Cool tools for busy health librarians
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Cool tools for busy health librarians was a proposal for a continuing education (CE) workshop for the CHLA/ABSC Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Unfortunately, due to a lack of interest, the workshop was never delivered. During the planning of the workshop, this entry was used as the instructors' space for planning and exploration. Health librarians track new advances in medical evidence, particularly research that has an immediate impact on the provision of clinical care or in the delivery of library and information services. In the digital age, finding the evidence in a timely way may seem impossible due to the constant deluge of information.
There may be help ahead with this continuing education course on cool tools. In a highly-interactive and casual 'hands-on' environment, two working health librarian bloggers will lead you through a range of information technologies that can be used to enrich the web experience or deliver information at-point-of-care. Through demonstration and discussion, we explore some of today's most useful Internet tools that can be used to manage and organize the information you (or your users) need to stay current. A digital sandbox will be provided after the workshop to help participants learn more about Cool tools into the future.
What is a cool tool?
A cool tool might be defined as any tool, toolbar or piece of social software that can be used to enhance the delivery of library and information services. Cool tools may be used on personal desktops, laptops and mobiles or embedded on blogs, websites or wikis, to use three examples. Some synonyms for cool tools include bookmarklet, gadget, widget, toolbar, badge, snippet, social software, doodad, mini or flake. Furthermore, a cool tool might refer to any type of print or digital object, item, software, video, map, hardware or website.
What is a widget?
A web widget is a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any separate HTML based webpage by an end-user without requiring additional compilation. According to Guus van den Brekel:
"...in the next few years, the further development of social, educational and research networks, semantic search techniques and online personal start-page tools, will be dictating how users will look and search for information. See the introduction of the Library Toolbar (http://tinyurl.com/33po8s) and the paper “Into the User Environment”. See Guus' widget box. The development of library widgets for users plus a Netvibes Universe for educational and instructional purposes is [my] latest project. Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs), such as Second Life, are interesting because of the great implications these environments will have on education, training and social life."
Social tools & online communities for researchers
Citation organization tools