Thursday, August 6, 2009


I have received two requests to be followed on Twitter, which I have ignored since the names are not familiar to me, and I have heard some stories about the danger of allowing strangers to follow you. If you would like to follow me and you are from 23 things, please leave a name or id on this blog. Otherwise, please do not be insulted if I ignore you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thing 23 - Reflections

My favorite thing was facebook. I am amazed at the ways that you can connect to people with this tool. I can definitely see how this could be useful in a library to capture the attention of younger kids as well as older baby boomers that are discovering new technologies. Another favorite thing was Google reader. I did not know anything about blog readers. This helps me by bringing some organization and control to the various subjects I like to read about. One of my least favorite things was digg. It seemed too arbitrary. Without knowing who was ‘digging’ articles, it would not be very useful in targeting any services for the library.

When I become employed, I will use facebook and flickr with my patrons. For my own intellectual development, I will use Google Reader to help me keep up with library news and websites. This will keep me informed of the ways other libraries are using new technology. I would like to make podcasts of storytimes so they can be shared with children. I would do this in concert with the outreach librarian who delivers books to the sick and homebound. Therefore preschoolers could both see the book and have it ‘read’ to them.

Through this course I have learned more than ’23 Things’. I have learned that there is a real community among the librarians in North Texas, and a real willingness for them to share their time and knowledge with others. I have learned that even librarians who have worked in the field for many years are as unfamiliar as I am (was) with all the new technology. I have learned that new technology can be fun and adventuresome as well as frustrating at times. I have learned that learning never stops.

I have also learned that the technology that gave us the internet has also given us the tools to organize and understand it so we can use it effectively. We just need to be pointed in the right direction. I am very grateful to the librarians who instituted this program here in North Texas and showed me some of the technology available. I will continue to learn about new technology. I have signed up for a website development class for this fall!

Thing 22: Developing your own 23 Things

Since I am currently unemployed and have not worked in a library, I will answer this “thing” by referring to the library I volunteered at this past semester. I am not really sure about the technology skill level among the staff, but these are my suggestions. I would suggest that all staff use delicious to tag articles that they feel are relevant to their areas and share these tags and articles with the other staff. This program has been great to teach me about what our patrons are using. If we don’t become comfortable with at least some of these new technologies though, we will not have realized the full potential of this class. I would suggest that the library use an in service time to collaboratively set up a facebook page for the library and learn to use flickr. That way, several librarians could have input on the page and include pictures of their events. If they get started on it, it will be easier to use it on an ongoing basis.
Also, I would have the staff get Google doc accounts and use them to share documents relating to their policy manual. It is in need of some updates. Google docs would allow them to review and edit changes easily.
Finally, I would use some of the links on the podcast page to teach the children's librarians how to record and upload their storytimes to a podcast.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thing 21: Podcasts

I went to Denver Public Library's Podcast. There I listened to several librarians reading childrens books for storyhour. I really enjoyed hearing those books. A nice feature was that there is a link that leads directly to the card catalog and enables a listener to see where the book is available and request it if interested. This could form a connection between the child, parent and librarian which would provide familiarity to a shy child before they came to the library. They could recognize the voice of the librarian and might ease a transition into storytime.

I also listened to Booktalks - Quick and Simple by Nancy Keane. I was not familiar with the concept of Booktalks and took some time to read the information she provided about them. I thought the concept and the podcasts were very useful. I liked the way she provided just enough interest in the book to make you want to read it. This is something that might appeal to a teenager who likes to read. it could encourage them to try a different type of book than they usually do.

I would suscribe to both of these podcasts.

I also looked at an RSS radio news feed podcast (from podcaster platform.) It was from the UK and seemed to have a good "Top 10" list of podcasts. Unfortunately, when I went to download the software needed to view it, the security signature was not valid. Also, that site had a free 30 day trial, but would have a subscription fee after that.

Finally, I realized that my iTunes program had the capability to download and listen to podcasts. For now, that is probably the simplest way for me to download podcasts since i already have the program on my computer.

I do think that podcasts could be useful for my patrons. Both the Bookcasts one I described above and the storytime books could be used by library patrons. In addition, visually impaired patrons could use the podcasts to hear stories without having to go to the library. This could keep small children in tune with what other children their age were listening to at storytime.

In an academic library setting, cornell had a podcast concerning a conference on hip hop that was available on their website. It was a rebroadcast of a radio program. I think this would be useful to library patrons who were unable to listen to the program when it was on the radio. This type of archiving of recorded materials would be very helpful for any talks that librarians give about their collections.

Thing 20 - YouTube

Searched 'academic libraries'
Videos I watched: TexShare Databases 2 - This was trying to alert users that they could get databases from their library. This would be a useful video for a public library, but an academic library already has many more databases and I believe the students already know they can access them from home. Also, the classical music in the background doesn't seem to go wtih the young student in pajamas.
2009 ACRL Academic Conference - I found this video to be effective in showing that the conference was fun and had some interesting speakers. However, in a short video like this, there is not much substance. Still, it made me want to check out more of what the ACRL is doing.
A Librarian's 2.0 Manifesto - Just when I was about to write off YouTube as too limited in time to provide meaningful information, I came across this excellecnt video. I love this manifesto for its powerfully positive statement on how librarians can impact the future. And it did that in under four minutes. Now I can see a well made video can really inspire a person. It gives me something to strive for.
I like the idea of running competitions on YouTube for teens and college students. They could include ways to market the library, or service they would like to see the library provide.

Thing 19: Google Docs

I had never used google docs before and found it quite interesting. The thing I like best was the abilility to turn my document into a pdf. Currently, I do not have that capability through Micrrosoft or Adobe. (I believe I would have to pay for that function through them).

I also liked being able to view my presentation as a presentation or through Microsoft Powerpoint. That would allow me to share more presentaions with people who don't use Google doc and do not wish to sign up for it. I could see how it would be very useful when preparing awork presentation to have the quick feature of sending it to a co-worker to edit.

The spreadsheet option did not work properly for me. I am using IE 8 and their google doc's help site said they were aware of the issue and were working on it. By the way, I liked their help site. It seemed user friendly.

I also think it would be useful to create a document at work and then seamlessly open it on my home computer without emailing it to myself. so, all in all, this is a program I would use.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thing 18 - Wikis

I really enjoyed learning how to set this up. It seems much easier to create than I thought would be possible. I did go to Wikipedia and looked up the private school that my children had attended. I did find some inaccurate information on it, as well as information that needs to be updated.