Saturday, March 10, 2007

Week 9, #23 - My Thoughts on Learning 2.0

This has been a great opportunity for me to gain a better understanding of Web 2.0. Much of the material was all new to me - so I feel much more comfortable now with blogging, tagging, wikis, etc. Plus, it was a fun learning journey!
My favorites were Flickr, and playing around with the online image generators. I also thought Rollyo was pretty cool.
I'm happy to have completed all the 23 things by the deadline. I had some challenges with equipment and finding time to complete the exercises, but now that I've reached the end, I realized it wasn't really that difficult. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed learning about all that was new and I feel a real sense of accomplishment at how much I learned over the last 9 weeks. Thank you Virtual Services Team for all your help!
Regarding improving this program - I know many staff members did not participate for lack of equipment at work or at home to listen to the podcasts, or a feeling that they didn't have time to complete all 23 things, so why start? We could remedy the equipment problems and we could also allow adequate time on the schedule, just as we would for any other staff training.
Another discovery program? Count me in - I hope we will all have the opportunity to participate in more programs like this one!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Week 9, #22 - Ebooks and Audio Ebooks

Well, I still would prefer to read an actual book, but when there isn't a physical copy available, ebooks are great. Audio Ebooks are terrific, but of course you have to have appropriate listening devices for the ones that you can't burn to a CD. I took a a look at SjLibrary's ebooks page. I think the page is very user-friendly. I could listen to the audio excerpts from Pimsleur and Overdrive on my work computer, so that was very cool.
I took a look also at World EBook Fair. It's good to know it's out there, but it is somewhat limited, since a book generally has to be in the public domain to be included. I found it particularly lacking in the Children's literature titles. But, if you are into long out-of-print children's books and can't find them anywhere else, maybe you can find them here.

Week 9, #21 - Podcasts

I looked at all the Discovery Resource podcast directories and liked Yahoo Podcasts the best. Unfortunately, though, I couldn't listen to any of the podcasts on my computer at work (kept getting the message "audio codec identified by the format tag 55 is required to play this file..."), so I used my home computer which had no problem. I discovered LibVibe: the Library News Podcast and added the RSS feed to my Bloglines account. Yahoo Podcasts had a link to the LibVibe webpage, which was also interesting. The LibVibe Podcasts track library news around the nation, and I found it interesting to learn about what's happening out in the library world - both the good and the not so good. Unfortunately, though, the most recent podcast is from last November, so maybe they've stopped doing them.
Having these podcast directories is great, but really, I don't really have the time to be listening to lots of podcasts. Maybe once in a while, but I'd rather use my time differently.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Week 9, #20 - Explore YouTube

YouTube is fun! You can search for all your favorite sports highlights, news events, etc. I really like all the variety. Yeah, there is a lot of trash, but one person's garbage is another's treasure, right? Who am I to judge? (Just kidding - UTube could be better if there was some kind of control! Also, some of the video quality is VERY BAD and there is a LOT OF REPETITION in postings! I picked the above video because I thought others would like it as much as I did. I think libraries could post videos of their programs (with permission from the participants of course), how about this week's Storytime on UTube?

Week 8, #19 - Take a Look at Library Thing

This is really cool. It's like your Amazon Favorites List only much better. You can see how many other people also have catalogs with your books. I was surprised to see how popular some of my choices were - the two highest were in 1,992 and 2,003 other Library Thing catalogs. Another interesting thing, all five of my titles were in another person's catalog - pretty interesting! Anyway, here's the link to my Library Thing Catalog, which is just a start with only 5 of my favorite books:
I thought it was amazing how some librarians have incorporated Library Thing catalogs into their library services with links to special lists of librarian-selected and new titles, including user reviews.

Week 8, #18 - Online Productivity Tools

Who needs Word for simple documents? Zoho Writer offers all the word processing basics. There are 19 fonts to choose from up to 36pt.  Documents are also easy to share.  You can easily insert images and publish to your blog. I'm sold! (oh, it's free!)


Note: The above was a Zoho document I published to this blog. It was so easy! This is yet another way to create documents and insert them easily into another application.

Week 7, #17 - Add an Entry to the SJLibrary Learning 2.0 Sandbox Wiki

I never realized how easy it was to set up my own wiki. I also like being able to decide who can view and edit.
I added entries to Favorite Books and Favorite Movies, including a picture. So easy!