Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Week 9, Thing 23!

I've really enjoyed doing 23 Things. Many of the things we explored are things that I was somewhat familiar with, but the discovery exercises helped me explore them a little deeper than I had in the past, so I still learned some things. My favorite week was probably the week we played with Flickr. I had used it so see shared photos with friends and family, but I hadn't ever played with the mashups. I really enjoyed that. I'd definitely be interested in doing another program like this!

Week 9, Thing 22

We don't have subscriptions to either of the subscription services, so I had to explore Project Gutenberg. It contains a lot of esoteric stuff, and lots of classics. I'm a Jane Austin fan, so I downloaded Emma. It was very easy to navigate the site and find things, so that's definitely in its favor. It has a lot of computer read audiobooks, which, frankly, I find a little creepy.

Week 9, Thing 21

I found a podcast to subscribe to, but I didn't like the search interfaces on the sites. It was hard to find results that were relevant to what I was looking for. I've subscribed to podcasts through itunes before, and that seemed easier. Podcasts can be very cool, though.

Week 9, Thing 20

I enjoy YouTube. I watch clips of concerts, episodes of television shows, music videos, old commercials from when I was a kid, and web based shows, like Chad Vader here. This just makes me laugh, and shows that there are so many creative people out there who utilize these sites to show the world what they can do. They don't need tons of money to produce it either. By the way, there are seven more episodes if you liked this one.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Week 8, Thing 19

I checked out Pandora. I've tried tons of internet radio in the past, but I really liked this one. You put in an artist you like, and it creates a station of music that's similar. does the same thing, but I like this one much better. For one thing, it starts off with one by the artist that you put in, which is nice. I also liked that it tells you what about the music made it be include in the list. For example, when I put in Dave Matthews, it said it would look for songs with similar acoustic qualities, tonal qualities, etc. It found very relevant music. As far as library application, I don't really see a use for it, but it's fun!

Week 8, Thing 18

I really liked the revisions feature on Google Docs. I imagine that could come in really handy. I also really liked the share feature. It makes proofreading really easy if you can just share it with someone that way. I can definitely see why this could be really popular. I didn't like the fact that the fonts were so limited, though. I think that's something they really need to work on.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Week 7, Thing 17

I had so much fun playing in the sandbox! I added my blog to the favorite blogs page, then created my own favorites page, featuring some of my favorite not-too-famous musicians. I added links to their websites and MySpace pages, plus I uploaded my favorite song from each to my web hosting site and linked to the songs, so you can listen to them for yourself! It was a blast.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Week 7, Thing 16

In my last post, I talked about interactive book reviews and patron created booklists. What a great idea for a wiki! The Book Lover's wiki was great. I loved looking at the reviews. Wouldn't it be great to have a wiki where our patrons could collaborated on reviews for materials in our collections? It's an idea that lends itself so well to the format!

Week 6, Thing 15

So I just watched the YouTube video about Web 2.0 (located here) and wow. Just wow. Totally mag. Compelling, informative, beautifully done.

I read several of the articles in the discovery resources, and it struck me how much potential there is for making the library a truly interactive place. In The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (It's about Dracula, but that's beside the point, and I didn't care for it, though many apparently did.) you can see the steps one had to go through to do research only 60 years ago. The students literally has to ask the librarian for what he needed, then have it brought to him, then give it back to be put away when he was finished. Now, anyone who has an internet connection has the world's information at their fingertips. It's a mind blowing concept. The modern library, of course, isn't so proprietary of its materials as the research libraries of former times; our patrons are free to browse the stacks, taking what they wish off the shelves themselves (though we still like to put it back ourselves), but we're still stuck with some of those antiquated mentalities.

We need to keep these musty tomes. What if someone needs them?
Chances are, they probably won't. If they haven't been checked out since 1986, what are the odds someone will need them tomorrow, or even 50 tomorrows from now? The information is probably on the web somewhere. We're pack rats. Just look at some of our offices and cubicles. We lean toward the pack rat in our collections as well. We'll weed straight fiction when it doesn't circ, so why are we so stingy when it comes to weeding nonfic? If anything, that's where we should be weeding! The information in our nonfic is all over the web. Focus on establishing good online resources for patron, then teach them how to use it. Most of our patrons prefer to do research online anyway.

The online catalog is just an e-version of the old card catalog.
Why, when it could be so much more? Our patrons can look up a book, see where it is, see if it's checked out, and even put a hold on it. Why shouldn't they be able to submit a review of it? Make comments about it? Dialogue with other patrons about it right there on the item's page? Tag it? We should make our catalogs into places where people come not only to find a book they know they want, but to discover which books they want after that. I love Amazon's "Customers who searched for...also expressed interest in" feature. Customer driven book lists and recommendations not only will help our patrons find new things, but cost us virtually nothing. Once the technology is in place, it basically runs itself.

Don't get me wrong. There's still a place for the brick and mortar library, the paper and ink book, and the flesh and blood librarian. The key is finding our place in this virtual world, and learning how to not only provide services for our patrons, but to collaborate with them to make the library a more enriched and accessible place.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Week 6, Thing 14

I love Technorati. It's a great place to find blogs about things I'm interested in. Often, I wind up finding the most interesting things. When I searched Learning 2.0, I found 23 things blogs from all over!

Week 6, Thing 13

I had heard a lot about, but I'd never used it before, so I created an account. I think it's really neat to be able to use my bookmarks on any computer. I imported all my bookmarks from my home and work computers, and now I'm going through them and editing the tags and sharing them and stuff. As a research tool, I think it's only as good as what a lot of people tag. I mean, I guess I can see potential for that use, but I don't see that as becoming a widespread application of the service. I think the tags and shared bookmarks will definitely be used more for the "Hey! check out this video of a cat that can flush a toilet!" set. For myself, I think it's great to be able to bookmark things and access them from anywhere. More than once, I've been on someone else's computer and wished I had my bookmarks.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Week 5, Thing 12

Here's the link to my searchroll: link

I wasn't particularly impressed by this. I didn't like the search results page. I think I wanted it to look more like the search results you'd find at the individual sites, where you can manipulate the results, look at them in different orders, etc. I don't know, I just don't see myself ever using it.

Week 5, Thing 11

Here's the link to my librarything catalog: link

Amy showed me this sight a while back. It's a pretty neat thing. It'll take me forever to catalog all my books, though.

Week 5, Thing 10

So, my new header came from here. That was fun to play with.

Wouldn't you love to see some tough ex-con with this ink? Play here.

Create your own Scratch Ticket

This was fun. Create your own Ben and Jerry's flavor.

Awww! Make your own hearts here!

How cute would this be for a poster for our Friday Night Live series? I got it here.

And wouldn't these be neat for advertising informational programs? Make yours here.

This would look cool on a movie night poster. Play here.

Alright. I think I'm done for now.

Week 4, Thing 9

I like Technorati for finding feeds. Also, there's a feature on Google Reader where you can choose a type of feed and it will automatically subscribe to a bunch in that genre, then you can go through and read them and choose which ones you want to keep. It's a really nice feature. I've found some really excellent feeds using that. Of course, there have also been some real clunkers in there too. It saves a lot of search time, though.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Week 4, Thing 8

Since I already have Google Reader account, I decided not to reinvent the wheel and will be using it for this week's things. It has the same features as Bloglines, so I don't think it'll be a problem.

Anyway, Here's the link to my public reader:

or you can add my public reader to your feeds by pasting the following link into your reader!

I love my feeds. It makes it so easy to get all the stuff I want to. As a matter of fact, pages that I love that don't have feeds make me bummed because I find myself not checking them that often. I think we should definitely develop a library news blog with a feed. We could embed it right on our homepage!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

ALA Day 4

Had a nice last day. My first session was good. It was about using technology for outreach. It talked a lot about the Web 2.0 technologies and how we can integrate them, so good stuff. The next session was a clunker. It was programming on a shoestring budget, and though I got a couple ideas, overall it was kind of useless. The problem was that it was presented by librarians from Chicago, and the whole thing was talking about talking famous people into donating their time. Well, that's great if you have a bunch of famous people where you are, but Salisbury ain't got no Oprah! ;) I've blogged in the programming team blog with a bunch of ideas.
Incidentally, today I saw the funniest thing that happened to me the entire conference. I decide to eat lunch in Chinatown (which is only a couple blocks from the convention center. I'm sitting there eating in a packed restaurant. There were about 25-30 tables, and a bunch of people waiting to be seated. All of a sudden, the door flies open and a boy (probably about 11 or 12) comes running in screaming at the top of his lungs as if he'd been injured. Of course, all heads turn. The kid grabs himself, continues screaming, runs through the restaurant and into the restroom. The room went dead silent for about five seconds while everyone just looked at one another, then every person in the restaurant started cracking up laughing. I have never seen anything like it. Incidentally, the kid eventually came out of the restroom and casually walked out as if nothing had happened. But I digress. Overall it was a great conference. I really enjoyed myself and I appreciate that I had the opportunity to go. Next year's in California, so maybe I can talk my husband into going out there for it with the promise of visiting his relatives.!

Monday, June 25, 2007

ALA Day 3

Lots of good stuff today. Spent some time in the exhibit hall. Got a bunch of stuff. Amy, you're going to be sooo jealous of my sweet new Shonen Jump tote bag. My first session was a follow up for the Spanish Outreach workshop I attended a couple of months ago. It was pretty interesting. I definitely got some ideas. I really liked the second session I went to. It was programs and marketing for Generation X. Got lots of cool ideas fen getting Gen X into the library, which I'll detail in the programming blog when I get back.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

ALA Day 2

I'm full of cool ideas! I wait to one mediocre session and one really great one. This morning. I went to a session on programs for small and medium sized libraries. The first speaker was pretty good. She talked about their teen area. T got a line on a contest where the prize is Demco coming in and redecorating the teen area. I'm going to call Rosemary on Monday to talk about it because the applications are due by the end of the conference. The second speaker was not so good. All she talked about was her library's circ stats and their booth at the 4-H fair, so I cut out and caught the last hour of Patricia Cornwell. She was great. It was interesting hearing about how she writes, and she took a lot of questions from the audience. Unfortunately, she answered my question before I got to ask it. It was a good one, too. after that I worked my way through some of the exibition hall and got all kinds of cool freebies. after lunch, I went to ''Programming not just for Boomers." It was excellent. I took tons of notes, and got some really great ideas for programs for older seniors, and some ideas for Generation X too. I'll detail it all in the programming team blog when I get back. After that I hit some more vendors, then headed back to the hotel to decompress. More tomorrow!