Monday, March 31, 2008

ELM Productivity Tools (Thing 17)

This thing asked us to explore ELM (Electric Library of MN) database special tools. Most of the databases now offer special Web 2.0 tools like RSS feeds & webpage development tools.

Gale Info Trac Student Edition RSS Feed:
I did the search on "youth smoking" and clicked on the link to add an RSS feed. I'd read a lot of other blogs that said the original link was dead or that the link once posted in an aggregator did not work. The first time, I pasted it into Google reader, it did not work, but then I noticed it had 2 extra spaces after the last character. I deleted those and it worked perfectly.

Ebsco Page Composer in Academic Search Premier:

This part of the thing asked me to created a web page. The tool has features to search specific databases (I chose Ebsco Animals) and created a link my media center wepage, and added a blue background. I struggled with this one. What would someone use this tool for? I already have a media center webpage and already create webpathfinders for classes and their projects, so when would I use this? (I already to direct links to search the databases on my pathfinders.) Here is an example of one of my pathfinders.

Proquest: To the left is the page that I created using Proquest Newstand. This tool was simple, it was just saving articles and then choosing to save the articles to a webpage or to email them. I liked this because it was easy and didn't require me to do a lot of work like the Ebsco one did.

Netlibrary: I viewed the Netlibrary book and checked out different parts of the book. I could see this being helpful to students in college or above for serious research when the content you want is only available in an eBook. The ability to mark pages or portions of the book and just jump back to them would be very useful. In my day to day use right now, however, I'm not sure I'd use this or could get my MS students to use it.

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