Tuesday, April 28, 2009

#22 Audio books--any day, any time

Did I find a title that I'd like to listen to? Get real....I found many titles--mysteries, non-fiction, fantasy, children's and young adult just for a start. The instructions for the Overdrive Media Console were easy to follow and I liked that there are Hot Off the Press and New Titles sections for easy browsing. But you really do have to use the Overdrive lists to get a complete look at the collection. I tried searching for them in our regular catalog and there isn't an option to limit your search to these. I tried a keyword search for an author's last name and Overdrive and got good results for some, partial results for another (Baldacci) and "No entries found" for another author (Beaton) even though I'd already found several titles for both in the Overdrive list. One very helpful feature is the Wish List function--I won't have so many titles on post-it notes and scraps of paper to lose.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The wonderful world of podcasts

I experimented with all three recommended podcast directories and once again was amazed by the variety of topics. I found podcasts of training classes that could possibly be used for Con Ed purposes. The Contra Costa Library (in California) is one of several who broadcast stories read by librarians, and there are several sites with books read aloud that would appeal to older listeners...a boon for those who are visually impaired. Those sites seem to use classic stories that have expired copyrights. The NY Times Book Review Section does daily podcasts, as do the major news networks, PBS, and NPR. Some cities have podcasts of their city council meetings. I signed up for a podcast from PBS, "The 90 Second Naturalist" for my personal enjoyment.

Online videos

I started out searching through the catagories on YouTube but found I had more luck with the search feature. One of my cousins (who lives in a rural, knitting deprived town) taught herself to knit using the videos on YouTube. I looked at some origami videos and tried one project. In many ways it was easier to follow the online demonstration than the diagrams in an origami book. I also looked at some auto repair videos that were helpful. Of course, these things vary by the quality of the video.

(Thanks to Sue and Tim for help getting this embeded in my post.)

I found this video by searching for fingerplays for children. BE AWARE: if you search just for the term fingerplays, you will get some results that are of a more personal nature. Years ago TCCL made VHS tapes of children's librarians doing preschool storytimes as a training tool for new hires. I'm wondering if we could do the same thing with YouTube videos and embed them in a file on the Youth Services page. Also, I searched for videos of Sherman Alexie and found several of speeches he has made at other events. Could we do something similar with the Zarrow award speech, etc?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Step 19:

I narrowed my search just to the winners of the Web 2.0 awards and was still amazed at the resources available online. They run the gamut from on-line language lessons, like Spanishpod, to Urbanspoon which really does have reviews and sample menus for restaurants here in Tulsa, to My Heritage and Amiglia which connect families to each other and their family stories and pictures. Both Upcoming and Eventful had well organized info about what's happening in Tulsa for those questions not answered by TOS. Recipe Key was great fun--you can search for recipes based on the ingredients you have on hand (or the ones you remember were in Grandmother's fruit cake). Lyricsmode includes lyrics from Shirley Temple songs to Coldplay to Bob Wills to hymns and children's songs. I've added several of these to my Del.cios.us account.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Step 18: Web based apps

Well, I've already said that Delicious.com is the most useful on-line tool I've found, but google docs is a close second. The idea that a bunch of people can collaborate on a project without lots of emails back and forth is too efficient. I can see the usefulness of this for work committees and also for personal projects. Several of my cousins and I have been working together on our family history. I'm going to suggest that we start using google docs so we're all working on the same document. We can even scan our family pictures to be included in the story. I also like that the documents are stored in a way that can be accessed from many locations. I keep thinking of people who have experienced disasters, like fire or flood. If you had copies of your photos, home inventory, important papers etc stored in google docs they would still be available to you from any site. It's not the same as having the real things, but it certainly would help. I treid Zoho too, but Google just seemed easier. I also think the 30 boxes calendar apps will prove useful.

TCCL's Wiki

I have to admit that I had a few problems with PBwiki Central. Its FAQ's and Help screen answered questions much more advanced than mine. I've encountered this in other sites too--some of the simple steps are not as intuitive for the technologically challenged as their designers imagine they are. It took some trial and error, but I did figure it out and will probably remember what I learned because of that. I think Kristen G. had an idea for a program planning wiki for children's librarians. A great way to share the wealth of ideas among our staff.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A few words about Wikis

Heads Up: the typeface on Wiki’s: A Beginner’s Look is so tiny that it was very difficult for my mature eyes to read. Other than that, the other examples were quite enlightening. I particularly liked the one from Bull Run Library in Virginia and have already borrowed some programming ideas from them. Also the ALSC wiki has some good program ideas and other useful info. Some of you may know that in the past ODL has had a wiki for children's librarians about the summer reading program (I couldn't find it today). I think this is an example of a very practical use for wikis, especially for those librarians in smaller, isolated towns who don't have TCCL's resources to rely on.