Wednesday, December 9, 2009

#23 -- The End

This is a bit bittersweet. I am certainly pleased to have completed the program. And I am not sure I could embrace 43 Things. Most of these 23 things have been completely new for me -- and I did not grow up in the computer age. I have thoroughly enjoyed this, however. I found the applications manageable and mostly FUN. It was a GREAT idea to create a blogspot, because now there is a written record of my walk through the entire program. I consider it will be a good reference source. There were suggested questions to answer.
1. What are my favorite discoveries?
LibraryThing, Zoho, RSS Feeds, and Podcast production.
2. Has this program affected my lifelong learning goals?
I looked back at my first post. Why does that seem so long ago? I noted that I confessed to a lack of confidence. This program has definitely given me a boost. I have certainly not reached a geek status, but I feel like I can use these programs both for my own benefit and for the benefit of the library if I am fortunate enough to find a position after graduation.
3. Were there unexpected outcomes? YES! I wasn't expecting to enjoy this so much -- or to find so much useful.
One more time -- thanks for a great experience.

#15 - Library 2.0

As I understand it, Library 2.0 refers to the concept that library services are becoming more user centric. This means that library users are encouraged to participate in library services. These 23 things have introduced several applications that enable and encourage this type of participation. Libraries are now on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. They use Flickr and establish Wiki's. Patrons can search library OCLCs, request books online and use self-check-outs. We were directed to read two or three of the perspectives presented in the resources and comment on one -- adding our own thoughts. Not only because Dr. Schultz's first name is Wendy, but because I also liked what she wrote I would like to comment on her ideas. Briefly, I mirror her thoughts that encouraging more involvment from the library patron through the use of technology applications is a good thing. Any increased involvement from our patrons can only be desirable. I also agree that the patron still needs the guidance of the librarian as she sets out in her Library 3D scenario -- where the "avalance of material available will put a premium on service". The new library is not only "in the community, but is a community". Dr. Schultz's dream Library 4.0 is that kind of a community containing Libraries 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, as a knowledge base, barrier-free, everywhere, participatory, and with (my favorite), the image of a country house library -- a comfortable retreat.

#22 - Audio Books

I first went to NetLibrary from my computer at work at UW. Because I was at a UW computer, I was taken directly to UW-Madison's eContent Collection. I didn't know that this was here so it was a nice find. However, all of the books here are ebooks, but NOT eAUDIObooks. From my home computer, and by following the link at the 23 Things site, I am taken to the OCLC NetLibrary. Because I do not have a library card with PLCMC, I am unable to create an account there. I did, however look briefly at the Net Library Media Center. It is good to know about this Center that looks to have an amazing collection of eaudiobooks and to know that a library can gain access to these books for their patrons. I decided to visit my own public library system here in South Central Wisconsin. I followed the link to Wisconsin Public Library Consortium's Digital Download Center. I took the "download digital media guided tour". Here I was introduced to the Overdrive Media Console. The instructions for download look to be doable. I do not have either a laptop, a MP3 player or an iPod and so did not actually download the console. I LOVE audiobooks -- listen to them while performing household chores and while traveling. I have also checked out the books and player all in one combination. It appears that most of the eaudiobooks at this site seem to play on a PC and an iPOD. I think if I had an iPod, I would like this feature -- and maybe someday I will get one. In the meantime, many library patrons do have iPods, so it will be a pleasure to someday introduce this great Web 2.0 application to them.
While I can, I will continue to check out books on cassette and CD and listen to them on my walkmen or car CD or cassette player. I'm glad to know there is a really great alternative to this available just waiting for me to step into the 21st Century:)

Snow Day

Today is Wednesday, December 9, 2009. We are experiencing a BIG winter storm -- the epitome of inclement weather. The University of Wisconsin cancelled classes and encouraged all non-essential personnel to stay home. I'm non-essential personnel, but my husband needed to come in so I came, too. It's a great time to accomplish much without too much interference. Here is just a tidbit of interesting history:

Historical Note: Prior to December 9, 2009, the Campus has only been closed three times in recorded history due to snow. According to University Communications, the first time the campus was closed was on March 17, 1969 due to “a major snowstorm.” The second time the University was closed was in mid-morning on December 3, 1990 when Chancellor Donna Shalala decided to close the campus after 17” of snow fell in Madison over a 12-hour period. The third time was in the 2005-6 school year because of excess snow.

I was a freshman here on campus in 1969 -- hmmm -- I don't remember that snow day. On another note, yesterday marked the first time this semester that I have not gone to the Meriter Hospital Medical Library for my regularly scheduled practicum session -- because it is completed. I missed going. I really enjoyed that experience and hope to go back next semester for a Consumer Health Collection Development Project.

#21 Podcasts

I learned several things here at "thing 21" -- podcasts. For instance, "podcast" was named "word of the year" by the New Oxford American Dictionary. Specifically I learned that the word of the year is chosen by how often requests for definition of the word are received. I also learned that a podcast is an audio program distributed via the internet, and that a podcast differs from a streaming audio in that it is transmitted automatically through a RSS feed. (Good thing I learned about RSS feeds earlier.) It was interesting that here a RSS feed is not only explained as a "really simple syndication", but also a "rich site summary". These podcasts are created generally for "niche" audiences. I have some experience with podcasts and a "niche" audience. I work a (very) few hours per week at the Cooperative Children's Book Center and have on occasion been asked to contribute the weekly podcasts produced by and about the CCBC. I was not able to add this podcast to my blogline, but here is a link. I visited the "Beginners guide to podcasts and podcasting (plus: how to create a basic podcast of your own) at This is a very useful, informational site. I am happy to know about it if someday I would like to create a podcast in a library. There is a link there to eatonweb -- a BLOG directory. I also visited where an amazing number of podcasts can be found. I clicked the link to the "top podcasts" and chose to add "The Old Time Dragnet Show"with Adam Graham" to my Bloglines. You know, I thought that I had so many things that I wanted to do after I retire that I would have to live to 100 to do them all. The list has grown longer. . . There are certainly a lot of amazing technology applications available out there.

LD Fargo Public Library -- Lake Mills, WI

#20 -- YouTube

Would you look at that? I was able to post for you one of my favorite You Tube videos. Here is a link to one of my other favorites. I also looked at the Library dominos video. I wonder where that was taken and which books were they that were all the same size and shape? During this summer, I was helping one of our professors, Catherine Arnott-Smith with a research project that involved interviewing public librarians all over the state. We visited the library in Lake Mills, WI, where I know the director, Gerard Saylor likes to make You Tube videos. I checked it out and here is his latest -- enjoy. I will post it in a new blog. (This is my example of how You Tube videos can be used in the library.:) As for the videos on Google, I noted that they are actually from other video sites -- like You Tube. What I do like is that if you "google" for something, you can check out the "video" tab to see if there is a video about it. Anyway, once again this was fun. Hope you enjoy the videos I picked.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

You Tube Favorite

#19 Web 2.0 Awards

Before I begin this post about the short list of Web 2.0 award winners, I want to note that I forgot to put anything in the previous post about how the value of Zoho (or other online productivity applications) in the library world. But perhaps it goes without saying. After all, free online word processing, email, conferencing, etc. applications would be very useful for the librarian.
Now to the award winners. I couldn't pick just one to look at. I looked at three, so please bear with me as I talk about all three. Google Docs was the winner in the collaborative writing category while second place went to
Writeboard. I was curious since I had not heard of Writeboard. Although I didn't actually try to create a document there, the features looked really good. I was glad to know there were alternatives to Google Docs for when I am no longer a student at UW. I can certainly see the value in librarians being able to collaborate easily on document creation -- perhaps on a paper.
I am always interested in health related information. I looked at the first place winner in that category - Revolution Health. I have to admit that for actual health information, I would much rather visit
MedlinePlus. However, this site is very useful for creating a PHR (Personal Health Record). These are very handy for having all of your health information readily available. My personal favorite for this tool, though, can be found at MyHealtheVet. Because it is a government site, it is very safe and reliable. You don't have to be a Veteran to use the PHR part of the site.
OK -- just one more for the bibliophile side of me. I looked at LuLu. This site seems to be a place to not only find books to buy, but also to publish and to sell -- and not only books, but all things publishable.
This particular site (Web 2.0 award winners) would be quite helpful to the reference librarian.
I have bookmarked this
page as well. Thanks for the introduction.

#18 Online Productivity Tools

OK - how come I didn't know about Zoho writer before? I am really impressed. I created a new document using a poem written by my practicum advisor. I then sent it to my blog from Zoho. You will find it in the preceding blog entitled "Koehler Poetry". How about that? I also sent an email to my daughter using Zoho mail. I investigated the Zoho planner (very cool) and the online presentation tool (also very cool). (Goodness, I sound like one of my children.) I noted that there is also an application for creating Wikis. I have bookmarked the Zoho accounts page and will return. I did know about Google docs. We have used that tool to work on group projects in some of my courses. But for that purpose, I think I now prefer using My (UW) Webspace.

Koehler Poetry

A Writer Writes
AWriter writes.
That is what they always recommend
There are the weekly bills to deal with.
Shopping lists to compose.
His children's homework to correct.
A quarterly report overdue.
All those song lyrics to improve when
sung aloud in the shower.
Daily emails to be answered on the fly.
Birthday cards to send.
A page of New Year's Resolutions that
keeps growing longer.
Those letters those letters home the child inside
hopes to smuggle out
asking someone to come rescue him.
Every Christmas then note
he leaves with the cookies and mild
for Santa to peruse.
Nightly, the grand epic he unspools
behind closed eyes.
What does it matter if his notebook
remains a blank white.
He still carries it wherever he goes.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

#16 and 17 -- Wikis

Wikis. I am somewhat familiar with these. We learned a bit more about Wikipedia in 451. We chose a "stub", searched for 25 citations and wrote a 25 page paper to fix that stub. During that same semester, we used a Wiki for the Youth Services class. When doing this exercise, I did not need to create an account. I already have an account at PB works because of that Wiki. I did log in and add a post to a two of the "favorites" -- books and physical activities. I wasn't able to add my blog to the list, however, because there was no "edit" button to click. I noticed that another class member had added her link in the comment section. We have also created a Wiki for a volunteer group that I am part of -- the Reach Out and Read Program at the American Family Children's Hospital here in Madison. On December 1, the new in-patient reading library was officially opened with over 600 new, high-quality books available for the pediatric patients to read and be read to. Wisconsin's First Lady, Jessica Doyle participated and read to the children Opening. We are using the Wiki to mobilize the volunteers. This blog is getting a bit lengthy but I should mention that I visited several of the library wikis highlighted at the Learning 2.0 site, all of which illustrated how this tool can be valuable for libraries and their patrons.

#14 - Technorati

Before this class, I wasn't very cognizant of "blogs". I had heard of them, of course, and often visited my daughter-in-law's blog -- where she frequently posted pictures of the family. Here I am creating my own blog -- and am writing about blogs. I found the explanation of the title "technorati" enlightening ("technology" + "literati"). I assume the writers of blogs are the "educated class" using technology to publish their wisdom. Although I should be amazed at the number of blogs in existence, I am not. I can believe the the number grows exponentially daily.
My exploration of the site leads me to believe that updates have occurred since the podcast at the "learning 2.0 23 things" Web site. I did look at the blog directory, the keyword search box of blog posts and the tag pages. There is also a list of the Top 100 bloggers and the "State of the Blogosphere". I wonder if there is any topic about which a blog has not been written? I suspect that this particular tool could actually be useful in reference. Even though there is no peer review to create the reliability, a search here may just lead you to the correct answer. Just out of curiosity, I wondered if anyone had written blogs about Tiger Woods and the mysterious Thanksgiving accident. Indeed they had! I also noted that there is an entire section devoted to political blogs -- this could be interesting for my husband.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm back

It's been some time since I've been here. I have finally been successful in not only getting into Rollyo, but also creating an account and creating a search roll. After getting that very helpful "sharing" list of reference web sites from Charlet, I knew how I could keep many of them handy. I created a "roll" of Reference Favorites. OK - an account, a search roll -- then of course try it out. I picked a rather popular topic at first. A search for "H1N1" returned thousands of hits. Whoa.
So then, I tried something a bit more obscure. We just watched the final episode of "Monk", the TV show. I couldn't remember when it started. I searched -- and boom, immediate answer. It premiered in 2002. Can it really be seven years? I have to admit, I had my doubts about this one. But I'm pretty sure I can find uses for this tool -- especially in a library setting.