Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thing 23 - Now What Do I Do With My Life?

  • Go back to your thoughts/ideas about Library 2.0. Has anything changed as a result of this experience? I feel much more confident about learning web applications, and have been surprised at how excited I was to learn about each thing.
  • What were your favorite Things and discoveries? RSS feed, Flickr, Zoho Writer, YouTube, and LibraryThing are among my favorites.
  • How did you connect with others doing the 23 Things On a Stick? I didn't directly connect with others while doing this program, but I really liked looking at blogs of those who are participating.
  • Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? I was constantly surprised by just about everything I learned.
  • What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or content? I don't think I would change anything.
  • If we offered a 23 More Things On a Stick program like this in the future would you participate? I would enjoy a chance to participate again.
  • How would you describe your learning experience in one word or in one sentence, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things On a Stick learning activities to others? My one word would be

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I've Done It! (almost)

Thing 22 - Keep On Keepin' On

I'm not sure yet how I will keep up. I feel like I have been introduced to so many new things and have a lot more confidence about exploring the webbed world. I added rss feed from Information Wants to Be Free to my blog, as well as a link for Web2. The resource list for this exercise was quite impressive, and I hope if will be available in perpetuity. I will go back periodically to some of the things I've learned about and use them in my personal life and maybe in my work life.
I will occasionally go back and look at my blog, at least for awhile. I will definitely be more attuned in general to web 2.0 issues. If another phase of this program is offered I would be interested in participating.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thing 21 - Gather-Ning

I found this exercise quite interesting. Gather, WebJunction, and Ning are all neat places to visit. I like the literary links on Gather such as the MPR groups, and I added an RSS feed for one of these. I had heard of WebJunction but had no idea what a resource it is for library staff. I emailed an article to myself about sustainability issues within the library setting. Ning was my least favorite, but I did go ahead and post a photo and put a badge on my blog. My concept of social networking has expanded, and I feel more encouraged now that I realize there's a lot more going on than just Facebook and photos of pas (people acting stupid). I thought Steve Campion's writing articulated well how these ideas can be used in a library setting, so I pasted the text below.

"Let's say, for instance, the library hosts an author visit. We already have a book blog, so we can review the author's latest book. We have podcasting abilities, so perhaps we can arrange a short telephone interview in advance. The same publicity that advertises the program can now mention the review and the podcast. That magnifies the vitality of the library: not only have we arranged for the author to visit, but we’re showcasing his work, linking to the catalog, and providing avenues for his readers to talk back, share their thoughts, and get excited about the upcoming program. The event host should mention the blog and podcast and announce that photographs from the evening will be available on the library's Flickr page. Patrons visiting those photos later in the week might leave their thoughts, discover pictures from other library programs, and partner with the site or subscribe to the blog so they don't miss the next event. Coordination helps every social web tool reinforce what we already do, and the tools themselves add an online interactive dynamic we've never had before."
Steve Campion - "Building a Social Networking Environment at the Library"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Where's My Slide Show?

My little slideshow has disappeared, and I don't know why. It's been gone for days now. It was nice while it lasted.

Thing 20 - About Face

Famous last words, "never say never". I now have a facebook presence, and really my world doesn't feel much different. I did the basics such as creating a profile, posting on the wall, and joining three groups, one called "banned books" that looks interesting. I liked the common craft video, which has been the case with all of their videos that I've viewed.
I tried to set up a friends link to the 23 Things using my email, but I get the message "unsupported email", which I think must mean that my internet provider for some reason doesn't allow me access to facebook. Seems weird to me, but I'm not invested in actually pursuing any more with this so will let it go.
I don't know what to say that hasn't been said countless times already about the virtues vs. the problems with these sites. I lean heavily toward thinking that there's something wrong with all of this. I was just reading an essay this morning which talks about private vs. public space. A statement was made that all of this online social networking is so individualistic and fabricated in the sense that a virtual "relationship" can be aborted immediately if a person is dissatisfied and lacks the real world messiness of human to human contact.
I think we all deal with levels of loneliness in various ways, and I can't help but feel sadness when I think about how much we are all just trying to look for and express love, and how we all fumble, fail, and occasionally get it right.
Now for an about face. I do think we library people need to meet people where they're at, though I don't think we need to dumb down or let go of our ideals. Especially with kids, facebook and myspace are very much their world, so I think it's important for a library to have an interesting online presence and to show youth that they really matter to us. The Hennepin and Denver myspace sites seem teen friendly, though I have no idea if they are actively used. I know it takes staff time and creativity to not only make a cool site but keep it current, which is a constant challenge for all of us.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thing 19 - Pod People

I've heard lots about podcasts, especially since I am an MPR listener, but haven't ever listened to one until this assignment. I have an old computer at home, with dial-up, so at least for now am not able to do much. I enjoyed learning about this Thing and set up an RSS feed to NPR's Science Friday near the bottom of my blog.
I was able to access several podcasts on my computer at work, except for a couple from MPR which seemed to require software we don't have.
I think this would be a useful addition to a library's website. Any presentations, meetings, classes, etc. could be recorded and podcast, though I don't know if my library has the software yet to do so. Duluth's new mayor, Don Ness, is using this technology to broadcast his city addresses. It should be interesting to see how people respond to this 21st century adaptation.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thing 18 - Totally Tubular

Oh my, this is fun stuff. I can't believe I spent over an hour looking at these videos. Everyone and everything is out there. I think this is a neat way to share with friends, document important events, and express one's artistic inclinations. Of course there is tons of garbage too, but like all of these new media sites there are some standouts. I saw an interesting clip of a librarian who was forced to leave a McCain rally just because her sign said McCain=Bush. The two videos I posted are both funny library ones, and I hope that if there is anyone out there who is actually reading my blog he or she will enjoy them too.

Thing 17 - Ulmus americana

I knew that our library has the ELM database, but I haven't taken the time to look at it. I was impressed with how much info is available, especially that it is provided at no extra charge to any library card holder in Minnesota. I wish more patrons knew of this service.
For anyone doing scholarly research this is the cat's meow. I didn't try and set up a search alert but will remember that this is an option. The Academic Search Premier and ProQuest Newstand offer endless resources. The Net Library is OK, but many of the titles I wanted to view were not available at my library, and I wonder why this is the case.
I plan on taking more time with ELM, as I would like to be able to help patrons use it. For sure if I start library school I'll be becoming much more acquainted with this resource.
THIS is how I like to see our tax dollars being used!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thing 16 - When is My Paper Due?

I think the assignment calculator and research project calculator look like pretty good tools. I don't think I would use this if I were a student, but I'm sure it would be helpful for some. For a teacher the research tool gave some good ideas. I know that there is a link to the research project calculator on the Duluth Public Library website but have no idea if it is ever looked at.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thing 15 - Are You A Playa?

Gaming. I don't have an open mind about it, though I know that I should probably just get over it and embrace this new reality. When I was a kid my mom was (and still is) a bartender, and in middle school we lived over the bar in an apartment. Often after school I would stop by, and Mom would hand me some quarters so I could play PacMan and Donkey Kong. I would also go to video arcades and play various games. They are great for eye/hand coordination, but really I didn't learn a thing from them. They were just a way to have fun and waste time. And today's games often serve the same purpose, though I know some educate about this or that. Back then "social networking" meant that I would play basketball with neighborhood friends or talk on the phone at night.
I believe we've become people who are way out of touch with nature, silence, self-reflection, substantive human contact. I'm bothered by the amount of screen time kids experience now, especially babies and toddlers.
So, I think the whole 2nd Life thing is odd. But now that I think about it, people have often found a way to escape their current reality and move into an alternate realm (some healthy, some not so) - fiction reading, writing, daydreaming, drugs...
I checked out a few of the gaming sites and probably will not go back to them. I do think it's valuable to learn about these things, since they have such a presence in today's world. I thought the 2nd life video of the library tour was intriguing with good music, but at the end I again found myself asking why?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thing 14 - LibraryDream

I LOVE LIBRARYTHING. A few months back I decided I wanted to figure out a way to track the books I've read, so I started looking online and discovered LibraryThing. I was hooked immediately, and have already gotten an inordinate amount of pleasure from this website. I started an account (dpltech) and quickly filled it. Being too cheap and uncertain if I really wanted to stick with this, I didn't pay to expand my library beyond the free 200 titles. Instead I opened a second account under the name dpltech2.
I think it's a great tool to gather one's collection and share it with others. I have found it interesting to look at other people's libraries. I love the visuals and the way you can organize and sort the titles.
I like how the libraries added LibraryThing to their websites. It's easy and visually appealing. One is semi-limited as far as options on the site, but really I'm satisfied.
I do intend to take the time to backup the info, as I don't have full confidence that something won't go wrong with a web-based program.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thing 13 - Lucky!

The number 13 tends to get a bad wrap, but really it used to be considered a lucky and powerful number. I especially feel its power because this means that I am already more than 1/2 way through this program!
These productivity tools, like so much I've been learning, are like those matryoshka nesting dolls. Look inside and there is yet another layer. Or maybe it's more like an onion, which is why I cry sometimes while working on this (smiley face emoticon).
Google is quite an amazing amalgam of ideas. I liked the Page Flakes layout a bit better though than IGoogle. I don't envision using this sort of thing for myself, but it could be a productivity enhancer for someone.
I tried installing a countdown to "days until Bush is out of office" but could not get the darn thing to operate.
I also tried setting up a stick note account and was unsuccessful with this as well. The computer I was working on wouldn't allow the download.
Zamzar looks really neat, and I'll hope I remember to use it the next time I need to change an attachment or something.
I especially enjoyed the Top 25 Web 2.0 Apps article. It presented a lot of information in a readable way.
The potential to use some of these web 2.0 tools, including these productivity ones, to organize a group is interesting. I could see a library having a website page with a calendar, countdown timer, local happenings, etc.
I have my beautiful artists daybook and do fine with writing myself notes to remember stuff. I already spend lots of time at work looking at a computer screen and don't have any desire to do more of this.
P.S. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and you will see the lovely slideshow I added. It's just a simple download from photobucket. (Ignore the shots of people - I don't know who they are and wish they weren't there.) Fun!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thing 12 - Socialism

How do we maintain our grounding in this age of information? These social media sites are yet another portal to what's happening. The thing is, how much of this stuff do we really need to know? Is it so important to always be right on top of the latest "news" item? I can see the possible relevance of this for reference librarians, but it could also become another time waster. If the librarian is always looking at the computer, will a patron feel comfortable approaching her or assume that she is busy?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thing 11 - Tag, You're It

How did the name come into play? I would have chosen a name that relates more directly to the function of the site, but that's really neither here nor there. If I ever make my own web application, then I get to make the rules.
I'm thinking of starting grad school and can see how a tool like this could be useful. I especially like that I could access my account from any computer. (Of course this means I would need to remember yet another login id and password!)
It's interesting to see how a few of the libraries organized their tags. I especially liked San Mateo which used Dewey, and Menasha which used nice subject categories. I can see the virtues in both systems.
I only use the web semi-frequently, so I don't have that much information to organize in my life. I tend to be something of a minimalist in general and try and live an uncluttered life. I suppose there could come a time though when I might think, "I'm ready to make something".

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thing 10 - WWW (Wide World of Wikis)

I've been using Wikipedia for some time, though there aren't that many minutiae that I take the time to learn about. I've heard some of the pro's and con's about this site, but I think if it's used appropriately it is great. I'm not a journalist or researcher who needs true primary sources, so just as a layperson it can give me what I'm looking for.
I added a line to the 23 things wiki just 'cause this is what we were asked to do. Otherwise I didn't see much value in that site.
I can see how a Wiki could be a useful collaborative tool. On a particular subject it can be much more interesting when people from various walks of life are able add their own insights and expertise. A library can put a wiki or two on their website which might deal with a local event, a reading club, a current topic in the media, or what's happening in the teen scene.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Thing 9 - Togetherness

I'm thinking about the disconnect between a certain technology and its purported virtues vs. what a user's real experience is when trying to apply the technology. When I read about Zoho and Google Docs I felt excited because they seemed like sensible, interesting and useful programs. However I read the comments from other 23 Things users and realized that there is so much frustration with these things.
I know that there's always the learning curve aspect, but if semi-savy people have a hard time with something it makes me think its not ready for the world beyond the tech heads. Time will tell which of these 23 things stick around, and which become dinosaurs.
It was interesting to see how people edited the document in Zoho and Google Docs. More has been done on the Google one, but I slightly prefer the Zoho spread and features just from my initial overview. Some of the comments were thoughtful, others too cheeky for my taste. Public collaboration is a fascinating realm - I'm sure some gems can come forward that wouldn't have been included otherwise. It's really a cool lesson in democracy. Unless participants are working for the "greater good" though it seems like things could get out of hand (especially if writers decide to just try and be funny... not that I don't like funny).
I can see how a library could use these tools, either with inhouse (or outhouse, meaning inter-library) staff collaborations or with something the public can come in on. What if we were to put our mission statements or other policies out there and see what the public might have to say?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thing 8 - Who's Bringing the Popcorn?

I am still amazed at the array of tools on the web. At first I was going to make a mosiac but couldn't quite figure out how to do it. I explored various other links, and especially like Big Huge Lab. I embedded a slideshow from Slideshare on my blog (see top of page). Maybe someday I'll create my own. I love the written word but am hooked on the image presentations too.
I was not familiar with efolio's and realize that I'm really in the dark about some things. I assume this is the way young people are handling their resumes/vitae now.
I think Lazybase is ok but doesn't look visually interesting. The 50 Web 2.0 Ways offers so many more possiblilities, and sometimes I almost experience a feeling of vertigo.
Since starting this 23 Things program I've been waking in the night and thinking about what I've learned and what I want to do with my blog. I'm mostly enjoying the process but feel like I might be obsessing too much about it. I still think the whole virtual world is yes, an exciting realm, but always beware the dark side.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

DPS Book Depository Interior HDR


Thing 7 - Are You My Friend?

Email, IM, text messaging (SMS), web conferencing, OPAL discussions, Google groups, twitter...........................................................................................................................................
And this is only the tip of the iceberg!
Not that I can claim proficiency with any of these tools, but at least I have a basic understanding now of each one. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but it's more like a slit right now. I can see how each of these can be applied to a library setting, but thinking in an Amish kind of way might be a good idea. With every technology there are positive and negative effects - do we have the wisdom to evaluate and discern what we'll adopt?
The Duluth Public Library seems to be behind the curve. We do have an automatic emailing and phone computer system that lets patrons know about holds and overdues. And patrons can access their account online and do renewals, holds, etc. I believe we have some kind of "ask a librarian" tool via. the computer, but it's not IM to my knowledge.
I plan on participating in one of the web conferencing courses. I have done a few of these sorts of things and have found them to work pretty well, assuming the technology is working on all ends.
Real flesh and blood interaction should remain the cornerstone of what we do at a library, but expanding in these virtual directions can perhaps add something to our gumbo.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Things 5 and 6 - Imag(e)ination

Zowey! What a world of possiblities to do some cool things. I experimented with making a movie poster but didn't post it on my blog because I decided I didn't really like it. I think it's very fun playing with these tools and can see the benefit for library websites. The librarian trading cards that Carleton College put together are awesome. Staying in a creative state of mind is one way to success for a library. Visual messages can have such power, and if we learn how to use them in clever ways can keep us on the forefront in our communites.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thing 4 - Say Cheese

I think this is a cool use of technology. Why people choose to share some of what they do is beyond me, but whatever... navel gazing is not a new thing. This tool can sure be used by libraries to jazz up their web page, display titles, and cover events. I very much like what the Clemens & Aleuin libraries did to show some of their material. The link with Amazon is interesting.
Photos can really get across an idea or attract attention in a way that text cannot.
I have an old computer at home with very slow dial-up service, so personally I won't be doing the flickr thing for awhile, though this is something I can definitely see coming back to.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thing 3 - ad nauseum

I thought I had put RSS feeds on my blogsite but again my attempts were in vain. I guess I had just posted some static info rather than live feed.
Note that the times of posting are off by 2 hours. So no, I'm not up working at 6 am!

Thing 3 - I'm still here

I can't believe I'm still working on this! Must have coffee, food... I got another feed going on the bottom of my blog and now am going to stop. I'm finding that it's usually not apparent what the feed url is for a site, in order to transfer it to my blog.
You might notice that my two previous postings for Thing 3 are not in order. I haven't figured out how to flip flop them yet.

Thing 3 - I Stream, You Stream

TMI is what I keep thinking. A person could easily withdraw from this very real, beautiful/ugly world and spend all of her time in this weird blogosphere existence. Feed me becomes the cry - I need more newsfeeds, data, details about Hollywood stars, and omg did you hear about...? OK, so RSS feeds can be useful and relevant if used judiciously.I can see how it might happen. I've already been working on this for an hour and a half, and could keep going. However, I need to start work in 1/2 hour and haven't eaten yet nor had coffee. I'd better keep myself in check here.I learned how to add links to my blog and am feeling smug at the moment. I don't really get how to view the info on my RSS feed, so I added a link on my blog and am wondering if this makes sense and how others view theirs. I think if readers click on my link they can also access my feeds. Writing this is hard because I'm using lingo and jargon that I'm not even sure if I'm using correctly. I kind of feel like one of those people whom teens would roll their eyes at, but I'm going to stick with it.

Thing 3 - stop the madness

I realized my link idea doesn't work for the RSS, but I did FINALLY get Slate feed at the bottom of my blog page. I opened a Google Reader account and added 3 sources so far: Unshelved, MPR, and a coworker's blog. I haven't yet figured out how to get this feed directly on my blog though. I've spent way too much time on this, and think I'll move on to thing 4 and revisit this later.

Thing 2.0

I just finally watched, and listened to (duh, headphones in lieu of speakers) the video. I had read the other material last week, so it's not as fresh in my mind at the moment. Luddite me is wary of what is to come, but suprisingly 21st century me is stepping in more often, and I feel eager to learn this stuff.

How will we at the Duluth Public Library use what we learn and apply it in meaningful ways? The Ann Arbor idea is intriguing, as is the world of virtual reference. I attented PLA recently, and one thing I've been thinking about since then is how a public library can be an exciting community gathering place, that is truly relevant in this techy world. I know that resisting change is often futile, and really, shouldn't we be on the "cutting edge" rather than gasping to keep up?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thing 1 - The Plunge

I thought I'd never have a blog, but here we go. So far it's been fun. I wasn't thrilled with the avatar thing, but I came up with something that I feel ok about. (I thought the images were limiting as far as gender representations and roles, but I know I probably took it too seriously.)
For some reason the initial template I chose would not allow me to export my avatar, so once I switched templates and easily made the transfer I felt better about things.
I really like that a group of us from the DPL will be going through this together. I can't wait to see where this goes...