the crickets of summer shall soon creep in

We’ll post the minutes from the last meeting of the year sometime soon, but before that I just wanted to thank everyone for coming to all the events we’ve had this year. Also thanks to Bronwyn for writing up such a nice post about our Cool Tool Days for HackLibSchool (which you should completely be reading if you’re at SLAIS).

Special thanks to our outgoing executive members Mahria, Tosha, Shannon and Jessie, who made this an efficiently-run student group that did a bunch of useful and fun stuff. It was a pleasure working with you all. We had elections at the meeting today and hopefully Andrew, Adam and Jamie will be up to continuing the work come September. Expect more trivia and tools that are cool and research and all that good stuff. We don’t really do meetings in the summer semester, so the blog here’ll slow down a bit. We’ll try to keep some content trickling through on our linkblog to tide you over.


thanks & a reminder

Thanks to everyone for coming to the Dewey Know Our Trivia fundraising event last week. It was a lot of fun and a tight race to the very end. The top three teams were:

  1. #winning
  2. Brian Patrick & Woodrow Wilson
  3. See Also:

We raised some money and had a good time. Many thanks to Shannon, Mahria, Heidi and Jessie for organizing the event and to Koerner’s Pub for providing us with a location. Do you think we should do more of these next year? Let us know in the comments, or you could show up at our next event and talk to us in person.

What? A next event? Why yes! On Tuesday March 15th we’ve got our final Cool Tools Day of the term in the Terrace Lab from 12:30-1:30pm. Learn/share about some nifty tech tricks before it’s too late. Too late because we won’t be doing any more until at least September. Sign up here!

Also, we’re going to hit you up for coming to our last meeting of the year on March 29th. If you’d like to be involved with ASIS&T@UBC next year we’ll be holding elections at that meeting so let us know if you’re interested.


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!


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.


next meeting

When: January 18, 2011 12:30-1:30 pm
Where: The Trail room (just off the SLAIS lounge with all the windows)
What: It’s a meeting. We’ll welcome new/interested folk, talk about Cool Tools Day 3 which is coming up in January (you can sign up on our wiki now if you want), see where we’re at in the t-shirt design contest thing, and more! So much more!

As Jessie said in her email “All are welcome to attend! Techie skills are NOT a requirement, so please don’t feel shy if that’s a concern!” Hope to see you there.