If you use our online catalog to search for books, you might notice the front page always has a small description about what’s popular on our website. This week, I think it says something very interesting about what our patrons are looking for. MOVIES. The top search is “Downton Abbey”, one of our most popular series of DVD loans. The second search is for James Patterson, and the third is “DVD”.
Hmmm….is there a new trend in libraries? Or is it just summer?
I was browsing the library catalog today, and glanced at the “hot sites” list at the bottom of the page. I’m not sure how these links are found, or if they’re based upon Google searches or sites that just interest the people at Sirsi who develop and maintain the library catalogs, but they are always interesting! Today, they were featuring the Free Technology Academy, which is a site devoted to providing good educational tools to allow anyone access to study technology.
So what exactly is the site all about? It’s a joint initiative from several educational institutions in a variety of countries that believes all people everywhere, should have access to courses that allow them to study and learn current technology. Great idea! Not only does this initiative aim to educate people who might not have the means to study technology courses (from different operating systems to web development), but it also gives access to people who just want to learn in their spare time. And it’s free. How much better can you get?
There are instructional videos and print access to the various courses, and while it is constantly expanding, there seems to be a great deal of available programs already. The people who run the site ask for donations (because really, even though it’s all free, these people are putting in their time and energy to keep the site going), so if you feel the content is worth it, you may donate something to their cause.
This is a great idea that we’re probably going to see more of as the web expands. We have access to so much out there now that it almost seems “silly” to pay for things when you can get them for free. Of course, nothing will take the place of an actual teacher or school, but this concept is evolving.
Would you take a free course to learn more about technology?
Earlier this week, we received an email from our library catalog support system, telling everyone that Stephen King’s newest book called 11/22/63 is causing issues with the Best Seller lists that you can find posted on our library catalog website. Apparently, King’s book title is playing havoc with the site simply because of the date issue. (The catalog software is intuitive and wants to make the title into a date only, we think.) Regardless, the support team announced they were working on the issue and hope to have it solved this week. In the meantime, King’s book about a teacher who goes back in time to try to prevent Kennedy’s assassination, will remain off the Best-Seller listings on the catalog (confusing, I know, but it’s just a clerical issue for now). Hopefully, it will be solved soon and King’s book can take its right place on the list eventually.
I bet he didn’t think a simple title would cause such panic in the lives of techies working on library catalogs. Maybe this could be a new book idea? (I expect a 2% fee for the idea, Mr. King!)
I actually found this on our library catalog main page! Sometimes, it will suggest webpages that are interesting or that many people are visiting. Today, it was a site called Stereomood.
This site claims to help you select music according to your mood. Just select from a long list of adjectives and it’ll take you directly to a list of songs found on their internet radio site! Not only does it choose from current radio hits, but also from oldies and various genres. This could be a great way of choosing music. As my husband and I painted our kitchen and living room this past weekend, I was thinking that it’d be good to be able to choose from tunes that reflected our mellow mood. Now we can.