Infodoodads : Worldcat

by tosca on Wednesday, August 27, 2008

As stated in the previous post am looking at infodoodads 'Top *13* Web 2.0 Tools for Librarians' list. So today, from the list of tools we didn't cover in our Manukau Libraries' Learning 2.0 tutorial, I am selecting Worldcat.

Worldcat - First things first, have created a free account and followed the confirmation link in my verification email. With Worldcat I am able to:

- search the collection of thousands of their member libraries around the world
- build a personal profile and let other Worldcat members know about my interests, personal web pages and messaging addresses (with as much, or as little detail, as you wish)
- maintain public/private lists of books, videos, dvds etc. owned by libraries, and share with friends/colleagues

Quickly fleshed out a profile (pic, few interests etc.), started searching for books by the author 'steve berry' (present-day adventure fiction based on historical fact, hmm, read him and you'll see what I mean). So, typed in the author in the Search box (didn't bother to limit to books, dvds etc - chose to 'Search everything'), was given a selection of books and chose 'The Templar Legacy' record.

Going into the record and scrolling down to the bottom is a 'Libraries' tab and in the box beside 'Enter Location Information' I typed 'Manukau' and got nada, zip, zero, zilch. So tried 'Auckland', and ditto - how shocked was I to learn Auckland is not the centre of the Universe?! So went with 'New Zealand' and bingo was his name-o. Apparently. Only thing is, it then lists every gosh-darn blessed library in Godzone with a copy of Steve Berry's 'The Templar Legacy'! Which wasn't quite what I wanted. Blue hyperlink means catalogue link and will take you straight to that particular record, no hyperlink means no catalogue link. Chose the Hamilton City Library link and went umm err to a keyword search page in their catalogue prompting me to enter a search term. Disappointed. So tried Nelson Public Library's link and YAY ME.

Geez, spent so much time on the above that the point of Worldcat went WHOOSH over my head. So, if you really want to know what it can do read here. Advantages from a staff perspective? Must admit, still gotta play in here properly to get an idea of that. Benefits for Manukau Libraries' customers? Err unsure, actually. It galls me to admit that. You can read more about why libraries should join Worldcat here. I gotta be honest though, I don't see the advantages of Worldcat myself. Maybe to view other people's lists and get some ideas for what else to view/read/listen to. And the reviews. I'm just not getting out of it what I've read other people do. I feel worried that I'm not on the same page. Even the thought of knowing I can use it to search the world for books doesn't appeal. If you're reading this and you are a user of Worldcat, feel free to leave a comment and let me know how/why you use it! I'd love to read your first-hand stories and I'm always keen to fill the gaps in my ignorance.

Oh hey, have been trying to test Meebo Me from home and had no luck whatsoever. So hooked up the other laptop and pc to the modem/router so all 3 of them were sharing the broadband connection and got the nephews to play in the Chatango application with me. Fun! Jax was on the small laptop, Markie on the big pc and me on the mac powerbook. Not a serious bone in their bodies so all of their chatspeak consisted of, 'Egg' and 'Noddy' and 'You're a noodle.' Yes, it probably wasn't the best idea to have a 9 and 11 yr old test it with me! You can get an idea of how it works (or at least what it looks like) just to the right *points right* And it irritates me to have to ask the 9 yr old what the shortcut keys are because I'm pc-literate and apple-ignorant. For now!

And yes, I did decide to go with the mac option rather than pc. Why? Probably because I can. And for the novelty. Unforunately, I keep hitting shortcut keys that do nada for me here. Would imagine over time that would change. And as I type this post up the nephews are still playing in the Chatango app - last I saw they'd moved on to seeing who could type the most animals the fastest. Yes, they are easily amused - but all they're asking for in payment is an icecream each and I'm pretty gosh darn sure my pocket can stretch that far. Maybe :) It's simple enough to delete all previous messages (and thank goodness, considering the nephews toilet humour geez), just log in on the app itself, go to the settings and delete previous. Easy peasy.

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