Sharing new ideas, resources, knowledge and technology to keep abreast of new development in reference service field

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Death by PowerPoint

Have you suffered through a “Death by PowerPoint”? Boring presentations with PowerPoint where a speaker reads and repeats slide after slide of the exact words on the screen, or shows screenshot after screenshot of pages?

I just attended a workshop on one of the new types of PPt presentations, Pecha Kucha from Japan ( that is helping to save people from the deadly and or excruciatingly long presentations.

How it works is you must present your topic with only 20 slides and you have only 20 seconds with each slide to talk so that your presentation is completed in 6 minutes and 40 seconds. And you must do it with mainly images, which I learned should also be emotionally evocative relating to your subject.

It is one way to narrow, organize, and focus your subject matter but also great fun to do, too. There are even Pecha Kucha nights held in various cities.

In the library setting it can help you in giving presentations, for example to the Board or funders or students in a class, as you’ll know and can guarantee them it will last for less than seven minutes!

Granted, it won’t work for all presentations as some subjects do require more time, however, it has given me a new way of looking at how I do my own productions and how to make them more interesting and stimulating. If you use PowerPoint, or want to try it, look into this format, it’s a positive.

Examples of Pecha Kucha are on YouTube (Check out this librarians show called Pecha Kucha 2.0 Podcasting Edition) and search in Slide Share .

Have fun with it and if anyone wants to do a Pecha Kucha library program, let me know!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

RefUSA--Phone & Business Directories available remotely

The Worcester Public Library now offers remote access to RefUSA --Phone and Business Directories. RefUSA databases are available to anyone with a valid Worcester Public Library card.

The offer includes both U.S. Business and U.S. Residential databases.

U.S. Business contains14 million U.S. Businesses which are verified, accurate data and updated monthly. U.S. Residential includes 135 Million U.S. Households. Those records are continuously updated and processed against the USPS National Change of Address (NCOA) and Delivery Sequence File (DSF).

To access:

Go to
Click on Online Databases
Then select Business & Finance
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ping at

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Healing Foods

Have you ever wondered about the healing qualities of food? Ever wanted to know if a certain food is helpful for a particular medical condition? Check out to learn more about them. You might find this site useful if you need to look up something quickly. This site has a lengthy list of health conditions and foods that help them. Click on Reference Information on the top right corner to visit the individual pages on Herbs, Supplements and Nutrients. lists herbs and their uses, covering Western and Chinese herbs. lists dietary supplements, their benefits and organs that they support. This site is fairly small compared to the others. lists healing nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. Using this site, you can find out which nutrients help certain health conditions, or even which foods contain specific nutrients.

In addition, on each page you will find a list of other recommended sites and a link to current news and articles on each topic.

CMRLS Regional Reference Center, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq, Worcester MA 01608