Friday, September 14, 2007
I have enjoyed this excursion, and I think I've come away with some valuable knowledge. My most favorite discoveries were LibraryThing and Bloglines. I visit Bloglines nearly every day, and I have built up quite a growing "bookshelf" on LibraryThing. And while I really had fun exploring some of the other technology (Youtube and Podcasts in particular) my slow connection from home keeps me from taking full advantage. Too bad. Maybe some day Verizon will get it together and those of us who live in the middle-of-nowhere-land can finally YouTube and Podcast away with the rest of the world. ;-)
Before beginning this journey, I had previously heard of and even explored a lot of this technology, but there were some pleasant surprises. The best one was the free online productivity software. What a find! I wonder why more people don't know about these free tools. Is it a Microsoft conspiracy?? Hmmm... Well, anyway, I hope people will spread the word now that we are all aware. I certainly will!
I did find some of the technology to be confusing and/or not applicable to my own personal needs. I even found some to be annoying! Rollyo, for example, was something I just didn't see the point of. It seemed to make searching more complicated than it needed to be, and I found that I could get what I was looking for in other, more convenient ways. I also didn't really care for Technorati or several of the Web Award winners (Craigslist, Facebook, etc.) And while I do enjoy and appreciate the wonder of Flickr, I have no interest in the Flickr Mashups. Still, even though I didn't care for all of the technology, I'm glad I learned about it. I do feel smarter! :-D
If another training like this were to be offered again, I would surely be on board. The librarian in me always loves a good challenge, and the opportunity to learn. I miss being in college, so this learning adventure was great fun for me. Yes, I like having "homework" to do (I admit, I'm a geek!) It keeps the brain busy and opens new doors. So yes, I would definitely be up for another challenge. I would even look forward to it.
Thank you for joining me on this journey...a worthwhile "thing", indeed. Good luck, everyone!
Friday, August 31, 2007
As far as selection goes, Netlibrary seems to be better than Project Gutenberg. So if I really was going to try to download a book, I'd probably go with Netlibrary.
I did manage to find some interesting Podcasts that I would like to subscribe to if I had a faster internet connection. Yahoo's Podcast search was particularly helpful in finding some cool Podcasts. I found one for The Charlie Rose Show, which is a show that I like but rarely catch on t.v. (although, I do have Tivo, so I suppose I could just Tivo it, but I never thought to do so.) I also found some librarian-related Podcasts that sounded intriguing (Open Stacks and Librarians Matter, to name a couple.) But, again, I would be more excited about this technology if I could take full advantage, but I can't! Oh well...C'est la vie!
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
I think libraries could certainly find ways to put YouTube to use. HCPL has already used it as a place to view short videos from last year's most excellent Staff Day (who can forget Elvis and the Saturday Night Fever dancers??) :-) I think we could possibly use it for training videos, too. And I was even thinking about how we could use it in conjunction with the HCPL website. For example, we could digitally record virtual "tours" of the library, and post them on YouTube, and then post the YouTube video on our website (something like "Check Us Out! Take a Virtual Tour of the Library!") Just a thought!
Saturday, August 4, 2007
First of all, I think Craigslist is very overhyped. I find the interface particularly annoying, as it reminds me of a website one might have seen circa 1995. It just looks very amateurish, and I have to wonder, is that on purpose, or did the site's creator only know the most basic HTML? (Okay, I'm being snarky...sorry.) ;-) It's just that I'm always hearing/reading about Craigslist, and I finally go there, and I thought, "this is it?" That site design just really turns me off. I don't like ugly, jumbled websites, so I probably won't go there again unless I really need to. Oh, and I briefly checked in on some of the forums they have, and those were pretty bad, too. They seemed to be full of internet "trolls" posting all sorts ridiculous stuff, so I assume they are not moderated. And again, couldn't they use a cleaner, better organized design for their message boards? I would expect more in 2007 from such a popular site. Oh well.
I've been reading a lot of news stories lately about Facebook, so I decided to check it out. Unfortunatley, there's not much to look at unless you register (which I didn't want to do.) There is a site "Tour" you can take, but that left a bit to be desired, too. Still, I will keep this one in mind, as it is being hailed as a good alternative to MySpace (which, like Craigslist, is also uneasy on the eyes.)
On a more positive note, I was very pleased to see the Philanthropy category. I care a lot about many different causes and issues, and would love to find new ways to get active. So I visited Care2.com, which is very intriguing. There's a lot of information on the homepage, but it is organized well, and the site has a very pleasant design. I will definitely be exploring this site further. It's a keeper!
I <3 Google, so of course, I had to try out Google Documents. I played around with a couple of different documents, changing the text colors, font faces, and font sizes. I even printed one of my documents to see if everything comes out the same as it appears on screen (it did.) Again, I am amazed that this is available for free. I wish I would have known about this when I was still in college. I would have loved to have shared this tip with my fellow online classmates. I will definitely keep these in mind to share with my patrons.
Good stuff! :-)
Thursday, August 2, 2007
I do generally like the idea of Wikis, although it has taken me a while to warm to Wikipedia. I thought it was a dreadful idea when I first learned about it a few years back. Was that the librarian in me? It probably was...I really don't like the idea of wrong/junk information being eaten up by the masses, and I guess I thought that's what Wikipedia was all about. It still does bother me that people might use Wikipedia as their only source of information for a report or just for their own general knowledge. I do not think colleges or even high school and elementary schools should allow students to site Wikipedia as a source for their reports, but then, hopefully most of them have already made that their policy. I see Wikipedia as more of a fun, frivolous source of information, that I take with a grain of salt. This just highlights the fact that we need librarians now more than ever (to help weed out the junk, and provide quality information.)
I can see how Wikis could be helpful to library workers, perhaps as a collaborative tool for committees or departments that are working on a specific project. And our new Staff News wiki on Passport looks pretty cool so far. So I'll keep my mind open when it comes to wikis.