Monday, September 29, 2008

Thing #15: Thoughts about Wikis

I agree there has to be a better way to collectively work on "project" and have the material be available and easy to use. A wiki can provide that resources for some topics.

Having a collective of people really makes light work of a daunting task. Wikipedia has grown tremendously because of the number of people creating and editing pages. We've learned a lot since working this way. My thoughts about our learning.
  1. Having a clear purpose of why you are creating a wiki is important. Is a wiki the best way to deliver/store/share the information needed? Wikis can be easy to keep material up-to-date.
  2. Document your sources. Wikipedia has made an effort to correct mistakes/errors/misinformation by including reference sources. Not perfect but much better.
  3. Requiring verification before editing is a good idea. I don't believe that people are mean, overall. However, some people don't respect the amount of work that has been put into pages on wikis. They will edit or delete information and it's difficult to get the information back.
  4. Take time to learn the basics about your wiki software. This will avoid mistakes and keep the layout consistent.
  5. Radical Trust is required when you open up the creative process to more people.
How can we use wikis to help across the organization? That's a good question. Info Line is using (or is creating) one for FAQ's and basic information sharing. I like the idea. It takes place of the bulletin board that shows today's favorite question or location closed, etc. The Library Success Best Practices wiki has a lot of good information available. Anytime you want to invite people to share information, I wiki could be a good option.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thing#13: Tagging and Social Bookmarking

I like delicious a lot. It's a very practical solution when I access the internet using multiple computers.

I got introduced to delicious when I moved to OD. What a great resource available and there are so many applications for the research/library setting. We all share computers at work when assisting customers, researching the least expensive resource for cleaning material or compiling information. Tag it correctly and you can find it easily. When I started with delicious, I uploaded all my bookmarks from three computers. I just need to go back and tag them properly.

I like the "do not share" feature because I can put login names for sites. I just have to remember to mark "do not share".

I enjoyed the CommonCraft video and didn't think that I would gain anything from the Otter Group video. I was wrong.

I think the social aspects of tagging (and the web in general) have become more apparent to me working on Learn & Play @ CML. There are so many ways that Libraries can reach (potential) users. I'm finding the potential to use more of the social aspects in some future training sessions. Hmmmm. I am learning how to communicate using these technologies.

I wish I had a delicious account before my computer was stolen about three years ago. Now I have a delicious account and allow it to hold all sorts of bookmarks that won't go away unless someone steals the internet. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thing#12: Twitter

So much fun, twitter! Where else can 140 characters be so enchanting (and potentially so time consuming?)

My personal notes about using Twitter:
  • You can be as anonymous as you want to be. Just don't put much in the profile and "protect your updates" to only allow people you want to follow your entries.
  • Explore the Settings page for several options available.
  • It can be a challenge to keep track of all the conversations going on with Twitter. Depending on how many people you follow, conversations grow quickly.
  • You can tweet via your cell phone. Caution! There could be an extra charge on your cell phone to send and receive SMS. Use at your own risk!
  • Twitter (or microblogging in general) can be addicting!
I used Twitter to answer a reference question for a librarian who needed some information. She tweeted a request for details on the origin of a training term. I did a quick search and was able to answer her question using 140 characters in time for her to use as part of a presentation. I thought that was pretty cool!.

Libraries can use Twitter to deliver short bits of information promoting services and books. I also think microblogging would work well on the library website for the most recent updates and going ons at our branches. It's easy to put a twitter feed into a website.

I used Twitter to share updates about branch closings because of the power outages on 9/15/08. In a matter of seconds, information was posted about locations that were OPEN and CLOSED for the day. I also posted about classes that were canceled. This could be very helpful but only when staff have access to the resource. The response was positive from two staff who read the information.

I like following twitter using twitterfox and twirl. These are add-ons or separate programs that you have to download on your computer. Perfect for home computers. Shared computers, not so much. You have to make sure and log out appropriately. (d'oh!)

Thing#11: Library Thing

I got introduced to LibraryThing since June 2007 and have been using it to catalog my knitting books. I appreciate the simplicity in use and ability to add tags to help me keep track of items in my collection. Currently my collection of my cataloged books is only 131.

I've actually gotten serious in how I tag my knitting books. I have a running list of the thought progress so I can keep the tags consistent. You can tell I work in a library, eh?

The social networking aspect of LibraryThing is quite amazing. I'm able to see who has the same books in their library that I have in mine. I can also view my tag "clouds" that show how many times I've used each tag by size, a great aspect for a visual person like me. There are a bunch more options that I've not fully explored.

I use an RSS to track entries in from LibraryThing's blog. How's that for referencing Thing #8?

There are other Web2.0 places to track/catalog your books. GoogleReads is one and Shelfari is another. I've not used either of these. Have you? Why do you like them?

Thing#10: Image Generators

A few of the image generators out there are just so much fun!

I took the chance to create a Read poster from ALA website. See?

Sink your teeth into a good book

In a google search, I found this generator and thought I would have some fun. Care to join me in the fun? There are several other options available.

Thing#9: Finding Feeds

I joined Technorati so I would have another way to find additional blogs and sources of information related to my job. I haven't spent much time with Technorati as I would like, mostly because I would get lost in the exploration and finding out how to use the site.

I still enjoy bloglines as my feeds reader. You noticed in the video post that a few others prefer google reader or myyahoo. I'm glad there is variety out there for people. I'm comfortable with the bloglines and find new reads by linking on people who comment in posts. I've spend many an evening clicking from one blog to another and discovering great resources of information (or fun) that I've added to my bloglines. I still add using the rss feed icon either in the blog entry or in the address field in Firefox.

It's the organizing of the feeds that helps me. One of my folders is called "extra" and has a few of the fun and off topic blogs that I follow. To name a few: The Simple Dollar, the gapingvoid, or the interesting The Art of Manliness. I found the gapingvoid from twitter awhile back. It's hard to remember how I found some of my feeds.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Need Help? It's here!

Today I had the opportunity to chat with two staff members that are participating in Learn & Play @ CML. I thought I would video part of the conversation so I could share with you.

Erica of Ridiculology notoriety and Jimmer of The Life of Jimmer fame share what they are enjoying about the Learn & Play @ CML activities. It seems that these two might be what is called "early adopters" as they are using some of the things already. Erica wants to help her co-workers and Jimmer wants the really cool incentives. In reality, Jimmer is one of those go-to people about technology at Main Library and he likes that he can share his knowledge. (He's helped me a few times).

What they've learned:
Erica is already using a lot of the things already as a long-time blogger (she goes back to 2006) and flickr member. She's enjoying helping co-workers like Jimmer.
Jimmer appreciated the flickr help from thing #5 and thing #6 . He posted about his experience with flickr here.
Their preferred RSS feed reader is google reader. I still like bloglines. All three of us are right (except I'm more right! *grin*) 'Nuff said. Read Erica's opinion of google reader here and Jimmer's here. Mine is here.

Need help?
Jimmer and Erica are willing to help. Give them a call! They gave me permission to post their email addresses. Remember to replace with the appropriate symbols. @ and . and not spaces.
JBROCHOWSKI (aT) columbuslibrary(d0t)org
EBLASDEL(AT) columbuslibrary (d0t) org

Thanks to Jimmer and Erica for chatting. You want to chat in video about your Learn & Play experience with me? Let me know. I'll come to you! (hats and funny glasses encouraged, other costumes welcome, good attitude and sense of humor required)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thing#8: RSS!

I am so grateful to have RSS. It really does make it easier to keep up to date on information from various resources. I started really using my bloglines account after a knitting buddy of mine posted his bloglines on his knitting blog. I thought, "Wow, that's cool." I got a bloglines account.

When I changed jobs about 15 months ago, I created a bloglines account for items that could be helpful for work topics. You can look at my bloglines account if you want. I have my feeds in folders to help me keep them organized. One of the things I like about bloglines is I can clip or blog interesting posts from my feeds that I might refer too later. It's a nice way to keep a "this might come in handy" folder electronically.

I've only used bloglines for my RSS feeds. I know a couple of people who really like Google Reader. And some people have their RSS feeds in their myYahoo page. Have you used any of these other ones? Why do you like yours?

CML has already taken advantage of some RSS feeds by posting the Columbus Dispatch by including the "Today's News from" The job postings page on the website also gives people an opportunity to create an RSS feed so they can be automatically alerted for new jobs posted. I think it would be great if we could add RSS feeds to our intranet (CMLsi) and show the job postings, upcoming training opportunities and public events.

I think my RSS feeds have saved me time and given me access to so much new information that I would have missed before. I losts time by going out to the blogs to see if anything was newly posted.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thing#7 Anything about Technology

That's a very general topic, isn't it?

For those of you who don't know, I knit in my off work time. In fact, I teach classes about knitting at a local yarn shop (LYS).

Technology has made it really easy for like-minded people to find each other and communicate. Think about it, 10 years ago the internet didn't offer the variety of items and ease in use. But now, if I need to find a knitting pattern I can do a search in my favorite search engine and BAM! in less than a second, I've got listings of patterns that are available. Cool huh?

If I need help understanding how to do a certain stitch in knitting, I can find a video on youtube or somewhere else that will show me what it looks like to do that purl stitch. This is really helpful because sometimes just reading the book doesn't make sense.

Technology also gives me a chance to find other people. I can search the internet for knitting blogs or knitting groups or local yarn shops close to me and be with other people and knit.

At the basic level, the technology that I need to have access to is a computer that is hooked up to the internet. I can find this at the library if I need it. A printer would also help if I need to print directions to get to my LYS.

I like being "connected" using technology. I share a similiar idea about the iPhone that Ridiculology shares in her post about technology. I don't need an iPhone. I want one.

Thing#6 More Flickr Fun

Being a visual person, I like seeing images that others have created. I also like the idea of being connected to other people and found that flickr graph was a great tool to see the relationships between people that I know. Perhaps it's the idea of the "six degrees of separation" (or kevin bacon) that intrigues me, but I think we're more connected than we realize.

I joined the fun and created a trading card.
gerald 2.0

I didn't take too long to fill in the description so I might want to go back and change it later.

That "spell with flickr" is fun too. Have you tried it?
g001 McElman_071026_2468_E R Dismantled Neon Letter L - carved granite d 2 . GP 0