welcome new cohort! (and january meeting info)

Hi there everyone, especially those of you just starting at SLAIS. If you’re coming here after meeting someone from ASIS&T at the LASSA orientation on Wednesday, thank you very much for following up the face to face into the digital. I’m not sure that makes an entirety of sense, but let’s roll with it.

ASIS&T@UBC’s most visible function throughout the term is running our Cool Tools days in which you (yes you!) get to tell your peers about the cool digital tips tricks and tools you use. You can also come and just absorb information if you want. (Check out some notes from previous Cool Tools Days on our wiki.) We haven’t scheduled our first Cool Tools day of the term yet but we’ll be doing that at our first meeting.

That meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 12 from 12pm to 1pm in the Trail Room and we hope to see you there. Also, we’re on Twitter @asistubc where we’ll try to keep you informed as to what’s going on.


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.


happy holidays

And what better way to celebrate time off from classes than by updating the blog? A recap of our November Cool Tools Day has finally gone live, and if you check the Minutes page you’ll see they’re now up to date.

(Incidentally, if you want to see the minutes of the Executive meetings, you can IF you’re a member. Let us know and we can get you all the sekrit documents about our organization your heart could desire. Or you could just search the WikiLeaks cables. I’m sure we’re in there somewhere.)

Speaking of WikiLeaks, if you’re interested in some links to good writeups on the ongoing drip, or any other information technology issues that have been catching our webmaster’s eye, you could do worse than checking out our ASIS&T@UBC linkblog or following us on Twitter @asistubc. Consider it an Xmas present to him.


the twitterphone is on

ASIS&T@UBC now has a twitter feed: @asistubc. We aren’t following you yet because we don’t know if you’re part of the hivemind yet. We’re very sorry. Follow us and we’ll try to keep you informed about interesting infotechy stuff that hits our feeds. It’s set up so our linkblog pings Twitter when a new story goes up there.

(You know about the linkblog, right? It is filling with links to the aforementioned cool infotechy stuff, submitted mostly without comment. Recent posts show up in the sidebar here on this page.)

And if you tell us about stuff that’s even better. All getting to use Twitter for conversation instead of just broadcasting.