Have you ever wondered which blogs (other than the Dragonfly, of course) you should be reading? What about new journal articles? Podcasts? LibWorm can help you decide where to focus your attention. LibWorm is a search engine for library-related RSS* feeds. Feeds are organized into useful categories such as Medical Librarianship, Academic Libraries, and even Humor. You can subscribe to a whole category or browse for individual sources. A simple search box lets you get a quick sense of what the “blogosphere” has to say about a topic. You can even generate custom RSS feeds based on your searches.
LibWorm was created in 2006 by David Rothman and Frankie Dolan. David is Information Services Specialist at Community General Hospital in Syracuse, New York. Frankie is an IT engineer in the United Kingdom.
Before LibWorm, there was MedWorm, also developed by Dolan with input from an associated group of health professionals. MedWorm is an excellent tool for keeping track of medical RSS feeds. It offers one-stop shopping for tables of contents from thousands of medical and nursing journals. Medworm also indexes a great many medical blogs and podcasts. Like LibWorm, MedWorm can serve as its own aggregator**, or the feeds found there can be exported to Bloglines, Google Reader, or the reader of your choice. If you offer SDI or current awareness service to your patrons, MedWorm can save you time by automatically finding and delivering relevant citations based on search criteria you define in advance.
*RSS (Really Simple Syndication) makes it possible to subscribe to web page content in much the same way as you would subscribe to a magazine or a listserv. Blogs have RSS feeds, and many traditional journals offer RSS feeds for table of contents information. PubMed will generate an RSS feed for any search.
**An aggregator, or feed reader, is used for tracking RSS feeds. Some aggregators require installation, but many (such as Google Reader and Bloglines) are web-based applications. Instead of checking your favorite blogs one by one to see if they’ve been updated, go to your aggregator to see only what’s new, all on one page.