dewey know our trivia? rdf-ing manual

The coffee and donuts at Cool Tools days (along with the gifts for the speakers we have come in) don’t pay for themselves. Shocking, I know. Supporting SLAIS Research Day is another part of our mandate that takes cash. So, to raise some money, we’re joining up with the SLAIS Librarians Without Borders student group for a trivia night fundraiser. (I’m unsure which group is responsible for the punny title. Perhaps that will be a trivia question?)

Who: SLAIS students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members
What: Trivia Pub Night: Form teams of 2-4 to compete for a round of beverages
When: Wednesday, March 9, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Where: Koerner’s Pub, in the basement of the Graduate Student Centre at UBC
Why: A fundraiser for SLAIS student groups ASIS&T and LWB
How: Pre-register your team to guarantee a table by emailing Heidi at hkschiller@gmail.com, or just show up at the door!
Cost: $20 suggested minimum donation per team (cash only please)

For more information, email Heidi at hkschiller@gmail.com

Want to find out more about LWB? Here’s their website.


rex turgano & allan cho recap

Thanks to everyone who came out for our chat with Rex and Allan today. If you couldn’t make it (or your memory was affected by whatever delicious lunch you were eating – my chocolate cake was distracting me early on) here’s a quick recap.

Discussion ranged over a bunch of topics, most of which were about being a non-traditional librarian. Both Rex and Allan have jobs that aren’t exactly the things that put them in the majority at library conferences, which is something most of our attendees seemed interested in. They talked about funky titles librarians in other academic systems have and how that actually makes a difference in how you’re perceived outside of the library field. Both of them talked about the importance of marketing ourselves as information problem solvers before being librarians. We’re the humanizers of the computer science tools, which is a role that needs filling.

The other thing was how little our schoolwork matters in professional life and how we should be diversifying our experiences to be good infopros, constantly upgrading. This is something I’ve heard from a bunch of visiting professionals in my year here at SLAIS, and is a good reason for coming out to our ASIS&T@UBC events! (I’m sorry for the gratuitous plug, but really, getting involved is a good thing to do.)

That’s the main gist of how the talk went. My (very) rough notes are online if you want to take a look. They’ll be giving a talk on the New Age of Librarianship in April at the BCLA conference in Victoria (their talk is scheduled for Friday morning).

Thanks very much for taking time out of your schedules, it was a well-spent hour.


the rex turgano & friends variety hour lunch

When: Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Where: IBLC 460
What: ASIS&T@UBC is very happy to announce that information professional Rex Turgano (founder and editor of thegreenpages.ca) and a couple of his info-professional friends will be having an informal, bring your own lunch Q&A session with us.

This’ll be a good chance to talk to someone who uses the IT side of his information training in a number of different ways. If you have questions about how IT is used in an academic environment like UBC, bring ’em. If you have web startup kinds of questions, bring them. If you have general “what will I do with my career?” angst, heck, bring that too! (Note that this lunch may not be enough to cure your angst in and of itself.) It should be a fun informal kind of chat. There’s no set agenda, just a chance to talk to some techie information professionals like we might be some day.

The event is open to all SLAIS students, but there is limited space available, making it first come first serve. So if you want to attend, just send us an email to let us know to save you a spot. If in the event that all spots are taken, Jessie’ll put your name down on a wait list. If you do sign up but later realize that you can no longer attend the lunch, then please let Jessie know so we can let people on the wait list in.

Bring your questions and lunches February 23!


february meeting

When: February 2, 2011 12:30-1:30 pm (but probably shorter)
Where: The Trail room
What: This is just a short checking in kind of mini-meeting. We’ll recap Cool Tools Day 3, pass around a signup for Cool Tools 4, discuss some fundraising possibilities, and talk about the Rex Turgano and Friends Variety Hour Lunch we’ve got coming up on February 23rd. Here’s the agenda in PDF form. Hope to see you there!


cool tools day #3 recap

Our third Cool Tools day happened on January 25th, 2011. Thanks to everyone who came out to learn/share about some neat technological tools! If you missed the event, well here’s a summary of what went on (courtesy of our ASIS&T@UBC Secretary, Jessie).

Presenters and their “Cool Tools” (Also available as a PDF)

Catie “Library Value Calculator” & “FreeFoodUbc”
Niagara Falls Public Library Value Calculator

  • Calculate the value of your library use
  • It doesn’t subtract your fines or other glitches
  • You can see the value of your library card


  • “Freefoodubc” Twitter account
  • Not interactive, instead just like calendars of where to find free food on campus at any time
  • Kept up to date

Bonnie’s – “Web of Trust (WOT)

  • communitive based firefox add-on
  • “revenge on malicious websites” and promoting safe websites, etc.
  • Uses colour codes (ex. green means ‘safe’)
  • Good for warning against sites with viruses/malware etc.
  • Informative video available on youtube
  • video is called “WOT: Web of Trust demonstration”

Andrew’s – “Readability” & “Readefine”

  • Reformatting text tool
  • Designed to find large chunks of text, highlight it, crop it, and bookmark it
  • Can have small glitches in cutting out part of text at the beginning or the end of
    the text (because mistaken for advert image etc.)
  • Is a Firefox (or Chrome) add on
  • Can change how the text displays on your browser


  • Need Adobe AIR
  • Or can use in web browser
  • Can do RSS, html, etc.
  • Will sync with Google Reader
  • Works really well with keyboard
  • Can upload files, copy and paste text
  • Both tools can be used to change the display of online readings (like news sites, etc.), and are nice for net books

Justin “Quora

  • Alternative search engine
  • Need to login
  • Since it is a social search “asking questions and getting answers” instead of keywords
  • Gives guidelines on formatting questions
  • It is other users answering queries (not spider bots)
  • Place your queries according to topic categories (different users can follow different topics)
  • Can ask obscure, difficult to Google questions – and people will offer synthesized answers
  • Not very efficient
  • New and currently getting a lot of buzz in the tech community
  • There are a lot of opinion questions asked, library topics, many things to search and

Yolanda’s – “linear footage calculator” & “Skim”
linear footage calculator

  • Good for archival/preservation purposes (and class assignments!)
  • Tool meant for measuring boxes etc.


  • pdf annotator for Mac
  • Highlight, make boxes around things, anchor notes, works on a lot of pdfs, can
    take notes and export them out other document

Schuyler “GoodReader” & “Dropbox”

  • Free reader for the iphone (also $2.99 in the app store)
  • Some issues – trouble getting annotated documents from the phone to the
  • Works well with dropbox!
  • For iPad use – good for changing documents into pdfs and then annotating them


  • Online cloud based storage system
  • Organization tool – keeping all of your files, folders etc. in one place and accessible
    from any computer with internet access
  • Efficient back up strategy
  • If you get others to sign up from an invite, you then get extra file space
  • Starts off with 2GB free – which is plenty for pdfs/school readings

Again, thanks to everyone for showing up, and to the presenters who piped up in the presentation. We’ll be having another Cool Tools day before the semester is done, and we’d love to hear from you.