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OCLC annual report now available

“This year’s report [OCLC Annual Report:] highlights breakthroughs made by sharing knowledge, connecting users, delivering value and transforming spaces. Connect with colleagues around the world through videos, photos and stories that highlight their accomplishments.”– From statement by OCLC.

Census Bureau Launches Instagram Account

“[T]he U.S. Census Bureau [has] created an official Instagram account. The account will provide an outlet for the public to view the story behind the numbers, starting with the 2015 Census Test in the Savannah, Ga., area. Follow the Census Bureau on Instagram at@uscensusbureau.”–From the website.

Free Online Learning

Submitted by Earnest at Gaston Park:

From the website: “For the past decade, the program has helped millions around the world learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. From Microsoft Office and email to reading, math, and more, offers 125 tutorials, including more than 1,100 lessons, videos, and interactives, completely free. We believe there’s freedom in the ability to learn what you want, when you want, regardless of income or circumstances. We offer 125 tutorials on the subjects you need to continue your education—or get it started. Everything at is completely free. There’s no catch and no gotchas.”

Fabriclink is the trade-to-consumer online resource.  For 10 years, FabricLink has been the premier site for consumer textile education and product promotion.  Currently, averages over 150,000 visitors each month, who access the site’s wealth of fabric resource and product educational information.”–From the website.

Techweb’s Tech Encyclopedia

Very extensive encyclopedia of computer and technical terms.  Some good diagrams and pictures included with some entries.

Keyboard Tutorial and Typing Test

An online typing practice page that has 16 lessons that will help anyone learn how to type or improve their skills.  A user sits at his or her computer and completes each lesson.  Free to use, of course, but some advertising on the site.



You can learn the basics of HTML, JavaScript, Ruby, and more, here by using the free, interactive web-based lessons on this site.

New Free Reading Tool Available for Blind and Physically Disabled

“People who have trouble reading standard print books due to visual or other physical disabilities have a new tool at their disposal: An application that allows them to download books and magazines in audio and digital braille formats onto mobile devices free of charge.

The new BARD Mobile application is compatible with Apple iOS operating systems for versions 4.3 or later. These include iPhones of version 3 or later, iPod Touch versions 4 or later, and all versions of iPad.

The application was developed by the National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which is part of the Library of Congress. Tennessee users must already be registered to use the Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped’s Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service in order to use the application.

Using a BARD user identification number and password, users can download the BARD Mobile application from the Apple App store. That will allow access to BARD’s web page, where books can be downloaded immediately.

There are more than 34,000 audio books and 12,000 digital braille books available for download through BARD with new titles being added daily. This includes a selection of more than 120 audio books in 10 different foreign languages.

The BARD web page has been operational since 2010. Prior to the release of the new mobile application, users were able to download books onto personal computers. Those files could then be retrieved and transferred to a digital talking book player or MP3 device designed especially for the blind and visually impaired.

The new application does not require files to be transferred. They can be downloaded and played on the same device, which makes BARD’s service easier to use.

BARD’s service has become increasingly popular. In the fiscal year that ended September 30, more than 62,000 books and magazines were downloaded by users – an increase of 29 percent over the previous fiscal year. The total number of BARD patrons increased 12 percent over the same time period.

“BARD is a wonderful service that makes books and magazines available to people who have difficulty reading standard print books,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “This new mobile application should make the service even more popular since it’s easier to use. This is one more way we are trying to use technology to provide better service to our customers, the citizens of Tennessee.”

The Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is part of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, which is a division within the Secretary of State’s office.”–From the website.

Infrastructure — Helpful Sites

American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Infrastructure Report Card on United States Infrastructure.

Urban Land Institute and Ernst & Young:  2013 Infrastructure, Global Priorities, Globa Insights.  Includes information on U. S. infrastructure plus information on the infrastructure of countries from around the world.

10 Pieces of U. S. Infrastructure We Must Fix Now, from Popular Mechanics

Council on Foreign Relations:  Encouraging U. S. Infrastructure Investment, Policy Innovation Memorandum no. 17 (Can be downloaded from the site).

InfrastructureUSA : Advocating to Restore America’s Infranstructure.

printfriendly : Save Money and the Environment

This website allows you to delete unnecessary frames, text, ads, images, etc. from webpages. It also creates a PDF version. It could be helpful for difficult to print webpages or just parsing down a page to just the necessary portions. Thanks to Alex Peyton at Cordova for the information on this site.



Internet Archive Blog – Wayback Machine Updated

“Today we updated the Wayback Machine with much more data and some code improvements.  Now we cover from late 1996 to December 9, 2012 so you can surf the web as it was up until a month ago.  Also, we have gone from having 150,000,000,000 URLs to having 240,000,000,000 URLs, a total of about 5 petabytes of data.”–From the website.  240 billion websites!

Social Networking Popular Across the Globe : Survey Report

“Social networking has spread around the world with remarkable speed. In countries such as Britain, the United States, Russia, the Czech Republic and Spain, about half of all adults now use Facebook and similar websites. These sites are also popular in many lower-income nations, where, once people have access to the internet, they tend to use it for social networking.”–From the website.  Website contains other information and statistics about social networking in countries around the world.


State of the Media : Social Media Report, 2012

“According to Nielsen and NM Incite’s latest Social Media Report, consumers continue to spend more time on social networks than on any other category of sites—roughly 20 percent of their total time online via personal computer (PC), and 30 percent of total time online via mobile.  Additionally, total time spent on social media in the U.S. across PCs and mobile devices increased 37 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012, compared to 88 billion in July 2011.”–From a NeilsenWire article

Foursquare launching local search engine for everyone, not just for registered users

Foursquare is opening up its desktop home page to all users, not just logged-in members. Visitors can now get Foursquare’s recommendations on local places and search for nearby bars, restaurants and businesses …”–From this article.

Internet Traffic Report

“The Internet Traffic Report monitors the flow of data around the world.  It then displays a value between zero and 100.  Higher values indicate faster and more reliable connections.”–From the website.