Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Epilogue . . . 19 years later ;-)

So, we're now supposed to reflect on the 23 things program. I did a bit of that in my previous entry, but I can do some more. The program has definitely been valuable to me as I've helped patrons at the computers or people with questions like "What's Wikipedia?" It also helps with planning programs - I'll probably be doing one on Flickr for teens in the winter, and others in the branch are planning other technology related programs for various age groups, many using technologies we've explored in the 23 things.

Is this significant for libraries? I think so. Libraries are increasingly becoming places where people come to use technology as well as places where they come for books, and if we're not up on what's happening, we might lose that place. Also, libraries are doing so many innovative things with the various technologies in programs and community services, it would be a shame to be left behind. Anything that draws people into the library is helpful, in my opinion, and technology definitely does that. And besides, it makes me feel cool to be able to show teenagers something on the Internet that they've never seen before! :-D

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Week 9 Thing 23 The End!

I made it! This has been a very interesting program, and I'm glad I participated. My favorite things to learn about are Library Thing (I'm still cataloging at home!), Bloglines, Flickr, and Zoho writer. Of course, it was also fun to learn about all the widgets I can use to make my blog look prettier! I've definitely benefitted at work - today a substitute called me to the desk to help explain how Overdrive works, and I just finished looking at that particular thing yesterday! I'm also getting news from YALSA and other library associations instantly through my Bloglines reader that I might not notice for a few months otherwise through reading professional journals. I would definitely participate in another program like this if it is offered in the future - I haven't done well with online courses before, but the hands-on nature of this program was really good for me. And now, I'm done!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Week 9 Thing 22 Learn About Audiobooks

This is an area in which I have little to no experience, mainly because my bad eyes and my microscopic attention span keep me from downloading materials from Overdrive for my own use . . . however, I was glad to look at the tutorial so I can use it with patrons - since we're getting a combined info desk soon, odds are someone will ask me at some point how it works! I found the title selection on Overdrive interesting . . . lots of classics and romances, a fair amount of children's material, a ton of mysteries, almost no graphic novels. It makes me wonder what the demographics are of people who are using the service and, for example, if there were more graphic novels, would more teens use it? It seems simple enough to use, set up almost like shopping websites, but I wonder how many patrons know it is available to them?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Week 9 Thing 21 Podcasting

I've had some podcasting experiences before in LATI, so this wasn't quite as foreign to me as some of the other technologies I've been exploring. That said, I'm not a huge fan of the medium - my attention is prone to wander, so if all I'm doing is listening to audio, I tend to do other things at the same time and stop paying attention to the sounds in the background . . . I subscribed to two podcasts, though, one created by teens at a library, the other teen authors talking about their books, which both seemed interesting enough to hold my attention for the 5 or so minutes required. (Incidentally, I also subscribed to Ask a Ninja, which had the added perks of hilarity, video, and ninjas. Ninjas make everything better!)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Week 9 Thing 20 You Tube

I've often wished that my life could be more like a musical - this YouTube video confirmed that it would be awesome.

I do enjoy YouTube for cheap entertainment, and some people have definitely shown gifts for creating art - or severely lame garbage, it's all there. I think it would be great fun to do a YouTube program for teens - use the library equipment to create a video. I've also seen librarians create virtual tours of the library, and YouTube would make it simple to post them to the library website. We could also create simple tutorials on using the catalog or research techniques, or have a contest for customers to create the best "commercial" for the library that highlights our services.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Week 8 Thing 19 Web 2.0 Awards

My husband and I are getting ready to go on a trip for our anniversary, so I thought I'd check out for some ideas about where to eat and what to do. I really liked the site and that you could see how other people planned their trips, how they rated different activities and restaurants, and look at their photos. So I signed up for an account and then had a very difficult time finding Niagara Falls again. I did get back in the end, and saved a few things to my trip plan to look at in detail later, but it was a bit frustrating. All in all, I think it's a great concept, just needs to be a bit more navigable - the addition of a search box would be a huge help, rather than just clicking the map to get into the right country!

Week 8 Thing 18 Zoho Writer

I definitely enjoyed Zoho - easy to use, doesn't have those obnoxious auto-format tools that Word employs, and it's free! I'm a person who tends to lose/break flash drives and disks, so that's a definite perk - here's another alternative to emailing everything to myself! Haha, Bill Gates! I'm a huge fan of the free aspect of Zoho and Google word processing online.

Oh, and if you want to know how you did on the Harry Potter trivia quiz, I'll post the answer key post-release. :-)