Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Using Bloglines?

Are you reading a lot of blogs? How are you keeping track of what you've read & what you haven't? It's really easy with Bloglines (and no, I don't work for them!!)

You can see some of my favorite blogs here (you'll be asked to create an account) and then click the ones to which you want to subscribe. You should see something like the image above when you log in.

You can subscribe to *this* blog by clicking on the Subscribe with Bloglines button on the left, below the list of previous posts.

What's cool about Bloglines is that you can organize your blogs into various categories. I have some Library blogs, some Mac blogs, and some Cog Sci blogs, all sorted the way I want.

After you have a Bloglines account, you can read all your blogs in one place. Your "feeds" (ie, blogs) will be in bold if there are new entries, so it's easy to tell which ones to check.

You will see the blogs in the Bloglines window; to see the blog post in its original window, click on the title of any post. You can email posts to yourself or someone else (see the little "Email This" icon at the bottom of the post?). You can also click "Keep as New" so the posts you like will stay listed in your Bloglines account. Handy if you're skimming lots of posts & want to save a few for later.

This is a very quick intro to Bloglines; you can see Bloglines' FAQ & find out even more.

Blog on!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Find Books *anywhere* and Borrow Them!

Have you seen's Find in a Library? It's the "lite" version of software that librarians have been using for decades to find books, catalog, and lend books to patrons in other libraries (known in librarian-speak as "Interlibrary Loan"), called WorldCat.

It's produced by OCLC, a big name in library catalogs, and they say "Over 1 billion items in more than 10,000 libraries worldwide." You may wonder what an "item" is -- it's librarian-speak for books, videos, DVDs, CDs, cassette tapes, and many more things that libraries own & lend.

You can use this database to see who's got a book in a nearby library - I can see that over 1000 libraries own Ellen DeGeneres' The Funny Thing Is, including Simmons College (print) and the Boston Public Library (cd).

If you put in your zip code, you can see which libraries near that zip code own the book, and if you click on the name of the library, you can check their catalog to check if the book is on the shelf. Then you can go to your library (the one where you have a library card) and ask them to get it for you (using the coolest thing known to libraries, Interlibrary Loan). Presto: you've got a great book to read, listen to, peruse, etc.

Try it yourself in the search box to the left of this post.