Thursday, July 29, 2010

An Authors Perspective

I was able to view a few podcasts of interviews with some of the authors I like to read. These interviews were both enjoyable and informative. I liked that they included information on the authors themselves and a glimpse into their writing motivations.

I think our library clientele will enjoy many of these interviews too.

I was impressed by Reading Rockets for younger readers and thought it was a useful resource. I note that young readers are able to search for information on both authors and illustrators and I imagine that younger readers would find this particuarly useful.

Readers and booklovers

Module 6 topic 1

As I do not want to register for an online book resource I have selected those that are available without registering. This means that I checked out a few resources but did not search for suggested next reads.

I used the online book suggestion resource ‘What should I read next' and searched the title Mr.Perfect by Linda Howard; this was a contemporary mystery about four female colleagues at a Michigan corporation who compile a list of qualities that would make up the perfect man, they unwittingly unleash a murderer who targets them for the perfect murder--one at a time. My search returned a long list and I had read at least 5 of the titles recommended but there were several historical and harlequin romance titles that I believe would not be a similar type of read to Mr. Perfect.

Next I selected The Book Seer and again searched Mr. Perfect but I am still waiting for it to load results although I could as it suggested ‘ask your local bookshop or your local library.’!

I also checked out Biblio Travel and searched Michigan which returned 38 results of titles both fiction and nonfiction adult and children’s. Interesting when you do a search simply for mystery the results listed were 399, listed 20 results to a page, and not just recently published titles either.

If I ever get to the stage that I do not have several books on my request list then I will be exploring these resouces to find my next read. I think that there definitely will be patrons who would find online book resources extremely useful.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Specialist Search Engines

Module 4 Topic 2

Using blinkx Advanced Search which was reached by clicking on browse blinkx on right hand side, I limited the search to one content provider The Boston Globe, for Videos only searching the topic lunar eclipse. This search returned 3 results a 30 second video from 21/8/2008, a 1 minute video from 4/3/2007 and the third video was for 2 minutes and 44 seconds also on 4/3/2007.
Next I repeated the search in Youtube and the original search for lunar eclipse returned about 5070 results. I then went to Search options and limited the search to Videos only, anytime, from the category science & technology and of short duration (under 4 minutes). This time the results were about 1200. This certainly confirmed that Youtube has an immense database of videos.

Google book search
This part of the exercise was not totally successful –I did get results for a Google Book Search for Time magazine with the subject Hillary Clinton but not all results were limited to articles in Time Magazine. I got a large number of results that had time, and Hillary Clinton in the article but were not from Time Magazine.
Whereas when I clicked into an actual magazine issue from the display of titles I could zoom in and out, display single or double pages, select thumbnails or full screen, view the contents page and successfully read the magazine on line. I was looking at Billboard 29 November 2008 issue.
It has the potential to be a very useful tool especially as more titles are included. Patrons will be able to investigate and determine whether particular books are relevant prior to requesting or suggesting to purchase.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Module 4 Search Engines; Topic 1

Google Web Searches

This was a useful exercise focusing on developments in web searches that have provided more options to refine a search and increased options for displaying search results.

The search I used was the 'oil spill gulf of Mexico 2010.'
Particularly liked the timeline which I found a really useful tool that allowed me to focus on what had happened and when it happened. The wonder wheel provides spokes to drill down but until I changed the actual search I ran I was disappointed with the results (I got a wheel with no spokes off.) I tried ‘oil spill 2010’ but Wonder wheel results were not that wonderful either. However when I searched oil spill gulf of Mexico there were several spokes with links to articles on water pollution in the Pacific Ocean and plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean.

Great results from the initial search with further expansion from the 'also try' searches, but I noted that there was considerable repetition of results in the associated searches definitely not all new and different results.
I liked the search pad feature and believe it is very useful to be able to make relevant notes and save them to refer back to later.

I liked the use of thumb nails and also found the list of related searches under the search box, as well as the related terms on the side, useful features to assist efficient searching.

Dogpile is meta-search engine which means that it will return search results from several search engines. I found the feature on the right hand side –‘Are you looking for? provided relevant additional searches which helped focus search criteria. Other than the web search your can also search images, videos and news.

Google was my preferred search engine, but I can and do use yahoo quite often.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Google Alert

I have monitored the 3 google alerts I set up.
The news report for High blood pressure alert did not need to be refined and after reviewing a weeks results there was no problems with articles being repeated. The results were limited to 10 per day but I only received the full 10 on 2 days and for the rest of the week the results ranged from as low as 3 and up to 8.
The news report Earthquake alert did not need to be refined; results were limited to 10 per day and for 5 out of the 7 days I received 10 results and 9 each on the other 2 days.
The other alert for GST exemption bill New Zealand did need to be refined as no results were received. I have refined the alert to GST New Zealand and will monitor this alert to see what results I receive with the modified alert.
I would recommend this service to patrons who had a special interest topic that they wanted to keep up to date with.
It is possible that I will use this again in the future, particularly as alerts are easy to set up, refine and delete.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Google Alert

Today (Tuesday 13 July) I worked on Module 3.2 and created three Gmail google alerts for :high blood pressure,earthquakes,and GST exemption bill new zealand
Type news, results to be forwarded once a day with up to 10 results
and I will monitor these for the next few days.