This week’s 4cast:
1. Libraries Are Both Vital & Vulnerable
A recent Florida State University report (funded by ALA and the Gates Foundation) finds that public libraries are critical Internet access points for people who would otherwise have none.
- New: Public Libraries and the Internet 2006: Study Results and Findings (U.S.) (ResourceShelf)
- Public Libraries: Essential for Today’s Technology Needs (ALA TechSource)
- New report says public libraries can’t keep up with online demand, need funding (It’s all good)
- Today’s Public Libraries Are Thriving Technology Hubs That Millions Rely on for First or Only Choice for Internet Access (WebWire)
2. Google‘s Got Gadgets
Gadgets (or Widgets, as they’re called in Apple and Yahoo parlance) are small, interactive applications that provide quick access to popular web services, like weather, news, calendars, and more. With the introduction of Google Gadgets For Your Webpage, Google has now made it possible for website owners to add over 1200 nifty, Google-powered features to their sites (or to further clutter up their pages, as the case may be).
- Google Gadgets: More widgets for Web sites (CNET News)
- Google Universal Gadgets woos developers (ZDNet)
- Google offers mini-programs for use on other sites (Yahoo! News)
- Google Gadgets (Stephen’s Lighthouse)
3. More Attacks on OPACs
The swell of voices denouncing current library OPACs continues to build, and some libraries are beginning to take matters into their own hands.
- Beyond the OPAC: future directions for Web-based catalogues (Australian Committee on Cataloguing)
- Toward the Next Gen Catalog (ALA TechSource)
- Library catalogs have represented stagnant technology for close to twenty years (Superpatron)
- New additions to Ann Arbor District Library’s Stellar Catalog (LibrarianInBlack)
- Examples of Possible Next Generation Catalogs (futurelib)
4. Lost? Get a Map on Your Phone from Ask.com
Ask.com now offers a web search and maps page specifically geared for cellphones and other mobile devices.
- Ask Mobile Search
- Ask Mobile Search Launches (SearchEngineWatch)
- Ask.com Launches Mobile Search Product, Includes Maps and Aerial Imagery (ResourceShelf)
- Ten Reasons Librarians Should Use Ask.com Instead of Google (LibrarianInBlack)