Maryland Library Association Conference

Carrie, David and I were lucky enough to present on the blog at the Maryland Library Association Conference a few weeks ago.  Thanks to ARLD for sponsoring us.  The description of our talk was:

LibraryTechTalk (libtechtalk.wordpress.com) is a collaborative blogging effort created by three new Emerging Technology Librarians at Towson University. Currently directed towards employees at Towson’s Cook Library, the bloggers will share their knowledge about emerging technologies and will present potential applications for use in the libraryenvironment. They will explain why they created a blog, the process they used to develop and create LibraryTechTalk, and how they maintain it to keep it from disappearing into the blogosphere. Using the LibraryTechTalk blog as a case study, attendees will learn how to recognize the needfor a blog, define its scope, maintain it and promote it to their intendedaudience in their own library setting

libtechtalk
Click on image for presentation slides

The talk went well and people seemed excited about the blog.  We also used this time to announce that we are opening up the blog to other libraries in the area!  We are encouraging area librarians and library staff to become guest authors on the blog as well as promote the blog to their staff and library faculty.  If you are interested in becoming a guest author please contact me at ctomlinson (at) towson.edu.  Enjoy pictures of the presentation!
CBCTDD

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List.it and don’t you forget it

Many people keep (with varying degrees of success) a to do list in one form or another. I for one am always making lists on little pieces of paper (often old card catalog cards) and then losing them in the bottom of my tote. Even worse…I have a friend who procrastinates by recopying lists instead of tackling the tasks they outline.

The folks at MIT have kindly developed a tool to help us manage our lists. List.it is a Firefox (version 3 or above) plugin for electronically creating, managing, and backing-up your list.

List.it's sidebar window

List.it's sidebar window

After downloading the plugin, a small yellow icon will appear in the bottom-right corner of your browser window. Right clicking the icon allows you to quickly type in a new list item. Left clicking the icon opens your list as a narrow window as a sidebar to your browser window.

With the sidebar open you can added list items, edit items, move items up/down in your list, search your list, and best of all – delete items as you finish them. In addition to the regular search box, List.it allows you to create custom quick search buttons. For example, you could start all task related items with the words “to do” and then create a “to do” search button to quickly retrieve entries that include these words.

Example of a "to do" quick search button

Example of a "to do" quick search button

Other advanced features are customizable hot keys and synchronized back-up capabilities.  Under the Options tab you can set hot keys for opening/closing the sidebar, bringing up a search box, and quickly opening an input box. To have your list backed-up on List.it’s secure server, you will need to register your email address with them and create a password.

After playing with this tool for just a few hours, I would say it is intuitive, convenient, and helpful. I’m going to use it to keep track of all the books I would like to order, but can’t afford. Each new item could include a link to an online book review and a department code, such as bookWMST. Then once my budget is something above zero, I can search for bookWMST and retrieve my list of ideas. Ah…that will be a great day.