library joy

sharing the joy that the library brings

my 10 random things… 2008 December 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — nova @ 2:45 pm

in order to fulfill the goal for helene’s bonus “thing” in Learn & Play @CML, here are 10 random things about me:

  1. i am a classically-trained pianist.
  2. i am ambidextrous. i eat with my left hand but do everything else with my right hand. but i can do everything with my left hand that i can do with the right, even writing. i’m mixed up, i think.
  3. these things freak me out: dolls, puppets, and clowns.
  4. my creative outlet is card-making. i have a whole studio devoted to making art, burning things and soldering.
  5. i ❤ dogs and have two of my own, along with 2 cats. i like to give my pets people names ’cause i think it’s funny. my pets are rudy, miss esther, lucy and beatrice.
  6. i want to be a yoga instructor someday.
  7. i started playing the banjo this past april and have done pretty well for a beginner. i’m in a band called The Hawaii 63 and sometimes i’ve been known to “sing” (if you can call it that) about my cat (esther) that hides a lot. oh, and she’s a kitty-ninja.
  8. i love to garden and i like to make outdoor sculptures and art from rusty metal things, especially old farm implements.
  9. yes… i know how to western square dance. it’s not a talent i’m especially fond of, but i might as well come clean about it now before the rumors start.
  10. i love movies that have ray harryhausen’s special effects. stop-motion animation rocks my world. i was raised on rankin-bass christmas specials! i also love godzilla movies.

there you go! all done!

 

Thing #23 it’s the end!

Filed under: post-launch — nova @ 1:51 pm
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so i did the majority of my 23 Things in two days. i didn’t want to have to do it like that, but i was busy with program details during the largest part of the program, so i guess i take what time i can get, you know? let me run through the questions we are supposed to answer:

  • my favorite discoveries from this learning journey have to be my awesome coworkers here at CML! i’ve discovered PEOPLE! i’ve discovered that i work with an amazing array of talented people and i feel incredibly fortunate. the connections i’ve made as a result of learn and play will stay with me forever. it was also really great to see the excitement from staff as we went through the program
  • this program has assisted me lifelong-learning goals by solidifying how important it is to never stop learning.
  • the biggest take-away and unexpected outcome was how i made new friendships from this program. i didn’t realize everyone would take to twitter so well, or that everyone would like the learn and play videos and actually want to do them with gerald and i. it’s just an incredible feeling of happiness. 🙂
  • i’m not sure what could have been done differently… i know it took a LOT of time on my part to get things ready and maybe i didn’t anticipate all the work that would be involved, but it was highly rewarding work!
  • of course i would participate again! i’ve been trying to spread the Web 2.0 gospel for years now, so it was right up my alley to participate in learn and play.

i think, hands down, this was the most fun i’ve had at the library in the 18 years i’ve worked here. thank you to CML, from admin to staff to the Friends, thank you for letting us Learn & Play!!!!!!!

 

Thing #22 oh, so MOLDI…

Filed under: post-launch — nova @ 1:22 pm
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i’m a fan of audio books! i mean, at heart, i’m a reader and i like to hold and read my books, but not always. i love to listen to audio books when i’m taking a road trip or working on a long project. i’m glad that we have MOLDI so that our customers are able to download audio books, but i wish they would get a bigger collection. i know that publishing rights and things like that probably interfere with them having popular movies and music (can’t make money off them), so i’ll just focus on the books.

to me, it’s a strange collection. many odd titles (A Date with Judy–Oogie Pringle and His High School Hot Licks wtf?), some variety (Revolution by Margaret Cho), and stuff for the masses (Kidz Bop 11). so when i say “strange,” i mean more like ecclectic, i guess. i have tried to download an ebook to a device and the hardest part for me was getting the Mobipocket eBook reader installed on the device. after that, it’s not so hard. now that it works with ipods, i’m sure i’ll try again and see if it really is compatible. 😉 as i mentioned before, i do prefer a real book to an eBook, but the audio books are excellent.

 

Thing #21 podcasting

Filed under: post-launch — nova @ 12:24 pm
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yeah, maybe another one i’m not so hot about. here’s why: podcasts aren’t very glamorous to me. there’s no pictures or shiny objects flashing to hold my attention, so i really think that podcasts aren’t always as effective as videos. i kind of feel they’ve gone by the wayside, except in those cases where maybe all someone wants is audio. but i want more than audio! Podcasting reminds me of when people would gather ’round the wireless to hear the latest episode of “The Shadow” or something. why does it seem so archaic to me now in these days of instant videos?

i can see libraries using podcasts for things like driving directions, tours of facilities, and storytimes, even though i think more interaction and engagement happens with video. i’m not all down on podcasting. when The Wizard and i went to Internet Librarian ’08, we met Greg Schwartz. he has a regular podcast called Uncontrolled Vocabulary, which is excellent for professional development in the world of libraries. in this aspect, i can see where podcasting is beneficial. it’s cheap and easy and quick. no need for video cameras or proper lighting or anything like that, just record and go. for libraries, i could see where a regular podcast from the director might be a neat thing.

 

Thing #20 youtube AKA, “think about your dad…”

Filed under: post-launch — nova @ 11:47 am
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ahhh, who doesn’t like youtube? where else can i see retro commercials and TV shows from the 70s, music videos from the 80s, and current mashups from today? video killed the radio star, and youtube lets you be that video star. while i enjoy youtube for current affairs (the recent election is a great example), i also enjoy it for those flashback moments.

i get a lot of laughs from the tim and eric awesome show: great job! on adult swim and one of the bits they do makes me and maggie just laugh and laugh and laugh:

 

Thing #19 the power tools page!

Filed under: post-launch — nova @ 11:10 am
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i ❤ the power tools page! not just because i helped create it, but because it finally gives some recognition to Web 2.0 stuff on our site, and because the tools here are so awesome. the toolbar i’m especially proud of because it really promotes CML’s services in one easy-to-access spot. it was shockingly easy to find and create!

of the links in the “tool box,” i know we covered some of them, but i’ll talk about book burro. i like book burro because you can find out other libraries’ holdings for books that you are browsing on the interwebs. book burro automatically recognizes ISBNs and will pop a small box with the libraries listed. you can add and delete the list of libraries that appear in the box. CML is available; they have us listed as “Columbus Public Library,” but at least we’re there. I like using book burro with firefox, of course, as you can modify it right from the “tools” settings in the browser. you can add book stores and libraries in book burro.

so here’s how it works: i’m searching amazon and i find a title i like. i’m on the page for the item and here comes book burro. it pops up and automatically starts searching whatever book stores and libraries i have designated and then the availability for the item is displayed in the popup box. the box sort of floats over the page and you can close it in case it’s annoying you. so it kind of works like out catalog search in the library toolbar, but, with book burro, you don’t even have to enter the title of the book. it knows when you’re looking for a book! i have to disable it when i’m entering titles for featured book on the homepage because, again, it senses an ISBN and it springs into action!

well, that’s my evaluation of book burro. give it a try! use it with firefox because it works best there (duh) and is available as a nifty plugin.

 

Thing #18 Web 2.0 awards 2008 December 1

Filed under: post-launch — nova @ 6:14 pm
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Sweet Lucy

Originally uploaded by mookitty

this one was fun! i reviewed the site picnik which is also available via flickr. i have a friend who is not very web-savvy and she LOVES picnik. so, i have heard her talk about it, but i’ve never used it. so when i saw it on the list here of award-winners, i had to give it a try.

love it! well, if you have the premium features you can really do a lot, but i like it ’cause it’s like a poor-woman’s photoshop but way easier to use. here i took a picture of my sweet dog, lucy, and i enhanced it several ways. i brighten and sharpened it, then i added a matte feature and then i added some color boost thing to it. it took a somewhat out-of-focus picture and made it much more appealing to look at, although i could look at pictures of my dog all day… 😉

honestly, though, i don’t know how a library could really benefit from this. however, the free parts of it could be made available to our customers where they could come in and edit their photos and then leave happy because they were able to do it so easily and for FREE. does that count?

 

Thing #17 mmm, google docs!

Filed under: post-launch — nova @ 6:00 pm
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me loves me some google docs! i can’t tell you all the times it’s come in handy. let me think of just one… okay, this past october, sam davis and i were prepping to go to Internet Librarian 2008 and present. one of the first things we did was create our presentation in google docs so that we could both access it no matter where if we were at home or work. and when we got to California, we could still access it and keep a master copy there in case one of our flash drives failed (not that your learn & play flash drive will fail!). from there, i could tell whenever sam edited it and same for him. if i was at home and sam was at work, i could still edit the document and he could still see my edits. it made it very easy to prepare and it was seamless integration with PowerPoint as we experimented with moving it over to PP.

my thoughts are that we get rid of Word, PowerPoint and Excel and encourage our customers to use Google Docs. no more buying floppy discs or even flash drives. they won’t lose their document, even if the computer crashes. think we could ever get our customers to do this? i think some of them already are!

 

Thing #16 more wiki crap… ugh!

Filed under: post-launch — nova @ 5:44 pm
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did you see my last post?? if so, then you’ll know i don’t like wikis all that much. i added my blog link to the learn & play wiki (i was first!), but it wasn’t easy getting it there, i’ll tell you that much. i know others have had trouble and i just want you to know I HEAR YOU! this is where the clunkiness of wikis comes into play for me. first off, it wasn’t just like anyone participating in learn & play could go to the wiki, add their blog link and then go. oh no. i had to approve each and every single person so they could do this. so, every blog that you see linked there was done by a separate person and each of those people had to be given access by me. now, is that practical? really? no, to me it’s not. it meant remembering to check that site every single day of learn & play once that thing was introduced. it meant working with people who were unfamiliar with it to show them how to edit and how it’s not, unfortunately, like a word processor or like trying to update your blog. i don’t think wikis are good for large groups, but maybe i haven’t been in a large group that has been able to effectively make a wiki work?

so once all that was over, then there was still creating the other wiki pages. this is where i get confused. all the elements of a wiki: the main page, the inner pages, the sidebar. the sidebar? what’s that? it’s helpful, but i can never get mine to correspond with the other pages i’ve created and then i get mad and pouty. honestly, my experience with wikis has not been overly positive, but i’ll use them when i have to and i DO see their purpose. (doesn’t mean i have to like it, though…)

 

Thing #15 wikis

Filed under: post-launch — nova @ 5:32 pm
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yeah, uh, i don’t really like wikis all that much. i mean, i “like” them, but i’m not “in like” with them. first off, they’re ugly and and can be somewhat clunky. trying to get all your users up-to-speed if they’ve never used one before is hard to do. even trying to arrange your information clearly and concisely can be tricky. gee, am i creating a page or am i just creating another section on this page? do i use one bracket or two? the fact that they don’t use simple html markup is frustrating sometimes. i know editing a wiki can be easy, but i want it to be all html, don’t make me learn special markup just for wikis.

okay, wikis are not very pretty, either. give me fabulous headers and footers and pictures and hearts and flowers! i know i can make the wiki look pretty, but it still doesn’t seem to be enough. i mean, have you seen the wikipedia? BORING!

however, they do serve a purpose. they are very good for project work. the IT/DS wiki that we use here at work, while devoid of any pretty pictures or font, does have extremely important information in it all one place. in fact, it is the routine now to make sure you “update the wiki” when any changes are made to projects. so i do see the value.

as far as libraries using them, i love what St. Joseph County Public Library is doing with their subject guides, one of the reasons why i used them as examples for this Thing. however, did you notice… no pictures!! no pretty font, nothing!! maybe that’s my new mission: bring the “pretty” to the wikis!!!! so, i think using wikis as subject/reference pages is one library application that works well for them. i don’t think it’s practical to allow customers to edit the pages, however, at least not in this case.