Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mission Impossible, Mission Accomplished

It was with some apprehension and trepidation that I embarked upon this challenge of completing the 23 things worth of Web 2.0 skills. Each exercise presented itself to me like an exam paper seen for the first time and the brain freezes.
I feel better for having completed the programme and gained a wider knowledge of what else is out there in cyberspace being used vigorously by such a wide section of the community and especially the younger generation. I am glad to have been part of the programme and apart from what I have gained in knowledge I have also a sense of achievement and satisfaction. A downside was the length of time taken to explore the various links, it did rather seem to take over my life. My answers seem to have grown longer as the programme has progressed.
My favourite discoveries, particular sites that I could revisit and explore further at some later date, were: Image Generators, Rollyo, Google Docs, YouTube, ebooks, Library Thing,, Flickr, RSS Feeds. The unexpected outcome from this programme was that I actually completed it and within the timeframe as well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Totally Spaced Out

Here I am at my workspace where I need to backspace to get my headspace into cyberspace and write something in my blogspace and when it's done perhaps I can take a spacewalk in some sunspace.
Social networking is a new way for libraries to communicate with patrons, targeting all sections of the community with an emphasis on teens who are more internet savvy and the readers and knowledge information seekers of the present and future. It makes sense to put library related material for teens and twenties on a site which they already visit. The target market is already there in the social networking sites and 'connecting' is the important word here. Through their profiles, many of the libraries visited during my exploration are already addressing teen needs, interests and involvement. The different ways of making social contact are numerous -special interest groups allow people to connect by way of a common interest e.g. reading, theatre, poetry, music, sport. The social networking sites chosen need to be interactive, inviting comments and feedback for the libraries where collections and services fall short of patrons' expectations. Blog application is essential for this. I see social networking as an extension of outreach programmes already offered in most libraries and a way to tempt new patrons to the library. I read where the average user spends up to 2 hours per session on MySpace - love the term 'screen-agers'.
There are also disadvantages to a library presence on social networking sites: are they validating the sites as being safe? There would be a need to educate people on the use of the internet and internet security. Many patrons are innocent of possible privacy issues e.g. choosing a password and then announcing loudly that they use that one for everything. Are libraries invading patrons' space? Some patrons would find it useful, others invasive.
In my spacewalk through other library sites I found a few things I enjoyed e.g. the 'clock' story from Brooklyn College Library; Hennepin County Library's list of Outreach Services accessed through the Library Info button and their online tutorials on keyboarding skills, using a mouse and using information sources; I liked Salt Lake City Public Library's BOOKS WITH BITE @ your library - a heading for advertising the Teen Read Week in October; Fairfax Public Library (which is "reading as it rains outside") gives URL of its profile, shows blogs on its homepage, a note to check out its Facebook page, runs music nights at the library and invites you to listen to its podcasts; Jefferson County Library's catalogue page set out very like NSL's.
With regard to patrons' blogs, imagine the time spent in the library countercommenting on the comments...
Most useful links were "Libraries in Social Networking" and "Your Space or My Space".

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I'm no social butterfly and having looked around the 3 social networking sites I'm not really that tempted to join at this stage. I can see the fun aspect of this kind of networking and how popular these sites are, more especially with the 18-35s. I know of people who have become reacquainted in this way (school friends, cousins)and my hairdresser showed me her Facebook page on her cell phone. In spite of the privacy controls I still believe it would be "inviting" to reveal too much personal and private information. However in my searching I found Helen Clark has a presence on both Facebook and My Space - In an invitation to "Vote Labour 2008" she made the following comment: "'Don'Key and his National Party are a bunch of lousy idiots." Did she mean 'John' Key, or was that a "brash" statement?
In Bebo I watched a Maori concert at Te Papa, under Music I listened to Diana Krall, but some videos were no longer available. I was intrigued by the map covered with photos you could click on and add yourself to, then I read they were no longer accepting new images. Even Father Christmas had been there! My search for library applications took me to Renfrewshire Library, and the City of Boroondara Library Service (East of Melbourne)and a welcome from Victoria University to study there. I liked what Auckland City Libraries had written and preferred it to Rotorua which I found too busy but the concept is great. On I found Paul Coelho's The Alchemist online for free. If libraries are to become a clearing house of digitally delivered information people will still want their quiet spaces and the human contact.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Booked out

I found this a very interesting and fun exercise. I enjoyed learning about e-books, their advantages and disadvantages and the enormity and complexity of the Google Book Search project. I was interested to learn about e-book readers and their features, Project Gutenburg, Proofreaders and Librivox audiobooks. In Google Book Search I searched 'Linguistics' from the non fiction list, searched for a particular title but failed to find. Next I searched 'Vanity Fair' and found the 'Bedford-row Conspiracy'. When I selected 'Fiction' a list of classics appeared, the first 30 of which were recent editions with limited preview. When I clicked 'Full view only', I found 'Frankenstein' in the Bodleian Library, pub. 1823. I searched 'Pride and Prejudice', clicked 'Find this book in a library' and found a copy at Santa Monica Public Library which was published 1813 and digitised 2007. They had book, cassette, CD and sound recording formats. I discovered I could save it, add to it, share it, search in it, preview it, review it, edit it, tag it, read it, borrow it, buy it. I could view the Popular passages, read the reviews, check the References from the Web page, find other editions and read references from Scholarly works... Whew! Then there was the 'Show more' at the bottom of the screen!
When I searched libraries that owned 'just this edition' of 'Pride and Prejudice' I found one in Darwin.
I also perused some interesting manuscripts in the Bodleian Library.
After just learning about Podcasts, I was interested to see that Santa Monica Library offers an Online Fact-filled tour and a virtual tour of their award winning Main Library.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tuning in

I became really frustrated searching for podcasts - some I opened and found nothing there, others failed to load, some were very slow to load and even my computer turned itself off in disgust. I tried "St Georges Independent Schools" in Memphis and tried to find the Rosa Parks podcast but couldn't, also tried searching podcast "Ancient China comes to 21st Century" but had more success with EPN (Education Podcast Network). Watched the Commoncraft video on and searched 'libraries'which connected me to where I searched book review podcasts. In Podnova Part I of Tess Gerritsen didn't load. The Nashville Library Podcast on "Libraries in the 21st Century" was left for 15 minutes and still didn't load. I did however find it again later, found it had an RSS feed so chose it for my exercise.

A "broad"casting

I have watched most of the suggested YouTube library videos which were of varying quality. However I think videos on a library website would be an interesting and compelling way to increase patron numbers. With further refinement, any of the better ones would make far greater impact than those seen on our TV screens in the last 2 years. The best of these YouTube library videos are direct, to the point and the message clearly delivered. They could be applied to library websites as guidance around the catalogue (or library), there could be a fun one for children, a reference one and one about all the good things a patron can experience from owning a library card.
The video I have chosen for your entertainment is a musical one I have enjoyed many times and saved to my favourites.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Caught in the web too

I explored a few sites before finding one I wanted to blog about: Pandora, a music site, unavailable to users outside the U.S.; Mangolanguages - good reviews but one's progress would probably be slow, judging by the short videos watched and one needed to buy the software; Yelp -good for travellers to the U.S.
I finally decided on Revolutionhealth, a very busy, colourful site with lots to look at and judged first in its category. There were good links to respected health sites e.g. New England Journal of Medicine, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The content is current, most recent date was 10 Sept 2008. Health Record is a secure place to keep your health information. The Community button links to blogs, forums and groups - enabling you to select a topic from a list, join discussions, share stories and find people with like problems while The Store button leads you to a drug store where you can purchase health related products. Overall excellent detail on a good range of medical conditions and related information.
Library applications? I would suggest the site as an alternative to Health and Wellness, as another option, and a site where people can communicate and share their personal medical
stories and experiences.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Zoho so so

I did some exploring on Zoho but found some things I clicked on were very slow to load so I moved on to Google Docs where I created my document. I can see this application could be very useful for those who need to send documents to a number of people who can work on the text together correcting mistakes, rearranging layout etc and thus arriving at the perfect copy. In Google Docs I was interested to see how it could be applied to language teaching.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rolling On

When searching for sites of interest to you, Rollyo could be useful to find quickly sites that others have already researched on your favourite topics and interests, however if you go only to Rollyo you may find you miss other sites, newer or more relevant. I found getting started a bit difficult. I eventually created a Search engine with my list of websites.

Book it

I enjoyed touring Library Thing, searching all the links and added 6 books to my library, tags and all and viewed them by Cover and by List. This site could be something our keener customers could use and enjoy. It adds a new dimension to one's reading history. Maybe one day I could catalogue my own books in this way.

The Generation Game

Played around with various links. The Alpha Picture video wouldn't run, the web page for many previously posted generators couldn't be found, wasn't sure about Webfetti as a certain horse was trying to push through the gates. I used the Bar Soap Generator and changed the inscription on the soap but couldn't seem to save it. I also created my own blog on the Lazy Bloggers Post Generator but couldn't save that either and played around with the alphabet letters in the soup in Alphabet Soup Word.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Playing around in the sandpit and exploring the favourites options was fun. I chose Favourite holiday spot and added my favourite to it. I opted not to add an edit note or "Join this Wiki". I enjoyed the comment that a wiki is like a potluck dinner. I didn't like way the 8 Wetpaint videos were presented - a bit obscure and a waste of time, but the others were fine.

Monday, August 25, 2008


What power to be able to go into someone else's wiki and correct, change, delete, update, add your own thoughts, ideas and knowledge even though you know someone may come in and edit or delete that masterpiece of information that you've just created.
Seriously Via Wiki seems a great way to collaborate and share knowledge with others of like interests and as well as in libraries.
Some ways in which wikis can be used in libraries are in library reference services for knowledge management - collaborating and pooling knowledge with information coming from the user back to the library in the form of participation and feedback; a wiki could be used in Readers' advisory and subject guides which facilitate customer feedback and can be edited by patrons who can add newer and useful resources which reflect the users' interests.
Libraries can call on customers' knowledge to improve library services, e.g. developing library collections which better serve community needs.
I particularly enjoyed the Book Lovers wiki from Princeton Public Library with their book reviews and Index to reviews (found one The Bookseller of Kabul which needed editing). I also found useful and clearly explained were and the Library Success link.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Embracing change

My mind won't stray too far into the future - I'm not into science fiction or fantasy, but change is already taking us outside the Library square. I don't see a library with no books - books are bright, colourful, attractive, informative - "Don't judge a book by its cover" - but isn't that the first appeal? "This looks a good book" - and I don't see myself curling up with a good computer.
The important goals for libraries of the future include reaching out into the community, embracing constant change and with an emphasis on sharing, making libraries the focal point of the community. Putting users together with information requires a technology which will meet the users' needs. In our digital lifestyle we have already MP3s, TV, Laptops, cell phones, cameras, ipods etc. From one of your links I found interesting and Web 2.0 features clearly defined. Ann Arbor District Library has turned its homepage into a blog where customers can share their favourite authors, titles, genres, write reviews, create tags and assign ratings. Customers always like to know what others are reading - just see how they browse the returns shelves. Philadelphia uses its blog for "news, events and discussion". Thus library users can participate in the services libraries offer and the way they are used. NSL is already on the way to embracing Web 2.0 and is implementing programmes e.g. information literacy, to encourage and support reading; is committed to providing access to good online resources, with realisable aims and objectives; is continually improving technology resources and access to electronic data e.g. Opacs, public internet computers, and is constantly upskilling staff to meet the challenge. North Shore Libraries is committed to providing space for people to meet. Our user education is resulting in our users issuing their own books, accessing the library website from home, requesting items and searching for information. We reach out into the community with local history and our housebound service. I'm sure we will be a New Age Library.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I explored Technorati as far as I could without the help of the guided tour video which wouldn't play for me. Perhaps my patience ran out and I didn't wait long enough. My directory search for Web 2.0 yielded 721 results and same search in Blogs yielded 338, as for Tags - didn't find a Tags button. I expected to find a screen full of useful tags but found tags only for specific searches completed. It took me a while to find the Popular button, and once I'd moved from there, and tried to find it again all the buttons had changed as they seem to every time you search under a different heading. In the directory I clicked on Web 2.0 under Technology which sent me to Blogs and a message "Please try again later". I'm sure with a little direction I would have fared better, but there we are.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


The advantage of Bookmarking for me would be to find websites for my particular interests, bookmark and tag them, keep them together and share them with other people with similar interests who may well provide me with better sites I didn't already know about. I explored several bookmarks including Random bookmarks where I found e.g. "Why Norwegian is the easiest language for English speakers" which had the following tags: language/Norwegian/linguistics/learning/ and in Danbury Library found our "Mister Pip" with these tags: Booker Prize/civil war/coming of age/childhood/New/Zealand fiction/Ya/Young adult/Papua New Guinea /Charles Dickens.
Libraries can create reading lists, book reviews and are already being used in many libraries. Bookmarks can make a student's research more productive and can be a good place to begin the research.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Still feeding

This has taken hours of exploration and frustration, but it's also easy to get sidetracked. - I was surprised at the amount displayed on one screen - largest news community on the web - users able to edit the news and comment on everything - judging by the number of comments this would seem to be a much visited site. Some of the comments remind me of those heard on talk back radio, senseless and bigoted. I found the site easy to use. Syndic8 -I didn't really come to grips with this one, seemed to waste time getting nowhere. -Interesting blogs on current affairs but I was put off by Google ads. I chose to search under Lifestyle, Photos and Blogs. Here I found an Italian couple blogging their way around the USA and followed them for a while. I clicked on some tags to view photos (Olympics, Obama, Business). Blog directory easy to follow. Found everything from George Clooney to Martha Stewart, Georgia and the Olympics. When Internet Explorer closed down the site I decided it was time for bed.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Entangled in bloglines

Hours spent trying to disentangle myself - opened and read all the links to newsfeeds in first part of Discovery exercise, but major problem has been in setting up Bloglines account as it won't recognise me - they say the have emailed me but that's in the ether somewhere. However, from what I've gleaned so far about newsfeeds it is a quick way to read headlines of important articles which may interest you from electronic resources, journals, newspapers et al? I have already used this technology personally before I really knew what it was about. My sister rang to tell me about a local photographic display in her home town. Although she read me the article, I wanted to search the newspaper online for said article using, I thought, relevant keywords and came up with nothing. Then I spied the RSS icon. I quickly scanned the news items and was overjoyed to find the complete article. The keywords I used to search bore no resemblance to the words in the article headline. Librarians could use news feeds for lists of new books for customers, book reviews (Amazon, Radio New Zealand), to provide announcements (events, services) and other things I haven't thought of yet.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Technology and I are not good mates, but I do have a digital camera which I enjoy using, but mostly in the "aim and shoot" mode. I have not yet explored everything the menu can offer but mostly this suffices for what I want. It is wonderful being able to delete the unsuccessful pics and try again. Needing no film is another plus especially when travelling. The photos are easily downloaded to a memory stick and emailed to family. Organizing them Flickr style will make them more manageable. The biggest hassle with it is the length of time it takes to charge the batteries and yes, I do have another set. When travelling it is also advisable to have more than one adaptor for situations where you leave them behind in some foreign hotel - lost 2 that way.

Mashups mosaics and mmm...?

Mashups I relate to a kind of collage - too messy for me, I like minimalism. In Big Huge Labs I checked out fd's Flickr Toys and liked in particular Mosaic maker which I felt was something I would most likely do with family or travel photos. I found a wonderful mosaic of Obama (Barack) and now I can't find it any more - oops - so I haven't got the actual link to it. Top cameras I liked because I found mine there, Trading card I may also use and Jigsaw could be fun too.

Friday, August 1, 2008

flickr frustration

I dare not calculate the time spent just on Q4. I seem to have explored my fingers sore. I found many interesting things to do if one had the time and the passion for the fashion. Found some great photos in "interestingness" and particularly admired "waterlily on black" by Siebe. I thought I had the link but wasn't able to find the photo easily using it. I searched for it under suggested tags but the number of photos displayed was astronomically huge and I decided to search using the title of the photo. This particular photo seems to be copyrighted so I couldn't post it. I'm going to leave it here and turn my attention to the next ex.
Well I seem to have messed this one up so I'm adding some extra bits. Enjoyed my Flickring experience, learning about online photosharing. I saw the advantages of uploading photos for safe keeping, organising them into collections and sets and tagging them for easy access later, even putting them on a map - very handy for travel and family pics. I noticed that the lists of tags for one photo can be long and range from specific to general. I enjoyed searching the photos and for my photograph I used tags Nevada, Joshua tree, desert. The Joshua trees can be found in the Moave Desert in Nevada. Here is the link to my chosen Joshua tree photo:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Not one for finding my way around the computer at the best of times and tending to stick to what I know I'm finding this a great challenge and will certainly need help from time to time. My first hiccup was with my blogger URL but that resolved my next challenge was what to write in my blog. There, done it.
What to write in my blog? This thought has been plaguing me for a week now and yesterday after a shopping “experience” I suddenly thought “This is what I’m going to write in my blog”.
Subject: self service versus customer service. I have always been of the opinion that when self service was instituted customer service went out the window. I suppose self service is supposed to be convenience shopping but there is nothing more inconvenient than trying to find the packaged version of a displayed article or a handy shop assistant to ask.
Yesterday we arranged to meet a long time friend for lunch. We usually meet 2-3 times a year and this was one of those times. As the weather was doubtful we decided to play it safe and lunch in a shopping mall. After eating and chatting we strolled down the long concourse of shops with me periodically abandoning the 2 men to dive into any interesting looking shop which caught my attention. On reaching the end of the concourse we stopped for a cup of coffee before heading back to the other end where we were stopped by an enormous shop easily as long as the concourse itself and many aisles deep. After firmly stating that I had no interest in going in, I sensed the 2 men did, so I relented. This is where my story really starts. We began to wander aimlessly along the aisles with myself lagging behind somewhat as I noticed that the displays looked modern and the product new, quite appealing, and well priced – quality? Well, who knows? - in an attempt to be more upmarket somehow.
Suddenly a display stopped me in my tracks and told me it would look good in my
home and that I should buy it. Couldn’t do that of course without prior approval but the men had vanished. I then found myself ducking and diving around the aisles to find them. After quashing their protestations I dragged them back to the displayed product which was duly approved and we began a hunt for the packaged version.
Bad news – there wasn’t one. Let’s find a shop assistant. The ducking and diving around the aisles again, this time in search of a shop assistant, drew a blank .This required us to look further afield and led us to the checkout where all the assistants were busy – “Oh, just a minute there’s one, quick grab her”. Caught, she accompanied us back to the display where she also looked in vain for the packaged version. All right, could we buy the displayed item and as it was looking somewhat shop soiled and scrumpled would a discount be possible? Oh no they didn’t sell displayed items, they were just for display. Could she find somebody to ask? Off she trotted, disappearing from sight never to be seen again while we waited and waited and waited… Drastic action was needed. As there were three of us we went off in three directions looking for her. I ended up back at the checkout, quickly jumped in between customers and asked for some floor staff explaining that the girl who was serving us had gone to consult someone and not returned. One of the men found an assistant who was going to drag someone out of a meeting to serve us and the other man had found someone else so a consultation ensued and a discounted amount agreed upon. A very pleasant young lady agreed to package the item for us while I waited at the checkout. The men went back to where they were heading when I dragged them away, while I waited and waited and waited… The men returned. “Hasn’t she come back yet?” so off they went again while I waited and waited and waited… The pleasant young lady did return all smiles and the transaction was happily completed and so is my blog.