Friday, January 2, 2009

Thing #23: The End of the Beginning

It was fun learning about Flickr. I've gotten some more practice using Flickr by working with Joanne Ferguson Cavanaugh on uploading and tagging some of the OPL's digital images into the OPL's new official Flickr account - a project that was at least partly inspired by this O! What a Geek training program. Looking at all of the various image manipulators and generators was fun too. Wikis are a great tool, and one that has really caught on - and I don't mean just Wikipedia. Rollyo is a nice idea for a web tool, but I wish it worked better - you cannot limit it to searching part of a website and it misses an awful lot of stuff. Bloglines and LibraryThing I had used before and, although I can see why some people like them, I don't find them very appealing. Directories of blogs and podcasts, such asTechnorati and the Podcast Directory, I don't like much - they just seem like a jumble of links and it takes too much time to find anything good in them. Delicious, on the other hand, is my absolute favorite Web 2.0 tool - it has saved me so much time and effort when it comes to using the Web and bookmarking webpages and websites.

I learned a lot in this program. I discovered some new web tools and learned to use others that I had heard about but never used. Even with the tools that I already used I found it educational to have to write about them and explain why I do or do not like them. Aside from having to extend the original deadline the whole program went very smoothly and I have no complaints about its format. Of course, this program doesn't really end - the idea is for this to be the beginning or continuation of our exploration of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 tools, not our last look at them. I do intend to keep exploring!

Thing #22: Media and Book Downloads

I have downloaded some of OPL's ebooks, audiobooks, videos, and Tumble Books in the past - when we added these collections to our library I practiced using each of them in order to be better able to help patrons with them. Working at the Information Desk and answering Webdesk emails I encounter quite a lot of patrons who have had problems getting their OverDrive books to work, but I can't remember very many problems with the MyLibraryDV and TumbleBooks collections. I would have thought that videos would be more problematic downloads than audios and eBooks, but apparently not so. For this exercise, and in honor of the upcoming Big Read, I checked out and dowloaded an audio version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Everything went smoothly - I was able to check out, download, and listen to the book within 15 minutes. Although eBooks are notorious for not having caught on as fast as many people in the library and publishing worlds expected, I do think that the OverDrive collection (and the MyLibraryDV and TumbleBooks collections) are necessary additions to the OPL's overall collection - it would be absurd for a library of our size not to be venturing into these areas.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thing #21: Podcasts

I couldn't find it in any of the recommended podcast directories, but I have added the Nebraska Library Commission's podcast to my Bloglines account. While I was at it I also found and added the BookTalk podcast. I have added a blogroll of my Bloglines account subscriptions to the column on the left so that you can see my podcasts and other RSS subsciptions - I should have done that earlier for the Bloglines Thing.

As with YouTube, wikis, etc., podcasts are a way in which libraries can share their knowledge and practices with their staff, patrons, and professional peers.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thing #20: YouTube

Here are two of my favorite musicians - Damon Albarn of Blur and Ray Davies of the Kinks - performing one of my favorite songs - Davies' "Waterloo Sunset". I don't spend much time exploring YouTube because I am afraid of getting too much into it and letting it steal all of my time, but I do like looking up the occasional music video or music performance.

As for YouTube and libraries, the possibilities are endless: advertisements, instructional videos, online copies of archival film holdings, etc. Any video that a library creates can be posted to YouTube if the library so wishes, thereby reaching a wide audience - if anyone can find it in amongst all the other stuff on YouTube!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thing #19: Discovering Web 2.0 Tools

Via I discovered the yourminis site. Yourminis offers a bunch of widgets that people can add to their websites. I used it to add an "O! What a Geek Deadline" countdown widget to the side of my blog.

UPDATE December 2, 2008: I replaced the countdown to the old deadline with a countdown to the new deadline.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thing #18: Web-based Apps

This posting was created using the Google Docs word processing program. That program is remarkably similar to Microsoft Word, at least in its basic features. Likewise for the Google Docs spreadsheet program and Microsoft Excel. The spreadsheet program was running a little slow when I was looking at it, with multi-second pauses whenever I tried to change anything, but it did a really good job of uploading an existing Microsoft Excel file. Every computer that I use at work and at home has Microsoft Word and Excel installed on it, so I don't think I'll have much use for Google Docs. But I can see the use for the people who are on the run a lot and/or people who do not own their own computer and have to use public computers.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thing #17: PBwiki

I have added my blog to the plcmclearning Favorite Blogs page. It was easy enough to log in to the wiki and add the URL for my humble blog. I used to have a PBwiki account (I no longer remember why I signed up for it) but my username and password are no longer valid, so I just used the plcmc login. I declined to add a few of my favorite things to the wiki.