Friday, June 19, 2009

Thing 46

Joined WebJunction.

Thing 45

Didn't know it was called that. Not to be confused with cloud tags or results. UMM uses NetFiles for back-up

Thing 44

Some useful tools I hadn't heard of.

Thing 43

Hulu is cool. I like using it.

Thing 42

Alternatives to NPR and MPR!

Thing 41

Digsby and Lifestream could be invaluable at organizing all our social tools.

Thing 40

More mashups. More friviolity.

Thing 39

I made a photo album on Snapfish. Scrapbooking online is the next wave.

Thing 38

Looking forward to playing around with screencasting using one of the free tools. I'll need a mic which I can use for podasting too. I wonder which of the free screencasting tools allows you to edit?

Thing 37

I have a Flickr account and a Snapfish account. I also use Phixr for fast and dirty photo fixing.

Thing 36

So much fun so little time.

Thing 35

Great articles and very interesting book review/reading/cataloging sites. As always, the sheer number of social book sites is a bit overwhelming, but it's good to be aware of them. Perhaps when the majority of reading is online (Kindle, etc) we can still have virtual bookshelves to show off.

Personally, I feel that the Internet does provide a more superficial and scattered experience that robs concentration even as it assists struggling readers and gives a more varied opinion and layered media stimulis.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thing 34

Really cool articles on the future of reference. Concerning Internet answer sites...libraries have always been behind the curve and fairly isolated. Only recently have they really branched out in a coordinated effort. Wouldn't it be cool if WorldCat offered a reference service with participation from subscribing libraries? We have AskMN, why not AskALibrarian?

Thing 33

More user feedback good. Need a filter, however.

Thing 32

Would like to create a Google Map for independent bookstores someday.

Thing 31

Surprisingly, a few interesting things about Twitter. The possible RSS applications were new and I downloaded Twhirl.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thing 30

I really appreciate the feed filters as well as the Delicious search options. Unfortunately, I rarely search Delicious, using it simply as a online bookmark site instead. I do have rss feeds, and look at them occasionally, but I can't think of terms that would be ideal for either exclusion or inclusion. It works better for me to scan and review manually.

Thing 29

Google Tools is a lot like a college student who graduates with 6 majors and then has no idea what to do. As cool as some of the ideas are I really wish Google would work on improving their admittedly good search engine instead of all these alpha/beta experimental thingees that don't always work the best. For every GoogleEarth there's a 1-800-GOOG-411. Great in theory (free info look-up service) but not so great in practice. I tried it, and it took me several times for the automated service to understand my city and state correctly.

Google Scholar is another bold venture that was begun and then just quietly languishes. How many years will it be in beta? Perhaps the best thing that could happen to Google is Bing, a pretty good search engine in its own right. Privacy concerns notwithstanding, good may not be good enough sooner than Google thinks.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thing 28

The trouble with iGoogle and the other customizable portal sites is that you can't always put EVERYTHING in them. Case in point. I have a university email and calendar that I can't drop and drop into iGoogle. These are probably the two most important tools I have on a daily basis. So what do I have in iGoogle? Lots of fun gadgets like Nature Pictures, clock, weather, even some RSS feeds with a library perspective. Others that don't. Which means I rarely use it. The university has a portal that does have my email and calebdar, among other things, I can add other tools as well. Truth be known, I haven't used it much either. But the interface is getting better so that may change.

So much of what we do is habit...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thing 27

I've been trying (really I have) to discern true useful applications of Twitter for myself in a academic environment. At it's heart, Twitter is a really easy way to let individuals know what you're doing on a minute-by-minute basis either through the Web, IM or texting. For example: I just scratched my nose. That would be an awesome Twitter entry and well below the 140 character limit per post. One of the 23 Things videos explained that your friend wouldn't have to need to know that you're mowing the lawn, but then went on to say that others might like to follow what you're doing? My immediate reaction is why? Who has the time to post about trivial matters or read about them? To me, Twitter undermines concentration, focus and deep thinking and puts in its place scattered tidbits of gossip. Think of a bird, fluttering its wings and darting here and there. That's what Twitter does a thousand times over.

I do see a use for it as another means of querying a certain group on a question or problem. Instead of inanely posting gibberish it could be used as a means to get answers. Twittering conferences, is fine I suppose, but wouldn't it be better to summarize the speaker and then blog about it?

The reference applications of Twitter deserve further consideration. Right now, our online reference tools don't get that much use, but if our users start using Twitter then we need to be there as well. I've already begun discussions on setting up a library Twitter account for publicity purposes.

Thing 26

I had already joined Ning, but I posted a query and also did a search, joining Ning for the NLLN region of which I'm a part. One thing I've noticed is that most of the conversations happening on these library Nings revolve around Ning itself, rather than some separate library question or issue. It's akin to sitting in a car and debating the merits or drawbacks of the vehicle in question instead of actually going someplace.

I understand that Ning like many of the Web 2.0 social sites is quite new and there is bound to be discussion about it. I'm just hoping that the best sites will survive and we can move on to actually using them for professional communication and growth.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thing 25

Widgets, widgets, and more widgets. Oh yes, and some gadgets too!

What time is it?

What's the meaning of life? (Search here)

Picture Perfect

Feed Me!

Library Land

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tennis Time

Avatar of Aces?

Yahoo! Avatars

Okay, I'm no Roger Federer, but I like to play tennis whenever I can. Lately I've been hearing a lot of talk concerning who the best tennis player ever is. Blame The Fed. Since winning his 14th Grand Slam title at the French Open he's officially tied Pete Sampras. At only 27 years-old he has a good shot at beating it too. But is he the best? Hmm. I would suggest another possibility and the answer might just surprise you.

Thing 24

Well, it's good to be back. I added a gadget (a picture of me in Librarian on the Loose mode), edited my profile and changed the template design of the blog. Most of the students are gone for the summer and it's quiet. Real quiet. Lots of time to work on special projects, take webinars and blog a bit, but I always have a hard time transitioning from the hustle and bustle of the academic year to this more relaxed atmosphere.

One of the things I miss is getting out of the librarian more as part of my Librarian on the Loose initiative. Basically, I take a laptop and set up a temporary reference desk somewhere on campus nearly every day. I bring a "quiz" that matches a monthly theme I pick and students who take it are automatically entered into a drawing for a nifty little prize. Along the way I make a pitch about Briggs Library reference services answer any research questions they might have. It's been a great way to meet and get to know students who don't come into the library very much. It also makes the library more approachable.

All for now. Bring on Thing 25!

Thing 23

I finally made it! Thanks for making this learning tool possible. I learned so much that I wouldn't have otherwise. Now on to More Things on a Stick...

Thing 22

I really should make it a habit to read at least one library blog every day. LibraryBytes, The Shifted Librarian, Free Range Librarian, and others, are all possibilities. I'm still looking for one consistently good library-related blog that I can read daily.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thing 21

Visit 23 Things on a Stick

I call the Ning icon above my badge of courage. There are a lot of social sites out there, and only the VERY brave librarian with lots of time dare venture. Gather at first turned me off because I thought it was just another social site, albeit for adults. Then I learned of its book focus and I'm hooked! Ning is quite interesting and I especially enjoy its groups that delve into library topics. WebJunction is a classic.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Briggs 20

I've been on Facebook for a while now. It's more of a personal communication device rather than a professional outlet, but utilizing the technology on a regular bais in beneficial. I haven;t used MySpace. Briggs Library has a new Facebook page and I am a co-administrator. We hope to use our Facebook page as a way to "push" events and news out to our fans. We already have a news RSS feed on our main webpage, but Facebook offers us the chance to reach a wider and perhaps deeper audience.

Besides Facebook, I'm interested in using LinkedIn, the new professional social network. I have a Twitter account, but I don't use it that much. The character limit seems a bit silly and I don't quite get the advantage of having to communicate in yet another outlet. Still, I'm advocating the library set up a Twitter account and it will be fun to see how that goes.

Since 23 Things was started middle-aged individuals, many of them women, have eclipsed college students and teens as the fastest growing population in Facebook. Eventually the young will have to find a new cool place to go. Will librarians be ready?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thing 19

Podcasts are something I've wanted to try out for a while. A couple of years ago I began listening to NPR programs on my iPod, but lately I've reverted to just listening to the live audio stream from my computer. I'm now signed up to several podcast feeds through iTunes as well as and look forward to listening on a regular basis. One of the drawbacks for me is having to go to several different places to get my news and entertainment. Hopefully media will continue to converge so all our podcats, facebook socializing, tweating, emails, chating, etc will be in one central location, rather than scattered around the far-flung corners of the Internet. Remembering all of those passwords is giving me a headache!

I also downloaded audacity and will explore this more. It's not much use without a microphone, however, so I will attempt to borrow one from our Media Services. It would be fun to record and make available some of our special programming at Briggs Library, perhaps via iTunes U as well as own website.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thing 18

Star Wars made quite an impression on me as a twelve-year-old. This YouTube video is one of my favorites.

Briggs Library is working with several UMM students to create a short library video that can be used for orientation. Once completed I'll post here!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thing 17

I'm very familiar with the resources available through ELM. That will all change, of course, with the new additions to ELM just announced and taking effect this July. I was lucky enough to take part in the selection process and am awed by the wide array of databases that will be available to individuals in Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota. My lone lament is the sorry fact that many people including students and school teachers are unaware of ELM and what it can provide. Until we mandate that ALL schools have media specialists information literacy and education in general will continue to suffer.

The search alert function in many of the databases and I can see my faculty at UMM making use of it. I set one up myself in Academic Search Premier. The "Create Web Page" function is less useful in my opinion and seems to be a lot of work for little benefit. The "Note" function is interesting. I played around with it a bit. Since UMM has a site license to EndNote writing Notes in individual database items is unnecessary (and a bit cumbersome).

RSS feeds have always been a bit of a frustration for me. If they can be delivered as an email in a separate folder I am happy to receive them. Otherwise it's just one MORE place I have to go to retrieve information or communicate.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thing 16

University of Minnesota, Morris has had Assignment Calculator on our Student Services webpage for over two years now, and we have been very pleased with it. I try to keep it current and list local resources whenever possible. I hadn't heard of the Research Project Calculator, but I was a bit disappointed in it. The information and resources listed were fairly sparse. Much worse, however, there was no Research Paper choice in the assignment drop-down menu. Are students at the high school no longer expected to do research or write papers?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thing 15

The virtual world is quite fascinating and I'm quite excited to try out Puzzle Pirates, and especially SecondLife after watching the tour of InfoIsland. As always, time is a constraint, but I really want to immerse myself in these environments to get a better understanding of what they're about. The info on gaming was good, but a little one-sided. Evidently, there are no detrimental effects of gaming. If I hear one more gaming expert spout how great reading is in a virtual environment I will roll my 20-sided dice and hope fervently that I fumble. All in all, though, very cool! Oh, and GaiaOnline looks neat as well.