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.