Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One laptop per child

THIS. this is fantastic.

MIT Media lab has done it, they've created a laptop that has the potential to bridge the digital divide and guess what is a huge part of that equation.....OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE! freedom. sharing. love it. check this thing OUT!

“Everything in the machine is open to the hacker, so people can poke at it, change it and make it their own,” said Mr. Bender, a computer researcher. “Part of what we’re doing here is broadening the community of users, broadening the base of ideas and contributions, and that will be tremendously valuable.” (from the New York Times, Buy a Laptop for a Child, Get a Laptop)

And now they're offering a Give 1 to Get 1 program starting November 12 ending November 26...One will go to a child in a developing nation, and the other one will be shipped to you by Christmas and the whole thing is a tax-deductible charitable contribution.

if I wasn't so broke at the moment....sigh.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

which book?

don't know which book to read next?

my boyfriend, a writer, will recoil in horror at this site for its assault on the sophistication of the novel by breaking it down by simple descriptors like 'sad'...and 'happy'....and i fully expect an angry diatribe at any moment...

but hey, i'm a sucker for things that request my input! and i suspect you are too....:


the only WEE problem for us yanks is that it pulls from a catalog of popular british titles and connects you to your local library in BRITAIN, which in my case is oh, say, 3676.653 miles away.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Yea know, when I was little and played sports I always remember my dad hollering from the sidelines: "VISUALIZE!!!" heh. He firmly believed that if I could just create a clear picture in my mind of myself hitting that ball I could wack it out of the park. God bless him. heh.

The idea of visualization is still a running theme in my life but its application has taken on a different slant. Some technophiles have taken up my father's VISUALIZE battle cry in order to answer the question:

How does one get a more clear view of all of the information connected throughout the internet?

Visualization engines. Try plugging in, say, "John Frum" and see what you get!


Also on this point, some clever fellows have come up with an algorithm to visualize the "Power Struggle" on wikipedia. They're able to display all of the articles within wikipedia while highlighting the most revised (and thus, perhaps, contested) entries.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Quick Accessibility tips for Windows and Mac

A large part of dealing with the public in the library setting is being prepared to make information accessible to everyone at any time....

A tall order indeed!

But have no fear, here are a few quick tips that I just picked up from my Information Literacy course:

Windows XP has three little accessibility features right there under their accessories that can help out in a pinch. Go to Start/All Programs/Accessories/Accessibility and you'll find a:

  • Magnifier (enhances hard to read fonts simply by mouse-over)
  • Narrator (reads onscreen text, not exactly THAT good but an option for a patron in need)
  • On-screen keyboard (very neat, test this out! it allows you to use your mouse to click on the letters of a virtual keyboard. helps when a patron may have limited mobility)

Apple also has some pretty extensive accessibility features available under /Applications/System Preferences/Universal Access.

Among the cooler features available through Apple:

There is certainly far better (and more expensive) technology out there that makes information more easily accessible to all users in this digital age, but knowing these little tricks can be useful on the fly (and the cheap)!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Steampunk! A little somethin' for the traditionalists...

In our field, there still tends to be a perceived divide between those who yearn for the more traditional tactile times of ye ol' librarianship (think: mahogany shelves filled with antique books lit moodily by brass and copper lamps) and those who loooooove the powerful and fast tech side of things.

Well, luckily, there are some punks out there trying to marry those two concepts...and it's called steampunk!

My buddy Kathleen sent me this fantastic article about it.

Check out the steampunk monitor and keyboard.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Ms. Dewey

HA! this is great. one of the faculty at CUA, Joan Lussky, sent this on to me. Try it out!