Friday, September 26, 2008

101 Things in 1001 Days: How It's Going September 2008

So, what is all this? Well, follow this link to the Day Zero site, and you can read more about it.

Creating your own 1001 Day Project

The Mission:Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Lisa's Master 101 Things in 1001 Days List

1. Fly first class as a family
2. Graduate with MLIS degree (target date: May 2009)
3. Watch all the seasons of '24'
4. Build new house (going up fast! target date: mid-October 2008)
5. Start Roth IRA's for both of us
6. Get mutual funds transferred (Done 4/1/08)
7. Read all books on saved page a day calendar pages (through 2007)
8. Watch Season 2 of 'Digging for the Truth' (Done 7/19/2008)
9. Beat PSX2 game Galaga
10. Read 20 of 100 All Time Classics (Modern Library) that I haven't read already (2/20)
11. Read 10 Biographies
12. Watch 101 movies in theater or at home (15/101)
13. Tithe 10% of net for 3 months
14. Health 1
15. Health 2
16. Health 3
17. Health 4
18. Write wills
19. Take boxes of books to Half Price (Done 10/19/07)
20. Send up DVD's for cataloging
21. Have new family picture taken
22. Design library webpage & link to system and city
23. Visit 10 other libraries in my system I haven't been to yet
24. Read entire Inspector Rebus series (1/18)
25. Learn the Rosary prayers
26. Frame black & white pictures of the ocean and hang up
27. Donate hair to Locks of Love (Done 1/3/08)
28. Go to a Latin Mass
29. Watch a Cowboys/Vikings game in Dallas
30. Watch Cowboys/Vikings game in Minnesota
31. Learn a card trick
32. Learn to juggle
33. Send birthday cards to family members for 1 year
34. Send Christmas Cards with family photograph
35. Visit Williamsburg
36. Visit 5 art galleries in Minnesota
37. Go to 1 week of Twins' Spring Training with my family
38. Visit New Orleans at Mardi Gras & attend Ash Wednesday Mass there
39. Go back to Scotland and golf at St Andrews with my family
40. Visit England for 2 weeks
41. Visit 5 states I haven't been to yet
42. Go to Glastonbury for Summer Solstice
43. Spend a day at the main Smithsonian
44. Go to the Library of Congress
45. Spend a day or seven at the British Museum
46. Spend a day or two or three at the Louvre
47. Go camping
48. Renew our wedding vows
49. Run 1 mile without stopping in 12 minutes or less
50. Upload all my CD's to my iTunes
51. Watch 10 documentaries(1/10)
52. Clothing 1
53. Get eyebrows professionally waxed
54. Learn how to play Cribbage
55. Donate $1000 to Higher Ground (Done 12/8/07)
56. Listen to Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
(Completely Done 3/20/08)
#1 The Amulet of Samarkand done 2/13/08)(#2 The Golem's Eye done 3/4/08)(#3 Ptolemy's Gate done 3/20/08)
57. Choose 2 kids from church's Jesse Tree @ Christmas and buy them presents
58. Update photo albums
59. Replant plant on towel shelf (Done 6/6/08)
60. Sell statues on eBay
61. Join both ALA & MLA (Done 10/30/07)
62. Make a monthly budget
63. Edit a Wikipedia article (Done 9/4/2008: did the Winsted, Minnesota article)
64. Learn to swim
65. Make a 20 item anti-procrastination list (done 7/15/08)
66. Do all 20 anti-procrastination list items within the month (done 8/15/2008)
67. Type out Goodwill donation tax slip (Done 3/4/08)
68. Update FLYControl Journal (waiting for life insurance information)
69. Get important documents in fire proof box
70. Complete at least 50 things on list by 12 February 2009 (21/50) [In process: 8]
71. Make 7 recipes from the Harry & David Cupcake Cookbook (1/7)
72. [private]
73. Go see 10 Minnesota Tourist attractions
74. Get eyes checked (done 8/26/2008)
75. Get new glasses (or contacts)
76. Host big family Christmas
77. Say yes 5 times when I'd rather say no
78. Do Advent readings and wreath
79. Do Lent the 'right' way
80. Frame tree picture
81. Complete a crossword puzzle book
82. Do the FLYLady thing for one cycle of the zones
83. Over Christmas Break 2007 see 5 first run movies in theater (5/5, done 1/7/08)
84. Read all the Josephine Tey books
85. Go to Annual Family Bowling Night
86. Plant trees in yard
87. Clean up computer document files
88. Read "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (done 8/19/2008)
89. Write 3 letters complimenting good service (1/3)
90. Write 3 letters pointing out bad service
91. Write local/state representatives letters about how important libraries are
92. Catalog 25 books on LibraryThing (done 7/14/08)
93. Start a Library Blog (done 1/18/08)
94. Summer Break 2008- see 5 first run movies in theater (5/5)(Done 9/1/2008)
95. Walk to work 30 times (30/30)(Done 9/12/08)
96. Link library webpage to librarysites
97. Bike around the lake
98. Walk everyday for 30 minutes for 1 week.
99. Host a Summer Croquet tournament
100. Send my mother in law flowers just because (done 8/5/2008)
101. Finish writing this list (done 12/21/07)

LIS 768: Virtual Communities

Please describe your first experience in virtual communities online.
Does that experience fit some of the definitions? What type of community was it? What behaviours did you find there?

My first experience in a virtual community was Yahoo! Games. Yeah, it's not a typical online community...but it is, if you think about it. By my reckoning, one of the hallmarks of a virtual community is interaction between its members. Well, Yahoo! Games had that. My husband and I usually played card games with others, and there was (is? dunno-haven't played in awhile) a chat function so that the players could 'talk' during the games. It was a transient community; we'd play against people who we might never run into again.

One of the virtual communities I jumped into on my own were on iVillage. Those were really great, and for the most part, did fit the definitions. Although I never met any of the people in real life, some of them became like friends (which was good, considering I was a stay/work-at home mom). I wasn't a leader on any of them (although a couple asked me if I wanted to be), but I was a regular contributor. When I started school, though, those kind of fell by the is a great crucible that way for me...I have to really mind my time well, and any 'extras' quickly get put aside.

There are others that I don't contribute to, but do enjoy on a regular basis, FARK being one of them. I love the humor, wit, and sarcasm (yep, a whole bunch of people like me! yay! lol) of the headlines and comments. It really is a community, complete with in-jokes, sayings, and ignore buttons. There isn't a clear leader, but it's pretty self-moderating (well, mostly). People from all over the world post on it...and for the most part, they're all pretty intelligent and well-informed about world happenings-have to be...when someone spouts garbage, there's a whole bunch of people who'll set their little red wagon straight! Even as a lurker, I have really learned a lot...even though I'm not putting my opinions out there for the community to see, I've ended up rethinking some of my beliefs and truisms. And, like I said, the humor isn't bad, either.

What I like about virtual communities is the dynamics that can happen between a group of people who may never meet face-to-face. One of my favorite shows is "Survivor". I have watched every season, and the way the group dynamics shake out never fails to intrigue me. Those aren't virtual communities so much as artificial ones, I think, but are very similar in how they operate. Before being in a virtual community myself I thought it odd that I would be 'friends' with someone I'd never physically met. Now, though, I think it's kind of cool that my circle of friends was expanded like that.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

LIS 768: Library 2.0–Participation & Redesign -the 3 C's

As I was reading through all the articles, and refreshing my brain about the Library 2.0 book, 3 words kept running through my mind: Choices, Conversations, and Control.

Since I've been a library user, library services have evolved from Library 1.0 to Library 1.5 to Library 2.0.

To illustrate: I grew up in a small town (Baker) in Eastern Oregon. It was seriously almost in the middle of NOWHERE-the nearest town was 1 hour away, over a very tricky mountain pass. It was (still is) a predominately Roman Catholic logging mill town in the middle of ranching country. Those who left for college rarely came back. So, for many who lived there, that physical locale was the sum total of their (limited) world. The library was great...but what it had was what it had. There wasn't much choice as to what information could be accessed...and if the library was closed, well, you were out of luck. To me, that's Library 1.0, a one-way street...a one-way conversation: here's what the library has, and these are the formats, and you can take it or leave it.

Then, came Library 1.5(ish). I still remember the first time I heard the magical words, "Well, this library doesn't have it, but we can maybe get it for you via Interlibrary Loan." Seriously? My library isn't bound by these walls anymore? Sweeeet! The catch was, the requests were done by phone or through sending paper forms to another library. So, actually getting what I wanted was sort of hit or miss...usually miss-especially if I needed it for a school assignment. I'd have been happy to go to the other library to get what I wanted, but since I didn't know what library had what (that was still in the days of the behemoth card catalogs), that added a level of difficulty. But,hey-at least there was a world outside my physical location that I could tap into, right?

And so now, we have Library 2.0. My world has expanded exponentially since I became a 'digital immigrant', and I have the option to choose where I want to get my information, how I want it, and when I want it. Remember those 3 words? Choices, conversations, & control? Yep-for me at least, Web/Library 2.0 offers those things-not just to me, but to anyone who wants to use the tools. There are more choices-how does the patron want to get information? From a book, YouTube video, or a Google hit? We don't have to accept just one source as being The Gospel Truth (said in a lofty tone)anymore. We can have conversations with others from all over the place...not just our small corner of the world. And we have control over how much information we get, and don't have to wait for someone else to help. I like being fairly self-sufficient, and I suspect others do as well.

Unfortunately, some libraries, including my own, are still stuck somewhere between Library 1.5 and Library 2.0. Even so, this is not to say that all patrons (or librarians), no matter what their ages, are comfortable with all this "new-fangled electronic stuff". I strongly suspect there will always be the patrons who ask for my help in finding what they need...and I'm more than willing to help-that's what I'm here for. But, the difference now is that it's at least a two-way conversation going on, and there are plenty of options.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

23 Things: Thing #23-Final Thoughts

LOL-I feel like Cinderella, here...trying to get done before that blasted countdown clock hits zero!

Go back to your thoughts/ideas about Library 2.0. Has anything changed as a result of this experience? You know, some of this I already knew about, some of it I'd done, some of it I couldn't have cared less about. But all of it was enriching in some way. I'm definitely more willing to try new Web 2.0 things than I was, and even if I don't plan on using it now, it will be filed away in the back of my mind for a time I could use it.

What were your favorite Things and discoveries? Flickr, LibraryThing, and YouTube, hands down. But, I already knew about them-it was still nice to go back and try some of the cool features. My favorite 'discovery' was the online collaboration tools-seriously, these are going to make group projects soooo much easier!

Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? Yes, surprisingly, there were. I found I am much more digitally adept than I'd first thought I was...I'm not a digital native, by any means, but neither am I a total technophobe either. Like I said, I'm more willing to spend time with the Web/Library 2.0 applications to see if they're something I can use, instead of dismissing them out of hand.

If we offered a 23 More Things On a Stick program like this in the future would you participate? Yes, I'd be delighted to participate...I'll just have to remember NOT to sign up or try and complete it during a school term!

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? One word=Fan-tab-u-lous! Or, Crap-tastic! (depending on how a particular Thing was One sentence=I learned something from every Thing I did, love them or hate them.

Thanks for the 23 Things!

23 Things: Thing #22-Staying Current

I have had tons of fun dinking around with these 23 Things this summer. This term in school I'm taking LIS 768 Library 2.0 at St Kate's, taught by Michael Stephens (the dude who writes the Tame the Web blog, among other things). This was our first weekend, and boy, am I glad I'd done the 23 Things! It all made sense to me, and it was much more enjoyable to be able to further refine my knowledge.

As for staying current, no problem. There are some Things that I probably won't ever use, others that I'm not ready to use yet, and some that I have embraced wholeheartedly! I plan on using some of these Things to build a web presence for the Winsted Library. I've learned more about Web/Library 2.0 things so far this year than I ever thought I would...and better yet, I have fun seeing what the different things can do.

23 Things: Thing #9-Online Collaboration Tools

Ok, so I did e-mail for permission to get on the Google Docs & Zoho documents to be edited, but never got a response (which isn't a big deal). So, I did my own on Writeboard. You can find it at my Writeboard site: Declaration of Independence. The password if it's needed is: 23things.

To find out what I did, you have to choose two versions of the document to compare. To do this, just scroll down to the bottom of the page, and look under, appropriately enough...Versions. Choose which ones you want to compare, and click on the 'compare' button. You'll see the changes that I made.

I liked Zoho and Google Docs well enough, but Writeboard is very straightforward, and really easy to use.

23 Things: Thing 21-Other Social Networks

Are you a member of any online communities? Yes, I am a member of: FlyLady, iVillage, The Pioneerland Library System Group on Ning , and Flickr, among others.

Are any of these social networks appealing to you? I like Ning-it's easy to use and is sorted by interest. LibraryThing is also a kind of social network...if you squint hard enough-and I love that site. I think just about any Web 2.0 kind of site could be considered a social network--people can add their own content and comment on others' content/comments. The give and take is what appeals to me. I can have a conversation with someone who shares the same interests, but is in a completely different place.

What did you find that was interesting and that you might use later? For my LIS 768 class, the project group I'm in is going to use one of these to put together a site for the Winsted Library; a social networking site is going to play a big part. In many respects, it's almost easier than a conventional website (although I know how to hand-code one...thanks to Shane Nackerud, LIS 753 professor extraordinaire!) and it has the added benefit of enabling users to participate.

There are lots of different options out there...who knows what else I'll find now that I'm looking!

LIS 768: Fun with Flickr-Librarian Trading Card

Librarian Trading Card
Originally uploaded by le2442

I did this at South Park Character creating site, then uploaded it to Flickr.

I replaced my other avatar picture with this new one-it's way more me.

23 Things: Thing #20 Facebook & MySpace

So, here's the thing...I didn't create a page for either of these tools. I know I won't use them for my own personal use, and honestly? The Winsted Library isn't ready to have a presence on either of them yet, either. Why? Well, I think that for a library (or any public entity) to have a page on either, there needs to be a good website to direct people back to...and we're not there yet.

Here's the page for the Winsted Library on Pioneerland's site. Pretty sad, eh? It's outdated-we haven't been in that building for over 3's definitely not welcoming...and that web presence is just not working.

Here's the page that the City of Winsted has for the Winsted Library.

So, that's why right now, there are other priorities on the list. But I'm not ruling out the possibilities here.

However, I did go through both the Facebook and MySpace sites just to check them out and get familiar with them. When the library gets that far, both of those are good sites, but I am leaning toward MySpace just because it seems easier to use. It looks like something that is user friendly, and I like how the pages can be easily changed.

23 Things: Thing #19 Podcasts

How cool are these? I love the way they can bring in a whole other audience than the one that was the original listeners to the show/program/whatever. And, just thinking about how they can be used in the library...storytimes, programming, what's new at the library--there are so many possibilities! My favorite part is that I can listen to them when I want to listen to them, and not miss them because I couldn't be listening at the time they were on.

I listened to the Dave Ramsey show on podcast. My favorites are Fridays, when people call in to yell, "FREEEEEEEEEEE-DOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!" after paying off their debt. I didn't listen to any library ones, but I did go through the sites just to see what was out there.

Creating a podcast is definitely on the project list for the library. This is a neat Thing!

LIS 768: So, why IS a nice girl like me in library school?

Trust me when I say that at the glorious old age of 839 I didn't think I'd be 3 (count 'em 3!!!) classes from graduating with a MLIS. [No, I didn't type 839 birth certificate says I was born in 1169. That's why I was so darn good at history :D] Ah, but here I am...soooo close I can see the end in sight. So, how did I get here? Well, I didn't set out to be a librarian when I grew up, but hey-sometimes the Fates intervene, and we have to realize we're just along for the ride.

I can't think of a time when I didn't know how to read, or didn't have at least one book going. One of my favorite places growing up was the library; the librarian, Mrs. Jones was awesome. If I can be even half the librarian she was, I'll be doing well.

After I'd moved to Minnesota (I grew up in Oregon...pronounced 'Ory-gun', not 'Or-e-gone'), there came a time when I'd read all of what I liked to read at the library I frequented. In desperation, I had started at the beginning of the fiction section at "A", and was merrily reading my way through the alphabet. When I was in the "P's", one of my friends mentioned she was also having problems finding anything to read, but that her library was selling Page-a-Day Book Lover's calendars for $5; she bought us each one, and we thought we'd read every single book. Uh, no, not so much...we read some real doozies, that's for sure!

But, as I was trying to find these books at the library (this was before the system went online), the librarian asked if I wanted to be on the library board...which led to her asking if I wanted to be a part-time sub...which led to the assistant director taking an interest in my newfound library career and 'advising' me to 1) get my Minnesota Library Employee Voluntary Certification & 2) Go back to school and get my degree. That calendar was the spark that led me to being here today. Like I said, obviously the Universe had a different life plan for me than I did...but it's all good. It's working out...even though sometimes I still wonder what would've happened if I had finished my Accounting/International Finance Law degree when I was younger...

The library I am in is a smaller, rural branch library of the Pioneerland Library System, which is headquartered in Willmar. The head librarian lets me use the library to test drive different assignments for school, which is really cool.

Like I said in class, when it comes to Web/Library 2.0 tech stuff, I'm fairly fearless. It doesn't mean I use a whole bunch of it, mind you. But, the way I look at it, it doesn't hurt to try it and see what's good and what works for what I need. I don't advocate using technology for the sake of using technology-yep, I can make to-do lists online...but I can make them just as easily on paper as well. It's interesting to see what's out there-and then to see what it does.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

LIS 768: And off we go!

I'm also going to be using this blog for my LIS 768 (Library 2.0) class this Fall term...but I promise to keep tagging everything really well to keep it easy to find!

So, hello to the LIS's my blog. Not as spiffy as the way cool Wordpress ones that many of my classmates created (love the background choices), but it'll work.

This is going to be really fun--putting together what I've done with my 23 Things and what I'm going to be doing in this class.

Want to see that 23 Things on a Stick library project that some of the posts are about on this blog? Here's a link: 23 Things on a Stick. This will take you to the main see the 23 Things, scroll waaaay down to the bottom.

Want to see where I work? Here's the front of the Winsted Public Library.

No's all good!

Friday, September 12, 2008

23 Things: Thing 18-Video

I love YouTube, I really do. There's always something to videos, old cheesy commercials, how-to videos, tv shows...just to name a few.

Here's my library-themed YouTube video. I don't work at the Eden Prairie library, but I love this video. It's a fun way to let patrons know what is offered, and it's pretty good humor.

And one of my favorites...words to live by.

I also checked out Jumpcut. Some of the videos for FlyLady are on there, so I watched some of them. I'd actually forgotten about them until this 'thing'.

I've used YouTube most often, but I did know of some of the other video sharing sites. I think each has both good and bad points, and it comes down to a personal preference. Putting together videos for the library can help patrons learn about the library and what it has to offer in a non-formal way. St Kate's (where I go to school) made some for the library, and they are great! Libraries could use this tool to make videos showing how to use the online catalog, how to apply for a library card, making virtual tours of the library, online storytimes, upcoming events at the library...and those are just off the top of my head.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

23 Things: Thing 17 ELM Productivity Tools

First of all, I have to admit to having a major "Well, DUH!" moment when I clicked on this 'thing'. I know we have access to ELM, really. At least somewhere in the back of my mind I do...I just had forgotten about how much information ELM actually has! For the last few years, I've used the databases of the schools I've gone to when doing research. But, not everyone has access to those same databases, but they do have access to ELM. I've also used all of the different parts of this "Thing" at one time or another for my own research, so I already know how to use them. I can tell you this will be my newest link!

What I like about ELM is the ease of use, and how things are sorted into categories. Need biographical information? No problem. Need information on the Arts? Again, no problem.

How can these tools be applied to your everyday work?
For my everyday work, I can set up folders to pull in news articles and other information about whatever our current needs are. They could also be used to create pathfinders for our research needs.

How can these tools facilitate collaboration with your colleagues? Even just thinking about some of the group projects I've had to do over the last few, would this have come in handy more than once. Especially on the projects which involve doing lots of research supported by various articles and sources. The same could be done in a work setting. If a project is being done, and different people are responsible for bringing different parts to the table, so to speak, all of the items could be brought together in a central space.

How can these tools benefit your patrons/students? I think that many of our patrons think about using Google as a first stop on the information highway. But, sometimes Google gives too much information, which the patron then has to sort through.
One of the things I think could be done with these tools is to start to create some pathfinders for the school assignments that we know we'll be asked to find information for. Sometimes when a patron is doing an assignment for a class, there are particular source criteria that needs to be met--ELM can help with that, plus add some multimedia sources as well.

There are other reference sources that I use as well, and probably will continue to do so. But for the everyday patron, ELM is something that they themselves can access from home too.

23 Things: Thing 16 Student 2.0 Tools

I have been a college student for the last 5 years (this is my 6th, and last). I have used these assignment calculators on occasion...but I can tell you first hand that although they do a wonderful job breaking the assignment down into manageable pieces, sometimes it almost feels like just one more thing to have to deal with. Many students (not all), including myself on occasion, wait until the assignment reaches critical mass before starting. For that problem, there's no assignment calculator in the world that can help! For those who are a tad more organized, these are great tools-it definitely helps break the assignment into smaller parts when it looks so overwhelming when first assigned.

How might the RPC and the Teacher Guide help you help students plan and manage research projects? Like I said, from a student's point of view, hearing, "Write a research paper on this topic" sounds waaaay more overwhelming than "Come up with a topic by Tuesday, and formulate a working thesis by Friday." The assignment calculators also break down the project into steps, which can be helpful to also use as a checklist: "Did I remember to pull information from the different types of sources? Did I cite them correctly? What is next?"

Can you think of any uses for library projects—could you use it to help manage a timeline for a project of your own? These assignment calculators can be used for any kind of long-term project, academic in nature or not. There are other online tools that do basically the same thing that I might look at using for library projects before I used these calculators, but I can see where these might be useful as well.

For the right person, these are excellent tools, and definitely have their place.

23 Things: Thing 15 Online Games and Libraries

Not too many hard-core older gamers come into our library to play their games on the patron computers...probably because the systems are too old and slow, and there's a 30 minute time limit if others are waiting. Also, many teens either have or know someone who has a gaming system, such as PlayStation, XBox, or the Wii; all of these have the capability to 'link up' with another system so multiple players can play together.

So, neither of the choices for this thing seemed too relevant for what I need or want to know about. Personally, I've played games on the PlayStation for years, and our family got a Wii this last winter. There are definitely games that are more fun when played with other people. My thought on Second Life was that I don't always have the time to do all that kind of stuff in REAL life...why would I want to go do it for 'fake' when I can't find the time to do it for 'real'???? (I do understand that it is popular, and that perhaps others are more fulfilled by it than I was).

What I did choose to go look at was Webkinz. This is a site that many of our younger patrons LOVE to use, and it has the same kind of community that the Pirate one or the Second Life game has. The premise is that when you buy a Webkinz stuffed animal in real life, on the tag is a code that allows you to go register your animal on the site. Once it's registered, then it has an online life, and can be visited and taken care of (it's a little more complicated than that, but that's the basic premise).

23 Things: Thing 13 Online Productivity Tools

Which start page did you choose? Why did that one appeal to you? Will you make it your permanent home page? I used iGoogle, mainly because my RSS reader is on Google too. I liked how it all came together, and although I know I can change my theme (there were well over 100 pages to search through), I probably won't...although I think it's kind of neat how even a start page could be completely customized like that. No, I don't think I'll make it my permanent home page...I tend to change my home pages to reflect what I'm currently interested in, or working on. Even having the choice of what I want on my start page is great, though.

Did you find a tool that has some uses for you at the library or at home? Which tool(s) would you recommend to others? You know, the more I thought about it, any of these tools could be used on the library staff computers. At first I was trying to think how they could be useful for library patrons. But, even as I was thinking about how we periodically revamp our Project List, I was thinking that these kinds of tools could be useful in that setting. Once our new project list is compiled, we can test it out using one of these tools (I'm leaning more toward the "Ta-Da List" right now...).

How can the online calendars be useful to you?The online calendars can be accessed by anyone who can get to the Internet. Instead of having to print them off repeatedly after scheduling changes have been made...just change the calendar once online & everyone can login to see it. Since I'm still working on my MLIS, having the reminders sent to my e-mail (which I do check) would be kind of handy.

What about the to-do lists—helpful, too much work…? Hmm. I do make to-do lists for myself, yes, but I do them on paper. I think trying to remember to go online and mark what I've done off the list would probably not go well. a work setting, I think they could be used rather effectively. I know even though in the library we're really good about leaving notes for each other, sometimes they're overlooked, recycled, put somewhere safe...none of which actually helps get the job done. For long term projects, an on-line to-do list could really be an asset.

Did you try out Backpack? What did you think? I've used different aspects of Backpack, but not the entire thing--I don't want to pay for it. There are other web 2.0 programs that can accomplish the same thing for free. I do like the fact that a group can use it for projects, and that everything is right there on the page. I think that Backpack is a great concept...just wish it were free.

I enjoyed learning about the different online productivity tools, but I have to admit that in some respects, using technology for technology's sake only adds to my everyday 'noise' level. In my personal life, paper and pen are just fine. On the other hand, I can (and do) see the value of having these tools, especially when working with a larger group that needs to stay on top of a project. Do I think I will use any of these? Well, I wouldn't rule that possibility out...but it won't be 'just because I can'!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

23 Things: Thing 12: Do I Digg? Nope.

I don't Digg, Reddit, Mixx, or read Newsvine (although it was easily my favorite of the tools). No, I FARK. Fark is a site to which users submit links to news stories, tagging them with their own headlines (often way better than the actual headlines), and then others comment on. I admit, the humor, heavy on sarcasm and wit, may not be everyone's thing, but I love it. Sometimes the debates get heated, but for the most part, it stays relatively civil. The site has different tabs into which the stories are sorted, so if I only want to read about Entertainment, I can just go to that section, rather than have to sort though a bunch of stories. If I want to read about what's going on politically, I can go to the Politics tab.

How do you think you can use these tools in your library or at home? At home, I can just read the stories I want to read, from a variety of sources. At the library, the same could be done...each patron could set up an individual profile, or login to what the library's profile provides. I'm not so sure Fark would be a well-rounded choice for a library, but I wasn't impressed by any of the others except Newsvine. I thought Mixx, Digg, and Reddit were all one big jumble. Maybe if I used them more I'd think differently, but I also know if a user doesn't connect with a Web 2.0 tool, well, there are plenty of others to go try. It's not like it used to be, to paraphrase Henry Ford, "You can [use any online technology], as long as it's [insert name of web 2.0 application here]."

Do these tools seem to be a productivity enhancer or a productivity detractor? Um, I'd have to say, both! A productivity enhancer because the news I'm interested in is all brought together in one place...a productivity detractor because there have been numerous occasions during which I find myself reading articles/comments instead of doing whatever it was I'd originally needed to be doing. Yep, both. Any kind of Web 2.0 application such as these invite comments from the users--and oftentimes it's the comments and resulting debates that leave me with something to think about, rather than the original news stories.

Have you ever read a story/item as a result of seeing it on one of these sites? Yes, yes I have. And sometimes I wish I hadn't... there've been some doozies that I wish I hadn't clicked on. Mostly, though, I skim the headlines, and see what interests me on that particular day.
Although, as I said, oftentimes it's the ensuing debates between the users that provides food for thought, especially in the Politics section. For instance, even though I have always voted since turning 18, it wasn't until this past year that I really would consider myself to have really thought about the issues at hand...even though I don't post comments myself, there's something to be said for a 'town hall' kind of atmosphere.

Oh, and as for what I's on the winstedlibrary29 delicious page!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

23 Things: Thing #11 Tagging & Delicious

I was already tagging my posts as I went along, so I don't need to do that. When I set up my LibraryThing account last year, I used tagging to keep my 'piles' of books separate.
I tend to think of tagging as being a tool to make sense out of a whole pile of stuff. I really wish our online OPAC had this capability, but it doesn't. Once I'm done with school, I'm seriously considering loading all our library's books into LibraryThing for our patrons to use. In that case, tagging would be essential. The books would be on the physical shelves in alphabetical/DDC order...but it would allow patrons to locate the materials by how they think of them, not how we think of them, especially in the non-fiction area. That's what I love about tagging-just because I think of an item in a specific way doesn't mean anyone else does. Besides, half the fun of looking at tag clouds is to see what others call the item being tagged!

I have used in the past, and I love the concept...but maybe not that particular site so much. On our main terminal at work, under the staff ID, I have bookmarks that are useful. Inevitably, though, the one I need is on my home system! Loading them all into an online bookmarking site is a better idea, and then we can all tag the sites how we remember them for ease of use.
When I set up the Delicious account, all of my bookmarks from my home computer got ported over...yikes! I didn't know I had over 900...but I do now (no wonder I can't seem to find things). I ended up just deleting the new account (and all the bookmarks) and starting over rather than deleting everything one-by-one.

Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere? You know, I can definitely see the value of this tool, especially in a library setting. In the fall, area students have to do a leaf identification project, and many come to the library for books. It would be nice to have other resources to point them towards, and this might do the trick. It's also a great thing to be able to access my bookmarks from anywhere (the library or school) instead of just at home.

23 Things: Thing #10 Wikis

What did you find interesting about the wiki concept?
The wiki concept is a really handy one, especially if a group is working on a project which entails a great deal of information needing to be exchanged rapidly. The ease of editing was a good feature. Of the various wikis that I looked at, the ones with clear sections were more useful than ones where the information was all jumbled together.

What types of applications within libraries and schools might work well with a wiki?
This is something that can definitely be used for a bunch of library things: Storytime, Reading Lists, Summer Reading...the possibilities are endless!
I will probably use one for Summer Reading Book Bingo next summer. It would be great to allow patrons the opportunity to put in their own book suggestions and reviews.
Within the greater scope of the library, I can see wikis being used as a jump-off place for pathfinders, staff needs,& training.

Many teachers/faculty "ban" Wikipedia as a source for student research. What do you think of the practice of limiting information by format?
I don't like the idea of limiting information by format, but since the teachers & faculty are the ones making the grading rules, they get the final say as to what can be used, and what is considered acceptable. Considering that I take Wikipedia for what it is (a good starting spot) rather than The Research Gospel Truth, I don't have a problem using to get ideas of what subjects to look under or other avenues of information.
For a formal paper, though, I agree that the information may be a little spotty...but who's to say that what's printed in a book is any better (just to play devil's advocate for a moment)? The great thing (and the not so great thing) about collaborative/editable technology is that it can draw upon the collective intelligence of people who might not otherwise have a forum in which to dispense their knowledge about a subject. I'm not saying that it's infallible, mind you, but just because it's different doesn't make it wrong.

Which wiki did you edit?
I was brave enough to take on the mackdaddy of wikis: Wikipedia. I edited the Winsted, Minnesota entry. I fixed a link error; I put in the URL & reference for the HL-W-W school entry; and I made a (pathetically small) new section about the Winsted Library and linked it to the Pioneerland home page. My id is Winstedlibrary29 for verification proof.

Overall, I think wikis definitely are a relatively untapped resource for libraries. Even for collaborative school projects these would certainly speed up the process.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

23 Things: Thing #8 Sharing Presentation Slides

This is a presentation that I did for a Cataloging class (LIS 703) Fall Term 2007. It is about LibraryThing. I originally put it together in Microsoft PowerPoint.

When I was in another class, we had to do a group project; one of the components for the final presentation was a PowerPoint presentation. This would have infinitely sped up the process! Collaborative work is the bane of my school career (I don't care what my professors say...I don't like my grade being dependent on someone else's work), and tools like this would make some of the process so much easier.

I used Slideshare, because of the options, it seemed the most straightforward to me.
There were a few hiccups-it took a bit to get my file uploaded, and the whole widget thing was iffy. I played around with the badges, but then decided that if that was on a blog I was looking at, it didn't catch my interest enough to actually click on it. I don't like the height of the column, but there were only 3 options listed. If I were more conversant in javascript, I might be able to tweak the widget to display the slide show marker like I would like it to be (but I'm not, so I won't).

Although our library doesn't do much with presentations on its own, the 4 county libraries do a presentation to the county commissioners once a year. The head librarians seem to have a whee of a time trying to get every library to send information. Then, once it's at a central spot, it still has to be integrated into the main presentation. This kind of tool would seriously cut down on all that-if information can be uploaded, edited, etc, in one central much easier would that be???

23 Things: Thing #7

Describe how your library uses email. Has it improved productivity? Our library doesn't seem to use e-mail too much. I use it frequently at home; it's one of the best ways to get ahold of me.
I know the library has an option for patrons to receive notices via e-mail, rather than by paper copy, and some have opted to do that. That makes sense to me-by the time the paper notices are printed, mailed, and received (especially for overdue items), the patron has already returned said item(s), and then we get that great phone call from an indignant patron. Whereas, with the e-mail notice, the notification is done on the same day, and if the patron is like me and checks his or her e-mail at least once a day...there you go.
When I am communicating with my coworkers, oftentimes we just leave notes for each other...but when the notes get lost things can get interesting. But, say we can't get to our e-mail-then it's the same thing. There are quicker, more efficient ways to do things electronically, sure...but that doesn't mean it should be expected to replace the 'old-school ways of doing things' either.

Share your thoughts on online reference using some of the other Web 2.0 communication tools. I think there are so many cool 2.0 technology things out there that at this point, there's not much that can't be accomplished digitally, and then shared via the same method. When I took my Reference class Winter term 2007, for the first half we were supposed to focus mainly on print sources. Now, that's fine and all, but I can tell you that most of my younger classmates were thinking that our teacher was stuck in the stone age. Yes, not all reference sources are available in electronic form...but I remember thinking that that didn't necessarily mean they were correct, either (especially if they were more than a couple of years old). The library comic strip "Unshelved" had a funny series about it last week:

Our library is open pretty limited hours (20.5/week), so the live reference wouldn't necessarily be a good fit. But it's still something to be aware of, and to keep in the back of our minds for a time that it will come in useful.

Are you an active user of text messaging, IM, or other communication tools? Yes and no. I can text, but I'm not nearly as quick as my kid. I did set up templates in my phone to use for quick messages; I think I'd do better with a phone that had a whole mini-keyboard on it(like a Sidekick or a BlackBerry), but I do OK now.
I don't IM, but I do know how, and have in the past. It would be really useful for a remote reference conversation, though. The library staffs 3 people, but usually only one is working at a time. It's a small branch library, so we only have the one librarian terminal.

Which OPAL or MINITEX Web conference (Webinar) did you attend? How was it? What do you think o this communication tool? I attended a WebJunction webinar (well, an archive): "It's Great to Collaborate in 2008". It strongly reminded me of some of my undergrad college classes in that the presenters were at a remote location, yet it was all interactive (the archive wasn't, but if I would have done the web conference on the day it was live it would have been).
I can see how handy it is, but I also know that some of the best things about conferences is the networking that goes on at a personal level. There really wasn't that give and take that an actual conference would have. However...on the other hand, there were participants from all over the U.S., which was neat. The prospect of being able to attend one of these sitting in my non-work clothes is enticing, that's for sure!
This kind of communication tool has its place, and is very useful. These are used in business settings, and have come a long way from conference calling. The fact that archives can be accessed months later at whatever time is great; it allows people to get the information who might not have been able to attend the original webinar.

Monday, September 1, 2008

23 Things: Thing #14 LibraryThing (Challenge) [out of order :) ]

Well, duh! If I would have read down the 23 Things list a little more carefully, I would have realized that I'd partially completed this Thing (#14) last December, and finished it this July! My LibraryThing widget is on the left side of this blog, down the page a bit.

For my Cataloging class, I did my final paper on the difference between 'formal library cataloging (LC standards, etc)' and how LibraryThing makes it all work together. Well, that was the upshot of it all, anyhow.

If you want to go see the rest of my library, my member name is: digressions

As to how I can use it for the Winsted Library, when I build a web page for the library, I intend to link LibraryThing to it for patrons to use. I use it now for finding readalikes and to tell patrons about different books. It could also be used to make lists of books used in various storytimes, and can lead the parents & caregivers to even more books with the same theme. LibraryThing can be accessed from anywhere; I can load books into my LibraryThing library, and then log in when I'm at the Winsted Library.

I really really like LibraryThing. When I first used it, it seemed confusing, but spending a couple of hours just seeing where my clicks led me was a great way to figure it out. It's really easy to enter books into my library (which needs updating!) I use it to keep track of some of my To-be-read (TBR)books. When I'm done with Library School in May 2009, I will finish loading my home library into my LibraryThing Library.

GoodReads is another option, and I've heard good things about it from some of my classmates. I just like LibraryThing better (probably because I'm more familiar with the ins and outs of it-doing a research project on it helped).

23 Things: Thing #6 Using an Online Image Generator

Here's my mosaic using pictures I took around the Winsted Library.

Although creating this mosaic was frustrating, it's pretty neat. I'm still not sure why the mosaic creator couldn't pick up my photos from Flickr right away, but it all worked out in the end. This would just be neat to do to capture the highlights of a program or storytime, instead of having a whole bunch of pictures or sets to sort through. The mosaic maker could also be used to put together something like a "Top-Ten Photo List of Patron Favorites for the year 20XX". I also can see using it when creating lists of subject-related material for patrons.

Using it for family photos would also be great-instead of having a whole shelf full of little pictures, one mosaic could be created instead. I may have to come back to this Thing!