Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thing 23 -- Wow! What a trip!

There were a few bumps on this road to new discoveries, but I was delighted to discover great Web 2.0 applications that are already enhancing my work and personal life. My favorite discoveries were RSS feeds,tagging in and LibraryThing, and wikis. The really shocking part of Learning 2.0 is to realize that we've only played with a few of the latest Web 2.0 features. My lifelong learning goal or style is to 'keep the end in mind.' Well, in our ever-changing library world, the 'end' is fluid and full of surprises and possibilities. Learning 2.0 has showed me that we must continuously investigate new web features, ignore the fluff, and integrate the best features into our library services.

We owe a big thank-you to Helene Blowers of the PL of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County for creating Learning 2.0 and sharing it with libraries worldwide. Her blog format is a perfect balance of presenting information and offering hands-on learning. The only improvement I would suggest to other library systems adopting a similar program is to encourage their learners to use the same username and password in all their registrations at various sites, e.g. LibraryThing, YouTube, Rollyo, etc.

This journey of discovery has been wonderful ... I'd love to see us continue SJLibrary23 and offer library staff new 'Things' to play with every month.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thing 15 - Future of Libraries

The recurrent themes made by these OCLC reps is that libraries of the future must be user-centric and inviting. Libraries five years down the road will be totally different because our users will demand that we change and adapt to their changing learning styles, favorite technologies and ways of communicating. I appreciated Michael Stephens' comments that the library must be a socially and emotionally engaging learning center. I think SJPL should pat itself on the back for integrating the ideas of an inviting community meeting space and environment for thought and discovery into its newly built branches. I loved Michael's idea that libraries must control 'technolust' and not buy technology just because its the coolest or latest popular thing to do. SJPL and SJSU are just at the point of investigating new technologies -- including having staff systemwide step through these 23 Things -- and considering which Web 2.0 applications would significantly improve and enhance our customers' library experience.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Thing 22 - Ebooks

Oops ... World eBook Fair is only free during the months of July and October. I'll wait til July to check back and look at their reported 400,000+ international ebook choices.

So onward to a close look at the Project Gutenberg site. The 'Top 100 Ebooks' and 'Top 100 Author' lists are filled with classic titles, sure to be popular with high school and college students. Ebooks, whether from Project Gutenbert or SJPL's ebook collection, bring titles directly to our customer's computers. My Gutenberg discoveries included: titles are available in 50 languages ... the collection includes digitized classical sheet music, as well as audio books ... you can find obscure films like a set of 4 atomic bomb test films ... recent additions include the Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings from 1934. Another important download tip: if you choose the 'mirror site' closest to you (in our case it's in San Francisco) you will get a faster download.

Thing 21 - Podcasts

Of the 3 podcasts I preferred (at least it made sense to me) Searching on the term 'library' produced either 48 or 63 matches depending on whether I searched in 'Titles & descriptions' or 'Keyword.' I like how lists matching podcasts with their associated tags and an easy RSS link. However, since I'm currently on my home computer, when I hit the RSS link, the feeds automatically went to my IE RSS aggregator. Which is great if I want to listen to my podcasts feeds from home. So I also entered my 3 chosen library related podcasts --SirsiDynix, Sunnyvale PL, and KCET: ALOUD at the Central [LA] Library -- into Bloglines.

Thing 20 - YouTube

YouTube proves that the whole world is a stage. Hours of endless entertainment from the ridiculously amateur to really high-quality mini-films. I setup a YouTube account, but initially kept getting error messages when I tried to register my Blogger blog so I could export a video. Simply copying the embedded code into my blog proved much simpler. Two of my favorite library-related YouTube movies are below. The Medieval Helpdesk proves that all people at all times have had difficulty dealing with new things. The 'Fulton County Library' is a great 39 second library promo setting book covers and text to fast-paced music. Both are very ingenious!

YouTube offers lots of library applications ... from library tours ... filming and broadcasting programs ... creative ads and promos.

Thing 19 - LibraryThing

LibraryThing will become my electronic memory. I typically borrow books from the library and only buy the titles that are 'keepers.' Needless to say, I'll forget the titles of the books I read, but didn't buy. An assortment of my recent reads are now listed at When entering the Power of Now (284 possible matches) I discovered that entering the ISBN rather than just the author's name is necessary to rapidly and easily identify your edition. I also got sidetracked by meandering through the 'recommendations machine' and then linking to Amazon or B&N to read Booklist reviews. For those with web connectivity from their cell phone, the ability to check LibraryThing while shopping at B&N or Borders before you buy a book, could prevent you from buying a book that's already gracing your bookshelf. Comparing my tags to the tags in the word cloud was interesting, however I didn't spend a lot of time reading other folk's comments on titles.

Thing 18 - Online Productivity Tools

It was fast and easy to create a Zoho Writer account and create a couple of small test documents. Zoho or Writely will be great tools for SJPL teams or committees who are working together to create a document or report. Web-based applications make any kind of collaborative document creation easy. Zoho has the same group editing feature as a wiki and allows all the collaborators to access the document from any PC . I managed to export my 'Grandmasparty' doc to my blog (see below). I had expected my Blogger account to open and be given the option of choosing where to place my Zoho doc. Instead, the Zoho doc was simply plopped in as the most recent blog post. Now I have to get more comfortable moving text and graphics around from within my blog.

btw ... Mike Sarhad has already created a fantastic Word Processing, Spreadsheets & More page in Web Links by Subject. When all the RAC computers are in use, Reference staff point SJSU students to the online applications page when they are forced to use Research computers that don't have Word or Excel loaded.