Baby, it’s cold outside

Well the cold weather is definitely here (it being December and all.) This means that it’s time to snuggle in under your favourite afghan with a warm cup of cocoa and some library news! In addition, why not check out a couple of cool sites, educational technology news and a review of some web tools that can help you to get organized? And look, it’s all right here!

1) Library News

Trial databases galore
Have you checked out the huge roster of trial databases on offer yet? Head on over and go for a test drive. We’ve got your computers, your business, your health, your science – all wrapped up! New this month – Nursing Consult! Just for the nursing folks, this database features news, books (some for PDA’s as well), clinical updates, journals and more. And when you’re done, let us know what you’re thinking about all this!

Confused by copyright?Are you confused about copyright? Well, give facultyspace a whirl. Click on classroom corner, then Copyright and you’re half way to becoming an expert! Almost! Take a gander at the links we’ve collected on the topic – there are guides, reports, legislation and even a presentation from the Library. Check it out!

EBSCOhost new features
As you are no doubt aware, EBSCOhost databases cover the full gamat of subject areas – from health to business to news and everything in between and they include thousands (yes, thousands!) of top quality magazine and journal articles. Well, now EBSCOhost offers some new features! Click on the New Features link in the top right corner and check them out! Not sure where to start? See the list of magazine and journal collections at TheBRAIN!

New podcast
New this week! On this week’s BRAINcast, we get social, social bookmarking, that is! Learn the in’s and out’s of this exciting new personal information management tool! Check it out on the BRAINcast web site!

2) A couple of cool sites…

Just a couple of sites we’ve come across in libraryland that we thought you might be interested in:

Culture.ca is “Canada’s cultural gateway…for everyone who wants to explore, find, and share the best of Canada’s cultural and creative life.” And who doesn’t? Not a new site, but an improved one with loads of new content and easy-to-use subject categories such as Arts, Heritage, Society, and more! Also features some interesting Canadian cultural blogs! And, well, it’s just so dang pretty!!

For a limited time only! Ancestry.com, the immigration records people, are extending free access to immigration records until Dec. 31st! The reason? They are celebrating “the world’s largest collection of U.S. immigration records”! The collection that is free to search features passenger records from over 100 American ports between the years 1820 to 1960. Also available until December 31st are select Canadian, UK and other worldwide immigration collections. (After Dec. 31st, a fee applies.) You do need to create a (free) login and when you do, watch out! It’s mighty addictive searching around for the ancestors!

3) In the educational technology department… news tip of the week!

There’s a new issue of EDUCAUSE review out! (Nov/Dec., 2006) Check out the article on youth, privacy and social networking technologies for an in-depth look at the legal and privacy implications of being social on the web. And in the New Horizons department, New Media and New Literacies: Perspectives on Change is a great article on how to be innovative in the college environment. Bottom line: networking, networking, networking!

4) In the new web tools department…

Do you have a driving desire to catalogue everything about yourself? Every book you’ve ever read? Restaurant you’ve ever tried? Movie you’ve ever seen? Well, maybe not. But if you do want to organize your stuff a bit better and on top of that, check out what other people are collecting, reading and eating….then there are web tools for the job!

Librarything lets you catalogue your book collection quickly and easily. This is a great tool to use if you want to keep track of books you’ve read too. Both fiction and nonfiction books are included. And the bonus to librarything is that you can check out what likeminded readers are reading. Simply create a (free) login and easily add records for your books (don’t worry – nothing fancy, here – no Dewey Decimal system!) You can also add tags (subject headings) for easy retrieval later. Then, the fun begins! Check out what other people (who have read the same books you have) are reading, dive into the reader forums, relish the recommendations!

Yes, you thought I was crazy when I suggested cataloguing restaurants and movies, didn’t you? But there is a tool out there just for this purpose! Allconsuming.net is a web site where folks catalogue books, music, movies, meals, restaurants and more! And like librarything, once you’ve finished cataloguing your life away, you can see what likeminded people are up to (when, like you, they aren’t cataloguing their lives away.) No, it’s not just a site for librarians, either!

Squirl goes one step further and encourages you to catalogue absolutely anything that you collect. In fact, it bills itself as a “site for collectors”. When you’re not collecting, why not record it all and then compare your fabulous collection of black velvet Elvis paintings to other peoples’ such collections? Kidding aside, these free tools are a great way to organize your stuff and to open up your collections to others! Share and share alike, as they say. And it’s all free!

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