Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thing 23

My favorite thing has been Flickr and the image generating. I got lost time wise in those activities. And, I do love working with pictures like in scrapbooking. (Guess you know there’s all sorts of web 2.0 tools dealing with storing images and creating scrapbooks online and to print out). I can see lots of in house promotional fun with signs created with images of the students at your school (all within the school’s publication guidelines of course). I also like Twitter. I’ve been seriously following with Denton ISD Libraries is doing. I think that has lots of value—getting out the word on your libraries and how they impact students. I just can’t quite decide if that has value. But, then again, I put the line of what I was reading currently on my email signature once. I was very surprised by the positive reaction to that. I took it off because I kept spending the day corresponding about what I was reading rather than taking care of organizational business.

Ning and LibWorm didn’t really appeal to me. However, I think it’s more the I’m not as familiar with those tools as others. And I just haven’t had the spark to really see how they could be useful. (I’m still holding out on Second Life, but recently read an article about how a hospital in Chicago I believe was going to use Second Life to explain to mentally challenged patient their treatment options so they would be more informed as they gave their consent to treatment—just might be of strong value in their respect.)

I found Instant Messaging the most challenging because of restrictions with my work environment. I still think picking up the phone or f2f will work for me in most work situations. Texting is becoming more useful as time goes on. It sure works well to communicate in a quick, efficient, almost nonevasive way with friends and family. I’m also a bit perturbed that schools block Facebook though it’s one of the biggest social networks out there ever increasing with the older generation.

The blog reader—though not new and certainly someone tried to get me into these before—was the most useful new thing I learned. I even heard myself recommending a blog reader to someone the other day who expressed his frustration in keeping current with the economic news of the world. That personalized focus of just what I want to know about makes so much sense.

Overall, I learned lots during these sessions. I’m surprised at varying opinions and uses others have for the same tools when you read other participants postings. I know that I’ve met with frustrations and it’s taken lots of time. But, it’s time that has helped me to learn these new tools and thus put me more in sync with the 21st Century users out there. Thanks for sponsoring this session. It is worth repeating, or having an advanced session!!!

Thing 22

Twenty three things or something like can easily be adapted to use with my library staff. As said, this is the way patrons are functioning. We need to know of and about these things. Librarians have to be able to stay up with the Jones so to speak or at least our patrons. If they are wanting MP3 audio tapes and we’re pushing cassettes, how many times do you think they’ll be back to use our resources? If our librarians or libraries don’t have a presence where the users are—the internet—then other information resources will take our place. All of these tools really offer us exciting opportunities to produce media easily and to make connections. Yes, we have to stretch and the marketplace of tools is constantly changing. So, we become learners and aren’t always the experts. Is that really so bad? I think not. Librarians need to be open to learning and then also supportive of others as they learn especially when we throw out those new databases or new interfaces that seem so intuitive to us. The possibilities this course offers is worth the frustration.

Last fall our school librarians were offered the option of 10 Things. I lead the group learning about 2 second ahead of the others. I was really surprised at how many dropped out during the period of time. Some of the learning does make you uncomfortable and is very time consuming. But, I know that those of us who went to the end (I guess the leader always has to go to be end.) really did benefit. Several have commented since then about the value of it. Several also participated again in this particular 23 things. And I think they enhanced their skills in so doing. I know they learned more and gained confidence in their web 2.0 skills. They will be out there using these tools to advocate for their particular library and make a connection with their patrons. Offering mini sessions like these to faculty or other librarians or other staff or even parents would be worthwhile time spent.

The format we’ve used for this course can easily be adapted and repeated in our own libraries. I think the time spent doing these sessions has been well worth it. I might focus the example more school related if doing it just for my school librarians. Expanding to give examples from both primary and secondary libraries would make the experience more relevant. Both levels tend to think narrowly in scope and need to be shown that it will work at my level. Adapting this course would be worthwhile. Of course, I can already think of 4 or 5 other tools I’d add.

I also have to comment that the reflection part has been worth it. I’m not much of a blogger and I’d prefer not to discuss my thoughts. I’m just not a touchy, feely person. But, I must admit that the writing process really has clarified my thought process. As I write I think of other solutions or other ways to solve a technical problem I encountered. Though a pain, I really do value the writing part which causes you to crystallize your thinking about a certain tool and what’s its value might be.

Things 21 Podcasts

From Library Success Listing (icon doesn’t go with podcasting though)--Chesire Public Library—tried listening to a couple of podcasts from the teen project. I had some trouble with the volume on the sound. I could barely hear it with the volume turned all the way up.

Sampled another one from the DeKalb Library. They have links to podcasts from the Georgia Center for the Book. The one of Laura Halse Anderson was well done though a bit of variance in voice level between speakers. The reference to visuals is a bit annoying when those same visuals aren’t on the screen for you to look at as well. However, it is a way to hear talks like author ones without being there either during or afterwards. I’d prefer the posted the length of pod cast before you start listening to it.

From Podcast Alley—I have no use or see little appeal to tie into library realm from these online radio podcasts talking about outlandish behavior and drunk this or sexy that. My age is showing I guess.

I think podcasts have a place in promoting libraries. They can be used to announce upcoming events for those who which to listen rather than read. They can be recorded in other language spoken within your library community to connect with those non English speakers. Podcasts can also be used to share book reviews, share highlights from programs at the library (with permission sought and gained before posting), and subscriptions to author discussions or book readings will appeal to many readers of all ages. The downloadable audio book companies are positioned to offer libraries a fantastic service is they don’t overprice themselves. The reduced loss of materials while maintain availability for patrons is tremendous.

I personally don’t want to produce podcasts, but there are many out there who can read your message or would enjoy this medium. What about having city leaders read the announcements or do book reviews? I won’t discount the possibilities, but I would definitely look for a voice that isn’t quite so regional sounding and ones that can broadcast in Spanish. One does have to wonder whether just posting a notice or hearing a podcast works better. Or, should you do both?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thing 20 YouTube

YouTube offers a wonderful way to promote items and share with others your videos. I searched for “school library” to see what I’d find. The first few were videos produced by Animoto. While I like that web 2.0 application, I prefer a more traditional approach to promos—but I’m over 50. So, I’m sure the younger generation prefers that jazzy style.

That search term brought up some questionable videos. School Library Porn prank for instance. Such a shame… I also saw a university’s promo video for an online course fo school administrators to better understand how to utilize the library more as a learning tool. The other suggestions off to the right aren’t always related to your original search term. While that leads you in interesting directions, it also sidetracks you from your purpose.

I watched a couple a high school promotional videos. Having the students produce a video about their own library would be a great idea. The Troy High School one started off good but got a little corny. The Niles High School video contest sure would be a neat event to repeat. What a great way to involve students with the library through a medium that really take to.

Found a video “WoodHome Elementary/Middle School Library Renovation”—what a great way to chronicle and share a library remodeling project. Well, the idea is great. The video they made was a bit too long. Seven minutes is too much, but shortened to no more than 3 or 4 minutes would be great. I’d like to see this tried out at one of our elementary schools which will undergo a remodel job next year. Posting this video would be such a great public relations tool.

So, can I think of some other uses….have students do book talks or book discussions, sharing how to do something like access a new database or using ebooks, promoting a new collections of resources like MP3 books, having patrons talk about why they like the library or what they’re favorite books are…Doing these videos does take a bit of time, but librarians need to do this kind of promos to advocate for their institution and/or profession.

Thing 19 Google Docs

Google.docs rocks!!! I've been using it for over a year. It's a great way to collaborate with a group of people. My librarians have used it to create a PowerPoint about Thanksgiving books, share ideas for a city wide trivia contest, and collect data about circulation. I didn't realize you could download in those other formats.

You can upload documents or tables or download them as well. The creating a spreadsheet as a form is fantastic. The link it created is a form with just the questions. The responses automatically populate the spreadsheet. You download the spreadsheet or do whatever. I've gathered data on how lost book money is handled by librarians. Since I opened that link to anyone who had the link, they were able to answer without supplying their name.
Great to know about the blog from google.docs. I read a few entries and see that users and developers are working away at improving this shared web tool.

I see lots of potential for this tool. My biggest problem using it has been remembering to shift gears and use it. I often fall back on the "old way" emailing out attachements.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thing 18 Wikis

I went into Wikipedia and read the intro type page. I like the what's in the news and in the past feature. Quick way to know what's going on. I looked up shoarma--a new meat dish I was introduced to The Netherlands on my vacation. At first the article seemed a bit off, but under the country variations, the description finally matched what I'd sampled. The main entry (shawrma) was also not spelled like I'd seen it, but the article listed that there are numerous ways that you'll see it spelled. There was no quality warning though I've seen that on some other articles I've looked at before. Under the discussion tab I found LOTS of comments agreeing and disagreeing with the information. It seems there are quite a few opinions about all the variations of shoarma being grouped into one heading. The page has been around a little over two years with several changes along the way.

I really have found that Wikipedia is a good source for current information and a source to consult on book study guides for adult books and gives fairly good information on geographical places. I was especially pleased to find a list of places to visit in Amerstdam before I went over there for a week.

I added my page and three subpages to the 23 Wiki. I really think that someone has a subpage with my name on it. I wasn't in the right place when I clicked add a page. So, look under Lea Bailey to see my work. Ignore Lea under Lisa. Sorry, Lisa... I added pages on my hobbies, my grandchildren, and my summer vacation. I forgot my naming format on the third page so it's not consistent. Couldn't figure out how to change that either. No, it's not hard. It's just a different way to create a website or resource.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thing 17 LibWorm

I like LibWorm so much better than Digg. I guess they aren't the same but a bit similar. I tried searching for cataloging and had lots of postings to read. Then I tried searching for "personal narrative" a subheading that my cataloguing clerk has some usage questions on. Well, it talked about that topic but didn't lead me to anything insightful. Then I tried the titles of a couple of book recently in the news--graveyard (lots of hits announcing all the awards the book has won) and TTYL (lots of chronicling of the challenges on this title). I think this search engine with its library focus is one to consider checking out when we are looking for our professional related topics. I'm sure google and others would return most of these along with a couple of million other hits. This narrowing down focus should save us valuable time.

I did decide to create a MyLibWorm account. Not exactly sure why, but it will allow me to post or submit information. I also liked the recent postings listings--looks like a good way to glance at what's going on in our profession.