Rebecca Hedreen, Distance Education Librarian
Southern Connecticut State University
Have you ever needed the website you found last week, except that you’re out of your office and the website is bookmarked on your desk computer? Have you wanted to use an article you found last semester, except that sorting through the piles of photocopies is more difficult than redoing the search and finding something similar? Do you need to write up a paper or presentation, but the computer you have available doesn’t have the same office applications that you have at work? Can you imagine doing everything you need for academic, library research and paper writing on any computer from anywhere with an Internet connection, without worrying about downloads and applications?
You can do most of that today. Many Web 2.0 applications are designed to allow people to use and manipulate information–whether that is by simple web publishing or forming networks of people with similar interests, to give two examples. Another hallmark is mobility, being able to do complex tasks with lightweight applications by taking advantage of web server processing. The Online Research Toolkit is a site for brief reviews of Web 2.0 applications and how they can be used for library research. This presentation will give the background to the toolkit, highlight some of the tools available right now, and speculate on what the future will bring for online research tools.