Thursday, October 9, 2008
Ex Libris 2.0 was dedicated to "23 Things on a Stick," and that is finished.
Sub 2.0, for Substitute Librarians, is also an appropriate venue for all things Library 2.0.
I'll reactivate this if we do Things 24 and Beyond!
See Subs 2.0 for a fun Literature Map!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach
But maybe not as transcendently as Elizabeth Barrett Browning loved Robert Browning.
It was both harder and easier than I thought; harder because it was so time-consuming, easier in that most of the Things were pretty easy. It was often a slog to read each article and check out each link, listen to multiple webinars and podcasts, etc. when sometimes they didn't add that much to what I already knew. On the other hand, it was sometimes overwhelming, and I felt lit up and excited or overloaded and burned out by all the new information and ideas.
Bit by bit I've built a comprehensive beginner's knowledge of the possibilities inherent in web 2.0, an intimation of how much more there is to learn, and a feeling of deep satisfaction at finishing the most sustained intellectual work I've done since graduate school. Or at least the most sustained late-night work since leaving school!
I am now freed from the jealousy and curiosity I'd feel when looking at someone's blog: how did they get that cool book display (Library Thing, Shelfari.) Where did all those cool images on the 23 on a stick page come from? (Big Huge Labs, ImageChef) What's the big deal about Facebook? (The power of fun should never be underestimated!) The organization of the "Things" helped me build a framework of understanding, a place to sort the pieces of knowledge I already had, and see where they fit into the whole.
Thing 7 was a killer in that it took so much time. I thought of quitting. It turned out the rest weren't that monumental, but I was worried they would be.
Should you give us more time next time? I'll leave that for others to say. I think no matter when the deadline, I would be staying up late to do these.
The e-mail posts from "The Group of 23" were helpful, but for those of us who were behind, not timely. They did give a good indication of where you should be in the process, but maybe that could be more explicit. An assignment schedule calculator for 23T?
Also it was lonely at the end, when all the posting had been done on a topic and it felt that topic was "closed." I didn't know if you would still be looking at those for new questions or posts. And, me being me, I would have welcomed a communication just for social comfort.
Y'all rock, that's for sure. Thanks. For. Doing. This!!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Whew, boy, 23 Things and about 150 subscriptions later, I'm closing in on the end! I divided my subscriptions into folders on Google Reader:2.0 Blogs (Information Wants to be Free, etc., some of the leaders in the field)
23 Things blogs (colleagues completing the program)
Librarian Blogs, personal (e. g. I Love the Liberry, Oranges and Peaches)
Web 2.0 (feeds that aren't blogs)
and a few others, those are the key folders.
I have a lot of things posted to my del.icio.us site with the tag "Keeping Up." I like RSS feeds better though because they come to you. I now subscribe to some of the things I had bookmarked, and I think that will work better. Now that I understand RS feeds, I am going to review those posts and see if I can subscribe to the web site.
Also, instead of just tagging with 23Things, I have tags Thing1, Thing2, etc. I know I'll forget which thing is which but if I know I'm thinking about a certain Thing, I can find it quickly.
Shades of Cat in the Hat! (Thing 1 and Thing 2)
Here's a link to several software tools that will "RSS-ify" a web site; creating a feed for a web site that doesn't have one. This has changed rapidly, though, so there aren't as many web sites that don't have a feed.
One trick I use is to force certain tags to the top of my del.icio.us list by adding a prefix that will sort it higher in the list. My most-used web sites are tagged AATop. I also use AAKeepingUp, AAWatch, and ABTimeSensitive. In Outlook and Word, you can also use symbols such as +, -, *, and &, which will force a folder to the top of a list. I haven't tried symbols yet in del.icio.us.
One of the things that would be useful would be to go through my 1,460 del.icio.us bookmarks and see which are still valid. Or at least go through Keeping Up, Web 2.0, and other tags related to 23 Things on a Stick which have proliferated during this project!
I'd be interested to know the tagging styles people have found most useful. Tagging with an outline in mind, with only the highest 1-2 levels, or tagging every tag that can be used?
For instance, I have blogs, librarianblogs, and libraryblogs . . . that works for me but I wonder if there is a more efficient or effective technique. I'd like to learn more about the art/science of taagging. Am I veering into controlled vocabulary territory? I guess another project will be to keep up with taxonomies, folksonomies, etc.
I'm interested in pursuing Learning 2.1.
And, I'd like to learn more about Cascading Style Sheets and HTML., take some webinars, read all my iGoogle feeds, run for president, and bring about world peace. Just a few simple things.
Kidding aside, I do want to take advantage of this learning adventure!
Friday, September 12, 2008
I looked at Gather.com, WebJunction, and several of the suggested Nings, but nothing really caught my eye. Gather.com was too unfocused, even the MPR areas. WebJunction is interesting, but I wasn't interested in any of the groups.
I was already a member of the Midwest Library Technology Conference Ning (see **gadget**), but the last posts were from the end of June.
Some of the nings and groups are inactive. I think there has to be a core group that actively participates or things fade out, especially when the membership is large and impersonal. One of the many bloggers I subscribe to posted that opinion recently, and I agree. I didn't "star" the post, and can't find it now.
I joined Shelfari and the New Releases group, put the shelf on two of my blogs.
The Library 2.0 ning, the last I looked at, seems like a good possibility, so I joined that too.
I think the New Releases group on Shelfari and the Library 2.0 ning will be good fits, with some good chances to connect with others.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I already have a neglected profile on MySpace, (Andrea Pearson) and have friended Hennepin County Library, so I created a profile on Facebook. BTW, I didn't find a blog widget for MySpace, so added the link, above.
I found two friends, one from college and one from about 20 years ago, and my brother and brother-in-law. . . too much detail, maybe, but WOW I can sure see how the kids like this. Us big kids, too, I guess!
I wrote on my friend Lisa's wall, and joined all the library groups mentioned: MLA, FacebookAppsforLibraries, Librarians on Facebook, Library 2.0 Interest Group, and 23 Things on a Stick. Some of them look dormant, but I hope there will be activity.
I joined them to network with other librarians and particularly those interested in Library 2.0.
The key difference between MySpace and Facebook is that in MySpace you can connect to someone without permission, while in Facebook you need to be acknowledged and permitted to be a friend. In addition, MySpace is visually busy and unattractive. There are a lot more ads, it's harder to see your own content, and I found it more difficult to use. Ugh. I can see the need for an "Amp Your MySpace Page" manual.
I'd like to investigate some of the Facebook apps. I checked "Amp Your MySpace Page" out of the library but decided I want to focus on Facebook. I'm going to look for something similar for Facebook. It showed ways to change the look of the page with changes to HTML and CSS.
I'm sure you read a lot of late night posts, and this is one of them. If it seems a bit perfunctory, know this: I spent my whole night on Facebook! For better or worse!
I listened to two Nancy Pearl book reviews from radio broadcasts. I also subscribed to her author interviews, and to Garrison Keillor's "This week in Lake Wobegon" monologues. I dutifully downloaded them to my RSS reader (GReader) per instructions so that I can listen to them from a computer, but I also downloaded them to my iPod and I will probably listen to them there.
I didn't find a lot of difference in the directories. I did have trouble finding content I wanted, but I looked at some of the other 23 Things/Stick blogs and borrowed some of their search terms.
I used to co-host a radio program with Nanci Olesen, who now works at MPR. I really liked being on the air, and yes, I may set up a podcast.
Maybe we have to have a 2nd course of 23 Things for those of us who need a deadline to help us focus! (which would include doing a podcast)
Said from the viewpoint of one who is not administering it. But I'd volunteer!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I chose the Chrome video because Chrome is new and I'm interested in learning more about it. It also has worth for anyone reading my blog. (Hello 23ThingsOnaStick faithful reader!) I threw in the British Museum footage just for a sentimental journey. Despite all the lovely techy things we have available today, books still charm and draw us.
The sites were easy to use and appealing. The only issue I had was that I watched the videos at work because my home computer is s-o s-l-o-w. I feel bad about that, but truly, it was a S-L-O-W day!
Monday, September 1, 2008
I downloaded RSSOwl and was able to edit the feed text and successfully survive. Now there's a Freudian slip! I meant "successfully subscribe!"
There's a lot of time and poking around represented in those six sentences!
I'm pleased to discover this tool! I try to keep up with the research on Asperger's Syndrome (a high-functioning form of autism) but there's a lot to keep up with! The ability to get a weekly or even monthly feed from Academic Search Premier is fantastic.
I did the challenge of creating a web page, and how cool is that?!
With the ability to save searches, could a library set up some standard searches for people to use? I don't know if the folder access would be a problem.
When I'm on the reference desk and meet people with an ongoing interest in a subject, I'm going to tell them about setting up a feed. I also want to see if there are topics that should be added to our Library Substitutes wiki, either as saved searches or feeds.
I repeat: how cool is that!
And that's the unfortunate truth, that in the public libraries, we usually see people who have an assignment due the next day. It's exciting when someone comes in far in advance of their due date, because then we can lay all of our wonderful resources before them!
One nice feature of the Assignment Calculator for college students is the emphasis on asking and answering thesis questions. Though it's not a major shift, I ran into it for the first time in grad school and floundered a bit.
Most students do their online research at home -- or at least without ever consulting me or anyone I've sat next to! So if we want to offer handouts, it should be on the Teen Space page, the Homework page -- something online they can fill out online or print at the time they need it.
Two things I would like to see in the Research Project Calculator:
1. An acknowledgment and a way to handle and document that you might go through the first steps of the assignment many times, as you try out and discard topics, run into dead ends or just find you're bored, find out what you thought was a controversy isn't one anymore, or find some tantalizing new angle to pursue.
2. Also, some form of graphic organizer for search terms. Maybe this is more appropriate for the college level, but when you are searching through databases, some key words yield more info than others. Another key word might be useful in a different database.
It would be useful to make a page for each database, a place to note what search terms you used, the articles you found using that search term/combination, and the bibliographical data, including date.
Through much trial, error, and stumbling, I did learn two different roles in Puzzle Pirates, bilging and carpentering.
This sort of thing is very hard to learn by reading about it. It's better to learn as the kids do, by watching someone play, then playing with a bunch of self-appointed coachers standing around back-seat driving for you.
I had trouble navigating around the game. My slow computer speed and old-fashioned mouse were other impediments. For carpentering, you could change the orientation of the pieces with the right click and center dial. I had to use c, x, and z, which was confusing.
The older gamers had to make do with keyboard letters for directions, so I know it's doable, but it wasn't much fun.
However, I may be addicted to bilging. The colors and patterns are mesmerizing. I played again and again . . . and again.
This was one of the hardest yet for me to complete!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
At Hennepin County Libraries, we have a social area called BookSpace where people can create and share booklists and discuss books. It would be great if you could add LibraryThing to your profile!
This would also be for interlibrary social sharing -- what are my colleagues reading?
My family uses Google calendar and it is wonderful for us. My son J works retail and goes to school, and he posts his schedule. I post my substitute schedule with a phone number for each library so the kids can contact me in an emergency. (No cell phones on the reference desk, s'il vous plais. Evan has left for Loyola University in Chicago, but he recently sent a calendar link so we'd know when he's in class. Their dad, my Ex, adds his travel and meeting plans; and posted all the high school calendar items (band concerts, no-school days, graduation.)
This would be a wonderful tool for a work group but if people have opened their Outlook calendars to each other, it wouldn't be worth the extra effort.
In the past I also set up a Yahoo home page, but since our family calendar and my Blogger blogs are on Google, and I use GReader for my feeds, it doesn't make sense to use Yahoo.
I liked the local aspects of PageFlakes, the local news and pictures, but much of the page seemed geared for younger users, so I'll stick with iGoogle.
I posted earlier about GTD (Getting Things Done)aps, and I'm eager to develop a GTD package for myself. It sounds like it will be easier on Remember the Milk than on Backpack, so I didn't spend a lot of time on Backpack.
I've connected with LifeHacks before, but now I know how to add an RSS feed! and did!
I'm not sure that a top-down implementation of these tools would be pleasant, but if a critical mass of people sign up for LifeHacks, or start using Remember The Milk or Getting Things Done, these concepts and vocabulary (and in the case of GTD, attitudes; and overall, an overall of finding fun and peace of mind in productivity tools) they may spread virally, which would be fantastic!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
It certainly heleps you focus on deadlines! Perhaps this will be useful when we get to the student productivity tools! The AP exam, Fall Break, term paper due . . .
I've investigated digg and reddit before and not found them very useful. They are too global, and a lot of the articles or links that are posted aren't very interesting to me. I do like StumbleUpon, just for some late-night surfing. I've found some fun things.
Newsvine allows you to select local articles, and that might be an option for a library web site. I'm open to further education about these tools, but I think they are too general to be useful for a library. RSS feeds and blog links would provide more focused content; I'm not impressed with the social media tools.
Digg + Local Library Purchases
Digg + Local Library Purchases: "So here’s my idea: take the engine that runs Digg, the “social news” website, and repurpose it as a web application that allows library patrons to collectively decide which books the library system should purchase. Patrons would “login” to “LibraryDigg” with their regular library card number and password, and then could enter books, DVDs, etc. that they want opened up for consideration." [Distant Librarian]What I really like about this idea is that this service would provide public feedback illustrating what the library community is interested in and what are their unmet desires. I'm positive that this sort of information would be of interest to more than librarians as in my library, one can always see users check out the responses on the library's complaints bulletin board . . . But I'm not sure that I would use the Digg engine. I check out Digg and Reddit frequently and its not exactly a secret that the system is constantly being gamed . . .
Digg's Design Dilemma - Bokardo : The result of all these factors is that Digg breaks the cardinal rule of voting: independence. As outlined in James Surowiecki’s book The Wisdom of Crowds, independence arises when a person makes a decision (votes, diggs) without the direct influence of others, on their own, by making up their own mind. . .
The voting on Digg is in contrast to a site like Del.icio.us, where voting (saving a bookmark) is done more independently, often without having any idea whether or not someone else even viewed it, let alone voted on it...
I've been using del.icio.us for about three years, and love it. I am a substitute librarian, and a temp worker, so I move around a LOT, and was actively looking for web-based bookmark storage. I thought I would have to create a web site, which wouldn't have been a bad idea, but del.icio.us is much more fun and easy.
I loved the availabililty of an ocean of bookmarks on 23Things del.icio.us site. I particularly appreciate the "new23"tag.
Despite my lengthy use of del.icio.us for my own bookmarks, I had never really explored looking for particular tags, or popular tags, or tracing through tags to see what other things that person had bookmarked. Useful features! I'm glad I know about them now.
This is one of the Things that brought on brain freeze -- just too many links too click, just one more thing to look at and one more . . . and it's 2:00 a.m!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I sent in a note explaining that I wasn't getting much; wasn't seeing any chat, that I was getting long breaks in between, and was it supposed to be that way? I have a DSL line but an old iMac, so was wondering if that was causing delays or gaps, but in the end I don't think that was the problem.
I didn't get a reply to my note. I didn't find any kind of troubleshooting info on the site that referenced my problem. So, either it was a Mac problem (doubt it) or it was the Second Life participants that couldn't "cross over" into a place I could see their text or hear them.
I only saw my name and the teacher's name on the "In The Room" list. Again, don't know if this meant no one else was online or if I just couldn't see.
It was frustrating, but I did see the potential for the method. There is another event coming up: Friday, September 19, 2008 at , 1:00 Central: A Casual Conversation with Michael Stephens. If I'm working I won't be able to listen live, and will listen to the archived version, but I'm going to keep my eyes out for opportunites to participate "live" again.
This is a great training device. There are a lot of things that look useful and interesting!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I edited the 23 Things wiki by adding a page for photos.
Thanks for finding all the cool wikis for us to look at. I have to keep reminding myself that there's no way I'll ever look at all the fascinating things on the web. It's like the "too many books" problem multiplied by infinity.
I created the Librarian Substitute 2.0 wiki earlier this year, and am having a lot of fun with it. It is for substitute librarians in the new expanded Hennepin County Library system, with Hennepin-specific information as well as general info.
I'm happy to say that others have joined me! The thing that I didn't anticipate, even though I know it is social software, is that creating the wiki did establish a sense of community. I am trying to nurture our wiki community and keep it growing and vital. Right now there are only seven of us, so it doesn't have a lot of momentum unless I add things -- though there is another wiki poster who really puts a lot into it, which is wonderful!
It would be cool to set up an easy-to-access slide presentation with basic computer and internet use instruction. It wouldn't be the final answer, but it would be a start for people who are really struggling, and it would be more efficient and consistent than instruction depending on the time available to the library staff.
I know there are on-line instruction modules available that academic libraries produce, and that they may use more complex software, but even a set of screen shots might be very worthwhile.
The photo aps are fun, and would be an appealing marketing tool for the library.
I set up a Picture Trail "film strip" and it was amazingly easy. It was quick and worked the first time! I couldn't get it to post automatically to my blog, but the code was right there and the instructions were very clear. I'd recommend it to others, definitely!
I haven't gotten into digital photo sharing but I will do more now that I've used these tools.
I was really pleased to see the eFolio. I had just been thinking about whether to try to create something like that for job applications. Cool! Now I can.
AFTER the rest of the 23 Things. Or as many as I can fit in.
I use a Word table to keep track of the books I read, for Readers' Advisory. I wonder if that can be imported to the database software? I may check on that later, too.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
E-Mail: I don't think the library uses e-mail very productively in-house. We aren't even encouraged to set up folders, though perhaps full-time employees get that message.
For our customers: they can get e-mails for author alerts (new books by fave authors), holds ready, books due soon. I would love to get text messages, especially for "Holds Ready" -- if I'm out doing errands, I can just add that one, and furthermore, I'll have the names of the books in case I can't find them on the hold shelf.
I like gmail and Mac's Mail program. Mail has Smart Mailboxes that automatically sort incoming mail into folders, or, you can use "non-Smart" rules. They work slightly differently and sometimes you want one not the other.
I would love it if librarians started using Twitter for all those little messages that get passed around informally through a building or department. That would be great for subs! Just the short message, over and out.
I've watched other librarians use e-mail and IMing to respond to reference queries, but haven't had the opportunity to do it myself. Again, it's a sub thing; they just don't train us or schedule us to do it. Too bad, it would be an excellent task for subs, since it's not moored to a physical space.
I text my kids and it's fantastic. They are young adults and don't feel a need for extensive chat with Mom. Texting keeps it brief and to the point.
I plan to do an OPAL seminar this Wednesday, a book discussion of Thin Man, and will report on that.
Ditto the IMing; I want to set that up from home and haven't yet.
I am on Twitter but don't have many friends; I should check again on my 23Things buddies.
2.0 reference tools? Definitely! The more we get people to use texting or Twitter, the more often they will turn to us. However: I think with the new iPhone3, the day of mobile computing has finally come, and people can get their own "short answers." Still, there will be plenty of times people won't want to do a search but could remember that we're here.
It won't work for complex questions.
We may see a rise in requests for technical help on iPhones and other internet-connected phones, which would be a challenge.
I work in a public library. I think the best opportunities, at least at first, for customers to develop a habit of asking the library, is for college libraries to make those services available. With luck people will take that habit with them after they graduate.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
This year's list includes:
Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.
Girls in head scarves have always been part of the school fashion scene.
WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
Click the clipmarks icon to read the whole funny and enlightening list.
And a shoutout to Evan, class of 2012!
Friday, August 1, 2008
Guys in Las Vegas Never Enjoyed Reading, Until Now...
Originally uploaded by Roadsidepictures
pic by Roadsidepictures
It would be really fun to create bibliographic instruction using cartoons. . . let me work on that . . . Or, as your prompt suggests, to incorporate a custom graphic logo in material you create, or to use graphics in PowerPoint.
I think you'd really have to resist the temptation to put too much graphic bling on your PowerPoint slides; simpler is better.
Graphics like this can ease the sting of admonitory notices: Barcode up, please!
"Place one book at a time into the automatic book return." Again, there is a fine line between a light touch and annoyingly cutesy.
They would also make great nameplates for desks/cubes.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I uploaded the Flickr Postcard Browser to my blog, but I don't have Flash on my computer here at work, so I'll have to check it at home.
If you had a color printer you could have a lot of fun with this for posters, especially for youth services. It would be fun for a "find the letters" hunt, too; maybe you could play with the letters so they worked within a theme or color palette.
I like the idea of sharing photos of library events, photos of the library, or books/bookshelves online. For my own photos, I prefer them to be open only to family and friends.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I've used tags in the past to look for images on Flickr for customers.
I looked for bird eggs and found some nice photos. Nest also worked well. I uploaded the photos (see posts 6/25.)
I chose this "less interesting" option because my digital camera data card is full and I can't find my cord to upload to my computer.
I learned from some customers that there's a gadget that holds the data card at one end but has a USB plug on the other end. So when I can get the car back from my teenager, I'm going to find one!
I love the things I've seen where libraries use Flickr for publicizing (past) events. I love the custom "read" posters!
One idea would be to have a Flickr feed of your library's town (in my case, Minneapolis) on the front page. With an adult content filter!
Or to create a little portal to your town with RSS feeds from local paper and TV, a weather box, and a Flickr stream. I stole this idea, I think from the ALA Tech blog. I'll check and verify.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I have a question: a couple of the blogs I'm interested in don't have feeds that can go to my Google home page or reader. They show up under the feed icon in Internet Explorer. I only use Internet Explorer at work, so I'm not sure I'll remember to check them. Do I have any options like feeding from a feed?
Friday, June 13, 2008
I've been reading books about web 2.0; have been trying as many software aps as I can; I attended the Midwest Library Tech Conference, and of course have been reading online blogs and articles.
This is my "top priority" right now, along with the spring garden, my other "top priority," and up until last week, supporting my son through his senior spring (not emotional support, just driving him around and putting on a party) was my other top priority. And loafing, of course, always a top priority.
I have however put it ahead of recreational reading, as well as ahead of cooking supper.
I think Hennepin County Library writ large is at a good point in taking advantage of 2.0 opportunities; but as far as individual libraries, I'm not aware of initiatives. Certainly, as a sub, there may be local aps I'm just not aware of, but we don't yet have a "2.0 culture" with employees feeling free, or having the time, to develop social networking ideas.
In my own life, I created the shell of a librarian subs wiki, and have been joined by several others. It's in a very nascent stage, but it's a terrific amount of fun, and I'm learning things! It's exhilarating.
Have a look; it's http://librariansubs.wetpaint.com/. It's informal and personal, not like Wikipedia, but for our purposes, informal is good, since we're also using it to get to know people.
Anyone who knows me has heard about this wiki endlessly; apologies; I'm just that into it.