Sunday, January 04, 2009

Thing 67: Stress Savers

This discovery exercise has us exploring three sites: Dial-A-Human, CustomGuide, and

Dial-A-Human - Dial-A-Human gives you the exact number to press to avoid navigating nerve-wracking phone trees. This will certainly come in handy with several of our library patrons who seem to have a passion about contacting businesses--for all sorts of reasons. I am only afraid that if we offered this for one business and then another was not on the list, there would be disappointment--the expectation was there. The list is mainly for popular national entities. It looks like my phone company/DSL provider is on there but not my cable provider. They even have links to send a new number or report a bad number or broken link. A handy site to have in your reference toolbox.

CustomGuide - CustomGuide offers great tipsheets on the most popular office software products. These will be very handy for both staff and patrons. It is expecially helpful because it offers multiple versions of products such as MSOffice. Now if I have a patron who needs a quick introduction to a software product the library has, I can print out a quick .pdf tipsheet. Thanks CustomGuide!

(Image courtesy of Travelin' Librarian.)
UserNameCheck - Usernamecheck lets you check many Web 2.0 sites to see if your favorite handle is already taken. I ran a check on my favorite username and was very happy to see that it was unique. However, Usernamecheck did think that my handle was being used on two sites that it was not. When I went directly to the sites, they could find no evidence of anyone using that username. Another little thing I noticed is that when you type in your handle to check, be sure to click on the "Check" button. Just pressing [Enter] on the keyboard will sometimes not make it run, or not run correctly. This site seems like it would be more of a novelty than a reference tool, but it was still fun to see it run the check.

Overall, I predict that I will be adding Dial-A-Human and CustomGuide to my reference toolbox. UserNameCheck is fun but I don't think I'll be using it very often. I have to have a reason to register on a site, I just can't see registering for everything to be sure that I have my favorite handle.



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