Monday, March 19, 2007

Week #9 Thing #23

I have finally reached Thing # 23. At the beginning of Learning 2.0, I never thought I would reach this point . I was very challenged by this 9 week program and have learned a lot by completing the exercises. I was introduced to features on the Web that I never knew : flickr, technorati, wikis, zoho, image makers, LibraryThing, Rollyo, RSS feeds, bloglines. All of these little programs in cyberspace may change or even disappear in the future. (One thing that is consistent about the Internet is that it is constantly changing.) Still, these types of programs are tools that will continue to be used in one form or another by the global community to access, organize , create, publish and communicate information. As librarians, we need to know how to use these tools to bring our collections and services to customers. We need to learn how to use these tools to help customers navigate their way through cyberspace to reach reliable sources of information and knowledge. I hope to continue to explore in more depth all of the programs I have been introduced to through Learning 2.0. I realize now , more than ever, that I function in a world where "literacy" includes more than reading and writing the written word. A literate person in the 21st Century must also have the necessary computer skills to access and use information available on the World Wide Web. Still, I maintain, there are dangers in spending too much of one's life in cyberspace. The sun is shining today. I hear the birds chirping and the scent of cherry blossoms is wafting through the open window. Goodbye, cyberspace ! Time for the real world.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Week #9 Thing #22

eBooks : the e should stand for easy. And that is not the case for many potential users. I think the concept of electronic books audio ebooks is marvelous, and I am pleased that they are accessible on library catalogs and on Internet sites like the Gutenberg Project. But the complexities of downloading these digital wonders make them accessible only to those users who have the knowledge , skills and computer mindset to do so. I have tried on several occasions to download books from SJPL digital library and have encountered lots of frustration. I often wondered if some kind of video podcast could be developed, so customers could follow instructions online as they attempt to download an ebook or audio ebook. I think reading books online is a last resort for most library customers. A customer needs a book by tomorrow. The library has no print copies available, but there is access to an electronic book. The customer is desperate, and will go for the ebook option ( if they have access to the Internet at home...). I don't envision the digital book ever replacing the material book. Audio ebooks appear to have a larger following. With the wide use of MP3 players, audio books fit the needs and lifestyles of library customers . The long car commute becomes more bearable if you can download an audio book and listen to it as you drive. For those customers who are vision impaired an audio book is a necessity. And for those joggers and walkers who need something to listen to while they work out, audio books are sometimes the answer. If only the downloading part was more user friendly.....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Week #9 Thing #21

I looked at 3 podcast websites. The one I liked best was This was the easiest site to use because I didn't have to sign on, register, subscribe or download anything. I just clicked on whatever podcast I wanted and it came right up on the screen. has done an excellent job on subject categories. I selected a "How To" subject and all kinds of stuff came up. I listened to a podcast series called "How not to be dreadful" , You can listen to Bill and Amanda talk on and on about how not to be dreadful when you are clothes shopping or attending holiday parties or dining at a restaurant. Another podcast I listened to was "Fitness Attack". This is another series podcast and I listened to a 60 second recording of how to stay on your diet and still indulge in a Splenda Parfait. The simple recipe was given on the podcast. A very suspicious podcast entitled "Unorthodox Hacking : Hidden Windows Passwords" featured a video of a questionable looking character giving all kinds of instructions on how to get into the innards of a computer and fish out secret passwords, etc. My favorite podcast was "French for Beginners". This was a series of podcasts ( at least 20 lessons) that was better than Berlitz. Since I have an interest in brushing up on my French ,I found myself sitting at the computer listening, repeating and thinking that this was absolutely fantastic. I guess I will be visiting very often from now on.

I did look at , but as soon as I read that I had to subscribe and download a podcast aggregator (what is that?), I quickly left the site. Yahoo podcasts looked better. There was an interesting podcast series on childrens books. But then, they asked me to subscribe and fill out more log ins and passwords and I decided enough of that.

I think SJPL should have a video podcast to promote the Summer Reading Celebration.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007

Week #8 Thing #19

I already loaded my LibraryThing catalog way back in Week #6 ( see post for that week ). I jumped ahead because I was very excited about LibraryThing. I think LibraryThing is probably my favorite part of Learning 2.0. My LibraryThing catalog is located at :