Friday, July 31, 2009

25 Useful Social Networking Tools for Information Professionals

As a librarian, you want to be able to share information with patrons and students in the easiest way possible, and social networking offers a great way to do just that. With social networking tools, you can create bookmark collections, share notices, and more. I've profiled 25 of the best here. Communication Keep in touch with staff, patrons, and more with these tools.

MySpace: If you want to go where the students are, one of the best places to find them is MySpace. Other libraries have taken advantage of this site's calendar and blog features to improve their presence. With a little help from your IT department, you can also include custom catalog search tools.

Facebook: Another social media site frequented by students, Facebook is librarian friendly. You'll find a group just for librarian-centric Facebook apps, a JSTOR search, and much more.
Ning: Use this networking tool to get connected with students, library associations, and more. You can also use it to share information with many people at a time. Blog: By creating a blog, you'll be able to disemminate information to lots of people at one time. Whether you're updating students on new collections, or just conversing with library staff, blogs are a powerful tool, especially when combined with RSS.

Meebo: Network and assist students on Meebo, no matter what IM client they use. You can even embed a chat screen on any webpage using this tutorial.

LinkedIn: This social networking site for professionals is a great way to get library patrons connected with the people that can help them find information. Whether that's you, faculty, authors, historians, or other sources, they can find them in your LinkedIn network.

Twitter: Use Twitter, a microblogging application, to keep staff and patrons updated on daily activities, like frequently updated collections, or even just scheduling. DistributionThese tools make it easy to share information from anywhere.

Flickr: This image distribution tool is a great way to share new image collections. You can create image sets with metadata, as well as take advantage of the many plugins available for Flickr users. Flickr users can also help gather missing information about images.

YouTube: Spread the word about library events, share citizen journalism, and more on YouTube. You can see how other libraries are using YouTube by checking out the youtubeandlibraries wiki.

TeacherTube: TeacherTube, which is a YouTube for teachers, presents an excellent opportunity for instructor-librarian collaboration. Instructors can guide students to helpful library resources, and vice versa.

Second Life: On Second Life, you can create a virtual library with streamed media, discussions, classes, and more. For a good example of a Second Life library, visit the murdochsecondlife wiki.

Wikipedia: Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia updated by users. You can use this tool to share your knowledge by editing, or simply point library patrons in the right direction.

PBwiki: PBwiki is the world's largest provider of hosted business and educational wikis. It encourages collaboration from students, a way to showcase work, and offers a central gathering point for information. PBwiki offers controlled access, so you can give some editing privileges, while others can only read.

Footnote: On Footnote, you'll get access to original historical documents, and can update them with your own content and insights. You can even find personal anecdotes and experiences you won't find in reference books.

Community Walk: Community Walk offers a geographical way to interpret text and events. You can use it for instruction, such as showing someone where to find a book, or walk them through a historical and geographical timeline.

SlideShare: Encourage faculty, staff, and students to share their slideshow presentations for the greater community to access on SlideShare. It's a great way to disemminate information.

Digg: Digg is a great way to find useful content that you wouldn't come across in traditional ways. Find stories here, then share them with others using Digg's blog function. StumbleUpon: Another way to find great content is with StumbleUpon. You can channel surf the Internet to find useful content, research tools, and more.

Daft Doggy: If you've found a particularly good resource, you can use DaftDoggy to create a website tour with instructions, pointing out useful references and items of note. Organization Keep all of your information handy and accessible with these tools.

Nobii: This site for book lovers is a place to share reviews and recommendations. You can also take advantage of due date alerts, lending, and discussions. With this social bookmarking tool, you can create a custom directory for library patrons. Teach them to search by your tags, and it will be easy to find useful Internet research links.

Netvibes: In Netvibes' new Ginger beta, you can create a public page that can be viewed by anyone. You can use it to help guide patrons to helpful Internet sources, news feeds, and more. It can be integrated with many of the tools mentioned here, like Flickr and library blogs.

Connotea: Connotea is a great reference tool, allowing you to save and organize reference links and share them with others. They can be accessed from any computer and offer integration with lots of other tools.

LibraryThing: This social cataloging network is great for librarians, and you can catalog along with Amazon, the Library of Congress, and more than 200 other libraries around the world. You'll get recommendations and easy tagging as well. Another social cataloging site, you can put media such as books, CDs, and journals on display for easy access and tracking.With these social networking tools, it should be easier than ever to stay in touch, organized, and well-connected. You may even find that you've got more access to information than you ever did before. Of course, as an added bonus, you'll now be known as the "cool" librarian because you're on Facebook.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What is web 2.0?

Web 1.0 was the first incarnation of the world wide web, where information was fed in a one-way, asynchronous stream to internet users. Web 2.0 is all about participation, where there is a synchronous flow of information between the user and the internet.
Tools such as blogs and wikis allow users to upload and share information online. Sites such as YouTube and Flickr permit people to load and share content. Social networks including Facebook and LinkedIn encourage online interaction, and can be used as a forum from which to extract the so-called wisdom of crowds or to perform sentiment mining.
In a library setting, web 2.0 tools allow users to collaborate with one another and librarians in terms of indexing or authenticating information, use tagging to identify valuable information collections, or develop metadata describing those collections.
This will make the librarian-user relationship more dynamic, and also encourage more user-generated content to be shared and potentially reused in mash-ups under a creative commons licence.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Indian and International Library Automation Softwares

  1. Indian Library Softwares:
    Libra 2000
    Library Manager
    Rovan LMS
    SLIM (System for Library Information and Management)
    SOUL (Software for University Libraries)
    SWIRL [Software for Information Retrieval] [Cataloguing]

  1. International Library Software:-

    ADLIB Library for Windows
    Most of the library functions can be carried out using this integrated software. Web interface of catalogue is also possible. Demo is available for download.

    Alice library automation software
    Book Librarian for Windows.This software is useful for small school, club or corporate libraries. Catalogue of books and circulation services can be undertaken by using this software.

    CDS/ISIS software
    This software is use for creating records maintaining a bibligraphical list of documents. It has no facility of ciculation of documents.

Endeavor Voyager

It is based on ORACLE RDBMS. Most of the library functions including web interface of library catalogue can be undertaken.

EOS Library Systems
Available in two series viz. Q-Series for large libraries and GLASS for medium sized libraries. Both run on Windows Platform.

Keystone Library Automation System 6.1
At present only circulation, cataloguing, patron service, OPAC and scheduling and media booking modules are available.

Innovative Interfaces Millenium
Millennium is Innovative's next-generation automated library system. It is a Web-based, open-platform system that offers the best and most complete functionality of any library automation software. The Java™ interface offers staff and patrons an intuitive, easy-to-use, and platform-independent system.

Micro Librarian Systems
Available in two types viz. Eclipse and Jr. Librarian.

MINISIS is a multi-platform object-oriented relational database management tool. It has been developed, distributed, and supported since 1975 by The International Development Research Centre.

It is an ORACLE based integrated library management system. Most of the library operations can be carried by using this software.

Sagebrush Library Automation systems
Sagebrush offers three top automation systems viz. Accent, Athena and Winnebago Spectrum for integrating information management, catalog searching, and Internet access for libraries of every type and size.

SIRS Mandarin M3
The modules available with this software are OPAC, Circulation, Reports and Statistics and Cataloging.

SIRSI Integrated Library Management System
Most of the house keeping operations of library can be undertaken. Different versions are available depending upon type of library viz. Public, Special, Academic etc. Web interface is availabe with Z39.50 technology.

STAR/Libraries is a multi-purpose system for automating libraries and information centers.

Surpass Integrated Library Management System
Surpass is an automation solution for primary and secondary school districts as well as for public, college, corporate, and other specialty libraries. Trial version is available for download.

TLC Integrated Library Systems

URICA Version 7
It is possible to carry out all the functions of library in a integrated manner. Web interface of library catalogue is also possible.

10 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills

Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills

No matter how hard you work or how many brilliant ideas you may have, if you can't connect with the people who work around you, your professional life will suffer. The good news is that there are several concrete things that you can do to improve your social skills and become closer to your colleagues. All of these tools will ultimately help you succeed in today's working world. Hence, don't discount the importance of interpersonal skills in the workplace. How you are perceived by your manager and colleagues plays a large role in things as minor as your day-to-day happiness at the office and as major as the future of your career.

Try these 10 helpful tips for improving your interpersonal skills:

1. Smile. Few people want to be around someone who is always down in the dumps. Do your best to be friendly and upbeat with your colleagues. Maintain a positive, cheerful attitude about work and about life. Smile often. The positive energy you radiate will draw others to you.

2. Be appreciative. Find one positive thing about everyone you work with and let them hear it. Be generous with praise and kind words of encouragement. Say thank you when someone helps you. Make colleagues feel welcome when they call or stop by your office. If you let others know that they are appreciated, they'll want to give you their best.

3. Pay attention to others. Observe what's going on in other people's lives. Acknowledge their happy milestones, and express concern and sympathy for difficult situations such as an illness or death. Make eye contact and address people by their first names. Ask others for their opinions.

4. Practice active listening. To actively listen is to demonstrate that you intend to hear and understand another's point of view. It means restating, in your own words, what the other person has said. In this way, you know that you understood their meaning and they know that your responses are more than lip service. Everyone will appreciate knowing that you really do listen to what they have to say.

5. Bring people together. Create an environment that encourages others to work together. Treat everyone equally, and don't play favourites. Avoid talking about others behind their backs. Follow up on other people's suggestions or requests. When you make a statement or announcement, check to see that you have been understood. If folks see you as someone solid and fair, they will grow to trust you.

6. Resolve conflicts. Take a step beyond simply bringing people together, and become someone who resolves conflicts when they arise. Learn how to be an effective mediator. By taking on such a leadership role, you will garner respect and admiration from those around you.

7. Communicate clearly. Pay close attention to both what you say and how you say it. A clear and effective communicator avoids misunderstandings with co employees, colleagues, and associates. Verbal eloquence projects an image of intelligence and maturity, no matter what your age. If you tend to blurt out anything that comes to mind, people won't put much weight on your words or opinions.

8. Humour them. Don't be afraid to be funny or clever. Most people are drawn to a person that can make them laugh. Use your sense of humor as an effective tool to lower barriers and gain people's affection.

9. See it from their side. Empathy means being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and understand how they feel. Try to view situations and responses from another person's perspective. This can be accomplished through staying in touch with your own emotions; those who are cut off from their own feelings are often unable to empathize with others.

10. Don't complain. There is nothing worse than a chronic complainer or whiner. If you simply have to vent about something, save it for your diary. If you must verbalize your grievances, vent to your personal friends and family, and keep it short. Spare those around you, or else you'll get a bad reputation.

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