Thursday, October 05, 2006

#23 Comments on Learning 2.0

I must admit that I really enjoyed all of the discovery exercises that were offered in Learning 2.0. The Technology Summit pumped me up to dive into the program. Self-paced learning is one of the hallmarks of a library. Now that I've completed PLCMC's 23 I'll go over to Stephen Abram's 43 things and explore what he mentions.

Everyone I've spoken with really seemed to enjoy adding avatars to their blogs. Whether they used Yahoo! Avatars or it was a hit with everyone. This carried over to the Librarian Trading Cards mentioned as part of Thing #6 Flickr 3rd Party Tools.

With Thing #10 Image Generators I got to bring my Librarian Action Hero to life with movie poster! I can see that others enjoyed them too based on the latest entry in Learning 2.0 - The L2 Image Slideshow. I know that many enjoyed Thing # 20 You Tube, Thing #21 Podcasting and Thing #22 Netlibrary but there wasn't as much making them "your own expression" as with the others mentioned.

Now I'd like to take that "avatar happiness" and hopefully apply it to the next generation of Library 2.0 and 3D Online Reference. A personal creative outlet meets service where the patrons are! And with my sharable customized start pages that I discovered as part of Thing #19 Web 2.0 tools I can keep track of all of these cool Learning 2.0 "things" in one place. Keeping track of these tools easily is the key to using them for resources and projects.

One thing that I would like to mention is that in order to complete each of the "23 Things" I found myself exploring while I was at work but posting my blog entries while I was at home so I wouldn't be distracted. For those staff that do not have computers at home, finding time to complete each of the entries was very much a challenge. I was especially concerned for the circulation staff because the majority of the circulation workstations to not have access to the open Internet, only sites on the PLCMC "yes" list through the proxy server.

If we did the project all over I would recommend that we:
1-Allow more time to complete the "23 Things". Some staff I spoke with lost their motivation to complete the project when they fell behind.
2-Put all the websites we are going to explore on the proxy server "yes" list so that circulation staff can access them from their workstations or have open Internet available on those workstations for the duration of the program.
3-Consider offering workshops for the "23 things". Even though some staff thrive on self-paced learning, others prefer workshops where they feel comfortable asking an instructor questions. Some staff felt uncomfortable asking others for help because they didn't want to prevent the helpers from completing their "things" too. Having a classroom setting lets a staff member step away from the day-to-day tasks and be able to focus on learning in an undistracted environment.

At my branch I felt these elements were there but I also want to say that everyone was very encouraging to each other. Anytime someone had a question there were mentors who were there to help. We all shared our successes and urged each other to continue so they could receive their MP3 player too!

If there was ever an incentive program like this in the future I know that I would probably participate. I'm sure the motivation from Learning 2.0 will inspire many other projects for some time to come. Now that we know about so many collabration tools it will hopefully make our jobs easier by not having to recreate the wheel everytime for resources and programming ideas but learn from others who shared through these Web 2.0 Tools.

Now I can go and read and comment on what other participants are saying and do a little sprucing up on my own little blog. :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

#22 Netlibrary : Downloadable eBooks

In exploring I actually found several audiobook titles that I was interested in. I have created my account and added many books to my favorites list. I'll be ready to download them on my MP3 player! This will give me a chance to listen to adult and children's classics and other authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Brian Jacques and Elizabeth Peters that I may not have otherwise read due to time constraints. Our patrons will really enjoy having access to the audiobook collection of ESL and Foreign Language materials and the full text of the Holy Bible. I'll be sure to refer them to Netlibrary.

I deceided to download The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters from Netlibrary. I chose "Download CD Quality" so that I could transfer it to the MP3 player. It said that it would download in 14 minutes over a cable modem. My file downloaded in about 6 minutes over a DSL modem. This was a 163 MB file with 6 Hours 39 Minutes of playing time. I opened it in Windows MediaPlayer and I was able play the audiobook. One thing I noticed right away is that there is no breakdown by chapter for easy reference. It is just one long audio stream. I had to remember to pause MediaPlayer and not stop it or I'd lose what time the story stopped on. I also tested it by closing out of MediaPlayer and opening it back up and sure enough it went back to the beginning. It does not remember where you stopped.

I hope that the MP3 player will have a way to pause the story even if it's turned off and then resume when it's turned back on again. Also, how is the MP3 player's battery charged and for how long? Would it be advisable to get a charger or is it automatically charged by putting it in a USB port? I hope to find out when I receive it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

#21 Podcasting - Directories and Creation Tools

Gabcast! Libraries & Technology #1 - Podcasting - Directories and Creation Tools

A verbal reproduction of my blog post about Learning 2.0 "thing" #21 - Podcasting.

Using I came across Talking with Talis and Amazon Wire.

Talking with Talis is hosted by Paul Miller from the UK. The focus is Library 2.0--where the movers and shakers of Web 2.0 and libraries come together to share their thoughts. Amazon Wire is the free podcast from which has interviews with the creators of books, music, and film.

Using the directory I found LibVibe. This is podcasts of the latest library headline news. At Yahoo! Podcasts I discovered NPR Books. This lead me to explore all the podcasting options available from NPR. There are a lot to choose from!

I was going to try to post a podcast of my own using but it is going away as of Nov. 1, 2006. They did offer other alternatives one of which is It does everything that Audioblogger does plus it has a 1-800 number too. It even has a feature where you can conference call a podcast. Great for interviews! So I went and set up an account. The instructions were straightforward and now you can hear this blog post as well as read it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

#20 YouTube : Video - The Mummy - In the Library

OK, I couldn't help myself. In keeping with the theme of the "librarian action hero" I chose The Library scene from the movie The Mummy (1999) featuring Rachel Weisz as librarian Evelyn Carnahan to add to my blog. Sometimes I feel that all librarians have had days like this! I almost chose Conan The Librarian as a post instead but it didn't have quite the "action hero" mold I was looking for.

It was really interesting to see what others had posted with the tags: library and librarian in YouTube. I really enjoyed the creative use that the folks at ImaginOn did with the clip, Troy Story. But also it seemed that searching for something specific was more difficult. Just typing in "library" brought up videos from inside actual libraries but also had quite a few spoofs like the Silent Library from Japan.

After looking at the site I thought it would be handy to have a library video search feature for the PLCMC family of websites. It would make a nice reference and PR tool. "Find Stars in Your Library!"


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