Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Bit of Fun

This is my avatar. I couldn't get it perfect, I would have added a book as well as a martini glass. Note the groovy red shoes!

#16 Wikis

I like the idea of a wiki for some things. I particularly like the idea of a wiki where patrons contribute reviews, but I notice that the Princeton Library wiki hasn't had new posts in a while. I notice that some of wikis have restricted who can add information, and my librarian's soul approves of that. A wiki that has infomation about a city, for example the Ann Arbor one, seems very useful also.

Like a lot of other people I question the value of an information source that can be changed and added to by anyone, but maybe this is a somewhat old-fashioned idea. To paraphrase George Orwell 'All infomration is correct, but some information is more correct than others' We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that one of the most important roles that libraries and librarians have in these days of deluges of information is to sort and verify, so our patrons not only have the information but have the correct information.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

# 15 Library 2.0

I've been working in libraries since 1977, when I started work as a trainee library technician, working in the basement of the State Library. The first thing we were shown was how to make the tea! Very important. Back then the State Library's catalogue was still on cards, some of them written in beautiful copper plate. I've worked in a number of different places, done a number of different library jobs, done some studying. Life in the library has changed.

In the best of all possible worlds a library is a place where anyone can come in and be respected, where we try to tailor our services to meet our users needs, where we treat each and every request with attention. But we live in a world where we deal with constantly shrinking budgets and rising expectations. The library is one of the few places where those closed out of the digital world can come and expect to find real help. We need to remember this. I don't know one person in my son's generation who uses the public library - I keep on having conversations that begin with 'You know if you went to the library you could ...' We are failing to reach these people, and I wonder why.

This learning project has been a wonderful opportunity to come to grips with some of the new technologies available, and to remind us that as soon as we learn something, it is already out of date. There is something new 'coming down the pike' (as they say in Maine).

If Library 2.0 is all about access, and letting the customer have input into the service, we need to rethink some of our policies and procedures. Why don't we have wireless Internet access in all of our branches, why has it taken us so long to allow customers to use memory sticks, why are we charging for Internet access? Just a few questions that have occurred to me as I have been doing this course.

And finally, if you want a bit of a laugh about Internet 2.0 check out The Librarian's guide to Etiquette.

#14 Technorati (2)

I think this is another thing that I will need to spend some time with. I haven't been able to watch the video on the site, I just can't get it to load. I have registered, and I will create a list of favourite blogs. I'm still not quite sure if I have my blog tagged or not.

#13 Del.ic.ious

I LOVE this, it is so much fun. I want to play with it for hours! I have been going through my bookmarks and adding them to Del.ic.ious. I can think of many ways to use it.

Next year I'm going on a trip with some friends, how fun to set up a place on Del.ic.ious where we can all load sites of interest.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What I'm Reading

I had planned that this blog would be about what I'm reading as much as it would be about library 2.0. As it happens I haven't been paying the reading part of it much attention.

I have listed some of my favourite sites for book information. Matilda is a wonderful blog about Australian literature, I don't always read all of the reviews in the weekend papers, but Perry keeps me up to date.
The Waterboro Library h20boro lib blog (in beautiful Waterboro, Maine) is a great places for bits and pieces of book related information - and written and maintained by a volunteer. Good work Molly!
Both of these sites also have great lists of links.

At the moment I am reading Perdio Station, it is a fantasy, and I'm not gobbling it up. I am interested enough to keep reading, but not to the point that I am anxious to get back to it. Bram will come over tonight and I can forsee a few readings of Where is the Green Sheep. I try to have a new book for him every time he comes over but we don't always get time to read. I have a Julie Vivas book I Went Walking in the book bag for him, we will see if he likes it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Half way

I have been enjoying these exercises, some more than others. I love using Flickr, and the image generators, and hope to be able to use them some more. As with most learning exercises, the trick is in finding what might be of most use. As a casual I have a limited scope for putting some of the more exciting applications to practical use in my work. I use the web every day at home though, and will go back and work on the RSS feeds, and maybe Rollyo to streamline my personal page.

There are some things that I would like to know how to do, that I can't quite figure out. For example does anyone know how to make a direct link from a catalogue record to the blog? I would like to create a link from my What I am Reading and Recently Read lists directly to the WHMRLS catalog.

Now off to BOX for some Sunday fun.

#12 Roll your Own Search Blog

I've looked at this, and I think I understand it, but it's not of much interest to me. I don't have a list of sites that I search often, maybe I should. I use Google quite a bit, and when I was doing a lot of making up annotated book lists, I used to search a number of news papers for book reviews.

And of course if you use the custom searches, there isn't much Australian content.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Lonely Blogger

I work as a casual, that means that I don't see any of my colleagues on a regular basis. I'm finding this learning project interesting but somewhat lonely! Is anybody out there?
Is anybody reading my blog?

Please leave me a message if you are reading my blog, I promise I will leave a message if I read yours.
BTW have I mentioned how much fun I'm having with FDs Flicker toys?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

#11 Library Thing

Is anyone else tempted to say this as "Library Thaaaang" in a exaggerated Southern accent? Just wondering.

I LOVE Library Thing, not the least because it comes from my old home town, Portland, Maine.

I have added some pretty pictures of books I've recently read, to myself and to the lovely Bram. His current favourite (by a country mile) is Where is the Green Sheep?

#10 More Image Generating

As before, it's very easy for me to get lost playing with this.
This is a lot of fun.

From FD's Flicker Toys

#10 Image Generators

Well I'm back in Brunswick and even worked yesterday. Working is good after six weeks away. I find that I need to think about how to do some things, but that's not a bad thing.
I'm pleased to be able to talk to my colleagues about the program also, and find out what they are doing.
The image generator is fun, I have created three images so far and discarded them. I like the Dylan film, but it takes so long to load. I did a ribbon, but I didn't like the way it looked. I also did a TV widget generator, but when it loaded up it had ads on it that looked VERY dodgy (The Napster of Porn, Live Asian girls web cam), and I really don't want those on my blog!

But this should work

And this

Images from AlphaPicture

Monday, October 8, 2007

RSS Feeds etc

I'm still not really getting this properly I think. One of the problems is because I have the new version of IE when I try to add something to my feeds, it automatically gets added to my IE favourites. I need to clean this up, and figure out how best to organise them.

It's been unseasonably hot here in Northern Michigan, so yesterday we were all on the lake.

Today we begin the trek home, I hope to be back to blogging at the end of the week.

Friday, October 5, 2007

#9 Finding Feeds

I found this somewhat disappointing. I searched for 'barge, burgundy, France' (guess where I'm going next year?), but didn't find anything of interest. Maybe I should try to search for something more obvious. And of course, once I start looking around it is SO easy to get distracted. Lots of great information and pictures of one of my favourite cities.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

#8 Making Life Simple

Well, I've created a Bloglines account. It's easy to get excited and subscribe to too many feeds. I will have to work with what I get and refine it as I go. This should be fun!

More fun with Photos

A little out of order here, but I've been having more fun with the camera and Flickr. Today, I took photos, edited them with Picasa, uploaded them to Flickr, and made a badge with them.
I'm feeling clever!
Look to the right to see photos of beautiful Torch Lake.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

#7 Blog about Technology

Apart from having to come to grips with new technology in my professional life, there are two facts about my life in the last few years that have made me want to learn new technologies.

First I moved from Australia to the United States. I was often home sick and felt out of touch. Being able to read my favourite newspaper, browse in a book shop, read about Australian literature, and see what's on helped me to maintain a connection.

I have three adult sons, and when I am not able to see them often being able to look at their Flickr accounts, see them on Face book, and read their blogs has been wonderful.

In my professional life I am constantly amazed by the information I can find for library users in databases, and on the Internet. The revolution in technology has meant that I can almost always find some information to answer even the most off the wall question ("I need some information about commercial uses for seaweed"). I find this very satisfying. I have also found library and literary blogs very helpful in keeping up with reader's advisory. I have put links to some of my favourite sites, blogs and otherwise on the right. More to follow.

I have embraced technologies that I find useful (Tivo, blogs, photo sharing), but this program will help me to learn about other things.

And last but not least - another photo of my grandson!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

#6 More Flickr fun

I am having trouble with this. Some of the links don't work, and some just seem very confusing.

I am going to take some photos later on today with my digital camera and load them onto Flickr so should be able to do some more things once I have photos loaded.
But just so you know I'm still paying attention, here's another photo of Bram, looking a little dirty - but doesn't he have a great smile?

#5 Flickr - still playing

Well, as I suspected the bit I'm REALLY good at is playing. I've spent all morning fooling around on Flickr and Blogger. What I've learnt along the way is how to find photos on Flikr, how to download them so I can imbed them in my Blogger posts, and how to position the photos in the post.

I have found photos of my high school (Taken by Colros)

Photos of Falmouth, Maine where I lived for 12 years.

Photos of Torch Lake, Michigan - where I am at the moment.

And photos of my beautiful grandson - he's two now but still beautiful!

#5 Flickr - Nostalgia

Five Islands
Originally uploaded by topshampatti
I lived and worked in Maine for 12 years. It is a beautiful place, and as far as I am concerned the only way to eat a lobster (crayfish), is to be sitting on a dock, looking at a view like this. Add a fine bottle of Australian bubbly, some good friends and a little conversation - nothing could be better.