Monday, September 29, 2008

Google Forms Test

This is me trying out the Google Forms functionality. Haven't heard of that, have you? Me neither. That's why I'm testing it out.

Monday, August 4, 2008

TechNotes Returns

TechNotes will start up its weekly run beginning August 27. The sessions will start at 9:30 and run for a half hour and are very informal.

If you have any ideas for topics, please let me know.

Here is what I have so far:
Augsut 27: SynchronEyes
September 3: RSS
September 10: Screencasting with Captivate
September 17: Screencasting with Camtasia
September 24: Word 2007

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Adding AppSearch to Moodle

For those interested, here are the steps to adding the AppSearch Google
Gadget to a Moodle course:
1. Turn editing on
2. On the right hand side, where it says Blocks, use the dropdown menu
to choose HTML
3. Find the new block and click the icon for Configuration,which looks
like a little pencil and piece of paper.
4. When the editing page comes up, search on the bottom right of the
toolbar for the button to Toggle HTML Source. It looks like a pair of
angle brackets <>.
5. Paste in the following code:

6. Save changes and check out your new Gadget!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wikis! Wikis Everywhere!

Several committees have asked me to set up wikis for them (and since doing so just involves asking Tom, it was easy!) and so there are several of them now.

Staff Training/Development

Information Literacy Working Group


Digital Projects Steering Committee

You will notice that not much information is on any of these sites yet, but don't worry! I'm sure lots of people will soon be adding lots of content (hint, hint).

I also wanted you to notice that I added tabs on each wiki with a link to every other wiki, so you can navigate all this lovely stuff.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Firefox Search Engine plugin

If you missed today's Firefox TechNotes, then you probably didn't know that I would be rolling out a plugin for the little search box in the upper right of the Firefox browser.

Well, I suppose you can get it anyway:
WNCLN Catalog

Of course, if you have no idea of what I'm talking about, it means you really should have come to today's TechNotes. Or at least stop me in the hall and ask me about it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Keep up with TechNotes and TeachNotes

For those of you who haven't been able to attend TechNotes or TeachNotes (or just lost all the links to the stuff I've been showing you), I'm making life easier for you.

I've put together two web pages with the schedule, the information and links, and now the screencasts of the sessions.

So if you go to these links for TechNotes or TeachNotes, you'll be able to find out what you've missed (and in some cases, see it), see what's coming up, and try out all the links.

30 Sites TechNotes

Here is the Google Notebook link for today's TechNotes, 30 sites in 30 minutes.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Here is the link to the Google Notebook for today's TechNotes on Podcasts/blah blah blah

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

TeachNotes! No, that's not a typo!

TeachNotes! Yay!

TeachNotes is a new series of talks on instruction topics that Kelly and I (and hopefully, others) will be providing starting in April.

Just like TechNotes (told you it wasn't a typo), these informative, informal talks will be held on Wednesday mornings. To give us a little more time to chatter, we'll go for 45 minutes, starting at 10:30 and running until 11:15. And they'll be bi-weekly, in Room 028.

Here is the schedule for the forseeable future:

April 2, Assessment (Scott)
April 16, Presentation Tips (Kelly)
April 30, Icebreakers (Scott)

As always, if you have an instruction topic that you'd like to hear us (or ideally, you) talk about, let Kelly or I know.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Look! A logo!

I thought that TechNotes needed a logo, so I made one. Here 'tis:

I'm also going to put together a web page with links and information on past topics, as well as a schedule of future topics.

More interesting stuff

The link I gave in the last post was for a blog entitled The Annoyed Librarian, which is a hoot and a half to read, and also makes some very good points about libraries and librarians.

Because it seems everyone is on one search committee or another, you might want to read this post (and especially the comments) to find out about the other side of the process, the red flags that the interviewee might see that keep them from accepting a job.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

An opposing view

Remember the post about Slamming the Boards? Here's a different viewpoint on that particular practice, together with some enchanting exposition on the quality of questions and answers on WikiAnswers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reach the e-learning librarian instantly!

I have signed up for several IM accounts, so you can reach me at my computer in the blink of an eye. Here's how to reach me:

If you are using AOL (AIM), then it's: elearnlib
If you are using Yahoo! Messenger, then it's: elearnlib
If you are using MSN Messenger, then it's:

Sensing a theme?

April TechNotes

For the April edition of TechNotes, I thought I'd change things up again, and hopefully this time I'll get the scheduling just right.

I will stick with Wednesdays, but in order to get a larger audience, I will do the same talk twice, at both 9:30 and 4:00, still in Room 026. Hopefully, this will allow a range of people an opportunity to come and learn a little something new.

Here are the dates and topics for April:
April 2 - Podcasts/Vlogs/Flickr
April 9 - Elluminate
April 16 - 30 more sites in 30 minutes
April 23 - Firefox
April 30 - Moodle

As always, let me know if you've got some great new ideas for TechNotes topics!

Friday, February 29, 2008

March TechNotes

The March TechNotes will continue to be on Wednesdays in Room 026, but will move to 1:30 - 2:00 pm, in hopes that people who couldn't make the earlier time can come then. After polling both on the web and in person, and then chucking that out and picking out stuff I wanted to do, here's March's topics:

March 5 - 30 sites in 30 minutes
March 19 - Web/Library 2.0
March 26 - More Google!

Monday, February 25, 2008


For those unfamiliar with bookmarklets, they are little pieces of javascript that do nifty things in your web browser. You save them just like you do a bookmark to a web page or a My Favorite in Internet Explorer.

I created a few bookmarklets which might be useful, such as one to search the catalog, one to find journal titles, etc. But I also created a bookmarklet called ASU Proxifyer that will give you the proxied version of a URL, suitable for use by off-campus folks.

Check them out!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Slam the Boards!

For those of you who don't read the Information Literacy listserv (ILI-L) (and why don't you?), they recently had a link to an effort called Slam the Boards! It appears to be an event where librarians who were interested picked a day and attempted to answer as many questions as they could on answer board sites, such as Yahoo! Answers, WikiAnswers, etc.

The idea is that they answer the questions and provide citations and as much additional information as possible and make it clear that it is a librarian doing the answering. Perhaps with efforts like these, it will become clear to the general public what services reference librarians are able to provide.

It appears they are going to try pick a day each month to do it. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

TechNotes Poll

Visitors to this actual website will notice the poll on the right, but for those of you reading through RSS readers, you may not know of its existence.

To get some feedback and help me figure out what to talk about for March's editions of TechNotes, I put up a little poll so people can give me a little feedback about what they'd like to hear discussed.

As always, if there is some other idea you have for TechNotes, or anything else, just let me know.

Today's TechNotes

For those who attended today's TechNotes, here is the link to the export.opml file. For most feed readers, you should be able to import this file and pick and choose which feeds you want to keep.

You can also go to and subscribe to any or all of the blogs I read there.

Please let me know if you need assistance of any kind.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Marilia told me about how she put a Meebo widget on her subject guide page at her last university, which looked like a great idea!

The idea is that someone looking at the subject guide is able to IM for assistance right at the point of need, instead of having to backtrack or find help in another way or just muddle through.

So, if anyone is interested in placing a Meebo widget on a subject guide page that they currently edit or are responsible for, just let me know.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

AppSearch Google Gadget

For those people that use My Google to personalize their Google page, you can now add an AppSearch Gadget. I haven't been able to find it with a search yet, but you can add it to your page by cutting and pasting this url:

It is also possible to add the AppSearch gadget to other webpages, and that would involve cutting and pasting in a bit of code. Let me know if you want to do it, and I'll get you the code.

If you have ideas for other Google Gadgets, let me know.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

ASU Multi-Feed Generator (and it WORKS!)

I have made several improvements to the RSS Feed Generator so I've decided to give it a grandiose name: the ASU Multi-Feed Generator!

Now, you can mix-n-match any number of categories and sub-categories of new materials to make your own personal new books RSS feed!

In addition, you can add the feeds for New ASU Browsing, New ASU DVDs, and the feed for this site in any combination you wish.

Of course, if you go supercrazy I can't imagine the resulting feed will be too fun to read, but I'll let you work that out.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I'm going to start holding a half-hour information session each week on a technology topic for anyone who wants to come and listen. Hopefully, both neophytes and technophiles will take away a little something they didn't know about before. These will be very informal and short, so feel free to drop in anytime.

This Wednesday, Feb. 13 will be about AppSearch, the federated search product.

Wednesday, Feb. 20 will be about Blogs and RSS
Wednesday, Feb. 27 will be about Google and its million and one products, at least a couple of which you probably have not heard of.

All sessions will be from 9:30 to 10:00 am in Room 026.

Everyone is welcome!

And if you have any suggestions for other topics, just let me know!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

AppSearch box

I have fixed the problem with the AppSearch box where the Both search would by default start searching through the databases associated with the Art category, such as Art Full Text. It now defaults to the databases from the Quick Search category, which includes NetLibrary, Academic Search Premier, the catalog, Gale Virtual Ref, Newspaper Source and Britannica.

This also had the happy side effect of allowing our home page to load much faster!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

RSS feeds again

After lots of fiddling about, I have managed to get the RSS feed to validate. This solved the Firefox Live Bookmarks problem. I have also tested it with Internet Explorer's RSS functionality and it works.

The only problem remains is My Yahoo! If they don't want a feed that's correct in every way, what do they want?

ASU Information Literacy Game

With Geri's assistance, I have managed to put up an ASU version of my information literacy game.

Give it a try and see how you like it. Send me any suggestions for changes, improvements, etc.

For those doing library instruction and wanting to incorporate the game, let me know, and we'll figure something out. Changing question sets is very easy, so the game can be adapted to a wide variety of situations.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

RSS Feed glitch

Ken has pointed out to me that the RSS thingy produces a URL that will not work in the My Yahoo! feed reader. It also does not currently work with Mozilla Firefox's Live Bookmarks functionality.

It does work with My Google and Bloglines, and I am working quickly to fix it for the others. Let me know if the feed does not work with your favorite RSS aggregator and I'll see what I can do.

Direct Links to GVRL redux

At Catherine's prompting, I have changed the list of links to GVRL titles so that they are the proxied versions of the links, and thus usable by our off-campus patrons.

You would have thought I would do that first since I spent the last three years tending UNCG's proxy server!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Direct Links to GVRL Titles

For those who were at the Gale presentation today (and anyone else who is interested) the question arose as to whether direct links could be used to get straight to the opening page of a particular Gale Virtual Reference Library title. Direct links would be useful for class guides and for links from the catalog.

I went ahead and created a list of our current GVRL titles and the URLs that you would use to link directly to them.

If anyone is interested in putting a search box for a particular GVRL title, titles, or categories of titles directly on one of their pages, let me know and I'll get you all set up.

RSS Feeds for New Materials by Subject

The next step in my quest to have a zillion RSS feeds at your fingertips is now fit to be seen. If you go to you can now create your own RSS feed for the New Materials by Subject lists that are currently located at

This is not a replacement for those lists, just a little something extra for those of us addicted to RSS.

Please let me know if there are any suggestions for improvements, corrections, deletions, etc.

I am already trying to figure out how to expand the number of categories and subcategories you can choose from the current limit of "one of each" to "as many as you want."


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Current Projects:

Editing MERLOT webpages (

Co-editing chapters for a book on Gaming in the Academic Library

Writing entries for the Lexicon of Online and Distance Education. If you want to know which entries are mine, look for SR1 next to the term, or SL1-6 for the terms I contributed.

Writing a book review for TER (Technology Electronic Reviews)

The RSS feed page (I will soon have a link up. I hope!)

Improving AppSearch

Library Game Night (if there are any volunteers to help out, just let me know)

ASUlearn projects

And many, many other fun thingies!


I have developed/am developing a Library Resources Block for Moodle for placing links to library resources within a course. It will probably use the same set of links as are already used for the Library Links Resource.

I am also investigating a Moodle Activity that allows a teacher to set up a real-time quiz. This would allow someone (say, oh, perhaps a librarian doing a one-shot session) to set up a quick pre- and post-test that could be given during a class. Or, it could allow a quick beginning of class assessment of what skills need to be emphasized during instruction.

In addition, Jeff tells me that his folk are developing a block to be placed on the ASUlearn home page which a person sees right after logging in. This block may include Library news or information such as a student's account (how many books checked out, overdue, etc.)

New books RSS Feed

To update the RSS feed project, I have the feeds working for individual subjects or categories. That means you can get your own new books RSS feed for, say, statistics, or for all of Business & Economics, just like on the current New Books page. You can set up as many feeds as you like, but need to do each one individually.

I am working (with much assistance from Tom) on making it possible to create one feed with several subjects, but it's not working quite yet. When I get that operational, I will create a web page where you can go and select the subjects you wish and the page will generate a URL for you to put into a feed reader.

More news as events warrant!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Google Charts

I have just discovered Google Charts! What does that mean for E-Learning? Well, I'm not sure yet, but my first inclination is the use of Venn diagrams. You see, by stipulating the correct URL, you can create a Venn Diagram such as this:

And with some CSS and labeling, you've got a nifty little way to explain boolean concepts to your classes. Anyone got any notions of how to refine this idea? Is it useful? Should I hop to it?