Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Crossing the finish line...

I have enjoyed exploring the CTLS 23 Things. I had no idea of many of the tools available online. I now know how to navigate them better, and even though I don't consider myself an expert by any stretch, at least I have familiarity. I really loved all the applications online, like the word processing & file saving/sharing. As long as you can connect to the Internet, you have a home office that goes with you everywhere. I still don't quite understand the appeal of some other things, like social networking. Still, the exercises forced me to learn by doing, which is the best way for me to retain it. The organization and indexing of some of the sites could have been very much improved, but that's where libraries shine. Tagging as a form of indexing is definately a direction libraries can take, and this was eyeopening to me. I would be interested if CTLS offered similar training, focusing on a specific online topic in more depth--such as podcasting or online applications.

Thanks, CTLS!

Audio Books

I poked around on LibriVox. Didn't see a whole lot I really wanted to look at until I clicked on the advance search in the catalog. The I pulled up poetry, which is always great to listen to, especially if the reader doesn't get too dramatic. I listened to some poems by Robert Frost--one of my favorite poets. I could see downloading a batch of poetry and listening to is--I find poetry very soothing. If I had lots of time on my hands, I could see volunteering as a reader...


I don't have an Ipod or mp3 player, so I'm pretty far behind the trendy crowd. I did some podcast sampling via I love science, so I found a Nova podcast on the Mars Phoenix lander mission. This was all audio interviews, but still interesting. I also listened to President Obama's Inauguration speech, which I missed yesterday. Searching for things seemed to be a bit cumbersome, especially on some of the other podcasting sites.

Fun with Video

I've little experience with YouTube, other than watching my son pull up amazing videos. Some of my favorites are Christmas lights synchonized to Trans-Siberian Orchestra music. These are really amazing. Click here to check them out. I've added a cute video clip of a chickadee singing too. I could see adding library tutorials or maybe a sampling of fingerplays for the storytime moms to practice. Now if only we could afford a camcorder...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Web 2.0 Tools

There are so many cool Web 2.0 sites to explore. Food, of course, is always a draw. I tried Urban Spoon, searching for restaurants by area and by food type. So, I go looking for vegetarian restaurants in the Austin area--this is much better than the phone book. I also tried Im Cooked, searching the submitted instructional cooking videos for diet cookery. I found that the videos loaded really poorly, leaving much to be desired. Yes, yes, I was supposed to explore only one site, but it was too hard!

Online Applications

No longer are you shackled to your hard drive! Be truly mobile with online applications. I played with Zoho Writer through my Google account. I was really, really amazed. Where was this when I was doing conference presentations, trying to get speakers to collaborate? When the Internet is your computer, it really makes collaboration and presentation so much easier!

Wiki Sandbox

I've spent some time playing in the CTLS 23 Things Sandbox Wiki. I added my blog, added some links to some favorite online reference sites and some travel links. It really is easy to add content.

What about Wiki?

I've been poking at different wiki's, per our CTLS 23 Things assignment. I really liked some of the library staff wiki's and found myself going down different tangents. The Memphis Public Library wiki has some great staff training information out there--angry patrons, customer care, etc. I was a little less impressed with some of a library's community wiki--it didn't seem to have a lot of entries or contributions, so it looked rather skeletal. I worry a bit about inappropriate posts, but if log-ins are required and an administrator is looking over the page, that might be okay.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Library 2.0

I've read through the article prescribed: "Technology Trends for a 2.0 World" in Library Technology Reports, Sep/Oct 2007. While still indignantly hanging on to the belief that libraries should keep to the high road, I do agree that we must adapt to remain relevant. I liked the idea of facilitating our patrons with web publishing. While I don't know about the funding to do it, it would be nice to allow for video editing, pod casting and cool software for our web savvy patrons. Since we already have hardware and software, this merely takes it a step further. I can see this progression. However, if we are to be trendsetting in libraryland we need to do things much, much better when it comes to webpublishing, etc. It's going to take more education and some toys to make that happen.