Friday, May 25, 2007

No, Seriously

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

It has given me the opportunity to learn something about some things I would otherwise never have had the time or inclination to pursue. I have learned some new terminology, and an expanded vocabulary is (almost)always a good thing.

What were your favorite Learning 2.0 discoveries or exercises?

Library Thing, and the personalized google search engine.

Did anything surprise you?

I anticipated that I might learn things that would help me help patrons with questions they have about these technologies. So far, I doubt that will be the case because I didn't have time to get into any of it enough to really discover all the potential uses &/or pitfalls. I can imagine possibly telling certain patrons about RSS Feeds or Library thing. And I think Library Thing may prove helpful for reader's advisory.

Was there enough help available when you needed it?


What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

Go for a more visually appealing look to the blog. Include a structured list of the URLs included in the various lessons in outline format on one page for handy future reference.

Would you like to see similar training opportunities as new library-relevant technologies emerge?


And, last one, if you could go back in time and tell yourself to either participate in the program or skip it, what would you do?

Do it. I think most people who would answer differently probably dropped out along the way.

One more thing?

I won't know it until I see it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

YouTube, Podcasts, etc.

I find YouTube works best by referal only. I find most of what I come across browsing not worth spending time on, but I have been enormously entertained by some of the clips to which people have directed me, such as the one below (Thanks Anne!).


OR, Check out SODA MUSICAL (Thanks Carrie!)

PODCASTS: I searched on "library" in I tried to subscribe to the Library Channel, but the RSS feed link was broken. I did subscribe to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Video Library, the Johnson County Library Writer's Place Poetry Reading Series, the Kern County Law Library Self Help Workshops, and Book Voyages. Too soon in the experience, and I'm to brain dead to think of KCLS applications right now.

E-Audio. I have been using overdrive, and to a lesser extent, net library, for a long time now. I love it. I did run into some difficulty getting it to work after the installation of the new windows service pack, but the answer line folks were able to get directions for a fix from the overdrive people that worked with only minor changes.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Online Applications and Tools


Think it's a good idea. Probably wouldn't want to use it personally, given any other option. The collaberative functions might be more helpful under certain circumstances.

Google Trial:


Well, Here's an attempt to see how I like Google's online word processor. Hmmmmm. So far so good, except I have to be content with Tahoma instead of Arial.

And now an attempt at an indented paragraph, which I use quite a bit. la di da di da di da, la di da di la di da....... Not sure I would want my personal financial spread sheets or letters or journal entries stored on a server somewhere though.

Well, that indent worked fairly well, though the spacing seems off-- much too large. Does the dotted line around the paragraph show up when you print? Yes, it does. Don't like that. I like formatting appearance control too much to want to give it up.

Zoho Trial:


Well, Here's an attempt to see how I like Zoho's onlline word processor. Hmmmmmmm. So far so good, and I don't have to be content with tahoma. There are more font choices, and they include arial. Yay!

And now an attempt at an indented paragraph, which I use quite a bit. la di da di da di da, la di da di la di da..... Not sure I would want my personal financial spread sheets or letters or journal entries or schedules stored on a server somewhere though.

Well, that indent worked better than the Google one, although the spacing is still large. But no dotted line around the paragraph. If google offers spell check, it's not readily apparent, which seems odd, given their web spell check feature. Think it's funny that Zoho thinks "Google" is a spelling error! :)


Tried out "Local Voice Search", "Transit", and "Trends". I liked voice better than the regular 411 service-- definitely faster. I would have to compare the transit results with those from KCLS Metro on a number of trips before I would have any real sense of which (if either) is more user friendly, more reliable, etc... what, if anything, Google offers that improves upon Metro. Trends gave me virtually the same result for everything I tried looking up, and compared to trends graphs I am used to seeing elsewhere, was neither fine-grained enough, or over a long enough time span to be of much use. I did get the impression that everything I was interested in was declining in interest for the population as a whole. Guess I'm behind the times.


Mostly not very iteresting or useful. Think I might register on Who knows?

Library 2.0

It's one thing to keep up to date and not let our users leave us in the dust. It's another to puff up our sense of self-importance with fluffy, lofty rhetoric. Much of what I read about Library 2.0 left me with a "blah, blah, blah" impression. Some I wanted to say "DUH" to, and some I outright disagreed with. The one I thought had the most genuine substance was the one about icebergs, but I disagreed with much of it. A few comments thereon:

No just in case collection huh? Guess those Seattle folks are out of luck, as are the students with a book report due tomorrow, or those who have relied on Web resources and left their required book sources to the last minute. If the day comes when teachers no longer require print resources, and patrons no longer want to savor the sensory experience of reading a paper source, maybe. But I don't see that happening anytime soon.

NO user ed? Many patrons can't even sign up for an e-mail account without help. And if users are relying more on web sources and less on print, education about how to evaluate reliability of sources becomes important. Further, although I think self explanatory interfaces that need no instruction are important to strive towards, I doubt such a beast exists or is even possible. Different learning styles... The ability to overlook something staring you right in the face... Difficulty coming up with labels that are transparent and mean the same thing to everyone... One thing I think would help greatly would be more uniformity across sites and databases (in layout, appearance, labeling, results structure, help functions, etc. etc.) so that what is learned about one could be expected to directly transfer to most others. This is much more the case today than it was yesterday, but there is still along way to go. Staff frustration with some of the sites introduced through Learning 2.0 is just one case in point.

Don't come to us? Well, we certainly can take services to our patrons by way of the Web, and things like ABC express or TLC. But I don't believe the day will ever come when a virtually library can fully replace the functions offered by a physical place and collection.

Of what I read in the other articles, the thing that caught my attention the most was the idea of broadening relevance ranking. This sounds like it would be both beneficial and doable.

Monday, April 30, 2007

More Thoughts on MySpace & Library Thing

On MySpace: Do we REALLY want to support advertisers with library sites?

On Library Thing: I noticed that title searches typically led to several variations of the same book, each with its own number of people having it in their libraries. Do recommendations consider only the version you select?

Custom Search Engines

I liked Google better than Rollyo-- Partly because the appearance is more familiar, and partly because a search for "Events" yielded a KCLS result on the first page of Google returns, where I found only Seattle and Sno-Isle (at least in the first 5 pages, which was as far as I went) in Rollyo. The search for "Programs" led to a quite different outcome. Since the two terms are fairly interchangeable, I would have more confidence in either engine if they gave me the same results on both. Too bad there's not an advanced search option that lets you use an OR operator (for those who don't know the sytax). I AM quite excited to have my own Google search engine (On Fine Art Paintings, of course). I chose to have it include the entire web, but emphasize my URLs, and so far, my results lists seem to be more relevant than what I get with a straight Google search.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Marty Simpson

Here I am. Don't you think it's a good likeness?