T h e U t o p i a n L i b r a r y

w o r k ▪ p l a y ▪ l e a r n ▪ s h a r e

…and the toolbar goes live!

Our library opening page is featuring the new toolbar this week. Take a look, try it out, and explore our library and its resources from… well… wherever you are!

If you miss the opening week, you can relive it through our Front Page Archive.

Skokie Public Library Toolbar


9 September 2007 Posted by | libraries, progress, tools | Leave a comment

we interrupt my nap…

…for some priceless library humor.

Back in June, David Lee King used GarageBand to remix some Michael Gorman quotes into the wildly fun “bibliopunk” piece, I’m No Antidigitalist. Now Libraryman and Gorman are Disco Dancing for Peace in the Biblioblogosphere with help from JibJab’s Starring You movie maker.

Oh lord… a must-see. But first clear the area of all beverages and spillables.

Libraryman+Gorman=”Dancing for Peace…”

22 August 2007 Posted by | libraries, play, tools | 1 Comment

we made a toolbar… revisited

Back in April, I lost my head at CIL2007 when Hal Kirkwood, Purdue University Instruction Coordinator, unleashed the idea of custom toolbars for libraries. He had my attention for about 15 minutes before I was off to the Conduit Web site and building a toolbar for our library (sorry Hal… and thanks for the inspiration!). Our “Toolbar Zero” looked like this:

Skokie Public Library “Toolbar Zero”

Jenn and I have been working on the toolbar since we returned from the conference. Yesterday, our LAN Masters added the new (and much improved!) Skokie Public Library Toolbar to IE7 on all of our library computers:

Skokie Public Library Toolbar

We’ll formally introduce the toolbar to staff early next week, follow with a library-wide Firefox install, and then push public promotion later this month and during September. You won’t easily find the toolbar on our Web site yet, but for a sneak peek on your own computer, jump to http://skokiepubliclibrary.mylibrarytoolbar.com and give it a try!

11 August 2007 Posted by | cil2007, computers in libraries, library 2.0, progress, tools | 1 Comment

I love freeware!

I’m home with the stomach flu today. Inbetween ginger ales, naps, and visits to the porcelain parlor, I checked out today’s feed from the folks at FreeMacWare.com. I love freeware… especially Mac freeware. Don’t screw up that nose or roll those eyes at the “Mac” reference… today’s gem is available for Windows, too.

If you haven’t already checked out Scratch, it’s worth a look. Scratch makes it easy to create interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art and share creations on the Web. It was designed to help users ages ages 8+ develop 21st century learning skills. A Support page includes online video tutorials, help screens, and FAQs; a downloadable reference guide, getting started doc, and “scratch cards” for learning new code.

Scratch is available gratis from the “Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.” You’ll need to register to get to the download link. No biggie. I got by with only an email address.

So? What do you want to Scratch today?

18 May 2007 Posted by | freeware, learning, software, tools | Leave a comment

we made a toolbar…

…and it looks like this:


Hal Kirkwood, Purdue University Instruction Coordinator, shared this toolbar tip at his session, Innovative Tools for Reference Services. The tool bar was built using Conduit’s Community Toolbar creator. And it’s free!

The toolbar was easy to make and very customizable. It will help us get our identity out there and keep us in the faces of surfers who like to use task-specific toolbars. Users will be able to explore our Web site, search our catalog, ask questions, and receive global announcements from the library.

And did I mention that it’s free?

19 April 2007 Posted by | cil2007, innovation, tools | Leave a comment