Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Week 9, Thing 23

Whew! I did think at one point that I might not make it this far!
I learned something from each of the exercises, but I personally won't use some of them. Social networking "for me" is accomplished face-to-face with people in the same room. I know that is an old-fashioned point of view, but I never have liked the idea of sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end. However,I know that today's teens and young people are different, and libraries need to know how they relate and how they communicate, in order to be relevant to them.

There were times in the process of working through the 23 things when the thought flitted across my mind that other staff people must have a lot more time to play on the Internet that I do. I found it hard to set aside time to work on this with so many other pressing duties, and customers to wait on. It's difficult at a branch location to manage an uninterrupted time to work on any project, including this one.(I can't speak to the challenges at ML since I've never worked there.)
If you do something like this again, I would allocate more time to the staff to work on it. Some of the exercises were definitely more challenging for me. I caught myself thinking, "I don't have time for this!!" However, I am glad to have done it. Now I know a little bit about each of the 23 things. I do like learning new things, but this program sort of forced me to learn things I normally wouldn't have taken time for. I hate to sound mercenary, but having a decent incentive, and being able to do a lot of the exercises on work time were big motivators. Just in case you missed my choice of incentives, it's the MP3 player!
I'm surprised with some things I found and like--Wikis, Web-based productivity tools, LibraryThing, Flickr. I can see that I would use these. Other things, like Podcasts and RSS, and even blogs have potential for library uses.
All in all, I think this was a great way to get staff to try some new things. I wish I had had more time to play with some of the applications. I'd like to have time to get more comfortable with the ones I've listed above, and perhaps I will at some point. I think this was a great concept, and I'm thankful to the O! What a Geek team for setting these lessons up. It was a worthwhile project! Thanks.

Week 9, Thing 22

I chose myLibraryDV to play with. I've been using OverDrive for about 3 years, and I love it. I hadn't tried the MyLibraryDV yet because I generally don't have time for movies, and I don't like watching them on a computer if I do. However, I found it very easy to download the needed software and to play the first part of the movie. I think the audiobooks are fantastic things for a library to offer. I'm not so sure about MyLibraryDV. Netflicks offers so much more and it seems as if people prefer to subscribe to it, or go to their grocery store to get a movie. I don't know what our stats are like, or what the cost of the service is, but I think our offerings are just too slim to even bother with. (Is that a faux pas?)I think the materials are easy to use and I am comfortable assisting patrons in using these formats.

Week 9, Thing 21

I checked out the Wikipedia article on Podcasts, and then I looked at both and I didn't like the format of PodcastDirectory at all. I kept getting hung up. The particular links I kept trying didn't work well at all. I had much better luck with podcastalley. It seemed much easier to navigate. I added the Dave Ramsey daily show RSS feed to my bloglines account. I really don't want to be a Podcaster at this point, but I think there are a number of possibilities for the library. We have some unique storytimes at the library, and I think it could be handy to have podcasts of those storytimes or some of them as a way of inviting people in to the buildings for live storytimes. Perhaps the first of a series of PrimeTime could be Podcast, again with the intention of calling attention to what is going on at the library, and giving a preview. We could podcast special programs as well. Perhaps you could do a series of lively book discussions, if some of the groups are willing to be filmed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Week 9, Thing 20

The hardest part of this lesson was creating an account with YouTube. I kept getting a message that I was ineligible to create an account. I finally figured out that is was basing my information on the zip code and birthdate I had used to create my google gmail account that I've been using for these exercises. What an exercise in frustration! I did keep after it and after that it was easy (after reading the instructions) to embed this video. I chose it because it never fails to make me laugh. In the words of Proverbs 17:22, ""22": A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

Week 8, Thing 19

I looked at the Family History Wiki Project - Example Family. I like the whole idea of this particular Wiki. I got interested in Family History when my mother died, and I realized that I didn't know much about our families, and she left very little in the way of information. I started compiling the information I had, but that was when I had only one grandchild, and now I have 7, so it has sort of gone by the wayside. I see this application as a way to get back to searching our my roots via the Internet and rather than supplying info by letters and phone calls, I can solicit help via the Wiki. I might just get inspired.

The project started with the author using wikispaces which is a free space (up to a limit in the amount of storage space) If I fill up that space, I can then consider if I want to "buy" a larger space for a monthly fee. Wikispaces adds advertising to its free spaces, so I may not like that in the long run. However, It was very easy to set up 2 spaces (one for each of my parents' ancestors)and to edit the pages. Of course I haven't added much real content yet, but I did take the video tours, and I don't think this will be difficult to use at all.

Week 8, Thing 18

After a marvelous suggestion from a colleague, I am creating this document so that I can upload (or is it download) it to my blog.  After getting it here, I discovered that the operative word is Publish.
I am very excited by the possibilities of using google docs for collaboration.  I have often served on committees where everyone needed to have a way to share their information.  How perfect would it be to use the web-based applications?  Each person could contribute their part of the information to be shared, rather than have one person compile the information from all the different members.  What a timesaver that could be. It's a very cool idea.  I like also that you can set up who has access to the file, that it saves the older version and that it is all in one place.  (it's easy to get confused when you have multiple versions of documents all over the place) This is surely an idea whose time has come. You can also set it up as an RSS feed to notify others when changes are made to the document.   I noticed also that it has a continuous save feature for those of us who forget to save until we have finished a document. 


The other, very beneficial, side to these web-based apps. is that you don't have to buy the software!  Count me in!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Week 7, Thing 17

I got tripped up a little bit because the invite key (new term to me) was posted right on the page at PLCMC. I missed it at first. Too obvious! I was really surprised how easy it was to add my favorite animals and my favorite saying at PLCMC. It looked lots more difficult than it was. I usually do find that reading the instructions before I am actually at the right place tends to confuse me. I was chatting with a colleague in my building, and we were talking about how some of the exercises didn't work the way we thought they would, and she sort of scared me off adding my blog. It was so easy though, that I had to go back and double check that I actually managed it without much effort.