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!