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


The good people and robots over at Gale have been busy reading and sorting their magazine collection into new Princeton files. As a result of this spring cleaning, Tennessee Electronic Library’s PowerSearch will become PowerSearch 2.0 on Wednesday. PowerSearch 2.0 adds some great new options to the robust periodical search.

PowerSearch 2.0 allows you to search across fourteen TEL databases including OneFile, General Business, and Health. The default search now offers most popular limiter options: Full-text, Peer-reviewed, or documents with images only. Also, the default search is keyword; this will only match terms in title, author, subject, or abstract. For a more comprehensive search, remember to use entire document.

Powersearch2.0 still breaks down the results into a series of tabs for magazines, journals, books, newspapers, and multimedia. Magazines will appear first, but don’t stop there. Along the left side you will see more results from images and podcasts. Next time you want to watch some old news, head over to PowerSearch’s extensive video collection including videos from NBC Newscasts (Today, Meet the Press) and PBS (Jim Lehrer News Hour, Frontline, Nature). Plus, find matches under podcasts – including NPR’s extensive audio archive. Keep scrolling down your result list to get image results from the UPI photo archive.


Once you hit article level, you can do just about anything short of republishing it. Within each entry you can now listen to a robot read you each article. Hey, these cyborgs are good readers! If you’re running short on time, download all the audio files for your marked articles, then have the robots read to you on your iPod. ¿No habla ingles? Let Gale’s protocol droids translate your article into Spanish or ten other languages. The robots will even reformat the citation so you can cut & paste it into your report.

The most improved part of 2.0 is the Publication Search, which had not seen an update since the nineties. The title lists are now infinitely sortable by format or subject. For example, you can quickly pull up all the full-text magazines that cover “Cooking.” As you mouse-over the titles, you get the important coverage details: full-text and dates of run. Select a title and you can get an RSS feed that will alert you when new issues are available to read in PowerSearch. RSS feeds are also available for any PowerSearch you run.

Check out Tennessee Electronic Library on the database page this Wednesday, July 1st.

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.

Have you ever used the Suggest a Title form on the library web site? It lets you ask the library to buy an item that is not owned. This is very useful, but how do you know if or when the library will buy it?

Maybe you have a favorite author/actor and you want to know when the library adds a new book/movie by them? Maybe you’re sick of being number 472 in line for a best-seller? Or maybe you just want to know when the new World Almanac is out? (Really?)

Preferred Searches let you see when new items you are interested have been added at the library. You can set up Email alerts to notify you when new items match your search. You can make Preferred Searches for any Title, Author, Subject, or anything else you look up in the catalog!

These instructions have been added to the suggest a title pages on the library website. Please spread the word about this service!

Here’s how to set up a Preferred Search:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Watch the slideshow.
2. Set up a Preferred Search in the catalog.

If you have any problems, ask for help in the comments.

Extra: Do you already use Preferred Search?

Twitter Search

April 27, 2009

Say as you were returning from lunch you overhear someone mention a plane landing in the Hudson River. When you return to your computer, you might check several news websites to get a story. Or you could try a Twitter Search.

If you had done a Twitter Search in January, on the day the plane landed in the Hudson River, you would have seen a tweet by Janis Krums. He is the rescuer who posted the first picture of the accident from a cell phone on a nearby ferry boat.

Twitter Search for Breaking News

Have you ever seen four fire engines head down Broadway, then an hour later Google “fire Broadway Nashville,”  only to find that nothing? Local news sites also coming up empty? What was going on? Why can’t I find it on Google? Does this sounds familiar?

Retrieving current information on local occurrences can be challenging. Yet with so many Tweeters now reporting from their cell phones, there is a good chance that an eyewitness mentioned it on their Twitter. Twitter Search offers a way to find real-time updates on just about anything. Type in a topic and search will turn up any recent tweets with those words included.

Twitter Search helps businesses too

We saw how friends might use Twitter to make casual comments to a group. Unlike the office water cooler, Twitter comments are very public – meaning all these casual conversations can be found. Why is this useful?

Businesses can use Twitter Search to find out what people are saying about their company. Say someone tweets to their pals about the Olive Garden restaurant. Olive Garden’s management could search twitter.

  • i love olive garden now that i figured out i can get soup and not that gross salad
  • I like that Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden myself
  • Is there really a Culinary Institute of Tuscany, like in those Olive Garden commercials?
  • Heading out to Olive Garden tonight

Some tweets give honest opinions on company issues, like menu choices or commercials. Others may be less direct, but  Olive Garden can still see who dines there. Companies would normally pay marketing firms to identify customer preferences, now Twitter offers the same data free.

Want to see what people think about your branch library? Check it out on Twitter Search. You’ll see some compliments that will make you smile. But you’ll also see some comments about what we could do better. Anything that gives such candid feedback is a good thing to watch.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Do a Twitter Search for:

Nashville Public Library


Your branch library

2. Did you find anything? Let us know in the comments.

Twitter can help you broadcast important news

Last Friday afternoon, hundreds of people used Twitter to report on the severe storm in Middle Tennessee:

3429072089_d4a56a34d4_o#mboro – tornado touchdown on broad at 840. take cover.

Reported Tornado Touchdown in Murfreesboro, TN

Emergency services are responding to reports that people are trapped in Murfreesboro, Tenn. after tornado hits; homes destroyed.

The Carpenter’s House church in Murfreesboro is open as a shelter for those affected by the storm.

Thompson lane and Murfreesboro road area is shut down to all traffic

Yeah, there’s a LOT of damage in Murfreesboro, where i live…massive tornadoes here…but me and my family are safe 🙂

If you are in or around Murfreesboro, please stay off cell phones. Cell towers taken out and police need the lines.

My dad says his house in Murfreesboro is ok! Thank goodness.

Heard about the tornados in Tennessee. Are you safe?

Yep. I’m good.

Just heard from in-laws who live in Murfreesboro that it looks like they came through the storms without damage.

Glad to hear all my #murfreesboro bandmates and friends are ok after the #tornado

In emergency situations, getting the word out quickly is paramount. After the storm, the first concern is letting everyone know that you’re safe. Cellphones make this an easy task, but you have to make calls to a lot of people. Meanwhile, your friends and family are all frantically dialing all the same people. This is not ideal for keeping emergency communications channels open for rescue workers.

Twitter, makes spreading the news much quicker. One tweet from your cell phone can let all of your friends know if you’re okay. In turn, your friends can retweet your news to further spread the word among your peers. This frees up the communication channels and allows you to reach more people with one text.

Another unique thing happened: Twitter connected the online community to the event as it occurred. Eyewitnesses, local residents, media, and weather agencies, were tweeting information, pictures, and links. Twitter satisfies your curiosity to know what is happening. And it allows you to leverage the power of many people to find the information you need during and after an emergency.

What do you think? Do you see a future with this kind of communication?

 You might know LearningExpress as a test preparation database where you can study for the SAT, ACT, and more. But Learning Express is not just test prep – it wants to help you get a job too.

Check out the new Job Search and Success Skills area of Learning Express. A dozen guided exercises aim to organize and prepare applicants for the job market. This simple, click-through online format condenses volumes of job hunting tips into an interactive online survey.

There are three modules in Job Search and Success Skills:

Module 1: Determining What You Want from Your Career

Put your job search in proper perspective with a methodical survey of personal interests and goals. Fill out the online questionnaire to identify career goals and job preferences. After considering career options with this handy program, download or print the lists made during the session.

Module 2: Job Search and Networking Skills 

Get specific advice about organizing the job hunt. Create contact lists using guided worksheets. See how to quickly browse through the online job banks to match qualifications with openings. Learn how to create a contact list as well as the ins and outs of networking. Any information you type in will be saved for you to print or download at the end of your session. 

Module 3: Success on the Job 

The task is not finished after the hire-date. Get valuable tips on time management, professional etiquette, and dealing with co-workers. Organize plans for asking for a raise, getting a promotion, or create new career goals.