Monday, July 16, 2007

Week 9, Thing 23

It's hard to believe that I've finished! And ahead of schedule, too!
As someone who has always felt "technology challenged," I signed on for 23 Things feeling somewhat uncertain and quite a bit intimidated.

In the early stages I felt that I had gotten into something that was way over my head.
But I discovered along the way that stubborness can sometimes be a very positive personality trait. After spending quite a bit of my own time and working my way through untold frustrations, I figured out ...on my own!!!! to move widgets, avatars, and other "things" to my blog, simply because I was determined to complete some of the optional exercises. (It would have been nice to have had tips about this at the beginning of the program for us non-techie people.)

Then it became interesting and productive for me. Although I knew that I would find numerous applications for library use, I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that I will actually use some of these tools on a frequent basis. Merlin,, RSS feeds, and Zoho are my favorites and will fit into both my personal and professional lives.
I can see or something similar replacing Favorites on my computers and my bloglines account is a great way to keep in touch with items of personal interest as well as keeping in touch with library and technology news. I've already used Zoho sheets to send statistics and will be using Zoho Writer instead of Word. How wonderful to be able to access them from any computer!

I definitely feel like a success story! I've become more comfortable with these technology tools that have library applications and have more confidence in myself and my ability to learn about new technology in a non-threatening atmosphere. I'm pretty sure that I'm not comfortable enough to be a trainer, but I'm definitely glad to know about what's out there and to actually bring away things that I can use.
I would definitely consider another training project like this, but would prefer that it be offered at a different time of year.

Many libraries are already taking advantage of much of this technology to bring their customers to them. It is important that we (CCPL and other Maryland library systems) embrace new technology . We need to use it to make our online library an interesting and useful place to visit. Wikis for book reviews, reader's advisory and community events. Podcasts and YouTube to highlight programs, databases, and services.
Although I hope libraries will always have books in the print format, I can understand the need to make information available in other ways to engage a very diverse customer base.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Week 9, Thing 22

Finally, something that I already know!!!
I was already familiar with both Overdrive and Project Gutenberg, but had not visited either one recently. After creating an account with Overdrive, I located a couple of titles that I want to download to my new MP3 player. I like to listen to audio books on the lo-o-o-ong drive to South Carolina, and since I'm going down in late September or mid-October to visit my mom, this will be a great way to put my newest piece of technology to use. If I want older, classical titles I'll probably look for them on Project Gutenberg.

I looked at the sponsors listed on the World eBook Fair and found one that surprised me a little. I know you can do just about anything on your cell phone if it's sophisticated enough, but I didn't realize that there is a site dedicated just to downloading ebooks to your phone! Although the subscription cost is nominal, I'm pretty sure that I won't be subscribing to MobileBooks. As someone who doesn't even care for the idea of reading books on a computer, I cannot even imagine wanting to read one on my cell phone!!!

Week 9, Thing 21

I looked in all three of the podcast directories and found an interesting podcast on games. It was an episode from the series Game On: Games in Libraries that discussed a website for virtual pets,
and how marketing targets children. ( They can buy accessories for your vitual pet!)

Then I listened to a long, but Very interesting podcast located on Merlin that was one of the episodes from the series Biblio Tech. This episode hosted Michael Stephens (Taming the Web) and was a very interesting discussion about Library 2.0. Although I had read an article by him for an earlier "Thing," this went into much more detail, emphasizing being "human" with our users in order to break down barriers, the vital need to market our collections and services, and the fact that although tools will change, cultural and social change won't.
It was reassuring to me to hear that I don't need to know what's happening "under the hood" with these tools, but what they are and how to use them.

Then I successfully subscribed to LibVibe, the library news podcast. I like the idea of another format for staying in touch with what's happening in the world of libraries.
Obviously there has been transfer of learning during this exploration of technology, because I remembered how to do this successfully on my first attempt!

There are many possiblities for the use of podcasts in libraries, including book reviews, storytelling program highlights, and booktalking, just to name a few.

Here's Nora!

Meet Nora, the talented piano-playing kitty!

Week 9, Thing 20

I explored YouTube and Google Videos, but was not able to access the Yahoo site on my computer at HQ.....blocked, rated R! The funny thing is that I didn't have any trouble getting into it on my library computer at home! I would have thought that it would have been the reverse.

Obviously there are a variety of library applications...
*highlighting library programs, especially Summer Reading
*featuring databases on a rotating basis
*instructional, explaining items on our website, such as Marina

I found the YouTube site to be extremely "busy," which was a distraction for me. After I located a library promotion that I liked, I looked at some funny cats videos. There was a bountiful selection, but many of them had scenes that I considered inappropriate to post here.

Take a look at the library promotion video.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Week 8, Thing 19

Just out of curiosity, I took a quick look at One Sentence under Fun Stuff. Sometimes people can take forever to say nothing, so it is wishful thinking on my part that they should have to look at this site before they speak!

Then I explored Lulu. What a great site for anyone considering self-publishing!
(Could anyone predict that I would choose something in the Book category?)
Lulu presents itself as "fast, easy, and free" (although not everything is free!) and is a one-stop shooping site for self-publishing. What surprised me, and probably shouldn't, is that it isn't just for publishing books. Calendars, CDs-music and audio books, DVDs, brochures, e-books, and images.
This site offers just about every service a self-publisher could ask for. Although most of these are free, some are fee-based.

*prepub - editing, proofreading, formatting
*graphics - cover and illustrations
*publishing - PDF conversion, uploading, revisions
*marketing and publicity - sample and guide to press releases, tips for book signings, reviews, media kits, etc. *translation services
*pricing and finishing wizard to establish cost of the product

Other advantages include print on demand, no inventory, no set-up fees or minimum orders. I especially like the Intended Audience category.

Book Review: The Talented Clementine

The Talented Clementine


Sara Pennypacker

Clementine is a strong, warm-hearted, wacky girl who tackles life with enthusiasm.

She is doing quite well in third grade....until she learns that the third and fourth grades will be presenting a talent show. Clementine can't do anything well enough (or even at all) to perform at this event. Even worse, her best friend Margaret is "perfect" at so many things, she can't decide which talent to display!

None of Clementine's hilarious attempts to to learn a new talent help, including glueing bottle caps onto the soles of her sneakers in order to try tap dancing. During practices for the fast-approaching talent show, Clementine finds ways to prevent mishaps and to make improvements to various acts. It isn't until the night of the talent show that Clementine's talent is officially recognized. As a result of her organizational skills, Clementine finds herself in the role of assistant director!