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Neat and Nifty Tools for Managing Information

I always enjoy the tools and gadget sessions at Internet Librarian and CIL that Barbara Fullerton helps put together.  They are very fast paced and packed full of wonderfully useful information.  At CIL 2008, she teamed up with Roger Skalbeck, a law librarian at Georgetown University Law Library, to put together a review of some great tools for managing information and solving common problems encountered by web users.

Here’s the list of problems.  You can find the solutions and links to them on Roger’s CIL wiki page.  An amplified list of these and related tools is here.

Read an RSS feed without a reader
Get color ideas for a website
Conduct an online demonstration on a remote computer
Make links, RSS  feeds, etc. available to all your web visitors
Manipulate PDF files without Adobe Acrobat
Check the performance of your website if images and Javascript are turned off
Create an RSS feed if a website doesn’t have it
Find which Web 2.0 services people are using
Check DLLs, find what they are for, see if they are a danger to your PC
Install scripts to run WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and similar services
Search a fixed set of websites
Check how your website appears in different browsers  without needing to install them on your PC
Obtain screenshots
Obtain new colors or fonts for a website
Track when web pages are updated
Post to multiple blogs with one tool
Create a quick slideshow
Organize and cite research and create a bibliography for free
Make your own videos and play them on your own media player
Play YouTube videos offline

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and CIL 2008 Blog Coordinator

Meet the Editors

The turnout for the Cybertour "Meet the Editors" wasn’t terrific, although the panel was stellar: Barbara Brynko (Information Today), Barbara Quint (Searcher, present by phone), Dick Kaser (Computers in Libraries), Bob Berkman (Information Advisor), Paula Hane (NewsBureau Chief) and me (ONLINE). We each explained what our publications are all about, then got into a discussion with the audience about their needs. Information literacy was a biggie, as was finding the means to pay for premium content databases. Product comparisons are also important to our readers. If you weren’t able to attend the session (or didn’t know it was happening), let us know what you’d like the pubs to be doing by emailing the editors or leaving a blog comment to this post. And we’re always interested in publishing articles written by practitioners, so if you’ve got an idea, let us know about that as well.


Marydee Ojala (

Editor, ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals

Gaming To Teach Information Literacy

Marsha Spiegelman and Richard Glass at Nassau Community College teamed up to add a gaming component to information literacy courses.  Marsha, an instruction librarian, brings the information aspect to the courses, and Richard, a mathematics and computer science professor, contributed the technology component.  Together, they have created an innovative gaming while learning environment, which is attractive to today’s students, who are active in both social and intellectual spaces (the line between both is rapidly disappearing).

You will find links to some of the games they have used on their CIL Wiki  page and also many other resources (including their presentation slides) on their wiki.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and CIL 2008 Blog Coordinator

CIL 2008 Wiki

Thanks to all who have visited, edited, and joined our CIL 2008 wiki community.  You can link to it here or from the CIL webiste.  It is becoming a very active part of the CIL event.  People are using it to

* ask questions and get answers

* supply more info about their speaking sessions

* show their profiles and confefence shceules so they can provide more info about themselves and connect with others

* list the links they are using in the presentations (thanks so much Roger & Barbara for your tech tools list from session E301, what a whirlwind tour that actually showed how to use the tools, using Camtasia (wave files and Cativate (flash files) from Adobe, amazing)

* aggregate twitter feeds and flickr feeds about the conference

and so much more!  Fantastic, we are growing and learning and using new technologies.  Way to go CIL’ers, walkin’ the talk!

Jane Dysart, Conference Chair, CIL 2008