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.