Friday, July 27, 2007

Item 23 - summary of thoughts

I have to say that this experience has been more enjoyable than I thought it may be. The steps were put together in a way that allowed me to focus on one new technology at a time - which lessens confusion in my already cluttered mind! Most of the steps were easy to follow, which meant success was easily attained, which of course led to increased confidence and a greater willingness to try the next new thing! Frequent bouts of frustration will eventually discourage me from wanting to try something new - so I am pleased that frustrations were few and far between - which states how well this program was put together.

I think this program is a great learning tool. It would be great to have new "modules" made as more newer technology becomes available - that way we could do just that module and stay updated without becoming overwhelmed.

What I have learned:
That the electronic world is here to stay, and ways we can use that technology in both our personal and professional lives will continue to increase. The more comfortable we are (and as librarians, we must become so) the more tools we will have at our fingertips.
I have also learned that I should not be afraid of new tools and technology. Unlike the old days when, as a programmer, I learned to be really careful and sure that I want to press the "Enter" key, now experimenting can be fun without worrying about destroying entire databases and files (most of the time! at least on Web 2.0 applications!).
I have also learned about a lot of the new tools out on the web available to me. I am certain that when creative opportunities come my way, both here at work and personally, I will think about what is out there that may either simplify, and/or enhance how I go about doing what I need to do.
Mostly, I learned that this new 2.o technology is not all that difficult to learn to use, and I should not hesitate to get out there and be adventurous!

Week 9 Audiobooks

I really like the tutorial for Overdrive and Netlibrary - something like each of these would be great to have on the Overdrive/Netlibrary page of the HCPL website.

I have downloaded ebooks from Overdrive in the past, and that is pretty easy to do. I have just downloaded an audiobook from Overdrive, and that is a little more complicated. One big thing to remember is that when you download Overdrive Media, click on Save, not Run.

However, now that I have everything working, it's really fun to listen to the book I checked out being read. I have played with some of the tools, and find the bookmarker works quite well.
I am looking forward to downloading books on an MP3 Player to see how all that works, as well.

I am finding this all quite exciting as I am realizing that all kinds of doors are opening up for me regarding the many different formats books are now available. I think I still prefer the written word in front of me, as I am a visual person, but it is fun to be read to - the narrator for the book I have checked out has a nice British accent, and as the book takes place in England, it's fun to hear the words pronounced as the writer meant them to be

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Week 9 Podcasts

I had fun exploring podcasts - I found things there I wouldn't have old broadcasts of the radio program "Lone Ranger". I sent that link to my father, as he often talked about how much fun it was listening to those radio shows. It made me think that links to podcasts of this kind would be great to have on our website - certainly there are others who would get a kick of listening to old broadcasts for free! I also found some public domain books being read aloud as podcasts - things like Huck Finn, Anne of Green Gables, and Pride and Prejudice - ah, another source for those students looking for the talking books for some of the classics!

Of course, it is obvious that podcasts would be great to create for the library - for educating our users on services we offer, as well as educating staff. Once again, here is another resource that we, as librarians, need to remember is out there for ourselves and our patrons.

Week 9 YouTube

Since anyone can put videos on these public sites like YouTube, there will always be some trash to be found, but there are so many good videos out there. I found one showing the sweetness of pigs, which was put together as a response to somthing which must have been anti-pig. The one I found can be found at - watch this (see sidebar) and you'll think twice before eating bacon! This reminded me that a site like YouTube can be used to promote ideas, to share fun videos, to educate (I saw one video on how to use a library's catalog), and these videos are accessible to everyone. This would be a good place for teachers to at least explore to find short videos on topics they are covering. Certainly there are some opportunities here for libraries such as creating videos for training, for connecting with other libraries both within and out of the county. Imagine creating a video showing various library services and telling schools, media specialists, etc. the URL, or putting that URL on our webpage!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Week 8 Exploring Web 2.0

First, I have to say that my initial reaction to all these Web 2.0 sites was amazement at how many there are out there! While looking over the awards list of the sites, I was surprised to see some sites, like Craigslist, which I have been hearing about for years, is actually a Web 2.0 site - being so interactive!

I enjoyed looking at - a site where you can sell and buy rare or out of print books. That's definitely a site we librarians need to be aware of.

I also liked Lulu, which is an online self-publishing site. Not only can you publish word documents, making them accessible to others for review and editing, as well as accessible to yourself from any computer that has the internet, but you can create things like calendars, etc. I can definitely see potential uses of such a site here at the library. For instance, these kind of sites could be used to create a library calendar (an idea thrown around more than once).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Week 8 Online applications - Google docs

I just spent a week in Carova, North Carolina at a house only accessible by 4 wheel drive by driving on the beach. While that in itself was an adventure, it was just as exciting to see the wild horses which live on that beach. It is believed that these horses ( arrived around 400 years ago with Spanish or Portugese explorers. They were either left there, or swam there after a ship wreck. Isolated on the Outer Banks barrier islands, they became wild and have lived there ever since.

The above is a document I created on Google docs (the image is from Google Images - It was very easy to do, and even easier to post it to my blog! I think these web-based productivity applications are great! They work very much like microsoft's programs, but they are free and they and the documents you create on them are then available on any computer which has internet access. You can send the documents to anyone without them having to download, and as long as that person has internet access, they can access the documents - for free! No more worrying about whether the recipients have the application on their computer in order to open the document! I love having access to this software for free, as most of the programs by Microsoft cost hundreds of dollar.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Week 7 Sandbox

I felt that the instructions for playing and adding information to the Sandbox were vague, but I felt ok trying on the Sandbox since that wiki is a play-place...I figured I couldn't do too much wrong. And I actually succeeded in adding a link to the wiki! But I feel less confident about creating and using a wiki than I do about some of the other things we have been learning about during this adventure.

However, as I blogged before, I think there are some great things one can do with a wiki here at the library, so someday in the future I may conquer my fears and create one.