Friday, November 7, 2008

LILI IT Interest Group Meeting Notes - October 23, 2008

Part One: While Nancy answered virtual reference questions at the meeting (!) we had a group discussion about virtual reference...

  • It was noted that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of virtual reference calls. Compared to this time last year, there have been 600 more calls in October 2008.
  • The Velaro license is locked down, meaning we have 5 operators max. Two are at Memorial, two are at College, and one is in LTG.
  • 8-5:00 is covered by Memorial and 5-midnight is covered by College everyday!
  • The weekends are covered by SLIS students.
  • College needs more practicum students to keep up with the calls.
  • Wendt has no central chat application, but Steenbock has created their own.
  • The Ask A Librarian site is the central place where callers log-in, so statistics can be gathered from that page.

Part Two: Ian let us know some additional information about Jing...

  • Ian uses Jing regularly for chat and has been creating little movies for staff with Jing that he emails out (Ian sent them to the LILI IT list too, thanks Ian!)
  • College has an online archive of the Jing clips that they have created.
  • Jing works great and is easy to use. Try it out:

Part three: discussion of online news resources...

Part Four: random interesting observations...

  • Sarah mentioned that you can use your cellphone as a portable modem!
  • Ian noted the Cuil search, with a very large index:
  • Emily and Sarah noted that Google has an iPhone competitor now, the T-Mobile G1:

Monday, September 29, 2008

LILI IT Interest Group Meeting Notes - September 25, 2008

For the September meeting, the IT Group chose a theme: Mobile Devices

iPhone = Nancy and Dave, Blackberry = Anne, iTouch = Sheila, secret admirers = Jim, Emily, and Tom

Dave – Demoed the way to connect to either the satellite or the Memorial wireless network on an iPhone. Also explained that one could publish a WiscCal schedule to a “share” which can be viewed in the iPhone also.

Nancy – She uses the share link from WiscCal to publish her schedule in google calendar, which can also be viewed with the iPhone.

Anne – Uses her Blackberry to collect/view the feeds off of the Wendt site, which also includes some scheduling information. She also uses the WiscCal share.

Sheila – Mentioned the Apps Store on the iPhone, which she used to obtain ITunes as well as sports scores. Sheila noted that some university classes have iPhone apps for the class, where students can download flashcards/notes and other helpful tools.

Nancy – Explained the Apps Store further, mentioning that there are many apps available. Some for free and some for a cheap price ($1). These include things like movie previews/reviews/showtimes, golf tips, book reviews, etc. There are book readers too, such as “Stanza.”

Phyllis – Mentioned that there is a potentially useful app called “scribble” which one could use to draw pictures or write notes, and then send them to a student (or vice versa).

Nancy/Dave – Mentioned that the music service “Pandora” ( is helpful, and that you can access this via your iPhone also. The service detects your preferences based on your choices and revises the play list continuously. Nancy mentioned that there is a related app called “Shazam” ( where you can use your iPhone to record a short sample of music and the iPhone with Shazam on will identify the song, artist, and album.

Phyllis – Noted that the review service “Urban spoon” ( can be used to view restaurant ratings, but that there do not seem to be any for Madison just yet. Anne and Sheila noted that these reviews are contributed by the public. Phyllis also took a look at LTG’s test version “Mobile LWS” (

General Discussion of iPhone/Mobile Devices - Phyllis noted that at first she was skeptical of the iPhone but is now a convert. Dave agrees, it is like a mini computer that you can carry around, and can be very handy. He notes that it is really no competition to the standard InfoLabs or Tier 1s though, as the use of the iPhone is limited in that you can’t really do a lot of typing. Sheila noted that when LILI had asked students what they used their iPhones for, they replied that they use them for: 1) looking at stack guides, 2) looking at library hours, and 3) doing quick/basic searches (such as for the call number of a specific book as they walk to the library). Anne added that students seemed to use them to look for where their reserves were.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ROOM CHANGE MEM 126: IT Interest Meeting

The suggestion was made that we use Memorial 126 for tomorrow's LILI IT Interest Group meeting, because of the document camera available in that room. This will make it easier to show portable devices.


Please come, AND bring your mobile devices! Also, if someone knows how to operate the document camera, that would be helpful. Thanks! Tom

Friday, September 19, 2008

LILI IT Interest Group Meeting Notes – August 28, 2008

Nancy – Reports that Steve Meyer is tracking the discussions surrounding mobile phone use of the library web site and MadCat. He is looking into how people use mobile phones and what questions they ask about the site with respect to their mobile devices. The questions that the public asks should be entered into PSStats with the word “mobile.” There may be a future Public Services program on the mobile devices also. [Thanks Nancy, I think this is a fascinating issue. It really makes you wonder what is just around the corner - Tom.]

Emily – She is looking for information regarding how people have embedded blogs into their web sites. She emailed the LWS team but it seems that there is no standard way to do this right now. She noted that Karen Dunn added blog content to the center of the Steenbock web site, and Nikki Busch has a blog that links off of her grants page. She also wonders how much time should b spent on updating/blogging, and if using a commercial product on a GLS page is a good idea. Is it possible to keep it going? [Tom adding comments in retrospect: We started using Blogger for the LILI IT meeting notes, basically because it is free and easy to use. So far no problems technically. Keeping it up to date is a task. Notice how these notes were delayed by 2 weeks...]

Bob – Notes that large size display monitors are cropping up everywhere. This speaks to their value and usefulness, though the content does absolutely need to be kept fresh. Steenbock has been using PowerPoint to create the display content, and it is later converted to Flash/HTML. The Steenbock screens display the events in rooms, hours, announcements, and weather. A WiscCal “share” for the study rooms automates some of the content. A committee decides on the content and the workload is distributed. The work is perhaps a few hours a week maximum. Bob also noted that Dave Luke may look into creating a way to database drive these screens to further automate the process. Also, this could be used as a fast way to announce news across campus quickly. Bob may be able to demo the Steenbock screen and creation process for us at a future LILI IT meeting. The others attending meeting thought that sounded interesting, and noted the ways that the big screens are used in computer labs, study rooms, and some departments/buildings. [These screens are very handy, and... finally, a good use for PowerPoint - Tom].

Nancy/Emily – Notes from the technology update: LTG is looking for ways to improve efficiency, and is also concerned about creating ways to build intuitional knowledge/long term tech support. Peter described the “SDR” depository for the Google Books project, which has been named the “Hathi Trust” and will be shared by the CIC schools.

Chrome Browser

Google's new browser Chrome has been the topic of many discussions:

As Ian, and several others noted, one focus of the discussions was their TOS, which wasn't so good... but, to Google's credit they changed it very quickly. (I also credit the swiftness of the bloggers etc. for bringing the problem to light).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

360 Desktop

This interesing discovery, from Ian!

"If you want the extra space provided by multiple monitors, but there just isn't enough room on your computer desk or money in your budget, check out this application."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

LILI IT Interest Group Meeting – June 26, 2008

1) TinEye -
Ian Benton demonstrated this tool that can be used to search for images that are identical, derived from, or similar to a given image. The search universe is several hundred million images, and is expected to grow considerably.

2) Universal Digital Library
Jill Rosenshield showed this collection of digitized texts. If you click on the link “progress report” you can see a summary of the topics and languages included. It has a particularly strong collection of Chinese texts.

3) Doodle -
Nancy McClements demonstrated this useful scheduling tool open to everyone, not just WiscCal users. (Useful for planning meetings with colleagues off campus.) Users of this scheduling tool can be sent a link and added or removed from the schedule very easily.

4) PicLens -
Kelli Keclik demonstrated this promising looking image search tool. It gives a user an interface similar to the iPhone. “PicLens transforms your browser into a full-screen, 3D experience for photos and videos across the web.”

5) CoolIris -
Kelli also mentioned this helpful related tool that allows you to preview a webpage without having to visit the site. It is “a free browser add-on that lets you preview links and rich media without clicking or leaving your current page, so you can browse the web faster than ever. Simply mouseover your link or our Cooliris icon, and a preview window instantly appears with your content.”

6) Wikis from DoIT – Ian Benton also mentioned that staff at College were investigating a new Wiki application that will be available from DoIT via MyWebSpace soon. It has no project name(that we know of) quite yet, but the possibilities for tying into MyWebSpace are very intriguing!

7) Jott -
Jim Jonas demonstrated this tool that you can use in coordination with your cell phone to “convert your voice into emails, text messages, reminders, lists and appointments.” There are several different options, but here are two of the more mind boggling: you can set up a group list of email contacts, then call Jott to interact with the list by leaving a voice message which is automatically transcribed to text and then emailed to the list of email contacts. Furthermore, you can leave a voice message with Jott that can also be automatically transformed into a calendar appointment.

8) Retrievr -
Jim also demonstrated this amazing image search tool that allows you to draw a picture, which the system will try to match up to a real photograph from Flickr.

9) Skitch -
Tom Durkin demonstrated this still-image capture and editing application, similar to Jing’s image editing capability.

10) FireShot -
Jim also mentioned this FireFox add on that “creates screenshots of web pages. This plugin provides a set of editing and annotation tools, which let users quickly modify captures and insert text and graphical annotations”

Thursday, June 5, 2008

We have a twin

Catherine Stephens stumbled across this today:

Library Emerging Technologies Group

They say everybody has a twin. I guess ours is "down under."

Friday, May 30, 2008

40 years ago - the "Mother of all Demos" the first mouse, etc

A little computer history for you:

A movie of Douglas Engelbart I found on Google Video, recorded in 1968. The demo of the first mouse, and text editing like cut/paste etc:
"Doug Engelbart: The Demo" also known as the "Mother of all Demos"
"The Mother of All Demos is a name given to Douglas Engelbart's December 9, 1968 demonstration at the Convention Center in San Francisco. At the Fall Joint Computer Conference (FJCC), Engelbart, with the help of his geographically distributed team, demonstrated the workings of the NLS (which stood for oNLine System) to the 1,000 computer professionals in attendance. The project was the result of work done at SRI International's Augmentation Research Center. The demo featured the first computer mouse the public had ever seen, as well as introducing interactive text, video conferencing, teleconferencing, email and hypertext."
"He is best known for inventing the computer mouse (in a joint effort with Bill English); as a pioneer of human-computer interaction whose team developed hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs..."

Physics simulator "phun"

I just ran across this application called "PHUN."
It is a 2D physics simulator created by a Swedish grad student named Emil Ernerfeldt. It is very interesting!

Friday, April 25, 2008

LILI IT Interest Group Meeting – April 24, 2008

Emily Wixson and SLIS student Lexy Spry demonstrated the video they created for YouTube to teach search techniques to high school students.

  • They used iMovie, the built in microphone in a laptop, and a digital video-camera checked out from the College CMC to build the video.
  • They found that the training offered at the CIMC in how to use iMovie was very good, and in particular Matt Jabaily was very helpful with choosing the correct frame rate and keyframe rate.
  • Emily and Lexy created a pre/post test which may or may not be used depending on further experimentation.
  • Suggestions from Mark Beatty: record audio as mono, and a low audio sampling rate to further reduce file size. The keyframe rate can be set manually and should be selected at the beginning of stretches of video where the image changes little for number of frames.
  • Emily, Lexy, and Mark all found that the older version of iMovie works better than the newest version.

Group discussion of Carl Berger’s presentations

  • (choose “Wisconsin, The Millennial Instructor”)
  • Carl Berger presented a great deal of very interesting data, in particular information about the tech-learning preferences of “digital native students” and students in general, in comparison to faculty/”digital faculty.”
  • Mr. Berger posits the existence of “millennial faculty” who combine features of “digital faculty” and “digital native students.”
  • Our discussion was very interesting but too much to record...! see Carl Berger’s slides for more information.

Bob Sessions noted that he has been investigating Wink

Mark mentioned that Photo Express is a good free photo editor

Tom briefly demoed Google SketchUp

  • This can be used to create realistic-looking 3D models of practically anything; though learning how to use it is not very easy.

Blogs vs. Wikis

Friday, March 28, 2008

LILI IT Interest Group Meeting - March 27th, 2008

Attending: Jim Jonas, Emily Wixson, Karen Dunn, Anne Rauh, Jon Jeffryes, Meridith Thompson, Ian Benton, Bob Sessions, and Tom Durkin.

Bob Sessions – brought in a number of very interesting gadgets to pass around.

1) SanDisk Sansa e200 Series MP3 Players, with 2GB Storage chip

a. Storage chip

2) Logitech 980409-0403 Headphones with noise canceling circuit

3) Centon 1GB MP3 Player w/ Voice Recorder

Emily Wixson and Karen Dunn – Ever since Emily and Karen gave a presentation top the Advanced Biology class at West High School, Emily has pondered how to engage high school students in library orientation sessions. In the Fall of 2007, Emily was working with a SLIS BI field placement student on collaborative writing with Endnote when she stumbled upon a Goggle Docs YouTube video. Thinking YouTube might be a good medium for high school, she decided to pilot a YouTube video on Boolean operators. Emily's spring 2008 SLIS BI field placement student (Lexy Spry) is creating a 1.5 minute video using equipment from the CIMC and iMovie. The project also included a pre-test and post-test to assess learning. She has arranged with Eliot Finkelstein at College to test the video with upcoming high school visits. Emily and Karen will use the video next fall at West High.
YouTube -
iMovie -

Anne Rauh/Jon Jeffryes – mentioned the use of YouTube for preserving the videos taken at UW Madison’s Innovation Days in the College of Engineering.

Ian Benton – Reports that College has been experimenting with the “Twiki” wiki application. This is a free open-source application without required add content. College is using it for creating student circulation training materials, and an accompanying knowledgebase. This wiki has been very useful so far, and includes the unique “TwikiWords” tagging/linking feature. Twiki also allows the administrator to grant different levels of editing rights to each user.

Jim Jonas – The CIMC did a session on “stop paying for software.” A series of sites were referenced here one can get access to free and open source applications to download and use:
Open Source Software Alternative -
Open Source Windows -
Open Source Mac -

Karen Dunn – This site (KillerStartups) is also great for finding new applications. These additional sites are where I go to find new information about IT developments:
KillerStartups -
Gary Price’s Blog: Resource Shelf -
Gary Price’s DocuTicker -

Jim Jonas – Don’t forget these very good sites for learning about new technology trends:

Tom – Also, don’t forget: for finding free software.

Monday, March 3, 2008

LILI IT meeting notes 2/27/2008

1) The Educause "7 things" project (recommended by Emily W. via email)
This project was started in 2005 as a way to inform people in higher education about "Web 2.0" and related technologies. The site offers administrative summaries of various topics, such as blogs and podcasting, as well as reviews of individual resources such as YouTube or Google Earth. It is a good place to start if you want to get a quick overview of what a tool is or is useful for.

2) The Engage E-learning Teaching Tools (Jon Jeffryes)
We looked at the "ConceptTutor" sample resource on "Locating Icebergs with Satellite Images."

And we also looked at the "eTEACH" tool that combines PowerPoint slides with video and quiz capability. The "Peanut Butter and Jelly" demo gives an idea for how this can be used.

3) Wikis and Google Docs for Library work (Anne Rauh and Jon Jeffryes)
We finished up with a discussion of how Wisconsin Tech Search (WTS) and Wendt Library have been using wikis and Google Docs for their internal library work and collaboration.

WTS has been using the Zoho wiki and Google Docs for work on on technical report and copyright:

Wendt Library has also been using a similar wiki to manage collaboration within the Engineering Professional Development EPD classes that Wendt Library has worked on with the EPD department (Com A and B instructors). Stickipad is the wiki application that Wendt has been using:

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday March 27th (noon-1:00PM). I have reserved Memorial room 362 for the meeting, but we can use other locations depending on what everyone prefers.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Educause "7 things" project

This from Emily W.:

These are briefs about emerging learning technologies. Very useful for a quick overview. They are brief (2 pages) and follow a consistent format, including:
* What it is
* How it works
* Where it is going
* Why it matters to teaching and learning

Friday, January 25, 2008

LILI IT Interest Group 1/24/08 - Notes

Pamela showed us the New College Library Website <>. New stuff includes:
* Daily Polls
* Got rid of underlines for hyperlinks
* increased coverage of events (e.g. Finals Week 2007)
* Displays feed from "What's new in Madcat" - it is broken down by topic
* Links to social networing tools (Flickr, Facebook,
* Rotating research guides
* Experimenting with the FCKEditor <> which allows staff to edit pages without going into Dreamweaver)

Bob showed us his favorite spot for free online videos:

In keeping with Bob's online media theme, Jim pointed out that currently is in private beta - if you go to the site you can sign up to be a "tester" for free - I have no idea how long this will last.

Jim demonstrated - it is a place to find/create your own social networks built around a specific subject (e.g. Classroom 2.0 <>)

Miro <> - is a free open source media player/video collector - provides access to a growing amount of high quality independent video content - Think of it as a video version of Bloglines

Karen showed us John Larsen's blog - it talks about a lot of the same stuff we do in this group -

We are invitated to next LILI forum - 12/6

Bob: - features a new low-priced gadget every day - prices are always good.