Monday, August 10, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
User-generated podcasts are being used to bring teens into public libraries, as is being done in the Boulder ( Colo.) Public Library and the Cheshire (Conn.) Public Library. Teens review books ,art and music at those libraries.
Public library podcasts also include local politics, such as the mayoral candidate debates done at the Kankakee (Ill.)) Public Library. I like that. It makes the library seem like a community center, and the ability to play archived podcasts means that patrons can hear community debates whenever they choose. Kankakee also includes podcasts on teen poetry slams and regular updates on technology as it is used in the library.
Johns Hopkins University uses podcasts to inform patrons about how to get the most of their library experience. Podcasts included federated searching, information on what can be found in specific databases and how to work with subject specialist librarians.
The quality of podcasts does vary, so it is worthwhile to make sure the volume and sound quality is appropriate before posting.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
I haven't tried collaborating on GoogleDocs yet, but it strikes me as a good way to work on group projects.
I didn't find GoogleDocs to have the same functionality as
MS Office. It seems like a more rustic version of Office. You can't split tables or merge cells in tables, for instance. I do like the ability to convert a document to a Word document.
The gadgets on GoogleDocs hold some real promise. I created a survey on GoogleDocs forms. It's saved on my hard drive but I haven't yet figured out how to save it in the "cloud" so that it can be used. I want to spend more time on GoogleDocs and test more of its capabilities.
In the meantime, GoogleDocs looks like a good way to accomplish library group projects, such as the creation of a new bibliographic instruction, for instance. I liked the video that explained the ease. No need to email documents around anymore, not with GoogleDocs.
Still, security seems to be an unresolved issue with collaborative cloud computing. The July 20 New York Times carries an interesting opinion piece on the dangers of storing documents outside of your own hard drive.
Illustration by jay freshuk from flickr's Creative Commons
Monday, July 13, 2009
I looked up "information literacy" on Wikipedia. The teaching of info lit is a personal interest. Plus the irony of searching for "information literacy" on Wikipedia is alluring, considering all the debate over Wikipedia reliability.
The entry on info lit seems like a good introduction to information literacy, and the sources are authoritative. Sources include ALA and the Association of College Research Libraries.
The history of the information literacy page shows spurts of editing activity going back to when the page was first posted in 2004.
The discussion page held mainly an article written in Spanish. I like the idea of multi-lingual web pages. In fact, a diversity of languages is the only way true information literacy can be achieved. But on this English-language Wikipedia page about information literacy the article wasn't translated into English.
That got me thinking about library web pages and language translation and how we need to open our virtual doors to more people by designing web pages that have more language options.
I'm off to work on the North Texas 23 wiki. Hasta luego!
Photo Hawaiian shuttle bus by cogdogblog from flickr's Creative Commons
Friday, July 3, 2009
What? We aren't supposed to be looking for jobs? We are supposed to evaluate LibWorm's search capabilities. Oh, OK.
I searched for memes using a keyword search and a subject search. I don't think LibWorm's subject search is a librarian's version of a subject search. Memes as a subject term retrieved words within text and also retrieved "meme" within words, resulting in an unrelated French language hit high in the results list.
I had a little better luck doing various searches on "information literacy," without the quote marks. The results were precise enough that I added the LibWorm's RSS feed on information literacy to my Google Reader.
The most popular tags list is interesting. The books tag is more popular than the Web tag, although just barely. The list actually is heavily weighted toward technical things, which can be seen more clearly in LibWorm's storm cloud or its big cloud. Also, I couldn't help but wonder why so many people interested in libraries would go to a library RSS feed site and tag their finds: "library." It seems a redundancy. Maybe their feeds are being streamed into their own RSS readers along with a variety of other topics.
I searched for two Metroplex area libraries. I noticed the list of results was not ranked by date, and that the first item in one list was dated 2007. Job openings long filled were near the tops of the lists.
I'll look at my LibWorm feed for professional development reasons, and of course, job search reasons, because, after all, finding a job is Thing 24.
Illustration from Microsoft Clipart
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
More books in my personal collection are former finalists for the National Book Award than actual winners of the National Book Award. I didn't realilze that until I tried LibraryThing.
Collection analysis is one of the interesting aspects of LibraryThing. The statistics page reveals aspects of my own collection that I hadn't realized. The percent of living vs. dead authors, the percentage of male vs. female authors. That sort of thing.
The tag cloud page shows a graphic representation of my books for further analysis. I haven't entered all of my books but after tagging a few I now see my bookshelves as not just rows of books but as a cloud of ideas weighted toward American and Mexican classics and historical fiction.
LibraryThing is inspiring me to classify and rearrange my own books.
I do not yet know how to compare MARCThing and ISBN Check and that ISBN language analyzer tool to the library cataloging tools at use in current practice.
I enjoy Librarians Who LibraryThing. It's insightful when it delves into topics such as the future of classification and it's funny when it opens discussions on Annoying Things that Patrons Do Say, Don't Say.
Photo by austinevan from flickr's Creative Commons
Friday, June 26, 2009
It's popular. But is it useful? O'Leary describes Digg items as commonplace and trivial
In Digg and the New 'Me Generation' in the June 2009 Information Today, O'Leary reveals that at 1:30 p.m. on April 7, 2009, he discovered these Top Diggs by Topic:
• This Is the Worst Movie Tagline Ever!
• Hot Celebrities We Want to See Naked in Movies
• Build Your Own Multitouch Surface Computer
• Cartoon Characters and the Drugs They Abused
• Pitcher of Beer Down in 5 Seconds
• The Science of Cow Tipping
• What if the World All Used the Same Currency?
• The 7 Least Practical Controllers Ever Assembled
• Obama Administration to Launch DATA.GOV!!!
• Obama: The U.S. Is Not at War With Islam
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I added four Web pages to my delicious account: Arts & Letters Daily from The Chronicle of Higher Education, ALA, the Smithsonian and UNT Libraries.
Libraries are using delicious. The Haltom City Library, for instance, has tagged TCU's Mary Couts Burnett Library. Sul Ross State University has tagged the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Delicious strikes me as a good way for librarians to organize reliable Web sites that they want to share with users.
Here's my account: www.delicious.com/JessMill
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I keep arguing that my parents already gave me a user name but no one listens.
On twitter, my user name is JessMill.
The video on the twitter help page is indeed helpful in learning the basics of the service.
I signed up to follow the Texas Library Association, the ALA-Technology folks, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian. The latter actually had an intriguing tweet stream about its Global Tiger Initative, a "save the tigers" movement. I learned that 20 percent of "tiger parts" are destined for the U.S. market. Disturbing news in 140 characters or less!
Tweets would be a good way to send alerts to mobile phones. Campus and library closures, for instance, would be worth tweeting. Twitter also serves as a portal where users can read tweets on new services or new items or events. Then, we hope, they will log on to the library website.
Perhaps twitter's greatest use is that it may be a platform from which next-generation technology springs. It makes sense to know how it works.
The last time I heard about twitter was when a home appraiser came by as part of my refinance application and said he was considering using twitter to market his sideline business selling raw, organic food.
A very twitterish illustraton from Microsoft clip art.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Perhaps I am putting too much stock in one blog writer's assessment, but the post on Charting Stocks gave me a poor impression of ning.
I disturbs me that ning is described as apparently planning to capture personal information from people who use ning social network pages and then use that information to promote its own service.
That's just not nice. That's as if everyone who went to a party had his or her wallet stolen by a business rep who only wanted to create an advertising database.
I am staying away from participating until I learn more from more sources about what's happening at ning.
That said, I couldn't resist a peek at ning. I like the way the pages are collected as individual websites. I had fun visiting the page Fiber Arts/Mixed Media, where a monthly creative challenge is posted. For June: Make birds or birdish forms out of castoffs. I also enoyed visiting gardenersindex.com, where I learned that there will be a tour of DFW-area ponds on June 18.
Photo by fczuardi via flickr's Creative Commons
Saturday, June 6, 2009
The Facebook group known as the American Library Association Members is the most active of library-related groups that I visited. I joined.
The discussions included:
Second masters for academic librarians?
An opening at the Smithsonian Libraries for interns.
Photo by 10ch via flickr's Creative Commons license
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I joined FacebookAppsforLibrarians.
It is a seldom used group and one that is difficult to find in a search. I found it off a link from Facebook's Library 2.0 Interest Group.
I'll be watching this group to see if it holds any interesting postings.
Most groups I find on Facebook don't seem to have a lot of activity. I'll be watching some groups to see if I can come to a conclusion as to why. Perhaps some of us need to get on and do some postings to stimulate discussion.
Through some circuitous path I ran into a quiz called What Kind of a Librarian Are You? under the apps tab.
My Result: Archival Librarian
"As an archivist, you spend your days hunched over old documents and you love every second of it. You've seen every episode of Biography and your dream is to be interviewed for a History Channel special. You may forget your own phone number, but you can retain obscure facts with the best of them. Secretly, though, you're hoping to discover a document that will send you on a National Treasure/Da Vinci Code style adventure."
Photo by Izik on flickr's Creative Commons for photosharing
I discovered the value of groups on Facebook.
I can enjoy group discussions on a separate page and not have to stream that conversation through my profile where my non-library friends would only be annoyed.
Today's adventure was joining Facebook's Library 2.0 Interest Group. It's 9,995-members strong and it offers a discussion page of varied posts such as this from a Library of Congress librarian: Did you know that an article on Web 2.0 has been written in Arabic? I wish the post had described how or if the content differed from any other nation's academic literature on Web 2.0. (Only the abstract is available in English) But I can ask that in a discussion group, can't I?
My most fruitful find was AnnaLaura Brown's link to her http://www.socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/ page. She describes social networking as vital to understanding the culture of our patrons.
I see this group as a good professional development group, only not as beneficial as some of the other library blogs I've signed up for with that handy Google Reader. Still, I'll be checking back.
Photo by Nobuyuki Hayashi on flickr
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The World Digital Library link has been added to my Facebook page.
This collection of digital images of primary sources is supported by the United Nations Educational , Scientific and Cultural Organization.
It is a fascinating collection of documents, maps and photography. The site is suitable for basic research or for an engaging foray into global culture.
You can find it at www.wdl.org/en
Monday, June 1, 2009
If Facebook were a verb, I would Facebook with caution.
I've used Facebook (fb) for about a year. It's a great way to keep track of far-flung former coworkers who have been leaving newspapers in droves.
Although my fb page is limited to viewing by family and friends, I find that I have collected many fb friends whom I do not know well. Some come from my current workplaces. So....I censor myself.
Before I post I ask myself: "Do I want everyone to know this about me?" I put the bare minimum of information in my profile. I tiptoe around religion and politics the same way I do in coversations at a workplace party. I only post the pictures where I look good!
In other words, I don't show my real face.
Fb and other social networking sites allow us to create social identities. That leads to this equation: fb = PR.
Here's an example: Some of my writerly friends can't resist posting links to everything they have published. Clearly, they are trying to increase their hits. Fb has turned them into their own PR agents. I realize on fb that I am getting ads from my friends instead of ads from Coca Cola or Nike.
I do enjoy the videos, the book suggestions, the photos and wry comments about happenings in my fb friends' lives. I like it when they share interesting news articles or announce big news: a baby, a new job, that sort of thing.
I really don't want any more marketing messages on my fb page. I don't typically "friend" businesses, bands or associations (OK, I did temporarily "friend" a certain U.S. President, just to see how he would use fb).
I try to do a minimum of marketing myself. I did put a WorldCat app on my fb page just to show friends how digitally hip libraries are becoming (they can search WorldCat from my page.).
Fb should be a party. Fb should be a conversation. The question we have to ask is: Will people keep using fb if it becomes more of a marketing tool than it already is?
I already have so many sources of streaming news and information. Fb is my separate room. If I allow streams of updates onto fb from libraries, universities, social causes, political causes, won't I eventually suffer from marketing overkill? Maybe that would be good. Maybe I'd get off the computer and call a friend. Then we could *really* talk.
Photo by Jake Botter on flickr
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
RSS amounts to an embarrasment of riches. I really don't read everything fed into my computer to the tabbed Yahoo! pages I've created. I just like knowing it is there if I want it.
I do like the display on Yahoo! better than on Google Reader. On Yahoo! everything is arranged into little boxes that I can rearrange. It's like a newspaper, only one that gives a whole new meaning to moveable type.
The Google Reader does give me more headlines to quickly scan, but the interface just isn't that appealing (OK, I am a visual learner). But I am going to keep Google Reader going as a way to capture current literature for my coursework in library science. Because really, it's really simple.
Image above from typogenerator.net
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
- Folders segregate blogs into categories (one of my folders is Library Jobs that automagically is filled with recent postings).
- Tagging highlights topics for later review.
- Adding stars to posts collects those posts into its own category that I can return to for more reflective reading.
- Keyword searching scours folders and retrieves articles.
- Using the search feed function, I was able to pull up a list of academic library blogs that I plan to review to get ideas on how universities are using blogs to reach patrons.
- The full list of blog headlines on the home page is intimidating in its breadth but does allow for serendipitous finds via browsing.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
The new social Web is fun and easy to use. The same cannot usually be said of library Web sites and digital resources. Libraries would benefit from incorporating aspects of the Read/Write Web into their services. This article examines how libraries currently erect barriers to service and provides an example of how their barriers could be eliminated by the creation of a social library research environment.
Your experience may say otherwise, but reports such as the Online Computer Library Center's (OCLC) Perceptions survey tell us that libraries are among the last places people visit for research and information work (OCLC, 2005 pp.1-17). Some see these statistics as a sign to abandon providing these services all together. They claim that the Good Ship Reference is sinking in today's tumultuous information ocean and that libraries should focus their efforts on staying afloat elsewhere.
Others, including the authors of this article, see the reported statistics as a call to action, a sure sign that we need to change the who, what, when, why, and how of library information services. With the right tools, we can learn to harness the power of the rough waters and use them to our advantage.
By imbuing library databases with the best of the new, social Web, we can build better research tools that have the potential to engage and connect library users."
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
But I've never created my own blog before. It's been great fun adding tools such as DIGG or Google's technology news search bar. In fact, it is a bit difficult to stop adding and subtracting tools from this, my first digital publication.
So many tools, so little time! I look forward to participating in the 23 new ways to use Web 2.0 technologies in this project sponsored by the 20-county North Texas Regional Library System.