Saturday, September 1, 2007

I'm Finished!!!!!

I can't believe I actually did it! Yowza! I really loved what I learned and wish I had taken my time to learn at a more leisurely pace; it would have given me much more time to explore. I would most certainly participate in another online learning program if our gracious organization decides to make one. Right now, I am also completing an InfoPeople online social networking class with Meredith Farkas, so I'm getting the information in lots of different ways. By Tuesday, I will have a proposal written for my school implementing some Web 2.0 tool. At this point I am debating between a book review blog by me, and a wiki contributed by the kids and I. The second idea is winning out so far, I just need to create a way to monitor is so the "powers that be" will be happy.

My favorite discoveries were:
  • that I have downloadable audiobooks available to me through my local Contra Costa Library.
  • how cool blogs could be as a tool for communication and marketing.
  • Ning in all its varieties of uses (I joined two groups)
  • my google RSS reader--how did I ever live without this!!!!!
The only thing I could think of that you could do differently is somehow inspire people to continue and finish all the weeks. I noticed many people got off to a good start, me included, but faded out during summer. Maybe a weekly group email with lots of positive ideas would help us keep it more on the front burner...

Week 9 # 22

I think I just don't get it. I don't see a whole lot of value in reading books online, perhaps future readers will find it less uncomfortable with less eye strain/headaches. I can see purchasing ebooks for reference in a library; one of my friends is trying this out right now.

As far as audio books go, I think I'm a snob. I would rather borrow one from the library in person that is professionally read, than have one online read by any number of volunteer readers.

However, some libraries are making audio books downloadable, this is AWESOME!

Here are some libraries that are doing this:

New Hampshire Downloadable Audio Books

Central Connecticut's Library Connection libraries

Oregon Digital Library Consortium

and our own

Califa Digital Library Consortium Northern California Collection

While I don't see my little library being able to afford these, I would certainly like to encourage our county (Solano) to be a part of this program. Our ELL teachers would love to use audiobooks for their English Learners, and I suspect the special education department would take advantage of this also.

Week 9 #21

I commute about 30 miles to work so I am a huge books-on-tape (now cd) fan. Seems to be that podcasts can work the same way so I'm thrilled to find so many book reviews. Guess I'm the last person in library land to know that Nancy Pearl has a book review radio show. I also found Nancy Keene's booktalks on podcast. I've used her compendium of booktalks since I became a librarian, and believe I even have a couple on her website.

Her RSS feed isn't set up correctly from her webpage, but here is a link to the page with the podcasts:

Week 9 #20

I am already a fan of YouTube and play there erratically. I used to to learn about web 2.0 and found some great Second Life tutorials there. Here is a very interesting music video I found, the first I've seen about libraries. A little stereotypical, but fun anyway.

Here is a link to a video taken from SNL last season. It is Justin Timberlake and one of the cast doing a so-bad-it's-funny video. It might be offensive to some viewers.

Week 8 #19

I played with Library Thing and liked it much more than I did when I tried it last time. The discovery exercises forced me to look around and try different things. I think this would be a good way to add books to pathfinders for my students. Using their recommendations with my knowledge, it would be easy to create the kind that say:

If you liked A Child Called It, try...

Here are some random books from my library.

Week 8 #18

I played with the Zoho Writer - Online Word Processor and was totally impressed. I looked at the Google app. last week and loved it, too. I can really see this being useful for students to use at school, especially for group projects. I told my dd about it, and she will probably use to for her screen writing class for quicker access to feedback from the other students. I especially liked the fact that you can export the document in different formats, including PDF & HTML for easy access on a webpage.

Week 7 #16 & 17

I really liked looking at the different wikis. I especially appreciated that wikis can use different formats, like the one for November's CSLA conference. I absolutely loved the BookLoversWiki and might try something like this for my high school students. I've been trying to figure out a way for them to recommend books to each other online, and this might work better than a blog.

I wonder what kind of permission I need to post the book covers to one of these tools...

Here is my wiki post:
# 47 One way that I would really like to use a wiki is for online book reviews by students. I have so many avid readers, and this would be a good way for them to be able to recommend books to each other.

Week 6 #15

OK, here I am working at breakneck speed to finish the 23 Things by today. Not to worry the Darling Daughter is living tonight for her second year at Wellesley in Boston. Not to worry that we are shopping and lunching today with nieces and still need to manage a trip to Target for camera memory and misc. stuff for Sarah. Alright, I'm done whining, no on to Library 2.0.

I read all six articles discussing the changing face of libraries and their services. Of course, some impressed me more than others, but the one that really hit home was by Michael Stephens, Into a New World of Librarianship. It seems to me that in order for us to move towards the brave new library world, we must first look at ourselves and decide how we are going to evolve. Stephens does a good job of pointing us in the right direction, talking about:
  • planning
  • patron input
  • new Web 2.0 tools
  • faster decision-making and implementation
  • trendspotting
  • patron participation in content as well as delivery methods
I still feel like we are ahead of the 2.0 curve in so many ways, as if we are embracing technology that many of our patrons don't even know exists. In my mind, I picture the typical family coming in to check out books to read to their toddler and by their first grader. I have to ask myself: How are these folks going to be effected by Library 2.0??? How are their needs being taken into consideration??? I'm not saying that they are being ignored, but sometimes I feel that Library 2.0 is geared towards only the tech-savvy, cutting edge people with the latest and greatest computers, PDA's, I-phones, etc. I think we need to keep our average patrons in mind as we develop services and find ways to make them part of the planning also.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Week 6 #13, #14

I already had a acct. from some previous web 2.0 play. However, I took more time to explore all its facets, and added the bookmarklet buttons to my browser here. Now I need to remember to do it at my other computers, too. Naturally, I got sidetracked looking at the SJLibraryLearning2 acct., and am just getting back on track here.
I think this would be great for a course, we used it in one I audited taught by another librarian I know. It was very cool to share and collaborate with other folks exploring the same things. I don't know if this would work with high school kids, but think it would be great for college ones and professional collaborations.

For me, Technorati is confusing. I tried doing some searches, but got blocked a lot by the district filters, and became annoyed and frustrated. I could do searches via a backdoor method, but then I wasn't always sure what I was getting. (and I'm not so sure how much I care about what other people are blogging...stikes me as one of those too much time on your hands occupations.)

I looked at the Popular Blogs and checked out Boing Boing, the most popular one in the world, according to Technorati. Actually was pretty interesting, but I don't see looking at it all the time or adding it t0 my feed...more like a curiousity, just as its description claims.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Week 5 #12

I explored Rollyo and was pretty impressed with the idea. Searching a group of sites you've preselected all at once sounds very cool. I could see making different information searches for my high school students using this tool. However, when I tried the samples on the website, I was disappointed with the results. I did some photo searches and the results were unimpressive. I could have gotten the same thing using just Flikr, and been logged into my own account.

I fared better with the boutique search, trying "silk scarf" as my search term and found a lovely scarf if only I could find another full-time job. I didn't know people actually paid $1600 for a scarf!

So I have mixed feelings about this tool. I totally see its value in my library, but just don't know if the searches will produce valuable results.

I created a search for Frugal Grocery Shopping.

Week 5 #11

Since we are fairly new in the East Bay, I decided to look at one of the city guides. Even though I had never heard of Yelp! I gave it a shot and typed in our city and zip code. We have the distinction of being close to two very trendy areas, the Solano Ave. section of Albany, and all of Berkeley. Most of the businesses recommended were from one of those areas, although I did spot of few from EC.

With so many restaurants in the area, this was great. I've used the Berkeley Parents Network in the past for business recommendations (plumbers, mechanics, etc.) but Yelp! seemed to have much more in the way of food and entertainment. What I especially like is the fact that these are real people reviewing these places. While I don't know if I would ever just trust ONE review, many of the businesses have four or more, making it much more reliable, IMHO.

I also found the List section, where individuals review tons of places. Clearly these folks have way more free time than I do, but I certainly appreciate the effort they've put in. It's easy to click on the business and see all its reviews. This is totally perfect for people new to an area, or someone just trying to get out of her rut.

As soon as the kiddo heads back to college, hubby and I will need to start doing some serious exploring. The only downside I can see is that we'll end up thinking we have discretionary money, when we still need to be careful until Sarah finishes her BA.

This probably wouldn't be that useful in my high school library setting, but it would be a useful link for the public library.

I joined the Ning network "Library Youth and Teen Services 2.0." It doesn't look like it's very active, but the topic is perfect for me. I'll watch it for awhile, then maybe join some more active ones. I'm not really sure I get Ning. It sort of reminds me of MySpace organized by subjects; another thing to keep up with in my busy day.

View my profile on Library Youth and Teen Services 2.0

Week 5 #10

I made this using Image Chef. It was incredibly easy, but I found the images somewhat limited. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

I made this one as my personal icon. I should attach it as part of my email addy. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Monday, August 27, 2007

New Determination

I have been such a slacker with my 23 Things projects, but I am determined to get them finished. I am taking the InfoPeople online course about libraries and social networking, and that is getting me back in the swing of things. Looks like a have less than a week to finish this, so I am off and running!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back from the Middle East

We're back from three hot weeks in Iran, so I'm going to get started again with my Web 2.0 work. It sure is nice to be back in the Bay Area with our moderate temperatures and our own house.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Week 4 #8 & #9

I created my RSS reader using GoogleReader. It was very easy and I immediately started adding feeds. I choose some news feeds, emerging tech feeds and library/librarian feeds. I have to be careful, however, because each feed has the potential to lead to other feeds equally as compelling. I could spend all day keeping up on the feeds, and not get anything done IRL if I'm not careful. For me, this is an excellent way to keep up on web 2.0 technologies. I'm finding that I usually don't read the entire articles, just enough to get the idea of the thingys.

I really like the librarian's blogs. I'm finding that they make me think about what I'm doing in my library and how I could improve it for our students. I go out of my way to read all of them, even if I don't think they apply to what I am doing right now. I like being up-to-date on what other libraries are doing.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Week 3 Thing #6 & #7

I played with a bunch of Flickr mashups last Friday.
I looked at: -- makes a slideshow of selected pictures, sets or groups

PictoBrowser -- allows display of flickr pics on a site or blog.

Mosaica -- creates a screensaver with your flickr pictures that morphs into a changing mosaic.

PrintrKillr -- is supposed to create instant calendars or playing cards, but couldn't locate my flickr acct.

FlickrPostcard Browser -- This app finds pictures by tags, and puts them up one-at-a-time on a black background. Reminds me of an old time photo album. Maybe my favorite of all those I played with.

I also played around with Trading Card Maker. I used one of the picture of Sarah and her friends and made it into a playing card. It was very cool. I was trying to make one of myself using my Yahoo avatar, but couldn't quite get everything to work correctly.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Week 3 #5

I played around on Flickr yesterday and uploaded some pictures of Sarah at college into my account. I made it private because it's only for our family and friends, and I can add them as they create accounts. It was suprisingly easy to use, and I was amazed how simple it was to upload pictures. I'm going to send the photos from our different summer trips up here, then they will be easy to share with friends. Actually, if we had our laptop and internet access on vacation, we could unload the camera to this site, instead of buying lots of memory cards. I'm probably the last one to think of this, but hey, at least I'm moving forward. I think there are also simple options for printing, too.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Week 2, Things #3 and #4

Well..I am moving along at a brisk pace and finished these two steps today. I still need to make an avatar, but our computers here at work are just waaaaay to slow, so I'll do it later at home and post it.

Week 1, Things #1 and #2

I did these two things yesterday afternoon. I looked at the Lifelong Learners tutorial again and really appreciated the time that Lori Reed put in on making this.

For me, the most hardest habit to learn will be to see problems as challenges. Intellectually, I know this is true, but I tend to get bogged down by them, and get snarky and negative to boot. If I can work on this, it will impact many areas of my life, lifelong learning being a bonus.

The easiest habit is having confidence in myself as a competent, effective learner. I have always been a very good student, mostly due to my willingness to work as long and hard as I need to. What I need to be careful about is expecting projects to be perfect before sending them out. This can be OK, but I read an article recently where one of the librarian's goals was to "let projects start" even before they were perfect, and just continually improve them. I really liked that concept and will try to find the article to quote in here to remind myself.
It seems that every library organization around has set up a Web 2.0 exploration program based on the PLCMC's Learning 2.0 program. Life the overachiever that I strive to be, I am the CSLA and InfoPeople's versions. I suspect that they are all fairly similar, and I am excited about learning more about the new web technologies and how they can enhance libraries and their interactions with their patrons.