Thursday, April 2, 2009

Library 2.0 and the icebergs

Rick Anderson's essay stuck with me mainly because of the line:

" can be equally disastrous when a profession fails to acknowledge and adapt to radical, fundamental change in the marketplace it serves."

I had recently been to a ConEd class called "Show Me the Money" where the representative from OCLC said something similar, about libraries having to know what business they are in. His example was a typewriter store. If the owner of the typewriter store thought he was in the business of selling typewriters, he was out of business as soon as the word processor was developed. But, if he saw himself in the business of document preparation, or communication, or whatever, he would have realized what the invention of the word processor meant, and shifted to meet customer demand.

I am really roughly paraphrasing here, but that's the basics. So, for libraries, we have to determine what we are really in the business of doing, and keep track of the best ways to fulfill customer demand.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Technorati "popular" feature

My first thought is: How is Jennifer Garner the number 4 most popular search? Honestly, what was the last movie she was in?

Second, if you're looking at the top 100 blogs by fan numbers, it seems rather tech-heavy. Whatever that means.

Third, I like the most popular news best out of all the most popular lists. As in, there were things on it I was interested in. So, I'll probably check that out again.


I am beginning to see how exactly people spend so much time on the Internet. Now, not only can I read all the blogs I'm interested in at Bloglines, I can also refer to my favorite websites at any time, from any computer. This beats the heck out of that list of URL links to storytime sites I had saved to my flash drive when I was a children's librarian.

I also really like the tagging aspect--chalk up to the hidden cataloguer in me. A wonderful way to organize things. While working on this assignment, I began to wish we could tag the emails we receive at our work account. No more wondering what folder to put an email in, or later wondering what folder did I put that email in. Just tag it with whatever you might search for it later under.

Of course, I can see how this would be applicable in our jobs. For starters, it's a way to collect all the websites you frequently use to answer customer questions, and have them available to you at any computer with Internet access.


I decided to create a Readalikes search tool, as I could see this coming in handy at work. The next time a customer wants a list of authors like Janet Evanovich, or wants a book just like Twilight, I'll have plenty of resources at my fingertips beyond Novelist, without having to wade through the random entries brought up by a Google search.

I could see this having all kinds of applications in the library. Create a search tool consisting of other libraries' programming ideas, or trusted sites for homework help. Pretty cool.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Library Thing

I'm going to confess that I don't understand the great appeal of Library Thing. I have heard and read about how great it is and how the user communities are awesome, and (mostly) how horrible Shelfari is in comparison, and yet...I look at Library Thing and just think, "Meh."

I think the real barrier to my using LT is that pesky 200 book limit. Sure, I could shell out for unlimited space--it's not that expensive. But why would I do that when I can use another site and upload more books for free? Or start my own free blog, and blog about however many books I want to?

I think most people are drawn to the community--to having a space where they can talk about books, and who knows what else. This is probably where I lose interest. The message boards look sort of interesting, but I know I would never keep up with them. I don't have the time! I guess I'm lucky enough to get my fill of talking about books in the nonvirtual world.

I did set up my account--not sure how often I'll use it, though. I added the five books that are currently on my "To Be Read" shelf.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Image Generators

Wow. There is certainly a lot out there! It definitely took me more that 15-20 minutes to try out several image generators. Lots of broken links and confusing sites, too. I think I like the image I made on the Fake Magazine Generator the best, as I have complained before that you will never see a librarian on the cover of the Rolling Stone. Voila! The downside is that I have the Dr. Hook song stuck in my head.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

RSS Search Tools

Here's my thoughts on the search tools that we looked at:

Bloglines Search Tool: I liked that you could narrow this down to your feeds only. I can see myself using that when I'm looking for a blog post I've read before, as opposed to just scrolling down until I find it. Probably my least favorite of the four. Showed a lot of irrelevant blogs when I searched. I liked how this came up directly with Tulsa news and blogs on it, and also how you could search other locations (I did Charleston, WV, where my husband's family is from). Keyword search was okay, not great.

Technorati: The one I liked the best. The page is a little cluttered, but I feel like I got the best results on my seaches here.

I have to admit I didn't add any blogs to my Bloglines, because I have plenty.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thing #8--RSS Feeds

Okay, since I've previously posted on my love for Bloglines, for Thing 8, I'll talk a little bit about how Bloglines helps me as a librarian. One of the things I use Bloglines for is to subscribe to sites that help with RA/collection development. Some of them are "professional" and geared specifically toward libraries and librarians (like Early Word: The Publisher/Librarian Connection) and some are just ordinary people who post reviews and comments on the books they read (Citizen Reader). These give me a chance to explore books and media I might not come across regularly. And reading the posts of someone who loves, say, Regency Romances, keeps me up to date in a genre that I don't read a whole lot of myself, making it easier to do RA.

I'd also like to point out that if you are a children's librarian or a teen librarian, there are a host of people out there blogging their ideas for children's and teens' programming. Plug them all into Bloglines, and you have a wonderful programming resource.


Had I looked ahead, I would have realized that the next 23 Things project was about RSS feeds. And maybe I would have blogged about something different!

But I still love Bloglines!

Technology Blog--Bloglines!

My personal favorite bit of technology right now is Bloglines. I love it. Before I knew about Bloglines, I had all the blogs I read saved to my favorites list on my laptop, but that didn't really help me if I was trying to read them somewhere else. While I'm probably not exercising my memory as much now, since I don't have to recall the web addresses of several different blogs, I do love the fact I can just input a blog address into Bloglines, and it will keep track of it. Bloglines allows me to access the blogs I'm interested in all from one address (, and allows me to see right off the bat which blogs have new posts. The one problem I've had is that on a couple of blogs I've added, it only shows the first few lines of the blog post, and you have to click on it to read the rest. For most blogs, though, the entire entry is available on the Bloglines page.

I've been using Bloglines for about a year now, and I'm up to 47 (!) blogs. I could have never kept up with 47 blogs before! (Honestly, I can't keep up with them now, since I only check it twice a week, but the nice thing about Bloglines is it holds up to 200 posts new, so you can always go back and catch up.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Picasa, Take Two!

Boo! My last link didn't work. At least, it didn't take you to the picture I wanted to use. Let's try this instead. This is a picture of the hill behind my parents' house. It's labeled "Poteau Mountain" but it's actually called Cavanal Hill, and it is the world highest hill, according to the plaque.

It's weird, because that picture had to have been taken somewhere near my parents' house, which is sort of off the beaten track.

Kat Kong and other Picasa comments

Well, I have no idea if this is cat is really huge or if it's the pose and the camera angle, but for sheer size, this fella reminds of me of my own 21 pound cat monstrosity at home:

Toota mishka Jabba du Hutt?

Picasa has some neat features that I haven't explored before. I'm especially interested in trying out the collage feature with some of my pictures at home. Also, the "Where in the World" game is a lot of fun!

Monday, February 23, 2009

7 1/2 Habits of highly effective learners

The easiest of the 7 1/2 habits for me would be play, of course...although I've found that as I get older it gets more difficult to drop all that "important" stuff I'm supposed to do and find time to play. That's something I need to watch out for. When the laundry becomes more important than having fun, you may be in trouble.

The most difficult of the habits is probably #7. Teaching and training is not my forte--I tend to jump all over the place and be just generally scattered. Which is why I am now a librarian, and not subjecting classes of freshman to long, rambling, disorganized lectures on the works of Flannery O'Connor. I really have to work at staying focused, and I need lots of feedback from those I'm working with to make sure I haven't skipped over or shortchanged anything important.


Aha! I have created my blog, meaning I am one step closer to completing 23 Things and receiving TS con-ed credit! And also possibly winning a prize of some sort...