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Points of Reference

A Booklist Blog
This is the archive of the blog Points of Reference. From 2009-2012 a team of library reference experts talked about resources (books, databases, Web sites, e-books, and more) and publishing trends.

Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Fri, July 9th, 2010
Results of survey on interactive features in online reference products
Posted by: Sue Polanka

During the RBB webinar on June 1st, Power to the User, we discussed and demonstrated a variety of interactive features available in online reference products.  At the end of the webinar, everyone had the opportunity to take a survey on these features.  The survey listed over 30 interactive features and provided responses of no value, […]


Tue, May 18th, 2010
Gale offers iPhone app for School Libraries
Posted by: Sue Polanka

Last December Gale release an iPhone app for the public library market based on their AccessMyLibrary service.  They are now releasing this same iPhone app for the school library market called, AccessMyLibrary School Edition.   The new K-12 version allows students to find their local school library – (grade schools, middle schools and high schools) and […]


Mon, May 17th, 2010
Should we index reference content in journal databases?
Posted by: Sue Polanka

Last week I participated in a webinar about the discovery of reference content.  We identified several of the challenges to locating reference content - print only, reference indexed in only one place (Reference Universe), changing research habits of students (only using search engines/Wikipedia), online reference content in multiple vendor interfaces, and content not available in […]


Tue, April 27th, 2010
Alexander Street Press Ethnographic Video Online - Free Access
Posted by: Sue Polanka

Alexander Street Press is offering free access to it's Ethnographic Video Online collection.  The collection contains more than 1,000 of the most frequently used films in anthropology courses.  Classic works from the pioneers of ethnographic film, including Robert Flaherty, Timothy Asch, John Marshall, Robert Gardner, Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, Jean Rouch, and many more—together […]


Thu, April 1st, 2010
American History in Video - Open Access During April
Posted by: Sue Polanka

Alexander Street Press is offering open access to their highly acclaimed American History in Video product during the month of April.  The collection contains over 4,000 video newsreels and documentaries from PBS, the History Channel, California Newsreel, and more.  The collection was awarded a 2009 Booklist Editors Choice and given a starred review in Booklist, […]


Thu, February 25th, 2010
OverDrive releases an audiobook app for the Blackberry
Posted by: Sue Polanka

Libraries who subscribe to OverDrive will be happy to hear about the release of an audiobook app for Blackberry smartphones.  The app was released to the public in beta format and can be downloaded at: http://www.overdrive.com/software/omc.  The app allows users to wirelessly download mp3 audio book files from libraries and three online retailers.  OverDrive is […]


Mon, February 1st, 2010
Discovering Library Content
Posted by: Sue Polanka

You may be hearing the word discoverability a lot lately, either from librarians or information providers.  Discoverability, or how can students find good quality library content in this googlized world, has got all of us perplexed.  Students prefer the simplicity of a single search box, the speed of results, and the instant gratification of full […]


Tue, January 5th, 2010
EBSCO launches discovery tool
Posted by: Sue Polanka

I think "discovery" will be the word of 2010.  Everyone seems to be moving in this direction, an overarching discovery tool for library resources.  EBSCO is in the mix, launching their new discovery service.  The details from a press release are below.


Tue, December 15th, 2009
Bookcarts for Assignments - A Facelift
Posted by: Sara Rofofsky Marcus

The Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) subcollections are starting to compliment the traditional bookcart of books on a topic.  Rather than going to the physical shelves to find books for an instructor's specific assignment, obtaining single copies of various books of a wide chronological range, I find myself turning first to the GVRL to see […]


Tue, December 15th, 2009
Best (and Worst) of the Web in 2009
Posted by: Admin

You see lots of "Best Books" lists at this time of year. With the number of reference books dwindling fast, I went in search of some digital "bests." ReadWriteWeb, a blog that analyzes Web products and trends, is in the process of putting together its "best products of 2009"  this month. There are 10 different lists, including "Top 10 […]


Fri, December 11th, 2009
EBSCO Mobile
Posted by: Sara Rofofsky Marcus

I have to admit that I am loving EBSCO's Mobile interface.  Not only does it work great on my iTouch, but when the server is going slow it makes the search so much faster.  While I can't print from this interface, I've found myself researching without waiting for a computer, e-mailing the article if I […]


Thu, December 10th, 2009
E-Reference and the Environment
Posted by: Admin

We tend to think of print reference materials as being bad for the environment (all those trees!), but going online has an environmental impact as well.  With the Copenhagen Climate Conference now underway, this is a good time to examine some of the costs. The average desktop computer with monitor requires more than 10 times its weight in […]


Fri, November 20th, 2009
World Book introduces Dramatic Learning
Posted by: Sue Polanka

Whenever I see cool products for children and young adults, I'm always envious of the librarians and teachers who get to work with these tools.  What's gotten my envy this time is World Book's new product, Dramatic Learning.  It is a classroom tool to help with reading fluency and comprehension, based on play scripts, skits, […]


Thu, November 12th, 2009
More Publishers Go Mobile
Posted by: Admin

Ths week, EBSCO Publishing and Alexander Street Press both announced that they are going mobile for patrons of subscribing libraries EBSCO has released EBSCOhost Mobile, allowing people to search EBSCOhost databases using smartphones and other handheld devices. Features include search modes, full text limiting, and date ranges,  plus limiting by peer-reviewed content or publication. Scrollable results lists have citations, Image […]


Fri, October 30th, 2009
Reference (Along with Everything Else) on Your Handheld
Posted by: Admin

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Internet Project in 2007,  "62% of adult Americans have either accessed the internet with a wireless connection away from home or work or used a non-voice data application using their cell phone or PDA."  Non-voice data applications include not only texting, e-mailing, taking a picture, and recording a video, but also […]


Wed, August 26th, 2009
eReference Platforms - What do we want?
Posted by: Sue Polanka

I spent Monday with several librarians in a discussion on the future eReference platform.  I'm referring to products like Credo Reference, GVRL, Sage Reference Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, etc.  Our discussion revolved around platform features, good features and not so good features.  I'm going to list some highlights of the discussion below, but would really […]


Thu, August 20th, 2009
Video Break: Medieval Helpdesk
Posted by: Admin

Check out this video from some clever folks in Norway. It seems especially apt when so many of us are having a hard time letting go of print.


Sat, August 1st, 2009
The Wonders of technology
Posted by: Barbara Bibel

I returned home from the wonderful and productive conference in Chicago ready to post something about the exciting programs, but my DSL was dead. After three weeks of going round and round with my provider, it is still dead. I am now in the process of changing ISPs. This made me think about how much […]


Tue, June 30th, 2009
Reference to Go
Posted by: Admin

Reference on your iPhone?  Besides providing a way for iPhone and iTouch users to find their way around the Duke University campus, review the course catalog, and search for events, DukeMobile now offers 32,000 images from Duke's Digital Library Collection. Duke is the first institution to offer access to images and materials in this way, but […]





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Quoted material should be attributed to:
Mary Ellen Quinn, Points of Reference (Booklist Online).




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