Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

If you were following this blog when I was writing it, and enjoyed it, hats off to you. You can now find me in the new and improved Marble Public Library. I'm a contributing author of the new blog for our new library. My postings tend to be long and wordy, and hopefully a bit entertaining. Tanja's are more direct and to the point. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to tell who is doing the writing on any given post. (Not only by writing style, but I also do more than the default font.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thing 34: Are reference desks obsolete?


Need For Speed (UNDERCOVER), originally uploaded by B A R A N.

HaHaHaHa. Our library is so small, we only have one desk. It is the jack-of-all-trades desk. Reference, yep. Technology questions answered, yep. Book recommendations, yep. Local gossip, yep. Reference desk, schmeference desk. Sure; we don't get kids in asking for books on leaves, cells, and the like for their projects, but we do get kids in looking for information on those same topics online. Our job has changed from knowing what books to get on those subjects to knowing what online sites to use for those same projects.

I tried Yahoo!Answers, Mahalo, and WikiAnswers. They all seemed a bit silly to me. Mainly the sites consisted of a lot of people asking questions that a lot of people had already asked (okay, so mainly I checked the book categories, where a lot of people were asking what to read, and others were answering Twilight.) I think it would just be easier to do a direct search for your answer. But, I guess in the case of, "What should I read?" the best answer would be to talk to a librarian; and if you've got a question about certain products or how-to's, answer sites would be a great way to get your answers. How nice to have people willing to answer your questions about Windows Vista! Snappyfingers worked much as a regular search engine, with you putting in some key words, but the results were different. It gave you a series of questions to pick from, and the beginings of the answers, with the website the answer was found at. I thought this one might be the most helpful when it comes to a question with a more solid answer. It wouldn't work as well for those, "What should I read?"-type questions.

Why do people use these sites instead of "googling" things and/or checking with their local libraries? It seems like it may be stemming from a need to communicate more with others. It's more like these Q&A sites are more social than anything else. Where else to hang out with a bunch of people discussing the starter problem on your '96 Grand Am--and all these people actually know about or own Grand Ams. How cool is that? You can't get it with a regular search engine, and I find it pretty hard to believe anyone could find that in their neighborhood.

Libraries often give off a feeling of being "old school", slow and steady, much like a turtle. But pop the shell, and look at the technology and speed under there!

Thing 33: Travel 2.0--around the globe, one website at a time


Brooklyn, originally uploaded by Farl.

This was a very timely Thing to be doing right now. Our trip to NYC is nearing, and we're looking at all the things there are to do that we haven't yet done, and all the things we'd like to do again. I like the "new" way of doing things, letting users/travelers review and recommend various travel options.

Travel blogs: I checked out some blogs at and found some blogs by and for people with kids. As an added bonus, some of those bloggers seem to be professionals (unlike the lowly amateur you're reading now,) with easy to find listings of places they've been with kids.

Review sites: I've been a long-time user of -- it's good to get people's opinions on various things, so you know how good or bad a place can be. seemed like a good site to use to get reviews on places/things to see. I didn't look at it long, but I can see myself spending some time seeing what there is to offer for travelers.

Travel Journal Sites: I could create my own travel blog, but I won't. I did find some good information on

Travel Mash-ups: gives listings for some popular fast food joints. I do wish they had more than just the standard places. (Sonic, anyone?) I like the quick link to if your preference is Starbucks. Not so handy if you'd like Caribou instead.

Other: I found somewhere in my ride through Travel 2.0. I'm surprised my sister-in-law; "The Scheduler", hasn't found this and filled in all time slots available during our week in NYC. I sent it to her; with my one plan marked on the calendar along with time, location, and address, and gave her collaboration powers so that she can put in everything else (haha). offered some good reading as well. Ideas for how to keep the kids entertained en-route to your final destination, what to pack, and destinations among other useful information can be found here.

Looks like I'm all set to start delving further into things to do in New York City--granted, while I was perusing all the sections of this Thing I read a lot, and added quite a few bookmarks to my delicious account.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Thing 32: Maps-- beyond, "How do I fold this thing??"

How cool that there are so many maps out there! I had no idea that there was more than just Google Map and MapQuest. My personal favorite is I like the user recommendations for things I may miss. Too bad there wasn't anything in out-state Minnesota, but now there is, because I added a couple. I will be using this on our next trip out to NYC!

Here is my attempt to make a map from the Marble Public Library to the Calumet Public Library. It may not be completely accurate (I think the Marble Library may be a block off.) It certainly was easier to create the map in theory than it was in real life, but maybe with more practice I can do better. Is it easier than the origami-cal feats needed to fold a map back up? Perhaps. You be the judge.

View Library to library in a larger map

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thing 31: Tweeting--more than just duck calls

Holy, canolli! There certainly was a lot of stuff to read with this Thing. It was really too nice of a day out to open each link and read all. So, I didn't. I read a lot, and I learned a lot, and then I think my brain over-loaded. I had no idea there were so many gadgets and tools to help a person navigate, use, and keep up with Twitter. "Everyone" uses Twitter, heck I saw Oprah open up her Twitter account a few weeks ago (and now I follow her, just like hundreds-of-thousands of other viewers that day.)

I'm proud to say that I rank 511,489 out of 2,170,054 with a grade of 71/100. That's a C-. I was surprised that I ranked so well. I used Tweetdeck for a day, but found it made my computer DRAG, so I uninstalled it. It was pretty nifty to get the updates as they happened. I was able to link it into my Facebook account, so those popped up when any one of my friends updated their statuses. Right now; I'm still pretty new to Twitter, and none of my real world friends are big Twitter users, so I'm in the Presence stage of using it. I'm there, I'm following a few things (hello, Rep. Oberstar, Darth Vader, my sister-in-law, and Linda Wadman, among others.) I still don't completely understand all the hype though. Maybe if I can get more of my real world friends to sign up (like I did with Facebook, and now they can't live without it either) then I would be more inclined to check it everyday.

I signed myself up on the Tweeter directory. Now, I don't know how exactly to find the Tweeter directory. Do I really need to come back to this Thing in order to get the link for it? It shouldn't be this elusive. I saw that you can post from your email, Gmail, phone, etc. I have no use for that at this time. Remember, my stage in the Twitter game is Presence. At this time, it works best for me to just log onto my Twitter account and change my status. I added my Twitter address to my list of websites on my Facebook account, we'll see if anyone notices and joins because of me--I've got one particular status-junkie friend who I think would love Twitter.

We'll see as time goes on how much I will really use Twitter. I like to think of myself as on the cutting edge--at least as far as conservative Northern Minnesota goes. I'm ahead of the pack, let's just see if the pack follows.

bubblefriends on twitter, originally uploaded by bubblefriends.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thing 30: This RSS feed is Delicious!

Google Reader is what I use to keep up with some of the blogs and such that I'm following. I haven't used it much since the first set of 23 Things, but now that I've added it to my iGoogle page, I'll be sure to use it more. I've got all the 23 Thingers blogs in one folder, but that's the only folder I've got. It's pretty much all book and library stuff saving using this feed. I don't feel the need to open up another RSS feed, I barely remember to use the feed I've got.

Delicious is another story. I use my account all the time! What craft to make in storyhour this week? Check delicious and see what sites I've got saved for finding out. What is the theme for the week for Toddler Time? Check delicious and see what preschool sites I've got saved. Now I've got some other crafters added to my network so that I can see the sites they use. Maybe I'll find some new and interesting things to do with the kids! (They'd be so excited to not do a painting project every other week.) I've been mainly using just 4-7 websites for the past few years, it will be interesting to see what other sites are out there without having to do a search and scrolling through a list of 1000's for a site that's actually usable. I got into the Inbox, and that looks to be promising as well. It's almost like an RSS feed for your tag words. Nice! I forsee myself using delicious even more than I already do after this Thing!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thing 29: Polly Wolly Google all the day.

Ai, yi, yi. You certainly could Google all day, and all night for weeks with all the tools and gadgets Google has to offer. So, what did I tinker with? After looking at my options here's my synopsis of them:

Search Tools:
Alerts: I don't need more emails, especially ones I won't read about breaking news, even if it is something I'm trying to keep tabs on.
Google News: Okay, I've already got this going on my iGoogle page. I've got the news I want to kind of be aware of (scan the headlines of) at the top of the page where I can quickly look at them when I'm using my iGoogle.
SearchWiki: I didn't understand the point of this one. I suppose if you don't have a delicious account to save your favorites to it would be useful. Now I know what it is, and it's there should I ever want it--but I don't think I will use it much. I don't need to see other's comments on websites, it seems to waste more time than free time up.
Web History: No, No, No I don't need a gadget to remember all the sites I've visited. It may be handy to have more personalized results for stuff, but what happens when I want to go beyond where I've been?

Productivity Tools:

Sites: This the the thing in this Thing that I'm excited about. It seems like an easy way to get a library web site up and running for our very small library. Link it to our to-be-created Facebook account, and maybe we'd get some traffic with it! Baby steps first and here's what it looks like so far: GREAT! Okay, so it's not really great yet--but I only spent a short time on it, I'm sure it will improve over the course of the next month or two.

Google 411: How great to have information available for free! 1-800-GOOG-411 has been added to my cell phone contact list!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thing 28: My Own Personal Page--iGoogle vs. My Yahoo!


Before starting this Thing, I already had My Yahoo! I didn't have any fancy gadgets, just the weather, emails, and news headlines. I have since added movie show-times (if I don't see it in the theater, I won't see it!) I saw the spot where I could add my RSS Feeds to the page, but haven't delved into that. Once I figure it out, that would make it super handy for me.

Since I already had My Yahoo! I figured it would be like cheating to just blog about that, so I got signed on for iGoogle. I already had signed on for the Google Reader and Google Docs, so it was no big deal to make a page for myself with those things added to it. Also included on my page are the current moon phase, weather, hangman, Google Translate and movie show times.

Which will I use more? My Yahoo! Since I have Yahoo as my home page, that would make sense. Although I did find it easier to add stuff to the iGoogle page. Maybe I should just switch my homepage over to that!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thing 27: Amo, Amas, Amat; Tweet, Twitter, Twat

Twitter, yet another social networking site. A short message about what you're doing and all your followers see it. You see all their short messages about what they're doing. Basically a longer version of the Facebook status. And that's all there is to it. Yes, there are bagillions of people, businesses and organizations on there as well. No, they aren't necessarily easy to find. I suppose they are if you know who or what you're looking for, but I didn't.

Love it or hate it? I don't know (although; if you know Latin, you may have thought I loved it with the title of this posting). I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. I did find 31 Twitterers to follow. And as of now, I have 12 followers. Ai, yi, yi. Only one of which do I know personally, so that makes me feel some pressure to be witty, sharp, and all around not-boring so that they will continue to follow me.

This would be a great thing for our library, and easy way to let our patrons know what is going on at the library. However, I don't know that our patrons know anything about Twitter. It's a handy dandy tool for people who are a bit more up on their Web 2.o than our community seems to be. Guess we need to gently push them into all these "new" sites!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thing 26: The NING THING

Ning: a social networking site. There are different groups sharing different interests. What did I do on the 23 Things On A Stick Ning? I posted a video (the same Monty Python one I posted here some time ago,) I commented on a discussion or two, and it seems like I joined a group or two.

I joined Ning with Thing 22; and although I checked on it and commented a couple times over the summer, there wasn't a whole lot of activity going on so eventually it got put by the wayside. I would hope that others joining the ning would continue to use it. The more people commenting and sharing their ideas, the more it would prompt me to comment and share. The Ning is only as strong as it's weakest link.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thing 25: Widgets, Gadgets, and Tools, Oh My!


it's like a zoo!, originally uploaded by jek in the box.

Lots of widgets and gadgets to peruse in this thing! Of course, I already had a pile of them on here from Round 1 of 23 Things on a Stick. The earlier additions include: a
monkey counter, a map, and the fun colors game! I moved them around a bit (you may not have seen the name the colors game, as it had been hiding at the bottom of this blog.) I didn't feel the need to add too much more, but I've got a clock added here so that you can see how much time you spend on here. I also added Site Meter, so that I can see how much time you've spent on here. You may notice the new opportunity to rate my postings, along with that came the suggestions for other readings. Those suggestions are NOT MINE! The rating system and suggestion box comes from outbrain.

There was a lot of stuff to look through on this Thing. What I added is just the tip of the iceberg of widgets and gadgets that can be added to a blog. I didn't see a need add voice-overs to mine, nor a need for me to post to my blog via email (or other devices which I don't have). I looked at Apture, but didn't see how I would use it. It looked pretty interesting, but I didn't want to spend the time digging deeper into it. As far as how much time I spent on this, probably 2-3 hours. Of course, I did squeeze in a couple rounds of Scramble on Facebook during that time too--but that counts for less than half an hour of the time I've been sitting here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thing 24: addendum II

No, seriously. I had quit looking for a new template. I was closing each of the many tabs I had opened in my search for something different; when lo and behold, I saw this one that you're looking at right now! A couple hours later, and here's the final result. It only took about an hours worth of tinkering to change the font colors from readable on dark pages to readable on light pages, to get all my widgets lined up and ready to go; and another hour to figure out exactly how to get this template to work. Now here's a change I can believe in. Good-bye dark dots, hello big monster!!

Thing 24: addendum

Okay; I got done with the posting, and then realized I should have made some more obvious changes to this blog. Thus decided, I spent the next several hours looking for a new template. Since I'm a children's librarier I was looking for something whimsically literate. This took a lot of time! I finally found one that would work for me, and then had trouble using it. I found another that might work for me, got this blog switched over; and didn't like it after all--too whimsical. After a couple of days of putzing with this here and there, I am finally waving my white flag in defeat. I like this template, and refuse to easily change it to another that I don't like. Pllbbbttttt. (That's me blowing a raspberry.) Now that I've surrendered, I can move on to the next Thing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thing 24: Or, Thing 1 revisited


Here we go again. Good thing, since I haven't blogged since our last Thing on a Stick. No excuses, just spending too much time messing around on the internet. I don't know that I've learned anything in that time worth mentioning here though. Or, at least that's what I'm thinking now. Perhaps I have learned some worth-while stuff, and I'm just not aware of it!

I thought blogging was pretty fun the last go around with it, and I'm looking forward to doing more. Too bad I haven't felt I had anything worth blogging about in the past few months, or I'd have done more. Now there is another set of things to blog about, so off we go.

There is only one blog that I check occasionally: Imagine Knit. I check it because it's my friend Senja's blog, and I'm always impressed by what she's got going on. I don't post anything to her very often, maybe I should though. I did also check out One Dollar Diet Project, simply because I saw them on some show (Oprah? Good Morning America? I don't remember.) It was an interesting read over the course of a few days, but not something I've really check back on (until now.) My favorite 23 things blog was D-Block, the humor was great and something I looked forward to reading as he progressed through each Thing. Here's hoping he works on the next 23 Things! I will now be checking my director's blog as well: The German Experience. She's already done Things 24 and 25! I'm impressed, seeing as how we both have become Facebook addicts.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thing 23: Not the end

I'm not done. T-minus 3 hours to finish up the 23 Things though. So here goes the last Thing blog.

In the beginning I had no idea what Library 2.0 was. Perhaps I still don't (not exactly anyway,) but I do know a lot more than I did when I started out. Flickr, social networks, blogs, podcasts and gaming I had all heard of before, but never really played around with. RSS feeds, collaboration tools, online productivity tools, and assignment calculators were things I had never heard of before. I may have only scratched the surface of what is out there on the web, but I scratched it instead of just running my fingers over the smooth surface. I'm hoping there will be another 23 (or 10, 17, 21, 36 ) Things in the future.

I've come away with this with so many ideas, they've really congealed into a strange mushy mash in my brain. Good thing there's this blog here where I can see what my thoughts on each Thing were, and the ideas they inspired. I may have to take a week off before delving into this fount of possibilities though.

One word or sentence to sum up my 23 Things On a Stick experience? Hmmm, tough one. After perusing the finishers blogs and my dictionary I came up with one word. Relative. These 23 Things are what our patrons are using, or what they are going to be using. This is an ever-changing line of work, and it is important for us to know what our patrons need before they know they need it. These 23 Things are what we need to know to stay one step ahead of the people we're serving.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thing 22: My resolve to continue


Control Room, originally uploaded by Chris Hoare.

It's resolution time again! Huh, just when I was easing into forgetting all the ones I made for the New Year. This should be an easy one though. I resolve to continue learning and keeping abreast of the new technologies available. Okay, that sounds worse and more complicated than I mean. I resolve to try new stuff out on the web and explore some of the sites I was introduced to with 23 Things On A Stick. That's better. I may not be able to learn one thing per day, but one thing per week is not out of the realm of possibilities. I can do it, I can do it. No; really, I need to do this. I'd hate for our library patrons (okay, the YAs) to be so far ahead of me in web knowledge again. I'm caught up to them, I won't let them leave me in the dust without a fight!

I've put The Shifted Librarian and LibrarianInBlack into my Google Reader. They join the ranks of other sites that have been added over the course of these 23 Things . My account has a few more sites that I found interesting. Looks like I have a few places to go to keep up to date on Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 tools.

I guess I'm not finished with this blog, this may just be the beginning.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thing 20: Will you be my friend? aka feeling like a stalker

I am quite new to the world of online social networking. So, I joined both MySpace and Facebook. Jump in with both feet, right?

MySpace lets you set up your page with different themes and colors. Great! Now to look for people I know. Hmmm, type in their name, choose which one is the person you really know (as opposed to people you don't know with the same name as the person you're looking for,) go to their page, request that they add you to their friend list. (Anyone else feel like a stalker doing this?) Now wait for them to add you (hmmm, anyone else feel like a loser with no "friend"s here?) Now, at this point (waiting to be friended) it was time to search for some groups (hey, they'll let me join never having met me! Guess I'm not such a loser after all!) After all this, I don't really know what I will personally use MySpace for. I'm just too far removed from this modern form of networking, I guess.

I had an easier time with Facebook. Maybe my Facebook friends are just faster than my MySpace friends though. All comments seem to be on the one page, you don't have to click a bunch of times to find out what all your friends are doing. Nice. I also didn't feel ancient on facebook (I'm younger in attitude than in years!) This site is obviously geared to teens and up. MySpace is certainly geared more toward teens.

I looked at library sites on both and it gave me inspiration to set our teen patrons to work. Once our teen advisory board gets up and running, this is a job for them (okay, maybe it's a job for me--but I need some help from them!) We'll have to find out first which if any of these social networking sites they use. I know MySpace was quite popular with our teens back in the days when it was considered almost too seedy for teens to use. We've come a long way with these, I think our teens know more about what they can and cannot post than they did 5 years ago. Granted they're invincible teens, so what they know and what they do may be two separate things.

For anyone who has never gotten on these social networking sites (and is a little snoopy, like myself) be warned, these sites can be total time suckers! I can see where future employers will use these sites to check up on applicants. Another warning; watch what you post, it's out there for anyone and everyone to see (less so on facebook than myspace).

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thing 19: Like peas in a Podcast


I love peas!, originally uploaded by magnusmagnus.

Podcasts are new to me. I hadn't searched for or listened to any prior to this thing. Wow, there sure are a lot of them out there. Want to learn about gardening, knitting, parenting, or just about any other thing you can think of and there's probably a podcast out there for you.

I had the easiest time finding miscellaneous stuff on Yahoo Podcasts. was easier to navigate than I didn't find anything that really pertained to my (very) small town library on the Minitex podcasts. Minnesota Public Radio's podcasts were pretty limited in the topics they had.

Tall Tales Audio was interesting. It gave some ideas for those of us with storytelling as a main part of their job description, or those people interested in developing their storytelling techniques. I only listened to one of the many storytelling tips, but I'll probably be back to listen to more in the future.

Will I ever make and post my own podcast? Highly unlikely. Will I become a regular podcast listener? Only time will tell; but it is another way to get information, and should I ever get my own MP3 player I think I could get hooked.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thing 18: I love this, do YouTube?


Ahhh, the skills needed to be a great librarian are highlighted so well in this video!
I do love Monty Python. There is something to be said for having some wild animal characteristics when dealing with patrons (haha).

I looked at Yahoo Video as well, and you could tell it hasn't been around as long as YouTube. Less videos per search, and no comments on any of the videos I looked at. YouTube had quite a few comments per video I looked at and pages of videos versus the one page found using the same search word on Yahoo Video.

I don't know that I would use any videos on our non-existent library website. I suppose if we made a video we would just add it straight to our website versus going through one of these video sites, but then again I suppose it would get viewed more on one of these forums than on our non-existent library website. A different/new way to advertise our library.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thing 17: ELM: Easily Loses Mind

The frustration of Thing 17! I was looking forward to learning more about these databases. I quickly lost interest.

I must admit, I've been to a workshop where a person from Gale showed us how it worked. It was helpful in the fact that I had not used the databases before so I got a quick look at how to work them. However, it is daunting to try to figure out which database you should be using for any general topic. Helping a student look for tree information for their reports takes a bit longer than it would if I had better knowledge of it. This is not the thing for research novices! As for setting up an RSS feed, I couldn't find the link. From what I've read, I wasn't the only one. I did watch the video about setting up an RSS feed (TWICE!) but I concluded that they weren't using the same InfoTrac Student Edition that I was. What they were using was the Gale Powersearch. I found the RSS feed there; but like others, my GoogleReader had problems adding that feed to my list. I got the red Oops message at the top of GoogleReader, and another proclaiming a problem setting up that feed, but somewhere along the way I attached it, just don't ask me how! On the plus side, I now know to use the Powersearch when I don't know which specific database to use.

EBSCO was easier to navigate for me, but perhaps the directions for that were a little clearer. Or so it seemed at first. I set up my website only to find that when I clicked on the links it didn't go to a nice HTML page but an abbreviated version of the story, more like the card pulled from the card catalog than the book itself. Some of these cart-catalog pages actually have the article at the bottom, but not the ones I saved. Now I know to save only the HTML pages or PDF full text pages (which are mostly photocopies of printed articles, from what I found.) Lots of time tinkering and I still haven't gotten this EBSCO thing figured out. So far though, I'm less than impressed.

Proquest gave me the least amount of trouble. I followed the directions, and things worked out just the way they were supposed to. Given the choice of all three of these things to use for research, Proquest is the one I will use.

NetLibrary confused me. I didn't understand how I was supposed to do what I was supposed to do. I haven't yet been able to access the video, but perhaps when I do, I will have a better idea of what this part of this Horrible Thing is about.

I haven't had anything negative to say about any of these things, but now I have. This one was confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thing 16: How do I get this report done on time?

Nice tool for those in school. Now, back in my day. . .(insert sad story where main character has to walk to school; a long grueling walk, uphill both ways.)

Hasn't technology made some things in life easier? I certainly would have used Research Project Calculator or U of M Assignment Calculator to keep on task with those big reports that I had in school. Maybe some of those C papers would have benefited from more than 3/14 days of work on them. Of course, if you start using this tool on day 11 of 14 it isn't going to help much. There is a little pre-report reading that you should really do. For kids who have trouble getting started and staying the course, this would be a good tool to help them develop strategies for getting their work done. I can think of a couple of patrons whom I would like to show this to. It seemed that both worked in the same way. With both you could sign up to get emails about the next task to complete in your work. Good reminders for those students prone to procrastination and daydreaming.

Looks like I have 21 days to finish these 23 Things. I guess I've improved my getting started and staying on task skills since school.

Thing 15: Aarghh, there's gaming in the library!


Guess which Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game I played? Yohoho, I played Puzzle Pirates. This game is more game-y, than the other MMORPGs that are so common in our library (everyone heard of Runescape and World of Warcraft?) I didn't get onto a pirating ship that attacks others, so I'm still a pirate novice. Played some games, talked to a couple people, got the gist of it. I probably spent way more time than I needed to playing the games and less time than I should have exploring the pirating world and talking to my pirate peers. From the looks of it, this is a much more "kid friendly" site than WoW, but I haven't done much with that, so I can't say for sure. Pirates were friendly for the most part, although I wasn't sure a couple of times with all the pirate lingo going on. Guess I better go read a pirate book next if I want to communicate better.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thing 14: What's in your library?

I really liked this thing! What a great place to put all my books, and find out what others who love the same books as I do are reading. Should I ever be at a loss as to what to read next, now I know where to go. I did already place an ILL order for a book I saw on another list.

I noticed that the first 200 books you post are free, but after that you need to pay, guess we wouldn't be using this for our public library (we may be small, but not that small.) It would be a good place to search for the next book club selection though. Find out what other people love based on the books we've loved. I liked the discussions you could find with most books, it gives a better idea about what to expect.

How do we now share booklists with patrons? We have a list of new books displayed on our desk, and a monthly list gets published in the local paper. We're so small that when we see or read about a book that one of our patrons might enjoy, we just order it for them (or ILL it.) Our most avid readers don't seem to spend a lot of time online (too busy reading the latest books,) but for those that do, we may be able to point them in this direction when they are at a loss for what to read next (yeah, like that ever happens.) Once again, I'm wishing our library had a website. Yet another site we could link our patrons to.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thing 13: What was I supposed to do today?

To start with, I already have My Yahoo! as my homepage. I have what I want on there, and it's easy to use. Up to today, I hadn't added the calendar to My Yahoo! but now I have. Another place to put all those appointments I'm bound to forget. I checked out SpongeCell and even added a SpongeCell calendar to this blog. I looked at Backpack, and even temporarily set up a free account there. There wasn't a whole lot to offer for those not willing to pay, so I dropped the account almost as quickly as I started it. I don't see online calendars as being a time saver for me. I've got appointments written on my home calendar and the date-book in my purse. I think it's just a bit easier for me to check those than to get online to check things out. Maybe if my days were all filled with appointment after appointment it would be a better option for me. Of all the calendars I looked at I did like 30 Boxes the best. Why; I don't know, for aesthetic reasons? I may use that one; but again, it's just a repeat of the other calendars in my life, so it's redundant (good if my house and purse burn to the ground though.)

Remember The Milk is much the same complaint from me. I don't have so much going on that I can't just write it on my calendar or the grocery list hanging on my fridge. I suppose it would be handy if I were working more than one afternoon a week and thought of things I needed then, but not as my life is now. I do love the name of the site though!

I can see where these tools are useful for those people on the go all the time. Nice to get that text message reminding you to
go to the meeting with your supervisor, pick up the dry cleaning, pick up Billy from baseball practice, and pick up milk.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thing 12: You digg, Doug?


Big World for Small Lego, originally uploaded by miwaza.

I dugg, but I'm not entirely sure how this will work into my professional career. I looked at a bunch of news sites; and noticed that they all had a digg area, but only 3 out of the 6 used a sharing tool besides digg. So I dugg a article from the Wall Street Journal that I had read a couple of weeks ago. I was the 32nd to digg it. If libraries are supposed to be on the cutting edge of all things, I guess this is a way for us to see what's being talked about (or looked up online.) Other than that, I don't know how to apply this to our library. I'm not even sure how I would personally use this. In order of "professionalness", I rated the sites like this: #1:Newsvine #2: tied between Mixx and Digg #3: Reddit. Does that mean our younger patrons would prefer Reddit? When looking for answers to homework research questions I suppose I would first show them Newsvine just because it looked like it had more articles by affiliated sources.

Productivity enhancer or detractor? I'm not sure. I guess it's an enhancer if you're trying to keep abreast of things the world wide web has to offer. I tend to just stick with what I know, guess I'll be sticking to a few more things now.

I did end up reading a couple of articles that I wouldn't have otherwise. I couldn't tell you where I found them or what they were at the moment though, and chances are those top dugg stories have been replaced already. Maybe this would be a detractor after all.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thing 11: My compliments to the chef!

I did learn about when I watched a Webinar in Thing 7, so this wasn't entirely new to me. I started an account there shortly after finishing Thing 7, just so that I would have all my bookmarks in one accessible spot once we had switched over to a new computer at work. This is a nice thing to know how use. This way I can figure out what craft we're making in storyhour no matter which computer I use! Ingenious! That is how I'll use it in my library.

I think it may help me out in ways other than just keeping a record of the sites I like though. I can search out other people who have tagged some
of the same sites and see what other sites they have bookmarked. I can just search out tags and see what comes up. Who knows what sites are out there that are favorites of hundreds and unknown to me? What a great place to keep a list of sites for those leaf, cell, and other reports the local school kids come over to research. I can see where this may come in handy in the future. Looks like I'll no longer have to remember exactly where it was that I found that great information about amoebas.

Mmmmm, delicious!
Green eggs and ham

Thing 10: It's a wiki, wiki world

What a handy-dandy tool when you're trying to compose a list with other people. I used PBWiki and Zoho Wiki, just to try to figure out the difference. I also used Zoho Wiki to try to help me comprehend the difference between a wiki and online collaboration tools. So; if I've got it down, wiki's are start from scratch fix it there and leave it there and with the collaboration tools users can use their own format to edit the document. Somehow, I think that's the absolute basic idea behind it. But, maybe I'm a little off (yes, yes, I've heard it before; I know I'm a little off.)

I enjoyed the Book Lover's Wiki. A great place to head for when you're searching for a book to read, or a book for your book club to read. I scanned the Library Success wiki and hope to have time to actually read some of it after I finish up my Things. I edited the 23 Things On a Stick wiki. Not much more than I "I was here" for those doing these 23 Things.

Wikis are an interesting idea. I'm not sure about how factual they may or may not end up being. For a student doing research, I would think they aren't the final say. I would want some other "real" information to back-up what someone said on a wiki. Since anyone can add anything, it's hard for me to call this true information. How would we use this in our library? I don't know. I do like the book lover's wiki idea. A place for patrons to post about the books they've checked out and loved or the books they've checked out and hated. Now, if only more of our voracious readers were truly internet savvy (but that's a task for another day.)

P.S. Did you notice I learned how to put links on here. Good grief, going a little crazy with it too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thing 9: Can you help me compose this?

Gee, I wish I had gotten to this thing a week ago. It would have been handy as I typed a document at work, emailed it to my home address, worked on it some more, forgot to save it, and had to email my not-very updated document back to my work address. Google Docs or Zoho would have saved me some time (and a big head-ache as I searched my brain for what I had already written.)

I don't know which is better. I was able to easily do both. (Not that I doctored the Zoho document provided by 23things.) I did set up an account in case I need to type up a project in the future.

Wouldn't the founding fathers be happy to have had this at their disposal. "Glad we don't have to get together to work on this again, that John Hancock can be such a bore. And don't even get me started on T.J."

Oozing Freedom, originally uploaded by quick5pnt0.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Thing 8: It's called sharing. . .


Share, share, share. So, there's my slide show. Pretty nifty if I do say so myself. I used slideroll. How did I find that website? Good question. I must have gotten there through the 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story link. There were lots of good sites on there. A great thing to know how to do if your library has a website (mine doesn't.) I suppose I could personally compose a montage of pictures of the kids to send to far-flung family members, but I don't imagine I will in the near future. Guess they'll just have to check out the blog.

I did put together a database on Lazybase for our library book club. I can see where that will be a handy tool. Instead of scraps of paper all over with titles of books on them, I can enter them into the database to call up when the need arises.

I took a look at eFolio, but didn't really find a use for it for me. Too forward thinking -- I haven't caught up to the idea perhaps. A place to have your resume online, easy to update, ready to send to a perspective employee? Wow, whatever will we do with those file folders hanging in the desk drawer filled with our resumes, goals accomplished and such?

All of this stuff is relatively new to me, so I don't have any other sites that I use for sharing that I could recommend. Slideroll was pretty easy to use; it took a little tinkering to figure it out, but I managed to. I've used Big Huge Labs on previous Things, and some of those are easier to use than others. (Mosaic Maker being the most difficult of the ones I used.) I think I have had the most fun with Big Huge Labs, lots of stuff to play around with and create there.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Thing 7: Where do they offer texting 101??

Email, IMing, texting, all great ways of communication in type. I personally love email. I can send information to a bunch of people at one time, which is great and certainly is a time saver. I'm not a big fan of IMing. To me it's a lot easier to just pick up the phone. Maybe if I could type as fast as I read, speak, and think I would like it better; but my typing skills aren't that proficient. SMS is something else entirely. I need SMS 101: Texting as a second language. That's one Webinar I would be sure to "attend".

In our small (tiny really) library, I don't see us using IM or SMS anytime in the near future. (Hey, we don't even have our own library website--I think we would need to get that first.)

I viewed the Minitex Webinar about 2.0. Kind of felt like I was cheating, as I'm not to that thing yet. Ah well, I learned a little before I had to what is and how to use it. Now I feel like I should jump ahead to that thing before I forget, or just hurry through the next few things.

ttfn! (Guess I've learned a few SMS shortcuts.)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Book Baby trading card


deck2632257, originally uploaded by aawikstrom.

Thing SIX


Lots of fun stuff with Thing 6! I tried my hand at creating trading cards. I'm sure the kids will have a blast with these if we can create some for those participating in the Summer Library Program.

ImageChef had some neat stuff on it. I can see where this stuff would be great for a library's website (which we don't have.) Makes me wish we had one for our small little library. I don't know if our patrons would use it much, but we'd have fun with it.

I don't know that I'm "creative" enough to come up with anything/way we could use ToonDoo. Okay; I probably am creative enough, but I can't think of anything right now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thing FIVE

T glowing too Copper Lowercase Letter h I tapas n G 5
F Bead Letter U letter n
P1020028 coloured card disc letter t U F F Graffiti exclamation

What fun this stuff is! I could play around with this for hours (not that I haven't already!) We've already thought about using some of these tools to make a magazine-type flyer for people in our area. Trading cards may be in the cards for the up-coming summer reading program. I think the kids will have a blast getting trading cards featuring themselves. The mash-ups are fun to play around with, but I haven't exactly figured out how we may use them in the library. Perhaps just as an addition to our magazine.

I still don't feel completely comfortable having all of my pictures online for any Joe Blow off the street to peruse. But, I'm getting used to the idea.

My creation


My creation, originally uploaded by aawikstrom.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Reading to little sister--sepia


Friday, February 8, 2008

Thing FOUR


Reading to little sister, originally uploaded by aawikstrom.

Two of my favorite library patrons. (Okay, my two youngest daughters.)

Thing Four:

I don't know what our library would use Flickr for. We're small and I don't think we'd have time to do some of the really cool stuff that other libraries have done with it. (How fun to scroll over the books in a picture and be given a link to the library to see if they're available!)

I'd heard of Flickr, but never really explored it before now. How handy to have a place to download and share all those pictures that are stagnating on my computer. I'm sure I'll slowly download a bunch of them in the weeks and months to come for my own personal use. The only other place I've downloaded pictures to is Snapfish--you know, then get them made into actual hand-held photos. Although you can share your pictures there, it doesn't have a space for others to post comments about them. I sent an invite to my Mother-in-law who is spending a couple cold winter months down south. What a great place for me to send her photo updates on how her grand-girls are growing! I think Flickr is great!

It was a bit intimidating to try to come up with tags for the public photos though. I must admit it does make me a bit nervous to have them out there for the world to see. At the same time, I do wonder if anyone would have anything to say about them or if they'd think of other tags that should be added.

I played around with Picnik. Fun options there for things to do with your pictures. I do still need to figure out how to get the picture I want onto my blog in the way I want it. What fun! This is my first experience with messing around with photos, so I don't have any cons on this one. I set up a picture to go along with my name and postings. I doodled over a picture of myself. I didn't have the steadiest hand, so it didn't come out exactly the way I would have liked, but in the end I guess it's something like abstract art.

I went to the Picasa and SmugMug websites. Picasa is another free offering from Google, and I found it a little difficult to figure out. SmugMug has some fabulous shots on it, but from the looks of it, it seemed more geared toward professional photographers than rank amateurs like myself.

I put some of my pictures into sets on Flickr. Great tool, now I can find all the pictures from January 2008 in one spot. I'll be sure to use that more in the future.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Good grief, Charlie Brown. Here I was putting other NCLC blogs on my RSS account, scanning what was being said, and wondering how I put one of those icons on my blog so that people can just click it to add me to their RSS accounts. Thank you 23byBeth for sharing the fact that the Subscribe to: Posts (Atom) at the bottom of my blog is what you would click to add me to your RSS account, or what I would click to add you to my RSS account.

I get what RSS is, and I think it will save me some time. I won't have to check out a bunch of un-updated blogs to find out what progress others are making on their 23 things. There are about a million blogs I could get sucked into RSSing. Mostly I'm attracted to the ones that make me laugh: The Laughing Librarian and Unshelved. I also added
Paper Cuts - Books - New York Times blog and Reader's Club: Book Reviews. I did add the weather, but I can't imagine checking to see if it's been updated, I imagine I'll get rid of that one before too long. I've got that page already saved in my bookmarks--much easier to just go directly to their website. The same with other news pages, so I haven't put anything beyond blogs and weather in my RSS. I suppose time will tell how much I will use Google Reader to check up on these things I've subscribed to, but for the moment I don't know that it'll be much. I'm not sure how I did it, but I've got a couple of 23things blogs on my tool bar. Wish I could remember how I did that. That is SUPER HANDY, I don't have to go anywhere in order to find out if my fellow bloggers have added anything.

I've heard of classes that have set up blogs--much like 23things--and the teachers that can easily access their students progress. That would be a pretty nifty application for this tool. How we would use this in our library is beyond me at this point. We're too small, and too poorly funded to do most of the interesting/exciting things that bigger/better funded libraries can do. But, I'm keeping an open mind--who knows what the future may hold.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thing TWO

My goodness, so much is out there that I wasn't aware of. I spent a good part of the day reading about Library 2.0, and although much of it goes right over my head, I hope it won't be over my head for long. The more I learn the more I find out I've got lots to learn. I had never even heard of most of the web tools mentioned by Stephen Abram. Sure, I've heard of MySpace, Facebook and IMing, but I've never really delved into them. Weebo, Skype, and all the other sites mentioned in the video are new to me. Where to find the time to find out more about these things? I suppose I'll have to play a little less Text Twist and Word Racer for the next couple weeks (ha).

Why am I participating in 23 Things On a Stick? You might think that working at a library in a community of less than 700 would mean that these things aren't relevant to me. The two YA's that were in the library yesterday while my director and I were discussing our involvement with the 23 things said they didn't know what blogs are. Hey, let's learn about something before our patrons do! If we know about it first, then when they come with us with questions about these tools, we'll have some personal experience with them and will be better equipped to answer their questions.

And the question,
"How has the Internet and the vast resource it can be affected your use of time at work and/or at home?" has me a bit stumped. I no longer have to run to the card catalog when I want to know if we have a book in our collection (small library, we only got rid of it about 5 1/2 years ago.) I regularly use MyFamily to keep up with family and friends. I don't need to phone around to find things out, I use the internet. Hard to believe that for me computers entered my life in 2nd grade (remember programming the turtle to move around the screen?) Any questions you may have, you can find an answer to online (although they may not all be good answers.) How has all this affected my use of time? Good question. Do I have more time than I would if the internet were not such an intrinsic part of my daily life? Perhaps not. I wouldn't have as many choices or as much information available to me as I do now though.

Lots more to learn. What will this mean for our small town library? I don't really know yet. Hopefully we'll be able to come up with some ideas to help our community think of the library as the first line when they have questions, instead of the last line. Hopefully we can spark some dialogue with our patrons and find ways of enticing non-library-users into our fold.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thing ONE

Would you look at that! I got a monkey counter. So far I've visited my own site 7 times. I used I had looked at feedburner and sitemeter, but I love the monkey meter I settled on. (Not that I got real far with the other two sites.)

I noticed my avatar has the background on it. I don't know why it wasn't showing up in the beginning, maybe I just needed to clean the cookies off the computer.

So far this has been pretty easy, and fun. Now to figure out some more stuff.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thing ONE

Okay, so we're supposed to add on our avatar. I did but was disappointed that the background of it isn't part of the picture. I'm not sure what part of the directions I missed (if any,) guess I 'll just have to keep playing around with it.

Now to try and figure out some of this other stuff. I think there's a way to add a counter to a blog, but I'm haven't figured it out yet. A little nervous to try new stuff in case I end up in
cyber-la-la land. I think I can, I think I can. . .

Thing ONE

I've never blogged before. This is a new and somewhat daunting adventure. I've read blogs; in fact I have a couple of friends who have blogs, but I can't say that I've done anything beyond reading theirs. This should be interesting.

So far it's kind of fun.