Thursday, October 05, 2006

#23 - Can I get a HALLELUJAH?!

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
Enjoyed Flickr and YouTube the most. Very happy to have found an online to do list at Voo2do.

Were there any take-a-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I wasn't expecting to be excited about Zoho because I have ready access to Word at work and home, but when I realized the implications for patrons, I got very excited - I think they will be, too.
I was also surprised that some of these exercises were hard concepts for me to grasp. I think I'm pretty good with computers and usually catch on really fast. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that I'm a very logical person and most software is logical - it has a rather defined purpose and when you click A, you get B. Social software and web applications, however, are not so cut and dry. When you click A, you get B-Z in often random order. This was hard for me to grasp at first. But once I had this realization, and knew I needed to stop looking for the logic, it became easier.
What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
I think we definitely would have liked a little more time - I know we still have until the end of the month - but you know us, we want a chance at all the gold! But the format and the concept were excellent. Encouraging teamwork was a big plus!
And last but not least…
If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again chose to participate? Absolutely! I learned a lot, I had fun, I had to seek help from others who usually seek help from me with computers, and most importantly I found several applications that will make my life easier!

Great job Helene!! Thanks for the brilliant idea!

#22 Audiobooks

NetLibrary is good, but I don't think it's great -yet! It's easy to use, lots of titles to choose from, but many of the fiction titles are older - not always easy to find the most current audiobooks available. There also needs to be better searching capabilities - especially by genre. I will definitely take advantage of NetLibrary once I get my new MP3, but most of my books will come from Audible.com.

#21 Podcasts

I liked Podcast.net best - the page was clean and easy to read. Yahoo Podcasts had a homepage that was way too busy for my tastes. Great stuff out there - try these three if you like:

Kankakee Public Library Podcast of A Conversation With Sue Monk Kidd

OCLS (Orange County Library System) Podcast of Storytelling Festival, Episode 3

Autism Tales - Strange, Funny & Heartwarming Stories

#20 YouTube

YouTube can suck you right in and suddenly you've gotten no work done and it's time for lunch - whoops - did I say that out loud? It is amazing all the videos that are out there on any topic imaginable. I watched a couple on autism that were very helpful and of course I had to find some funny ones to share. Everyone likes animals of some sort, so check out this cool horse named Patches. He is one of a kind!

I can definitely see this being of use in the library setting. We could videotape computer training classes and use them in branches with small staffs. We do other training sessions as well. We could video meetings and let team members who were absent watch the video - you get much more than from the minutes.

Hmmmm, do I have any videos at home I can share?

#19 Discovering Web 2.0 tools

I explored the personal organization tools and decided to sign up for Voo2do. I've been looking at different options for keeping an online To Do list. I tried Google calendar, but the calendar part was limiting to what I needed. I needed a place I could jot down notes of things I needed to do, preferably be able to group them by project or date, and then to have them still show up until I completed them. With Google calendar, I had to move any uncompleted tasks to the next day and that became time consuming. Voo2do does exactly what I needed. It shows you your deadlines for the day, the week and any that are overdue; it can be grouped by project so it's a good project management software; and I also separate personal tasks from work tasks - a big plus! I'm thrilled to find an online option for my to do list so that when I'm at home and I think of something I need to do at work (or vice versa), I can pop it into Voo2do and access it anywhere I need it. Thanks again Learning 2.0!

#18 Web-based applications

Thanks to Zoho Writer, I am about to make some patrons very happy. Every day we have someone using the internet trying to apply for jobs and their disk, that they spent tons of time putting their resume on, just died. They have a copy they emailed themselves but they forgot to update it with the latest changes. Hello Zoho! This will be a great tool to suggest to them.

I'm also already planning to import some of our departmental forms and stat sheets to Zoho so that I can have access to the most current version at the Ref Desk, in my office and at home. This will be a true time-saver for me! Thank you Learning 2.0!

#17 PB Wiki

PB Wiki was easy to use. Adding my blog, my favorite tv shows and my favorite music took no time at all. I explored the home page and was impressed with all the help/explanatory notes that were available. I can see this being a definite option if we begin using wikis within our branches.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

#16 Wiki World Wonders!

When I visited the The Bull Run Library wiki, I was reading their front page and saw a post about Berkeley Public Library's Tool Lending Library. This is an amazing service they are offering. It's an idea I'd like to pursue for PLCMC - now I just need to find a wiki about how to find a grant to match my project!

In another wiki, I came across Pandora, a tool that will "select mucis that you like based on information that your provide such as an artist you like." Then they set up a station and play continuous streaming music that matches your criteria - now that's cool. I'm listening to some great music as I write this post. Check it out - you'll like it.

Loved, loved, loved the SJCPL Subject Guides - I can definitely see the benefits of this wiki for librarians and patrons. When will PLCMC's be ready?

I can see now that I need to stop looking at more library wikis - I've got too many ideas and not enough time! Oh well - there's always next year!

#14 Technorati

Technorati is cool! I was wondering if there was a way to search all those million blogs we've been hearing about - and here it is! It was interesting to see the number of hits go down as I changed the search from the posts, to the tags, to the directory. Looking through the most popular blogs was fun, too. Where do some of these people find the time to do all this blogging?
It is nice to be aware of all Technorati has to offer - and it is very easy to use!

#15 Library 2.0 perspectives

I think the article Away from Icebergs is right on target for academic libraries. However, it misses the boat for public libraries. It is quite common for middle schoolers to come to the reference desk for assistance with a school project and tell us up front that they are not allowed to use the internet - they have to have book sources. This fact alone prevents us from starting to make our print collections obsolete. Add to that the fact that our circulation numbers continue to increase and you immediately see the difference in customer needs faced by academic and public libraries. We do need to continue to embrace Web 2.0 and all its amazing components, but not to the exclusion of our print collection.

After reading To more powerful ways to cooperate I said a big "hurrah!" for OCLC. They are taking the initiative and making Web 2.0 work for them instead of against them. Although I don't think I'll see the impact of this on my daily library life, I can truly see the impact on many of my cataloging friends in the library world. In some respects I can hear my cataloging friends screaming "NO, keep it the way it is!" but the changes are coming - even for catalogers. Let's follow OCLC's lead and jump on the bandwagon.

#13 Del.icio.us

This was the only 2.0 item I've come across so far that I really can't see the usefulness of. Maybe I've lost my big picture hat, but I came away from this exercise not knowing what I had just seen and read about. It just didn't click with me how we could incorporate this into our daily reference life. I'll chat with some of my colleagues and find out what they think - maybe they can help me find my missing piece! I've also put on my to do list for November to come back to a few of these sites and look at them with a fresh eye. In the meantime, I'll try to find my hat!

Monday, October 02, 2006

#12 Rollyo

Rollyo was very simple to use, but I can't see myself recommending this to anyone - mainly because I don't really get that it's better than a regular Google search. I think I'm missing the big picture, because I do see how narrowing the websites would be helpful for some searches, but the librarian in me warns that you might be missing the most important site if someone else decided not to include it in their account. At any rate, I did create a Rollyo search engine for Autism. It includes many of the sites that I visit on a regular basis when an issue arises with one of our kids. However, I will continue to Google so I don't miss a new site or a new piece of research.

#11 Library Thing

I agree with Yada Yada Yadda's blog - great product, pitiful name! I added a few titles to my catalog and although I doubt I will use this much for myself, I can see it being a great product to recommend to patrons who don't understand why we can't keep a list of everything they've read on the library database. This is exactly what they need!! It is amazingly easy to use, and I really liked the recommended titles feature - I will use that. Great product to be aware of!