One of the great things about working at Upper Riccarton Library is its dual nature as a community and school library. This means that staff often have the opportunity of sitting in on classes taken by our fantastic Riccarton High School librarians, Paula and Gill.
As well as being fascinating from a purely personal point of view (“wow, school has changed since I was there” is one of the thoughts that pops into mind), these classes are a very useful way of keeping up with resources.
So, for those of you who are interested, here’s the first of an occasional round-up of goodies from RHS.
BibMe is a free online “fully automatic bibliography maker that auto-fills” which makes creating a bibliography super-quick and easy. With BibMe, you just need to:
- click on the tab above the search box to specify what type of item you are looking for (book, magazine, newspaper, website, journal, film or other)
- search for the item you want to add to the bibliography (the search is powered by WorldCat)
- select the relevant item from the list of results retrieved
- click “Add to My Bibliography”.
You can then download your bibliography or save it to your account for future use.
BibMe supports MLA, APA, Chicago and Turabian formats and you can easily toggle from one to the other.
Qwiki is a new type of search engine which aims to provide an “information experience” that “transforms static information into interactive stories”. Instead of the usual lists of written resources that most search engines provide, it brings together maps, images and animations in a kaleidoscopic effect. One of its interesting features is that it reads information out to you, along the lines of the recordings you can get at art galleries and museums.
Qwiki is still in alpha mode, so it provides information on “only” 3 million topics. There may also be some “quality issues” as the website describes them, and feedback is encouraged.
Qwiki’s contents are drawn from a number of sources, including the usual suspects like Wikipedia, Google, Flickr, and YouTube, but the focus is heavily on the visual aspect.
Hence, rather than as information resources, Qwikis work best as inspirational backgrounders to stimulate thinking about possible avenues for further research.
Like Qwiki, Spezify is another search tool that caters to visual learners. A search retrieves a mosaic of results which can be scrolled in all directions. The results are in no hierarchical order and are drawn from Amazon, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook, eBay, YouTube, Flickr and SoundCloud.
Results can take a while to load, but offer an intriguing overview of the big picture of whichever topic you may be interested in. I particularly like the way in which Spezify fosters serendipitous discovery.
This is all for now from RHS, but I would love to hear whether you have tried any of these tools, and if so, what you think of them.
Upper Riccarton Library