Friday, August 31, 2007

week 9

This video from Youtube shows a group of square dancers.. They are dancing to one of my favorite holiday songs. Square dancing has been a hobby for my husband and I for almost 30 years. I also checked out some other square dance videos as well as knitting and quilting ones. My son and his wife are currently on a bicycle trip through Tuscany. They have a digital camera which makes videos with them, so I am going to ask them to upload some video of their trip after they get home to North Carolina for us to watch on our computer here in Baltimore. Or, they might be able to email it as them can photos. Neat!

I was somewhat familiar with audiobooks because I get questions about it at the Information Desk. When I took another look I discovered that there are now some videos which can be downloaded. I also read more about burning some books to CD. This is something I might do.

Looking more closely at things other than books available from Project Gutenberg I discovered music scores ready to download. And -- the top ebook downloaded in the last 30 days was Eve's Diary by Mark Twain. I had numerous requests for it this summer, as it was on school summer reading lists!

Podcasting has some possibilities for making library programs available to users from home. It can also be useful to businesses. Employees who do not go to a conference, for example, can hear the speakers via downloaded podcasts. You can listen to your favorite radio shows via podcasts at a time convenient for you. I don't think I personally will make much use of this technology, but I see its possibilities.

In reflecting on the material I was exposed to through the 23 things exercises, I see that Web 2.0 has many wonderful possibilities for both business and personal use. I am probably the oldest person in BCPL doing the program, and so have grown up using much different methods of obtaining and using information. On the other hand, coming from a pre-television, pre-computer background I may appreciate the possibilities of the Internet more than people who have grown up taking it for granted.

I love what the computer age has made possible for our library system. I remember the card catalog, the book catalog, the microfiche catalog. I remember keeping paper files of community organizations and reader's advisory information. I couldn't wait until we could get inventory and circulation statistics. Now we are doing more for patrons by making it possible to access many of our resources from home. I want to stay around long enough to see what comes next!

Personally I intend to work more with some of the things we explored and use them for projects I want to accomplish on my home computer. Doing these 23 things has taken some of the mystery out of them. Thanks!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Week 8

I looked at both Zoho Writer and Google Docs. I created an account in Zoho Writer and created a sample document. When I tried to send it to my blog I did not succeed. So I sent it to Word and saved it in My Documents. I did not do a fancy document but did check out the editing aids. It is much like Word.

The abillity of these web-based aplications to eliminate the need to wory about different software versions or file types when emailing or moving documents from PC to PC is great. It will allow people doing a group project lots of latitude, particularly the ability of different users to edit the same file.

When I looked at the Web 2.0 awards list I found a neat publishing tool --LULU. It allows you to upload your material to the site. You then choose your format and LULU does the rest for what seems to me like a modest fee. Many people use it to create calendars using photographs they have. I think it would be an inexpensive way to publish a family history or other small book of interest to a limited audience. I am thinking of using it for a complilation of my mother's recipes. I want to give it to her children (myself and two sisters) and our children, grandchildren, cousins, nephews and nieces. Not a large audience but enough to justify the expense. You can also use it for nonprint material.

Week 7

I looked at the wiki resources. I was particularly impressed with the St. Joseph County Public library's use of wikis. Since I know a lot about the various resources relating to antiques and collectibles I went to that pathfinder. It does a great job with both print and online resources and is very easy to use. Although only librians can edit the information, there is an opportunity for users to comment. Their comments could be additional information or critiques of sources listed.

Another great use of wiki technology at this library is the homework pathfinder. Again, it does a thorough job with both print and online resources.

I went to the Learning 2.0 Sandbox and added a brief entry on the history of postcards.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Week 6

I looked at some of the resources relating to, played around with the site itself, looked on some of the bookmarks and created an account for myself. I put three bookmarks in it, with a tag for each.

This site is very useful when you want to access frequently used bookmarks and are away from your own computer and don't remember their URLs. Using other people's bookmarks could be handy also, but I would probably use Google instead and try to narrow my search terms. It all depends on what I am researching.

I looked at Technorati and discovered that tags are another name for keywords. Again, I might use it for some things and not for others. I am not particularly interested in other people's personal blogs, but might use the subject search capability for information on things I am interested in.

The articles on Web 2.0 reminded me of the realms of stuff I had to read while in library school -- dry and often pointing out the obvious. The one article I think really hit the nail on the head was "Away from the icebergs". BCPL has already done away with what he calls the "just in case" collection" of print materials physically on our shelves and is constantly adding online access to more and more things our patrons want.

Number 2 on the list is reliance on user education. We are making some strides here, but too many of our services require training -- or at least better explanation than we we offer on our online catalog. The new version is too sophisticated for most patrons. I think wikis are the name of the game when it come to providing a way for patrons to go beyond the simple title and/or author stage. We did a version of this with our paper pathfinders some years ago. Reader's advisory information and subject searches are on our new catalog, but librarians are better at using it for these purposes than the public.

Number 3 is doing away with the come to the library for service mentality. BCPL is working on this with things like enabling patrons to do renewals and reserves, look at our catalog, download audio books and use the online resources we offer from home. As the author points out, libraries are no longer the only game in town when people want information. We need to do it better than other sources, even if it is only telling them where to look. The new online registration for a temporary card is great.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Week 5

This is the card I made in an online image generator. I also looked at Library Thing and cataloged my reference books about old valentines, another of my collecting interests. I want to go back and do more. It is a really cool site. Speaking of valentines, here is a valentine from my collection:

I used the Yahoo site to creat my avatar. It represents me at least 35 years ago, since there was no option for grey hair or added pounds!

Rollyho is useful if you are doing research on a topic and want certain websites searched for the topic or a subcategory of that topic. For example, I know certain places which probably would have information about valentines, a collecting interest of mine. It is nice have them all searched for me, instead of my having to look in each place.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Week 4

I learned about RSS feeds and set up a Bloglines.newsreader account for a number of news-related feeds. Then I looked at MERLIN and found some library-related blogs and news feeds to subscribe to One blog I enjoyed was Distant Librarian . I think it was the one which led me to an article called "33 Reasons Why Libraries And Librarians Are Still Extremely Important". It was reassuring!

Having grown up in the newspaper era and having worked at a television as well as a radio station in my past life, I tend to want to get my news that way. But I will keep an open mind about RSS feeds and blogs. The RSS feeds hold more promise, I think, as sorting out blogs can be time consuming. Many of them seem to be quite subjective. Others are really websites in disguise. Technorati seemed cumbersome, but perhaps I was not using it correctly. I did go to the advanced search for all the subjects I was looking for.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Week 3

Today I spent quite a but of time looking at Flicker. I learned that tags are another name for keywords. While looking at 3rd party flicker applications I discovered a postcard browser. I looked at map and came across a person's postcard project.

This is a postcard from my collection of Baltimore postcards dating from the the turn of the century to the present. It is a linen one from the 1930's.

All this new technology interests me, but I am particularly intrigued by how television and newspapers have expanded their coverage via the internet. Having been an avid newspaper reader since I was young, I still go there first. But, as a friend who is a Sun reporter said to me, there are more pictures, less text, and fewer feature articles. They have closed their foreign bureaus, retired or fired feature writers, and have expanded coverage online instead of in print. A good case in point is the information on gardens of Baltimore. The print article was fairly brief and referred you to their online site.

CNN in particular has used the new technology, but so do the regular networks. At this point I have no desire to look at tv from my cell phone or IPOD, but I might get to that. The small screen is what I object to.