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!