The group discussed Google+ https://plus.google.com/ General open membership for Google+ has opened up, and its popularity has grown significantly. However, the group also noted that it is still a long way from overtaking Facebook.
The group discussed MPL and their use of Overdrive http://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org/databases/overdrive Nancy directed us to their explanatory page, and as the MPL site explains, it is “a library-purchased subscription to eBook, audiobook, music and video content. Madison Public Library, as part of the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium, has access to this shared collection. Using your library card, you can browse for titles to download to your computer or a variety of portable devices including MP3 players, iPods, iPads, and smartphones. OverDrive content does not yet work with Kindle, but is expected to in the fall of 2011.”
The group discussed the recent changes to Facebook http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20110755-17/facebook-changes-creeping-out-some-customers/ Ian pointed out that the FaceBook product “is you.”
Tom mentioned the recently upgraded Google language tools http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en , which now include diacritic keyboard support and audio pronunciation enhancements.
Ian told us about the fascinating FoldIt game http://fold.it/portal/ that researchers at the University of Washington designed which used gamers to solve problems with protein molecular structure research. HIV researchers were having difficulties while trying to “decipher the structure of a protein called retroviral protease, an enzyme that is key to the way HIV multiplies” and gamers were able to figure out the protein structure in 10 days. http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-20108365-247/foldit-game-leads-to-aids-research-breakthrough/
Jim reported in about the success of the Mini Golf event at the Party at Helen C. Sounds like it was a lot of fun! http://www.college.library.wisc.edu/party/
Ian mentioned to the group that he is interested in collecting a list of “Librarian Recommended Apps.” Dave L. might then post the list to the LWS. These apps would include anything (like barcode readers) that our users might find useful in the course of their university work and library research. Please forward your ideas to Ian.
See you all next month!