Sunday, August 29, 2010

LILI IT Interest Group Meeting Notes – August 26, 2010

This is the busiest time of the year, but the LILI IT interest Group met once again! We had a new member attend: Joe from MERIT! (Ding!) It was a great meeting as always. And, Nancy brought fresh Kettle Corn. Perfection!

Ian started us off by describing the College Library House Party to be held on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010, from 7-11 p.m. There will be food, fun, games... Ian notes that if anyone wants to help out, please contact Kelli. The set-up will start at 3pm.

Jim demonstrated ways that you can use COLOR in Gmail to organize your mail. If you filter your mail with labels, then apply colors to the filters, the colors will appear for each message. A great visual way of organizing your email. Jim also mentioned that Google Labs has many tools that you can add to your Gmail account. There is a calendar tool, and a tool called Rapportive that “shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox.” It consolidates data from FaceBook, Twitter, etc into your Gmail account.

Jim also demonstrated the new “Call Phone” tool that has been added to Gmail. “Call anywhere in the US and Canada for free and get low rates for other countries with this small plugin — right from within Gmail.” It is very similar to Skype. You can dial an individual computer or a phone. That is very cool. Jim notes that this could be used for reference services.

Katy showed us all the very useful Meebo site/tool which gives you the ability to conglomerate multiple chat services into one interface. Fantastic! You can use Meebo on your iPhone, and it links out to Facebook and other social software also. This tool is entirely web based, so no downloads are required. One important function that it includes is the ability to separate work chat from home chat.

Ian told us about the very cool ebook reader pilot that College Library is coordinating. College will have both Kindles and iPads for checkout. The ebooks that are “circulated” will be chosen by the patrons themselves. Each user will sign up on a calendar to reserve the reader, and then will be granted $20 for choosing new ebooks to add to the pool. The patron will also be able to choose existing books to add to the reader during the reservation process. The Amazon accounts are separate from the reader devices, so the readers will be wiped and reloaded after each checkout. College will be using LibraryThing as the way to keep the collected ebooks organized.

Nancy mentioned the very thought provoking articles in the “Your Brain on Computers” series from the NYT. We all remembered the related article by Nicholas G. Carr “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and the related Book by the same author “The Shallows” The changes that reading and literacy in our society are undergoing are substantial and fundamental.

Ian provided us with a good overview of the Layar Augmented Reality building tool. It allows users to create or use AR many filters with their mobile device. Ian suggests that an AR filter for campus libraries might be possible, though he hasn’t tested out the builder part of the application quite yet.

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