Monday, September 22, 2008

Exercise 23:- Reflecting on my journey!

Well, I have certainly enjoyed large parts of this exercise.

Parts of it, like Flickr's widgets, I doubt I will ever use again.

RSS feeds was probably the hardest exercise to complete. The rest was relatively simple. The hardest thing was finding time! Like most of us: juggling work, family, and library studies and other commitments!

I found delicious really useful, and will probably explore that in more depth when I have time. I can see that this will be quite useful:- portable bookmarks!

I liked finding out about creating an iGoogle page, which I found a tutorial for on podcasts.

I had been subscribing to LibraryThing for quite a while now, and find the info really interested. Some of it helps with my assignments.

I thought I might be tempted into playing with the look of my blog page, and adding bells and whistles. But basically didn't have time to.

I learned heaps - and while I might not use alot of it, at least I know its there now. It might be useful to be able to show my children some of it … and there are always patrons who might ask tricky questions.

Exercise 22 - Social Networking and Libraries

I find the concept of a Library having a "MySpace" page or "FaceBook" page, very interesting.

Having examined several such pages, I can see that it is a good idea. Its a great way of reaching patrons - current and potential. Its a fab way of keeping people up to date with what is going on in the library. Letting people see that libraries aren't all about books. Its also a good way to get feedback from people too.

Interesting also, was the commentary about some libraries wanting to ban usage of such social networking sites from within the library. Isn't this "censorship.?" Doesn't this go against most librarians' principles?

I agreed with Meredith Farkas ( totally. Make a rule that is for everyone. That doesn't exclude one set of patrons.

What I did find funny, was seeing libraries listed as being "male" or "female" and "single." etc . . . LOL!

Exercise 21 - Social Networking

Well! I am already a member of FaceBook and Bebo.

I have to admit, I use Facebook loads more than Bebo. On FaceBook, I set up the North Shore Libraries group, some months ago. We now have 31 members. I made the group "invitation only" just to preserve our privacy.

The idea was to use it for social chit chat and goss across all the libraries. Another way of connecting the team together. We have some pictures posted, although the group has been rather quiet lately (largely, I expect, due to everyone being too busy working on Web 2.0 in their free time).

I joined Bebo a few months ago - mainly because I have teenage international students, and they wanted me to view their photos. Good way of keeping an eye on them too LOL!.

I recently found another social network site, called Not sure about that one. You can have too many membership I have found!

Exercise 20 - eBooks

I found this really interesting. As a former typographer, and having worked in publishing for many years, I was aware of Project Gutenberg. I hadn't visited the site, though, for a few years. I just preferred to read books "the old fashioned way."

Still times move on, and I might try downloading an eBook again soon, just to see how I like reading digitally nowadays. I am much more used to it now - as I study with Open Polytech, and do lots of reading on the computer, I might find it a better option these days.

I was interested to see that LibriVox, also offers you books as audiobooks. I imagine that will come in very useful!

Exercise 19 - Podcasts

I found a podcast on Podcast Alley that I thought was interesting.

Its called "Library Survival Guide", and has little tips and shortcuts of how to do research. Its from the Woodruff Library at Emory University, presumably in the States. Useful for general patrons as well as students, I thought.

I have added the podcast on the right of my page down under the Rollyo widget.

Exercise 18 - YouTube

You Tube is very familiar to me, I've often watched comedy or music clips on it. I've also watched informative vids as well. Its a great medium.
I looked at the library YouTube vids, and most were very informative and entertaining.

I also had a look at genealogy tutorial vids. One of the YouTube vids I thought was very informative was on creating an iGoogle page for your GMail account. You can set your iGoogle page up, to have "RSS" type feeds coming direct to it, so whenever you log into your GMail account, you can see what's new in your subject of interest.

Of course my passion is genealogy, so setting this up, with the genealogy websites that I currently belong to, would save me surfing to each page every time I wanted an up date.

Excellent idea!

Exercise 17 - MyHeritage

As a family historian, I am really keen to investigate new sources and resources connected to genealogy.

I have extensive memberships across, RootsWeb, and various other genealogy websites.

Many family members have either found me, or I have found them, through belonging to such places. This year alone, four cousins from my father's branch have found me.

My father has little knowledge of his family, as his father ran away from his home in Newfoundland, to War (WW1) at age 15, lied about his age and enlisted in the Royal Navy in England. He was away at sea alot, and my father's mum died when he was only 4 months old, so Dad was fostered out.

So finding extended family has been such a bonus for my father, as well as myself.
MyHeritage claims to have nearly 24 million members from around the world. It is a subscription site, and seems to have a search engine that searches all the major genealogy databases - alot of whom are also subscription based. It does allow a basic membership, which is free however.

Like some of the other sites, MyHeritage, allows you to build your own family webpage, which other members of your family can join. It is fairly limiting, as it offers access for only 15 members.

Family history can get to be a pretty expensive hobby - while MyHeritage looks fun, if you are doing family history seriously, and want to pay a subscription, I'd really recommend selecting one of the really good ones:- Ancestry or Rootsweb, and sticking with them.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Exercise 16

Exercise 16 - Zoho Writer

Well, tool bars etc looks very straightforward. Pretty similar to Word. All the formatting features look pretty much straightforward. Fairly easy to use.

Great that you can Publish to your Blog as well!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Exercise 15 - Rollyo

Well, I can see Rollyo as being a little like delicious, in that you can "bookmark" websites, for portability.

Rollyo takes it a wee step further, in that it lets you set up "sets" of websites. I created one, by copying MacAddicts Rollyo, which is a set of websites devoted to Apple products, and all things Mac-related - and I added a couple of Kiwi websites to it. I called it MacMania.

You can see my Rollyo down the bottom of my right hand margin. Could be useful . . .

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Exercise 14 - Library Thing

This would be a great addition to our library service.

I think I will keep using Library Thing for myself as I think it would be very useful, particularly for suggesting new books for me to read (always open to suggestions!). Be a good way of networking.

If you look in the right hand column, you will see I added Library Thing, with a random selection of my books!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Exercise 13 - Image Generators

Ok. Play time!

Well Miss Frazzled found her mate's name within Rum and Monkey - so I thought I'd give it a go.

Now, don't get me wrong, but I am quite happily married. Just wanted to go and prove that I AM married to the right person!

Imagine my disappointment, when I put my name in and it came up with


Ok I thought - I know my mistake. I put in my MARRIED name. So I changed it to my maiden name. Different result? LIKE HECK!

Exactly the same name.

What does this mean? Do I need divorce. Am I married to the wrong person?

Answers please . . . .

Monday, September 8, 2008

Exercise 12 - Wiki Sandbox

Hey Hey

Another toy to play with.

I tried to do this exercise without reading instructions - conscious of the fact that I am running a little bit behind schedule, and just wanted to catch up. However, it didn't work - I had to read the instructions, and it just goes to show you, that it proves that a little bit more time up front, saves a lot of time further down the track!

In the end, the exercise was so very very easy - if only I had read how to do it first!

Exercise 11 - Wikis

Well, I've been a fan of Wikipedia for ages.

We use a Wiki already in the library - I'd say Fitch is a good example of how a Wiki can work. We have our own internal Wiki - North Shore Libraries, and we can also access the main greater Auckland Wiki.

I can see that Wikis would be great for book reviews. That would be an amazing functionality to add to our OPAC. If we made patrons log in before adding a Wiki, this would lessen the possibility of someone adding something that they shouldn't with their post. And / or would could moderate the wiki entries. Not allowing each post to be live until someone had approved the content.

Exercise 10 - Library 2.0

Hmm. Very good! I'm putting my hand up to be a Librarian 2.0! I am a great believer in getting technology to do the work for you - and I like tinkering with toys. If we can get technology to do something for us, better, faster and for longer - then why not?

Each successive generation is more technology capable than the last. Children in primary schools are already becoming fluent in Web 2.0. Its important that libraries keep pace with this.

We emphasise alot, about children's literacy and encouraging them to read. Ensuring that we use tools that can bridge the gap in our communications and encouragement with them, is half the battle.

We may mourn, as one of the online articles did, about the number of circulation items decreasing. Less books and magazines required etc . . .

This means that libraries have to move with the time, to deliver what patrons want. More and more patrons want to be able to download audio books onto their iPods/MP3 or 4 players. They want to be able to listen while they are on the move. They want to be able to download electronic books to the same media. Much easier to carry around a small player than it is a hefty book.

Smartphones are putting together the cellphone and the players. How handy is that? One device instead of two or more. You can download articles or have RSS feeds going direct to your phone.

So are libraries endangered? I don't think so. I think our focus is changing. Its not just about books. Its about information. The services that we can and do provide, and the services that we will provide is ever-changing and it will be a real challenge ensuring that we respond to it "Just in time".

Exercise 9 - Technorati

I can see that Technorati would be a useful resource for me to keep up to date, particularly with technical updates.

I had added Technorati as an RSS feed earlier, and have now added my blog as a "claim" on Technorati. I found this process easy enough. I've also added a Technorati button on my blog, so that people can mark it as a "fav" if they want. Not sure that too many people will want to read my poor little offerings, particularly as I seem to have gotten so far behind . . . but it adds an item to my blog!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Exercise 8 - Delicious

I really like Delicious and can see me using this site loads!

I have tonnes and tonnes of bookmarks. Some professional, some study related, and some personal:- some for the children etc . . .

I love the portability of it the most. The idea of being able to look up my bookmarks whether I am at home, work, or some other cyber workspace.

I love the idea of being able to shortlist them by using keyword searches (tags) . . .

This will totally work for me.