My Little Corner of the World

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hooray!

I've reached my 23rd thing!! WooHoooo! Definitely squeezing in just before that noon deadline!

I think Learning 2.0 has been such a great experience - I feel in the loop, more informed and definitely feel that my knowledge base has been expanded quite a bit.

Since I've done most of the exercises in the past few weeks, I hope that when the next discovery program comes along I'll remember to take time out each week to complete and reflects on the tasks.

I thought this discovery program was going to be a breeze (and, for the most part, it has been) but I really liked that it challenged to point, click, think and explore outside of my online comfort zone.

I'm definitely geared up for another discovery program and set of tasks - bring it on!

NetLibrary

I'm almost there - checking out NetLibrary and all! I've been to the workshops on Downloadable Audio Books and was initially really excited about this service but...then I actually checked out NetLibrary and discovered that they didn't have anything I cared about listening to. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I realize that NetLibrary's offerings are dependent upon Recorded Books, various publishing companies and copyright laws, but, geez, they've gotta get some updated titles.

With that in mind, I was super excited PLCMC was also subscribing to OverDrive and was also pretty geared up after the OverDrive session at Staff Day but...then I actually checked it out and didn't find anything of particular interest to me there either. I did find the site layout and design more user friendly than NetLibrary, though. Perhaps I'm being picky but I don't think it's too much to ask for a few bestsellers and cool tunes. I was especially disappointed in the teen section as it only contains classic literature titles. Honestly, how many teens are going to be excited by Huck Finn?

I'll remain optimistic and hope that NetLibrary and OverDrive get their acts together and have something cool for me to listen to. Until then...I'll stick with my MP3 player for music and podcasts.

Podcasts

So, occasionally I'll scroll through the podcast listings on my itunes but am not usually motivated enough to listen to anything - I just stick with my music. After explore Yahoo podcasts today it seems like there's a lot of pretty cool stuff out there. Perhaps my new MP3 player will be devoted to podcasts, and NetLibrary and OverDrive materials.

I'll linked a motivational exercise and fitness podcast series to my bloglines - so simple! Hopefully, I'll actually start listening to the episodes and using my gym membership again.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

YouTube

So, I browsed around YouTube and thought it was pretty cool. I'm not really into America's Funniest Home Videos type stuff so I ended up watching a couple of things that were pretty silly.

I do think it's great that YouTube has easily accessible and most discussed news clips available. I watched the one of John Kerry supposedly "belitting" American soldiers.

I'm still trying to see how YouTube fits into libraries though - although with the addition of OverDrive and upcoming resources that will allow for library users to download videos it may have its place. Perhaps like the podcasting we do at some teen events, our teens could potentially "publish" their videos to the web. Perhaps...

Web 2.0 tools!

I can definitely see why these are award winners - they're awesome!

I'm a huge fan of facebook and was a definite facebook procrastinator while in college.

I'd also heard about meebo at our last Teen Services meeting. I think meebo is so cool because it is compatible with several different instant messaging services - yahoo, MSN, AIM and it allows all of these users to collaborate and communicate.

I was searching for an award winner that was totally new - so I opted to check out hipcal - an online calendar and organization tool. It seems like it would be really useful and much easier to navigate than my Outlook calendar. Plus, it has a cute little hippo for its logo :)

I'm also a fan of these sites that allow you to explore as a demo user. While I'll definitely come back to some of the things I've used throughout our Learning 2.0 journey, I may never log into others again. I like the sites that allows users a chance to explore and just play around!

Web-Based Apps!

I opted to check out Google Docs instead of Zoho writer - I'm a huge fan of Google and have a personal email account through them so it just seemed right for me to keep my Google loyalty.

Their word processing and spreadsheet options were really clear and so easy to use. I can definitely imagine the convenience of having spreadsheets and docs so closely linked to my email account and instantly accessible from any computer. I'm not so sure how we can promote these online options when Microsoft Office suites exist practically everywhere, but just knowing free and user-friendly tools are out there means we're making progress.

Sandboxing!

So, the PBwiki was pretty cool! And really, really easy to add to and edit.

Now I just want to go on vacation, listen to some favorite CD and try a handfull of restaurants in the Charlotte area!

WooHoo for Wikis!

I'm really impressed with the wikis I've found. I though the Book Lovers Wiki that's sponsored by the Princeton Public Library was such a great reader's advisory tool. Our Reader's Club page is already great, but I can also envision a Reader's Club wiki that allows libary users to instantaneously submit a book review of their latest and greatest reads. As with the Princeton example, wikis would also be useful for bookclubs and I can also imagine a virtual book club that meets and exists via a wiki and other online conference/communication tools.

I was also really impressed with the way the Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki was organized. I clicked on programming, then Programs for Young Adults and instantly had links to tons of great resources for Young Adult programming.

Librarian 2.0

Reading over Michael Stephens' "Into a New World of Librarianship" I was reminded of how much I responded to what he said back at the Tech. Summit in August. I remember how wowed I was that he was so user-focused and is working to break down the barriers that exist between librarians and our library users. With regard to the library, technology ultimately equals power - the library user who doesn't understand how our online catalog works or who requires a great deal of assistance when using one of our internet computers probably feels intimidated and, quite possibly, powerless when entering our doors. As the Librarian 2.0 becomes more versed in the technology that exists, it should be our goal to reach out to these types of users so that everyone can reap the benefits of cool resources (like NetLibrary and OverDrive) instead of those users already wired with MP3 players.

Technorati!

Technorati's pretty cool - tons of blogs at your fingertips!

After doing the three different searches for "Learning 2.0," I do have a better understanding of the way tagging works and the ways in which different types of tagging produce different search results. I got a really specific listing of blogs (including those by several PLCMC-ers) when I searched for "Learning 2.0" under "blog directory." When searching for "Learning 2.0" under "in tags," I still get a manageable number of results related to technology and the first couple of results are from Serena (talknerd) a PLCMC-er and I can link directly to her blog, which is pretty cool. Searching "Learning 2.0" in "blog posts" returns a tremendous list of results because it looks for the words "learning" and "2.0" in any blog post that's out there and registered with Technorati. That means that a broad list of results were returned and they were not specifically related to the Learning 2.0 concept. Searching under a "blog directory" is the way to go if you're looking for something specific!

In general, I'm really impressed with the layout and user-friendliness of the Technorati homepage. It made it so easy to find updated info. on popular searches, tags and blogs. Since today's Halloween, I click on "halloween" as a popular search and got tons of results. Technorati is definitely a fast and easily accessible tool that we can use to keep track of what's happening and what ordinary folks are thinking throughout the world.

Monday, October 30, 2006

del.icio.us is del.ight.ful!

I've seen del.icio.us in action and really think that it can be put to great use by librarians. Last week at one of my training workshops, Reader's Advisory: Part 2 to be exact, Carrie Kulczak from MOR had all of her online resources for reader's advisory to children organized in her del.icio.us account. We each accessed her del.icio.us page and instantly had a a list of links to all the websites we'd be discussing in the workshop. Not only had Carrie compiled her resources in such a way that made it more accessible to library users and other children's staff at MOR, but also made our workshop run more effectively. I think I'm going to put del.icio.us to the test sometime soon!

NovelCat trading card!



Here I am - enjoy! And create your own at: http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/deck.php

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

yo, yo, yo...it's Rollyo!

Rollyo was pretty cool and really easy to set up, which makes it even cooler. I set up a pretty fun Rollyo for news, current events and gossipy type stuff but as a library it would be great for us to use Rollyo as a personalized search engine to serve our patrons. For example, giving students the option of searching for "tiger" or "Zambia" in a variety of the different encyclopedias located in our Online Resources. They could then compare the difficulty level of the information as well the additional features (maps, images, etc.) of each source. Sounds pretty nifty!

Here's a link to my Rollyo:
http://rollyo.com/novelcat/my_recent_happenings/

Library Thing aka 'Brary Thang

In celebration of last week's Teen Read Week, I added the nominations for the Teens' Top Ten to my Library Thing account. I've read several of them, but Library Thing will help me keep the titles handy to use for recommendations or programs.

And for those of you looking for a good YA read, I'm recommending 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson and If I Have A Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince? by Melissa Kantor

Here's a link to my 'Brary Thang:
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/novelcat

Monday, October 23, 2006

#9 Finding Feeds

I really liked Feedster. It seemed really user friendly and the layout of the main page made it easier to search or browse for different articles and topics. It seemed more like a search engine and was much easier to navigate than a few of the others, especially syndic8

I wonder if I can add an RSS feed for feedster? haha. probably, right?

RSS Rocks!

I have a prime example of why RSS feeds is so helpful and just generally cool!

I was trying to complete this exercise but kept loosing the window that the Learning 2.0 blog was in. I kept going back to my email and to the latest email from Helene and digging through and clicking until I found the right exercise. Then, I had a lightbulb moment - duh, add the Learning 2.0 blog to my list of feeds on Bloglines and simply click over. So much easier!

RSS Feeds are definitely really simple and I feel so much more *NSYNC - yeah, it's probably a good thing I subscribed to that MTV feed. I'm not as young and hip as I used to be (see *NSYNC reference above).

Here's the link to my bloglines:
http://www.bloglines.com/public/novelcat

#7 Technology Free-for-All

MP3 players rock! Teresa just got her Learning 2.0 MP3 player (kudos!) and I now have techno-lust (as either Michael Stephens or Michael Casey said at the Tech Summit). So...I'm back in the game and have a busy technology-driven week ahead of me.

I did a MySpace program last week for teens (mostly middle schoolers) and I was surprised by how little experience they had with some of the cool technology that's out there - two girls didn't even know what a blog was! They really enjoyed the MySpace program and when I mentioned doing a blogging program and other technology programs throughout the year they were ecstatic! I have a blogging program planned and will hopefully use some of my recently honed Learning 2.0 skills (flickr, avatars, etc.) and create some really awesome teen programs.

Even with Learning 2.0 it's all about paying it forward!

Hopefully Cornelius will have wi-fi by the time I embark on my technology expedition with the teens. **cough, cough, hint, hint**

Friday, October 06, 2006

#6 More Flickr Fun!



I really liked the Flickr Color Pickr - a mashup where you can browse and select flickr photos by clicking on the colors in a color wheel. The Crayon Box and Graffiti were my favorites.

flickr fun!




That's a photo of the Reading Room at the New York Public Library - my favorite library, by far (sorry PLCMC). My senior year, I literally spent every Friday and Saturday there writing and doing research. My brain just works better in that room and my fingers seem to type so much faster.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Reader's Advisory, What's Next?

I realize I've kind of fallen off the Learning 2.0 bandwagon lately, so hopefully this opportunity to reflect on an enjoyable and worthwhile workshop will get me back on the right track.

I thought Joyce Saricks did a wonderful job of highlighting the importance, as well as the ongoing difficulties, of serving in a reader's advisory role. Displays, staff recommendations and suggestions from other library users all serve to further connect communities with libraries.

Joyce's handouts were also really great! They offered reader's advisory strategies, as well as marketing tips for displays, that were well-developed and presented in a manner that was clear and easy to follow. I left the workshop feeling confident that I could come back to Cornelius and implement some of Joyce's suggestions and see an immediate difference in our circulation statistics for the items in our display areas. We have been putting some of Joyce's recommendations to the test by creating more thematic displays, and I've tried to pay extra attention to the fiction genres that circulate quickly and frequently from our Staff Favorites shelf in order to make this display area a success.

I would love to see PLCMC offer more workshops like this one - on relevant topics and with accessible tools and strategies that we can bring back to our branches and successfully implement.