Friday, December 17, 2010

PANDORA Internet Radio

http://www.pandora.com/

The Music Genome Project
In January of 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever.
Together they set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. What resulted was an assembly of hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm,to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony.

Since 2000, this group carefully listened to songs of tens of thousands of different artists - ranging from popular to obscure - and analyzed the musical qualities of each song one attribute at a time. This work continues each and every day to include all the new releases.
Pandora Mobile
You can enjoy all the stations you've created on the web, and create new ones from your mobile phone.Pandora on your phone is fully integrated with Pandora on the web, so everything you create, rate or bookmark on the phone also appears the next time you are back on the web.
Your own personalized radio station.... now that's sometime to sing about.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

TAX FORMS AND THE END OF AN ERA

Those familiar tax booklets that normally went out after Christmas and arrived in your mailbox in early January are a thing of the past. The IRS plans to save about $10 million dollars by ending this practice.

So what are your options?

1. You can go to IRS.gov, choose your forms, download, and print.
2. You can go to IRS.gov and request that the forms you need be mailed to you. Be careful, some forms may not be delivered in a timely manner due to late tax legislation.
3. There is an IRS tax office at 120 Front Street in Worcester, 6th floor. However, they are only open Monday through Friday and only during the day.
3. Correct me if I am wrong, but there is a toll free number (1-800-829-3676) that can be used to order forms that will then be mailed to you. Quantities are very limited.
4. The Worcester Public Library will make every attempt to stock both federal and Massachusetts tax forms and instruction booklets. The library also has Internet access for those who need to download unique forms and IRS publications.

Click here to print Federal and State online tax forms and instructions

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TED: Technology, Entertainment, Design

I first encountered ted.com when I was sent an e-mail regarding the hyperbolic coral reef project http://crochetcoralreef.org/
It was a fascinating glimpse of an idea that combines science, women's art and ecology.

This small nonprofit is devoted to ideas worth spreading. Its inception was in 1984 as a conference that brought together people from three worlds: technology, entertainment, and design.Their mission is to spread ideas. As stated on their homepage they feel passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.

They are building a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. This website, launched April 2007, is an ever-evolving work in progress. They encourage participation.

Today, TED is best thought of as a global community.
"It's a community welcoming people from every discipline and culture who have just two things in common:they seek a deeper understanding of the world, and they hope to turn that understanding into a better future for us all."

Enjoy one more example:
Steve Jobs: How to live before you die
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die.html

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Consult with a Librarian Service

For those who might wonder what Consult with a Librarian is about, here is a synopsis of what has occurred on that 2nd floor Wednesday night 5:30-7:00 time slot at the Health Computer location. First, you usually don't know what to expect and that can add to the excitement of wondering what the patron might need. Some examples of what I've "consulted" or taught or demonstrated follow:
  • setting up email accounts
  • writing and sending emails
  • copy and pasting and adding attachments in email
  • uploading resumes
  • creating resumes
  • job searching
  • legal research to solve a specific problem
  • remote library access
The people I have "consulted" with are an interesting mix:
  • a man from Mexico
  • a woman from Albania
  • a man from Nigeria
  • a young mother and college graduate
  • a woman living in public housing
Library resources I have used:
  • Job & Career Accelerator
  • Mass Legal Services
  • Yahoo email
  • Books on resumes and cover letters
This is a beginning and we hope to expand into other areas such as finding books and magazine articles, accessing different online databases, finding resources on topics, and any other things a patron might want to learn to do. The patron "calls the shots" in this service. It is an interesting interaction and a nice way to get to know people on a professional level...whether it's One on One, Won on Won, or Win and Win...it seems to be working!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Read what people say about the library's chat reference service

"Tremendous service. i was having difficulty because i was accruing fines on a publication already returned. the librarian online went and checked the shelves & found the book! the time it took her to do this was quite a bit, and i would not have been able to stay on the phone (as I pay per minute) that long. LOVE the ONLINE service!"



"loved it, loved it! the librarian was very helpful. It'll saved me some time... all i have to do is walk in the library, I know where to look. Great service."



"This is a great service for anyone to use. I am able to get info that I need on subjects and areas that I'm not sure where to go to research them."



"I am a librarian myself, and needed something for one of our patrons. The librarian was very helpful. Thanks"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Embracing eBooks - Embracing our Future

I am a WIRED geek. If I read nothing else, I always read WIRED Magazine cover-to-cover every month. This month I read a short article which struck a nerve: Abandon Ownership! Join the Rentership Society! by Chris Suellentrop (Wired November 2010).

Suellentrop talks about a paradigm shift between an Ownership Society, as in home ownership, and a Rentership Society. He praised the idea of renting (houses, cars, DVDs), as a smarter choice that gives users more flexibility in our lives and allows more fluidity when we are reacting to change.

The library has this down. We are all about renting books, renting DVDs, renting computers and renting rooms. Appropriately, the killer sentence in this article, for me, was:

"The winner of the ebook sweepstakes will be the bookseller who becomes a book renter."

He goes on to say, " I don’t want to own hundreds of books on a Kindle at $10 a pop. I want to Netflix them — pay for access to every book ever published. I’d rather be a renter in Borges’ library than the owner of my own."

Why can't we win the ebook sweepstakes? We have the system set up already. It is time to focus our efforts to purchase ebooks that can be read on ebook readers: Kindle, Nook, and the iPad. We don't have to cover every technology that is out there, we just need to bet on the horse that is already winning.

If we are going to reinvent ourselves to stay alive and stay current, this is how to do it. We can make this happen. After all, we have been rocking the "Rentership Society" for thousands of years.