Improving Access to Library Electronic Resources: One Reader’s View

Recently, I covered how libraries and their patrons are adapting to the age of electronic information. (See: Research: Delving the Deep Web) This spurred the following observations from CONTENTIOUS reader Lois Ambash, president of Metaforix Inc. – published here with permission.

Lois writes:

“I’ve been exploring the kinds of electronic resources libraries make available to their card holders online from remote locations. (My own public library is the New York Public Library, which allows me to access many great full-text resources from home – but not always the ones I need.) My next two columns will feature the results of my explorations, with emphasis on healthcare resources…
Continue reading

The Blog: Today’s Resume?

I remember reading a year or so ago several articles warning job seekers to be careful what they say online – because employers now routinely surf the Web to check up on applicants. One off-color comment in a discussion group flame war, one tasteless weblog entry, one little personal site lambasting your current or former boss, and your application was toast.

However, you can also turn the Web to your career advantage. Recently, Cutting Through reported on how the fine quality of one candidate’s weblog weighed heavily in a recent hiring decision. See Weblogs as an interview tool.

Excerpt: “What made the process very much easier for us was the fact that both we – and several of the candidates – run weblogs. From the entries that we’ve posted over the last few months, the potential candidates could get a pretty good idea of what we’re about, and also an insight into the way we’re working. Some of the candidates mentioned their blogs in their applications, so one of the first things that we did while sifting through the pile of likely people was to take a look at what they’d been posting about. It quickly became obvious that the strongest candidates knew what they were talking about because they’d posted about it over an extended period of time. It’s a great way of establishing who’s a genuine expert, and who’s just read a couple more pages in the manual than you have! Not only that, but reading someone’s blog is something of a window into their personality.”

Man, am I glad I started CONTENTIOUS back in 1998, and relaunched it as a blog last year. My blog is not just an addiction, it’s a career tool!

One More Furl Trick: Pre-Blogging

Here’s yet another cool thing you can do with Furl: Pre-blogging.

Here’s what I mean by that. In your Furl archive, you can set up various folders. You also can create an RSS-format webfeed to share either your archive as a whole, or specific folders.

In my Furl archive, I have a folder named contentious-to-do. This is where I store items that I’m strongly considering writing about in future CONTENTIOUS entries. So if you’re curious about what I’m probably going to be writing about, you have two choices:

Pretty cool, eh?

More Furl Tricks

My earlier article, 10 Cool Things to Do with Furl, has proved hugely popular. In fact, on the Furl site it’s been on the “most popular items” list for several days now. I’m glad the word is getting around.

Even better is the fact that my article seems to have spawned a few others listing even more cool ways to use Furl. Here are a few:

  • (NEW ADDITION) About Furl, Transformative Practice weblog, July 1. “A cool thing I did was to get a free RSS news Ticker from RSSNewsTicker and I put my own archive’s RSS feed into it and Furl’s “Most recently Furled” RSS feed into it, so now I have a Furl News Ticker!”
  • Library Web Chic weblog, June 30, by Karen A. Coombs. “One thing that readers of this site may not realize is that the resources section of the site is driven by Furl. Well sort of… You can export all your Furled items as XML. This provides an archive you can keep on your own machine and removes for me the concern about Furl dying or becoming unaffordable.”
  • Weblogg-ed , June 26: “…Use Furl to push content to various pages similar to what I did with the ‘What’s Mr. R. Reading?’ section of my journalism portal.”

Also, Travis Swicegood just wrote up a good comparison between Furl and – a predecessor “social bookmark” service with some shortcomings that he says Furl corrects.

Want more Furl tricks? before I wrote about Furl, these articles offered still more advice on using this online service…
Continue reading