalks for The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Middle School by David Borgenicht and Brutal by Michael Harmon. There are plenty of young adult booktalks on here as well as booktalks geared for children here including readalikes for the immensely popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

The lighter side of librarianship

Most of the time us librarians love our jobs but there are times when we have too much to do in too little time, trying to answer reference questions on really obscure topics we know absolutely nothing about, have difficult or demanding patrons we have to handle, etc.

Here are some librarian humor websites you can de-stress with.

A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette The do's and dont's of being a librarian they didn't tell you about in library school.

Awful Library Books Why is that old and decrepit book still on the shelf? It needs to be weeded!

Love the Liberry Hilarious encounters at the reference desk

Ref Grunt "Some days I love working the reference desk, some days I hate it, and it's often the same day."

Shelf Check The humourous and ironic side of librarianship in comic strip format.

Unshelved Another librarianship comic strip site I enjoy. There are also some good book reviews here.

Know of any other humorous librarianship sites I missed? Send me a response and I'll add it to the list!