Cool Sites


The Wise Guide

I want to point out this pretty cool resource that is offered by the Library of Congress, the Wise Guide. According to their "about" page, the site "links to the best of the Library's online materials." The Wise Guide is definitely meant as a jumping-off point, but is an excellent way to learn about some of the Library of Congress' resources. This month's topics include WWII, Native American Indian health, and notable occurrences that have happened during the month of November.

Directory of Experimental Library Tools Sites

Ken Varnum started his Directory of Experimental Library Tools Sites - web sites where libraries of all kinds publicize their experimental, "beta," or trial services. The pages linked offer a wealth of ideas and innovations. The full list will be maintained as the Directory of Experimental Library Tools.


LibVibe: The Librarian Newscast

It seems almost impossible, but I don't remember ever seeing LibVibe before: "A newscast of our own. Concise, professional, listenable." Done by Marv K. who is a former broadcast radio personality and reference librarian living in the Midwest USA.


Today in Literature: Great Books Everyday

Sean writes "Today in Literature began in 2001 with the naive idea of an English teacher on leave from the classroom. It was a weekly radio series in Canada before moving to the internet, on and several other sites. It is now an independent web-site and subscription service, with over 25,000 visitors a day and subscribers in virtually every country in the world. It is pleasing to think that TinL helps to keep the world of books alive for so many — especially those two subscribers on Bouvet Island in the Antarctic, whoever you may be."


Cool Twenty Questions Game

Based on my experience, out of five or so categories (classic and people), the game was able to answer two out of five times before the twentieth question. The three tougher answers were answered with fewer than thirty questions.

The game FAQ tells us about the possibility of 'contradictions', explaining: "Since 20Q learns everything it knows from the people who play, it is dealing with opinions, not facts. It's more like a folk taxonomy. Folk taxonomies are generated from social knowledge and are used in everyday speech. Since the opinions of people often differ, 20Q must do its best to sort out conflicting information. Contradictions are also one of the main ways that 20Q learns more about something. If enough people contradict what it currently thinks, it slowly changes its mind about that subject and eventually the contradictions will no longer happen." Try 20Q!

Barcode ARt

Think about these neat techno-toys when the holidays come around (or before!) Check out barcode art, a web store by artist/designer Scott Blake. Some of his creations include: a barcode clock, barcode tattoos, t-shirts, some cool flipbooks and so on.


Check Out Uncontrolled Vocabulary Live Tonite

If you haven't tried out Into libraries? Uncontrolled Vocabulary , maybe tonite can be the night. Greg Schwartz, library podcasting pioneer has started a new podcast series for and about libraries and librarians called Uncontrolled Vocabulary. Each Thursday at 10:00 p.m. EDT (GMT -5), Greg and several others get together to chat about the week's library-related current events.


Historical blog from Sandusky Library

Anonymous Patron writes "This is the blog from the Archivist of the Sandusky Library (I am just a member of the Reference Services staff who contributes to it.) We're a blog dedicated to the discussion of topics relating to the history of Sandusky and Erie County, Ohio; inspired by the collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center and Follett House Museum. A service of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center."


LISWiki: Still Going Strong

If you haven't stopped by lately you're missing some good stuff. Have a look at What's Been Added, or maybe start with The Index, or the LISWiki Categories (even better, categorize A Page yourself).

The LISWiki:Community Portal has some good Article Ideas: Stumped on what to write about? See if you can fill out the Categories some more, develop the shorter entries (some are blank) and stubs, or help fill the needed entries (titles linked to twice or more), or just browse the Recent Changes. Don't miss the Largest List Of Library Blogs on the web!
Wikis are free and open publishing systems. You, yes you, are encouraged to share information in your areas of interest or expertise. Anyone can edit existing articles or create new ones. New articles are welcome! If it doesn't already exist, a "create an article with this title" link will appear in a search for your article title.


Dark Horse launches free web comic on MySpace

effinglibrarian writes "Dark Horse Comics announces a relaunch of Dark Horse Presents, a seminal 1980s b&w periodical anthology, as a free online comic in collaboration with DH is the latest comics publisher to launch a digital comics venture. The revived anthology series debuted July 27, 2007, at
The series begins with a Joss Whedon comic called Sugar Shock! so if you're still suffering from Buffy, Angel, and Firefly withdrawal, check it out. Where else can you read dialog like: 'Robot Phil, I'm gonna need your strong metal arms'?"


The Reading Experience Database

Metafilter points the way to The Reading Experience Database The Reading Experience Database (RED) was launched in 1996 at the UK Open University. Its mission is to accumulate as much data as possible about the reading experiences of British subjects from 1450 to 1945.


The Complete List Of Library Related Conferences

Marian Dworaczek continues to keep her GIANT Library Related Conferences list updated. See also: Her list of Past Library Conferences.


Blind Readers Need Funding For New Technology

The AP and Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that the The National Federation of the Blind, holding its annual convention this week in Atlanta, has passed a resolution asking congressional budget writers to pony up $19.1 million a year for the next three years to update technology at the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The government is lagging its feet allocating the funds; at the currently proposed level of funding in Congress, it would take until 2015 for enough of the recorders to be available for all library members to have one.

During the convention, over 700 members of the organization (service dogs and supporters too) took to the streets of Atlanta to make their requests known to the government and the public.


Curling Up With a Bookshelf

The New York Times Profiles Sakura Adachi's "Cave," which allows readers to curl up in a form-fitting seat, surrounded by their beloved books. The Cave features a blob-shaped, human-size recess at its base. Sitting in this upholstered niche is supposed to make a reader feel secluded; akin to being lost among a college libraries dusty stacks but still remain visible to passers-by. It Ain't Cheap.


How can I Avoid Library Fines?

Lindsay sent along A Link To a Wisegeek post entitled "How can I Avoid Library Fines?"
Wisegeek is indeed wise... "The easiest way to avoid library fines is to return your books on time. There is a simple hack, however, that allows a patron to return books past the due date without being fined. "


The Book Inscriptions Project

The notes that people write in books are sometimes trite, but often touching. The Book Inscriptions Project is an archive of inscriptions that people have found in books. There are photographs of poetry, family history, and commentary written in books.


Play Jane McGonigal's World Without Oil

Cliff Urr writes "From what I have read about games in libraries, games are usually used for doing training, teaching people how to use library resources. In this article, games seems to have a very different use: as a means for collecting and disseminating information. Perhaps library and KM geeks can get some ideas from this to gather/share info around other topics important to the user populations they serve.

Here's what, according to the article, this particular game is about: "The alternate reality game presents a "reality dashboard" that updates daily with gas prices, fuel shortages, and measures of chaos, suffering and economic impact for different parts of the country. Players are invited to document their own lives in this new reality, through blog posts, videos, photos, web comics, geocaches, audio messages, and any other means necessary! The goal of the project is to harness the collective intelligence of bloggers and gamers to create a bottom-up map of what it would mean to live through a massive oil shortage in the U.S. The project's mantra: Play it, before you live it. The game launched on Monday, and already there are hundreds of player created documents to browse — not to mention the official 'backstory" created by the game's puppet masters."

For more, go here: onigals.html"


LibSite: Recommendation Service for Library-related Websites

If you're not happy finding new sites @LISNews, you might want to check out LibSite. is A Recommendation Service for Library-related Websites. Leo Klein got the original idea when thinking about writing his next "Library Website of the Month", something he does periodically on his other site,


365 Library Days Project: The Beginning

Library Man wants to get as many libraries as he can to sign up for and actively participate in a customized, library friendly version of the 365 project (The Flickr Group). That would mean that if you decide to participate, you would commit to downloading at least 365 pictures from in, around or about the library you work in, for and/or with. Uploading a picture every day for 365 days in this case wouldn't be practical for most folks, but committing to 365 images in a year could be done fairly easily. It could also have HUGE value for your library.


A New Kind of Blog

Just when you thought you got the blogging thing down, out comes this new paradigm: Tumblr.

Tumblr allows you to piece together a blog by sharing various types of media, including photos, quotations, links, instant messaging conversations, video clips, and "traditional" textual blog posts. It's a patchwork quilt approach to publishing a blog.


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