Wednesday, December 16, 2009
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.
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.
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 Podcastalley.com, 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
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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCKRrJpuffI. 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
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!
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 http://seriesbinder.lishost.org/index.php/Main_Page. 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
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
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!
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.
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 http://cooltext.com/Render-Result?RenderID=442254615 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.