Information Services @ Sno-Isle

The spot where information about information lives

Archive for the month “February, 2009”

HelpNow from BrainFuse Upgrades

If you haven’t logged in recently, please log in and use HelpNow between 1-10 PM to familiarize yourself with the new launch page and other new services!  Explanations of these services are available on the HelpNow website.

This Month:

  • launch page redesign
  • foreign language center
  • 24/7 center
  • smart routing & tutor matching technology

Coming Soon:

  • test center
  • adult learning center
  • software help for homework success
  • customized post-session surveys
  • customizable marketing materials and a new library support team
  • zip code tracking
  • learning resource center
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Improved GrantStation Availability

GrantStation is now in our Research Tools and available on all Sno-Isle Libraries computers and WiFi.

The “home” page of GrantStation looks like a website offering membership, but you’ll see in the upper lefthand corner that you are logged in as Sno-Isle Libraries and all the search tools and content are fully available. 

GrantStation provides access to a searchable database of grantmakers who are actively accepting inquiries and proposals from a variety of organizations; federal grant deadlines, which are updated twice a week; links to state funding agencies; and a growing database of international grantmakers.

Another one bites the dust

Continuing a trend that we’ve been watching:

Consumer Reports Consumer Drug Reference has ceased publication, last edition was published 12/2007.  Recommended replacement is Complete Guide to Prescription and Non-prescription Drugs (this title is already on the AB list for 19 copies- published annually)

We will be calling in all the old copies–watch for this on the item level hold report.

Free tax filing

Thanks to Maron Resur at SNO for the detective work:

I visited all the external tax prep sites listed at irs.gov, and I found out a few things.  Of the sites that listed their system requirements, these 3 appeared to be compatible with the current configuration of our public computers:

Complete Tax

Tax $ Simple

Tax ACT

 

·         These sites require IE 5.0 or 5.5 minimum (we have IE 6), and cookies will need to be enabled (manually, by us?  Possibly). 

·         Also, all sites have some forms they don’t support (usually a list is accessible from the main page), or are only free if you are under a certain income level. 

·         Many of the companies on irs.gov did not list their system requirements (including H & R Block).

·         Turbo Tax is absolutely not compatible with our current set up.

 

When you choose E-File or Free File from irs.gov, there are 2 options: “I will choose a company” or “Help me choose a company” (the latter always seems to pick H & R Block).  The former option is where I found the list of sites that I investigated.

New Services through FirstSearch from OCLC

Intranet Page for Log In Information:  https://intranet.sno-isle.org/?ID=3726

OCLC has announced significant enhancements to the FirstSearch package that we subscribe to including three new databases (OAIster, CAMIO and ArchiveGrid) and a an entry-scale, hosted version of CONTENTdm, all provided at no additional charge. The three new databases were added in late January, and the CONTENTdm option will be effective in May.

OAIster is a union catalog of more than 19,000,000 records representing digital resources from more than 1,000 contributors.

CAMIO is a resource of more than 95,000 works of art from prominent museums around the world.  Showcasing a wide range of fine and decorative art, CAMIO provides high-quality art images for education, research and enjoyment.  All content is rights-cleared for educational use.  Every work in CAMIO is represented by at least one high-resolution image and a description.  Many have additional views of the work, sound, video, and curatorial notes.

ArchiveGrid provides online access to nearly a million descriptions of archival collections owned by thousands of libraries, museums, historical societies and arhives worldwide.  Important for searching for historical documents, personal papers, and family histories hed in archives.

CONTENTdm helps libraries to make digital collections available on the Web, more quickly and easily.

Library Elf Now Has Subscription Service

In case you were not already aware, please note that Library Elf now charges for it’s “premium” services after three weeks of trial service.  Many of you learned about this service in your Library 2.0 work or from other staff.  You may reconsider recommending this service to patrons as it IS partially fee based now.  If you do continue to refer patrons to this service, please advise them of the difference between the basic and premium services.

Marshall Cavendish Ebook Collection

We’re evaluating a new ebook collection from Marshall Cavendish.  The trial will be active through the end of this month.  If you have any comments about this, please send them to Terry Beck.

Go to  www.marshallcavendishdigital.com

User Name: snoisle
Password: snoisle
Please note that the Password is case-sensitive.

With this trial User Name and Password, you have full access to the entire range of features and content offered by Marshall Cavendish Digital.   We’re especially interested in the science titles, but if there’s something in another subject that you’d like us to look at, please let us know.

Seattle Times Update

At the most recent meeting of the Washington Public Libraries Cooperate (WPLC) we discussed the dilemna that we’re facing with the loss of the Seattle Times in the ProQuest database package.  Newsbank, the company that now owns the rights to reproduce the newspaper in database and microfilm format, is talking with the Washington State Library about a group subscription price, but this is very early in the process.  We currently have access to the Newsbank product, but that will most likely stop next month.  After that, we will have to rely on either microfilm (available at Lynnwood and Snohomish) or the Seattle Times website, which contains an archive of their news stories from 1990 to present.  This can be found at http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/

New LearningExpress Interface is Here

Expect changes in the home page layout and organization. Courses and tests will be grouped into Learning Centers. The “My Account” page will be replaced with the “My Center” page. Users will still have access to the same courses, tests, and reports as before. The online help features will also be expanded.  For a preview, please visit their online demo.

WiFi access to AllData & Ancestry

We are now able to widen the limited access to these databases to include our WiFi network users.  Now, patrons accessing the Internet via the wireless network in (and nearby outside) our buildings will be able to access AllData and Ancestry.  Both of these resources were previously limited to library computers only.

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