Category Archives: web site

Catalog This!

Embracing my inner geek again. A library school student of my aquaintance posted about LibraryThing on her blog. Neat little tool. You enter in the books you own and LibraryThing searches Amazon and libraries using the Z39.50 protocol. You can keep your book catalog private or you can allow others to see what you have. Very, very handy.

Of course, nothing beats the fact that I used EndNote to catalog my DVDs…

The CDC weighs in on the Super Bowl

Who knew? The fine folks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a lovely little tip sheet entitled Having a Super Bowl Party?.

I should mention I wasn’t searching for the Super Bowl, but rather some information for a Public Health BI on Avian Influenza. Which just goes to show you how accidental the research process can be.

Not that the CDC’s web page isn’t an admirable thing. They’ve got some really good advice here–it’s just that unless football fans are limiting their Google searches to .gov domain specific searches super bowl Just searching on; Super bowl party as a term (without “”), the site is the 5th page of Google (with “” it’s on page 4.

However, the CDC is not alone. The USDA is on the action too

Today, I’ll be back to Avian Influenza…

Film Literature Index

I was introduced to this by a circuitous route. Someone who’s doing research on classic film actually checked out my page on search strategies (it’s heartening to know it gets used; as a librarian I adore making pathfinders, but as a librarian I also know hardly anyone ever touches the things). I had something on there about the print version of the Film Literature Index. My correspondent evidently googled it and found that it is now available online. He had lost the link. Lo and behold, he was right!

  • Free
  • Covers 1976-2001
  • 700,000 citations
  • Easy-to-use interface with simple and advanced searches
  • Lots of hyperlinks

It’s a thing of beauty. Now granted I doubt I’m going to get many questions at the library that would have me using this little gem, but still, it made my day.

Sometimes it’s good to be a reference librarian

My life turned upside down and inside out last month when I had a death in the family. While thee emotional trauma was, and is, significant, that’s not what I want to write about today. What really amazed me was how much of the minutiae of death there is to deal with and how much of it bears on information-seeking capability.

  1. Obtaining contact information of family and friends
  2. Finding phone numbers of retirement/pension funds that want their retirees to do everything online (yeah, I don’t get it either–according to a 2004 Pew report, only 22% of seniors over 65 are using the Internet; you would think that a business dealing with a target population of seniors would have a clue).
  3. Getting financial information on stocks and funds. I was dreading this one as I didn’t too well on the business reference part of the class when I was in library school, but Yahoo Finance is quite the handy dandy little tool.
  4. Information on probate
  5. And a hundred other little things

More than ever I’ve learned the value of knowing that people can be a resource. A lot of this was beyond my skills, but colleagues were able to help out or point me in the right direction, very quickly and very efficiently. I’m sure my family members would be able to find this information eventually, but you’re already struggling when you’re dealing with a death–who wants to be trying to figure out who you’re supposed to call and what you’re supposed to ask and where you need to go to find all of that out?

I’ve never been happier to be a reference librarian.

Just call me a geek

I spent far too much time at the new food pyramid site than any human being should. I have to say the USDA has done a fine job. It’s got all these great customizable features where you can basically input your own food consumption and it will calculate how close you are to the Pyramid.

Very very cool.

Yes, I am a huge nerd.

I’ll never use it for work, but . . .

For all of those elusive childhood titles that I can never remember, but really want to read again, there is this service. The search interface is quite horrid though.


Been playing around with CiteULike for the past week or so. It has a lot of potential. I’ve found a number of articles that I ordinarily might not have, but … it’s heavily skewed toward the hard and health sciences, which is fine, but most of my lit is not accessible from his list of supported sites. Still it’s a free source and has a lot of potential applications.