Saturday, February 17, 2007

You Tube

Well, I'm not sure about finding a U Tube video that's useful in libraries but I have found a couple that are entertaining: Betty Glover Library Workout Tape Ad & the one I choose to insert No Cookies in the Library.

I did come across a video that a library created for it's new building campaign, New Vestavia Hills Library Campaign Video as well as one a college library used to encourage students and faculty to use the library - Library Welcome Video.

Videos that had quality video and sound whether voices or music were more interesting and enjoyable. Maybe YouTube could be used to show major programs such as the Ren Fest or introducing teens to different sections of the library.

Here are some other video titles that are amusing. Dexter's Lab - Dexter's Library, Turbo Hamster, Tic in a Spin Dryer, and Crasy Cats (yes they spelled it with an "s").

Podcasts are non-musical audio or video broadcasts on the Internet. Podcasts often use RSS feeds which makes them different from streaming videos. You can use an iPod, MP3 player or any PC for podcasts. One explanation of a podcasts is "Podcasts are like a radio show that you can listen to anytime." They allow anyone to broadcast their opinions and imagination. Yahoo's Podcast search gives you staff suggestions and top 100 most popular podcasts that other Yahoo users are viewing. I choose to do my other search. It found a whole bunch of library related podcasts. I choose The Library Channel to add to my bloglines account. It was as easy to subscribe and add it to Bloglines as it was to add newsfeeds and blogs. Now, to just find the time to listen and read all of these.

Tags, Delicious, Technorati and Library Thing

I decided to go back and do this lesson even though I had started when that week was skipped. I thought it would be good to know this information too.

The last article in the list, Several Habits of wildly successful users summed up the basic practical use of for a lot of people. It allows you to organize and access your bookmarks from any computer any where. It also helped me just by comparing the organization of tags to Gmail's use of "labels" instead of folders, though honestly, I still use the labels in a similar fashion to how I used folders in my email accounts in the past. Unfortunately, I was only able to read the first paragraph before receiving an error message and the article closed. I will try at home.

Tagging is using keywords to mark links, items, photos etc. on the Internet. A Folksonomy is an open tagging of bookmarks that can be combined and shared with other users. uses this open tagging to create social bookmarking which allows you to find good material on a topic, then share your findings with other people.

After watching the pod cast, I learned that to use that you have to create an account then install it to your personal tool bar. This makes sense after learning how it works, but eliminates it's practical use on public computers. As a registered user you can now post items directly from your browser while doing topic searches to your account. This means you are also replacing the old form of saving web sites by bookmarking on your computer. The pod cast gave good examples of using this for research and to organize your RSS feeds. I found it interesting that in web 2.0 terminology "reading list" not only means a list of items, books, websites etc., to read but also listing RSS feeds to read. The creator of the pod cast also cautioned about posting information before checking out the copyright.

How this becomes a shared list: Once you tag an URL you can then view "all" or "popular" sites that have been given the same tag by other people. This could lead you to information you wouldn't have found in your search or at least not as quickly. will then also show you how many people have tagged that site or RSS with the same tag and the user names of those people. You can check out other things each person has tagged as well. Over time you'll find people with similar interest/tastes/level of scholarship. This is sort of similar to our library patrons using the staff recommendations to find new titles or authors to read. Her example of a shared reading list was the alal2. To make a shared reading list first create a unique tag then have everyone in the group post their findings to the shared tag. This method of tagging lets you filter the massive amount of information now available on the web and you can have some confidence of filtering with authority.

If/when I'm ready to set-up a account then the Useful article will be a nice step-by-step explanation of which options to choose and why. But until then it really didn't do a good job of explaining why to use exempt that it's the new thing in the academic world.

After checking out MRRL's account I have to agree with postings on the lesson from other staff members that it's not as easy to use as the pod cast implied. Finding related articles was somewhat easy, but checking out different tags and different users was a multi-step process and I wasn't able to duplicate my results by doing the same steps with my second search. I will admit here to being very linear in my thinking and this would appeal more to someone who prefers a spatial arrangement. It appeared cluttered to me, which I had get past to use it. This and some of the new search engines really do remind me of trying to follow a professor's lecture when he goes of on one tangent followed by another and another only sometimes ending up coming back to the point by the end of class. This meandering or circular thinking can lead to quality results that would not be found in the traditional way and may spark a whole new topic for research, which is great if you are a grad student looking for a research project, or an original angle on a topic but not so great if you just need the information. So for a fact finding search, it would be quite annoying. However, I realize this is a personal preference and for the sake of the patrons and to keep up with how things may be arranged in the future, I'm willing to give it another try.

Technorati is a filter for blogs but it does appear to have a bit of the "popularity" contest kind of filter. It shows what's new and hot and being searched for the most right now. For example Anna Nicole Smith is near the top of the list this week. This might be relevant for teen librarians to keep up with the "in thing" or for those ordering music and videos. Searching Technorati in different ways yielding vastly different results. Search for "Web 2.0" in blog posts it found 2,553 blogs, but using tags it only found 183 and searching the blog directory found only 71 blogs. Checking out the popular section of technorati also found videos and movie clips. I thought it was interesting the variety of videos out of the 8 featured: One on Bill Gates Vs. Steve Jobs right next to Monty Python's Dead Parrot Sketch and a Web 2.0 video too.

Library Thing: The following is my first thoughts after doing the tour of this site online: Okay, I'm confused. Why would I want to catalog my personal library "online" for the world to see? That's why it's called personal. Isn't privacy the whole reason ALA is fighting against the government or anyone else being able to see a patron's checkout record? So, our library reading lists are private but our collection of titles at home is shared online. This just doesn't make sense to me. There are lots of reader's advisories out there to find ideas of other authors and titles to read without having to give out personal information.

Part Two: I revisited this sight today, knowing I was in a snarky mood the first day I went to Library Thing and after re-reading the About Library Thing information. I 'm still not interested in having my personal library viewable by everybody but today I did find a private setting which would allow me to catalog my books, but not have them available for everyone to see. I think I may have to pay something to get the privacy setting though. I also like that to set up an account you don't have to give out any personal information at all. Here's a link to the catalog I set-up today using books from the Osage County Collection.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Web 2.0 Awards

I decided to just check out the winners list so I wouldn't be tempted to look at too many apps. Hurray for Flickr, first place winner for photos and digital images. Hurray for Google docs for first place for Collaborative Writing & Word Processing (under the previous name Writely), Hurray for Craig's List, which is the only one I had previously used prior to these lessons and lastly, Hurray to Robin and Bobbie for choosing award winning applications for the staff to learn about.

The awards are given by SEOmoz, a Seattle-based search engine optimization company, serves as a hub for search marketers worldwide, providing education, tools, resources and paid services.

Since I was looking for something that might have library use, I decided to check out the Supreme Court Zeitgeist. This site was the first place winner for MashUps. It brings together links to news stories, websites, blogs, books and magazine links about the supreme court, current cases and issues facing the court. It also has links to do research on the supreme court. I thought this page could be useful answering reference questions and also following issues of censorship, privacy laws concerning libraries (patron checkout records, computer usage etc.) and minors access to the Internet. It also gave me a different view of mashups since the ones I had checked out during the mashups lesson were mainly fun but not practical.

Google Lab

Ooohhh! What won't those clever guys and gals at Google think up next? I was happy to see that they are doing some applications for users with visual impairment too. Hurray! They have stuff just for Macs! Not that we own one anymore, but I often wish we did. I miss our Mac. I also was initially impressed that they were provided a route planner for users of public transit, but at this stage it seemed more usable for someone going on vacation rather than someone who regularly lived in the city. It's also currently only available for a few cities.

I did the lab project at home since several of them require downloads to operate and I can't do that at work. I was also able to use Corey's FireFox preview screen to get a quick glance at some of their new ideas without having to open it completely or download it. This feature is part of the Google Extensions for FireFox which is still in the development list adds extensions to the Google tool bar. Corey already had the toolbar and the FireFox extensions installed on our home computer. So, far it's his favorite new feature from that application.

The applications I spent the most time testing myself were Google Notebook and Google Trends. The notebook application doesn't seem like something I would use at this time, but I'm still a "take notes on real paper gal." I did think it would be useful if I was a college student or a researcher working with others on a project. It will allow multiple users to see the notebooks so I could share information and web links with the other team members across campus or across the country. Also, if I was a person who used a PDA, a laptop and a desktop computer for business and I needed to transfer web links, notes to self, or other notebook type information I could see this being useful. Again the Google Trends would be more practical if I was doing research. It was interesting and fun to play around with however and see what topics and websites have been searched recently by city and how that has changed over time.

Since I was home Corey wanted to check out Google Mars and Google Code Search. This is not my thing and I eventually left him looking up programs and code terms on the computer. He did comment that the code search may pose a problem for teachers of computer programming since he found some of the beginning assignments easily using the code search.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Final Thoughts

I've enjoyed learning about all these different applications. There is so much out there for free and so little time to explore and find it. Thank you Robin and Bobbie for taking the time to create these lessons and introducing me to an online world of new options.

I would also like to say thank you to Bill for giving the staff extra time to complete the lessons. I'm not sure what my time line has actually been, but knowing that I had a few more weeks, made it less stressful for me and I was able to concentrate more on the lessons instead of how long it was taking. Since I'm doing all my lessons at the circ desk (except when I did some at home), it was hard to find time to work on this. I know I re-read a lot of things, because I needed to assist patrons. I really did think I was going to be doing at least half of the stuff at home just to have enough time. So, Thank You Bill! The snow/ice days did help out since we had fewer patrons some days.

I feel like I've learned so much in the last few weeks that I may need some time for all of it to sink in and really take hold. I'm already learning more about flickr by working on the OCP, Inc. page and would like to set-up a private section on my own flickr account to share family photos. I hope I am able to use these applications in the future and I now feel more confident about helping patrons with questions when they come up. I think I may need a personal tutorial (FYI to Robin and Bobbie) on MySpace however, to be able to help any patrons with questions about it besides the very basics, as I found it difficult to use to customize my page.

These lessons have brought out the best and worst points about Web 2.0. That it encourages people to use the Internet in a collaborative way and a social way is good. Encouraging people to share everything about themselves however is dangerous. I think most people are trusting and don't think about the possible ways their data could be misused. On one hand, we're all being cautioned about identity theft in financial records, medical records etc., then on the other hand we're being encouraged to share what's even more personal, like choices of reading material, music preferences, thoughts, values, opinions and the stuff that really gives each of us our own individual identity.

I would like to learn more about Google Docs. Perhaps some practical "assignments" like we did with the Microsoft lessons that Michael had the staff do a few years ago. I would also like to know about more features in Flickr. Perhaps a lesson on Facebook to be able to compare it to MySpace. Any of the other tools from the Web 2.0 awards list that could be useful in a library or that we might need to know about to help patrons. But, I think our first lesson should be on how to use the mp3 players. That's only partially a joke. I'm sure we can all figure out the basics but it'll probably do neat stuff that some of us will never know about without some assistance.

Google/blogger problem

I did have trouble getting my Google document to post to my blog. Even though I sign in as a new user at and didn't start my blog until blogger was out of beta. I had to choose blogger (beta version) before it would accept my log-in and password. But then, hurray! It did publish and it kept the italics.
Google Docs

This is so neat! I didn't realize that Google had all these different applications set-up already. If you only needed basic stuff they could replace MS Office. Of course that won't go over well in Seattle.

The big advantage, besides currently being free applications is that you don't have to worry about the format the person/company that you want to send it to has.

I had recently been sent a Google document and didn't even realize it, until I clicked on docs and spreadsheets today and there was this flier I had looked at by opening the attachment. It's spacing and set-up was so much better looking directly at the document as my friend intended rather than as an attachment.

I didn't immediately figure out how to change the name of my document from the first few words on the page to what I actually wanted as a title. But then I remembered this is on the Web, so I tried clicking on the title and that let me change it.

Also, this may have just solved two problems for Corey and I. His dad is wanting a calendar program and his mom wants to do presentations but was shocked when she learned how much PowerPoint costs. She had a class at William Woods and learned how to use it, but her computer would also have to be upgraded just to run it, so it's cost prohibitive. His parents already have a Gmail account (something I set-up for them earlier) so now, if I can just find the time to thoroughly test the two programs (because they will come up with all sorts of questions), then they can both do what they want and need to do without purchasing expense software.

The Zoho applications look interesting too. I also plan to check into the Zoho calendar marking more thoroughly before recommended this to Corey's Dad.

I decided to make this all in italics to see what happens when I publish it to my blog. Just to see if the italic type transfers.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Library 2.0 and Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is an open and programmable web. It's leading towards a change in lifestyle where all mobile and non-mobile electronic devices are connected to the web at all times.

Iceberg Article by Rick Anderson: He warns about "icebergs" to library service and the library profession. 1. "Just in Case" Collection. His thoughts on eliminating costly book collections for more up to date materials is a relevant concern for all reference and non-fiction items. Which way do we spend the money? Of course, the Univ of Reno library where he works has seen a huge decrease 55 % in circulation. I'm not sure that's true of most public libraries overall circulation. 2. Reliance on user education. He believes that technology needs to change and be more user-friendly instead of having more training for users. While, this would be great, we still have to meet our users where they are and provide them access to the information they need. 3. "Come to us" model of library service refers to having to come to a physical location rather than meeting users online. While I understand his point and agree that we need to prepare for the technosavy among us, I still think there's a lot to be said for physical structures and face-to-face social interaction no matter how high-tech the overall population becomes.

Into a New World of Librarianship by Michael Stephens: I would like to just copy all of his fine points and goals and philosophies into my blog (and my memory) but instead here is a link

To better bibliographic services by John Jay Reimer: I hadn't looked at World Cat as Web 2.0 before, but since the idea of file sharing and open access is the basis of Web 2.0 librarians were creating useful ways to better serve their patrons. His theories are definitely patron-oriented. I'm not sure how these goals would be practically worked out and financed, but for the user who does everything online his goals would be great. For some of our current patrons libraries would still need to provide traditional services and I think a lot of patron training would also have to happen for the majority of patrons to use the tools well.

To a temporary place in time... by Dr. Wendy Schultz: Whew, does she have vision or what! Who does what kind of brainstorming ideas she could come up with for any department - years into the future.

Library 2.0 is term used to describe a new set of concepts for developing and delivering library services. The name is an extension of Web2.0 and shares many of its same philosophies and concepts including harnessing the user in both design and implementation of services, embracing constant change as a development cycle over the traditional notion of upgrades, and reworking library services to meet the users in their space, as opposed to ours (libraries).Many have argued that the notion of Library 2.0 is more than just a term used to describe concepts that merely revolve around the use of technology, it also a term that can be used to describe both physical and mindset changes that are occurring within libraries to make our spaces and services more user-centric and inviting. Others within the profession have asserted that libraries have always been 2.0; collaborative, customer friendly and welcoming. But no matter which side of the debate proponents fall, both sides agree that libraries of tomorrow, even five or ten years from now, will look substantially different from libraries today.
To me this means that library staff must continue to educate themselves with the new technology, the new ways of gathering, storing and interpreting data so we can continue a key portion of our jobs and that is to provide access to and assistance in locating knowledge of all kinds to our patrons.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Search Engines

Whew! Those search engines certainly are set-up differently. To test all the search engines fairly, I used the same search terms each time, Tammy Paris, Osage Community Players, ocpinc, Stem Cell and mythbusters. I started my exploring of these new engines at home and then checked to see if they worked the same on the circ computer, which is my only computer at work. For me clusty was the only one I would be interested in using at this time. I'm hoping the others will improve with time and I think a couple sites had "beta" in the upper corner of the window, so I'm hoping they just need to work out the quirks. Had some nice features such as giving you a snapshot of the website to the side of the link. It has advanced search options including limiting by language, date updated, etc., Also to the right of the screen was a list to let you refine your search by excluding terms or choosing specific terms from the list. It will also let you choose how your results are displayed, links only, links & snapshots, or links & Snapshots & directories under that link. It does have sponsored sites at both the top and bottom of the results list, but they are highlighted in blue and labeled as sponsored site if you look for it. It does require signing up for an account for full functioning.

It didn't find me however when doing the "Tammy Paris" search. However, it's the only one that found the really, really, old OCP, Inc. website that should have been deleted off of the local providers server a long time ago. People search: It seemed much more useful for someone looking for a date then a traditional people search. It is the only site however that found my flickrsite when I searched for "Tammy Paris."After realizing that it was searching Myspace, friendster, and other social sites, (it provides a list and also tells you at the bottom of each link where the info came from), I tried to search for a friend that has a Myspace page and lives in Linn. So I searched by her first name, female, zip code with a 25 miles and no age limit. It didn't find her but did find a teenager and besides showing her picture on the map site to the left it showed what street she lives on and a small piece of the road map to get there. I found this to be spooky and potentially dangerous. Back to that -- it's really important people especially kids and teens understand who can see the information they put online!
Web search: What makes this sites search different is it lets members rate the link relevance and block links from future searches. I didn't register so I'm not certain if the block feature would only work for that particular session, on a home computer etc., on the person's account or what. This would determine if it was useful for patrons searching on the library's computers. It appeared to be searching only wikipedia and Google for its results. This site uses clusters to show search results. To the left of the page it shows the keywords and the number of links. You can also click on a sources link to see where it searches. Some sites it uses are Ask, MSN, and Gigablast.

When I did my test searches it found a page with info on me as the third result. It found all relevant information in the "Mythbusters" search. It did a good job with "stem cell" search. The cluster topics were divided into helpful topics such as embryonic, cord blood, scientific, therapy and debate. Advanced search features will let you filter. It has a direct link to wikipedia and it will also let you change the font size on the screen (small button on bottom of page). The clusty site will do an image search, blog search and a news search. Other neat features were the icons at the end of the search results. The first icon will open the website in a new window. The 2nd icon is a magnifying glass within the link list. The third icon shows you what cluster the link came from. This site wouldn't work at all at the circ computer. Sort of worked at home on the DSL but wouldn't stay "up and running" long enough to check out the search results if it got that far. This was on Feb. 2nd and 3rd.

From the front page however I learned that the site has a link to make bookmarking very easy. It also has a feature called "claim this site" but that requires an account. This site allows uses to vote on relevance of their search results to improve searches (and depending on the users it could or it could turn out to be a popularity contest). It also has an adshare program so the user can earn up to 70% of revenue from ads on your bookmarked pages. This also has some snapshots of pages. It searches Google, yahoo, MSN and uses an algorithm and tags to do the searching. These results were also arranged in clusters though visually presented differently than clusty. When searching my name the results didn't display any terms that seemed related except the city of Paris. Stem Cell did work in presenting keywords that appeared relevant but once I had clicked on the links page I couldn't go back to the visual chart and try another direction. This site didn't have an about statement that I could find. I was trying to discover their method of searching or what sites they used etc., to know the relevance and validity of the search method. This site was also not very visually appealing to me but it was "clean" and sparse and that may appeal to others. This site didn't work well at the circ computer. At home it worked fine. The results are arranged in a similar way to mind-mapping charts which display one "thought" flowing into another thought and sometimes flowing back around to the original thought. This site did find me on the OCP, Inc website, however when searching for OCP, Inc it found all sorts of similarly named sites but not the group. When I tried Osage Community Players it found one relevant link but this also did not go to the theater group's page rather it went to OsageConnect's community links. The stem cell search did find all relative sites. The Mythbusters search found mostly related sites, but not all were clear to me why they showed up. The site does make a mark in the center of the "paper icon" so you know you've been to that site. This site is a gateway which provides many services including a search engine. It found relevant sites for all the searches except my name. It found way to many pages to look through them all, but narrowing the search with quotation marks worked. The other sites didn't find that many pages to worry about narrowing the search. The sites that appear on yahoo are submitted by the web page designer. They can do a free submission or pay a fee for guaranteed inclusion in the Yahoo search index and directory. Of course the sponsored sites and products are all fee based. Yahoo does provide a variety of advanced search options and it will allow you to change your search preferances and either save them to your computer or to your yahoo account.

Friday, February 2, 2007

States Visited

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Well, my states visited list was rather sad anyway: Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Kansas and Arkansas. That's it. No foreign countries either.


<span - Create custom images" src="">
<span - Create custom images" src=""> ImageChef was a lot of fun to experiment with and easy to use. There were so many cool photo ideas at FD Toys, it was hard to know which one to try first. But I decided on the Mosaic and created a mosaic of the theater group's most recent mystery night held in November. Anybody recognize the leggy girl in third row across and third row down? Yes, that's former staff member, Sarah Falter. See what kind of fun stuff you support when you buy peanuts?
Letter James wasn't as interesting to me at this time. Maybe if I had a bunch of personal photos I wanted to make a calendar with, or wait a minute, I can do that at FD Toys too. had some neat stuff too. Including a Glitter Text Generator but it didn't appear to be compatible with blogger. It will work with MySpace though.
There's a neat text scrambler at You have to try it to believe it. You type in a couple sentences. It scrambles the inner letters and no matter how long the word your brain will still interpret the message correctly. For example here is my text scrambled:
Tihs semes srgtnae taht it cuold alultcay wrok but lte's gvie it a try. I wnoder if aynnoe wlil be albe to raed tihs wehn it is slecbamrd.
Okay, the last word would be a little hard to figure out if you didn't know what the text generator was doing. Just in case it's so easy for me to read because I wrote it, here's the text as I typed it in to the scrambler.
This seems strange that it could actually work but let's give it a try. I wonder if anyone will be able to read this when it is scrambled.
I could definitely, spend a lot of time playing with these generators and probably not even test one percent of what's out there on the net.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

RSS Feeds

I've learned that RSS means "Really Simple Syndication" or a file format for delivering regularly updated information over the web.

If you have an RSS feed you don't have to constantly visit a variety of websites for the updates and look through all the ads and old information. Instead the reader will present it to you in an easier to read format. Usually one page with a link and summary of the information so you know if you want to look at all of it or part of it or just delete it.

Different sources for finding feeds of interest are
Webpages also indicate if they have feeds available by placing a small orange box on their site with the letters RSS, XML or ATOM. To add a feed from a website click on this box. It will show the feeders URL. Then copy the URL into your feed reader.

FireFox can automatically detect feeds and will display a small orange box in the lower right corner of the window. The user can click the box and FireFox will help you set up the feed. FireFox calls this Live Bookmarks.

From the Tutorial: An RSS feed shows you a file containing the latest additions to the site's content and is usually stored in XML. Most blogs and increasingly news sites, search engines and other web services are publishing these RSS feeds. People also have begun to create aggregators (aka feedreaders of newsreaders). Aggregators collect RSS feeds from many sites and present the new content on a single page.

Okay, so this is how Corey's "your enewspaper" page works and how he has our computer set-up at home each evening to load the daily comics we follow including Unshelved. Well, that's one less "computer mystery" for me.

I have a feeling this service would be much more useful to me if I had more time to spend searching the net. Since I've subscribed to all the links that come under "bookworm" in bloglines plus news and other sites from their top 50 list and the three staff blogs and three blogs from the list, I'm not sure I'll even have time to look at all of them. If I do, I think I'll have to choose my favorites and eventually delete the others that I didn't have time to check out or didn't find as useful.

Library Feeds

Using Feedster was frustrating. It found lots of articles with the word library or librarian in them but the blogs weren't actually about libraries, reading etc. It did find some for library technical staff (as in computer staff not cataloging). It did find the Library Information Science News listed above, but when I clicked on the feeder symbol it brought up (I'm not sure what that is but it doesn't go anywhere. I clicked on the article title and that took me to the main page of lis and from there I used there XML symbol and subscribed. Info for librarians collections of related date from the deep web organized into library's Ex. articles, websites etc. about accessibility needs and issues Unshelved Comic strip Blog for library staff and librarians in training

I found these sites using syndix8 in just a couple of clicks. I did have to scroll down to the bottom of the window to find a search since "library" isn't a commonly searched for topic. But it was easy to use and it found over 300 related feeds. Didn't easily yield any library feeds or blogs but it would be great for news junkies.

Interesting Site
I also found an interesting site while searching with Feedster. It's not an RSS but was a sponsored link that showed up to the right side of the search results It's a company selling addresses and names of librarians in academic, public, children's and special libraries. So, if your wondering where some of your library related "junk mail" came from...

Other interesting library sites:
Library Grrls!
The days and nights of the lipstick librarian, Adventures of an infomage in Training -