TheHappyReader

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.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Task # 15 - Library2.0 Discovery

I agree with much of what I read in these discovery articles. I especially like Rick Anderson's comments that we must move away from the icebergs that can sink us: the "just in case" collection, the reliance on user education, and the "come to us" model of service. Michael Stephens' model of the Librarian 2.o is an excellent description of the librarians who will take us into the future. My concern is that these models of libraries and librarians show services being provided through the web, which is growing from PCs and laptops to Blackberrys, cell phones, Ipods, and other small devices. From my years at the Independence branch, I am aware that in Charlotte, the majority of the population we serve does not have access to these devices. Studies continue to show the digital gap as being an econonmic gap. Schools and libraries continue to be the place where lower income citizens can access the web, because they do not have access outside the buildings. Also, while at Independence, I saw a population of middle-age patrons who had no idea how to use a computer, let alone get onto and use the Internet. I think this is the generation who left high school in the 70's (when they did not have computers in their schools) and went right to manufacturing jobs. Now those jobs have gone overseas, and these workers need computer skills to compete for jobs, skills they do not possess. And now at the Myers Park branch, I serve the elderly who want a place to come and read, to discuss books with the staff, and to meet members of their community face-to-face. We also have a large population of toddlers and preschoolers whose early literacy skills we are enhancing through storytimes. I feel we cannot get so caught up in being a Library2.0 that we forget our mission to serve our entire population. We can't afford to shift all our services to a Web-based environment. We need to remember that instant messaging, weblogs, wikis and mashups are cool and useful for some, but certainly not for all. For now I see Library2.0 services being added to our services, keeping us current and up-to-date while not neglecting those who need us in the traditional model.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Task # 14 - Technorati

Understanding Technorati has been something of a challenge, but I think I have it now. It's a site where you can search blogs by their tags. This is a test of my understanding, as I have put a tag for "plcmcl2" at the end of this post, and I'll see if it turns up on Technorati.


Next day: Yessir, there it is on Technorati, with a link to my blog. I'm feelin' like a big girl now!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Task #13 - Tags

Learning about tags has been fascinating, because this is an aspect of the web I knew nothing about. I understand the idea of tags, and I like very much the idea of folksomonies. Using everyday language for subject headings is an idea that has appealed to me for a long time, so it's very fun to be able to participate in tagging posts of various kinds. I have tagged some of my book titles in Library Thing and have looked at del.icio.us. I can see that becoming a very powerful tool with some time and experience.

Task #9 - Library related blogs

So far I have subscribed to a few library and book-related blogs: Library TechBytes, LibraryThing, The Shifted Librarian, About Literature-Contemporary, and I have created a folder to fill with my co-workers' blogs.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Task # 11 - Library Thing - Continued

Now that I have the Library Thing widget on my sidebar, I'd better get busy and add more titles. It will be fun to see the random books appear in the widget.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Task #12 - Rollyo

Well, there is my personal search engine over on the sidebar. Rollyo is a really fun site! You can create your own searchrolls with the sites you want to search. I can really see the advantage of this. By adding your favorite sites to your searchroll, you can do searches without having to go to each one individually and doing a search. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest), I found the "easy factor" on Rollyo to be a 10!

Task #20 - YouTube!

Recently CNN's Kyra Phillips was caught in the bathroom with an open mic. That would have been bad enough, except that she could be heard over a speech by President Bush. Kyra did the only thing a person really can do in that situation. She went on The Late Show and delivered the Top Ten List. Hilarious!

Task #11 - Library Thing

Library Thing is a great website for anyone who loves books. It's a place to catalog your own personal library and a place to exchange views with other book lovers. To begin with, I added my Harry Potter titles to my catalog.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Task #10 - Online Image Generator

Glassgiant.com has several fun images to play with. One of them is the chance to name your own boat. I would love to be motoring around Lake Coeur d'Alene on The Happy Reader!

Image created at GlassGiant.com