The New Applewild Library Website!

If you haven’t already checked out the new library website, please take a moment to look around. After months of frustration with our old site (dead links, outdated lists of databases, inability to add new content), I finally decided to throw a new site together using Weebly.

Weebly is a free website tool that our students use for History Day, and it could not be any easier. You can literally drag and drop elements (headlines, paragraphs, pictures, forms, documents, you name it!) into a clean design template. What began as a slap-dash temporary website quickly became an elegant, user-friendly home for Applewild Libraries online.

Some features I’m particularly proud of:

– Newly categorized database lists, complete with descriptions. Most of the links are static, meaning that even if you’re off campus, you can access these databases without logging in!
Book lists! Now the library website has a little bit of readers’ advisory built in, with cool-looking bookshelves thanks to the amazing Shelfari widget.

– An “Ask Ms. Herring” form that sends questions directly to my inbox
– A book recommendation form
– An entire section on Noodletools, how to get registered, and how to find tutorials online to learn how to use this great citation generator
– Tons and tons of online project guides for major class projects. If you have a class project coming up, and would like your project guide available on the library website, let me know. I’m also happy to help you find more resources.

So take a look around, and send me some feedback. I’d love to hear any suggestions to make it better!

Pro Tip: Tutorials

Believe it or not, there’s lots of technology out there that I have no idea how to use. Sometimes, I’ll even have trouble with an application that I use every day, like Microsoft Word. Rather than running screaming out of the room, or throwing my laptop out the window, I simply look for a tutorial online. They have saved my skin and taught me some brilliant tricks over the years.

Tutorials exist for just about everything, and many of them are even in video format so you can actually watch someone performing the action you are trying to learn. The first place I would recommend looking is straight from the horse’s mouth. For example, when I was learning how to use NoodleTools, I found all kinds of great information right in the help section of their webpage (Here are some screencast tutorials on using notecards in NoodleTools- login may be required).

If you’re finding the product’s website unhelpful, the next stop is YouTube. A properly-conducted search (which often includes the version or year of the application you’re using) will likely yield hundreds of videos. You will need to pay attention to the version (platform and year) of software being used in the tutorial, though; if it’s a different version, you may end up more confused than you were in the first place. The video below, a tutorial on how to print your First Class calendar, features a newer version of First Class than we have, but is still applicable to our software.

While there are lots of free tutorials out there, there are also tutorials sites that demand a membership fee. You get what you pay for; is one such site, and because it requires a paid membership, the video quality is higher than those available for free.