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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Google Maps

I love Google Maps for directions, but to be perfectly honest, even after the directions, I still had trouble making my own map, and am still not sure this URL will get you to it: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=113366608127395359696.0004853706f7ac7f91dd1&z=5. The embedding thing just didn't work at all.

I do think that Google Maps, especially the My Maps feature can be very helpful for providing directions, suggesting sightseeing or eating destinations, all kinds of things, just don't think it is quite as user friendly as it might be. But then again, maybe that's just me!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Screencasting

I love the idea of screencasting, if we can get people to use it. I think it might be very useful for the stuff that is a bit complicated, especially databases that might require a bit of instruction. I think I could use it for training in Acquisitions or Cataloging too - get the instruction while you see what you're supposed to be doing. This seems to really speak to the fact that some people are visual learners and need to see as well as hear what's going on. I also think just having these things is a big step forward, and is a great way to train our staff on a variety of topics.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rollyo

Here's my searchroll: http://rollyo.com/ssimpso/movie_questions/. I don't know if I see any value to this exercise or not. Before I would switch to using my own search roll, I would definitely feel a need to spend a lot of time making sure I had all the sites I wanted to search. This would probably be most useful for things I want to search all the time and for which Google is inadequate because of the large number and low relevancy of my search results. I do think it might be useful to create a cataloging search roll or two, but ensuring the completeness would be a very time-consuming task, I think!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Facebook

I'm in love with Facebook. It lets me stay in touch with friends and family, even chat online. I've also made contact with and even met new library friends, and have even done some work over Facebook through messages and our walls! I love Word Twist, too - love it very much!! That said, FB can be a huge time-waster, it's important to remember to look away now and again. The temptation to spend time coming up with the perfect status update or "liking" everyone else's updates, or reading and playing for hours on end cannot be denied. I think FB is here to stay, and I think it will be a valuable communication tool, both personally and for work.

Twitter

My Twitter username is librarygirl, in case y'all want to follow me. I do think there is a major use for Twitter in the library world. I am following some librarians who are working on some interesting things. I've also used Twitter at conferences, to provide information about what I'm learning and to hear more about what other people are learning. I even found out how to selectively add my Tweets as status updates to my Facebook page, in case I want to share the same thought with those different circles.

Audiobooks

I have never liked audiobooks - the readers never read fast enough, or read things in ways that irritate me. I'm kind of interested in Playaways, because they actually let you change the speed of the reading. Anyway, I am interested in digital audiobooks, even with all the irritations, but I have an iPod, and the selection of books for the iPod is still pretty small. I am thinking about downloading some books for my next plane trip - have a few of those coming up.

Podcasting

I think the main thing I learned about podcasting is that there are an awful lot of people who like to hear themselves talk, and want other people to hear that too. Podcasts seems to be quite popular for talking about all the ways life is wrong and should be the way you want it to be. That said, there are also a large number of blogs that are useful and interesting. I added a management podcast to my Google reader. I can think of ways TCCL could use podcasting - we could podcast about library events, or present some of our programs. I'm not convinced we would get a lot of listeners, so it might be more trouble than it's worth, but I might be surprised.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Winston is Easily Fooled

Okay, I'm hoping this works. Love YouTube, but it is a huge time-waster. Still, there have been some great library uses, and I'd love to see some of our great programs there! Maybe have a childrens librarian demonstrate the craft from their program or tell a story?

I'm Cooked!

Okay, I'm going to have to spend more time on the Web!! I looked at the site called I'm Cooked - it is a site of cooking videos submitted by anyone - they actually show you how to cook - now anyone can have their own cooking show. Just glancing around, I saw several recipes I want to try, and I love being able to watch someone else go through the process! This is really awesome. Do think it might become a resource librarians could mention to people looking for cookbooks or cooking help!

Google Docs

I've tried Google Docs before in order to share spreadsheets, and I love the way it works. It really does make it so much easier when everyone can access and edit the data in one place, rather than everyone working on their own PC and then trying to compile the data! I don't see the same benefit in documents, but I'm sure it would also have its uses there.

One interesting thing might be that the use of these web-based apps would actually encourage people to collaborate when they might not have thought of doing that otherwise. If so, that would be an interesting change with all kinds of implications!

Since the first time I used Google Docs, I've thought of even more ways to use it, again, mostly the spreadsheets - we're capturing vendor information there now. However, with Microsoft SharePoint coming soon, I would expect most of my shared documents will move there - feels a bit safer to me.

Wikis, part 2

I did add my information to the TCCL wiki. I think the interesting thing about wikis is getting people to participate. You can either require it, as is the case here, or you can create a wiki that people will want to contribute to because they can see the benefit to themselves or others. I would love a floating collection wiki for all Innovative Interfaces libraries, to encourage posting of best practices, things gone right and wrong, and ideas and procedures.

Wikis!

I definitely love the idea of wikis, though I think people need to be careful. Wikis work best when you really do want lots of people to add, delete, and change information. For this reason, things like policies and procedures may be better off as regular ol' web pages. But wikis are great when you do want wider participation in a topic. I love the Floating Collection wiki we have set up, even though it isn't getting much use - I think that's the other tricky part, getting people to read and contribute.

I can think of lots of uses for wikis - am considering a cataloging wiki for TCCL where we can discuss various cataloging issues and work in a shared space to reach consensus.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Library 2.0

To me, Library 2.0 means using technology to try to keep libraries fresh, relevant, and useful. Library 2.0 is something that should happen in addition to 1.0 services like reference work, readers advisory, and story times. I also think that Library 2.0 needs to be constantly changing, letting go of old technologies when they're passe, and staying out front with new technologies. This means that librarians need the time to read about and learn to use new technologies and a willingness to open their mind to how those tools can improve customer experiences at our libraries. The most important thing seems to be that we need to become aware that technology is an incredible tool we can use to help connect our customers to the information and entertainment that they want and need. When the tools change, so must we!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Technorati

I think the unfortunate lesson here is that there are an awful lot of blogs out there that I have NO interest in reading ever. It is a good thing to be able to search for blogs though, as that is where a lot of interesting work is being written. This is particularly true about cataloging - I just don't think you can avoid the blogosphere anymore, even though you have to be so careful about accepting the information out there!

Delicious

I really do think Delicious has potential. I can dump anything here, and tag it in a way that will make it easy for me to find later. I can see using Delicious to gather together cataloging information, tagged appropriately by subject for later reference. I can also see using this personally on whatever topic I like - scuba diving certification, good places for hiking, just about anything - even a place for random sites that I really like and might want to look at again.

I do think this could be very useful as part of a project, to gather related information in a place that is easy to get to AND searchable. It also really is useful that it's web-based, so I can access it no matter which computer (or phone) I have. As long as they stick around, that is.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Library Thing

Huh, you would think, as a cataloger, that I'd be all about Library Thing, but I have to admit that my love of all things cataloging does not seem to extend to cataloging my own collection. As I added 5 books, though, my mind did start to wander to the possibilities of using Library Thing to find more books to read. I definitely do intend to explore that, as I'm always looking for something to read, and always catching up with my favorite authors and having to wait for more from them.

Friday, February 12, 2010



Found this candy heart image generator through one of my RSS feeds - now wish I could create a bunch more cataloging candy hearts and then order them to be created and sent! Here's the link to the generator: http://iheart.despair.com/motivator.php

Thing 9 - Finding the Feeds

Well, Syndic8 made it easy to subscribe using Google, but hard to find feeds. The others were the reverse - easier to find things I wanted, harder to figure out how to subscribe using Google. Wish everyone had those nice little icons. That's why I like the Sub With Bloglines favorite - they make it really, really easy!! I did find some interesting political and entertainment feeds. I think the most common way I find new sites to add to my feed reader is by reading about them in related blogs already in the reader! I suppose this is particularly true for cataloging blogs. Don't spend a lot of time just looking for more blogs to follow - sometimes, enough is enough!

RSS Feeds

I do love RSS feeds - having all the web sites I check regularly in one place - and only having to look when I KNOW there is something new is a wonderful thing! I use Bloglines and I love how it works. I have a little Sub With Bloglines favorite, and all I have to do is click on it when I find a site to which I want to subscribe. Google didn't seem as simple to me, but it wasn't hard either, and it may just be getting used to a new interface. I probably won't switch though, have some concerns about privacy on Google.

RSS feeds can be great for me in my job - I subscribe to a number of cataloging and Tech Services blogs, and get great ideas, interesting news, and all kinds of information that helps me keep up with my profession. I would think the same could be true for anyone, in any job. I'm sure there are just as many blogs for reference or childrens librarians as there are for catalogers.

RSS feeds are a great time-saver - they would get my vote for one of the best things to come out of the Internet.

Anything About Technology!!

Really, anything? That is a pretty broad area. My favorite technology right now is definitely my iPod. I love listening to only music that I like, love that I can buy just the songs I want instead of a whole CD (I know, purists will argue that albums are whole things and should be enjoyed that way, but I've NEVER done that), it's easy to carry around, and I can indulge my secret love of 1980s Rick Springfield songs (please don't tell anyone!)

Picasa

It is kind of fun to look around and see what pictures people will post for anyone to look at. Here are some great flower pictures - just liked them: http://picasaweb.google.com/DebsInSC/DebSGardenPhotos#

7 1/2 Habits

I do have a strong belief in the desirability and necessity of being a life-long learner - have to keep things interesting. I think the easiest habit discussed in the online video is number 2 - to accept responsibility for your own learning. No one else is going to insist you keep growing, learning, improving. So if you want to continue to be interesting and useful, you better know that you need to take that on for yourself.

The hardest habit for me? Probably to view problems as challenges. Sometimes, problems just feel like problems. On my good days, I do see them as challenges and even have fun jumping in to fix them. But there are plenty of days when problems just seem like problems, and I want them to go away and let me do something easy!

28 Things - a Fresh Start

I kind of got distracted from the 23 Things project - moving to a new building seems to be a bit disruptive :) I'm very interested in these technologies, so I'm glad to have a second chance at this, and decided to start from scratch and do it right!