TheHappyReader

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

#23 Thoughts on Learning 2.0

By the far, the thing I've enjoyed the most is creating and keeping a blog. Library Thing is another favorite, and I especially like seeing the random titles come up in my widget. I am very glad to have a NetLibrary account and am looking forward to using it. It's been wonderful to learn how to post pictures to flickr and then to our MPK blog. I have to admit that just about everything I learned was unexpected, because I realize now how unaware I was about the sites we explored and the services they offer. I did start to experience some Learning 2.0 overload toward the end. I found myself doing the discovery excercises, but skipping the optional ones. I'm thinking I may go back and try some of those, such as creating my own podcast. Perhaps a longer period of time to complete the tasks would have helped relieve some of the fatigue. I will definately participate in future learning programs, and this time I will not be skeptical about jumping in! Thank you, Helene!

Friday, September 29, 2006

#22 Audiobooks (Or the end is in sight)

Mary Kyle's tutorial was perfect for understanding how to use NetLibrary. I've helped many patrons set up accounts, but have never used the site myself. Now I have an account, and I downloaded "Anne of Green Gables" in radio quality and am listening to it as I type this post. Ok, Ms. Blowers, I'm ready for my mp3 player!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

#21 Podcasts, Smodcasts!

I have been aware of podcasts, but had no idea of the limitless numbers that are available on the web until I saw the podcast directories. Fortunately, the directories put them in easily searchable catagories. I happily found Authors on Tour-Live! Weekly Podcasts of Authors and Their Books, Live From The Tattered Cover Book Store and SimonSays-Books and Audiobooks from Simon and Schuster. I put both on my bloglines account, which, by the way, was not easy. I couldn't figure out how to get the RSS feed to bloglines until my tech-savvy co-worker Mary Lou Brown explained how to right click on the little RSS button and copy the url shortcut, then add it to bloglines. I am happy about both of the feeds I chose, because they have links to copy the podcasts to mp3 files. I'm very close to the end of the 23 Things, and I'm feeling excited about all the uses I will have for the player.
I have been thinking about library applications for podcasts. I think there are all kinds of places on the website where podcasts would be really cool. How about author interviews or readings linked to the authors in Readers Club and Bookhive? Or "Tips for Using the Catalog" linked on the catalog page? Imagine someone hearing instructions about how to differentiate a large print from a regular print edition when they place a hold. It would be such a helpful solution to a common problem.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Web 2.0 Discovery

I looked at Reader2.com. The name is actually Reader Squared. The potential of this site appealed to me because it is meant to help people share their reading lists and decide what to read next. It's much like Library Thing, but rather than listing books they own, readers enter what they have read or are reading. They add books by the title or the ISBN. The front page interface seems easy and direct. However, when I put in my favorite book from this summer, "The Whistling Season" and clicked "Choose Similar Book," there was no match. I looked at the list of most popular books, with something like 25,000 titles. That interface was very clunky, showing only 15 books at a time. I found that the 30 or titles I saw were older titles, like To Kill a Mockingbird and 1984. Fine books, but I was hoping to see more recent titles. Overall, I like the concept of Reader Squared very much. If it was a little more user friendly, I could see it becoming a tool for readers' advisory.

Monday, September 25, 2006

It's Monday night, my brain is fried,
But I want that player, so I tried.
First in Zoho, but it wouldn't blog,
So now in Writely, I continue to slog.

It's really cool, many uses I can see,
Plus advantages for you and me.
Open anywhere, no discs, no fuss.
Of all the tools, this is a must.

So goodnight, bloggers fair.
I'll try to post this, do I dare?
Third time is charmed, I hope and pray,
Because it's way too late to play!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bull Run Library Wiki

I think the link to the Bull Run Library wiki was corrected on the Learning 2.0 blog, because now the link takes you there. It's clearly been established for quite a while and is a very friendly site. The coolest thing is a catalog card generator. I plan to play with this with my books on Library Thing.

Task #17 - Playing in the sand

It was very fun to post to my first wiki, the PLCMC Learning 2.0 wiki. I found that the "Style Help" was indeed a big help with the puncuation marks and how to use them. I added my blog and wrote some comments about The Berrybender Chronicles in the Favorite Books section.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Task #16 - Discovering Wikis

IMHO, the creation of an interactive, collaborative site where ideas, beliefs, knowledge and entertainment can be shared is the fullfillment of the great dream of the Internet. What makes wikis so great is how easy it is for people to contribute. For a library, I think the most natural wiki would be a reader's club wiki where readers can share recommendations and reviews of favorite books. Maybe our own's Reader's Club could become a wiki. The wikis in the discovery exercise were very well done, except for the Bull Run library's wiki, which I did not understand.