Saturday, August 15, 2009

wiki to me

I love wikipedia. I know you have to read it with an open mind, and check the information before you take it is factual. But it is often a good starting place to learn about something and even learn unsual things about a certain topic, which might not be anywhere else you are going to look, are or able to look.
I like the table of contents on the page. I utilize the live links to explore the subject at hand even further. The references at the bottom of the page can be very useful. The statistics given are very helpful. I did a search for tattoo. I am having my birthday and thinking of getting a tattoo. I learned things about tats that I was not aware of. I have had a tattoo for 15 years.
The layout of the information makes it easy to read and the pages easily navigated. I love the see-also section, it gave me other terms I had not thought of to explore and read about.

We have used wetpaint to wiki-ify our reference manual, so I was just recently trained on it and think it's going to be very useful.

Google Docs

I have had some experience with Google docs, but what I found today made me feel like I might want to replace what I and the rest of the world use now and use this option.

The programs were very similar to the Microsoft Office programs, but with a somewhat more basic layout and actually a little less intimidating to some users I am sure.

I like that you are able to share and collaborate the files with others and allow them to make changes and send them back.

It's neat to have that option, and for free. It has many advantages, some of which I probably am still unaware of. This is something I will use.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pause for a moment of reflection

My favorite thing was the image generators. I mean, I LOVE my facebook, youtube, google, flickr, and delicious, but I had used them all before and image generators were new to me, and being sorta artsy, I loved being able to combine my artistic flare and favorite poems into a single piece of art that I created very easily and free. I had to make myself stop!

My least favorite was LibWorm. I will cut it some slack for two reasons, it is still in beta form and it is not something which interests me like many of the other things did. I didn't find it very interesting and didn't think I would use it very much, BUT never say never, right?

I found LibWorm somewhat challenging because some of the results I retrieved weren't things I would read. I enjoyed them all though and I don't hate libworm, I look forward to the stage following beta. :)

I learned about the history of facebook in the assigned article. I learned about Digg, which I have enjoyed since doing that thing. I learned image generators, which were fun, creative, useful at work and my favorite thing of all. I learned more about Google docs, which I knew some about, but now have a better understanding and stronger desire to utilize that option.

We already use so many of these in our library and I am very proud to say that. As new things appear on the horizon we have staff innovative enough to scope it out and share their knowledge with the rest of the library and our patrons. I plan to use Google docs more, I plan to use Digg, and will use delicious more than I have been. I will use taggin more than I had been and I also learned how to keep a blog and make an entry somewhat regularly. I have been attempting that for awhile. The learning, sharing, writing was really great and I am so happy I signed up and even more happy that I will complete it in time. Two days before my birthday, my luau is tomorrow, maybe I will win the prize...a birthday girl can dream, right?

I truly learned a lot and think this is one of the most useful things I have done in years. Thanks a lot.

passing it on...

I think there are many ways to educate staff using what I have learned on NT 23 Things. Sharing tips and techiques with coworkers, using the knowledge I have gained to help patrons more than some of my coworkers may be able to do if they have not participated.
I could take this knew knowledge and do a mini-23 things workshop over a course of time and allow all staff to participate. Or ask your superiors to consider using google docs so that collaboration on projects would be easier. Presenting the 23 things and allowing staff to pick 5 they wish to learn, and helping them through it. Sharing in meetings what we all learn from doing these things.
I plan to do a lot with my new knowledge and I am very glad I have been part of it all.

Pick a Podcast

The audio on most of the podcasts I listened to was pretty good, there were a couple that just weren't as high quality sound, but I have no doubts that could be my laptop.

I enjoyed Librarygeek. The cast about LibraryThing was interesting. Also, I noticed JJ Hill Reference had their own channel. I receive a weekly email from them, and their casts are educational and have some seminars on there which also look very useful.

So, yes, there are more than a few in just the few library pages I searched which I would subscribe to. I want to do some more searching on things of interest so that I might listen to them on my mp3 player as I workout or do art, or as I drive.

We do use podcasts to provide instructional sessions to students and speakers who come to campus. Instructors use them to teach sections of homework. I think they, along with youtube, have the potential to very useful in reaching the generation of young adults who've grown up in this age of mp3 players and computers and Internet. Again, reaching them where they are and how they like to be reached...and above all options of how. Which mean a lot!

Youtube, I tube...we ALL love youtube! is one of the best sites on the web. Funny pets, awesome old videos and clips, instructions on how to do almost anything, people expressing themselves, babies laughing, bloopers...the list of youtube goodies could go on for pages.

The library where I am employed uses youtube to make all different types of videos. We have a series called Librarian vs Stereotype and addresses copyright and other scholarly communication issues, clips about all that librarians and libraries have to offer, and that there is more to research than computers and that library staff have the ability and desire to help them, and to make their college experience easier.

There were topics ranging from roving reference to proper library attire (good luck with that!) Ask-a-Librarian service, Dewey Decimal System, and many funny library videos. An AWESOME song that I added to my blog months back is

I think these are effective and will grow even more so once the users of youtube realize there is this type of information and assistance available to them in their own places, whereveer that may be. But it is meeting the users where they are, and as modern librarians that is what we have to do.

Other uses could be instructionals, ads, announcments, contest, outreach, I would think the possiblities are almost limitless!