Monday, October 5, 2009

Thing 23

The “23 Things” program was an 8 week course which guided librarians through web-based technology. It took me only 16 days. Now, I admit that I sped through the course – not because I didn’t take it seriously but because I was trying to balance course loads for other MLIS classes.

The list of 23 Things was great because it contained both imperative and fun online applications. Many of these things were not new to me and others I had never experienced. For example, I had used YouTube, RSS feeds, Flikr, and other such applications before. However, I had never had my own blog nor participated with LibraryThing. The mix of seen and unseen helped round my understanding of how each tool can be used for library promotion and reference.

The highlight of the 23 Things was the Motivator at www.bighugelabs.com/motivator. I simply love those posters and was ecstatic to finally figure out where people had gone to make them.

The only concern with the 23 Things was that some of the links which provided additional material did not work. This was mildly annoying. I understand that websites change their URLs all the time but it seamed that the organization who created the 23 Things dropped the ball a bit here. Yet, despite this minor setback, the information contained within the working links were superlative. I learned so much by participating in this program.

Can I have my MP3 player now? Jk,

JonLib

Fin

Thing 22

E-Books are a very interesting entity. I have wanted to create an account for years but never did. Now I have.

Actually, I am not a fan of NetLibrary. It is a great resource for large public libraries. However, it is not cost efficient for smaller libraries such as the one where I work. Additionally, NetLibrary doest have sufficient statistical information of its usage. My library recently terminated their subscription with NetLibrary because it would have been some $900.00 for the two or three patrons we knew used the subscription. In short, the subscription just wasn’t worth the money during rough economic times.

However, like I said, e-books and NetLibrary is a great source for larger libraries in urban and semi-urban areas where a majority of patrons own and frequently use MP3 players and other like devices. Listening to an e-book while running or doing local errands sounds like a great idea.

Thing 21

Podcasts are just fun. They can be anything from an old fashioned murder mystery radio-styled show to lectures to library programs. These are two which caught my interest:


LibVive: Is a podcast about library world news. See what libraries across the world and outside of the US are doing. Listening to this little podcast puts a nice prospective on how libraries are viewed in other countries and the complications they face. Maybe you will find that we are not all that different afterall.
http://www.podcastalley.com/podcast_details.php?pod_id=33516

RPG Countdown: This little podcast is a simple review of gaming products and books. This one is perfect for anyone in collection development who wants to improve their library’s collection of gaming books and materials. They also have interviews with authors and publishers. The site is:
http://www.podcastalley.com/podcast_details.php?pod_id=71508

Thing 20

I am very familiar with YouTube.com. This site is wonderful and has everything one could ask for. I use it all the time to find free instructional videos and music videos about things I am interested in. Some good ones are:

-This is the best anime music video ever created according to www.animemusicvedios.org. It is called “Euphoria” and uses video from the anime RahXaphon and the song “Must be Dreaming” by Frou Frou. The vid is simply awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5zaFHmxBH4

-“Twitter in Plane English” is somewhat of a virtual representation of Twitter for Dummies. The “_____ in Plane English” series is great for all sorts of tutorials on real and funny/absurd topics.
“Twitter in Plain English” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddO9idmax0o
“Zombies in Plain English” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVnfyradCPY

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thing 19

For this Thing I took a look at www.careerbuilder.com, a job search website and looked for library jobs (because, hey, I want a new one ;) ).

Anyways, I really like this site. Not only do you search for jobs constrained by field/title and area/state but there are several other applications which I think are great. First, you can use the “similar jobs” link. Clicking on this will list all jobs which are “similar” within the same general area. However, the sites definition of “similar” is broad. When searching for “librarian” similar jobs ended up being accountants, shipping clerks, and store managers among others. I think the programmers of this site need a little lesson on what a librarian actually is…but, in any case, it’s a nice feature.

Another great application of this site is a graphical feature which tells you how many people have applied for a specific job. This way, you know the quantity of your competition and you can strategize which jobs to apply for.

Thing 18

Well I tried Zoho and liked it a lot. The below is what I wrote within the application:

This is a sample document made using Zoho Writer (beta version). And, I must say that I like it. The program is very similar to a simplified version of MS Word 2007 (without all the neat, yet very annoying, graphical interface). However, I am a very dyslexic writer and require an automatic spell check system (one which tells me that I made a mistake). This application does not have that option. Yet, as the article concerning #18 indicated - I also feel that Microsoft should be sweating a bit.

Thing 17

Hmm…I am a bit skeptical of the Sandbox approach to using Wikis. I understand that it is primarily a teaching method of how to enter and edit data within a previously established Wiki. However, simply based on content, it seems that much more can be achieved via other interfaces – such as LibraryThing for book lists, or Rollyo for blog lists. Eh, maybe I am too partial for these interfaces. But, hey, that’s the great thing about technology and the internet – there are so many ways to achieve the same thing.

I still think that Wiki’s are an excellent way to promote library functions and resources.

Thing 16

Wikis are everywhere. There are wikis on fashion, sports, games, and even libraries. A Wiki designed by and for libraries is a neat way to publicize library activities, track hot community topics, promote grants and/or referendums, or inform the public of new books, reference materials, or include staff and board biographies as well as upcoming library board election information. There are literally 1,001 ideas for which a library-based Wiki can be used. However, I do stress that a Library Wiki should not take the place of a library website. Instead, it should be a natural extension of that site – thereby providing additional information and services to the public.

Thing 15

In his online article Into a New World of Librarianship, Michael Stephens discusses the difference between gaining needed technology for a library and “Technology worship” – buying all the technology one can just because its there. I agree with him here.

Many times it seems that libraries are always one step behind the technological curve. And that Library 2.0 is an attempt for libraries to win the game of catch-cup. However, it is important to understand that libraries do not invest in Library 2.0 simply for technologies sake. We do it so that we can continue to serve our patrons.

Library 2.0 introduces librarians and patrons to the wealth of technology provided on the World Wide Web. However, it does so in a limited, organized fashion. In other words, Library 2.0 is structured in a way which allows librarians a shallow gradient for obtaining technology skills. Library 2.0 will continue to expand. Yet, I am happy to see that with its expansion the gradient has not changed. Library 2.0 is as friendly as it was when it first d├ębuted. I think the trend will continue.

Thing 14

Technorati is a very interesting web browser (but its really much more than that). It allows its users to search the web for blogs on specific topics. There are lots of blogs out there and, for me, the website was slow to load with every search.

I preformed two searches via Technorati. They were “warforged”, a type of character from Dungeons and Dragons, and “Library 2.0”. Each query yielded a broad reach of results. The first result for “Library 2.0” was a blog which teaches librarians how to be self sufficient with their computers and how to be their own tech support. This was not what I had expected. But I rather like what I saw.

Thing 13

Tags are a great way to find information on similar topics. I use tags all the time – although not directly through delicious. The new PALS AquaBrowser online catalog has a tag cloud which I always suggest patrons to use. I remember when it went active. There was a comity to think of bad words (feel free to use your imagination) which would not appear as tags.

One thing is certain. Tag clouds are ever becoming more popular among search engines, browsers, and social networking sites. They are here to stay. Imagine, one day, when holographic technology has become a reality, using a tag cloud in thin air to search for what you need. Now, THAT’S cool.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thing 12

Rollyo is an awesome search tool. Libraries can make multiple searchrolls to aid their patrons in reference queries.

The Searchroll I made is called “My Role Playing Games.” It is a Searchroll which employs several game company websites and popular gaming blogs. A must have for any gamer, if I do say so myself. I really like how one can change/improve their Searchroll if needed.

Thing 11

LibraryThing is just fun. And easier than I thought it would be. I was able to “catalog” 10 books in a few minutes – simply amazing.

This is a great tool for libraries to connect with their patrons. Additionally, reference librarians can use it to perform reference for creating book lists and reader’s advisories. LibraryThing is really useful.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thing 10

I love thise things. I have always wondered where people went to make them. This one uses a picture of the library where I work. The message (and the power it has) is very clear.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Library Blogs:

http://tametheweb.com/
“Tame the Web” is an awesome source of how to integrate all sorts of internet technologies to libraries.

http://diylibrarian.org/
A real librarian talking about real library issues including: the budget crisis, current trends, and Twitter “addictions”.

http://www.yalibrarian.com/
This is a great blog for any library who wants to get teens active with the library. However, this blog has some technical issues (namely, “failed-to-load” pictures”).

http://www.libraryjournal.com/blog/580000658.html
This Library Journal blog is by the Annoyed Librarian. It is very controversial and opinionated…and rather funny in a weird, I cant believe they said that, kind of way…

http://www.getdegrees.com/articles/career-resources/the-top-fifty-librarian-%20blogs/
The Top Fifty Library Blogs is the top of the ice berg for anything you may want to search or read about in or to do with Library Science. Need I say more?

Thing 8

RSS is definitely an easy way for librarians to keep in constant reach of library trends, information, and current events. Additionally, librarians can use RSS feeds to get Pod Casts of library related workshops and ceminars. Additionally, libraries can create their own RSS feeds to connect with their patrons. RSS is a very useful tool for reference all around.

However, RSS, like any other computer application, begins during start up and therefore drains power away from the processor. In short, multiple RSS feeds attached to your computer will make it run slower…especially if you have an older model.

Thing 7

Technology…

Technology is all around us. However, let me talk about one little bit of technology – the Kindle and whether or not they will be found regularly in Libraries.

As many of you know, the Kindle is a back-lit electronic device that stores and displays books for quick, portable and easy use. The Kindle, and other such devices, are beginning to revolutionize how book and print material is published and released. However, they are not yet making a huge impact on libraries as of yet. Will they ever? Perhaps so. But, as of yet, they are not at all, one bit, cost effective. A Kindle device at Amazom.com costs $300.00. A book costs $10-20.00. Because of their price I highly suggest that libraries not buy Kindles because they will become a high theft item. However, the day may come when books are replaced by electronic devices which can trace their technology heritage back to the Kindle.

Thing 6

Flickr Continued…

Wow. These flicker applications are very cool. It’s great to see that people, more creative than me, can design these programs.

I especially enjoyed “Flickr Color Pickr” I thought it was creative. It’s interesting to see how many pictures use the same color pallet put are virtually unique. I don’t think I could ever come up with an application such as that…ever…
Flickr…

I have lots of experience with flickr. Though I do not post pictures on flickr I do brows through flicker all the time – just to look through all the crazy stuff people are doing. I love shifting through the various motivational posters within Flikr.

However, I do have one comment:

Flickr has a very slow load speed. This is because of several reasons. 1) Flickr is popular – the more people using it the slower it is. 2) Flikr is made up of many high quality pictures – the higher quality the picture the bigger the file and the more loadtime there is. It’s not a huge issue, but it still exists.

Saying that, Flickr is used as a great tool by many libraries to promote their activities and future programs. A picture says 1,000 words and one picture may be enough to raise $1,000 for the library.

Thing 4

Signing up for Twitter (JonLib)

I have heard a lot about Twitter and it seems like a very good resource for connecting an organization to the public - Libraries included. I know someone who manages a part of their business with Twitter. I only have one question:

If a message on Twitter is a "Tweet"; then, is a person who uses Twitter a "Twit"?

Thing 3

Register my blog. This is it. Done and done.

Thing 2

Wow...only 7.5 things to be a lifelong learner? I like this! Just a few quick comments here:

#6 - Teach Monitor Others
I have herd this many times. When we teach others not only do we retain information but we also are forced to rethink and process that information. This allows us to fully understand the information. Maybe everyone teaches - we all express our thoughts to each other every day.

#7 – Play
This I do all the time. No problems here :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thing 1

I have read the directions of the 23 things and the FAQ. Very nice. Library 2.0 is an amazing thing...but i really want that MP3 player...oh well :)

Living Life, Loving it, and the Longevity of Learning

Ahh...a bit tardy, but the blog is finally up. I have posted on many a blog but have never managed my own. This shall be an interesting experience.