Archive for September, 2009

My whole 25 things experience

September 29, 2009

What an amazing journey this has been!! I really have learned so much and discovered new tools that I’m now using in my work and personal life. I found the whole process easy to navigate and quite enjoyable (I’m really going to miss the Common Craft Tutorials). I’ve been telling friends and family all about it and introducing them to some of the wonderful technologies that I’ve “discovered” – which in my mind is exactly what we should be doing…maximizing our potential and the potential of others through these tools. A technological community working together to help each other be the best we can  – isn’t that the goal of Web 2.0?

I would love to go through another exercise like this one…maybe a 25 Things Part 2??  Could you get on that Elaine?

eAudiobooks

September 29, 2009

I used to listen to audiobooks on occasion in the car when I commuted to Toronto. Recently, however, when I tried “reading” an audiobook while out walking on my lunch hour – I found that I couldn’t concentrate on the book and was too focused on the other sights and sounds around me. I figured that maybe I just wasn’t cut out for audiobooks…until I was a passenger during a 12-hour drive to NB. It was great! I just totally got into it (I can’t read in the car so it was the perfect compromise for me).

I found several interesting titles in NetLibrary and was actually surprised at the variety of books available. It was great to see that they even had children’s books. Maybe this will be an option for my kids the next time we’re locked in the van for 12 hours rather than watching all those DVDs. 😉

I also tried downloading an eAudiobook from NetLibrary’s collection so that I could understand the steps our patrons would go through. It was quick and painless and could see how it could be a very popular tool.

Podcasts

September 29, 2009

Ok, this may sound simple to most people but even though I’m quite familiar with podcasts and have listened to many before…it never dawned on me how the name podcast came to be. (Thanks Common Craft!!)

I’m sure many people quickly ran to hear Jian Gomeshi take on Billy Bob Thornton or listened when our very own Reading Buddies program was covered by CBC radio.  The joy of podcasts is that we didn’t have to catch those programs when they were actually on the radio, we could stream them anytime and any place that was convenient for us. Fantastic for our busy, “need it on demand” lifestyle.

I have used podcasts for training sessions and have found them a useful audio tool.

I did add the following RSS to my google reader account  (even though it was a bit dated, I still found them very interesting)http://www.cbc.ca/podcasting/includes/canadareads2009.xml

YouTube

September 29, 2009

I admit it! I can easily waste hour after hour playing on YouTube. It is completely addictive. As you see one video, the site is recommending a bunch more related to the one you’re watching…so you think just one more…and another, and so on.

I’ve used to prove to my kids some of the crazy songs that existed when I was a kid. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFacWGBJ_cs

 To reconnect to my hometown in the face of tragedy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf9T9H6epZc

To enjoy Sesame Street at the Library http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3ZHPJT2Kp4

And to enjoy the creativity of some of my friends http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ6te74FcKw  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfOQBeMW3AY

I really enjoyed seeing how libraries are using YouTube to promote themselves. I would love to see promotional, programming or training videos from our Library. There are already videos on there if you search for us – the elevator, skateboarders, the MerryWeather, dancers in the study room and something from the Mac Users group.

I’ve also been amazed to discover YouTube not only as a fun distraction but as a classroom where I can see videos on cooking, technology or any other topics that I want to learn about. This is often the first place I now look to learn “how-to”. A few examples: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guE6BpiBwCI   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O7iUiftbKU

P.S. if anyone wants more Moxy Fruvous, I still have the CD 😉

PBWiki

September 29, 2009

Ok, I was totally shocked at how easy it was to navigate and add things. I added comments to other people’s information and created my own list of vacation spots. I didn’t add photos because some of these trips were taken prior to my owning a digital camera and scanning the photos in would mean actually have to look for them first. (and if you’ve seen my basement, you understand my hesitation). I did however link all the vacation spots to their tourism websites – SO EASY!!!    I can totally see how this would be really useful for project work. Awesome!

Wikis

September 24, 2009

I was already familiar with Wikis and will admit to even using Wikipedia…scandalous, I know! 

I can’t imagine using Wikipedia for a research paper or anything like that but do use it to catch up on entertainment or reality shows – I’m always amazed at how quickly it’s updated when someone is kicked off Survivor or So You Think You Can Dance or some other similar show.

The Reference Wiki is a great place to look for suggested titles and I’ve gotten some excellent reading off those lists – thanks! The Library also used a Wiki for staff to record their OLA experiences this year. I found that an excellent tool as someone who didn’t attend the conference to go into and read the summaries – I could then approach staff for further information if I wanted to know more about a particular session.

I had never considered a Wiki to reduce redundancy/e-mails while working on projects and look forward to introducing that efficiency into my next project/event.

Library 2.0 posts

September 21, 2009

I have to admit – maybe I’m a keener – but I read all 5 of the discussions. It was just interesting to read about the how/why of Library 2.0.

My 2 favourites were Wendy Schultz and Michael Stephens. I really enjoyed Michael Stephens’ lists of traits needed for library 2.0. He seems to understand the future of libraries and how we, as employees of the library, must embrace these changes in order to keep current. He wasn’t advocating that technology had to be sexy or that we had to have all the latest gadgets and gizmos but that we needed to understand how what’s out there can help our patrons (or customers) deal with information. We must use these tools to enhance our services and be part of the technology community (otherwise we risk being left behind). This article really spoke to me and drove the 25 things exercise home.

Technorati

September 18, 2009

Technorati seems to be the place to go when you want to see the “what’s hot” at the moment stuff. The homepage items actually updated several times as I was searching through the site – can’t get more up-to-the-minute than that! And the information is varied, all the topics are covered. I think it would be especially interesting to hit the site on a day when a monumental event happens to see what’s there or even something not-so-monumental but still newsworthy like a politician putting their foot in their mouth (but that never happens). I did find out that Wii prices are expected to fall 🙂 . I did enjoy how you could easily refine your search through channels. I can see that I will use Technorati from time to time but don’t think it’s somewhere I will go to on a daily basis.

Delicious

September 18, 2009

I really enjoyed working through Delicious – it may be because I’m a bookmark pack-rat and tend to bookmark any site that’s useful to me even once. It’s great to find bookmarks easily based on keywords that others have already used to tag them. I played around a bit and found some sites that I think will really be useful for my daughter who is in French Immersion (French resources are not readily available when you live in southern Ontario).

I was sold and already signed up for a Delicious account as I get tired of bookmarking items on different computers and then trying to find them when I use another computer somewhere else (it’s like a phone number, once it’s programmed in – I never remember it). This will save me from having to remember those bookmarks, I can just sign in to my Delicious account and it’ll all be there. Perfect!!

Online image generators…YUM!!

September 18, 2009

Mmmm!!! Who know online image generators could be so delicious?? My brother and I used to make all sorts of ice cream creations growing up – some good, some not so much…This particular generator allowed me to make up my own B&J ice cream, so it reminded me of him and the fun we had as kids. There are so many fun online image generators out there – the list seems endless and so many great options. I can totally picture my kids and I playing around with them and making our own advertisements, billboards, etc. What a great tool!! Now I’m off to enjoy my virtual ice cream.

P.S. If anyone is wondering, it’s dark chocolate and banana base with chocolate brownie & PB cup chunks, surrounded with caramel and shortbread brownie swirls…not for the faint of heart!!