Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cruisin' right along with thing 5

Whew. Finally I am all caught up on my things. Yeah.

The image generators were really fun. I can see uses for this at work. If a library is trying to grab non-users' attentions or appeal to the under 25ish crowd there are a lot of images here that would work. You could use them on a facebook or myspace page or a library blog to promote programs, new materials, or whatever.

I never knew these things existed. I don't use the computer at home nearly as much as I used to. My son tends to monopolize it in the evenings. He loves Cartoon Network, CW 4 kids, VEOH, youtube,, all those kids' things. He wanted to make a web page so there I was to help him. I found a free hosting site--Yalo. And he went about creating a website. He has big ideas. Ideas that are beyond his mother's measly HTML knowledge. Oh well.

I am really getting into doing these 23 things and look forward to the upcoming ones (especially Ning, Digg, and LibWorm).

You're my favorite waste of time (apologies to Marshall Crenshaw)

Okay I obviously don't want to do to much today since I am still working on my 23 things.

But I decided to look at the cartoon generator.

Yesterday on the radio I heard an interview with Joe Mantegna and the interviewer was all gushy about how Joe plays Fat Tony on the Simpsons. So when I saw Fat Tony as a choice in the comic strip generator I just HAD to do one.

Map Lover--and Proud of IT!

I really wanted to spell with Flickr but the site is down or something. Bummer.

First I went to Flickr Soduko because I am totally addicted to soduko. It was okay but it was hard to see the numbers so it took longer than usual to complete the puzzle.
Then I went to Big Labs and found some cool stuff there.
This was totally cool.

I could see using this for things other than webpages. This could make a great greeting card.

I thought this was TOTALLY cool. But then I have my BA in Geography.

Kansas is an Island and what happened to Maine
Make yours @
These are pretty cool. And I think this could be my new black hole. These were also really easy to do. I have the map thingy on my myspace page--which I never use anymore. I find facebook much more secure.
Aw....thing 4 done!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rabbit Holes (or should I say Black Holes) Abound

I have used flickr to look at other people's photos. I have spent hours clicking through photos of neon signs or waterfalls or Banff. Flickr is a rabbit hole. Or maybe a black hole is a better description because I get sucked in and the life in me in sucked out. Before I know it, I have spent two hours on Flickr looking for a photo of a waterfall in NY for one part of a blog posting.

I have never been a part of Flickr; I was a lurker. But for Thing 3 I decided to upload some of my pics instead of just getting sucked in to the black hole that is Flickr. It was really easy. This is one of the reasons I wish my parents would get a computer with the internet. But hey they still have a rotary phone line so I have a long way to go with them. I like that I can make some of my photos private (like most of the ones of my son) and others public (like the ones of my cat).

Our library has posted photos on Flickr. I don't know if it was "official" or not. My concern about posting photos from library events is the release form. When the photos are put in the newspaper everyone in the photo has to sign a release form. Are all these libraries doing this with their Flickr accounts? Is there an easy way to get the release form signed? Maybe it should be part of the library card application.

I gotta make this one short because I need to find a photo of Montour Falls

I see nothing, I know nothing (with apologies to Schultz)

Okay somehow I got behind in the 23 Things. But I am trying to get caught up today.

Library 2.0--where do I start? I think there are a lot of libraries around the country doing some really awesome patron centered things. I was surprised to see that the posting from Blyberg was in 2006. Darien has been doing some great things with their catalog and allowing patrons to tag items. I have never been a "libraries are sacred" type of librarian. But the thought of the public mucking about in the catalog has me lying awake at night shuddering. Maybe I am a condescending librarian? I do think that there are cataloging terms that are just plain crazy. The example I remember from library school is Swine, the LC term used for pig. Sure Swine is the right word but how many people go around saying they want to raise a pot pelly swine? Or a kid asking for that book where the spider is friends with the awesome, terrific swine? In that sense I think a better job could be done by the public.

If Library 2.0 means patron centered I do think that is a good thing. It can be risky. I have seen staff members post items on a library's blog that were inappropriate. So what would happen when it was opened to the public? Maybe I have had too many trojans and worms on my home computer to trust the public.

Stephen Abrams talked about how we as librarians needed to immerse ourselves in the new technology in order to really understand it. I don't agree with that. Isn't the main characteristic of a librarian someone who knows a little about a lot and where to find the rest out? I don't have to have spent all night honing my Second Life to know what it is about. Why do we as librarians have to serve as the all knowing information source for technology? I don't know how to train a dog, I know how to find a book or a website or a video that can show you how to do it. I don't think I have to have an iPod to understand the basics of it. I do know how to search our OPAC and find a book about iPods and all the things you can do with them. (A suggested title: iPod Fully Loaded: If you've got it you can iPod it or How to do everything: iPod and iTunes). We (librarians) have never been expected to know how to garden or fix a big block engine so why would we know be expected to know how to download a song from iTunes to an mp3 player? I think if my library started loaning mp3 players that would be a different situation and I would need to know how to download and troubleshoot that particular player.

Am I being reactionary? I like to think I embrace technology but I don't think I have to be involved with everything out there just so I can help a patron. In my reference class in library school, we weren't allowed to be a source EVEN if we knew the answer. We were taught you always looked up and gave the patron the citation of where you find the answer. But with some aspects of Library 2.0, we seem to be saying that we ARE the acceptable source/citation.

Now that I sound like a complete head in the sand, tell me when it's over luddite I guess I can't extoll on how much *I* personally embrace technology. I have a myspace and a facebook page. I have used IM for over ten years. Back before the internet when I was a wee little freshman in college ('88-'89) I remember staying up all night chatting on relay through bitnet. The light of the amber screen was so soothing, plus my friends and I could talk to guys all over the US and even other countries. And before you think--total geek, I was at a very small college in Vermont and when there was two feet of snow and the snot would freeze in your nose when you went outside, there wasn't a lot to do except go to the computer lab in the basement and flirt with guys over the computer who were probably even sadder than we were. The alternative was to study.

Friday, May 8, 2009

And the Road is Long with Many a Winding Turn

Okay so we are being encouraged to participate in the North Texas 23. Over the course of the summer I am supposed to become familiar/comfortable with 23 new forms of technology.

I am not a complete Luddite but I feel overextended: what with my myspace page, my facebook page, just plain old email, and for some crazy reason I created a Twitter account (but none of my friends tweet). Tweet sounds just too close to tweak for my brain.

I haven't posted to flickr although I have had fun looking at other people's photos. Same thing with YouTube. I have watched TONS of videos but have never uploaded anything. I've been in awe of LibraryThing for about four years but haven't gotten around to putting my books into it.

Other things I'm going to learn are delicious, Google docs, LibWorm, Digg, Ning...
It looks like the summer is turning out to be quite interesting! Hopefully by the end of the summer I'll embrace all these new toys and won't mind having a computer as integral part of my body!