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CIL2007: Innovative Tools for Reference Service

Posted by comartslibrarian on April 18, 2007

Presented by Tomalee Doan and Hal Kirkwood of Purdue University.

Kirkwood discussed two tools used at Purdue:

  • MyMel Toolbar — built using mylibrarytoolbar.com (now conduit.com?) which works with Firefox and IE. Search catalog, OpenWorldCat, journal finder from toolbar. Allows links to other databases, RSS feed reader, email notification, weather info.Good usage: 603 downloads in 18 months. Since early April, their library is averaging 217 users, 750 transactions per day through the toolbar. This even works with Vista.

    The Conduit.com toolbar is a free service paid for by click-through ‘featured links’ displayed on a default web search. Searches of other sites, such as the catalog or journal finder are not cluttered with ads at this point.

  • CMAP — Free download that displays concepts visually.

Doan presented the following:

  • Footprints database used to track reference questions — links I found suggested this was free-to-try, but not freeware or open-source.
  • Mentioned that use of Meebo has greatly increased IM traffic to Reference.
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