Sunday, December 13, 2009

#23 Is this really the end? Or just the beginning ...

The 23 Things has been a great hands-on learning experience. Not only did I learn how to use a variety of online tools, I had fun with each discovery exercise. Some of my favorites, I am still using. I am on Zoho Writer right now, and a colleague and I are already using Zoho to share documents for an upcoming project. The only suggestion that I have is that some of the links for resources to learn more about a particular "thing" are not active. Some of those I would have really liked to explore. Along with Zoho, some of my favorite discoveries were LibraryThing, Rollyo, and the Web 2.0-based articles.

This program has affected my lifelong learning in the sense that I believe to be a great librarian, one must be a consistently active lifelong learner. Whether you are able to gain this knowledge from your employer, or spend your own time to keep your finger on the pulse of technology and how it relates to libraries, lifelong learning is an essential component of library professionals.

Overall, I have a much stronger sense of the power of Internet tools and related technology, and how this can be used to enhance patron services. Technology will be at the forefront of change in libraries; both libraries and technology continue to change in ways that were not possible less than 20 years ago. And it is the 21st century librarian who will decide on how to integrate technology, and take an active role in choosing technological services and educating patrons on how to use them.

Friday, November 27, 2009

#22 Audiobooks (or "The end is in sight ")

A division of OCLC, NetLibrary is the portal through which patrons can access their library's digital resources, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eJournals. With so many of us holding, our lives in our hands through palm-sized technology, NetLibrary offers another way to access information remotely and digitally. Patrons check out an eBook or another digital resource much like they would a print resource. A library's digital catalog offers much of the same searching capabilities as a WebPac. Once a title is selected, the patron keys in a library card number, and continues on to download the material to a computer or other device. Very simple. For those with long commutes to and from work, a lot of travel time, or no time to sit and read, digital resources can fulfill a need for information (and reading) that wouldn't be possible with traditional library materials. My library currently uses OverDrive (and cancelled NetLibrary). This interface also offers downloadable videos and music for library cardmembers. One thing about using digital resources at your library-it won't work with Kindle, which requires that you purchase all content at

#21 Podcasts, Smodcasts!

Podcasts are online-generated mp3 files that users subscribe to through an RSS feed. By subscribing, users will know when a new episode of a podcast is available for download. Some liken podcasts to on-demand radio, where online users can dictate the type of content they receive, and when and where they listen to it. Podcasts cover every topic from news and sports to education and music. Many popular newspaper columnists and television hosts use podcasts as another way to communicate. National Public Radio (NPR), the Wall Street Journal and the hosts and programs on MSNBC deliver podcasts. But like many things web-related, anyone with the equipment and something to say can create their own podcast.

The state of podcast search sites today appears to be wobbly at best. The Yahoo! Podcasts site shut down two years ago, and is supported by, which also acquired another podcast search site. After doing a little research, it seems that podcast search sites are being outdone by video search sites (think YouTube). With that said, sites such as still are a great way to search podcasts, without having to wade through the unneeded results that may come up in a Google, or related-type search.

Even so, podcasts are still a popular way to receive information via your computer or downloaded to a handheld device (iPhone, iPod, etc.). I love the brevity of most podcasts, too. In ten minutes, I can hear about the latest books, find out the news or practice some deep calming yoga breathing via a guided meditation.

#20 You too can YouTube

YouTube is nothing less than a phenomenon. No other downloadable video site compares to it. If you are looking for a video on well, anything, YouTube is likely to have it. If you’re looking for home improvement videos, YouTube has them. From installing doors and windows to painting and electric, the do-it-yourself home remodeler needn’t look any further. Libraries, too, are represented in a variety of videos, including “Building Academic Library 2.0” and entire “Gaming in Libraries” course consisting of 33 videos. Of course, funny and entertainment-related videos are here, too. Most of the funny “you gotta see this” videos I get in my e-mail come from YouTube. Sports, and live broadcasts can be seen on YouTube within minutes of when the event occurred, and all over the world. You can find new and old TV shows to watch…the list is pretty much endless. Even what might be considered rare is easy to find on YouTube. “The Sound of Jazz,” broadcast on CBS in 1958, shows performances from the greatest jazz artists ever.

Check out one of my favorite YouTube videos ever: Cookie Monster tries to get cookies at the library (Sesame Street). Awesome!!!

#19 Discovering Web 2.0 tools received first place in the educational website category. This site provides more than eight million searchable public, professional documents. The site is easy to use, and some of the major categories include business, legal, personal finance, education, and jobs and careers. Since it is primarily a free site, this is another suggestion that libraries can suggest to patrons wanting to do more research on a particular topic. Each result is tagged with keywords and the ability to provide reviews. Users also can search within search results.

The only thing that annoyed me was the number of advertisements appearing on top and the side of the Web page, as well as those ads between search results. However, I believe that the power of this site outweighs the advertisements.

My library is currently looking at online foreign language programs to offer patrons, including Mango, which received second place in the education category. I will definitely be passing on this information.

#18 Web-based Apps: They’re not just for desktops

I am in love with Zoho. This online tool is absolutely fabulous for many reasons. First of all, I would have loved to use it during my practicum. I misplaced my jump drive and could definitely have used this as a backup! The convenience and ease of accessing documents is great, as is the number of applications available.

In fact, I am using Zoho right now during the Thanksgiving celebrations at my parents. A nice excuse to be productive and get away from the family craziness for a little while!

Also, the ability to share documents is a nice feature to collaborate with others. As I, along with my Summer Reading Program co-coordinator plan for the 2010 program, we will definitely use this tool to update our schedule of activities and tasks. For people who work from home (and who doesn't these days?), it can eliminate the extra copies of revisions that get made between home and work.

#17 Playing around with BPWiki

I was able to sign up with BPWiki very easily. After that, things didn't go as smoothly. The site would not allow me to create a page, and there were no edit icons (and I looked really hard.) So here is what I would have posted:

In the favorites section, I would have said that my favorite vacation spots are Maui, Hawai’i, and Italy. The natural beauty of the people and landscape is very different, but both are unbelievable places.

To post my blog in the Favorite Blogs section I would have typed:


Pretty simple (in theory).