Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Week 9, Thing 23

I really enjoyed this experience. It was very helpful for me because it gave me a reason to take the time to really explore and use tools that I may have only heard of or used a bit. I really feel that spending the time to learn more about them was very beneficial to me. I would definitely try a program like this again in the future.

The drop-in sessions at North Point were SO HELPFUL. It was nice to have a time that I could go work on it without the interruptions and distractions that I have here. It would seem like working at a computer all day would've made this very easy, but in reality, being at my desk meant that I had a steady stream of interruptions while working on it. Thanks to the staff who organized and helped with those sessions

The only thing that I found difficult about the program was that it gave me an excellent opportunity to procrastinate (and it sounds like others did this as well), and I actually ended up completing it in 2-3 weeks. Something tells me that was my own fault. ;)

Finally, thanks Ellen and Jim for working so hard on this project and reading all of these blogs.

Week 9, Thing 22

Downloadable audiobooks are not a new and exciting concept for me at this point. I've heard about them and our technological woes and issues with vendor(s) for a couple of years now. I think that they're really a great service to our customers. I had a friend that was shocked to hear that we offered them. Last year, she was training for a marathon and had been getting the CDs and putting them on her computer and then her mp3 player. It seems like despite our efforts, our customers are not hearing about this service as quickly as one would hope. I think, though, that the content that we are offering our customers is growing and getting much better than it was when we embarked on this venture.

I really wish that these titles were iPod compatible as that seems to be the predominant mp3 player in the industry. I also love the idea of being able to eventually offer customers a kiosk set up that would allow them to do the downloading at the library or at a library kiosk set up anywhere.

Week 9, Thing 21

I found that the easiest tool to use was the Yahoo podcast search, but it will only be in operation through October. Bummer. I set up an NPR feed to my bloglines account. I also listened to a really interesting interview of the author of a book I recently bought. It was The Unheard by Josh Swiller. Hearing the author talk about his life and read from the book really made the title much more interesting than the boring old review I had read before.

I love the idea of podcasts of discussions and interviews with authors. That was the subject of a discussion that I went to at Book Expo a couple of years ago. I think that more and more publishers are including podcasts with authors on their websites, and they were encouraging libraries to use them or market them to their book clubs. We should really think of a way to get that information to our customers, many of whom would really enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Week 9, Thing 20

I'm a frequent YouTube user. I love it. The amount of junk on there can be overwhelming, but there are a lot of video clips that you might never have seen otherwise. (Good ones, actually.) The great thing about YouTube is the volume of entries. The horrible thing about YouTube is also the volume of entries. I really wish that there were more useful searches. They almost always bring back a huge number of hits, most of which aren't even close to what you want. I guess that this is the price that we pay for having a site that allows anyone to post their videos, but it can be incredibly frustrating.

I've never done anything with it like posting it to a blog. Here's my first try with my favorite clip ever. I give you...The Dramatic Chipmunk (who is not a chipmunk at all).

Week 8, Thing 19

As you can see, I tried Spring Widgets. Why? Because I love the word. Anyway, I found it very simple to use, particularly because it has a feature that pulls it through to Blogger without me having to go through that pesky copy/paste part. The bad news is that I had trouble fitting my beautiful widgets in the old layout and had to change to one that worked with the decor better. It was a small price to pay to provide my reader(s?) with some Etch-a-sketch fun. Enjoy!

Try it!

Week 8, Thing 18

Here is my document published on Google Docs. I like this idea a lot, and I see it as something that would have a lot of possibilities for libraries and library customers. The biggest way that I see it benefiting us is that it would eliminate some of the problems that librarians face in working with customers who are bringing work from home or work. It would help with the issues of how they've saved things (and where) and also the issue of software compatibility among their various locations. The interface is very easy to use, and it makes it easy to publish documents to the web, which is useful to customers trying to apply to jobs online. Two thumbs up!