August 05, 2004

Yet another MaryLaine Block read

From this librarian's perspective, MaryLaine Block's essays in Ex Libris are the most educational and entertaining reads for a professional librarian. I get her weekly Neat New (which also includes her Ex Libris column) via email. The Neat New portion (without the Ex Libris essay) is also available via an RSS feed at
The current Ex Libris essay, On Analyzing Web Sites, besides being a great primer on how to review a website encourages all librarians to analyze one of their prime reference resources -- their library's website.

From her Neat New section I find that Genie Tyburski has recently updated her excellent Evaluating the Quality of Information on the Internet. An hour or so spent reading through this material would be a great educational use of your time.

Posted by leita at 09:52 AM

August 01, 2004

A webcast some will want to see

USA PATRIOT Act and Beyond: How Higher Education Institutions and Libraries Are Cooperating and Coping
August 3, 2004 1:00 p.m. EDT (12:00 p.m. CDT, 11:00 a.m. MDT, 10:00 a.m.
PDT); runs one hour.
FLASH! Registration to watch the live webcast is full. But, will be archived. Check out the already archived webcasts. Educause is using the same webcaster that Infopeople uses. Our archived webcasts are at

Posted by leita at 10:48 AM

July 20, 2004

Virtual Reference Course

Anytime, Anywhere Answers: Building Skills for Virtual Reference "is a training curriculum that addresses core competencies—the critical skills, abilities and aptitudes—for library staff providing virtual reference services. The curriculum was created for the Statewide Virtual Reference Project by Mary Ross and Daria Cal, Seattle Public Library, assisted by Emily Keller, a student at the University of Washington Information School."

The great thing about this resource is that you don't have to register to see a lot of the terrific material that's been prepared for the course. A few of the several PDF files available include core competencies for virtual reference, tips for using chat, and how to efficiently set up your desktop. Your federal tax dollars (LSTA) at work.
[from the virtual reference blog lbr]

Posted by leita at 09:19 AM

June 01, 2004

New (to me) mouse tutorial

The Mouse Skills tutorial at the Highland Park (IL) library is very nicely done. And, at the end, they refer the user to an old favorite, Mouserobics, from the Central Kansas Library System.

I've been teaching the public basic computer and Internet use two Sundays a month at my local public library since I retired from there (yes, I retire a lot) in 1997. My bar-none favorite mouse tutorial program is the one that came with the Gates grants machines which my library got about three years ago. The worst time in my teaching these volunteer classes was when I came in one Sunday to find the machines reconfigured and the mouse tutorial gone! It took me six months of nagging to get the program back on. It's a great tutorial and available to any library providing public access computers. You can get the most beginning computer user to do it and they come out the other end of the 15 minute tutorial with a much better understanding of how the mouse and how windows work. You, of course, need to install it on a Windows operating system. I've installed it on my personal laptop to show folks when I'm out and about.

Available in English and Spanish at Adding the Mouse Tutorial to Your Other Public Access Computers.

Posted by leita at 08:18 AM

May 19, 2004

Read or listen to good health information

I was using MedlinePlus to check on information on osteoarthritis of the hip. I have it and am closing in on a total hip replacement. This librarian is researching! Anyway, just ran across MedlinePlus' collection of interactive tutorials on health -- understandable English (and in Spanish) and available with sound plus the graphics and words.

Interactive Health Tutorials : MEDLINEplus
"Using animated graphics each tutorial explains a procedure or condition in easy-to-read language." You can also listen to the tutorial. More than 150 interactive tutorials explain specific medical diseases and conditions, specific medical tests and diagnostic procedures, and specific surgery and treatment procedures.

Posted by leita at 08:45 AM

May 18, 2004

Anyone need to learn XML?'s XML Beginner's Guide is actually a set of links to tutorials and FAQ's posted elsewhere. There are links to three FAQs, one glossary, three XML specifications, six tutorials, and more. Some sample links:
+ XML for the absolute beginner;
+ 20 Questions on XML;
+ XML Namespaces FAQ;
+ Pros and Cons of XML;
+ XML: 11 Best Practices

from Gary Price's Resource Shelf

Posted by leita at 08:01 AM