Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Reflections for the Finale of My Tale

Overall this learning 2.0 experience has been a great exercise in exploring the web and other various technologies with focus and a wide degree of freedom. I've really enjoyed the chance to do this at a weekly pace and actually register myself for a blog, a MySpace page and various other accounts. There is nothing like signing up and using an account to get you revved up for other new possibilities. In fact, I surprised myself by finding out about great tools that I will continue to use, such as LibraryThing and Flickr mashups. My creative juices are newly flowing thanks to the KCLS27things. Thank you!

I also want to say a bit about the format and approach to learning that this experience has provided. Not only is it a fun way to approach learning about online tools but the very idea of focusing on a set number of things that you can come to at your own pace is quite intriguing. The program seemed to tailor itself to the needs of the various coworkers I have here at Bellevue. Some of us work less or more hours and managed to squeeze in the time we needed to use the tools and collaborate with each other for guidance. I'm definitely looking forward to more of this kind of online learning, especially within the ever-changing library system. I would recommend it to myself-of-months-ago as well as other employees.

For future explorations and "things," I'd love to learn more about creating videos and podcasts ourselves. I'd also like to offer online programs like this to our patrons to see if they'd be interested in learning such things in the same ways we did. Something tells me some of our older patrons would get a kick out of it as well as some good old fashioned learning.

Alas, I think my tale has come to an is a far, far better 27 things I just did than I have ever done least when it comes to the web.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Audio and Video

So I finally made my way over to YouTube and searched for marathon run to see what information I could find. It turns out that people have made a bunch of videos explaining their reasons for running, why they like certain courses and much more about running tips. Here's one about the Boston Marathon I found:

As far as libraries go, I think making library video and audio equipment more apparent to check out would help patrons in their creation of such videos and of course podcasts. Speaking of podcasts, I'm intrigued by the idea of the library offering podcasts concerning book reviews, speakers and non-copyrighted reads of storytimes for kids. I added a teen podcast to my bloglines account from Hennepin County Library system just because it offered patron book reviews by teens. Neat idea.

I checked out the overdrive catalog last and found that there were a lot of great e-books and e-videos out there. Can't wait to check it out on my mp3 player or my laptop.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Online Apps and Fun Web 2.0

I've been mildly interested in the idea of online applications for some time so I was glad to have a focused reason to explore it. While Google Online Applications seemed like easy tools to use (especially the text application), I really liked Zoho best because of its multiple functions and greater amount of programs. They have a great interface and I like how you can change the skins. Both Google and Zoho make it easy to publish material online and easy for users to collaborate. To me, these kinds of free apps will only improve and perhaps begin to infiltrate more of the mainstream computer users out there. Will they be competition for the software we install? Are they already? I suppose this idea remains to be seen. For libraries, such programs could be encouraged for book clubs, ESL groups, homework help...all because of their easy collaborative nature.

As far as the Google Lab stuff goes, I found Google Mars incredibly cool. How awesome would it be to use something like that for a science presentation if you were in school? I did a search through Google Trends and found that "library" was most searched for in New Zealand worldwide and within the US, Columbus, OH was the big winner for that search.

I checked out the Web 2.0 Winners from a few categories. In the "books," I took a romp with Zack Bookmaps to help me locate a book somewhere in the nation. I like how it pools information together from so many different sources and I think it does it better than WorldCat. This is a nice place for the patron who is trying to find a hard to locate book. As my husband and I are thinking of moving, I couldn't resist checking out a winner from "real estate." Lo and behold I found PropSmart. This application uses GoogleMaps to show you where a property is and gives you the low down on the property. It hasn't covered the whole of the nation but it has hit upon major US cities, including Seattle. Unlike other programs I've used, this one has few ads and a much better interface. Quite nice. For the many library users who are new to the area and trying to find a place, this is a cool reference. Lastly, I decided to play with some music and look at LastFm. I like how it uses the tagging concept to help you link up to new music you might enjoy. Great site for the music fiend. This would be fun for library users to get involved in to learn more about music they could check out at the library. I wonder if we could connect it with our catalog...? Hrm...probably not.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Rolling a Search and Library 2.0

After doing some experimentation with Rollyo and Google Custom Searching, I discovered that Google Custom search is my favorite. I searched the KCLS custom search for the term "Earth Day" and Google gave me the best results. Rollyo gave me some pages from SPL that had the words "earth" and "day" together but they had nothing to do with Earth Day. After determining that Google Custom worked better for me, I set up a custom search for Asian American Lit which I have posted in my blog sidebar. Good stuff!

As for the articles on the Library 2.0 concept, I was really intrigued by the comments that Rick Anderson made about the "icebergs" to avoid as libraries continue to adapt. I agree that the old ways of setting up the library need to change. Services should be set up online so that patrons don't always need to come to a library. I also heartily agree that library services should not have to include a research education technique. Rather, out libraries should easily guide patrons through the use of placing holds, picking up items and searching out items on desired subjects.

Regarding the use of library metadata, I agree with one of the writers that this information should be put to better use. There ought to be greater ways to sort through search results, such as access ISBN information for certain editions and current popularity of an item. We collect so much information on items that patrons ought to be able to access it too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Some Tales Never End...

Voila! Here is the product of playing with image generating programs. After experimenting with FD's Flickr Toys, I decided on posting a movie poster of the Bellevue library. Check it out (pun completely intended).

Friday, April 6, 2007

Not so icky wikiness

I've had some mild experiences with a wiki in a prior college class but I've never really checked out others' wikis besides the well-known and widely used Wikipedia (how's that for "w" alliteration?). After checking out the various library wikis, I found the St. Joseph County Public Library staff wiki the most interesting in terms of library use. It seemed like this was a site in which staff could easily update pertinent information for patrons to see without having to worry about patrons interfering with the site. Another wiki I found useful was the Book Lovers wiki for Princeton Public Library. At this site, patrons had to register themselves in order to add reviews or make changes. A wiki like this for KCLS users would be really great so that users could recommend things to each other. It would be really wonderful if patrons with different language backgrounds put reviews on a KCLS wiki in multiple languages. Other wikifun for KCLS could include reviews of certain classes or events that KCLS has done in the past.

Friday, March 30, 2007

LibraryThing is my thiiiing & Technorati is alrighty

Technorati provides a pretty neat way to search for tags out there in the blog world. After reviewing the different ways to search (i.e. through blog posts, tags and the blog directory), I (of course) discovered that searching for a term that shows up in any blog post turns up the most results for "Learning 2.0" and "kcls27things." However, if I wanted to search for something with more relevance, then bloggers who wanted people to find them based on certain tags they've set up or the way they've registered their blog with Technorati are easier to locate by searching through tags or the blog directory. I went ahead and registered my blog out there just to see how many hits I get based on the tags I used. We shall see...

The really exciting thing for me this week was LibraryThing. I've always wanted a neat electronic way to organize the items I own at home and share comments on them with friends and family. LibraryThing makes this incredibly easy! What a powerful and fun tool to find interesting books, share comments about books and even find commentary about certain editions, thanks to its use of Amazon. I'm so happy to have my own account on LibraryThing and I can't wait to tell people more about it. KCLS departments at different branches should consider setting up LibraryThing accounts to suggest items to patrons though the KCLS website is already chock full of good recommendations. At least with LibraryThing, patrons can give feedback too.