I did a presentation on this topic at the Massachusetts Library Association conference in Falmouth this morning, and posted the PowerPoint on Slideshare:
Here’s a handy little Firefox extension that can be really useful. It adds a little cellphone icon to your Firefox browser. Click on it, and you get a pop-up window that lets you send a text message to your own phone or anyone else’s as long as you know their number and carrier.
I mostly use this to send messages to own phone, things I’d otherwise write on little scraps of paper and lose. I copy and paste meeting information like addresses and room numbers, just as a backup to my memory, or titles of books or articles I want to check out. It’s easy to copy and paste from webpages or e-mail, or if I just need to send a reminder to myself or someone else, it’s easier for me to type it in from the keyboard than to use the phone’s keypad. The window shows you how many characters you’ve used, so you’ll know if your message is going to get split into parts.
It knows how to recognize and extract bibliographic information from many resources, including the NOBLE library catalog, our EBSCO databases, and many other sites including Amazon and the New York Times. When you are on a page with information about a single book, CD, movie, etc., you will see a small icon for that format in the location bar. Click on it, and you’ll save the citation to your Zotero library. If you are on a search results page with a list of books, CDs, etc., you will see a folder in the location bar. Click on this, and you can select which titles to add to your bibliography.
Book Burro is a Firefox extension extension that works on Amazon and some other book sites. When you are on the information page for a book, Book Burro adds a little box which shows the price information for that book on other bookselling sites, and the availability of the book at nearby libraries.
For example, when I look up a book on Amazon, the semi-transparent yellow Book Burro bar appears in the upper lefthand corner of the screen :
If I click on the bar, it opens up to show me links, availability information for library catalog and prices for other booksellers. Yes for a library catalog means the title is in the catalog; there’s just a blank if the title is not in the catalog. For a bookseller, the price is listed if the title is available, and there’s a blank if it’s not. Book Burro works on ISBN, so it won’t work on titles without ISBNs, which includes most media materials, and it won’t be able to detect other editions of the same work.
Clicking on the link will take me directly to that title’s page on the library catalog or bookseller’s site.
After you download the extension, you will have a Book Burro option in your Firefox Tools menu. Select this to customize which bookselling sites and library catalogs you want to search. You can also click on the Tools icon on the yellow Book Burro bar to change the settings at any time.
For NOBLE, you can select any scope to search a single library or combination of libraries, or the entire catalog.
There’s also an option for WorldCat. If you enter your zip code here, for each search you’ll get links for the five closest libraries who own the title, based on WorldCat holdings (which may not be complete.)
Book Burro — This is a link to the Book Burro home page, which has more information about this Firefox extension, and the download link.
If you are currently running an older version of Book Burro, including the original Greasemonkey script, you should remove it before downloading the current version.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called Picnik: Easy Photo Editing Online about the online photoediting site Picnik. But I have to write about it again because I keep discovering new features every time I use it.
The big news of the past week was adding Facebook support — which brought over 100,000 new Picnik accounts in just a matter of a few days. This should be great for all those libraries who use Facebook to communicate with students and others.
One of the great things about the Firefox browser is that there are so many great extensions to add all sorts of new features. Many of these can help you design, maintain and improve your library’s website. Here are a few of my favorites:
- MeasureIt — This handy little extension makes it easy to measure any element or section of a web page
- ColorZilla — This extension allows you to quickly identify color information about any point on your browser screen, create your own palette of favorites, and use other handy color tools
- LinkChecker — Quickly checks and color-codes the links on the current page.
- Fangs — If you’re working on accessibility issues, this extension shows you how a page looks when parsed by the JAWS program.