Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Its exciting to have learned so much about so many different tools and to share that learning in a statewide community of learners. I feel like this is just a start -- and a good one! It will be fun to continue to explore, learn and use more tools.
I think these tools are a great way to connect with people of similar interests or concerns and for once, geography is not a dictator! I think WJ has been particularly useful in leveling the playing field and giving people every where the tools they need to do the jobs they do.
I do see how Facebook is being used by library staff as a way to make themselves available to students; and libraries that advertise their presence through Facebook and Myspace. Hennepin Co Library has done well in this area and it is interesting to see that kids, in particular teens, use the pages to create a community.
It will be interesting to see where these pages go in the next few years -- they seem to be evolving at an enormously fast rate and have gazillions of applications. I wonder if we might be surprised at what these turn into in the future and what unintended results crop up.
I have made a series of inept podcasts using the OPAL webconferencing software. They have not been good, but it has given me the opportunity to know what needs to be fixed and some idea of how to fix it. I would like to use brief podcasts or vidcasts for training purposes and make them available on my website.
In my personal life, I enjoy having access to video of things I would not otherwise have much knowledge of. I recently watched a long presentation by the author of Eat, Pray, Love. Having just read the book, I was curious about her and wanted to see what she looked like and what she had to say. It was a great experience.
I have embedded video in my other blogs.
I have long been a fan of netLibrary and think it is a useful collection of books that is often overlooked. I think many of the tools available are fantastic. I have used it for a variety of personal and professional purposes over the years, but travel continues to be one very good use of netLibrary.
I think these two tools will continue to develop and will be especially useful for kids moving from the RPC to the AC as they move from high school to higher ed.
I am very taken with the use of Library Thing by libraries (e.g., new books, book clubs, etc) and am wondering if it might be an option for smaller church libraries.
I did see in a Library Thing discussion group that there were church libraries who reported success with it.
I think getting the book covers is really cool!
On a more serious level, iGoogle is a great personal learning experience platform. With the tabs it is possible to put feeds and other resources all in one place when you're working on learning something new or want to receive alerts about a particular topic.
I also like the way the banner reflects the time of day as the sun travels from left to right!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I do think that it is interesting when my favorite bloggers are digging each other and major issues -- a quick way to get an idea of what's hot, what the buzz is.
I recently heard an author talk about writing a book and tracking all her sources, chapter by chapter, on Del.icio.us as she was doing the research. Great idea for anyone doing research and wondering how to keep track of so many possible resources on the web.
I also like the social aspect of this -- to see who else has tagged an item; what tags they used; what their del.icio.us account looks like.
I would like to know more about libraries that allow tagging in their catalogs -- that seems like a great idea since library subject terms are pretty rigid and very specific. I think del.icio.us would also be useful in college courses or high school classes where students/teachers could share resources.
We used a wiki to plan 23 things on a stick and I thought it was a very useful way to keep track of various threads that were being worked on simulateneously by different people. It has since taken on a life of its own with this project and the comments from participants -- just like it is supposed to, but was not originally intended to do that. A very positive unintended consequence --as so often happens with these tools!
I especially enjoy the OPAL website and the constant stream of programs available there in real-time and in the archives. Some amazing opportunities have come past that provided good learning experiences of personal and professional interest.
Chat - as in Google Chat -- is just the best for quick conversations with others. I like the fact that Google records and keeps a transcript of these conversations. I have used the group chat function to some extent, but it didn't prove to be quite as useful as I thought it would be. Though I use it at work for "on the fly meetings with colleagues, my favorite use is with my daughters who live in distant locations -- but are at work most days!
E-mail and wikis are also part of my tool box when it comes to planning and implementing NLLN programs.
I think this is a particularly useful "Thing" -- but it sure includes a lot of alternatives!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
This is from MEMO Midwinter -- where people were comparing notes and networking over lunch. The photo and this posting were created in Flickr and posted from there to this blog!
Fast and easy -- just a matter of setting up the permission in Flickr and telling Flickr about your blog -- so it knows where to post it.
I have a Flickr account for Northern Lights Library Network (NLLN) and regularly post photos there of events and activities occuring throughout the NLLN region. I recently posted pictures from the MEMO Midwinter Conference last week and there are photos from other events, the Governing Board, Conferences, Spotlight on Books, etc.
One really great thing about Flickr is the ability to post directly to the Northern Lights Insights blog from Flickr -- photo and commentary created without leaving Flickr! It's fast, it's convenient, and it works slick!
For $25 a year I have a "pro" account that allows for lots of storage, easy uploading, and permanancy. Well worth the fee, in my opinion.
I also have a personal Flickr account that allows my far-flung family and friends to share their lives with each other. I have a childhood friend who has lived in Singapore for more than 30 years. She and I have not seen each other in a long time or seen each other's children, but through Flickr she has a sense of my family in all its strange and wonderful ways! I have a daughter living in Costa Rica, a daughter living in Montana, a son in Minneapolis, parents, siblings, and friends all across a variety of states. Sharing pictures via Flickr is easy, anyone can see them, can comment, can share their pictures -- it just helps us feel more in contact and it eliminates all those .jpg files anonymously filling up computer hard drives!
I love Flickr and all the nifty, nifty things you can do with it and with it in combination with other Web 2.0 tools.
Currently I am using Google Reader on my iGoogle page to subscribe to the feeds and have weeded out many of them so that I have a smaller number of blogs, but ones I really, really find compelling to read. Stephen's Lighthouse, Tame the Web, Shifted Librarian are three of my favorite library blogs. And, Northern Lights Insights, is the blog I maintain for the NLLN region -- check it out.
On the Northern Lights Insights blog, and the others mentioned above, are "blogrolls" that list blogs of interest to the person creating the blog. In this case, these are primarily library blogs and all the great ones are there.
In addition to library blogs, I use my Google Reader to subscribe to feeds from Flickr so I can see when new photos are posted, I use it for news feeds of interest to me and book lists from the library. There are lots of uses for RSS feeds.
In addition to RSS feeds, some blogs allow you to subscribe via email so you get the post in your mail box -- that's handy if you tend to not read the blogs often or if some are more important than others.
One thing I have learned from reading library and technology blogs: they all read each other and often share what someone else has posted about. This helps decrease the number of blogs I read since I can often catch up simply by reading a few blogs and then following the links they post about.
Lots to be learned from blogs. There is an RSS feed on this blog if you want to add it to your reader!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Stepehn recently referred to an interesting post by Marshall Kirkpatrick, another blogger, giving 10 reasons why people don't want to learn Web 2.0 things and then gave possible responses to each reason -- check it out by clicking here. All the reasons you've thought of yourself (I don't have time; I have real work to do; it's just fluff) are here and some very thoughtful reasons you might consider as to why it actually is worth your time and effort to learn more about Web 2.0 and its value to you, your library, and your library community.
Monday, January 21, 2008
I have used Blogger for about 5 years for various NLLN blogs but have more recently begun using WordPress for the NLLN blog called Northern Insights.
Both are free, both are very popular, and both have many features to explore -- be careful you don't get sucked into spending hours tweaking the look of your blog and adding fun features..
I think the biggest challenge to setting up a blog is to chose a name! The name can sometimes be a challenge -- but pick something fun, or quirky, or serious, or mysterious. Check out what some of your colleagues have selected for names -- they can be quite amusing! "Lutefisk on a stick" as a blog name? I guess you know you're in Minnesota!
Today is a holiday for some and I anticipate that we'll see a surge of new participants.
Remember to register your blog by Feb 15 to be eligible for incentives.
I look forward to creating a social network in the NLLN region through participation in the 23 Things on a Stick! Ruth
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The official "mother blog" of the project is found at "23thingsonastick.blogspot.com". At this time the intro is there and much information, including a list of the "23 Things" but: the complete program and live links will not be fully available until January 20th.
Be sure to check back at that time and launch your learning journey.
To be eligible for prizes, you must register your blog by February 15 and complete all 23 Things by April 16, 2008.
It will be a lot of fun. See you later in January!