Thursday, August 30, 2007

week 9, thing 23 (The End)

Well, I am finally finished, just under the wire!!! I was very excieted when I saw that we would be participating in "23 Things." Although it was a crazy summer and I really didn't have much time to work on it. Being a children's librarian, summer reading activites took up a lot of my time! I wonder how many children's librarians finished the program? With summer reading and staff vacations maybe the summer wasn't the best time for this program. By completing the program, I was able to look at lots of sites that I heard about and was meaning to look at. Overall, I think that there may have been too many activites. I also thought that some "Things" should have come earlier in the program, especially thing 15 (web 2.0 articles). Some sites were difficult to use and others such as Meez, just took so long to process that it was a waste of time. I definately didn't spend enough time on the web 2.0 awards and will definately go back to that site. I am now comfortable with blogging and may establish another blog soon. I also regularly visit bloglines. I am glad that I participated, but I am glad it is over too!!

week 9, thing 22 (overdrive)

Since I was at work when I looked at Overdrive, I did not set up an account or download any books. I have in the past attempted to use this service but didn't like it much at the time. Everytime I chose a book, it was checked out. If it is digital, why aren't there unlimited copies? When the item did come available I didn't have time to listen to it. Another problem was that this program doesn't support my ipod. I recently read an article where the author thought that libraries should have boycotted programs like overdrive until it made an agreement with Apple to make it compatible with the ipod -- the most popular player!! (I don't remember the details of the article). Looking at Overdrive, I was impressed with the variety of books available, and many were ready for immediate "check-out." I thought that it was easy to search and browse (I am not sure if the format varies from library to library?). I will definately try to download books from overdrive again, when I have time to listen to them on my home computer!

week 9, thing 21 (podcasts)

I tried and Podcast Alley. I thought Podcast Alley was the better site. Here are comments about each site.
  • You could search by category or title. Titles weren't really in alphabetical order because of symbols, numbers and articles which kind of drove me crazy.
  • Could not locate popcasts that I listen to such as "This American Life" and "Pop Candy"
  • Too many Google Ads
  • Needed to download software. While they offered suggestions of which software to download, they didn't give instructions.
  • Site lacked any information about podcasts and the site.

Podcast Alley

  • Lots of information about popcasting and popcasts.
  • easy to search categories.
  • Ranked popcasts.
  • Need to download software, but there were clear directions.
  • I easily found the popcasts, I already listen to.

While Podcast Alley was my favorite of the two, I will probably continue to use Apple's itunes. It is easy to browse and works well with my ipod. Before itunes had podcasts, I also used a program called ipodder. Some of the podcasts I once listen to are now by fee-based subscription only. Podcasts, are a great way to catch up with NPR programming.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

week 8, thing 19 (web 2.0 awards)

From the web 2.0 awards, I looked at the following sites: Colorblender, Farecast and Zillow


On this site, users select a color and the colorblender generates 5 coordinating colors. This site would be great for home decorating or even creating a website. The site was easy to use and I am sure that it would be even easier to use if you understood HTML color codes.


This site predicts pricing of airline tickets based on the fares and trends of the industry for the last 90 days. It will tell you if you should buy now or wait for reductions. You cannot purchase tickets through the Farecast but will be redirected to the airline carrier's website or given the option to purchase tickets with another site like Expedia. This site gives you a variety of ways to search and allows you to change your flight plans easily. It had lots of charts and graphs. It also let you chart the fares for a 30 day period, so that you could find the cheapest days to fly. It is kind of inconvenient that you cannot purchase tickets directly from the site, but I would definitely use this site next time I need plane tickets.


Zillow offers users real estate information. You can type in a specific address, a street, neighborhood or city and zillow will produce estimated real estate prices. It also tells you which homes are for sale and which homes sold recently. If you chose a specific property it will chart its value and sales for the last 10-years and also offer you details about the home (i.e. how many bedrooms, baths, etc.). The images are very cool on this site too. All of the areas, I looked at had a satellite image of the area, you can see bodies of water, streets and even pools in back yards. Some areas even have "bird's eye images" using Microsoft Virtual Earth. I don't know much about Real Estate, but I think that this is a great site for potential home buyers and sellers. It would be a great way to get an idea of the housing market. I am not sure of the accuracy of all information. I looked up some known properties and the information about some of homes was incorrect.

week 9 thing 20 (youtube)

The first video I chose on youtube is titled "Dramatic Squirrel" (although it is not a squirrel but a prairie dog?). One of my co-workers showed this to me, it is too funny! You definitely need to have the sound on for this one.

The second video I chose is a clip of Parker Posey from the movie "Party Girl." A great movie about a party girl turned librarian. This movie is so campy and funny. I am not sure about the legality of this posting, since it is probably copyrighted (which is something youtube is battling with).

I wander onto youtube from time to time and always get lost in it. There is always so much to look at. Youtube is easy to use. I like all of the categories that are available for browsing and the search engine. Youtube is mostly entertaining but can be informative too. I also think that it provides a creative outlet for many. Because of the nature of youtube, users should keep in mind that things are out of context. I have read several news stories about copyright issues and youtube. I also wonder how many videos are posted without the participant's permission. I guess there are always issues with new technology (remember Napster?). Soon there will be court cases and new laws will be established.

youtube could easily be used in a library environment for announcements, instructional videos, program promotions, or even informational videos about why it is important to read to children. Using applications like youtube on the libraries website would add a personally element to the organization.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

week 8, thing 18 (online productivity)

I choose to test out "Google Docs" since I already had a google account and wouldn't need to set up a new one. Creating a document was pretty easy. I don't create many spreadsheets, but that also didn't seem too difficult. I think that it would be a good alternative to traditional software, but I am not sure if I how often I would use it. I am kind of use to Word. I could see how some individuals might find it easier to use than a microsoft program, especially if you use a lot of web based applications. The feature buttons are more like you would find in an email program. I could see the advantages of using it for collaboration with other individuals (especially if you aren't physically in the same place). I also thought the help section was extremely useful, unlike microsoft help which I don't find easy to navigate. According to the help section, it appears that there are still some bugs and there are also some features that the program currently doesn't have. Just a few things that you cannot do with Google Docs... no footnotes or endnotes, no templates, cannot merge info from spreadsheet to word document. As with any other document, it is always good to have a backup, but especially in this case. What happens if the internet is down? Or Google Docs becomes a fee-based service? This program would be helpful for libraries that don't have software on their public computers. Guess we don't have to worry about that any more. I still refer our younger customers to Create a Graph because it is easier to use than creating a spreadsheet.

week 7, thing 17 (learning 2.0 Sandbox)

At first, I thought this assignment was hard to follow. Once I got pass adding your blog to the participants list, it was easier. I most likely would have never added information to a wiki, but I found it pretty simple and enjoyed coming up with what to put on my page. I created a page about my favorite burgers in LA. I also enjoyed reading about others favorite places, foods and books too.

Monday, August 27, 2007

week 7, thing 16 (wikis)

Things I like about Wikis
  • Allows for focus on content and less on layout
  • Can be about a specific subject
  • Variety of links and information in one place
  • Allows several people or any number of people to contribute content (this can be bad and good)
  • Allows the public to interact through discussion pages

While searching various wikis, I found it interesting that not all wikis looked the same. The Booklovers wiki had a layout of a website and blog. In general, I find that the problem with wikis are how authoritative is the content and the lack of content. If no one specific is responsible for the wiki, content is not guaranteed. Wikis offer a great opportunity for collaborating and allowing all types of individuals to contribute. Wikis could be used in libraries to create more subject guides or to expand existing webpages. Book discussion groups could use wikis to post information about their group and the books they are reading (even multiple opinions on a book). I am sure there are lots of possibilities for libraries internally too.

week 6, thing 15 (web 2.0 / library 2.0)

This topic might have served me better if it had been earlier on. The articles assigned reinforced why librarians should be interested in current technologies and why one might participate in a program such as "23 things." The articles are found most interesting were

  • Away from the Icebergs by Rick Anderson

  • To better bibliographic Services by John J. Riemer

I agree with Anderson's view that libraries need to focus less on physical collections, and not on keeping materials, "just in case." There are so many useful resources in databases and sometimes even on the Internet. As a children's librarian, we often hear from students that they must have physical print sources. It can be difficult to convince children and their parents that information from a database is from a print source and not like searching the Internet. In many cases, they will only take the information, if it is the only thing available because their teachers have forbidden them from using any computer-based resource. I understand that teachers don't want their students to get misinformation from the web, but there needs to be more education about using databases and finding authoritative sources, instead of ignoring it all together. And I am sure that there are some teachers who are including this in their lessons but it is definitely not happening in all classes.

In the article, "To Better Bibliographic Service," John Riemer presented an insightful discussion on cataloging and classification. I especially liked his point about adopting web features. Libraries need to look at successful web technologies and incorporating them into what we already do well. I am sure that there are great web applications that could be integrated into library catalogs to make searching easier and information more accessible. In my opinion, it would be nice if the catalog came back with "Did you mean....?" every time I spelled a word wrong or didn't have every word in the title correct.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

week 6, thing 14 (technorati)

I don't know how much I will use technorati but I thought it was mostly easy to use and I liked that it was focused just on blogs and not the entire internet.

Searching Technorati
  • Searching by postings resulted in mostly indivdual's posting for 23 things or other "Learning 2.0" programs
  • Searching by Tags produced the same results but also included videos and photos
  • Searching by the directory brought up entire blogs about "Learning 2.0"

Using favorite and popular categories

While it did not surprise me that many of the popular and top blogs were about technology and some politics. I expected that there would be more about pop culture. But I guess it depends on who uses the Technorati. I also thought that it was interesting that there were non-english blogs that were ranked pretty high in the top blogs.