Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thing 23: Finished!

Hey I did it! Over the past few weeks, I've learned a lot of new things and got some more experience with some things I already knew about. Probably my two favorite tools were Bloglines and Google Docs. I've been using them on my own and they are really helpful! This project has also allowed me to see firsthand some really exciting and innovative ways that libraries are using new technologies. I consider myself to be a computer person, so I really enjoyed this and would definitely do something like this again if it were offered. I especially liked that I could go at my own pace and do things on my own. Overall, I feel that I have really grown in my knowledge of technology and I feel like I could use most if not all of these tools myself.

Thing 22: Audiobooks

Now that I have an MP3 player, I have really looked forward to using it to listen to audiobooks. I have actually used Overdrive before to find audiobooks through the library's website. I think this is a great way to give patrons access to additional materials that might not be a part of the library's physical collection. As a patron, I like having the opportunity to locate and download audiobooks from home. It kind of stinks that they have a checkout system, so that you can't download a title until someone else is finished with it. It's kind of a let down when you think you've found something and then you get put on a waitlist. Overall, I think this is a great tool that is very convenient.

Thing 21: Podcasts's%20Podstory

I searched for podcasts using yahoo's podcast site. It was really easy to navigate, but I was disappointed to see that as of Oct 31, they are discontinuing the site! Anyway, I found a really interesting podcast series from the Orange County Library System in Orlando, FL in which they podcast stories for children. They record their employees reading stories and other highlights from their storytimes and post them online. I think this is a great was to use podcasting for library purposes. Not only does it allow children to have storytime in their own homes, but parents can get an idea of what storytime is like in a really easy way, which could draw new participants to the library. You can check out this podcast at the link above.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thing 20: YouTube

I've certainly heard of YouTube before, but haven't really used it. I found some interesting and many time relevant stuff. In particular I found a short video about how to write and publish a children's book. I picked this video because I wondered if there was anything on there even halfway relevant to children's librarians and I thought that video was interesting. My only complaint about the site was that I didn't find a way to refine or advance your search, so I ended up going through a lot of irrelevant stuff. There is also a site called TeacherTube, that I'm pretty sure is run by the same company, but it has more educationally relevant stuff. That's also a good site to try.

Thing 19: Web 2.0 Awards List

I ended up checking out a couple of these sites because I couldn't pick just one even after going straight to the winners list rather than the nominees list. I can only imagine how long this would have taken me if I had looked at the long list! First I explored This site allows users to create books using their own words, pictures, and/or art and to have their work published. I know many scrapbooking companies such as Creative Memories do similar stuff, but this site goes further by making it possible to publish any kind of work. I also checked out, which allows you to publish and publicize your blog so that more users can find it. Both are really cool tools and there's many more I want to browse when I have a chance.

Thing 18: Online Productivity

I tried out Google Docs to learn about online productivity and it was GREAT! I use a lot of different computers between work, home and school, so this is a wonderful tool to allow me to easily create, access, and edit my documents from any computer without keeping up with flash drives or anything like that. This would also be a good to introduce patrons to so that they can use this service as they work on things at the library. This way they can work on things at home or at the library easily. I'm mostly excited about this for my own personal use and will definitely use it in the future.

Thing 17: MD Libraries Sandbox Wiki

Well, I successfully added my blog to the favorites blog page. You can see my wonderful link by following the link above. I have read wikis before but never actually participated in on by adding content. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, though I don't know what I was expecting! It was really just as easy as using a word processing program. As I said in the post for Things 16, I think this is a great tool for libraries to allow patrons become more involved in library services and I'm glad to know first hand that this is a very easy thing to do.