Saturday, December 8, 2012

New Project!

     I just completed a tough final exam and a not-so-tough final project.  The exam was tough because I had to answer reference questions within a short time.  I am not a "grace under pressure" gal.  The school's new requirement that a B- is passing and a C+ is failing might hurt me this semester.  Until now I have been an A student.  

     The final project is a user guide.  Government Sources of Legal Information lists a number of FREE United States federal government  law-related sources.  Most are online, several are for mobile devices, and others are in print.

      Hey, Library Students!  Take the LIS567 Government Information course if you can fit it into your schedule.  Who can use this class?  Archivist, educators, librarians in any public setting, and special collections librarians (music, art, etc).  This class has something for EVERYONE regardless of concentration.

     I have a few more assignments to tackle before I meet with some Nissan mud and trail enthusiasts.  Enjoy your day!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hiatus is Over

     It is time for me to prioritize this blog.  I am finishing a class about government information resources.  I have plenty of websites to share with you in the upcoming weeks.  Please be patient.  Plans include a list of links discussed in past posts.  I cannot turn this into a large task, school is not over yet!  While you are waiting I want to share a website that is a treasure trove of free information:, Government made easy (, is the official web portal to United States Government.  It provides easy-to-navigate access to forms, publications, and information regarding nearly every aspect of a person's life in this country.   Topics include:
  • Government Jobs
  • Unclaimed Money
  • Immigration & Citizenship
  • Consumer Protection
  • Travel
  • Financial Aid
The above is a small sample of topics.  Explore this website.  You may find sources or services you did not realize you needed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Motorized Wheelchairs & Lemon Law

I have several projects in the works.  Website creation, website correction, a couple library guides, and my portfolio.  Need to find time for cosmetic work on the truck and a detail job for the Corolla.  I should assess the tire situation on the car, too.

This is a brief post.  I am worried about family members and cannot concentrate beyond the required tasks.  On to the links!

Tires:  I have heard great things about Tire Rack (  I may be trying this website soon.  On the other hand, I have been quite pleased with the service at my local Firestone (  I might just get snows and rims from them.  I dread driving the Corolla in snowy conditions with the current tires.

Wheels:  Summit Racing ( sold the Xterra's wheels to me a couple years ago.  They have shipped several items to my home.  Customer service has been wonderful!  I have to find my shopping mojo and purchase a couple more rims for the X.  Spare needs a new one.

New York State Lemon Law ( is located on the New York State Attorney General's website.  NY Lemon Law covers new and used cars, leased automobiles, and motorized wheelchairs!  The wheelchair inclusion was a pleasant surprise for me.

New York State Thruway Authority ( provides weather alerts, construction project locations, and web cameras for up-to-the-second road conditions.  Camera images are refreshed every ten seconds (30 or 60 during high traffic times).

LexisNexis Communities ( replaces LexisOne.  Free access to U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Courts case law as well as forms.  I have to learn more about website.  Something to be explored at a later date.        

Friday, November 11, 2011

Scotch Tape and a Bow

     Time to wrap up this aspect of my introductory library technology class.

     Well, Folks, this is the end (my friend, yes, I listen to The Doors) of my Learning 2.0 experience for school. After this post I will return to my sporadic posts relating to my child, my vehicles, legal information and legal reference, and library studies.

     The exercises and discoveries experienced in the Learning 2.0 journey exposed one large element of internet tools:  Lack of Privacy.  It was extremely difficult to maintain a level of privacy during this program.  The need for browsing in private or incognito (see your browser tools) was emphasized during my LinkedIn trial. Once this semester is completed I will return to all my accounts with public access and disable them as completely as possible.  From there I will create new, more private accounts with one online citation tool (not Zotero) and one online bookmarking tool.

     I enjoyed reading my classmates' blogs.  I am always surprised that one thing (website, Web 2.0 tool, or video) can produce a wide variety of reactions or assessments.  I frequently state that I am oblivious to the obvious.  My classmates provided a multifaceted learning experience, an experience that cannot be taught by just one instructor.  The interpretations and evaluations by my classmates exposed aspects of the Web 2.0 tools that I would not have noticed on my own.

Good night to you.  I will return with a link or two in the near future.  


     The second last (almost there!) Learning 2.0 assignment required an acquaintance with two additional Web 2.0 tools. Several peers have been raving about Google Earth. Others have been seeking connections with me on LinkedIn. Of the two, Google Earth is my favorite.
     I am still exploring Google Earth. I love the ability to see over my neighbors' fences. The housing tract I live in is filled with above ground swimming pools, more homes have than have not.  The ability to easily move from Google Earth to Street View is nice.  Street view is not always available (not on my street).  I hope to learn about Google Earth's ocean views with my son.  He loves all things related to Earth and her oceans.

     LinkedIn frustrated me.  Minimal services are available for free.  A paid subscription is required before one can access additional features and resources.  Aren't LinkedIn's users seeking employment?  If so, the next logical thought is that a person seeking a job or career advancement does not have unlimited monetary resources.  I would be more prone to use this website if additional features were included in the free subscription.  Also, the "People You May Know" is just plain creepy.  How do they gather this information?  One of the names listed was my cousin's wife, someone I have never corresponded with electronically.  I guess an in depth examination of their user agreement.

     I did visit Google Books as a lark.  I sought a quote about towels.  I knew the book, just not the page of the quote.  I was surprised that the book was not the first hit in the result list.

     Google Earth might be a useful tool in libraries.  Librarians can use it to assist with geographic, oceanic, and cartographic reference questions.  I could not think of a use for the free services offered by LinkedIn.  Libraries and their staff would benefit more from memberships in the American Library Association and other professional organizations.

Today's links are library related.  Titles are self-explanatory: 
American Library Association:
Canadian Library Association:
Music Library Association:
American Association of Law Libraries:
Canadian Association of Law Libraries:
Art Libraries Society of North America:
Canadian Libraries and Librarianship:

     I hope the members of the United States Armed Forces had a nice Veterans Day today.
     Today is Canada's Remembrance Day, similar to our Memorial Day.
Be well all.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Library 2.0 Coming to You

Have coffee?  Tea?  Water?  This is a long one!

    How will libraries evolve?  What does the future hold for these community establishments?  Will their automation and technology budgets grow with Web 2.0 and other digital changes?  Will decision-makers understand the importance of libraries in a digital world?
     This week's Web 2.0 assignment provided five articles that discussed the future of libraries and librarians: library 2.0 and librarian 2.0.  All five articles were published five years ago.  That is a long time in a constantly changing field.  I surfed the source site ( for more recent articles.  I learned several things from both sets of readings.  First, offers several "advanced citation functions" (  Second, OCLC's NextSpace publication appears to be a wonderful resource for library students and librarians.  I subscribed to the publication.  These items are not part of the assignment, so there I must go.

     Regardless of age, the assigned articles are timely.  Libraries as community places, information cafes, and knowledge sharing spaces are libraries of the future.  Librarians need to adapt and adjust routines and tasks to maintain currency in their communities and organizations; a timeless common thread in the provided articles.
     Library 2.0 is a necessary step in library evolution.  I see two things that will inhibit a library's metamorphosis to Library 2.0:  priorities and budget constraints.  What is the library's role in an organization?  Do academic libraries play a greater role in their organization than a public library?  My opinion:  No.  Both are equally important but academia appears to prioritize libraries as necessary and valued departments.  County governments maintain public libraries in my region.  Based on resources available in the public libraries I feel they are not as valued.  

      I use four libraries for homework, two college libraries and two public libraries.  The college libraries provide innumerable access points for patrons: public workstations for Windows and Mac users, large tables in quiet areas, and group study rooms with several outlets for laptop power cords.  Their print reference collections are not out dated and include several topics.  
     The two county libraries offer limited hours, minimal print reference materials, and a small amount of personal work space.  One library has only one outlet for laptop users.  The other limits computer access to ninety minutes per day.  In addition, their computers and software are so outdated that library students cannot use these workstations to access the library school's online course tools.  The public libraries are not as valued as other departments that have access to current technologies. Does the County Executive's office staff have current technology for their tasks?
     Until public libraries are considered valuable by their governing bodies they are crippled, unable to grow and embrace the tools and concepts of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0.
     Bookless libraries?  In private institutions where technology resources are available to patrons, yes.  In government libraries that are funded by taxes, no.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Zotero or Zorro?

I prefer Zorro.  (Long post, feel free to skip to links at bottom)

     I can see where Zotero would be useful for group projects.  Members can post articles, websites, and other information sources.  Judges presiding over cases in multiple counties might be able to use it to share resources with their confidential lawyers (law clerks) and secretaries.  I cannot picture the court system embracing Zotero in the near future.  First, Westlaw and Lexis are not Zotero friendly sites; second, the courts do not use the Firefox browser.

     I most likely will not make an effort to use this tool.  Most of the databases I access provide citations in the document delivery.  In addition, I have to check the citations against my style manual (APA, MLA, NY Official Reports Style Manual: depends on project requirements).  See today's links for more information.

     This week's assignment called for the creation and posting of my Zotero library.  Feel free to browse.  I easily added items from Amazon.  I had to enter information manually for the one legal publisher I visited and two legal databases.
     I experienced several quirks with Zotero.  First, I lost my internet connection and had to rely on a public library.  The library system in my county limits users to Internet Explorer.  That eliminated Zotero.  Zotero's homepage does not state that it is a Mozilla Firefox add-on.
     Second, I could not access my school's course resources at this library, the software/hardware was too old.  I experienced this three years ago.  It is odd how one branch has more advanced technology than another branch.   These limitations will adversely affect a library's decision to use Zotero.  If the supporting technology is not available, Zotero is not a Web2.0 tool that will be used professionally.

     It is not as simple as installing a free browser and add-ons on a computer.  Anyone who has worked in a complex organization understands this.  In addition to a multitude of factors, most libraries are at the bottom of the organizational food chain / flow chart.  This leads to other concerns.
Today's Rant:
     If libraries are fighting for technology scraps, how are they to provide patrons access to current educational and employment tools?  As a library school student I could not utilize the online tools provided by my school because this library was technologically insufficient to meet my needs.  Civil service exams, job applications, court forms, DMV transactions, and information for parents are all online.  In many cases, they are only online.  How are parents going to learn about their children's school activities if they cannot go to the library to access the internet.  Oh, they just go online at home.  No, many cannot!  We have to remember that libraries are the only place that large portions of our population can access the internet with a high speed connection.  And that is a topic for another day.  And a topic for a research paper.

     Back from the tangent.

Today's legal links are about citation:
1.  The New York Official Reports Style Manual (  When I worked in chambers this was our primary citation guide.  This is available online at no charge or in print.  
2.  Basic Legal Citation ( from Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School:  Another free legal citation manual.  E-books are available without a charge, too.  
3.  The Bluebook:  (  If you are in the legal field you have heard of the Bluebook.  It is available online for a fee.  Print edition available, too.
And for the non-law person:
4.  The Purdue Owl ( is Purdue's Online Writing Lab.  Surfing this site is not a waste of time.  APA and  MLA are only two of several research and writing tools provided by Purdue.
5.  Grammar Girl ( had to be included in this post.  A search for citations resulted in an informative page that discussed the citation forms for podcasts and the importance of citing sources.