Sunday, May 3, 2009


I was unable to attend this presentation due to a StoryTelling Event at my school. However, I have enjoyed reading everyone's posts, particularly Sharon's LouisCK YouTube clip!

Monday, April 6, 2009

OOOPS! Forgot to mention audiobooks!

Okay, I must now admit that I do not own an I-Pod or any kind of mp3 player. So, for me, audiobooks are on CD. I have read chi;dren's books online but have no desire to sit with a laptop "reading". I love books. The old-fashioned kind, with pages and covers. No Kindle for me, no earplugs so I can listen. I want to read a story, to give the characters the voice and expression I want.

That being said, I have listened to books in the car on trips. On one occasion, I actually enjoyed it. Other times, I've bailed after an hour or so. Even Bill Bryson, who I think is particularly funny, bored me to death on one attempt when he was reading his own material. It wa awful! I sure hope Jmaes Patterson doesn't read any of his audiobooks - hav eyou ever heard that man speak? He had some awful commercials out a few years back that were just deadly.

Neither my local library or the county library carry NetLibrary. The Somerset County Libary provides audiobooks through Adobe eBooks, Mobipocket ebooks, and Overdrive MP3 and WMA audiobooks.

23 Things, Wrapped up!

I am so glad that I finally made it through Learning 2.0 as it's been one of my goals for the past 2 years! I'd come across it a couple of years ago and knew that I needed to work my way through the program. I'd planned to do so last summer, but life got in the way and I kept procrastinating and never got to it. So, it's good that I HAD to see it through this time.

I've learned alot. Many of the concepts were things I was peripherally aware of, but had never used myself. Some of the topics seem a bit dated at this point, and some seemed to be things that I would probably never use, but it's definitely good to know about them and be familiar with how they are used.

I'm glad that PLCMC endorsed Helen Blowers in creating and sustaining this program. I know I have greatly benefitted from it and have recommended it to other librarians who need to learn or brush up their technology skills. The material is well planned and very user-friendly however, it could stand to be updated to keep it current.

My only criticism would be that there were some dead links which is always frustrating.


I love the way Common Craft explains technology on their videos. This one's on Podcasting.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

YouTube and 70s flashbacks

I spent the day touring Stockton State College in the rain with my daughter who is considering becoming an Occupational Therapist. Perhaps it was being on a college campus, or maybe it was the rain, who knows? But when I read the podcast assignment and started playing with the 1970's commercials on YouTube, I found myself typing in "Phil Ochs". As a kid, I'd listened to his songs in the late 60s and 70s. Sadly, he even played at my high school in 1972, (got a ticket stub somewhere...).

I recall using the lyrics to "Changes" as my poem of choice in my 7th grade English class. Getting the lyrics entailed listening to the same track on the vinyl record I had over and over - not easy to do with a turntable!

Ochs was viewed as a protest singer, a 'journalist"(supposedly by Bob Dylan), and a folksinger. His career declined in the mid-1970s. On tour in Africa, he was strangled by robbers and his vocal chords were damaged, but he still performed. He became depressed, began abusing drugs and eventually was diagnosed as bipolar. In 1976, while staying with his sister in Queens, NY, he committed suicide. He was 35 years old. I have a very vivid memory of that day.

In perusing various search results for Phil Ochs, it was soon obvious that many of the links are now dead. Okay, links for a dated, somewhat obscure folksinger from decades ago are dead, so what?

Well, aside from being frustrating, it does make me wonder about just how many dead links there are. What happens to a dead link, does it just stay there, posted in some article or blog until someone tech-savvy comes along and reinstates it or deletes it?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Of Google Docs and Web 2.0 awards

My first experience with Google Docs was utilizing it for the first joint assignment for this course. It worked beautifully for us, easily enabling sharing and editing a document. It worked so well that I suggested my friends and I use it for a joint paper for another course, where it also worked well. It does take a little getting used to, but I really felt that it was very effective and easy to use. With time constraints being what they are in most people's lives, using Google Docs sure proved to be an efficient way to "meet" and share thoughts and ideas!

I really enjoyed exploring the Web 2.0 Awards site. MANY of these sites will be tagged on my delicious account! I played with a variety of sites, including, which I learned does accept P.O.s for orders from schools and libraries. Prices where quite good in comparison to Amazon, but these are all used books, so it's tough to compare witout actually seeing the book's condition. I was also intrigued by Vufind, a relativley new OPAC system, which looks quite promising, especially since it's free. It appears to be pretty new and will undoubtedly have some kinks to work out but in a year or so, this may be a viable option to the system currently in use in my libraries. This is definitely a site worth watching. I then played with Craig'sList, checked out my Facebook account, and just played around with some of the sites. The education sites were disappointing as they were language-oriented. I'd expected more teacher-focused sites, as opposed to learner-focused sites (aren't all sites learner focused?). So many sites, so little time....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Library 2.0 and Wikis

The readings on Library 2.0 caution us that the whole concept of Web 2.0 is constantly evolving as new technologies keep developing. Tom Storey wrties that, "The Web moves from simply being sites and search engines to a shared network space that drives work, research, education, entertainment and social activities—essentially everything people do." In his view, we will be constantly in touch with technology, everything will be online, connected to the Web. This is already evident in our use of cell phones, PDAs, and other handheld devices.

Much as I recognize this as true, I also dread this total reliance on devices as opposed to face-to-face conversations or even an actual phone call as opposed to a text message. I wish I could recall where I read this, but just this week I read an article (online, of course!) about how people were becoming too stressed out by this constant connection, that there was a grassroots movement afoot to TURN OFF YOUR CELLPHONE/PDA/COMPUTER! It seems to be common sense, but really, folks, there are times when you should just turn the things off and live! One shouldn't need a "movement" to do so, just common sense. If something is becoming a hindrance instead of a tool, then it's time to rethink your usage of that tool. So much for my views on personal usage...

So, what does this mean in terms of libraries? Well, the future is now, the Web is here to stay, and if libraries are truly to serve their clientele, they must also become linked to the Web in order to provide services in the most efficient manner. Wikis are the perfect way to do so.

There is an incredible amount of potential for wikis to be used in any library. The Bull Run Library Wiki is a wonderful example of the many ways information can be made available to the user through the use of a wiki. It even provides access to its own catalog and to WorldCat, so materials may be located in the area as well.

School libraries stand to learn a great deal by examining the way wikis are used in schools for everything from classroom projects to book reviews and lesson plans. Great ideas, great resources--I'm tagging these in my Delicious account!Follow the following link or school wikis: