Friday, November 26, 2010

Photo Editing

Okay, I don't post photos to Engaged Patrons, so I am not sure if the size is correct. Once I find out, I will re-post if necessary.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Challenge #7

this challenge taught me about some very cool features in Outlook, and reminded me of others that I stopped using for a while, and have started using again.

1. Since our branch is making the move to Outlook 2007, I took a short course on managing an overflowing mailbox. this is a perpetual struggle. I will definitely use the Mailbox Cleanup feature a lot! I will also use the Find Large Messages tip.

2. I also sent an email using voting buttons. My question was "What is the biggest selling item manufactured by the Hershey Corporation?" The top vote getter was Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, just like they told us when I visited Hershey earlier this year!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Google Follow Up

I know you wanted us to share heartwarming google tales, but I just gotta say, it's not all wine and roses.
In "Elsewhere, USA" a non-fiction book about changes in American society in the last 50 years, writer Dalton Conley talks about his visit to Google headquarters. This excerpt from an article in Smithsonian Magazine from an interview with Conley captures the flavor of the place:
"What did your field trip to the Google headquarters teach you?
They were really ahead of the curve in terms of making their work environment very homey. They provide everything a 1950s housewife would have provided. Do your laundry. Give you a massage. Great food for free. At first glance it seems like a very expensive strategy, but I think it’s brilliant. People don’t want to go home. There’s a volleyball court and board games around. It feels like a college campus. And Google gets more out of each worker.
You mentioned the urinals at Google.
In English or Irish pubs they pin the sports pages over men’s urinals so you can read while relieving yourself. At Google they put up coding advice. It felt a little 1984."

A New York Times July 5, 2008 front page story describes how Google doubled the cost of on site day care at their headquarters:
"Parents who had been paying $1,425 a month for infant care would see their costs rise to nearly $2,500 -- well above the market rate. For parents with toddlers and preschoolers, who were charged less, the price increases were equally eye-popping. Under the new plan, parents with two kids in Google day care would most likely see their annual day care bill grow to more than $57,000 from around $33,000."

"Google co-founder Sergey Brin said he had no sympathy for the parents, and that he was tired of ''Googlers'' who felt entitled to perks like ''bottled water and M&Ms,'' according to several people in the meeting. (A Google spokesman denies that Mr. Brin made that comment.) On Monday, Google began the first phase of its new day care plan, letting go of the outside day care firm it had been using."
Google is a company, out to make money. They would like to replace libraries with fee based access to information. We would do well to spend some of our time learning about ways to search for information that do not leave us completely dependent on one monopolistic search engine.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Challenge #5 - Newspapers Online

1. I searched for "West Creek". An "all text" search gave me 7,388 hits. Many hits were from Tennessee, colorado, and New Jersey. The oldest hits go back to the mid-1980's. Limiting to lead paragraph cut my results down to over 1,000, but I still got a lot of hits from outside New Jersey. "Headline" got me down to 200 hits, 1/2 from NJ and 1/2 from Tennessee, for the most part.

2. I searched for the name "Roden Lightbody". It's a pretty unique name, so all but one of my results are from New Jersey. Next I tried "William Polhemus" and got 163 hits, with the lion's share in NJ. I guess some people in Ocean county have very unique names! Searching for "Elaine McConnell" got me 666 hits, with most from the District of Columbia. Adding the word Ocean cut out almost all of the DC results.

3. I searched for one of my favorite authors, Richard Russo. there were man, many hits becasue this is a common name, so I limited the search to the state of Maine and got much better results.

4. I got an error message when I tried this search. Perhaps this is a problem that cropped up since the Polaris migration?

5. Okay, I was able to find and send an article.

6. Most of the searches that come to mind are rather sad - obituaries are most frequently requested. Next, I would have to say is car accidents and third, crimes.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Challenge #4 - Google

From NYT article, I didn't know about flu Trends and Google Sets.

1. Everyday Essentials - I searched for weather in Cooperstown, NY, since I am going there next week. I got a 10 day forecast.
Local Search - tried the real estate listings, results depend on size of community I searched. My home town just sent me to realtor web sites. A search of "Chicago" got me the "Go" button described in the instructions, but there were too many hits to process. Fortunately, they give you several ways to refine and narrow the search.
Reference Tools - I tried earthquakes since there was a recent quake in Italy. the US Geological Survey did have some information.
Query Refinements - I tried Fill in the Blank - Tiger woods won* and got a nice listing of all the major tournaments he has won.Search by Number - I tried the area code search.
Choosing Keywords - I tried the dictionary definitions search
Trip Planning - I used the map search

2. I searched "breast cancer"- over 48 million hits. First results were news headlines, two ads with .org and .edu extensions.

:gov - 49,000 hits. First hit was rather random - a press release about some initiative started by Gov Blagojevich! Maybe because I put the phrase in quotes? Tried without quotes - over 8 million hits, and they look more like what I would expect.

:edu, without quotes - 136,000,000 hits - got results all over the map - .org, news headlines, .gov

3. The search of the NJ website timed out on me, while the Google search displayed results immediately.

4. It looks to me like the web search yields more information that focuses on Oona, while the book search focuses more on Eugene.

5. I added the Google blog feed to my page.

6. I found this interesting post that shows that you can now limit image searches by color.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Challenge #3 GVRL

Part 1. I was curious, so I looked at the oldest title in the GVRL collection - The International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences from 1968. On the public catalog, I found I could actually drill down to an actual encyclopedia entry - very cool! I looked at the entry for "Aesthetics". I tried a General Keyword Search for the word "Aesthetics" and the Gale Reference did not come up. I wonder if this only works for Tables of contents, not encyclopedic formats. It's too bad that the Print and download links are visible on the public catalogs inside the library. These are misleading. Customers do not understand why they can do things on some computers and not on others. IMHO, they should be able to do everything on every computer, with the exception of scanning. I know I am probably in the minority on this, but there you go!

When I browsed the title list from the website, I found that there is indeed a new edition of The International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences that was just published in 2008. I wonder why they haven't deleted, (or "weeded" if you will) the older edition. I guess some challenges never really go away!

Part 2. I sent the email and printed the confirmation if it is needed. That is a nice feature!

Part 3. Citation in MLA format was sent via email.

Part 4. This did not work for the 1968 edition, but did for the 2008 edition. Nice feature!

Part 5. I looked at the review for the movie "inside Moves" and both are identical as far as I can tell.

I hope this fulfills the requirement for this challenge.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Challenge #2: digital Projector & Laptop Presentation

I presented a Powerpoint slide show to my branch staff at a monthly meeting. The presentation was created as part of a practicum for the Certified Public Manager class I am taking. The topic was the culture of the staff at my branch. The set up and presentation went smoothly. The only glitch really was that I projected the presentation on a screen. Our Friends donated a beautiful plasma screen television, but the connector that was installed does not match the cables for our laptop or digital projector. The Technology Department is working with me to find an adapter that will make evrything sync up.

I also used Google Documents to create my presentation, which is something I learned about when I did the previous WebThings Challenge. Woo hoo!