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.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Library 2.0

The interactive and user-centered libraries of today are a much more vital part of the community than the libraries of even the recent past. The "come to us" model of library service (Rick Anderson) was more elitist... serving mainly those who had time, education, transportation, and familiarity with libraries and books. In today's world, and even more in the future, library resources and services meet the people where and whenever they are. One example is the number of holds our customers place in the wee hours of the morning. As we redesign our web-sites and services we are making a concerted effort to avoid library jargon and to make more of our resources available from a single search. Our planning is based on what our communities need and desire. For example, the increased number of people using library services and computers to look for jobs is an indication of our changing economy. The ever-changing nature of society and the technology that we use to serve our community will keep us on our toes as "experienced tour guides" (Schultz) to the wonders that still can be found via the library.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Step 14: Exploring Technorati

What really surprised me about Technorati was the wide variety of subjects that people from around the world are discussing on-line. A real global village. There are blogs about politics (even the White House has a blog), entertainment, lifestyles, hobbies, business, and name it, it's there. There are participatory art projects where people electronically submit items to be included. I did have better luck finding what I wanted by using the search feature than the subject index, although it was fun to brouse the index.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Delicious--it really is

This just may be the most useful on-line tool that I've been introduced to so far. The site is easy to use and having all my bookmarked sites available from any computer is proving to be extremely helpful. The icing on this cake is the social bookmarking feature. For example, one of my tags is readers advisory. Clicking on it led to other members who have used the same tag and their lists lead me to new sites to explore. If you have not yet tried , check it out. It's searchable by author or title, includes all fiction, not just fantasy, includes contemporary as well as older authors, and lists fiction series in order. It does the same sort of thing that does for mystery/suspense fiction. I have discovered that it helps to be consistent about the tags I use (not reader's advisory or readers advisory or readers_advisory), to use the underscore to connect words in a phrase, and that the more tags I use the more leads I get to new sites.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Adventures with Rollyo

Okay, this step took me a lot longer than predicted. The steps to create a searchroll are not difficult, but choosing the databases to include was a challenge. You can't use a site that relies on an index for its searches (which eliminated some of the sites for my first attempt) and the url for the site has to be short enough to fit on a single line in that box (as I discovered on my second attempt). So on my third try I created healthinfo using some of the websites I always use from TCCL's reference page and it worked. The other thing I was a little surprised about was all the ads that appear as part of the search results.