Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thing 16: wiki wiki

Wikis are cool. You know how I know that? 'Cause Literacy already has one! Really! It's here: We try to keep it updated, and ideally, it would be a wonderful resource for both tutors and students. However, I think we have trouble getting people to actually go there and contribute. I'm not sure what the solution to that issue is, because as it stands, right now there's very little collaboration going on, we just make sure to get events and announcements up there. Anyone have any ideas for this? I myself have used a lot of wikis, and have been forced to do some for library school. Different wiki editors/farms have good and bad qualities. Sometimes wikispaces really frustrates me, but you have to take that when you know it's designed for people like me who have no clue about HTML.

I like the idea in general, but having someone moderate is ideal. I'm amazed at Wikipedia, but also know how easy it is to get false (but sometimes really funny) information in there. So, to sum up: wiki = good, but only if you get people to participate!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Library 2.0-ness

Library 2.0 is an intriguing concept, one that I feel is hashed and re-hashed to death among library bloggers and the like, and bandied about in library school. It is the hip thing, the cool way to approach library services, and if you're not on the train, you'll be left in the dust. If I sound bitter, well, it's the way I sound most of the time. (Try reading Annoyed Librarian at Library Journal - she names these Library 2.0 folks 'two-point-opians'). While reading the assorted clips from OCLC on the topic, I can go along with a lot of the innovations. I have no problem with user-centered-ness, and agree that our catalogs could be a great deal more functional. I'm just futilely holding on to the library as I used to know it - I long for card catalogs and cavernous rooms full of actual books made of paper. The futurist they interviewed - when she delved into the idea of Library 3D and 4.0, my brain just shut off.

I'm also not into change for change's sake. Not all of these concepts translate perfectly to every patron or location and I think in the spirit of user-centered-ness, we should be aware of that. Not everyone will be onboard with these changes, and the library world should be patient and let change, useful change, come when it may. Maybe I just have an inferiority complex, and think I'm not cool enough for Library 2.0. I'll let that be up for debate. I'll get there, folks, it just may take some time. :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Thing 14: Technorati

So I browsed through Technorati's most popular blogs and I have to say, only one blog that that I read on a daily basis made the cut (yay, locats!). I was, however, excited to see Mythbusters on there (show of awesomeness), but I really hadn't heard of most of the others. I think this is because they are primarily geared towards tech-type people, and I am certainly not one. This doesn't mean I didn't find anything worthwhile; Lifehacker looks extremely useful. There's a lot of great info there, not just on techie stuff but how to buy a mattress, or what to save your money on, etc., and it's compiled in a very user-friendly and easy to deal with manner. Technorati, thank you, for helping me find even more blogs to waste my time (ahem, I mean, read) on.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lucky #13: delicious!

I first used a couple years ago for a library school assignment, and I recently revisited my meager list of library blogs today. Pathetic. It occurred to me that I could really make the site useful by actually adding sites I go to ALL the time instead of for one assignment. So, done! I have used the social aspect of it perhaps once, namely, searching other people's lists for library blogs, but I have yet to really make my list useful for anyone else. Apparently, I'm determined to tag my sites in a way only I can appreciate or understand. Selfish? Maybe. Yeah, yeah, I'll go back and fix that. But only because it's Lent and guilt floats around me like a gray cloud.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rollyo is awesome

Creating your own customized search engine is pretty darn fun and useful. I always have to cycle through my long list of bookmarks to find what I want - but not any more! I'm inspired to do another, non-work-related one; maybe I'll post that too. This ESL Resources roll will definitely save me some time.

My Rollyo ESL Resources Search Engine

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thing 11: Library Thing

I've been on Shelfari for a while now, but never tried LibraryThing until today. I can't quite tell which one is easier to work with; but all I know is that cataloging all my books would be an impossible project. If you add to that ones I've read but don't own (a majority of them) it would take a while. So I'm not really sold on the idea of having your own personal catalog online somewhere, though I'm all for sharing. That being said, here it is:

My LibraryThing

Thing 10: John Stamos is a miracle

Okay, I had no idea how many cool generators (image and what have you) were out there on the Interwebs. This 23 Things project has now become even more worthwhile, now that this site has come to my attention:

Amazing. So this little nugget is from Make your own genuine miracle. I think if I saw John Stamos on my pancake, it would make my day. Hopefully, this will make yours!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thing 9: Technorati is clearly superior

I'm kidding, sort of. I have no real authority to make such a proclamation. But! After taking a peek through a few of the available news feed search tools, I think Technorati is the most user-friendly. I really liked browsing through their most popular. The bonus with all of these search sites is that I'm made aware of other great blogs out there with which to waste my time on. :) I found Bloglines to be time-consuming, and I had to register and re-register for it over and over again before my email was validated. I also wasn't impressed with Syndic8 or, but then again, I'm not looking for strictly news feeds, just blogs with information that appeals to me (see: college basketball addiction). Now having used these search tools, I'm still more likely to add feeds from blogs that I already read instead of looking for new ones.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thing 8: RSS-ing

Holy smokes, are there a lot of blogs out there or WHAT? The closest I've ever come to playing around with aggregators is My Yahoo, and that's limited to the amount of bloggage you can follow. Ah, but NOW! Bloglines is a pretty handy tool, I've got to say. We're supposed to find 10 but the more I search around, the more I find to follow. The Bloglines Quick Picks is by far the easiest thing to use to add stuff, but I did manage to find the rockin' cool orange button on the blogs I already read pretty quickly. It's convenient to have everything in one place - especially for library school. We're expected to keep up with all the latest, and this is a good way to do it. Libraries can really get news and new title information out to the masses easily with feeds, as long as patrons think to subscribe to them. They may not know the wonder that is Bloglines yet, right?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thing 7: random-like post re: technology

Am I the only one out there who doesn't actually want to know how computer technology works? Surely not, right? I'm taking a 'computers in libraries' class right now, and while I'm subjected to technical explanations of how a hard drive operates (I had no idea), I largely ignore it and move onward. (I like to think of appliances and other electrical devices as magical. I can see it now: "Mom, how does the TV work?" Me: Shoot, I dunno, magic! Ask your father!")

Should all of us have to understand the mechanics of it all to be proficient at various technie applications and enjoy its use? I'll place myself at the middle of a spectrum, here: my mom (Hi mom! Love you lots!) at one end, who has a healthy fear of computers but now uses email...and my friend Kathy, who does web design and programming for a living. Thank heavens that programmers understand that there are people like myself that don't actually want to see the inner workings of an application, and make it friendly-appearing for us. Am I grateful for technology? Absolutely. Do I enjoy working with some of it? You bet. Will my eyes glaze over when you start to explain to me how relational databases operate? Yessssss. It is my hope with this 23 Things experience that I'll gain just enough knowledge to be dangerous about these magnificient applications. And hope that there won't be a quiz at the end of this. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

fun with Picasa (thing 6)

Playing around with photo sharing sites really only serves to remind me just how far behind I am on uploading my own personal pictures. Sigh. I've mainly used Kodak Photo Gallery, because you can have your local drugstore or what have you print them and have them ready for pick up. Now, I let Kodak do the work and they even write stuff on the back for you. Score! So, as part of Thing 6, I thought I'd take a peek around Picasa for pictures that might interest me. Because it's Lundi Gras today, and in honor of my college hometown, I thought I'd find some New Orleans pictures.

My alma mater, Loyola University New Orleans. Notice the Touchdown Jesus. Let's see if we can find a close up view of him, shall we?

There we are.

And finally, a shot of the building that I spent 75% of my time in, the College of Music.

Thank you to the lovely photographers for those images: Picasa users Poulin, John, and repsierhea.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lifelong learning: some thoughts

I think the desire to learn, and learn throughout your life, is ingrained within us all. (With the exception of an adult student I met once, who proudly announced to me that "She wasn't a learner anymore!". That could mean many things.) Learning is something that happens every day, and most of the time, we're not aware of it. It's when we make the conscious choice to learn something new (and often big and scary) that it starts to intimidate us - the planning! the effort! the time! Of the 7.5 successful habits of lifelong learners, I believe the easiest for me to wrap my brain around is #2 - Accept responsibility for your own learning. I've been an online student now for about a year and a half, and while the thought of self-pacing might be uncomfortable to some, I'm apparently okay at it. You get used to it. The hardest thing for me to do is definitely #3 - View problems as challenges. Problems tend to be big crises to me. I think that's a weakness in attitude that I can fix, though.

23 Thingin' It

Greetings and salutations! I realize I'm a bit late to the TCCL 23 Things Party, but I'm here! For those keeping score at home, Things 1-3 accomplished.