Sunday, May 18, 2008

Networking and all that...

I love Facebook - it's really a wonderful way to waste time - I've settled down a bit since joining Facebook about a year ago - I've just incorporated it into my morning routine - breakfast, email, Facebook. I have gotten back in touch with many old friends and have learnt a lot more about my current friends and work colleagues. I can see how some people could find it useful as a professional networking tool, but I prefer to keep it at the social level.

MySpace is also good, thought I don't use it often. I'm hoping to set up a YA page in MySpace by the end of this year - I run a YA film club through my library and I think MySpace would be a good way to reach out to a wider audience.

I'm intrigued by the idea of Second Life, but it also scares me. I've witnessed first-hand what can happen when people withdraw from the real world into the virtual - the results can be messy, as people can lose a lot of real-world social skills. But I still think it's pretty cool. I guess it's important for libraries to have a presence in Second Life, but I don't see any great shifts in service delivery coming from it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Collaboration made easy

I knew about, but have never looked at, all the online document creation & sharing tools. I think these tools are so valuable for those who can't afford or don't wish to support Mr Gates' expanding empire. Unfortunately in my day-to-day work I will continue to use Microsoft & Adobe products, but I can really see the potential. I like Jott, I sent that one onto my boss - he's always extremely busy and travels a lot, so I think it will be a great way for him to communicate with me on the fly.

Applications like GoogleDocs will make collaboration so much easier - I can picture school & university students getting a lot of value out of it. It could also make communication across library systems (rather than within) more efficient - I'm thinking particularly in terms of new policy development etc. What I think is really cool is you can convert the documents back into Microsoft formats anyway - so if you need to share it with someone who can't access GoogleDocs (maybe no Internet?), you still can!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I love the Web 2.0 trend of coming up with a new buzzword for absolutely everything that happens...

The best mashup I have seen was demonstrated by Chris Sherman at a Power Searching with the Pros workshop (highly recommend it!). Its the Google Maplets feature. Chris used the Geo-Biography of JMW Turner as an example, but there are many many more. Just have a look at Google Maps Directory to see them all!

Here's my first attempt, using Big Huge Labs.

It's a pod world

There are some great podcast initiatives out there. It's an obvious mechanism for libraries to deliver training to staff and customers. My library service runs multiple public workshops/lectures every month, it would be great if we could caputre these and make them available to a wider audience.

I have just attended a Web Search Pacific 2 day workshop - Power Searching with the Pros. I think this course is essential for all library staff - it was really amazing! We were presented with other exciting ways podcasts are being used. The first is MIT offering 1800 FREE courses to anyone online using a variety of media, including podcasts. Also, check out EveryZing, a multimedia search engine - great for podcasts, and you can get full transcripts of casts, created on the fly. There are bugs of course - in particular there are some issues with accent identification, but overall, what a great initiative and exciting glimpse into the future!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Social stuff

I love the Slammin' the boards inititative - what a wonderful way to market our skills! It's really important that the effort be maintained, for the librarians to continue to spread the word widely and not just locally.

There are lots of ways to make it local as well. I envisage a wiki for our customers to post questions and answers to - why limit it to the librarians when there is so much knowledge out there in the community? Of course there would be librarian input - but let's make it truly social, not the 'us and them' mentality in a different form. For those who aren't so computer literate, we could have a paper based system in the library branches, librarians could then post the questions/answers to the wiki on behalf of the customer - my experience is that most reference queries come up again in some form.

This could also be an excellent way for customers to 'vote' on our collection - and a really good way to gather suggestions for purchase and suggestions for research guides. Just a couple of thoughts...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Social Bookmarking

I have used before, but then kind of gave up - but now that I have read a bit more I think I will make the effort to continue using it. I particularly like the way the AskNow service is utilising it - this is a really good example of how libraries can harness the technology and provide more value-added services for our customers.

Not too sure how I feel about Technorati, I can see that it could be useful, but I'll have to do a bit more research to see how I could use it myself.

I also already had a LibraryThing account. I had noble ambitions about 6 months ago and thought about adding my own bookshelf, but then I got lazy. Now I just use it to sticky beak about what others are reading and talking about. I think LibraryThing is doing good things for reading in general. It's a great tool for book-clubs and could be used to create online book-clubs - stretching beyong the physical limitations. Of course it's also an excellent readers advisory tool for librarians.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Machine is Us/ing Us

One of my favourite YouTube moments - an effective look at Web 2.0 and how it is changing the world and us

Introducing Le book

Another favourite YouTube moment - simply funny

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Video Worlds

So I was having a look at some of the suggested videos on YouTube this week. Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Lego is fantastic - really funny. I can't believe some people have enough time to come up with stuff like this.

A good example of how libraries can harness the technology is with Olive Riley Returns to Broken Hill. I have been looking at doing something very similar in my library for a while now, as soon as I get the time...

I thought that the PLCMC New Employee Orientation has great potential, as long as it doesn't replace face-to-face interactions with management.

My immediate thought was that student orientations could also be done this way, and I found one in Reference and Research Assistance.

The showcase of ArtExpress works also has potential, if done properly it could become a really professional presentation.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Wikis are another technology I feel relatively OK with. I think they are an ideal way for organisation's procedures manuals to be published - particularly well suited to location-specific procedures rather than formal policies.

I quite like the SJCPL Subject Guides wiki, this is another excellent way to apply the technology to libraries. Wisconsin Heritage Online doesn't feel like a wiki at first (purely a design thing), but I can see the collaboration at work. I didn't really like the design of the Mint Museum wiki (they really need to shrink the fonts), but the idea is nice. A quick browse through showed that there hasn't been much collaboration on the pages - the 6 I checked had all been created by the Museum staff with no subsequent editing. I guess it could be a work in progress.

Library Success has a lot of good information on it for us librarians, I will definitely explore this one a bit further. I really like BookLovers wiki by Princeton Public Library - I think a wiki is a much better way to organise a readers advisory site than a blog, because it is inherently more organised (and organisation is, of course, incredibly important to me).

Montana History wiki also looks great. There is certainly a lot of information in there. The only thing that I think needs to happen is the resources lists need to be subdivided by topic, as some of them are way too long to be useful.

Finally, Wookieepedia is just cool, and testamount to the fact that people will always contribute much more readily to pop culture collaborations than anything else.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Keeping up to date

I've known about RSS for a long time, but never had much interest in using it. I'm not the kind of person that regularly checks lots of different news sites or blogs. I subscribe to a couple of really good e-newsletters and pretty much prefer to receive my updates that way. However, in the name of learning, I have subscribed to 6 feeds using Bloglines.

1. Powerhouse museum photo of the day - even though we *had* to subscribe to this one, I quite like it.
2. LibraryBytes - of course - I have seen Helene Blowers speak and really admire what she is doing.
3. Libraries interact - described as 'Blog Central for Australian Libraries'. It does seem to have a broad range of subjects so far, so will keep checking.
4. The 'M' word - marketing libraries - the name says it all.
5. PETA latest news - I always like to keep up to date with the latest in animal rights news.
6. Eat, drink and be vegan - this is a blog by the author of a couple of really good vegan recipe books. The blog has recipes too - I'm in heaven!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Vegan cupcakes on Flickr

I was more interested when I did a search for 'Vegan' on Flickr - lots and lots of yummy vegan food pics - makes me hungry just looking at them. It does make you wonder about the things other people find interesting to look at. Have a look at this vegan cupcake tower by Sweet Avenue Bake Shop. Yum!

Week 3 - Photos and other things

NSW State Library
Originally uploaded by Steven Gregor
There are some wonderful photos of the State Library NSW on Flickr - some really nice architectural shots. I particularly like this one by Steven Gregor.

Friday, February 29, 2008

My initial thoughts

I have been so busy this week I didn't think I would ever get here, but it's amazing what you can do when deadlines start to loom...

I may as well out myself now. I am a public librarian (and proud of it) and I am vegan. I love new technology and though I'm not new to using blogs (and have even created a couple in my time), I do tend to lack the momentum to keep them current.

So I'm hoping the Learning 2.0 program which I'm participating in will help give me the momentum I need, even if the only 15min a day I have right now are while I'm eating breakfast...