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!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

#15: On Library 2.0 & Web 2.0

This was a lot of information to read and absorb, but very exciting when you think about the changes that are coming to make the library better able to serve our customers. I particularly enjoyed reading about "Librarian 2.0". Librarians are often the "middle-man" between the customers and the information they are seeking. The wealth of knowledge that Web 2.0 offers can be somewhat daunting for unfamiliar users to find. However, there are more and more customers who are well-versed in Web 2.0 and librarians need to be able to keep up. I like the idea of having the library be more "user-centered", especially in the context of new technology. Also, having information flow in every direction, as opposed to the traditional one-way, is going to make the library an even better place for customers.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

#14: Getting not-so-technical with Technorati

This website is like a one-stop shop for all KINDS of interesting and useful websites. I found several that I will most likely visit on at least a semi-regular basis. I liked that I found websites/blogs with up-to-date information on new websites and technology, pages with humorous and topical content, and so much more. There is a wealth of information available at your fingertips, and is a good way for someone to find the websites/blogs that lots of people are visiting. I really enjoyed and These sites had TONS of information that I found very useful.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

#13: Tagging, folksonomies, & social bookmarking in Delicious

Wow, where has this website been all of my life? I used to have to rely on my memory to remember what I had bookmarked on my personal computer that I might want to check when I'm at another computer. I love that it saves it all for you. And being able to browse through all the bookmarks by clicking through the tags is so much fun! I'm not sure that I'm as good at tagging as those who've been using it more, but I certainly plan on becoming more proficient in it. I also love that you can add this site to your RSS feeds. I really had no clue that this kind of organization existed. I really think that this could be extremely beneficial to not only my job, but also in my personal life as well. I'm definitely installing Delicious on my PC at home.