Cool Sites


The new online phenomenon in books

A Newspaper In VA has a nice write up on, an online book-swapping site. now has 28,000 users and about 270,000 books available to be mooched.

"It's everything from college textbooks all the way to romance novels," Buckman says. "It's really all over the map."

The way it works is simple: new users post a list of all the books they want to swap, and for every book they post, they receive one-tenth of a point.

Every time they actually send someone a book, they earn one point, which they can then use to get any book they want from someone else on the site. And the only cost is mailing books to others.


The Bibliochaise Armchairlibrary

The Bibliochaise is an armchairlibrary for who likes to be immersed in deep reading.
It contains 5 linear metres of books and thanks to a special fitting structure is easily disassembled. The Home version, studied to perfectly fit in an apartment, measures 102x85 h.73,5 cm.

It cannot be disassembled and is finished with water enamel in six possible colours.
The cushions, with removable covers, have six colours from which to choose.

The Contract model of la Bibliochaise measures 111x96 h.80, the one in the picture is
in wood veneered in oak tinted wengé with a wax finish, and leather cushions.
For this version there are many possible panellings, from the more classic woods to the
more modern solutions with satined or wax finishes, but also optical laminates, stripes or
simply lacquered in your favourite colour.


Maps For the New Millenium

No longer is the map of the world just a browning piece of paper above the is a collection of world maps, using equal area cartograms where territories are re-sized on each map according to particular variables; land-mass and population of course, but also literacy, education, work, poverty/wealth, food consumption, exports/imports, resources, mortality from a variety of causes and so on.

The Worldmapper Project is a collaborative effort between geographers at the University of Sheffield and the University of Michigan. There are 366 maps, also available as PDF posters.


OpenCongress site launches

OpenCongress, launched yesterday, "brings together official government data with news and
blog coverage to give you the real story behind each bill."

OpenCongress is a joint project of the Sunlight Foundation and the
Participatory Politics Foundation. It brings together on one site
congressional info from Thomas, news from Google News, blog posts from
Google Blog Search and Technorati, campaign contribution info from the
Center for Responsive Politics, and their own 'congressional gossip' blog.

Camel Book Drive

Camel Book Drive: Though The Camel Bookmobile (HarperCollins, April 2007) is a novel, the camel-borne library actually exists. It operates in Kenya's isolated Northeastern Province near the unstable border with Somalia. It brings books to a semi-nomadic people who live with drought, famine and chonic poverty. The books are spread out on grass mats beneath an acacia tree, and the library patrons, often barefoot, sometimes joined by goats or donkeys, gather with great excitement to choose their books until the next visit. I visited the region and walked the bush with the camel library, and you can see pictures and a short video.


Three reasons- giving libraries a voice

Nancy Dowd writes "The NJ State Library is conducting an experiment to see if they can break the record for the most comments posted on a YouTube Video. They made a neat video featuring library customers talking about their three reasons and then posted a challenge to the world to break the record of the number of comments posted for a YouTube video. The idea is to have people post their three reasons and then pass the word to five friends. Of course what makes it even better is that it will be a library video that breaks the record! Hope you post and pass the word!
Video is at
Questions can be emailed to ndowd at"


Wiki Wednesday: LISWiki - Readers' advisory

The great thing about wikis is that anyone can contribute. The bad thing about wikis is that hardly anyone does. Part of the problem may be that people just don't know where to start. And that's where Wiki Wednesday comes in.

There are several library-centric wikis out there on the Internets, all with gaping holes in their content. Each week, Wiki Wednesday will highlight an article which needs to be added or fleshed out. LISNewsterz who know something about the week's topic are encouraged to add content to the featured article. (Of course, you may contribute to others, too.)

This week's feature article: Readers' advisory on LISWiki. The article was first created in September 2005, and it is currently a 3-sentence stub with inconsistent punctuation. There's certainly much more to be said about this important aspect of reference service.

So, go share your exptertise about readers' advisory. Please follow the wiki's rules, though. Wiki Wednesday will review your work, and assign another article, next week.



Continuing on the subject of Google, G-stories is, according to its creator Ed, "a source for what's new and interesting about Google(TM) & other search engines"...including a stock ticker, truths, falsehoods, speculation and everything in between.

"Book" is the new "Cool"

Cynthia writes "Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn reports that "book" is the fashionable new synonym for old, reliable "cool." When those who send cell-phone text messages using predictive text, also called T9, key in the numbers that correspond with C-O-O-L on their numerical keypad (2-6-6-5), the first word the program suggests is B-O-O-K (which also corresponds with the numbers 2-6-6-5).
Full entry here: orn/2007/01/slang_earlywarn.html"

Tech Friday: Standards: libraries, research and learning

Lorcan Dempsey's weblog pointed the way to a neat site done by UKOLN. The JISC Standards Catalogue is in the form of a Wiki maintained by UKOLN and provides descriptive information about standards of interest to the educational community.The JISC Standards Catalogue provides a brief summary of the formal and de facto standards which are relevant to the UK FE/HE development community. It primarily addresses the technical standards for use by projects to support interoperability.


Check Out Geni

Christopher Harris writes "Check out the new Geneology site, Geni (as covered on TechCrunch) as a new Web 2.0
social genealogy tool. As you enter your family information, you can
choose to include e-mail addresses for current relations (I guess you
could for long deceased relations, but the response rate might be a bit
low). Those relations recive an invitation to log in and extend the
tree. What a great way for public libraries to introduce social
networking in a positive light — imagine a class for seniors on how to
set up a gmail/yahoomail/whatever account and then how to use Geni."


Check Out: Shelfari

Somebody writes "Shelfari The problem with our large bookshelves is that they are buried in our home where only a subset of people can see what we have read. Now with Shelfari you can show off that book collection to your friends and the world!
Shelfari makes it easy to see what your friends are reading and even get and give book recommendations.
Now with Shelfari you can easily connect with new and old friends to talk about the books you are passionate about."

Update: 01/18 15:25 GMT by B : - Correction: Shelfari is not owned by, they are operated by these people. I mistakenly assumed that they were a part of Amazon as their copyright credits include I gather that's just for photos of book jackets, I apologize for my mistake, birdie.



Guitar Tuner Site

Cool little utility to help tune your guitar by ear for MAC or PC.


Librivox: A Creative Commons Endeavor

Librivox is a project that describes its mission to be the "acoustical liberation of books in the public domain"; i.e., it's a digital library of free public domain audio books that are read and recorded by volunteers.


Library Link of the Day

I was cleaning up some feeds in my BlogLines account last night and noticed the Library Link of the Day has just 76 subscribers to it's RSS Feed. You can also sign up to receive the daily link via e-mail on the site.It's worth it, just one link a day!


Swivel: where curious people explore all kinds of data.

If you're like me, and you know you want to be, you'll like Swivel: Swivel is a place where curious people explore all kinds of data.
As a preview it's rough around the edges. May your love for data guide you.
"So, when we say Swivel is a Web site for data we're talking about those three things:
1. we use farms of powerful computers and algorithms at the Swivel data centers to transform a lonely grid of numbers and letters into hundreds - sometimes thousands - of graphs that can be explored and compared with any other public data in Swivel
2.we have ratings and comments and publishing shortcuts for bloggers, so folks can share ideas, talk about insights and understand data together
3.we transform the sometimes tedious task of reading someone else's spreadsheet into a fun experience of clicking through a Web site full of images, graphs and color.


Gift Idea for Your Favorite Librarian

joybutterdish writes "Help the library world erradicate the stereotypical librarian image. Archie McPhee, the company that brought us not only the Librarian Action Figure but also the Deluxe Librarian Action Figure, is now offering temporary tattos with the librarian in mind. Order now to arrive by Christmas."


200 Years of KEYWORDS in Presidential Speeches

Search Engines WEB writes "How have Public Concerns been addressed by Presidents over the Past Two Centuries. Using the SLIDER on this site and going from January 1776 to Jan 2006 — compare the Changing Keywords from all the major Presidential Speeches — to see how emphasis, concerns and priorities have changed over the Years."

LISZEN: Library Blog Search Engine

Garrett Hungerford has put together Wanting to find out what other librarians are saying about Library 2.0? Or perhaps you can't remember who talked about "Fighting the Stereotypes!" a few weeks ago. Welcome to the search engine for librarians!

He's been slaving away, taking links from LISWIKI and importing them to Google Co-op. The result is a custom search engine that sifts through 530 individual blogs.



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