Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Share Your Library Hacks via the Library Success Wiki

After reading the last post, Andrew kindly sent me a suggestion to have a library hacks wiki. I like the idea of sharing information via a wiki that anyone can edit, but am not so keen on idea of creating a brand new wiki that people will most likely ignore. I instantly thought of the Library Success Wiki as a better way to do this.

So I added a section on Library Hacks to the promotions page and it is now ready and waiting for your hacks. This may or may not be the best place on the wiki to place this, if it's not I figure someone will move it, but to me this is classic promotion.

If you have a tip or hack that helps get end users excited and shows the value of library resources please head over to the Library Success Wiki and add it!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Where Are All the Library Hacks?

(just when you thought this blog was officially dead, I’m baaaaaack. Can’t say for how long, I just happen to have a bee in my bonnet again).

After being inspired by meeting conversation, I was on the hunt again today for fun, quick and easy, tips and tricks to share with our end users about OhioLINK resources. Preferably something that tells users how to find cool things in our databases that they don't know about. Things like this Trouble picking the perfect present? blog post which shows how to find consumer reports in EBSCOhost. This should be easy to find at library and vendor Web sites everywhere right? Wrong. Well, maybe I’m not looking in the right place, but they’re not, and not being a librarian, I don’t always know the resources well enough to come up with them. In fact, I’m feeling stumped right now.

I did however find one inspirational blog, Library Hacks, by Duke University Libraries. Inspired by LifeHacker, Library Hacks:

“Library Hacks is a place to find out about tools, resources, services, and ideas that can help make the library more efficient for you. It’s written mostly by librarians, but we’ll also have occasional student and faculty guest bloggers.”

The Cell Phones for Citation post has already given me some ideas. Maybe if I take pictures of my mileage I won't forget it!

It’s good stuff, but shouldn’t there be more tips floating around out there. Help me out, what are your favorite library and library database hacks?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Quality Artwork That Won't Bust Your Budget

Using great images can take your publications (and blogs!) to the next level, but finding affordable images used to be a real challenge. Luckily, today there are many sources you can turn to for free or cheap high-resolution images.

The free stuff
If you do a Web search you'll find list after list of free image resources. I've explored these lists with little success, but here are two sources I actually use:
Now you do need to be proactive and download and build a library of any images that might be of interest, but at this price, it's worth the bit of extra effort.

The cheap stuff
I've used several subscription image services and while they worked well for me and my place of work at the time, I now have access to many more images and spend much less on them thanks to iStockphoto. In addition to photos, iStockphoto has vector images and videos too. It's the best place I've found to find super high-resolution images for $20 or less. Plus, iStockphoto provides some helpful resources for designers including an article library, forums and examples of real designs created with their images. And you definitely don't want to miss the dollar bin.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

One to Watch: Mark Lives in IKEA

As a major IKEA fan (try the Daim chocolate. Go on. It's impossible not to love it.), I have to say that Mark Malkoff is living my dream. This is just brilliant publicity for IKEA, but how many other stores would have said yes to this? (though I can't help wondering if it was really completely Malkoff's idea in the first place. It's just such great publicity!)

I'm not sure spending the night in the library would have the same appeal, but would you say yes if someone wanted to pull a similar stunt in your library? Before you say no to a wild idea, spend some time thinking about why you should say yes. As Seth Godin reminds us, you can't be remarkable without taking risks and trying something new.