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Minnesota, United States

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Judging a book by its cover

You know the saying "You can't judge a book by its cover?" Well, maybe sometimes you can, according to Jayme Lyons, a presenter at the 2011 Readers Advisory Conference. Her handout gives examples of how the font style, colors, and picture art correlates to the type of book its likely to be. For example, books with bold or block type fonts on their covers are likely to be suspense or thrillers. Covers with pale blue or beige colors are likely to be more relaxing reads, probably with a happy ending. You may not think you judge books by their cover, but chances are you do some of the time even if you're not consciously aware of doing so. While there may be exceptions to these examples, I think more often than not they hold true. What's your opinion on this? Do you think the cover says alot about what type of book it is?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Choose the next science fiction or fantasy book

Want help choosing which of NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction to read? SF Signal has posted a flowchart to help choose your next book. I don't know how accurate the recommendations are but it's fun to read.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Missing DVDs from TV Series

Do you have a disc from a TV series that's missing or damaged? MissingDiscs.com might be able to help. You can request a particular disc from a particular season of a TV show without having to reorder the whole season. I'm curious if there are librarians who are using this service and what they think about it.

Little Librarian Kit

Our Friends group sells Little Librarian Kits and I just happen to think its one of the coolest toys ever. Kits include library cards, overdue notices, bookmarks and reading awards- just like a real library.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Adventure

One of the readers advisory challenges is finding appropriate books for a child who reads above his or her grade level. Book Adventure is a particularly useful site for this purpose. You can limit search results to books either at, above, or below the child's grade level and you can limit by topics of interest. I found the site really helpful and easy to use.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Check out Electronic Library of Minnesota's New Portal

The Electronic Library of Minnesota (ELM) has redesigned its website to make accessing electronic databases even more user-friendly. Overwhelmed by having to decide which database is best for the patron's informational needs? Do you want a list of the databases most suitable for each grade level? ELM's redesign now features lists of databases by topic or content type. Just choose the appropriate topic or content type from the drop-down menu and a list of the most relevant databases will be generated. There are also lists of suitable databases for elementary, middle school and high school students.

If you are looking databases that have a particular periodical available electronically, ELM can also help. Click on "Publications A to Z" and enter the title of the publication. A list of ELM databases featuring that publication will be generated.

In addition, there are sections for students, teachers and librarians, making it easier to take advantage of what ELM has to offer.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Library Cards Throughout the USA and the World

Flickr has a Worldwide Library Card Exchange group for images of library cards from libraries throughout the United States and the world. Check it out! Or join the group and add your library card.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

USB Keyloggers- Why Librarians Should Be Aware of Them

This post from the Swiss Army Librarian blog made me think about how patrons' privacy may be compromised when they use the library's computers through the use of a device called a USB Keylogger.

Spy-Tech Devices Found in Library

USB Keyloggers can track every keystroke that someone made on the computer, including sensitive information like usernames, passwords or credit card information. Librarians should be aware of what USB Keyloggers look like and periodically check computers for devices that should not be attached.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top 10 Fixes for the Web's Most Annoying Problems

I found some of the tips on here to be very helpful. Find out how to get rid of unwanted ads, how to spot fake online reviews, how to make your search results more useful, and more.

Top 10 Fixes for the Web's Most Annoying Problems

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Crossword Puzzle Help

Thanks to one of my patrons for suggesting this.

Ever get requests from patrons for help with one of the clues for a crossword puzzle?

OneAcross.com is a search engine for possible solutions to crossword clues. Enter the clue in the first field and the pattern in second field and it will generate a list of possible answers. For the pattern field, you can either enter the number of letters in the clue or if you know some letters but not others, you can enter a ? for the unknown letters. For example a clue of "cut" with a 4 letter word with only N known as the last letter would have a pattern of ???n.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When a Website is Back Up and Running

In a previous post, I mentioned about using It is Down for Everyone or Just Me? to see if a website is truly down or if its just an issue with your local Internet service provider. Did you know that you can also get email or text notifications when your favorite website is back up again (as well as when it goes down)? Go to DING IT'S UP.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Two libraries featured among the most unique buildings of the world

Two libraries made the list among The Most Unique Buildings of the World

Kansas City Library (Kansas City, MO):

National Library (Minsk, Belarus):

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature

Want an easy way to search for award-winning children's literature? Try DAWCL (Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature). This database consists of over 8,400 records from 99 different awards. There are numerous search options including award type, age of reader, setting, genre, or publication year.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Using Subscription Databases to Locate Geography Information

Many of the common subscription databases have easy to locate geographical information.

Academic Search Premier:

In the advanced search mode, you can search via subject terms or geographic terms. You can also mouse over the "More" link at the top of the screen and then select "Indexes."

Geographical images can be searched by using the "More" link and then selecting "Image Collection" or "Image Quick View Collection." Under Image Collection, you can limit the results to maps, photos of places, or flags. These images come from EBSCO's image collection. Under Image Quick View Collection, you can limit the results to maps. These images come from articles.

Encyclopedia Brittanica (Elementary/Middle School/High School Editions):

All three editions contain a searchable world atlas and a "compare countries" feature.

All three editions also feature "Discover America," "Discover Canada," "Discover Mexico," and "World" sections where you can click on a state, province, or continent to learn more.

To search for geographical video clips, click on the "social studies" topic and select "geography". All video clips are downloadable on MP4s.

The Elementary edition has a geography explorer feature, which provides interactive activities for kids such as locating continents on a map.

Kids Info Bits:

To browse, select "geography" from the main page.

If you search a geographical term, you can click on the maps/flags/seals tab to locate that type of information.

In the advanced search mode, you can limit search results to country/state/province overview or to photos, maps and flags.

Kids Search:

For browsing, select "geography" on the main page.

You can search for maps or flags by doing an image search and then limiting the results to maps and flags.

In the detailed search mode, you can limit results to county/state/province reports or to photos, maps and flags.

Student Research Center:

Can search by topic = Social studies, then select the geography subtopic.

Can limit search results to country reports, state/province reports, and photos/maps/flags.

Student Resources in Context:

To browse, click on "topics," then click on "geography." The results show an alphabetical listing of states and countries, each which links to additional information. These results are broken into reference, magazines, and Academic Journals.

In the search bar on the upper right hand corner, you can limit the search to images by clicking on "Images" and entering your search term(s).

In the advanced search mode under document types, there are numerous ways to geographically limit your results. Examples, include flag, geographic overview, map, and country seal.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Don't Have Time to Read? Think Again

Someone on the YALSA-bk listserv posted a list of tips for making time to read that I just had to share. The original source of the list came from a Bureau of Education and Research conference for teachers by Deborah Hipes.

Read more than one book at a time
Keep a book in your purse or school bag
Leave a book wherever you might sit down
Read while standing in line
Keep a book in every bathroom. Read 2 pages
Read at lunch
Read while fixing your hair
Set grading goals: grade to your goal; then treat yourself to a few minutes of your current favorite book. Repeat until that big paper stack is finished.
Never ride in a car, plane, train, bus without a book
Subscribe to audible.com or other inexpensive sources for downloading books. Then listen on your iPod while walking, exercising or commuting.
Check out books on tape from your public library and “read” in the car.
Find a reading spouse or friend & take a reading vacation
Keep a book in the car and read while waiting to pick up kids from events
Take a book to the movies and read during previews
Keep a book by the computer to read during boot up time
Read during a pedicure or hair appointment
Take to doctor or dentist appointments and read in the waiting room and also while waiting in the exam room
Read to someone else: your students, children or elderly relatives
Read instead of watching TV
Read during TV commercials
Schedule time to read
Read on the treadmill at the gym.
Read during a bubble bath.
Read books online. There are many free at Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/
Read before bedtime
Read while your kids are watching TV
Read instead of eating that snack you don’t really need
Set aside a part of your conference period for professional reading
Get up early and read before work
Join a bookclub
Take your kids to the library and read while they select their books
Go on a date with a friend to the bookstore and read there

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Novelist Plus Now Has a Mobile Interface

Good news for those using mobile apps. The Novelist Plus database now has a mobile interface. Here is the notice from Novelist:

Dear NoveList Plus Customer,

NoveList is pleased to announce that you can now access your favorite Readers’ Advisory tool "on the go," using NoveList Plus Mobile. This mobile version is designed for the smaller screens of mobile devices, and offers the most important NoveList Plus features and functionality right in the palm of your hand. Users can search for titles, authors, and series. Results will also include NoveList content, such as reviews, additional recommendations, lists, and articles (when available). NoveList Plus Mobile is included with your library’s NoveList Plus subscription.

You can also set up links to your catalog and your local collection in NoveList Plus Mobile. The functionality is similar to the basic functionality of EBSCOhost Mobile.

To get started with NoveList Plus Mobile, and for additional information, click here.
We welcome your feedback on this new service! Contact us at NoveList@ebscohost.com with questions and comments.

Best regards,

The NoveList Team