Thursday, April 16, 2009

#22: Audio books

This is such an amazing resource! I had no idea that this was even available to us, I'm so glad that I know now. I've never downloaded a book to listen to or read before, and I'm excited to try. I spent some time browsing through TCCL's collection of titles available for download and I was impressed with the volume of available material! New & popular books as well as timeless classics are all available at your fingertips, and no need to wait on a long list for a popular title. I like that you don't have to "return" the item back to the library once your check-out period is up, but the only thing that I didn't like was that it said that this service ruled out the need to go to the library. Maybe it does but I still would like for people to come to the library. Overall, I think this is a fantastic service.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

#21: Podcasts

I had heard of podcasts before, but wasn't entirely familiar with them. I have iTunes on my personal computer but never explored that section before. However, I do believe that this will change after I spent some time searching through the online podcast directories and seeing all that's available out there. I spent some time searching through PodcastAlley and located a number of libraries that use podcasts to give tips on library use, give updates on events happening in the library, give recommendations on library materials, and some have library customers involved in the process! I see a lot of ways that TCCL could employ podcasting to benefit not only its customers, but also its staff. There are libraries out there that are podcasting and would be an excellent example to use to do something similar here.

#20: Online video

I am a frequent user of YouTube. I love that there is such a wide variety of all KINDS of different videos on there. And anyone who creates an account with them can upload their own videos. I like to see what individual people create when they're making their videos. I picked this particular video because I love bunnies, and I love Office Space. I thought this was very cute. :)

I think that this could have applications for the library. If there was a need to create a training video of some sort, then it could be uploaded to YouTube where it could be easily accessed by anyone.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

#19: Discovering Web 2.0 tools

It was kinda hard for me to pick just one of these websites to write a blog about. There are so many great sites to choose from! And there were a number of them that I've already started using for personal purposes. However, when making my selection I tried to think of what would be useful in the context of the library setting. The 23 things touched on quite a few that would be extremely helpful to library staff and customers. However, I did manage to locate one that I thought would also be a good addition to the others.

Mango is a website that allows users to learn different languages free online, by offering lessons in 12 different languages. The lessons have audio segments with them, so you can hear how to pronounce the words and phrases. It is available to all who have access to the internet, and starting an account is free. The website states that they work hand-in-hand with libraries, and offer specialized technical support for library accounts. It is very easy to use, and wouldn't require staff training to assist customers with the site. There are also some lessons that users can download onto their mp3 players and study offline.

There are numerous reasons that I feel that this website would be beneficial to library staff and customers alike. Everyone can learn a new language, and be able to break down language barriers between people. It is simple and free, doesn't require downloads or extensive computer/internet knowledge.

I've already bookmarked this site, and feel that it will be very beneficial to me now in my current position and in the future, for both personal and professional reasons.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thing No 18 (Web Apps)

#18: Web-based apps: They're not just for desktops



Wow, what an amazing tool THESE websites are. I can't believe how much of this information I've been completely unaware of until this class. I found the Zoho site to be SO comprehensive, I was truly amazed at all the applications that it had available. There are countless ways that this could be useful to ANY business, even the library. And there are just as many countless ways that this could be useful for personal use as well. I like that it allows users to create and edit documents online, so there are not endless emails with attachments for revisions. You can just log-on and view the changes that have been made and know that these are the most recent ones. Its incredible that so many of the applications that are available in Microsoft Office are available online for anyone with internet access to use. And, as far as I can tell, the word processing application appears to be very easy to use. And then there are applications that aren't standard in Office, all conveniently located in one location.

On a final note, I created this blog in Zoho and I THOUGHT I had done what I needed to do to post it here in my blog. However, I did something wrong and only managed to post the title of the document. I had to go in and copy/paste from Zoho here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

#17: Playing around with PBWiki

This was a great exercise in learning how to edit the wiki. I really had no clue how to add a link to it, so this was very helpful.

When I logged in to the wiki, no one had started the page for favorite TV shows. So I guessed and clicked "create new page" and just typed what I was going to say. That seemed like the right thing. I also tried a little bit of editing (creating links, formatting text, etc.) and responded to another page on the wiki.

Overall, very fun and a great exercise in helping us to learn how to navigate in a wiki.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

#16: So what's in a wiki?

Wikis weren't completely unfamiliar to me before this lesson. I was involved with a photography event several years ago that had members coming from all over the country. One of the members suggested we use a wiki to coordinate scheduling. I had never used one at that point, but found it EXTREMELY helpful in making my schedule work around others' schedules.

However, I had never really thought about other ways that wikis would be useful. This helped open my eyes to all the wonderful possibilities that wikis could work for the library.

I particularly enjoyed The Ambient Librarian wiki which was FULL of lots of good information for librarians, a wonderful reference tool. I found the article on using wikis to create online communities especially exciting. This definitely follows along with Library 2.0, in creating a more user-centered library. They can add/edit/delete information on the wiki, and in the process help tailor the site to the community's needs/wants. The onus isn't solely on the librarian to decide what information is relevant to customers or to maintain the site itself. The customers do that for themselves. What a BRILLIANT idea!