Monday, April 28, 2008

Morning Coffee

In my house there's been an ongoing discussion about the differences between Mozilla Foxfire and Internet Explorer. My teenagers like Foxfire better, I've always prefered IE. My children have never been able to give me a good enough reason to switch and I've always chalked it up to generational differences, but the other day I stumbled on a Foxfire add-on that made me a believer. It's called Morning Coffee and I highly recommend it to anyone who uses various websites throughout their day. This will allow you to open an array of websites with just one click of an icon. They will display in tabs on the browser page, Windows Vista style, and you simply toggle back and forth to whatever page you want.

Here's how to set it up:

If you don't already have it, download Mozilla Foxfire from the internet (this is free). If you are using Mozilla make sure you have the latest version. Next, go to and add Morning Coffee to Foxfire. After re-starting Foxfire you will see a coffee mug icon at the top of the page. Now, open up any website that you use frequently throughout your day, then click the down arrow beside the coffee icon and add the website to your Morning Coffee. It will give you options of frequency; pick the one that suits your needs. Do this for each website you want to have readily available. Now, click on the mug and all of your websites will be listed on tabs and you are ready to go.

I use this at work and have loaded my library's website, our reference wiki, my Meebo account, Dogpile search engine, and the weather. At home I have Dogpile, the weather, my bank account, and my kid's school website. Just like your real cup of coffee in the morning, this gets you started off right.

By the way, don't forget to add this blog!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Who is the accidental techist?

I am the accidental techist.

Let me explain...I was hired into my current postition as Reference Librarian due, in part, to my willingness to experiment with technology. Please understand, I have no background in technology, no natural aptitude for it, and like many of you I am sure, a printer malfunciton can find me under my desk near tears. But for some reason the director had faith in me, something I have been trying for six months now not to lose. Recently I have been going to various technology centered workshops and have noticed that there are many, many librarians out there like me. We survive by a combination of faking it, sheer luck, and believing in ourselves.

If you are an IT person then this blog is not for you. Unless you need some entertainment. In that case follow along, but try not to fall out of your chair laughing. If you care to help, please do so. However, my goal is for all of the non-techie librarians out there to come together in this place to share success stories, commiserate, help each other, amuse each other, and support each other. Let's share our knowledge and our ideas. In our own language. I promise not to use any words that will make your head spin or your eyes cross. And you can trust me, because I don't know those words!

Am I the best person to administer this blog? Probably not. But going along with my naive willingness to experiment with technology that got me to this place, and what I see as a need for someone to step up and throw themselves out there at risk of embarrassment, here I am.