Family history websites bookmarked

If you’re looking for useful and interesting family history websites, try our SLWA Family History Bookmarks page.

Simply click on any heading (or tag) to see which sites have been bookmarked for that topic. The larger the heading, the more websites are available. Tags range from geographic locations to topics such as convicts or world war.

Most of the sites are free so why not explore – who knows what you might find?

Library Hack – day of hack update

You can still sign up for the day of hack this Sunday at the SLWA.

We have local web guru Myles Eftos, creator of web applications, speaker at major national conferences, but more infamously known for recreating Super Mario Brothers with HTML, CSS and javascript. Darren Mottolini from Landgate showing us what Western Australian data we could use from SLIP enabler to mash with the library datasets. Stephen Miles and Nick Cowie from the State Library of WA, talking about the library’s datasets and how you could use them. As well as some very talented participants, who I am sure are willing to share their expertise.

If you need an incentive the Library Hack prizes have been announced and first prize in each category is $6,000.

Learn how to hack/remix/mash

Join us for Hackday 10 April 2011

Join us for a hackfest open day at the State Library of Western Australia on Sunday 10 April between 11am and 4pm, and be part of the national Libraryhack.

The national Libraryhack competition invites people to create mashups and apps using publicly available and reusable data. Re-mix library datasets and create new content, or re-purpose them and build new apps, and be in the running to win a great prize. The datasets for use can be found at: http://libraryhack.org/data/

Come to the State Library for a taster session and start thinking about what you might create to be able to enter the national competition. We’ll have mashing experts and specialists from the Australian Web Industry Association on hand to help you navigate your way through the wealth of info released for mashups.

There will be computers available for use on the day, but you can also bring along your own laptops, notebooks and iPads and join in the fun at the Discovery Lounge on the ground floor at the State Library. There is free wifi access and there is no charge to join in the hackfest open day activities, but bookings are essential. Book online at: http://slwa.wa.gov.au/whats_on/hackday.

Don’t have the technical skills to bring your great idea for new ways to use library data to life? You can still win a prize by entering the ideas competition, which closes on 20 April 2011. Submit your idea for mashups and apps using library data from across Australia and New Zealand to be eligible. For details see: http://libraryhack.org/ideas/

More than just Google – free workshops at the State Library

SEaK – Search Engage and Know
Do you feel lost on the information highway?
Don’t know where to start looking for information?
Feel intimidated by the library or the internet?

The State Library has a range of free, practical hands-on workshops where you can improve your research skills and get internet search tips and tricks. All sessions are designed to give you a head start in uncovering the wealth of information available in the Library’s collections and online.

For full details visit the State Library website.

Creating and Keeping your Digital Treasures

Working with digital objects such as Word files and photographs has become a part of daily life for almost everyone. The State Library has recently completed a document which may be of interest to you in creating and maintaining digital objects for the long term.

‘Creating and Keeping Your Digital Treasures: A User Guide’ provides guidelines on quality, file formats and best practice for creating, naming and storing digital objects. The guide has been written for a non-technical audience and is based on the minimum file format and quality standards at the State Library. We hope this document proves to be useful for anyone who collects digital objects, from individuals creating personal collections of digital photographs to to organisations building their own digital archives.

The document is freely downloadable via our website http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/digital_treasures

We would appreciate your feedback on the document. An online feedback form is available to collect your responses http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=jPHpSmSUdQ7EYa50hNruww_3d_3d

The form should take no more than five to ten minutes to complete.

This form will be available until 27 March 2009 after which you are welcome to comment using our standard feedback form (http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/about_us/contact_us/feedback_and_complaints/feedback), or by emailing info@slwa.wa.gov.au

Ma.gnolia bookmarks unavailable

Unfortunately the Ma.gnolia bookmark site has experienced a major problem incorporating –

every web service’s worst nightmare: data corruption and loss

 – and is down for at least several days whilst they try to restore data.  This means you will be unable to access our voluminous collection of Ma.gnolia bookmarks.  Apologies for any inconvenience.  You can read more about the problem at Google News, or go to http://www.ma.gnolia.com for updates.

Social Software in Libraries report

Interesting report on the use of Social Software (Web 2.0) from the Association of Research Libraries (thanks resourceshelf.com for this one!) 

While a growing number of libraries have adopted social software as a way to further interact with library patrons and library staff, many things are unclear about the use of social software in ARL member libraries. This SPEC survey was designed to discover how many libraries and library staff are using social software and for what purposes, how those activities are organized and managed, and the benefits and challenges of using social software, among other questions

It’s a subscription report but you can see the table of contents and executive summary on the web.

Reposted – Economic Statistics, Inventions, missing manuals

We have some layout problems this week – deleting this post didn’t fix it so I’m reposting so we don’t lose the info…

Three things that have caught my eye this week (yes, I have paid attention to more than the Olympics, though it’s been difficult – congratulations to the local ladies !)

From the Internet Scout Report news of an Economics Statistics Portal called EconStats.com – a bit cluttered but a gateway to wealth of information!  I can’t find a lot about it but the Scout people are usually on the money with good websites and it is also linked to by a lot of other people, so have a look!

·From the serious to the amusing – an article in last Monday’s West Australian drew my attention to an exhibition at the British Library ofWeird and Wonderful Gadgets and Inventions – a small display at the Library’s wonderful Business and Intellectual Property Centre(the envy of every business librarian) – you can find more pictures and articles on the web – of course any inventor or entrepreneur can make the process of running their business easier by getting information from their library!
Bought something second hand without a manual?  Lost the manual for something?  This site www.diplodocs.com might just help – it allows you to upload and share user manuals for all types of consumer goods.  (Thanks to Resourceshelf for this one!)

QR Codes anyone?

Seen one of these yet?  You might be seeing a lot more of them soon!  They are called QR codes – the QR is short for Quick Response – and like a hipper, 2D version of a bar code their attractive black and white patterns hide a wealth of information – which you may already be able to read with your mobile phone!  Yes, if you  have a phone with a camera and the right software, you can read the code – which may contain a text message, a phone number or the URL of a website.  They are evidently huge in Japan.  Originally created to track auto parts, they now turn up on advertisements, in magazines, on bus shelters, on the bottom of plates in sushi trains and in rock videos – watch out for their appearance in Australia!

Do some more hunting on the web (particularly YouTube) for more examples and explanations!

(I generated this code using a free generator on the web – if anyone can read it let me know!)

…I wonder how soon we will have library applications!

UPDATE – thanks to those who let me know they could read the code!  And thanks to Roger who sent me a link to the online magazine he edits with lots more information on and examples of the many  uses of QR codes:

Google checks out your front lawn!


Google Maps launched Street view in Australia last night. Whilst the images are not current, it is fascinating to see how technology is being integrated into everyday use.

To check out your house go to http://maps.google.com.au/maps and click street view so it goes bold. Then click on the camera and follow the map into your front yard!