Sunday, December 13, 2009

Evaluating websites In this website, the patrons are able to take a quick pick of the books through the editor's picks. The patrons are able to view the title they want fromt the choice of media, books, audio and etc which is chosen as the most relevant to the search of the patrons.

What Should I read next- This is one of my favourite websites, patrons will favour this website of what they will read next after the previous books they read and a long list of recommendations will pop up for the patrons to choose from. This is quite helpful for patrons who want to read something similar from their previous reading but by different authors. However, it is quite a headache when some patrons lost their book list as the title or the author of the book is required. Besides books, there is also CDs and DVDs for the patrons to choose from.

There are still many websites that I have not browse and study how the different criteria works for the different websites and the patrons, but for now I would be quite comfortable to introduce What Should I read next to the patrons.

Friday, December 11, 2009

An author's perspectives

Book Browse- I am able to read bits and pieces about the author's profile through Book Browse which is great. It shows how the author get the inspiration to write the book and also other famous books by the author.

Open Books- I get to know many new authors through this website introduction of the authors who wrote different types of books; from fiction, non-fiction to poetry. There is also interviews with the authors and blogs about the full details (price, author, pages) and the summary of the books which gives me an overview about the book before I read the book.

The Paris Review- I was attracted by the classic design of this website. This isa helpful site for patrons who are wanting to browse the interviews with the authors they desire by the year index of 1950s to 2000s or by the name in alphabetical order. There is also an audio preference interview with the authors which is great for patrons who are auditory learners.

I think it is very useful if we can introduce the websites to the patrons. Besides new books displayed, the patrons can check out the author's profile and read about their interests. Open Books is a great website for the patrons to acknowledge the new authors and their books. The patrons are able to experience a different taste of books by the new authors.

Readers and Booklovers

I checked out and the website is fantastic. I typed in Lonely Planet and resulted 1534 relevant results with headings and keywords of my search highlighted. I can choose from different types of my search, such as travel, book or media about lonely planet. also gave many different suggestions of books which is relevant to my search.

I love the online suggestion website: What should I read next?
When I just typed in a book title, they gave a variety of suggestions which is attractive and fascinate my desire to read it. I have also registered to get a more accurate book list I believed I would love from the suggestion of this website.

Monday, December 7, 2009

File Converters

It is quite easy to upload the documents to Google Docs with the instructions.
I did it in two ways:
First way: When I clicked the given url, I can read the document straight away.
Second way: I saved the document and upload it to be read in Google Docs.
Resulting in the format of the file is a bit out of shape. There was a message saying "allowed files" which I am not sure if all sorts of files could be uploaded.

I tried Zoho Writer too and I personally prefer Zoho Writer to Google Docs. It is perfect for me.

I think this learning is important to the librarians. There are quite a few patrons who often shoot the "Why can't I open this thing?" question to the librarians.

There are many Chinese patrons who often come and asked us to read their saved files from their memory stick. And we always failed to open their files which was in Mandarin text. One thing that I always wonder: How can we convert and read the different languages files?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Google Alerts

WOW!! Alerts are really powerful. Maybe 10 minutes after I set an alert on snowman, an alert popped up in my inbox.

I want to get ready for Christmas so I have set a few alerts on Christmas themes such as Christmas, snowman, reindeer and etc.

One of the alert results:

Yes I refined my search query to get a more relevant and better result. I keyed in a clearer keyword. For example, at first, I typed in Christmas. And I refined my search query by typing in Christmas celebration in New Zealand and I got a slightly more relevant result of my search. I am quite happy with the list of results I got which allows me to choose.

I would recommend to the patrons who would like to receive continuous updates of their searches.

Specialist Search Engines

Both Blinkx and YouTube have different content providers.
Blinkx's content providers are group by the subject provider and suprisingly YouTube is one of its content provider too.
For example, if you want to view about news, you will view videos from CNN, Fox News, ABC News and etc.
And YouTube's content providers are random people who have a YouTube account but there is probability that YouTube videos are not quite relevant to what the person wants to watch.

Apparantly, YouTube is internationally known that appears the results for the same topic is much higher compared to Blinkx.

I have to say that Google Books have a wide variety of magazines to choose from. I did not find many options to very helpful. When you click the List View at the left hand side after the search, the details of the magazine will appear before you. For example, the month, issue, no and the pages of the magazine. And when you click one of the magazine, on the left hand side, there is a box for you to hit what you want to search from the magazine. For example, in a Nutrition magazine, when you key in "nutrition for kids", the page and keyword for your search will be shown ang highlighted in yellow which is great for searching your preferred subjects in the right magazines.

Google Book Search is osmehow helpful when the patron wants to know if the story is popular by the shown rating in at the book overview page. Review from other readers will interest the patrons to get or not to get the particular book.

Google Web Searches

I searched for the same topic in all Google, Yahoo, Bing and Exalead and all search engines came out with different results.

Topic: bird flu

Google- 9,600,000
Yahoo- 59, 900, 000
Bing- 2,970,000
Exalead- 1,856,813

*When you go to exalead website, if you just click key in the topic into the search box, it will come out as "No result", so you need to scroll down till the bottom you will see "Try our World Wide Web search engine" and then you are able to search the topic*

I like the various Google options because I get to choose what I want for the topic I search. For example, I might only want to watch videos of them or maybe I just want the news. You can search the latest or even way back into history. I like the Wonder Wheel and the Timeline the most.
The Wonder Wheel shows the related sub topics to the main topic which is great for people who are brainstorming ideas for a particular project.
The Timeline shows news of the particular topic that was discussed over the years.

I think this is a great help for the librarians to use when they are helping their patrons to google something. Normally, librarians will just read the first few results on the long list of results, but if the patrons are looking for the particular search, for example, news about bird flu way back in 2004, librarians who are familiar with using the search options are able to search for the results immediately.