Some Great Reward

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Final Thoughts

Ta da!! I made it. It took longer than I had anticipated, but I am ultimately happy I decided to do it. Not only is it good for my professional development, but I feel like I have redemned myself after my worst class in the LIS graduate program- Technology! I now have more confidence to recommend resources to patrons, friends and to use them myself. It was also a good way to get to know your colleagues through this exercise. You learn new things about people everyday- even in your own branch. And it is nice to have that feeling of accomplishment along with a sweet reward which doesn't always happen in a person's job. So, I plan on continuing this blog and also continuing my learning journey.

Cheers and Happy Halloween!


This is a service I definitely intend to use once I get my MP3 player. I love to listen to books while traveling in the car or a plane and this will be much more convenient than lugging around the cds. The website is simple to use and I found about half of my favorite authors I searched for. For example, I found Hunter S. Thompson and Jeffrey Eugenides, but no Margaret Atwood or Donna Tartt.


I used Yahoo Podcasts to search for book review podcasts and selected NPR Books because it is reputable and seemed pretty extensive. I also listen to NPR on my satellite radio and enjoy their book related shows so I thought I would enjoy their podcasts as well. So, I added it to my bloglines-

I also checked out a few Harry Potter podcasts which were fun.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Ok, I promise I didn't know that our next "thing" was YouTube when I created my previous post! So, I will just elaborate on what I have already said. Some of my favorite features of the site include the viewing history, the ability to email people the videos, and ranking the results by relevance, date addes, number of views or the rating it has received. One of my dislikes is the search engine. Sometimes it is hard to find what you are looking for and to wade through all the junk. Another issue is copyright infringement. Just today Comedy Central asked them to remove their material from the site. It is being speculated more of this will happen with Google in charge of the site.

Since the last video I posted from YouTube was a music video (I usually use the site for music related stuff), I searched for library related clips this time. I found this really cool video that a library stystem in Indiana used for their staff day. It is set to Madonna's Ray of Light and is also inspired by the video. It depicts the day in the life of their library, in fast motion.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Web 2.0 Awards

Like most people, I love YouTube, so I thought I would check out the first place winner in the Video category which was Dailymotion. But immediately I had problems with the video loading so I just said forget it and went back to my tried and true YouTube. Why did it not win first place I wonder? Anyway, YouTube is such a simple idea yet so addictive. Why couldn't I have thought of it? Then I would have made 1.65 billion from Google! Oh well. I mainly use YouTube for fun, looking up music videos, concert performances or some humorous clips, but it can also be educational. For example, you could use it to do research on travel or a world leader.
For this post I looked up Depeche Mode's new music video, Martyr. Enjoy-

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Zoho Writer

Ok, so I attempted to export my Zoho document to this blog, but it wasn't working so here is the link to my document on Stereogum-

Regardless of that small snafu, I think I have found my favorite thing! Others things may have been more fun, but this is something I would use almost every day. It is so much easier than sending documents between the 3 computers I use and having the formats get messed up sometimes in the process. Another nice thing is not having to worry about updating your software, you automically get the latest versions of the applications.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

In the SandBox

I am now playing in the 2.0 SandBox wiki! I also added my favorites to music (Depeche Mode, if you couldn't tell by the name of my blog!) and vacation spots (Aruba). I also mentioned I would love to stay at The Library Hotel in NYC. It sounds like a librarian's dream- the floors and rooms are organized according to the Dewey Decimal System and each room has a corresponding theme. And there are over 6,000 books in the hotel!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wiki Wiki

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have used a wiki before to write a group paper. I personally loved the experience. I especially liked the fact it saves previous drafts so you can always go back and see who made what changes and you don't lose the earlier drafts. Of course, it was also very convenient because my group was able to write a paper without having to meet face to face. This could be just as beneficial in a library setting for staff to colloborate or even libraries in different parts of the world.
I am familiar with wikipedia itself because I use it all the time! It is so convenient. If I need a quick summary of a topic I always go there and it makes a great jumping off point to learn more. I also took a look at some popular wikis and found a Harry Potter one-

Monday, October 16, 2006

Library 2.0

While reading the "Icebergs" article by Rick Anderson, I thought of my experiences in my LIS classes. Addressing issues such as this is a big part of library school now (a debate that always came up was "googlizing" libraries because that was what patrons wanted which was also mentioned in the Riemer article) which is great, but not all librarians are embracing change. Anderson does point out it is hard for people to let go and adapt to change and I think that is to be expected and a natural reaction, but having people who are just entering our profession who are rigid and threaten progress is unfortunate. One instance of this happened in one of my study groups. Five of us were assigned to a group that worked together the majority of the semester and we turned in several papers as a group. All of us had jobs and families and we lived in various areas of western NC so it was almost impossible to get together except for before and after class and online. So, we decided to use a wiki to write our papers. Plus, it was good experience to try out something new. Everyone was for the idea except for one person. She stubbornly refused to do it because she didn't like "things like that", didn't understand it, and didn't want to learn. She also refused to believe we signed a contract at the beginning of library school saying we were responsible for certain technology requirements even though we all had to do it! This caused major friction within our team and by the end of the semester this had escalated to an openly hostile environment for our group including some nasty emails. Not a fun experience, but it was good material for our final paper on how our groups worked together (it was a management class)!

I don't know if you can wholly attribute this to different generations either. You could say it is much easier for up and coming librarians to be on board with change because they are more comfortable with technology and are learning about Library 2.0 in their LIS classes. The older generation have been doing things their way for many years and it could be harder to change to new methods. However, from what I have seen, it is not always about age when it comes to accepting change. I found it interesting in the article that he assumes the patrons are all on board as well. I am sure others of you have had patrons complain about new things such as picking up their own holds or (horrors!) checking out their own books. As one patron told me, "Doesn't anyone want to do anything for anybody anymore? I don't want to do it myself". You just can't please everyone!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I claimed my blog and added a few things to my watchlist just to test it out. I kind of feel like I have really put myself out there now! It lists your links on your site, recent posts, description of your blog (and tags), traffic history, a graph with frequency of posts, the last time you posted and how many people list you as one of their favorite blogs. The pressure is on now! And it's strange to think this post will be on there now. A technorati post on technorati. heh

I can' t say I was suprised that popular blogs are usually about techno gadgets and whatnot. Nor was I really surprised that YouTube is the top search and tag. Madonna was also in there because of the recent focus on her adoption of a Malawi boy. However, I was confused by one item on the list- "Mouse Orgy". Curious, I checked it out and let's just say some characters at the Paris Disney park were caught on video doing inappropriate things. I would say that qualifies as surprising and interesting, I guess!

As a side note, the management team of Technorati all have blogs (unsurprisingly). Here is the founder and CEO's (David L. Sifry) blog- He is also a photographer, you can see his work on Flickr.

I just can't get really excited about this "thing". Maybe because it's not something I find useful to me right now? I also don't really like the look of the website and found it a bit confusing. So, I listened to the tutorial and it became clearer it would be useful if I was doing research. I also like the option of synchronizing your bookmarks if you use different computers (I use 3). Still, I wasn't really motivated to do the optional activity for this one. For now, I am happy with my own organization of my bookmarks and don't really have the time to go to the next level with it, but maybe down the road I will!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Horror Movie Rollyo

I had a hard time deciding what kind of search engine to build, but decided on horror movie info since it is something I consider myself a semi-expert on and it goes with my recent Halloween theme. It was fun to create and it is useful for making searching faster for you and others, especially if you are knowledgeable about a topic and can narrow it down to resources you know are great. It can save time from wading through a gazillion results on Google. I plan on passing this "Thing" on to my friends.


This is my favorite "Thing" so far! I am an organization freak and I keep a book diary where I list all the books I have read with a short review. Now I can start doing this online! I also enjoyed browsing other people's lists that contain the same books as mine.

The Generator Blog

I loved this site! I could easily spend hours with all the fun generators listed on here. Librarians might enjoy the Danielle Steele Title Generator and the Romance Novel Cover Generator, but there is everything you can possibly think of listed here. I chose the Zombie Text Generator since it is that spooky time of year and Halloween is my favorite holiday.

Zombie Letters from

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Amazing Technology-The Kurzweil Reader

The Kurzweil Reader is so named because it was invented by Raymond Kurzweil in 1976. He is a fascinating, brilliant person and I was blown away reading what all he has accomplished. The Kurzweil Reader makes printed or electronic text available to the blind or visually impaired. The software scans text and converts it into a variety of natural-sounding voices that can be modified to suit individual preferences. In addition, it provides users with document creation and editing as well as study skills capabilities for note taking, summarizing and outlining text. Other products include the Kurzweil 3000 (available in Windows and Macintosh), a reading, writing and learning software for struggling students, including individuals with dyslexia, learning difficulties, or those who are learning English. NC is one of the states that have approved Kurzweil 3000 as an accommodation for state-wide testing.

Charlotte's Metrolina Association for the Blind has a website which listed some statistics, but I found it most interesting that at least 1.5 million blind and visually impaired Americans use computers. The Virtual Village at the Main Branch of PLCMC actually has a Kurzweil Reader (List of all their assistive technologies- The manager for the Virtual Village said the Reader is only used about once a month, possibly because several local colleges (UNCC, Davidson, Johnson and Wales...) also have one?

A handheld version has been tested over the past year and was released in July 2006. The Kurzweil-NFB Reader, which costs around $3,000, combines a small, 5-megapixel Canon camera to an ASUS A730 PDA. They are wired together and held by a vinyl case about 6 inches by 3 inches by 2 1/2 inches. It's all operated with just nine buttons, with voice prompts from a small speaker or through earphones.
Article about the K-NFB Reader-

Photo of the Kurzweil Reader-
Biography of Raymond Kurzweil-
Article about the Kurzweil 3000 being used in higher education-

Monday, October 09, 2006

More Blogs and News Feeds Added

I used Technorati to search blogs pertaining to Young Adult librarianship and chose the YALSA blog. Pretty easy with some quality results and I like the fact it gave related tag suggestions. Then I used to search for news on the 2007 Iditarod (another interest of mine- going up to Alaska during the race is on my list of things to do before I die). One useful feature is the bar graph that appears at the top of the page depicting a time line with the frequency your news appeared over the last year. You can even click on the graph which will take you to news stories during a particular time. However, I thought I would like Feedster the best because you can search blogs, news, podcasts or all of them at once. Plus, the look of the website is really clean. But I found the quality of the results I got were a bit lacking. Or is it just me?


Here is my public bloglines url-

If you will notice, I have a few fashion ones on there. I think if I wouldn't have become a librarian, I would have ended up in the fashion industry. Maybe I should become a librarian at a fashion school or museum??
Anyway, I am really liking bloglines so far and I am frankly embarrassed I didn't know about it before. Now I know what those RSS tagss mean! I went to a lot of the websites I frequent and it was interesting to discover which ones had RSS. Hopefully, this will be a time saver for me. We shall see....