Sunday, August 31, 2008

Thing 14: LibraryThing

I had a lot of fun with this and spent a lot of time on the site. I added some of my books, put LibraryThing on my blog, added a showoff thingie, added the combined RSS feed to my feed aggregator, joined Librarians who LibraryThing, and marveled at the helpful Haiku hints!

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?

You wouldn't have to limit yourself to books you own -- you could choose to list books you've read. This would be a more complete view of my reading habits. I buy very few books since I work at the library. Most of the books in my personal library are old, and/or second-hand, and/or quirky garage-sale, second-hand, or library sale books.javascript:void(0)

Thing 13: Productivity tools

I've been using the iGoogle start page and Google calendar for about two years now. You can see my iGoogle page here Username is uu.andrea.23. I have temporarily changed the password to <23things>.

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

Thing 13 : Productivity Tools; Getting Things Done

I'm a big fan of GTD, or Getting Things Done. I added Remember The Milk to my iGoogle start page, and found this post in the blog: GTD on RTM! What could be finer!

Thing 13: Productivity tools

Cute! Irresistible! Perfect for release dates of highly anticipated books like the Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series! Or the next "Computer Basics" class? Maybe a little too hyped for that. This would have been perfect for Harry Potter releases!

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 . . .

Created by OnePlusYou

Thing 12: digg, reddit, etc.

I've been following coldsnaplegal this afternoon on Twitter, posting about the RNC Welcoming Committee raids. Fascinating to have this blow-by-blow account and frequent updates!
I followed a link from an article on the StarTribune web page to reach the coldsnaplegal site. I don't know if I would have followed it if I weren't tuned in to social software right now!

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.

I googled "digg libraries" and found this at New Jack Librarian:

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, 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...

Thing 11: Tags and

I had already tagged some of my Ex Libris 2.0 posts, but I added more.

I've been using 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 is much more fun and easy.

I loved the availabililty of an ocean of bookmarks on 23Things site. I particularly appreciate the "new23"tag.

Despite my lengthy use of 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

Thing 7 Reprise: Webinar

I was excited about the live OPAL webinar about Dashiel Hammett's Thin Man, but it was a bust. It was set up for online participation and also participation via Second Life. What ended up happening was that the Second Lifer's would text chat each other and the moderator, and then the moderator would come on and say, "We've been talking about. . . " He knew we couldn't communicate directly with them and said he would act as a conduit. Honestly, sometimes it was five minutes between his audible comments.

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

Thing 10: WIKIs!

I love the 23 Things. There is so much to learn and explore, I think my head is going to explode! In a good way, of course.

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!

Thing 8: Share your creations

One of the constant problems we experience at work is when people with no computer skills need to do something on-line. It really takes more staff time than we have to coach them through how to use a mouse, use e-mail, send attachments, etc.

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.

Thing 8; Picture Trail--Stone Arch Bridge, Guthrie, and Gold Medal Park

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thing 7

That was a big "Thing!"

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

Mindset List 2008

It's almost fall, and the annual Beloit Mindset list is out. Beloit publishes this list to help college faculty and staff understand the world from the frosh perspective.

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!
clipped from

The class of 2012 has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and colleges no longer trumpet the fact that residence halls are “wired” and equipped with the latest hardware. These students will hardly recognize the availability of telephones in their rooms since they have seldom utilized landlines during their adolescence. They will continue to live on their cell phones and communicate via texting. Roommates, few of whom have ever shared a bedroom, have already checked out each other on Facebook where they have shared their most personal thoughts with the whole world.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Guys in Las Vegas Never Enjoyed Reading, Until Now...

A steal from Flickr, as seen on Miss Shelved's blog. Thank you, Miss Shelved!

pic by Roadsidepictures

Thing 6

I've spent a tremendous amount of time on Things 4, 5, and 6. They are way too addicting! I do feel as though I "get it" now, and have some idea of the range of image tools available. Wow!

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.

Thing 6: Dewey and LC Mix It Up - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Thing 6; Gratia's license plate - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Thing 6, Ranganathan's License Plate - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Thing 6, a cartoon

Thing 6: trading card of me

My creation
Originally uploaded by kolo_green
These remind me of ATC's (Artist Trading Cards), which are very popular in mixed media and collage circles. These are more straightforward.

Gratia Trading Card

My creation
Originally uploaded by kolo_green
My favorite of the trading cards I created.

Thing 6

Visual Poetry -