Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thing 20: You Tube

Guess how long I've already been viewing videos on You Tube? Just about FOREVER! :)
So I checked out some library sponsored events as recommended and found a few notable ones:

From State Library Association Sessions-Book Cart Drill Team Competitions

Palm Beach Library Cart Attacks

California Girls

Biblioflies (TLA 2008 Champions!) HILARIOUS!


An ad for using the public library (like the MasterCard commercials)
I could see doing something like this for the community...showing them what your library has to offer. I might be able to do this for my students as well...maybe advertising the cool library programs or hot new picks.

Why come to the library? (I LOVE THIS ONE!)
What a great way to motivate kids to come to the library.....use them to talk about the bloopers, too!

Thing 19: Google Docs

So, I've been playing around with Google Docs today and have discovered a few things:
  1. I love being able to create a Word doc. online and share immediately...thus saving my hard drive from multiple copies of the same document; however, I miss the various fonts to choose from.
  2. The presentation feature was nice and easy to use, but again a little limited on choices to "beef it up."
  3. Upon creating my spreadsheet, I came to realize that I prefer the Excel version better. I really didn't like that I couldn't change my row height simultaneously. I like being able to right click and change the pt. right away, instead of having to use the arrow bar to expand the rows.
  4. I didn't finish the reminded me a lot of SurveyMonkey, which I use on a regular basis and probably will continue to use.
  5. All in all, using Google Docs was quick and painless....and I really like that it's all done online!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thing 18: Wikis

I'd first heard about Wikis at the TCEA conference in Austin a few years back...never really got it until I saw the great You Tube video explaining it....then it occurred to me that Wikipedia was a WIKI, too! (an aha moment....or a DUH? moment) Not soon after, I decided (with the complete support of my ITS person, LaDonna) that I wanted to play with a WIKI with my know....let them share in my "aha" moment, too! plan was to approach my most willing guinea third grade team. They were planning on doing a unit on the United States and wanted the students to research each of the states and create a travel guide for the state. So....being the non-humdrum librarian, I one-upped them and suggested that we randomly divided up 101 students into pairs/trios and each person would independently research his/her state, then collaboratively (but not simultaneously) compile the information onto a Wiki page! VOILA! teachers had the same look on their faces that I had when I'd first heard the term....I felt so good explaining what it was and sharing my "aha" moment with them.

Needless to say...the project was a huge success and we now have a complete US website with a Wiki travel page for each state! I love WIKIS!!!!

THing 17: LIbworm first glance, I had no clue what to search for on this "library" themed feeds site. What's been on my mind about my library? I'm on vacation, so I haven't really been thinking too much about it! So...I decided that I would choose the easier option of clicking on feed-categories and just aimlessly choose something to look I chose "school libraries." After perusing many a page, I really didn't find any feeds that pertained to my elementary library (a few reviews here and there)....but no real meat. Not sure I'd use this....

Thing 16: LibraryThing

So, I've been on vacation for a week or two and am a little I'll get right to it.
LibraryThing....reminded me of Shelfari but with a lot more features. I added a few books to my collection, tagged and rated them, then read some of the reviews by others (which was interesting). I think I like the look of Shelfari better than LibraryThing, but I could see how it would be beneficial for me to keep up with my personal reading collection using this site. Honestly, right now I am following so many blogs and newsfeeds that I don't have the time to keep up with what everyone's saying....BUT I went ahead and found a few more groups to follow ;)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thing 15: Digg into popular news!

So this is what I know about Digg:
  • social

  • popularity of the news articles/videos/images are solely based on viewer's discretion and NOT media
  • news is interesting, informative (?), and unusual
  • easy to "digg" into

  • definitely not something I have the time to sign up for

So in my perusal of Digg, the articles/videos that were most popular ranged from most Americans in agreement that the media spent way too much time on Michael Jackson's untimely death and not enough on Farrah's from finding just the right night light for that child who's afraid of the dark ;).

I also loved this old cover from Life magazine entitled: A Squirrel's Guide to Fashion

And this clip from Gizmodo: The Seven Types of Employees You Meet at Best Buy

Some really funny stuff here...just not enough time to play :)

Thing 14: Muy Delicioso! Using Delicious

Wow! Who would've thunk....a better way to organize my bookmarks and make them accessible from ANY location? That's Delicious, a social bookmarking site that allows me to not only bookmark new sites, but also import my old bookmarks and share them with friends!

I signed up to use Delicious and imported my bookmarks; however, upon import, I quickly began deleting bookmarks that I currently use because I thought this might just be for my "librarianship." Duh? It wasn't until I delved deeper that I realized this is something I might use all the time and not just when I'm being a librarian....SO.....I re-imported those that I deleted...I NOW know.....

What a GREAT tool. I've also added the feeds to my facebook page (I figured it would make it easier to share, too!). I can't wait to send some of my links to co-workers and friends!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thing 13: Up for a Game of TAG?


Tagging: a quick and easy way to classify or categorize things like blogs, photos, slides, etc.

I use them in my blogs and in my photo sharing platforms as a way to help others get to what I've posted. Is it a good way to classify? Well, that the library, we use subject classification in the hierarchy form, which is the way we teach children to locate items, so tagging would not necessarily be a good thing for getting books in the right places on the shelves or for helping them find the books they need. Our catalogs are based on very specific headings and spelling even counts. There are many school librarians, though, that sort their collection into various subject areas or genres to make it easier for children to quickly find what they are looking for....seems a little like tagging, but in a more formal sense as only one person is assigning labels to collections. I would be very apprehensive to allow patrons to start creating their own tags for items in the catalog since everyone doesn't associate the same words with the same things.

HOWEVER....I think teaching kids to "tag" their own work, whether in blogs or electronic portfolios can be a good thing. I think it reinforces "main idea" or "gist" because it allows them to think of the "big picture" in order to come up with tags that are appropriate to their work.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thing 12: Twitter

Okay....tweet, tweet, tweet.......
I'm on:
It was fairly easy to set-up. I'm not sure how often I would use it, though. I already use FB and am addicted to that. Pretty soon I'll have too many things to keep up-to-date! I did subscribe to a few of my favorite country music stars!

Thing 11: WITP with IM?

This thing is all about IM or Instant Messaging. I'm personally NOT a fan of it, although I do use some shortcuts (as I call them) when I'm texting (only because you can only use so many characters per text.) I've used it with Yahoo IM and it just seems so infantile. I think I'm pretty up with the times and IM is just not that cool to me. I remember the first time someone used the shortcut WTF and I was like....what the heck does that mean? I quickly figured it out. I have actaully heard people use IM lingo when they're actually speaking to people. It just ain't right. :) I do not forsee using it in my library, although there is a book series that is written in text that many tweens and teens seem to enjoy:

I think it would be way too hard to follow and I wouldn't be able to keep up with the storyline (if there is one.)

Thing 10: Ning

Ning: A tool used to locate and participate in interest groups. It's similar to Yahoo Groups or Facebook Groups. I chose not to get an account, because as stated in previous blogs, I barely keep up with the kazillion applications I already use. But, I did search for some groups and found a few interesting ones:

Scrapbooking: MY PASSION :)
  • Inspired Blueprints: Sketches to Build On
  • 52 Sketches...52 Weeks
  • Embellished Scrapbook Shoppe


  • The Coffin Cafe (I think you get the gist!)
  • Twilight Dirty Coven (Hmmmmm)

Thing 8 & 9: Facebook

This is old hat for me....I've been on Facebook for decades! (Okay maybe just for the past year or so....) It was very simple to create my profile and my photos and invite friends. I quickly sent invitations to all of my family members and girlfriends as a way to keep in touch easily since most are always on or near a computer. A few of my family members (namely my brother) use FB, but is leery of posting anything personal about himself or his family (as are many folk, I believe)....but not me. I share photos of my family (names omitted) and specifically tag them with PRIVACY options that state only my friends can view them. I think security will always be something to be concerned about, especially on the Internet, but I like the way FB has the varied options of levels of security.
I use FB primarily to chat with old and current friends or reconnect with loved ones. I admit, I am addicted. I like to see what people are doing, saying, and taking photos of. I comment on many, but not all posts. I guess one could deem FB as to impersonal (usually my older family members) as you are communicating through the computer and not over the phone, but hey....I'm still communicating, right? (And I do make the weekly phone calls!)
FB has SO MANY applications....sometimes I find myself ignoring the majority of the invitations for them. There are too many to keep track of. I do love the quizzes though...they can be so addicting! I also love the games! Again....addicting.....I see a pattern here!
As for any other issues....I've heard several comments that viruses are added to weird places on your computer due to FB....not sure how valid those allegations are, but I suppose it's possible.

I'm ADDICTED....I am chatting with someone and checking new posts as I blog...that could be really bad! :)

Thing 7: RSS Feeds

I think these are pretty similar to what I already have with my personal blog feeds and my feeds/updates on Facebook. I also figured they are pretty identical to the feeds coming through on Google Reader. Basically, I subscribe to certain feeds from blogs or websites with articles and I automatically get updates when they exist.

Thing 6: Blog Readers

Boy am I behind....vacation will do that to you!

Well, now that I'm back and there's nothing but the sounds of the gurgling fish tank to distract me, I can get back to business. I actually explored Thing 6: Google Reader a few weeks ago, but haven't had a chance to blog about it (plus I forgot to bookmark my personal Google Reader page!)

Google Reader is SUPER EASY to navigate. What a great way to help keep me organized when it comes to following blogs and file sharing! I think I'm a pretty organized person for the most part (aren't most librarians?) but this tool really put things into perspective for me on the computer. I must admit though, with all of the things I'm using: Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, Outlook, Yahoo, can be quite cumbersome to keep up with it all! It would be a heck of a lot easier if they were all accessible from one location. Maybe that's possible on Google Reader and I just haven't figured that out as of yet?'s another handy tool!