Cool Sites


Ref Grunt Silenced

This week marks the end of Ref Grunt, everyone's favorite place to read about the day in the life of reference librarian, Peter Burd. He recorded, to the best of his ability, "every reference desk transaction from May 14 2003 to May 14 2004."

Don't be confusing this with sound-alike, Ref Grunt-inspired where reference librarians can post, anonymously, the most inane, befuddling or enlightening of transactions at the ref desk.


Check Out

Peter Morville (you may know him from such websites as and such books as Information Architecture for the World Wide Web) dropped us a note announcing his new website
The website is a "selective, seriously incomplete, and perpetually evolving collection of links to people, software, organizations, and content related to findability.

What is findability?
Findability refers to the quality of being locatable or navigable. At the item level, we can evaluate to what degree a particular object is easy to discover or locate. At the system level, we can analyze how well a physical or digital environment supports navigation and retrieval.

Check it out at, even though LISNews isn't listed in the Libraries & Literacy Section it's still a great site.


Patrons need help understanding Social Security?

Daniel writes "People wanting relative simple information on Social Security benefits, disability, etc can now point their browsers at The publications are available in English and Spanish and include pamphlets in these areas:Introduction To The Social Security ProgramSocial Security NumberDisability BenefitsRetirement BenefitsSubjects Of Special InterestSurvivors BenefitsWork And EarningsSupplemental Security Income Program (SSI)Other InformationThe Appeals ProcessPatrons who are blind or otherwise disabled can obtain copies of the publications by contacting the Braille Services Team, or by calling your local Social Security office, or calling our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213. When you contact us please have the following information available.Name and SSA Publication No. of the pamphlet or factsheet you want.Your preferred format (Braille, audio cassette tape, 3.5 inch disk, or enlarged print).Name, mailing address, and telephone number where we should send the requested publication.Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery."


Is Your Website Good or Evil?

While doing a google search for "websense" and "evil" I stumbled across this site, The Gematriculator in which you can enter a url or chunk of text to find out if a website is good or evil. "Basically, Gematria is searching for different patterns through the text, such as the amount of words beginning with a vowel. If the amount of these matches is divisible by a certain number, such as 7 (which is said to be God's number), there is an incontestable argument that the Spirit of God is ever present in the text. Another important aspect in gematria are the numerical values of letters: A=1, B=2 ... I=9, J=10, K=20 and so on. The Gematriculator uses Finnish alphabet, in which Y is a vowel."

Seems to be about as effective and make as much sense as some of the filtering software available.


Information Literacy Weblog

Bob Cox writes to make us aware of this nice blog: Information Literacy Weblog. Thanks!


Free Research Help - Yahoo & Google

SEO writes "Yahoo Develops a FREE Ask Yahoo - possible in response to GOOGLE's Answers Google have an archive database of very useful and thoroughly answered questionsYou can search by keyword or by directory catagory.Here are a sampling of Yahoo's most popular recent queries:What wounds did John Kerry receive to be awarded three Purple Hearts?· Is anything in a NASCAR race car "stock"?· How did the Easter bunny become part of a religious holiday?· Why are cows white-and-black or brown?· What does "chatter" mean when referring to matters of intelligence?"

Internet Book List

An Anonymous Patron writes " The Internet Book List (IBList) was a hobby project started by Patrik Roos in early 2003. Its purpose is to provide a comprehensive and easily accessible database of books, since Patrik considers the Book to be humanity's greatest creation."

Note from rochelle: It's a site about books, rather than a site with ebooks. I wasn't sure by anon's post. Pretty neat, though. rh


The Shoppes at Library Juice

Rory had asked awhile ago about posting this link to his Libray Juice-themed merchandise. I wasn't sure about promoting products as news items, but seeing how 'ol Blake just did it, so shall I. T-shirts, boxers, THONGS, babyware and more. Profits go to support Library Juice.

I'm waiting for the LISnews granny pants myself. More room for advertising, y'know.


Check Out:, an online store providing clothing and accessories to librarians and information professionals. They have some neat stuff, including a nice looking the Rowdy Librarian - Mouse Pad, and some spiffy shirts.


Literature for Children online collection

An Anonymous Patron tells us about Literature for Children. From the site:

"Literature for Children is a collection of the treasures of children's literature published largely in the United States and Great Britain from before 1850 to beyond 1950. At the core of this Collection are books from the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature, housed in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies at the University of Florida. Books from the Departments of Special Collections at the Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University, and the University of South Florida join volumes from the Baldwin Library to complete the Collection. The foundation for this Collection was a cataloging and preservation microfilming project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The NEH project included a digital color management strategy for the reproduction of illustrations as children saw them."
The site provides full text searching in a number of books from the era along with images from the actual works.


Library Budgets

Anonymous Patron shares this cool site on library budgets created by publishing consultant Mary Waltham.


The Children's Literature Web Guide

nbruce writes "Librarian David K. Brown has a plan to bring you back to books by developing a dynamite web site, The Children's Literature Web Guide

In recent years, we librarians have been doing a lot of thinking about our role in the new electronic information environment. Traditionally, our role has been to organize information, and guide readers and researchers to the resources they need (Yes, that is what we were doing. The shushing and wearing of ugly cardigans were just extra perks of the job). In the new electronic environment, are librarians unnecessary? Can we be replaced by computers? I don't think so. Internet search engines are becoming more and more powerful, but ironically, the more information they retrieve, the more users see the need for some organizing force to make sense of it all. And that is what librarians do!"


The LOC Thesauri

The Library of Congress has put together a nice collection of thesauri I was unaware of.
Thesaurus for the Global Legal Information Network
Legislative Indexing Vocabulary
Thesaurus for Graphic Materials I: Subject Terms
Thesaurus for Graphic Materials II: Genre and Physical Characteristic Terms


SHUSH--for the Conservative Librarian

Found this over at Jessamyn's place this morning. The purpose of SHUSH (S*) is, according to the website: "To provide a conservative home for librarians as well as critical thinking on library issues of the day and to begin serious discussion on the nature of The Library and Its future." Recent stances by S* have been pro-USA PATRIOT Act, pro-CIPA, and anti-MLS/Pro-BS.


Information Professional: A site for librarians

Achala Munigal writes "Check out Information Professional: A site for librarians, about librarians and by librarians at site consists mostly of Library related sites and links.
Our Vision

To make this website a one stop link engine related to LIS Information.

To provide part time or freelance job opportunities, particularly for women LIS professionals.
Our Mission

To bring global information to LIS professionals and students in India .



The Most Lamentable and Excellent Text Adventure of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Ever wanted to play Hamlet? Check out Robin Johnson's text-based game in which you control the movements of the Melancholy Dane.

I am in a huge throne room in the palace. This room is designed to make one point - that its occupants are RICH. There are expensive looking chandeliers all over the ceiling, but the centre of attention is (unsurprisingly) the massive throne in the middle of the floor. There are doors in the south and west walls, and a doorway in the north wall leading through to the entrance lobby.
Claudius is here.
Exits are north, south and west.

Thanks to Riba Rambles for the heads-up.


UMich Cholesterol Information Site

As part of their large Consumer Health Information site, the University of Michigan has a very clear, clean page answering most common questions about cholesterol and health.

Thanks to Soundara of the MEDREF-L mailing list for publicizing this simple, useful resource


Ref Grunting

I don't know if peter intended the title "Ref Grunt" to refer to himself or his outbursts, but his weblog of rapid-fire synopses of his reference-desk days make really great reading. He's inspired a number of imitators, including Nat, the He Said/Sh3 Said team, "twentysomething alien commando librarian" Tangognat, and your oh-so-humble author.


LOC's Everyday Mysteries

Heard a piece on NPR's Sunday Weekend Edition about the Library of Congress website, "Everyday Mysteries". Not a huge amount of content, but some fun science-y stuff for kids.


Check Out The Invisible Library

JB writes "The Invisible Library is a collection of books that only appear in other books. Within the library's catalog you will find imaginary books, pseudobiblia, artifictions, fabled tomes, libris phantastica, and all manner of books unwritten, unread, unpublished, and unfound."

Check It Out Here..."

We've pointed to it before, but it's worth a second look, plus if you missed it the first time, it's news to you!



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