Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Last Post for North Texas 23

This challenge was enjoyable. I enjoyed learning about "things" I had never tried before. My favorite thing has to be Facebook. It is an enjoyable way to share pictures of my loved ones with family and friends, to reconnect with old friends, and play a game or two. For use at home, this is my most visited site. My least favorite thing was image generators, and truthfully, it is because I could not do it well. I had trouble with it and don't enjoy a struggle with technology. For work, I learned that I don't have to visit all the blogs and newspapers I follow one site at a time! I now use Google Reader to access all of my subscriptions, one stop shopping so to speak. For me, this was the most useful "thing". This challenge has changed my daily routine somewhat, for the better.

I hope to be able to challenge my coworkers with my new knowledge. I also hope that if new "things" pop up on the horizon, I will not be afraid to check them out!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thing 22

I had not thought about adapting North Texas 23 to our library. I was not the only one participating but I may be the only one to finish from our library. Being the computer guru that I am, I would love to see all staff at our library participate in some form of this type of learning. There are so many different levels of technology knowledge here. If I were in charge of adapting this learning to our library, I would probably use the blogging for tracking as we did. Then I would pick maybe the top five things that I know our patrons use. Among them would be Flickr, Facebook, and YouTube.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


YouTube is not allowed here in the library from staff computers so I had to get on a laptop on our wireless network. I watched five videos. The first was from Berkeley Public Library. It was comical but informative about the library's services but was created to promote fine amnesty for patrons during February last year.

The second was Steilacoom Library in Pierce County, Washington. I found this one to be interesting since I lived there for a year back when Mt. St. Helens blew! This one was strictly a brief history lesson on the library, the first in Washington. Columbus, Nebraska's public library created a very well done video with a child as the star along with pop-ups. He told of the services offered at his library. St. Joseph County Public Library did a staff day in 2003. Lasting about 7 minutes, it fast forwarded through the library day focusing on staff. It was set to music, no spoken word on this one.

By this time, I found that a lot of library produced videos are of poor audio quality and are very slow to load. I searched on library event and found a promotional video for Yan Can Cook at Monterey Library. Yan was going to be doing a show at the convention center, however, all ticket proceeds were to go to the library for purchasing books. Tickets could be purchased at the circulation desk at the library. This one was strictly informational about the event.

I think a library could promote programs and events with YouTube. I think there could be a way to introduce staff and services to the public. What about a tour of the library? Show patrons the procedure for obtaining a library card and where to return materials. You would be surpised how many patrons cannot find the book drops. Maybe you would not be surprised... There are a lot of things you could promote and a variety of ways to do it. I think we have enough creative talent here to do it! Now we just need a video camera!


Podcasts are completely new to me. About all I have known of them is that my daughter downloads and listens to them via iTunes. I did catch several podcasts that libraries had created. One library did book reviews by a single staff member. Three or four I listened to were done by teen patrons and of course, were produced for other teens to promote the library. I noticed that one had a YA author recorded and had posted that as a podcast. Others just had links to podcasts about libraries in the news, that sort of thing.

The single staff member doing book reviews had the poorest audio quality of those I listened to. It sounded like a skipping record (that dates me) in a couple of places. The teen produced podcasts were sometimes too loud or the music drowned out the spoken word. The links to podcasts on news sites had the best audio quality, but overall none were so bad that I could not understand them. None of them required me to download an aggregator. I was able to listen to all of them from my computer. I liked that because we are not allowed to download anything without permission on our staff computers.

One site actually had a list of aggregators to choose from and I found that helpful. I am subscribed to so many things now, I did not feel anything cry out to me enough that I would subscribe.

I certainly think podcasts could be useful to our patrons. We could tell of upcoming events, programming, meeting times and our book talks could be recorded. Even the storytimes could be recorded, I suppose. I enjoyed this thing because I learned something.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Google Docs

I was already familiar with Google docs as an invitee. Our ILS enhancement process brought us together with some other Texas libraries and we coordinated our submissions and voting together on a Google docs spreadsheet. It was very cool!

Now, I see how the spreadsheet writer invited the rest of us to work on the spreadsheet. I love the different formats in which you can save a document. I also uploaded an existing Excel spreadsheet to see what that looked like. It was not much different to my eyes. The upload went smoothly and I could navigate it as I could in Excel.

Presentations were different. I am not super familiar with Power Point but I tried to create a presentation with Google docs. So, not sure how much is different and how much is the same between the two programs, but I could never get my presentation to save so I was unable to watch the presentation. I am fairly certain the user was at fault here. I may visit again and try to figure out what I missed.

I think this is a very useful tool in the library world. It has already helped my library connect with other libraries in a joint effort. Thing 19 is complete!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thing 18: Wikis

Wikis were not as familiar to me as I thought they were. I knew about Wikipedia and have used it sometimes as a starting place when researching a particular subject. I also knew they were similar to blogs but did not understand the difference.

The practice page for wikis was wonderful! This was a practical, hands-on way to learn. I usually must do something myself in order to learn how it is done. I really enjoyed thing 18.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thing 17: LibWorm

I have heard of LibWorm but not really known what it was. While visiting the site, I subscribed to a feed in Google Reader so that I can keep up with the latest on the tag I chose. I did a few searches and it was alright but seemed like a lot to sift through. Liking the fact that it is specific to library interests. I put in our library's name under a phrase search and got zero results. Depending on what kind of info I obtain from the feed I subscribed to, this may prove to be a good place for specific searches related to new technology for libraries.

Library Thing

Library Thing is number 16 in our quest of knowledge! I am a techie that loves reading, so someone else had to show me this site about 3 years ago. I am a member and I love it! I don't do a lot of socializing on here but this is how I keep up with the books I own. I am also an Early Reviewer and have snagged 4 books to date. There are many ways to find books that may interest you here, ways to find people with your interests, and review books you have in your home library or books you have read.

I occasionally check out the many postings here and enjoy hearing others reading experiences, likes and dislikes about what they read. I also see what my one far away friend has read and reviewed recently. Very enjoyable site. If you want to see my library, look for rjmoren.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Digg: Thing 15

This will definitely become a favorite! I really enjoy catching up with the news online and this site is so easy to navigate. I was able to quickly find what I was looking for. The subject headings are perfect! I will not go so far as to create an account on this one, but it will be worth visiting often.


Thing 14? I think. I think I will like this site a lot. I can see the benefit of being able to pull up my bookmarks from any computer. My husband has wanted something like this for a while. It is frustrating to be on the road and not be able to find a site you need. Last year, for example, we were on vacation and realized we had not paid an important bill before we left and it would come due while we were gone. We brought my laptop on the trip but the bookmark was on the desktop in the home office. We ended up calling the company and paying by phone, not a big deal but had we known we could save our bookmarks via Delicious, life would have been simpler that day.

I did go through all steps to add buttons and import my bookmarks. Very easy to do, seems easy to navigate. I have not explored tagging my bookmarks yet but may get to that soon.

My page is here:


Tagging is familiar to me as it is used on Facebook, Flickr, and Library Thing. These are the sites I tag currently. Should it be used in the library? It seems too open to me for use in the library, but that is probably me being stuck in the dark ages of Dewey Decimal. Our ILS has recently partnered with Library Thing and so we may be exploring tags for our OPAC in the near future. I am on the fence really with the whole issue of tagging. At this point, I don't feel that it should be encouraged in a library setting.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Thing 12 is Twitter. I have created my account and checked it a couple of times, but I know of no one on there. So, I am following a couple of favorite celebrities. Not sure how much I will be using Twitter. To me, it is all about following friends where friends are, and so far my friends are not here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

More About the Storms

Mom and Dad got the worst of the storms. When they got up during the storm, they stepped into wetness in their bedroom. The water came in under the tub and the back door, so they had water about five feet into the den and almost the entire master bed and bathrooms were flooded. I later learned Euless got about 6.10" of rainfall Thursday, June 11th.

They own a shop-vac but without power, that did them no good. So, the towels went down, wrung them out, and put them down again. After the initial soaking up with a dry towel, the wrung out towel spreading became futile.

When the power came back Friday afternoon, Mom immediately started washing and drying the towels. Then the washer died. Then the kitchen sink stopped up.

Dad's late cousin, Joan, has a daughter whose husband is a plumber. Dad called them and he came over Saturday to repair the sink problem. He was able to use a tool to check power to the washer's electrical outlet and found that it was not getting power. Dad found the tripped breaker and the washer was back in business. Our cousin finished the sink repair yesterday.

As I said, they had the worst of the week! Hopefully, their household will return to normal very soon.


Should have been posting before now! Whoops! Sorry guys, but this was not on my priority list. This past week was a bit crazy busy. Let's hit the highlights from my family's point of view. On Thursday, June 4th, I arrived at John's to babysit Ryan, Friday, June 5th, John and Bree left for San Marcos, Jen left for Camp Longhorn on Saturday, June 6th. Then on Sunday, the 7th, I brought Ryan to Keller to his other grandmother.

Then, last week, Gene left Tuesday for Houston on business. Wednesday night severe thunderstorms hit the metroplex. Thursday morning, Grant and I left for work about 6:50 a.m. and by 8:30 a.m. more severe thunderstorms cut off the power at home and at Mom and Dad's house. At the library, the storms kept causing our fire alarms to go off, happened at least 4 times that I know of. I went in Gene's place to a children's camp dinner and meeting that night, still no power. Friday morning, still no power, Gene arrives home and we meet for lunch. He then heads to church and I head back to work. Still no power, we make hotel reservations for the entire weekend as Oncor says it might be Sunday evening before all are restored.

Mom and Dad, in the meantime, have their power out, house flooded, and so they went to Lanna's on Friday to deliver garage sale items. About 3:30 or so on Friday they have been back home for about 20 minutes and I get a call at work, the lights are on!! We have power. Grant has left on errands so before we cancel hotel reservations, Gene heads home to verify. We do indeed also have power, cancel reservations, etc.

Our food is pretty much ruined. We cannot replace it until later cause all day Saturday we were at church decorating for VBS. Actually building and painting huge stage props. All day turned out to be 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.! VBS began last night and continues through this week. So - Gene and I will work 7-4, then head out to VBS from 6-9, yikes! Last night was the first night and we arrived home at 10! Whew!

Maybe after this week, we can breathe again!

Thing 11

Instant messaging is Thing 11. Our city blocks anything and everything for instant messaging, both for staff and public computing. I don't blame them at all because (admittedly, a few years ago) when my daughter had an IM account with AOL, she was constantly getting viruses on her computer. We banned her from using it after re-installing the operating system four or five times.

So, if I decide to try instant messaging, it will have to be at home on my personal laptop. And until I find evidence of it being safer now than it was before, not sure I will compromise security on my laptop.

Last but not least is the usefulness for my library. We are unable to use it and the patrons are unable to use it, and honestly I don't know how popular it is anymore. I usually follow what my kids are doing to find out what is "in", and they are no longer IMing.

Thing 10

Thing 10 is Ning. Our instructions were posted two weeks ago, so I went in, searched on cats, then created an account. I am behind on blogging, obviously. I then joined the group I found while searching on cats. I read a few posts and will enjoy the group, but since none of my friends or co-workers are on this particular site, it will not be where I am online. I can see myself going there for advice if my cats run into trouble, but not for anything else.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Farm Town on Facebook

Farm Town is not a part of North Texas 23, however, since it is a part of Facebook I thought I would share a bit. As I mentioned yesterday, one thing you can place in your profile is your employer. I had done that not realizing there are co-workers here on FB. So, we invited each other to be friends and we all confirmed back and forth. There are several of us now and one day I was invited to accept a gift, a chicken (if I recall), and I did accept. Doing so, and allowing the application, put me in Farm Town. You give yourself a name and name your farm. From there, you can plow, plant, and harvest crops. You have a little avatar that moves around your farm, and it is fully customizable. As you gain farming experience, more and more items become available to you to buy for your farm. You earn coins by selling your harvested crops.

All that to say that there are many little applications like it on FB. There is one called Yoville and a new one just came along with a restaurant theme. They all keep you connected with friends and I will admit to being a Farm Town addict.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More Facebook is Thing 9

Once you create the Facebook account, you are to find friends and I have done that. The way I find friends is go to my high school graduating class's name and look at the people there. When I first got on FB, there were only about 10 of us listed in my graduating class. Now there are 12 pages full of classmates. I also may think of someone that I have not seen for a while and I just use the search box for that by typing in their name. Part of your profile is your network and that becomes searchable if you want to be found. The good thing is you can privatize just about anything on FB. If you don't want your relationship status out there, for example, just don't fill in that part. It will not appear on your profile. Anything not filled in will not be visible.

Next, add content for your friends to see and I have done that. Take some time to fill out your profile. The more that is there, the more interesting it is for your friends to know what you are doing now. For me, this is a way to find and connect with old friends. Put in your current employer, high school graduating class, and military information. That makes it easier for people to find you, and again, what you don't put in will not be visible. Pictures are great! Have some of your family, that is always interesting.

At first I enjoyed putting my status up for all to see but then when my husband and I went on an out of state vacation last year, I realized posting where I was might invite trouble at the empty house we left behind. So, be discreet. I have had friends post what they were doing every 5 minutes and that gets annoying. I post a lot of things in past tense, especially vacation stuff or outings.

Next, we are challenged to find an organization and become a fan. Also, to find groups or create a group of our own. I have done both and find it interesting to see who is a fan of what.

You can pretty much get caught up in Facebook looking for friends, taking quiz challenges, and playing games. It is a lot of fun and can be addictive.

Thing 8

Facebook is Thing 8 and I cannot get to it at work from my staff computer. I can get to it from a public access computer but here's the thing; I already have a Facebook account. Originally created to "monitor" my 26, 24, and 22 year old children. Ok - adult children, but they are still my children. I digress...

I really enjoy Facebook. My favorite thing to do on FB is look at my nearly 6 month old first grandson's pictures that his parents post as they live 3 hours away. Next is looking at all the funny stuff my kids say about the pictures they and their friends post. Last but not least at all, is Farm Town. Farm Town will have to be a post unto itself.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Things 6 & 7

I logged into the Google Reader and proceeded to subscribe to my blogs there. I then subscribed to a couple of favorite RSS newsfeeds.

I love being able to look at all of this in one location. My problem is that I am used to getting everything via e-mail and now this is one more place I have to go to get caught up on "stuff". Granted, I visit the Star-Telegram already as part of my morning routine, but that is the key! I have a routine already in place and Google Reader was not a part of it. (sigh) I must learn to accept change as inevitable.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 26, 2009

It's Tuesday, I am at work. Mom and Dad got home last night shortly after 8 p.m. Pretty sure they were glad to be home. Jen came over yesterday, got her laundry done. Gene left on a business trip today. I will be leading the children's Bible study tomorrow night at church. Grant spent most of the holiday weekend with Lindsey and her family, yesterday at Lake Granbury.

Friday, May 22, 2009

May 22, 2009

Mom and Dad arrived at Mary Frances' house yesterday evening. They called Lanna to tell her to tell me and the brothers where they were. I forget the city name but they are in West Virginia. They report that they are enjoying the trip.

Lanna and I laughed and giggled while viewing Facebook last night. We were on the phone with each other and online checking out Ryan's new pictures posted by John and Bree. Then there were the "How well do you know me quizzes?" which were funny.

I may have to let others view my blog soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009

Today is Cooper's 18th birthday! Happy Birthday Cooper!

Mom checked in again last night. She and Dad are having fun and will be traveling to the highest point in Kentucky today and then on to the highest point in West Virgina. Tomorrow they will be going to see Mary Frances. They are to be home on Monday, May 25th.

Dad called this morning to see if I had heard about some folks in DFW losing property. He saw it as a blip on CNN last night. I had not heard about it so I was not able to tell him anything.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thing 5

It is the middle of the week now and I am almost caught up on my 23 things. The last thing I will do for the week is Thing 5 also known as Image Generators. I have looked at how to do it but being more technologically oriented and not creative at all, this is a bit harder for me. After much trying and re-trying I came up with a photo and caption using ImageChef. Here is my effort!

I noticed I can share this on my Facebook. All along, I am thinking about how our library can use this kind of "thing". We have bounced around the idea of having a Facebook account for our library, so with that kind of easy upload feature my thoughts are of posting all the pictures we take at programs and using this as a fun way to add captions, thoughts, and future advertising! As I mentioned, I am not creative so if I can do this there are many talented folks here that could put together a nice bit of information about our library. The possibilities stretch my mind in a completely new direction.

May 20, 2009

Mom called last night from Tennessee. They will be headed to Kentucky today. No other news, she was mostly checking in and making sure I watered her ivy. I did so life is good. More later...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 19, 2009

Long story, but via a conference I attended for work, there are some new technologies I am discovering. I knew blogging was out there but never gave it a serious look until now. This is my determined effort to keep the fam up to date including Mom and Dad who are both technologically challenged.

I this is my first attempt I will keep it short and sweet. I won't even clue anyone in yet as to its existence until I am sure it is a worthwhile endeavor.

Mom and Dad visited Elvis's birthplace today in Tupelo, Mississippi. Then they visited the Partin cemetery in Itawamba County, Mississippi. This is the most traveling they have done in a while.

More Thing 4

Another thing I tried was creating a mosaic collage of pictures from Flickr with Big Huge Labs. Very easy and simple to do!

More Flickr is Thing 4

I am really enjoying using Flickr. Was not sure it was my cup of tea. I have a brother that is an avid photographer and hoped he could give me some pointers, but alas, he has not been using his account regularly. So, I am learning bits and pieces of what Flickr and I can do. More than anything, I like that I am able to share with friends who don't have a Facebook account. Here is my nickname using "spell with flickr":


letter B J

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thing 3

Alright, so I was reading my May issue of PC Magazine via Zinio Reader this morning. The issue is titled, "How to Share Everything". Soon I happened upon an article about how to share photos. Personally, I share them on Facebook. But I trudged on through the article about Flickr. Mind you, I have a Flickr account... problem is I only had one photo posted. Sharing only photos and not other things has not yet appealed to me. I am an all-in-one kind of gal.

However, I have a long lost best friend that I re-found a few years ago and she does use Flickr to post pictures and does not, will not get on Facebook. So, I continued reading. Lo and behold there was a section on the iPhone and a mobile app for that no less! I had not enjoyed posting to Flickr because I share a digital camera with hubby, take most of my pictures with my iPhone, and honestly find it a pain to upload pictures by hooking up a cable to my laptop.

Make it easy for me and I will try anything! So, I uploaded all my grandson's pictures for long-lost best friend via the app on my iPhone. Logged on to Flickr, did a little organizing and then remembered North Texas 23 had something coming up with Flickr, but could not remember which "thing" it was to be.

What luck! Thing 3 is Flickr! I used Choice 2 and really enjoyed it. I even added my cats and Vegas trip. Enjoy my photostream:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Alright, so I did Thing 1 which is to create this blog. Then I did click on 2 of the 4 links to learn about all of this. The video I watched was informative and gave me a different perspective. The reading I did was also informative but got complicated quick. So, today I decided to do what I always do. I learn as much as possible about what I have done so far.

First, I took a look at a few of the blogs already in place for North Texas 23. Many were like mine, just one of the template options available. Then I came across one with a widget for librarything and decided to learn more.

For me, that meant searching on every tab under customization on this blog. Some tabs and settings were pretty straightforward, others not so much. I did discover how to add a gadget or widget. I added the top 10 searches on Google for the day. Pretty interesting....

I am determined to plod on, er blog on!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Getting Started

Ok - here we go! My first blog post for North Texas 23 Things! It has been interesting today to actually read about and watch a video detailing Web 2.0 or L2 or Library 2.0. If you are out there and would like to do this but you are scared or fearful, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and give it a try! As Jeff Bond said yesterday at TechNet 2009, "You do know there are prizes involved, right?"

Personally, we are already behind technologically speaking in the library world so I think this is a great idea, great learning tool, and great way to step out there and see what your patrons already know about Web 2.0.