Wow. Hard to believe I stuck with this thing. I must admit, there were some times that I wavered on if I would get it all done. But with the right amount of determination, I proved that it was an achievable goal.
I'm not always one to stick with things til' the end. But I'm glad that I did with this project. It was mind expanding and truly taught me some information and gave me some useful tools. I think in the world of technology, sometimes we tend to get stuck in what we know, stuck in the realms that we're comfortable in. It's sometimes hard to make that first step into things that you aren't sure of, but this program made it easier by holding our hands and helping us along.
I think my favorite discovery or exercise from the 23 would be the image generator. I think that I'll definitely play around with those some more and use them in the future. They'll be great for making icons and such for online use. I think my 2nd fave was the use of the rss feeds and bloglines. What a great service and an amazing way to use technology to keep up with things.
I think the most surprising thing about this program for me was that the use of technology is so broad. As an online junkie, sometimes I forget that all of this stuff out there can be used for so many different purposes. Who would have ever thought that libraries can find ways to use all of these different technologies.
I really liked both the format and concept of the "Learning 2.0" program. The blog as a tool worked very well. Although there were a few weeks where I was behind quite a bit and it seemed a tad overwhelming, once I jumped back in, it was very easy to find my spot and keep right on moving through the process.
If there were another type of program such as this, I would definitely participate. It helps to have nice little incentives of course, but I think the true reward (whether or not we want to admit it) is that we're improving our minds and keeping up with the zooming world of technology that is around us.
So after playing around a bit on Netlibrary, I learned a few things. I've often referred patrons to that service, but I had never really tried it from a users standpoint. It's not as easy as I thought. I found the searching to be a little limited in scope. I think I'm just used to more broader terms to search for and am a bit spoiled by the usual Horizon searchable fields.
I also thought that Netlibrary had rather limited selection. I tried several different author searches and each one only gained a few hits. I was a little disappointed to discover that they only offer a handful of Janet Evanovich's titles. And again, only a handful of Jude Deveraux's (one of my fave romance authors) as well.
Overall I think in theory that it's a great service, but maybe one that's still developing the broad scope it should have.
Ahhh, the world of Podcasts. I enjoyed this experience quite a bit. I'm sitting here listening to a podcast of "Paris by Night" a dance mix/electronica station that's music in French. Cool!
After playing around the podcasts directories, I found all sorts of nice little nuggets of stuff. On the library related side over at Yahoo Podcasts, I found the very useful and friendly NPR Book Review podcast. That would be really helpful for those patrons and staff who regularly listen to NPR and maybe missed a show or just wanted to hear it again for reference.
On the fun side, over at Podcast.net (my favorite of the two) I found a great travel podcast called "Soundguides Immerse Travel" and they had three recent posts that were for the city of Paris. I listened to the one for the Louvre and really enjoyed it. I think it was designed to be listened to while actually AT the Louvre, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I added the RSS feed to my Bloglines account, so I can keep up when they add new attractions in Paris. YAY!
#20 You Tube. (or "how I spend all my free time lately")
YAY! #20. Almost there. And this was the easiest and most fun thing yet. I've been playing around with You Tube for a few weeks now. After I kept hearing so much press about what a wonderful site it is I just had to investigate. And my, my, my. What a truly wonderful site it is. I think it is a marvelous thing and truly just opens up what the internet is all about. Sharing stuff. Info. Media. Ideas. Anything. It's amazing what all you can find. A while back I was searching a clip of a cartoon I enjoyed watching as a child. A very very old cartoon. It was one of the original "Merry Melodies" from WB from way back in the 20s (or maybe 30s, I forget). Anyway, I was able to find it on You Tube and it immediately brought back all of those great childhood memories and I had the most fun just watching and singing along. Awesome! Who'd have ever thought all of that stuff would just be at your fingertips? Amazing. Truly.
Here's a nice little clip I found. It's one of my favorite musicians, John Mayer, performing at a benefit. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
After picking several not great choices from the list of the Web 2.0's Award Winners (it seems like most I wanted required some downloading. blech. no good on staff machines!), I finally settled on investigating a retail site, Etsy a site that sells all things homemade. Just imagine it as Ebay, but everything is something that someone actually spent TIME and EFFORT making and therefore it's much better than paying $600 for tickets on ebay that only cost the seller $50 and you don't feel like you're getting ripped off. Cause it's stuff that is HOMEMADE!! Very cool indeed. (sorry about the ebay rant. blech. lately shopping on there just leaves a bad taste in my mouth).
Anywho, Etsy is pretty cool. Nice categories and the actual merchandise looked pretty good. Like stuff you'd find at a craft bazaar and such. I did think the searching was rather clunky. I tried numerous times (even attempted an 'advance search') for silver rings and kept getting...well...everything else in the 'Jewelry' category. Plus the hits ranged in the THOUSANDS and thusly, not too great for just browsing. I think it has potential, but needs a bit of tweaking in the way that items are searched for. If I were shopping for a knitted scarf, I'd definitely hit up this site. Good prices. And what appears to be decent quality. A great combination you don't find just anywhere. Thumbs up!
Yeah, it's a little early for Christmas, but oh well. heh. Just consider Zoho an early Christmas pressent. I must say, I'm duly impressed with this new little site. What amazing possibilities it has. I can see that this would be useful in many situations. I tried out the Planner feature and found it extremely easy to use. Loved the appointment notification and the notes areas and that you can have it notify multiple people and such. Very useful for people working in projects together from different locations and such.
I also played with the actual Word Processor function of Zoho. Although the options are somewhat limited (they only have a relatively small selection of fonts), most of the basic word processing functions that the average user would need are there. So overall, a good thing! Definitely.
Loved playing around with the PBWiki. This was the most fun thing I've done in a while, and once I got the hang of the html tags, it was a snap! I loved reading about everyone else's favorites and hope that someone will enjoy reading about mine, or at least give my fave website a glance. What a nice way to share everyone's favorites and learn about new places/links/restaurants/etc. I hope that it stays up a while, I would like to keep it around as a reference resource for the Charlotte area. Very cool!
Well, I have now officially been initiated into the world of Wikis. As someone who's never really even looked at the famous (or is it infamous?) Wikipedia, I've always been a little hesitant to delve into the world of all things Wiki.
After browsing around the few wikis posted, I think I have a pretty good grasp of how they work. I can see that they would be greatly beneficial to research and could be useful for organizing web content on a variety of topics. I particularly liked the Book Lovers Wiki. Nicely arranged and the format was very pretty. Loved the nice soothing colors.
I think that Wikis could easily replace some of the library's online offerings. For example, instead of just having staff compile homework links, it could be done in a wiki format so that anyone could add useful content to it.
I liked the SJCPL subject wiki too. The fact that it's connected to their catalog and you can search for materials in a certain subject was very useful. It would be like opening up the catalog to a broader scope of use. Being able to browse subject, topics, information and books all in one. Very cool!
I really enjoyed reading the "Iceberg" article by Rick Anderson. As a librarian who joined the profession right on the cusp of the emerging technology trends, I sometimes feel like I'm way ahead of some people, and way behind others. It is a struggle to keep up sometimes.
I tend to lean towards the 'old school' way of thinking that Anderson mentions in the "just in case" collection. I recall that one of my first tasks as a librarian was to weed the paperback collection and I just could not get rid of anything. I couldn't wrap my head around the idea that some things must be tossed. I kept reasoning that somewhere out there was someone who would want to read each book. Needless to say, I have come to terms with weeding things from the collection and now am an avid paperback weeder! YAY!
I do think that we, as a system at PLCMC are very good at the last point Anderson made. I think we are very effective when it comes to getting services out to our patrons- (at least I hope so!) and that we do offer quite a few services people want through online and technology based environments.
Eeek! It's been a while. I'm going to start numbering these things, cause I keep forgetting where I left off and with the gaps in time between working on them, well, you see my point.
So, #14, Technorati. I love it! Great site. It's well designed. User friendly. I like being able to see all of the tracking data and the mostly commonly searched tags and all of that. I enjoyed browsing through random blogs and just seeing what was happening. Very cool. I think I'd definitely revisit this site and play around for a bit longer. And the Entertainment section was great for us pop-culture junkies!