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).