Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

  1. Create a WorldCat login.
  2. Create a brief list of books or movies. (You can duplicate one of the library’s book lists, if you would prefer.)
  3. Share a link to your public list in the comments below.

Example:  The Fan’s Guide to Baseball


If you use the handy in-browser search box in Internet Explorer this month, you may have noticed  something new. The search results you used to get from Google are gone and now you see results from something called Bing.

What is Bing?

Unless you lost your TV transmission during the digital switch, you’ve probably seen a Bing commercial. They’re weird. They’re everywhere. But have you tried Bing? It’s a search engine, like Yahoo!. The results look similar, but there are some additions.

  1. Expanded Description
    When you mouse over the orange dot to the right of each result, you’ll get a box with an expanded description and some links on the page.
  2. Search from Results
    Sometimes you even get a search box in the results list. Search for Nashville Public Library and you’ll see a search box for searching the library catalog within the result.  Search for Amazon and you’ll see a list of results with the Amazon search box.
  3. More Options
    Search results are listed in the center,  and you’ll see links for related searches or ways to narrow your search along the left side. A search for the band Green Day lets me narrow to Images, Songs, Lyrics, Downloads, Fan Club, etc.

I tried Bing. I want Google/Yahoo! back in my search engine box!

The first time I got results from Bing, I was surprised. Microsoft had changed my search engine without telling me. The second time I got results from Bing, I was mad. I wanted to take back my browser power.

Internet Explorer 6

  • Click on the SEARCH BUTTON in the Toolbar.
  • At bottom of ‘What are you looking for’ panel, select CHANGE PREFERENCES.
  • Under ‘How do you want to search companion?’ choose CHANGE INTERNET SEARCH BEHAVIOR
  • Next, select SELECT DEFAULT SEARCH and OK.
  • Choose your favorite search engine (c. 1997) and select OK.
  • This should change the results from this search box and search terms typed in the address bar.

Internet Explorer 7:

  • Beside the Search Box there is a magnifying glass icon. Next to the icon is a tiny grey triangle – select it with mouse.
  • You should see a list of the search engines currently loaded to your browser. At the bottom of this list, select the option called CHANGE SEARCH DEFAULTS.
  • Select the search engine you use most often and click ‘SELEECT DEFAULT, then ‘OK’.

Internet Explorer 8:

  • Next to the Search Box there is a magnifying glass icon. Next to the icon is a tiny grey triangle – select it with mouse.
  • You should see a list of the search engines currently loaded to your browser. At the bottom of this list, select the option called MANAGE SEARCH PROVIDERS.
  • Select the search engine you use most often and click ‘Set as Default’, then ‘Close’.

I use Chrome / Firefox. How do I change my default search engine?

Google Chrome 2.0

  • Right-click on the Address Bar.
  • Select your preferred Search Engine from the list.
  • Then click ‘Make Default’ button.

Firefox 2, 3:

  • Next to the search box is a logo for the selected search engine.
  • Click on this logo to select from other loaded search engines. This selection should remain through future sessions until changed.
  • If Google (or preferred engine) is not in this list, use “Manage Search Engines” to add it to the list.

Google Chrome

May 25, 2009

We’re all used to Internet Explorer. A lot of us have started using Firefox. Why on earth do we need another Internet browser? What’s the big deal about Google Chrome?

When I first downloaded Chrome, I used it for a few hours and thought “What’s the big deal? It looks like all the other browsers out there.”

And that’s true, at first glance. But look  a little closer and you’ll notice a few differences. Then, if you open the hood and look at the guts of the browser, you’ll notice a lot of differences.

First Glance Features:

Home page defaults to your nine most visited pages
Say you get online every morning and immediately check the Tennessean, the weather, the day’s comics, CNN, and your email. Let’s say you visit those sites a lot during the day. Chrome will remember that and show you quick links to your most visited sites each time you open a new browser window.

No Title Bar – No Menu Bar
Chrome gives you tabs right at the top of the page. Next is the address bar. That’s it. Because why waste room that you could use to view the web page you’re looking at?

No search box in the upper right corner
While other browsers are making an integrated search box standard (like Firefox),  Google chose to eliminate that feature. Instead, they made the address bar function as both address bar and search box – they call it the Omnibar. If you type a web address, you’ll go to a web page. If you type keywords, you’ll get Google search results.


A lot of what’s special about Chrome is what you can’t see.
IE and FF are built of the original browser tech from the nineties – designed only for viewing HTML web pages. as new tech was introduced, these had to be added on later – the browser itself did not do any of the new tech. Google chrome is the first browser designed from the ground-up with today’s technology in mind

What’s special about Chrome is what you can’t see

IE and FF are built of the original browser technology from the nineties – back when browsers were just used to view HTML web pages. As new technology was introduced (like JavaScript and Flash – for all our blinking, video heavy pages), it had to be added on.

Google Chrome was built from scratch. It is the first browser designed from the ground-up with today’s technology in mind. Why is that important?

Chrome is fast
Chrome was built to handle complex Internet tasks, like uploading photos, online editing, and all the web applications we’ve covered on Staff in the Know. It was built with current Internet use in mind, so web applications work very fast.

Chrome runs each tab separately
If you’ve ever used Firefox on Internet Explorer 7, you have probably used tabs. And you’ve probably had one tab freeze up. With Firefox and IE, when one tab freezes, they all freeze. Chrome runs each tab as a separate process. So, if one tab freezes, it doesn’t affect the other tabs.

Chrome has Application Shortcuts
Web apps are programs that live on the Internet – they are not saved on your computer. Because apps live on the Internet, it can take a while to get to one: you have to open a browser and type a web address. Not difficult, but definitely more than one double-click. Chrome incorporates “Application Shortcuts” to make it easier to get to web applications.

Here’s how to create an Application Shortcut:

You can create a shortcut using IE or Firefox, but it is a far more involved process that is not readily available from within the browser itself. Plus, when you click on a normal desktop shortcut, it’s just a shortcut to the website – with the title bar and menu bar and address bar. Chrome’s Application Shortcuts only give you the program with none of the internet tools in the way.

Browsers of the Future

You may not be curious enough to use Chrome, but rest assured that the same browser technology will soon be copied by Firefox and Internet Explorer. The Internet has changed – you can do so much more than just view web pages. Look out for more advances coming soon to the browser of your choice.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

  1. Download and install Google Chrome.
  2. Upload a picture to Picnik using Internet Explorer. Then upload a picture to Picnik using Chrome. Can you see the difference?
  3. If you have any problems, ask for help in the comments.

Extra: Do you have a favorite browser?

Google site search (48)

October 20, 2008

Let’s face it, websites can be big. Really big. And sometimes even the best planned websites make it hard to find what we want.

If you use Google, and I know you do, there’s a simple way to take control and search a site for the information you want.

It’s called Google Site Search

It’s most basic use is to search a site. Let’s say you want to know which library in our system has Spanish language materials. You could look through each branch page until you find the answer. Or you could search in the catalog to see what comes up. Or, you could do a Site Search in Google.

That search would look like this:

Take a look at the results and you’ll see how helpful site search is. One quick search tells me which branches have a Spanish language collection (Thompson Lane and Southeast). It also reveals that there are Spanish language books available in the Tumblebooks database!
How does it work?
Type your search terms in the Google search box, then type site: and the web address you want to search in. We searched for: spanish collection
But wait, there’s more…
Site search can help with narrowing your results list. Why wade through tons of useless sites when you can better target the kind of information you’re looking for? Let’s take a look at an example.
Say you’re looking for information vaccinations. You could do a basic Google search and you’d probably find some good websites, but you’d probably have to wade through a bunch of not-so-great sites too. Sites that end in .gov or .edu might give you more accurate medical information. So why not narrow your search from the start?
Let’s search for information on vaccinations and ask for results ONLY from government information sites. That search would look like this:
This search will exclude .com, .edu, .org, and any other site that doesn’t end in .gov. This can be useful when doing research and you know what kind of information you’re looking for. But, beware that you may be excluding useful information.
If you need help remembering this and other search tips for Google, you can print out this cheat sheet (pdf), shown at left, and stash it by your computer.

And if you have any search tips, please share them in the comments!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Do a search in Google for Disaster Preparedness.

2. Do a search in Google for Disaster Preparedness and limit to sites that end in .org.

3. Compare.