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Book Beat:

Feeding your mind

by Linda Mediati, Electronic Resources librarian


Are you bothered by spam or pop-up ads while reading e-mail from your favorite Web site? Rich Site Summary feeds may be the solution to your problems.

RSS, also known as Really Simple Syndication, is a format for “syndicating” news and other content from Web sites. Syndication here describes the sharing of information across Web sites.

Basically, information is organized into “feeds” or “channels.” A feed contains a title, a link, and a description. An RSS reader is required to read the feeds and display the information. You can find RSS readers like the Active Web Reader, or the FeedReader, freely available on the Web.

After downloading/installing an RSS reader, you must add RSS feeds into it. Many Web sites provide free RSS feed subscriptions. Look for the orange XML or RSS buttons, which provide links to the RSS feed. Alternately, you may choose to visit RSS directories like or, which list links. Subscribing to an RSS feed is as simple as copying the link into your RSS reader and waiting for the information to come to you.

Rich Site Summary (RSS) feeds allow you to get content from your Web site subscriptions delivered to one place. You can get the latest headlines from the New York Times, the latest “Word of the Day” from, and the latest “Gardening Question of the Day” from Farmer’s Almanac sent directly to your desktop. They can be organized into one compact list, without spam or the pop-up advertisements that frequently accompany e-mail.

Convenience, fun, and hassle-free Web-browsing are just a click away! Enjoy! And remember: If you have a question, ask one of our friendly librarians. Happy Reading!



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