Friday, September 21, 2007

Week 9 Thing 23

At long last, I have arrived at Thing 23 in my journey through MD 23 Things! It has been a long journey but has been meaningful. I have become aware of various 2.0 technologies that I never knew existed and learned how they work and how I can use them. I feel I will be able to help our customers with the new 2.0 technologies.

There were several of the 2.0 tecnologies that I liked discovering. I especially enjoyed the online image generators. Making an avatar was fun and reminded me of playing with paper dolls. I liked using the Library Thing to catalog some of our books at home. I think my husband could benefit from using it to catalog his extensive collection of Titanic books. Sounds like a project for the winter. Maybe he won't end up buying duplicate titles anymore if he has a catalog of what he owns. Shortly after I began the 23 Things, my sister-in-law who is a librarian in a library in Long Island, NY, was visiting and mentioned using the Library Thing to catalog her daughters college books and using tags. Because of the 23 Things I knew exactly what she was talking about. Before the 23 Things I would have been in the dark. I also was glad to find out about Now I can access my favorites without having to be on my home computer. Google Docs is another useful find for me. You tube was fun. I now know more about downloadable audiobooks and will be more knowledgeable when customers ask about them at the Information Desk.

Overall I enjoyed learning about the 2.o technologies. But there were some problems that lead to lots of frustrations. Some of the links from the program would not work or the sites had changed and did not look like the tutorials. So I spent lots of time trying to figure them out. Other times the instructions weren't quite right on how to do something and I ended up asking another librarian how to do it. The biggest frustration was that it took longer to go through each week's activities than the 30-60 mintues that we were told. Because of my other jobs at the library, I usually did not have time to do the activities at work and ended up doing most of the 23 Things at home. Sometimes when I did have time to work on it at the library, I could not find a free computer.

Overall, this was an excellent learning experience. I learned a lot that I will be able to use in my job and at home. I had never done an online course before and enjoyed it. I found that I really liked the self pacing aspect. If I had a chance I would do another program like this.

Week 9 Thing 22

I learned all about downloadable audiobooks. I started by reviewing the information on the BCPL website. Then I went through the Overdrive Digital Media Guided tour. I found it to be helpful. I was surprised by the number of titles available and the breadth of the collection of audiobooks. All genres of fiction, including new and classic titles, non-fiction titles, children's titles, Young Adult titles, and reference books are available. I liked the features in the What's New section that allowed you to sort by release date, title, creator or by most popular. It was also interesting to see what titles were in the Recently Returned section. The site was easy to navigate. I liked being able to browse the collections or to use the search box and search for a specific title or author. It was really simple to add titles to My Book bag to be checked out for download or to reserve books not currently available. This is another option for our customers to use to obtain their books. I would think that those customers who already use the Books on cassette or Books on CD might like to use downloadable audiobooks. Downloadable audiobooks, as well as e-books, would also be an option for homebound customers.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Week 9 Thing 21

I spent some time this afternoon exploring Yahoo Podcasts and Podcastalley. I found Yahoo Podcasts a little easier to use. You simply click on the Listen button next to the podcast title to listen to the podcast. I also like the way they use a star system to rate the podcasts. There are podcasts on every subject or topic imagineable. In browsing around, I found a podcast of "Lib vibe" where you can listen to headline news from libraries. I added a feed to my bloglines account so I can keep up with Library news. Since my daughter is thinking about taking a trip to Italy through her college in January, I tried searching for podcasts about traveling to Italy. I found two really good podcasts on sightseeing in Italy: and

I also looked at the Merlin podcasting learning links to several library systems that are using podcasts. At Denver Public Library they have podcasts of children's stories. This is like our story line but through the computer. In today's technological age this is a great use of 2.0 technology. Kids love using the computer and other electronic devices. So listening to stories via podcasts would be a natural thing for them. Kankakee Public Library has podcasts of author programs or interviews that have been held at their library. This is another great idea. People who could not get to the program could listen to it later. Podcasts could be used in BCPL in many ways. BCPL could do a podcast of the speaker at Great Books and that way librarians who were unable to go to the workshop could hear the speaker. Also, podcasts of author programs would be useful. Links could be placed on our web page where customers who did not go to the program could listen to it later.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Week 9 Thing 20

Explored You Tube. You Tube is really neat. It has videos on every subject imagineable. Some are entertaining and some are informational. I found videos on pets, candlepin bowling, tennis racket stringing, gymnastic bloopers, library cart drill teams, news topics and beyond. The "Super Cute Puppy Morph" video: , a video with different breeds of barking dogs morphing into other breeds is very cute. Another video that I found, "Federer on a string"video: is very informational. Marisa Wong from Wall Street Journal is interviewing the head of the U.S. Open's string team about restringing the player's rackets at the U. S. Open. I never knew that the star players had their rackets restrung before matches. You Tube is easy to navigate. I liked being able to search You Tube in a variety of ways: by typing in keywords, clicking on the video or categories tabs and browisng, or using the menus on the side to browse the top Rated, Most recent, Top favorite videos. The Help page is very good. Libraries could use the same technology in their websites to provide tutorials on databases and the catalog and to promote programs or services. For instance, Sneaks promoted BCPL's Summer Reading Club on You tube this summer. The video could be used in our website to promote the SRC to everyone who uses our web page.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Week 8 Thing 19

Explored Ma.gnolia from the Web 2.0 Awards List. Ma.gnolia was first in the bookmarking category. Ma.gnolia is a social bookmarking site similar to I found the site to be relatively easy to use and navigate. The tutorial and the frequently asked questions are very clear and easy to understand. I had some difficulty adding a bookmarklet to my browser. I wanted to add a Pop-up book marklet but my browser blocked pop-ups. Even though I told it to always accept pop-ups fromMa.gnolia, it did not work. So I used another type of bookmarklet (Mark and Edit in Ma.gnolia) and added it to my favorites. Mark In Ma.gnolia installed without any problems. But I would prefer not to have to go to my Favorites folder and then to the Links folder to use the bookmarklet. Pages on the site have an "Add Bookmark "widget, making it easy to add bookmarks while in their site. You can also add any bookmark found on the site by clicking on an icon under the Details of that bookmark. Ma.gnolia uses a 5 star rating system to let you know what others think about the bookmarks. It also saves copies of the web pages you bookmark. This is an advantage because you will still be able to find the web page later even if it moves. As with other bookmarking sites you can add tags to the pages and search by tags. Ma.gnolia also gives you a way to share your bookmarks one on one or in special interest groups. You can subscribe to RSS and Atom RSS feeds from the site. Although Ma.gnolia 's instructions were clearer and the site easier to navigate, is easier because I have the icon for it on the tool bar of my browser. So adding book marks should be quicker with I want to spend more time comparing the two sites before I decide which one I will use.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Week 8 Thing 18

Before exploring Google Docs, I had never used any web-based word processing applications. I found using Google Docs to create a document to be extremely easy. In fact, I would say it was almost easier than using Microsoft Word! I found it very easy to use the tools on the toolbar. I especially like how the spell check function works. It highlights the misspellings right in the text. Clicking on a highlighted word gives a drop down menu of spelling choices. Clicking on the spelling choice changes the spelling of the word in the text. Using web-based applications like Google docs would alleviate having to save things to a disk or flash drive
so you could take them to another computer to work with them. Also you would have access to your documents anywhere you happen to be as long as you have internet access. These are very useful tools. I can think of times when using web-based applictions would make life easier but I don't think they will cause the downfall of Microsoft Office applications.
After all, web-based applications rely on internet access and if that access is not available for one reason or another, you do not have access to your documents stored in your web account.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Week 7 Thing 17

I played in the Maryland Libraries Sandbox this afternoon. I added an entry to the Favorite Foods page. By simply clicking on edit this page, I could add my favorite food. I found adding my blog to the Favorite Blogs page a litttle more tricky. At first, I added it and it would not link to my blog. So I deleted my blog from the list and tried again. The second time it worked. It was fun looking at all of the "favorites" and adding mine.