Monday, January 22, 2007

Flickr Lesson

The photo here is from the Linn Christmas Parade 2006. Aren't the ladies from the Linn Book Club a fun, crazy bunch?

The Happy Bookers are wearing sumu suits that are Halloween costumes filled with air. The ladies carried signs saying "Celebrate Reading in a Big Way" or Giant-size picture books.

Wow! What a great lesson. This has been my favorite lesson so far. I was so interested in what flickr had to offer that I've already set-up my own free membership and uploaded photos Jan and I had at the library. Apparently, I went on quite awhile to Corey the first evening I got home after looking at flickr about all the options it would give us and how we could set up a group (private, invitation only) for Corey's family so we could share the photos we've all taken but never had printed and had copies made to share. Now we could post pictures from recent family events and all those photos of the cute nieces and the handsome little nephew.

I read through all the sections I could find and several FAQs to see how the privacy settings worked and printing photos from the web. I like the options of either having the photos mailed to me or picking them up at Target. It's also nice that I can choose a variety of sizes.

Then while searching through the photos others had posted I found a community theater flickr group with 43 members, where people can post photos of their group's recent productions. This gave me the idea of seeing if Osage Community Theater, Inc., should have it's own flickr account. Then I checked into the pro accounts and started emailing with Robin about the possibilities of having photos on flickr appear on the OCP, Inc. website that is hosted by her web design company. Check out The annual meeting was coming up, so I decided to ask the board to have an account.

They approved this Saturday at the meeting. The board thought for $25 a year, why not give it a try and if we don't like it then the membership won't be renewed. I'm now looking forward to being able to post the 100 plus photos from the most recent OCP, Inc. productions to the group's flickr account. I've just started working on the account. Check it out at

You can check out my public photos on my account at
Library Info: LaGrange Park Library's page gave good examples of sets: which are ways to organize your photos. Colorado College Tutt Library's page has photos which are a nice size and have titles and captions. The Library postcards page is an example of a group.


Tags are keywords used to search for photos. Groups can be set-up as either private (invitation only), public or people on your contact list.
Mash-ups and 3rd party sites: Mash-ups are websites or an application that combines contents from more than one source into an integrated experience. This includes web feeds such as RSS or Atom and JavaScript. APIs (application programming interfaces) are used to create mash-ups. Flickr has an open API, this means anyone can write their own program to present public Flickr data (photos, tags, profiles or groups) in new and different ways.

The example mash-ups were neat to look at though I couldn't do all of them from circ, but they all worked on my home computer.

I created a librarian trading card (see above) and it is posted on my flickr site as well as the librarian trading card group on flickr. I did mine from home, since I didn't have any photos here at the library and the circ computers have limited graphics. Since I was home, I ended up receiving some "technical help" from my resident gaming geek. He instantly recognized the card format as the Magik game cards. So, my card is set-up the way his older playing cards were designed and worded.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Week 3 MySpace

Wow, what a lot of varying thoughts about libraries and MySpace and similar sites. I think that MRRL having a MySpace page may be a good idea, but there are some things the articles and blogs brought up that need to be addressed.

Would MySpace be relevant to our patrons?

Would the library be viewed as "invading the teens' space"?

Questions of responsibility exist. Is the library in anyway responsible for the content on a "friend's" page?

Will a MySpace page work well with the personality of the library itself and the staff member(s) who are setting it up and updating the site?

What could having a MySpace page do for the library's reputation with teens and adults? Both positive and negative?

If "friends" sites are one click away from the library's page will the public associate the friend's page with the library?

How could the page represent the library as opposed to representing just the staff member(s) who created it?

Can MySpace use posted content any way they like? Can it be removed by the library or by MySpace staff at any time?

How do you tell how much a MySpace site is utilized by your patrons, besides the number of "friends" listed of course? Is there a way to keep track of visits? Is there a way to know if it's local people, libraries, authors etc., that is viewing the page?

Other thoughts from the articles and blog discussion:

The Stoneham Public Library listed the age as the library's age and also has a cool slide show of the covers of new teen books. I like that Steele Creek Teen page included MySpace Safety information. The Denver Public Library (eVolver) not only has music and movie reviews but is even holding a YouTube contest for teens to submit their YouTube videos. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburg site has an appealing design.

David Lee King who is a digital branch and services manager (how cool is that they have a "digital branch") and uses his space well. It's nice that the blog part of MySpace will allow all "friends" of the library to be updated on events and new items at the library just by updating the blog. I am concerned about the amount of time it would take a staff member to keep the MySpace updated and relevant for the teens (which seems to be most libraries' primary audience). The teens are used to instant facts and entertainment. To keep them coming page the page would need to be updated regularly but also set-up in a fun appealing way.

MySpace Rant: I agree that education and parental involvement is the key to any kind of safety on the Internet. I hear some of our parents take the Internet way to lightly with their teens and others know nothing about it so they won't let their kids use it here either.

Librarian in Black: Is any potential danger the same as it is in a chat or email for inappropriate material, fraud or luring someone to met you? Most of the concerns above came from this blog.

Decoding My Space: Teens need to know Anyone can see what the put on their MySpace Page. MySpace started as a site for artists and musicians to connect. By Sept. 2006 it had more than 100 million profiles. One teen in the article was quoted as considering the Internet a more "evolved way of communicating instead of the telephone, cellphone or IM."

The article also commented about parents not understanding the technology so they avoid setting guidelines for their kids online. So, maybe the library should consider pointing out online safety to the parents as well. I know we do some on the Internet permission form but a lot of parent's don't read it, they just sign or they say something like "Oh, my kid won't go anywhere or do anything he/she shouldn't." Rarely, I've seen a parent take their 13 or 14-year-old aside and read through the Internet safety tips and discuss these with their teen. The article specifically mentioned that "friend" online does not mean the same thing as it does in the physical world. "Friend" just means a person I want to pay attention to online. Some teens will add strangers to their "friends" list just to increase the number of friends they have and appear popular.

MySpace is attempting to add some security measures. Such as they limit contact of anyone 18 or older to a teen unless the teen adds them to their "friends" list first. The MySpace staff also remove nude photos, and things that promote hate or racism. But anyone can still post suggestive photos or even photos of the crime they just committed. Some teens have been arrested after bragging online about a crime then posting the proof. Students have also used MySpace and other similar software, chat and email to bully others. Some students have even made up a bogus site about their classmates.

Teens, college students and even adults need to keep in mind that anyone can view what they have posted and the post could hurt college admissions and being hired.

Wired Magazine: Social Networking for Parents: I thought Parry's comments were good and to the point for both teens and parents.