Category Archives: Searching

Digital Public Library of America – Not Just for Public Libraries

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a project which hopes to enhance existing services of all libraries by providing single source access to materials.  What types of materials? The digitized collections many of us already have  . . . at least to start.  Although many libraries have created searchable databases of digitized materials from multiple libraries, this project goes a step further, hoping to include all digitized collections that can be harvested using the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). Imagine being able to search not only local databases, but also the collections at the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress – and this is only the first step.

In addition to providing an integrated search, there will be tools to help you integrate, use, and adapt the collections for your own use. By providing APIs and toolkits (technical processes that help you work with data in the collections), you could create a web page of all the materials about President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ); or a link on your page that will display all photos of LBJ between the years  of 1950 and 1964; or create a public interface for your teens that is different from the one for your genealogy patrons. No technical expertise necessary. The DPLA will be looking for ways to provide these types of services for libraries at little or no cost.

Although the name of this project includes the phrase “public library,” it is important to realize that this is not meant to be just another public library or even a replacement for public libraries. Rather, the founders see this project as benefiting the public, thereby using the term “public library” in a slightly different fashion than we’re used to. By benefiting the public, librarians in all types of libraries have a stake in working with and furthering this project.

If you are interesting helping – or just in keeping up – they have mailing lists, wikis, and blogs that detail their work. It’s a very open process and your thoughts and ideas would be very welcome.


WebGL Bookcase – Another Google Experiment

Have you noticed that companies are playing with new interfaces for presenting library collections? Here’s another that uses the Google Books API and is based on 3D – the WebGL Bookcase. It only works in Google Chrome for me, but if you don’t have it, this video shows you how it works.


Google a Day

Want to test your Google searching skills? A Google a Day does just that. Provides a daily question to answer, using their search techniques. How did I miss this?

A Google a Day









[from Wired]

OED Adds New Words to 2011 Edition

More techy-type words are entering the new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Take a look:

  • LOL (laughing out loud; although it meant little old lady in the 1960s)
  • OMG (oh, my God; dating from 1917)
  • dot-bomb (a twist on the phrase “dot com”)

[from Wired]
[from Oxford English Dictionary]

Wikipedia Turns 10

On January 15th of this year, Wikipedia turned 10 years old!

Hipmunk for Travel

Are you a user of Travelocity or Orbitz? Time to try something different — Hipmunk. Using Hipmunk, you can search for flights or hotels, but you see the results graphically and you can sort multiple ways:

Once you’ve found your flights or hotels, it routes you to the best site to finish the transaction. This is where I’m headed next time.

[Pogue’s Posts]


Last fall, MusOpen was a project struggling to get donations. Their focus was to provide copyright-free recordings of music. Since then, they have more than met their goal and now provide links to music, primarily classical, that can be streamed or downloaded, as well as some sheet music.

Although there is much more music to go, if you like classical, this is a great start. Check out their radio! I think it basically shuffles through all their music.

First Bookless University Library

The University of Texas at San Antonio opened the Applied Engineering and Technology Library last fall. It is our nation’s first bookless university library. Take a look!

[from USTA Today]

Teach Parents Tech

A few Google staffers considered what their lives are like when they go home for the holidays. Basically, they do tech support for their friends and families . . . a lot!  🙂

Thinking that they could not be the only ones that do this, they created a set of videos on very basic topics — each running about a minute or less. Did I say basic? That’s exactly what I mean. Here are a few:

  • Copy & paste
  • Make text bigger or smaller
  • Upgrade your browser
  • Create an email signature
  • Attach a file to an email message

These are great videos that could easily be used in a library environment. Short, simple, and to the point! See what you think!

Google’s PacMan

Remember the day Google put PacMan on the searching home page? It was May 21, 2010 — PacMan’s 30th birthday. You could actually play the game — it was great! It was such a hit that they’ve kept it available for everyone.

Google's PacMan

RescueTime, a blog which deals with attention data, did a calculation to determine how much time was lost due to Google’s PacMan. Here are the results:

  • 4,819,352 hours were spent playing or watching Google’s PacMan; time spent searching Google was above this
  • $120,483,800

But wasn’t it worth it?