Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Australian Exchange Librarians Come for a Visit!

Our 2 Aussie Exchange Librarians, Lynette and Jane, stopped by the library this morning. We just found out about them coming last night! One stopped by to see me teaching "Internet Basics." I belive it was Jane. She asked if she could have handouts from two workshops that I do--"Internet Basics" and "Finding and Using Online Pictures." She really liked the "Finding and Using Online Pictures" idea of introducing patrons to not only Google Images and Microsoft Clip Art but also to introducing patrons to library subscription databases that have pictures as well. We both would like to offer an online photo sharing workshop using Flickr and are both trying to get Google's Picasa software installed on our PCs to help patrons who have cameras that need software to access their photo folders. Also we both think that doing an online scrapbooking workshop would be another great idea. After their tour they enjoyed coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts. From their reaction we noted that they liked them far better than the Dunkin Donuts they had before. :) Sigh! Now I'd like to go to Australia and see their library, Yarra Plenty Regional Library.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Thing 28: Magazine Image Generators

After looking at the magazine image generators featured in this discovery exercise, I chose the Wired Magazine Cover by Xerox. I used my Meez Avatar and added a superhero cape (Yes I know that capes are uncool according to The Incredibles but I liked it better than a mask. After all, I want folks to know who I am to ask for help. ;) but to get her to fly I had to play games to get enough coinz to get the animation. Superhero flying was a premium item.

After I created the cover I could not right click and select "save image as". So to get the image I took a screen shot using Alt+PrintScreen and pasted it in MS Paint and cropped the image to just the magazine cover. I have also uploaded it to Flickr and tagged it LibMagCovers.

I could see using image generators to create unique signs for the library to grab patrons attention. Like creating a programming sign that looks like a magazine cover and putting it in the magazine display area. I'd be curious to see how many people would pick it up for novelty or for the programming being offered. You could certainly use them as prizes for contests. Who wouldn't like to see themselves featured as Time "Person of the Year" or on the cover of the Rolling Stone?

I have referred patrons to specific image generators when they have an assignment that calls for it. I've had students that needed to create cd covers and comic strips for projects. I could certainly see using image generators as a sequel workshop after one that covers online photosharing or digital scrapbooking.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The QL Blog Gets a Makeover!

I've been wanting a 3 column blog for a while and have been looking at many templates. I wanted something that didn't have obvious margins so that if I put something in, like the Photobucket video, it wouldn't look like it had run off the column and into the sidebar. Three sites that I really got ideas from were: Webtalks New Blogger Templates, Free Blogger Skins, and FinalSense : Free Blogger Templates. After much comparison I decided to use the Denim 3 column template from Webtalks. I really like how it lays out the blog and with the ability to change colors in various parts of the template, I can make things stand out and easy to read.

I think I got inspired after I created my new Meez Avatar. She had such a fresh look that I wanted a new blog template to go with her!

Thing 27: Photobucket - Photosharing and More

I created a remix of Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies to explore the site.

Photobucket introduced me to many features that were incorporated directly into the product itself. Instead of looking at 3rd party apps after I had used a photosharing tool (like Flickr), Photobucket has some of these features as a part of its service.
It was a nice way to quickly put together a slideshow or create a remix--complete with fade options and even music. Then you could quickly get the code you needed to link it to what ever blog, webpage, or email you liked.
Photobucket is partered with to offer avatars. This gave me an opportunity to go back and look at my Meez account that I had made a few months back and really take a look at its features. I've added a Meez Avatar as a widget in my sidebar. I like it much better than Yahoo! Avatars because it's 3D vs. 2D. Plus the animations show up better in the widget.

I don't think I would use Photobucket for personal use because anyone can use photos you post if you make them public. But I would certainly consider using it for PR purposes for the library. If people are incorporating the library into their works then that's spreading the word about what the library offers.

Now Flickr is partnered with Picnik to offer similar photo editing and creation services as Photobucket. In my mind Flickr and Picnik serve different audiences with different purposes than Photobucket. I'd use both, just for each for certain projects.


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