Wednesday, December 16, 2009

#24 Summarizing my thoughts

Whew! I made it. I have lots of favourites - Library Thing, Delicious, even Flickr. I say even Flickr because I feel that I need to play around with it to get a better grasp of it. I liked the Common Craft tutorials - very clear and concise. One of the hardest things was to decide which links to explore - there were so many of them. The experience reminded me of a buffet - you just have little tastes of many things, as versus a meal of one. It was a good program for exposing me to many new things. Although I had taken an electronic publishing course that covered blogging and some of the other topics, social networking is changing constantly so most of the things were new. I would choose to participate in a future program, as there will be new things out there by then. All in all a well-laid out program, especially with the catch-up weeks built in. Without those, I would have been totally stressed as finding the time to do the exercises was the hardest thing.

#23 Net Library

It was interesting going through the process of signing up for an account. It really is easy and clearly explained. I found a couple of the Battle of the Books titles on there . When I clicked on People of Sparks, I was able to listen to a preview which was basically the first chapter. I'm not sure I will ever become a fan of audio books, as the narrator's voice adds a whole different dimension to the story. Maybe it's something you just have to get used to. Anyways, I think it is an awesome service. The group of patrons we have that are devoted to audiobooks seem to always be looking for new titles, so this is an alternative to our collection of audiobooks.

#22 Podcasts

I found the Worthington Libraries: Programs to Go podcast interesting in how it provides a new service to its patrons. When I looked up a podcast through, it asked me to download an aggregate reader, then I had to choose one from a list, ...I took a shortcut and listened to a podcast from LibVibe instead. What a reality check. In its short blurb, it mentioned a bomb threat in Washington county from a disgruntled patron over fines and a new library in Indiana defaced by an eight year old and a nine year old. My only complaint with LibVibe is that the latest entry was dated 2008. I guess that, like anything else from the internet, you need to check the date it was posted to make sure it is current. I have enjoyed the Common Craft Tutorial podcasts - they are clear, well presented and short and to the point.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

#21 YouTube!

This could become really time-consuming. There are an incredible amount of videos available, even just under one subject heading. I watched everything from "Cookie Monster at the library" to "Kids Just Like You" a video on the Lubuto Library project, a project aimed at reaching street children in Zambia Run out of the Fountain of Hope Street Shelter, children who are orphans because of AIDS or are on the street for other reasons are given a chance to read. I also checked out the Chipettes performing Simple Ladies on Yahoo Videos, before travelling down memory lane and looking up Carol Pope and Pat Benatar. The first concert I went to was Carol Pope in Peterborough. It was at the local high school and I will never forget a girl "walking" a boy in wearing a studded dog collar! Keep in mind this was the late 70's, early 80's and Peterborough was a very conservative town!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Elaine is AMAZING!!!!

Not only does Elaine answer Web 2.0 questions with a great deal of patience, she is amazing with the photocopier too. I managed (not quite sure how) to jam some cardstock in the Kyocera. When I followed those not-so-helpful diagrams, I managed to tear of the corner of the jammed paper, creating an even bigger mess. More diagrams popped up, Elaine popped out to help and mastered her way through the new array of arrows until the problem was resolved. Elaine learned that there is a B4 knob and I learned that Elaine is amazing at solving photocopier problems!


It was interesting to go in and see people's favourite restaurants, books, places to vacation, etc. I thought there would be more on the favourite book page, but maybe I'm ahead of the game for once!

#19 Wikis

I think wikis are fun and could be useful for collaborating. I wish the highschool kids used them for group projects. Any parent of a teenager knows how irritating it is to try to get together a group of kids who all have different work schedules, significant other schedules, etc. A wiki would allow them all to add in their own parts and then someone could edit the whole thing before submitting it to the teacher. My favourite wiki was the Webster Public Library's Children's Series Binder Not only is it great for finding a new series for a patron, it solves them problem of what order they should be read in. I can see myself using this resource. It was interesting that it was a collaboration between library staff and patrons, but to become a contributor you must e-mail them for a password. Someone still needs to monitor the site or false information could be posted. However, most of the wikis I looked at seemed not to have been updated recently. Like anything else, it's having the time to spend on it. I could see CAF having one - we could list good read-alouds for class visits, programs that we felt went exceptionally well, etc.

Friday, December 4, 2009

#17 Web 2.0

I felt most of these articles focused too much on technology and ignored the value of human contact/service. Although we do need to keep up with changing technologies, I believe that, at least for our community, the customer service we give is valued by our patrons. I see this in CAF, when someone comes to us for reader's advisory instead of using the databases and I've also noticed it in Borrower Services, where the other day there was a line-up whilst the self-checks sat empty. This is not meant to knock the electronic services we offer. On another given day, I'm sure that the reverse could be equally true. I feel that we need to offer both, so that all the needs of our various patrons can be met. Rick Anderson may have noticed a 55% drop in circulation but we have experienced the opposite, with circing our 1 millionth item a month earlier than last year. Rick's opinion is definitely based on his own experiences, with desiring to move away from what he calls a "just in case" collection. One of the comments I hear the most from students is that they need a print resource - teacher's orders!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

#16 Technorati

I find Technorati easy to use but I was really surprised when I compared a search with Google and Google Blog Search. I tried searching for word searches, as I use them as one of the printable activities in Reading Buddies. Technorati only had 4 results, compared to 166,000,000 for Google and 59,491,638 for Google Blog Search. I hate to admit it, but I am definitely a google girl!

#15 Tagging and Delicious

I thought Delicious was great. I found it easy to use (except getting the little icons on my browser). I don't think I'm as interested in the social aspects of it, but having the information organized by tags worked nicely. The only problem I had with this exercise was that the link to Several Habits of the wildly successful Delicious users didn't work.

#14 Online Image Generators

OOPS, I forgot to blog about the online generators! What fun. I created a lego mini-me, complete with bling which was tons of fun but had a hard time saving it. Then Carol mentioned the cool text site so I went there and had fun creating a register now sign. This is something that I'll have to play around with more, as the amount of options are incredible.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

#13 Library Thing

Wow! I think this is probably the most fun (and useful) "thing" I've learned yet. I can see so many uses - keeping track of books I've read (I am terrible with titles), listing ones I'd like to read when I have more time, maybe even getting some new ideas for Battle books! Definitely a keeper.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

#12 Twitter

Well, another new experience. I have officially tweeted! I don't think this is something that I will keep after this experience, but you never know. I am hoping that clicking on follow for other people means the same thing as signing up to be friends with them. That might be a question that I need to fire off to Elaine, if I can find the spot where I'm supposed to do that. I think it's the 25 things page - I really need to get the hang of multiple windows being open! One thing I've learned is that I don't like a lot of visual distraction - hence the lack of open windows. Anyways, I'm signed up to follow 11 people/organizations, mainly authors or book review sites, with the exception of Fanshawe College - home of my middle child. There is talk of community college staff going on strike, so it would be nice to get the heads up on that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thing #11 - Finding Feeds

I preferred Technorati for its clear format and easy-to-use browse the directory feature. Sometimes I think these directories are a victim of their own success - they grow so huge that they become overwhelming. For example, beside books it says 3079. I can't imagine visiting even a fraction of those feeds to see if they are worthwhile. I found Syndic8 very slow to load, but perhaps that was just my bad timing. Library weblogs was very cool, with blogs from libraries and librarians from all over the world. I could definitely kill a few hours visiting countries that interest me!

Friday, November 6, 2009

RSS and Newsreaders

RSS feeds should, theoretically, narrow the amount of information that you receive. However, I found adding feeds was like leftover Halloween candy - you keep saying that it's the last one. Highly addictive - but useful. I signed up for Google Reader, since I already have gmail and blogger (thanks for the tip Elaine). I subscribed to some sites for Reader's Theatre, which should be helpful as I am always looking for new scripts for Reading Buddies. I hope in the future to add Flickr to it. My middle child is away in London (Ontario, that is) taking Fine Arts at Fanshawe. She's e-mailed me a few pictures of her artwork but I think it would be great if she got a Flickr account and then I could use the RSS feed to see what new pieces she has posted. Some of the canvases she's working on are huge (wall-sized) and she also has sculptures that she can't just pop in her bag to bring home. Plus, if I have any hope of retaining this new knowledge, I have to use it on a semi-regular basis, lol!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

#7 More Flickr Fun

When my kids leave for school (2 out of 3, now :( ) I make them a scrapbook of their lives, leaving a few pages empty for them to add new memories. This worked well for the girls, but I had my doubts that Tom would want to haul a scrapbook off to wherever with him. Now that I've discovered Flickr photoalbums , I might use this method instead ( I have 1 1/2 years to master the technology, lol). At the very least, I will be able to impress him!

#6 Mayan Riviera

Originally uploaded by Robber Esq

Robber Esq uploaded this picture of the Mayan Riviera on April 18/09, two months after I was there with my family. It brings back amazing memories of what a wonderful time we had. Incredibly, the sand on the beach really is that white!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Week 2, Thing 5: What I Learned This Week

14 minutes in and counting. Reading Buddies starts in 43 minutes and I am determined to accomplish this today (I am already 1 week behind but I plead a quick roadtrip to Hamilton for my daughter's back surgery - which was moved up a month with NO notice - as my excuse). This may not be quick, as I have already listened to the Blogs in Plain English twice - in French! Who knew that the default setting was french language? I mean, it's called Blogs in Plain English. I have also managed to plug the earplugs into the wrong spot and almost strangled myself getting out from under my desk (I really need the CPU in a better spot). I am going to have a hard time convincing anyone that I am not technologically challenged now. So as per instructions, the easiest habit from the 7 and 1/2 lifelong learning habits will be #2 Accept responsibility for your own learning. To me, this means fitting it into my schedule and making sure it gets done. The hardest will be #3 - View problems as challenges because right now the problem is deciding what needs to be read from each of these sites and how many links to follow up on. I don't find that challenging, I find it overwhelming!