Tuesday, January 15, 2008

#23 - Summary

I enjoyed working with the digital music and video things just because they are fun. I found the RSS feeds interesting and something brand new to me. As far as work is concerned, the tagging and actually some of the social networking things seem to have possibilities. Anything that helps me understand better what many of the patrons in the library are doing is helpful for my job.

I actually enjoyed doing this even though it took me awhile. It was hard enough for me that I was challenged, but so difficult that I wanted to throw the computer out the window (except for a bit on the podcasting). I certainly would do another one given the opportunity.

#22 - Podcasts

This one took awhile because I struggled with the computer not loading things. I ended up sticking with radio programs and did OK with that. If your computer has the appropriate software and enough speed, this is very cool. As with some of the other 23 things, I found myself drifting around and spending quite some time playing and I see the great opportunities that are out there - don't worry about missing the program, just listen to it at your leisure.

Again, the training opportunities here are vast.

Monday, January 14, 2008

#21 - Online Video

Well, that's my day. I have not done much on YouTube before, so I spent way too much time messing around. A lot of the stuff sounds messy, but it's amazing what is out there. I simply searched for a musician I enjoy and worked through the list that came up. There is quite a bit of repetition with the videos. It's easy to begin to pick out the more quality videos by checking who posted it.

Is there room for this in the library? Without question - we have listened to and watched some instructional videos in doing the 23 things. I can see it's use in tutorials with computer classes.


#20 - Speical Treat

I found the video interesting. I don't think any particularly new concepts were raised - we have been searching for some time to find ways to deal with the concepts of authorship and identity on the web. However, I like the brief history of why it happened. While I understand the overall idea of the web, the specific information of the changes that have led us to where we are today, I appreciated.

As for the audience, the people viewing the video must have a concept of the possibilities of the web or it will be pointless. I also think that people who have grown up with the web, may benefit from it because they may not understand the scope of the change and the vast implications for society.

Friday, January 11, 2008

#19 - Digital Music

I listen to radio stations sometimes online and for the most part, it works fine. It helps the experience to have good speakers! I have never done file sharing, but I can certainly see the benefits and know people who do file sharing with no difficulties. I guess I just need to find a situation where it makes sense to give it a try.

#18 - Social Networking

I have heard a great deal about social networking sites, but have never spent much time on them. The articles were helpful in putting the topic in a context for me. I think talking about whether social networking sites are good or bad is irrelevant as they are here to stay. I know in the library, the first thing the kids do when they come in after school is hit myspace or something along those lines. While I don't feel the impulse myself, I found this section helpful for to understand why and how people use social networking sites. As for are they helpful? Anything information sharing site can be helpful, but it seems to me that some of the other options we have explored might be more useful in a work environment.

#17 - Wikis

This is my first real experience with Wikis. I find myself once again thinking what a great way to share information. I read the piece about wikis creating an online community and was intrigued. I especially like the Saint Joseph wiki. The site shows the library as part of the larger community and makes it a clearing house of information and resources. Libraries that can be in intregal resource for their communities are even more relevant and useful.

#16 - Technorati & Blog Tagging

The searches in different places for the same things reenforces what librarians probably know - it does make a difference what you search and where you search. It makes me think how we try to communicate things like computer troubleshooting tips to each other; talking about how we answered various questions at the information desk is helpful not just to talk about the situation, but to also share successful ways of finding what people want.

As someone who does not spend a great deal of time messing around on the computer - at least time that isn't job related - or watch much news, I find I understand a bit better the scope of interest in current news and entertainment. It is nearly impossible to avoid the latest Hollywood scandel, but also the latest policitcal or economic news as well when clicking around in these blogs. However, when I went to the most popular blogs, the scope of topics got broader. The tech-related and more culture-related topics seem to have more lasting power.

#15 - Tagging

I wish I had this available when I was going to school! As you spend more time on del.icio.us, I can see you get to know names of reliabale sources for information. The searches are so directed that there is a ton of cool stuff available all on one page. Obviously mamy of the 23 things have to do with information sharing, but this seems an excellent tool for groups to share things they have found.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

#14 - Best of Web 2.0

I went to the music category and chose last.fm. In some sense it's scary what they can do - tell me things I might like based on what I listen to or download from the site, but on the other hand it's great. There's no way to keep up with all the artists out there, so getting other people to help and recommend is a good way to discover new musicians I might like. Again, there is the choice to just do your own thing or join the group and interact online with other people. That increases my comfort level. There's a wealth of information on artists, bands, schedules, and albums as well as the option to read what everyone else likes and why.

I think this is a great idea for any group of people who have a common interest - libraries included. The information sharing is great. Especially in a business environment, it is probably a good idea to have some instruction on how to post because it is easy to get a lot of useless information.
#13 - Online Productivity

I can Zoho's uses -for one it's free - for an individual. With the things I checked, I felt there was plenty of functionality in the Zoho (even some neat stuff), but I question if it is worth it in a work environment, especially one like ours where so many things need to be accessible to many people. It's not that complicated to export, but I see a huge learning curve in how documents are handled. Not something to be done lightly.
#12 - Customized Search Engines

I can see the use if I have a topic I use a lot, or a topic so common that there are hundreds of webpages relating to it. In those situations, this would be helpful. For example, the guitar chords searchroll is a great idea. Otherwise it seems to me that Google does a decent job of sorting.

#11 - LibraryThing

I could play around this site for a loooong time. It is easy to use; I got the things I looked for near the top of the list, and I searched in different ways. When I did the book suggestion option, it did give me some things I have not read but know they are in the same vein as the books I put in my library. I think this could be a great site for readers to get ideas, but it's not necessarily a good reader's advisory tool for libraries because we get too many different kinds of requests. You can just use it simply for yourself or engage with the wider web world - it's good to have that choice.

#10 - Web 2.0 and libraries

I see a theme in the articles about librarians adapting to fast changes in order to better serve patrons. There is also a number of mentions of breaking down barriers for patrons, and I include our ability to understand that the library needs to be user-centered. I see our library and public libraries in general making more progress in working with these changes than academic libraries. Also, the public library will always have a social aspect to it - friends and acquaintances run into each other in the library (the third place idea).

We understand the need for teaching patrons how to get what they need; sometimes we lack the resources or do not allocate the resources to accomplish this, but librarians do it everyday one-on-one with patrons. We need to keep moving down the road of helping people learn the technology they need. I believe patrons are generally happy to learn how to do things themselves. Think of where we started with the online catalog and where we are now with it - people place holds, pick them up, check them out on the self check and never interact with a library staff member. Is this good or bad? I don't think it matters because it just is.

We do a decent job of providing a balance of options, where people who want to can work with us and if they don't want to, they don't have to. Give evenybody what they want :)
#9 - Library Blogs

I think if I were more focused on a topic, this section would feel more helpful. Right now it feels overwhelming. There are so many options and so much information and searching produces massive numbers of hits. I think I need to work with them more, and I'll find the ones that suit me best. I didn't like the feel and look of Syndic8.com, but feedster and Technorati worked better for me. Going about it this way seems unnecessary as I have plenty of things on the blogline site without having to work very hard at it. Still, it is always interesting to see the multitude of options out there.
#8 - RSS Feeds

The most challenging thing was figuring out how to make it public, but the actual creating of the blog wasn't bad. I haven't used blogs before, but this is a great way to gather all the sites I like to check in one place.

Cool stuff!


#7 - Image Generators

Oh, the things you can do!


#6 - Mash-ups

This is a ton of fun, and I could spend many hours messing around with all this stuff - I am well on my way now! I see that a digital camera is crucial. I spent some time in the Trip Planner as I have one coming up. The useful thing is that all the information is right in front of you with ratings and links. I find it hard to let go of the books entirely, but I did find the Planner helpful as it has all aspects of the trip in one place. It does have everything the books talk about too. Sometimes I find restaurant recommendations are few in the travel books, and the Trip Planner has many.
#5 - Photo Sharing. Not too much trouble with this one, although sometimes when I click to do something, I get the "page cannot display" page and I'm not sure if it worked.
#4 - Register your blog

I need to know what a mash-up is because it's a great name for something. Potatoes? Cars? Beer ingredient?

Step 3!

#3 - 7 1/2 habits

Most challenging: choosing something - there are so many choices!
Least challenging: finding resources

It begins. Not too bad so far, but I'm sure more coffee is necessary!