Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thing 23. Final Thoughts

I can't believe I'm done. It's been a great adventure learning about Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 technologies. There some tools like Online Image Generators, Flickr, LibraryThing and others, that I will definitely use again in the very near future.

I thank the Regional Systems and my Library for giving me the opportunity to participate. I will gladly participate if similar program is launched in the future.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Thing 15. Online Games and Libraries

I have heard a lot about Second Life. I recently read an article about how a woman is making over $300,000 a year (yes, US dollars and not Linden dollars) by designing clothing specifically for Second Life (am I in the wrong field here?). I also read about how people can participate in their favorite virtual MTV reality shows.

My initial reaction was "Where do people get the time to live in an alternative universe?" I'm having a hard time as is juggling work and family life and the occasional cleaning (yes, my house is messy and it drives me crazy at times but I have managed to just let it slide for the sake of my sanity) let alone buy a plot, build a house, conduct business and play games on Second Life!

I tried downloading Second Life at my home computer but it kept crashing my laptop. My husband thinks it might be due to insufficient memory as he has a lot of work applications loaded that are hoggers of memory and that Second Life needs a lot of memory as well. I wasn't comfortable downloading Second Life at work so I basically just looked around their site.

As a numbers person, I found the statistics very interesting. According to its Economics Statistics, there are currently 13,203,599 residents in Second Life and this is a pretty big number to ignore. Over 16,000 residents spent $10-$50 during the month of March 2008! Second Life has its own economy and it is thriving.

It makes sense why some libraries have a presence in Second Life. If this is where your patrons are "living" then you need to be there in order to reach them.

I can also see the appeal of Second Life. You can be who you want to be, look how you want to look and do what you want to. You can own your own island, visit exotic places and even fly! And who doesn't want to be able to fly....

Thing 22. What Did I Learn Today?

I really enjoyed this experience! I had the opportunity to try many new and emerging technologies and as a result know a lot more about Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 tools. I thank Minnesota’s seven multicounty multitype library systems for putting on this program and my library for letting me embark on this "journey."

  • I will try my best to carve out time out of my busy schedule to maintain my blog

  • I will try to continue using the tools I have learned in the past few months

  • I will try not to ignore my blog

  • I will try to take more classes on new and emerging technologies to stay current

Wish me luck!

Thing 21. Beyond MySpace: Other Social Networks

The link to the article "MySpace for Books" did not work even after several attempts. After reading a suggestion by Nan Hoekstra on the 23 Things Blog, I pasted the URL she provided and was able to access the article. Luckily, the link for the WebJunction article was working.

View my page on 23 Things on a Stick

Visit 23 Things on a Stick

I do like Ning. I did however have a difficult time trying to post my avatar picture to my Ning profile. In the end, I used a real photo of myself. I also left a comment for a colleague who was one of the first in our library to finish all 23 Things.

I'm not sure if I will frequent social networks as much. Part of the reason is time. As a full time working mother, it is very difficult to make time for anything else besides work and family. My job responsibilities are more mundane such as finance so I wouldn't be using these tools to complete my work tasks either.

I have enjoyed learning all these new tools and appreciate being given the opportunity to do so.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thing 20. Libraries and Social Networks

I have had an account on Facebook for almost 9 months. I use it to communicate and share photos/information with my family and friends, many of whom live all over the world. It's free and easy.

I prefer Facebook to other social networking sites as I can choose who I want to be friends with. I like that people who are not in my Friends list cannot see my full profile and posted photos. I'm more of a private person and don't like to have too much personal information on cyberspace for everyone to see. I also don't like the idea of strangers looking at photos of my daughter.

Since the 9 months that I have been on Facebook, I have been contacted by friends from high school whom I haven't seen or talked to in ages. It's been very fun reconnecting with them! I currently belong to 3 groups but don't want to add additional groups to my account at this stage. I have a hard time as is with work and raising a family to find time to constantly check my account.

I can definitely see the appeal of social networking sites. I am also not surprised that teenagers make up a bulk of the groups. There is a certain freedom on the web where you can be who you want to be. I heard a very interesting piece on MPR about how parents are warning their kids not to put too much personal or inappropriate information on these sites as it can come back to haunt them in the future e.g. when you are looking for a job after you graduate.

I, for one, am happy that my daughter is only 2 and does not visit these sites yet.

Thing 19. Podcasts

I went to the Minnesota Public Radio site and downloaded a podcast of one of the Midmorning with Kerri Miller episodes. The one I chose was titled "The Dumbing of America." I personally don't think I will create my own podcast but I do intend to subscribe to a number of them.

As for the podcast directories, I liked the best. It was simple and easy to use. was down so I couldn't get to it and the other directories were pretty good.

My library is working on creating podcasts of general staff meetings so that employees who are unable to attend these meetings will still be able to listen to the information at a later date.

Thing 18. YouTube & Other Online Video

I normally go to YouTube so that my two year old daughter can watch the Wiggles, an Australian children's musical group. She simply loves the songs and dance! What I find a little alarming is that even at a tender age of two it is very hard to get my daughter to stop watching these clips. If she had her way, she would continue watching all day. This can be addictive and there are a lot of very inappropriate videos on YouTube as well. But then there are also very good ones on it as well.

The video that I am posting from YouTube to my blog is a very interesting piece about how global warming is affecting every part of the world, including a Sherpa village in the mountainous regions of Khumbu, Nepal. What is interesting to me is that it is a piece done by Al Jazeera English, which is a news channel that is not available in the US.

YouTube is easy to navigate but consumes a lot of bandwidth so it's imperative that videos are viewed during "non-rush" hour Internet traffic. I had to pause the streaming first and wait for the whole video to download so I could view it without stops.

A Library can use YouTube to advertise its services and programs to a wide audience. And it is probably one of the few ways to reach the younger generation!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thing 17: ELM Productivity Tools


OK. For the life of me, I cannot get the RSS feed for the results on the subject search on InfoTrac Student Edition (Gale) onto my Google Reader. Every time I tried pasting the URL from Gale (I did get the RSS icon) to my Reader, it gave me an error message. I read the comments under Thing 17 and realized that a lot of other people were having the same problem. I even tried the steps that Julie had laid out but this didn't work either. When I put the URL in my browser address box, I get a page full of code. I checked and my browser is newer than IE7. So, I'm not sure what I am doing wrong. So I decided to move on.


It was a lot simpler to create my web page in my EBSCO account. I must say that the instructions on the blog were much easier to follow. I was getting a little frustrated with the RSS feed in the first assignment.


I like that you can refine your search (simple steps) and also like the ability to share the information with another person via email. The emailed results are very easy to navigate. I have had instances where emailed results are very hard to read. Some look more like jargon than anything. I have a friend who is in graduate school and I will definitely recommend the ELM databases to her.


I really like the Note feature of NetLibrary. Imagine, actually being able to make notes on a page of a "book" without angering the next user or the library. And that you can go back to these notes with a click of a button the next day, a week etc!

All these tools are very convenient for library patrons as they can use them from the comfort of their home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also makes it easier for Reference Librarians to email search results of various questions directly to the patron.

FYI. I couldn't get any of the Quicktime videos to work. As suggested in the blog, I waited 10-15 minutes but nothing happened and I had to reboot my "frozen" computer.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thing 16: Student 2.0 Tools

I wish the Research Project Calculator (RPC) was around when I was going to college! I spent too many late nights drinking bottles of Mountain Dew trying to finish papers on time, being the procrastinator I used to be (YES, I'm much better now at planning). This is a valuable tool for student (especially those working on their first research project) to help plan and manage their research projects. I especially like the email reminders (a friendly nudge is always helpful).

I found the feature in the University of Minnesota's Assignment Calculator that allowed a user to select a particular subject area intriguing and tried different subjects to see if the timeline would be a unique to each subject but didn't see much of a difference.

I'm not quite sure if I could use RPC for my work. I might be able to use the email reminder portion for some of the projects. I would definitely recommend this to students working on research project.

Thing 14: LibraryThing

I love LibraryThing! I am probably going to upgrade to the paid lifelong member account so I can add unlimited books to my page. I used to write down titles of books that I have read in the past on scraps of paper so I could watch for the next installment. This will be so much easier now with LibraryThing! I am going to invite some of my friends to join so we can review and recommend books we have been reading to each other.

What I really like about LibraryThing is how simple it is to use. Anyone can do it! There are some tools that are more difficult to navigate but LibraryThing is something that can be done by anyone at any level. Even my mother could probably do it since it's so self-explanatory. And she doesn't like computers much!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Thing 13: Online Productivity Tools

Arrgghhh...time sure does fly by...I can't believe it's April and I have less than 2 weeks to finish and I am still on Thing 13! Hopefully, the big Countdown timer that I am going to place on my blog will help me move along! But alas, after 5 unsucessful attempts in adding the URL to my blog, I'm giving up. I guess I'll have to track my progress the old fashioned way.

I used iGoogle as my start page mostly out of convenience. I already have a Google account and do use Google's other features as well. I don't quite think I'll use the online productivity tools as much for the kind of work that I do (Finance). I can see myself using the online calendar to schedule a vacation with Friends but not as much for work. If I had to choose one of the tools, I would probably go with Backpack just for the fact that it allows me to consolidate some of the various features into one central location.

Another tool that I have used in the past is the Meeting Wizard. It's free and it allows me to schedule meetings with relative ease. You basically email a link to the participants with the possible meeting dates and times. Each participant can select their choices and the system is able to confirm the meeting date that a majority of the participants select. The feature I like best is the reminder email that the system sends to the participants a few days before the meeting. You can specify the day you want the email to go out!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Thing 12: Do you Digg?

The Mixx Tour didn't work for me so I moved to Digg. I liked the layout of Digg better and the flexibility in selecting only those categories that I am interested in and hiding the rest. I also liked that I can share what I am reading with my friends on Facebook.

I liked the way NewsVine organized its tour with the comment "You don't have time for a long demo. Here are 4 reasons to make NewsVine your news site." A very clever and direct way to market your site for people who are strapped for time, which is everyone! I found it interesting that the Reddit introduction was last updated 3 months ago which seems like a long time. I much prefer to visit a site that is updated more frequently!

I went to BBC and recommended an article to Digg but it had already been submitted by another user so I put my vote in!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thing 10: Wikis

I was involved in a project last year which entailed converting the Library's Intranet "StaffNet" into a Wiki. I spent a considerable amount of time in redoing the Staff Manual portion (which was originally in a word document) and minutes. But I believe the time was well spent. Now, when we have changes in procedures, I'm not the only one that can make these changes. It's also easier to search than our previous Intranet.

One feature I really like is the tracking tool that allows us to easily know who has changed what. During the planning stage of the project, I was a little worried that staff would change procedures that had not been approved.

I added an entry to the 23 Things On a Stick Wiki. My attempt at poetry was pretty pathetic but I try.

Thing 11: Tagging and

I have heard the word mentioned many times but never really knew what it was all about. Now, I know why there is such a "buzz" around it. I created an account and exported my bookmarks on my PC to I really like the fact that you can get to your bookmarks from any computer.

A couple of months back, my personal laptop crashed and I lost all my bookmarks. I did manage to add all of them back but it took quite a lot of time. With, I don't have to worry about ever redoing the bookmarks again!

I went through all my previous blog postings and tagged them all. It does make it easier to manage and search for specific information in the blogs.

PG 23 Things on s Stick

Thing 9: Online Collaboration Tools

I have used Google Docs before. I recently helped a friend edit her resume on Google. Instead of sending an attachment to multiple parties, she used Google to invite several friends to proofread and edit her resume online.

I did find Zoho Writer pretty intuitive to use. The features are comparable or better than Google Docs. However, since I already have a Google Account, I'd rather continue using this vs. creating another account with Zoho Writer.

I don't really use these tools for work but rather for personal reasons.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thing 8: Share Your Creations

I looked around and decided to use PictureTrail to create a puzzle collage. I liked that there were many options to choose from in Flicks. I had to refrain from trying everything! This can be pretty addictive.

I had to create another account to use this feature and I am realizing that I have already created countless accounts in the course of 23 Things on a Stick and I'm only on Thing 8. The account itself was free but I had to put down my email during the registration process. Hopefully, I won't get bombarded with offers and advertisements. During the registration process, I had to scroll through some product/service plugs as well. I guess in this age of online marketing and free accounts, you can't get away from antics like these.

OK. After trying for 20 minutes to attach the "creation" to the blog, I am giving up on this route. I went back to PictureTrail and tried posting directly to my blog. I'm not sure if this will work but I'll give it a try.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thing 7: Web 2.0 Communication Tools

We have a very strong email culture at my library. My manager and I send each other emails even when my cubicle is right outside her office. We discuss and make decisions via email. I find email very convenient and also an efficient mode of communication. I have accounts with Hotmail, Google and Yahoo and with Charter as well.

I also use email to stay in touch with family and friends abroad. It is free vs. high long distance charges you incur making international calls. I have also used online video chatting though the connections to some countries are poor which results in poor picture and audio quality.

At my Library, you can contact a Reference Librarian with questions during open business hours via AOL Instant Messenger(AIM), Yahoo! Instant Messenger or MSN Instant Messenger. I have noticed that different people prefer different types of modes of communication. There are some who insist on talking to a live person while others who prefere to IM or email.

I used OPAL Auditorium Online to participate in a Meet the Author event. It was pretty interesting to be able to "talk" to the author and other participants.

Thing 6: Online Image Generators

This was a fun project! I work with figures and numbers at the Library and don't get a chance do creative things. The online image generators are great tools and can make anyone feel like an "artist." I do believe that I will use the image generators especially at home.

Thing 5: More Flickr Fun

Pewter Lowercase Letter i L O V E M Y L I B R A Subway Mosaic R II Bead Letter Y

I must say that the mash-up tools are quite fun and can see why people spend loads of time playing with these tools without realizing it. I used Spell with Flickr to spell "I Love My Library" and was actually able to upload the picture using the URL. I had tried using the URL to upload other photos from Flickr yesterday and failed. I must be doing something right finally!
I also downloaded a photo I had taken on a trip from Picasso and used the Flickr Caption tools to create some fun lines.

I normally only share my personal photos with family and friends on Picasso as I'm a little wary of having them open to the whole world to view.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thing 4: Photosharing with Flickr

I had heard about Flickr but never used it before. I have used Google's Picasa to share photos with my family in Nepal, HongKong, Australia and UK. A lot cheaper than mailing photos to these countries.

I could not upload the photos by using the URL. In the end, I saved the Flickr photos to my hard drive and uploaded the files on the blog tool to get them to display.

I'm posting two photos from Flickr. The first one is entitled "Dhalbhat in Pokhara" uploaded by ShinYai. Dhal and Bhat are Nepali words for lentil soup and rice respectively. Both are a staple in Nepali cuisine. I miss my mother's cooking. As hard as I try, I can never quite duplicate her cooking.

The second photo is of my hometown of Pokhara, Nepal courtesy of Jerome Pu. My parents have a house beside the lake which is surrounded by hills and mountains. The lake is called Phewa Tal and the views are simply stunning.
I searched for Nepal, Pokhara, Phewa Tal under the Tags and found a ton of beautiful photos. The tag are an easy to search for particular photos.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Thing 2: What is Library 2.0

I can see why Library 2.0 has an impact on library patrons. There are so many new technology out there that makes things convenient for us. I love the email reminders that my library sends before my book is due. I love being able to renew my books in the middle of the night. These online tools makes my hectic life easier.

My neices and newphews practically spend most of thier time on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. When asked why, they replied "that's where we all hang out nowadays." To reach this demographic group, the Library has to be where the action is.

I recently opened a Facebook account and it has been quite interesting connecting with friends from high school and college throughout the world. But I can't quite see myself spending all of my free time on the internet. For starters, I don't have much free time. Though I agree it's a great way to connect with people.

Yes, libraries should be on the forefront of the Web 2.0 wave. However, we should be careful not to exclude some of our patrons who shy away from technology. I get calls from people who refuse to use the automated phone or online renewals and want to talk to a live person to renew their books.

The challenge is to find a good balance so we serve the needs of ALL of our patrons.

*Frontline had a recent documentary about "Growing Online." It was an excellent program and I highly recommend it.

Thing 3: Set up an RSS Account and Add Feeds

I used Goggle Reader vs Bloglines to setup my aggregator account as I already have a Google Account. I had to rack my brains to remember my password so I have decided to write them down for future purposes (though I've heard you are never supposed to do so for security reasons).

Just after I finished adding feeds to my account, a colleague of mine (who is much more technically savvy than me) dropped by and said he prefers Bloglines as it's easier to navigate! Arrghhh!

My husband uses RSS to get updates on new technology (he works in the Tech field and is always saying he needs to stay current or become obselete). I for one have never used RSS before. My Google Reader now has feeds from the various news sites that I used to visit e.g. BBC, CNN, India Today. I can see myself using it more often. Though there were some sites I normally visit e.g. that doesn't have RSS feed and I wasn't able to add them to my account.

I can see RSS serving as a useful tool for people to better manage information that they want to read but am not quite convinced that it is essential. Yes, RSS can save me a few strokes on the keyboard but I can as easily go to the sites I want on the Internet by typing the URL.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thing 1: Set up Your Blog

One big thing I learned today was not to create your Avatar during the afternoon peak hour. The bandwith must have been saturated at the Library as it took some time to get things to display. I couldn't find the Blogger Dashbard but then realized I wasn't looking at the right page. But I did finally manage to create my blog, create an avatar and register my blog.

I must say that it was pretty fun creating my Avator. Being a mother of a very active two year old girl, I hardly get anytime to surf the net or brush up on my Web 2.0 skills. Most of my free time (if any) is spent cleaning up after my daughter, laundry, housework, or just sitting on the sofa exhausted. I'm looking forward to setting aside time to work on the 23 things and learn more about the new technology.

I recently created a FaceBook account and am finding it a wonderful tool in helping me reconnect with friends from way back.