Monday, March 22, 2010

Last But Not Least - eBooks and Downloadable Media

eBooks, eAudio books and downloadable media - I had no idea we had so many accessible from the ACL website. I found a number of interesting resources that I'd like to take a look at and I listed them as favourites, to be explored at another time, for example The Outliers.

And, in closing, I have enjoyed this training programme, become more familiar with and adept at using a variety of web tools and interested in using some of them on a regular basis. I've especially enjoyed thinking about and talking with other ACL employees about the future of the library and libraries in general, and how to be an agent of change, not merely in a position of reacting to change. I also feel much more versed and capable of talking to patrons about web resources and what is currently available, and what might be available in the near future. Thank you for the opportunity to be involved in this training programme.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

At Last - Week Nine

Great clip posted by, and great principle: getting people to do something because it's fun to do. I'm imagining running a clip at the Issues Desk of people getting out their library cards before coming to the desk, or turning their books in the right direction for scanning (Bonus feature: somehow making it fun). Clips on the website could show how to do a search in the catalogue or in the e-resources.

Looking for podcasts from libraries brought me to Berkeley's Library Story Hour, among others. And in general many of the tutorials we've used in this training programme have been podcasts/vodcasts. Very useful in libraries for presenting information - whether about authors, events, anything being highlighted for the month, or for training of patrons in using any of the library's resources and so on.

Almost done, more about ebooks and downloadble media to come...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Week 8 - Online Applications

Thank you for introducing us to Zoho - a website that is so functional and feels very familiar. Keeps old versions of documents, documents are accessible from anywhere even without a USB stick, and are capable of being shared. My only question since there's always a problem with not enough time and too many options: Which one is better - Zoho or Google Docs?? Now that I've tried Zoho, I'll have a go at Google Docs.

The winner?: Zoho. Easier to post directly from Zoho to this blog - without needing a link, easier to access tools like Thesaurus, and I like the list of earlier versions to the right. Other than that, looks much the same.

Exploring Web 2.0 tools took me to VuFind from the library of Villanova University. There are so many features that I think would be wonderful to apply to ACL's website. First & foremost, the goal of being "social". Promoting commenting, tagging, saving records, making favorites lists (easier than on our website). Then incorporating outside materials such as reviews from & other sources, and author's bios, all in an appealing, interactive package. Love it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Week 7 - Working with the Wiki

Unfortunately, the ACL Wiki has a number of broken links, otherwise it could serve as an effective hub for information and feedback - any chance of fixing that? Wikis are incredibly user-friendly and can be a great vehicle for exchanging information, whether with patrons or among library staff themselves. Some of the applications I found include:
Community Info & Guides
Libary & Information Science Topics
Library Web Sites
Project Management
Staff Manuals & Service Point Manuals
Subject Guides, Course Guides & Resource Guides

One I especially enjoyed looking at was the albystaff wiki from Albany County Public Library, reading about their circulation procedures and comparing them to ACL's.

Added my blog to the ACL PB Wiki, along with a recommendation for favourite holiday destination - Petra, Jordan.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Week 6 - Starting with

I haven't yet been able to discover the origin of the name of the website, but it is a very useful tool and I've only just begun to add my bookmarks. Great for research - enabling you to have easy access to multiple sources/sites, whether from your own bookmarks or others, thanks to the shared tags.

Joining Technorati wasn't a whole lot of fun, since it wasn't clear how to claim my blog without using a paid service. The links on our learning programme seem to need updating; "claim" for example, didn't work. I see the benefit of using Technorati, having access to multiple blogs via tags, but the list is then laden with an incredible amount of random blog entries which aren't necessarily relevant or helpful. Too much to wade through. After these exercises I did go back to tag my blog entries.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the articles and found them inspiring and a "call-to-action." I already see evidence at ACL of quite a few of the recommendations regarding embracing Web 2.0 tools. And there's room for much, more more. I enjoyed imagining the following:
  1. Emphasis on asking the right questions: How best to use the new technologies to create a useful service for putting users together with the information and the experience that they seek? Creating a "living, breathing technology plan," which incorporates creating a "user-centric" service.
  2. Coordinating multi-institutional metadata creation & collaborations/consortiums, beyond the public library sector to include universities & other storehouses of knowledge.
  3. "Users add value" - Patron participation on a wider scale, adopting features of Amazon & Google into the library services: submission of reviews and scholarly commentary, list sharing, tagging.
  4. And when all is said and done, and while I thoroughly embrace the technological changes and advances, I adore the idea of the "library spa", a WiFree space - since everything will potentially be accessible anywhere online. I will enjoy immensely having the library serve as a retreat once again!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Rolling with Rollyo

Rollyo was down for maintenance last week, but now I've had the chance to explore and enjoy creating a search roll for cultural events around Auckland. It's very convenient to have a search tool like this of favourite websites/online resources for each group of interests and I can imagine continuing to use this. I think I'll also make a searchroll for image generators and other online tools that we've been using on this course!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week Five - LibraryThing

LibraryThing is the thing. Love lists and having access to other people's lists, reviews, and recommendations. Will I Like It? & Unsuggester are two of my favorite features, and there are heaps more to discover. I enjoy that it's global and you can check out local libraries wherever you plan to be. I plan to use this for my book club to keep a list of what we've read, along with future good reads and dates.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Back to Week Three

So much was going on week 3, and it wasn't really obvious that I'd done some image generating, so I'll post another one. One of my favorite photo subjects: birds, this one a whitehead from Tiritiri Matangi.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week 4 - In the Know

Choosing RSS Feeds involving international news, books & book reviews, music, art, but then I reached my max. As with most internet activities = too addictive. Thank goodness it was a rainy, muggy week up until Friday so that it was a pleasure to be tied to the computer. Here's a link to my newsreader with feeds from some of my favorites, such as The New York Times Sunday Book Review.
Don't know if this is possible in the library: setting up dedicated computers that have feeds, like 1) News on the ground floor by the large TV screen, or in the newspaper reading room, 2) On first floor: Arts/Music/Dance Feeds in those areas; Business/Economics in that area, and so on, 3) Ground Floor: Book Review Feeds, latest releases, etc. On the ACL website , maybe include feeds relevant to whatever is happening at the time. Professionally, it's great to be connected, whether through Library Thing or other library-related feeds. In short, it's good practise to be "in the know".
As for Twitter, I'm not yet convinced; maybe it's an age thing and I'm just not with it, but here's my account anyway. I've looked into TweetDeck, which seems a decent way of keeping posted and, again, "in the know."

Trading Cards

I recently enjoyed a trip to Tiritiri Matangi and made some trading cards from photos of birds I saw there. Too easy. I enjoyed checking out other mashups and applications, making montages on maps, posters, book covers - all great tools.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Week Three - Photos on Flickr & Picasa

I recently started using Picasa Web Albums to manage my personal photos. Using Flickr is a little different, and I uploaded a photo "Week3exterior" to the aclelgar account. It has a cool outline shape, thanks to the Picnik editing/playing with contrast/sharpen features, though I couldn't figure out how to edit out the soda can on the ground. Still working on that, since I know that there are "photoshop" software tools that can do that. Image generating was a challenge, and I created an image of a grassy field with a funny message, but I couldn't complete the link. I kept getting the message: "Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is broken" no matter how many tmes I tried to link it properly. That was with JellyMuffin, so I tried CustomSignGenerator and FotoTrix, and could post a captioned library photo. Next time I'll use a different font for the caption; this one's hard to read.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week Two - Can I Start Over?

I vow to read directions more carefully and try to complete the assignments before I let loose with my own musings. This week I wrote two random posts not pertaining to the weekly assignment, but now I've also had the chance to check out the social networking sites, of which Facebook is my favorite. It's especially suitable for "older" users like myself, and would be an excellent tool for advertising library events. It looks to be currently under-utilized. And LinkedIn is a great professional networking site. Here's a link that I enjoyed, about the importance of early childhood programs (an earlier occupation of mine): http://http//

Starting a Book Club Reading List

It's been many months since the idea first sprouted to create a list(s) of recommended books for local book clubs, that is, books of which there are ample copies in the library system. I've compiled one for my book club in a very pains-taking fashion: looking up each selection to check how many copies are in the system and currently available, and including details such as a short synopsis, publication date, publishing house, etc., but now I'm on the hunt for an easier, more efficient method. Does anyone have ideas/suggestions?
We could compile a number of lists of recommended book club readings, categorized by genre: Around the World, NZ/Australian Authors, Oldies but Goodies, and so on.

We love to encourage reading and this is an excellent way, by helping local book clubs access quality selections that we have at Aukland City Libaries in ample supply.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weekly Highlights

What did I do this week? What worked for me/surprised me/amazed me? Blogging was a pleasant surprise in that it is user-friendly. But it still doesn't "work" for me since I haven't had the opportunity to see how it can be used in other than self-aggrandizing ways. I need to take time to read other blogs. Other surprises: Still surprised that not everyone feels the same need to invest time and effort in people skills & communication (other than via blogs). The journey continues...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Starting at Square One

Ho Hum. A new blogger. But with lots to say. About journeys. About starting and ending, about the process in between. One continent - two - three. Several islands, many mountains, canyons, rivers, shores. One language - two - three. Many, many people. Still more to meet and more adventures to be had. And lessons to be learned from each adventure.