Thursday, March 29, 2007

Google Custom Search

Wow, talk about rapid innovation. I'm not sure if you keep an eye on all the tools that the Google tech lab creates, one thing I can say is that they are obviously a busy bunch of caffeine fuelled tech heads.

One of the latest tools to be unleashed is Google Custom search. This new technology provides individuals with the option to create a subject specific search interface that is populated with websites selected by the creator.

The first thing that came to mind when reading about this technology was it's potential application in creating subject guides for library users. Instead of creating lists of site URLs, Librarian's now have the option to create a subject specific web search portal. The text box can be embedded into the web page. For an example of the Google Custom Search please check out the Western Australian Governments website.

I do not know of any library service that has created a subject specific search portal using this application and whilst I intend to tinker with this technology I have not had an opportunity to do so as yet.

So for those intrepid souls amongst us uncharted water beckons! I would love to here any feed back regarding Google Custom Search; please forward any comments/stories to

Friday, March 23, 2007 Statewide Database Selection 2007/08

A reminder that polling for the 2007/08 Statewide Database Selection is underway and all votes must be sent to your respective zone representatives by the 5th of April 2007.

Voting forms and contextual information has been forwarded to Library managers and designated contacts. If you have any questions refarding this process please contact your content evaluation zone representatives

Monday, March 19, 2007

Minutes of RISG meeting

The minutes of the Reference and Information Services Group meeting held at Strathfield Public Library on the 15 March 2007; are available for viewing at the NSW RISG website (, under the meetings/minutes section).

The next meeting will be late July - could the people who were checking on room availability please contact Ellen Forsyth.

Plus put 8th May in your diary for the annual reference seminar. It will include Library 2.0 topics of interest to reference and information services

Post by Ross Balharrie

Monday, March 12, 2007

Reference Information Services Group Meeting

Don't forget to rsvp for the Reference and Information Services Group meeting at Strathfield Library, 65-67 Rochester Street, Homebush on 15 March 2007, 2.00pm to 4.00pm, to discuss how people are training their staff in reference and information services and how the @your library reference related promotions are going.

This will be a great opportunity for reference and information services staff to network, brainstorm and share ideas with people who are doing similar work. We hope that everyone will come away with something that can be implemented in your own library.

Strathfield Library is located in 65 Rochester St, (corner of Abbotsford Road,) Homebush. It’s two blocks away from Homebush Station, (five minutes walking distance), on Homebush Public School side. Bus 408 stops in front of the library. Car park is available next to the library, entrance is on Abbotsford Road, as well as street parking around the area.
Please rsvp to Yan Zhang on yan.zhang @ by 12 March



@ your library – what have you used to promote reference and information services – success stories since November

@ your library May to December (May Reduce, reuse and recycle, June Drug info, July Holiday fun, Good sports, August Escape, September Find the past (treasures/records), October Holiday fun, Just ask, November Read)

How are people training their staff in reference and information services?

How are people providing un/structured training for their communities?

Beyond Google – what are libraries doing?

What is part of reference and information services and collections at your library? What is reference and what is loan? Are there other specialist services we should be providing – for example local studies, LIAC, ABS, HSC collections, drug info, literacy?

Evaluation for the content group – what are the current databases and how to look at them

General business

Subjects for discussion at the next meeting. Date and location for next meeting.

Favourite/least favourite reference tool

Post by Ross Balharrie