Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Change Pirate Day 11, Post #16

Week 9, Thing 23
#23 Is this really the end? Or just the beginning ...

Well, here we are!
I'd like to once again state the summary of my blog here before I get started on my summary to try give a bit of perspective as to my own thoughts on this issue.

Change is a tricky thing. Constant change, while inevitable, is perhaps the most terrifying thing to the human mind because a static state of being is perhaps the most comforting thing in the world. Constant Change. I first learned of this concept through a website called Constant Change Productions, and since then I've been learning to overcome my fears and face the facts. Change is inevitable. Change is painful. Change is beautiful. Perhaps the most extraordinary vantage point to observe this natural phenomenon is through the view of a Public Library. Trends, fashions, social issues and cultural controversies all find their way through these gates as the modern centers of knowledge and self-information. But, I digress. Here I hope to find my merry, and hopefully productive/resourceful way as a pirate of change, surfing through the galleries of time and space (Fancy way of describing the internet) to find more effective, more efficient, and more self-dependant ways of being proactive about change.

Change is inevitable, painful, and beautiful, and I have had some incredible opportunities where I work to observe these things in so many ways whether it be a person learning to use a card catalogue program on a computer or showing how someone to look for jobs on the internet for the first time.

I'd like to say this is an excellent start for the library world to begin accessing their resources to the fullest extent of the possibilities, but learning means nothing without practice. Until we use these as our own resources among ourselves, until the most hidebound, traditional catalogue assistant finds themselves able to step out onto the floor and authoritatively help a young woman edit the wrong html out of her myspace profile or post up their pictures from their camera to Flickr, I feel that merely raising our awareness is only a start.

As librarians I feel we have a responsibility to ourselves and our patrons to lead the way for the public into the new century of information research and technology, and we've got a long ways to go!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Change Pirate day 10, Post #15

Week 9, Thing 22
#22 Media and Book Downloads (or "You are almost done!")

Discovery Exercise:
1. Choose one of the downloadable materials above, OverDrive, MyLibraryDV or TumbleBooks and try using it. It would be best to choose one you have not used. Try downloading and using the materials.

2. Blog about what you chose and why. Other questions do consider: did it work? Was it easy or was it frustrating to use? Are these good materials to offer at a library? Why or why not? Do you feel comfortable assisting patrons in using this format?

Well, I am attempting Tumblebooks, and so far this free trial registration is a pain in the neck, you feel like you're going in circles with no clear explanation as to how or why you're suppose to be clicking to all these different pages. Then when you finally get through the registration it doesn't give any explanation as to why it's taking you to the page, and there's no log-in link to log in onc eyou have your registration.

So now I sit and wait for the registration to go through.

Update: Logging in with the free trial allows me to listen to the book online, though I can't tell just yet if I can listen to the whole thing just yet. I can however buy the book online, that link takes me to another site that allows me to buy the audiobook, which in my opinion is a personal waste of my time. I would much rather just sit and listen to it online. Now that I listen to it (It does seem like I can listen to the whole thing) I wo uld actually really enjoy this!

As there is only a free 30 day trial, I cannot imagine many of our patrons wanting to use this on our computers. Those that would, I think this could be fantastic for them and I'd love to help assist them setting it up! I think this kind of thing Is fantastic to offer to our patrons, it'd be great if we had listening stations wehre people could listen to books we own, only the headphones would access a computer database instead of a clunky, much-more-breakable station where they had to handle the cd's themselves. A touchscreen of some kind would be wonderful to use with this sort of thing, much like those samples of cds you can listen to when at Wal-mart.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Change Pirate Day 9: Post #14

Thing #21-Podcasts, Smodcasts!
Discovery Exercise:

1. Take a look at one or two of the podcast directories listed and see if you can find a podcast that interests you. See if you can find some interesting library related podcasts here like book review podcasts or library news.

2. Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your Bloglines account. I added this one!

3. Create a blog post about your discovery process. Did you find anything useful here? How could podcasts be used in the library?

Personally, I loved this one because of my interest in the music industry, but I also feel this would be incredibly useful to those setting up library news, event news and planning... It would especially be really useful on working on follow-up for staff to discuss for the next year's event.

Change Pirate Day 9: Post #13

Thing #20-You too can YouTube

Discovery Exercise:

1. Explore YouTube & find a video worth adding as an entry in your blog.

One of my personal favorite things about Youtube is that it's an international site. Since a lot of my favorite music artists are either Japanese or European, listening to their music when a new video comes out is quite tricky! Here is an example of a band that I really love that I can't watch or listen to here in the USA unless I want to spend ridiculous amounts of money on buying their singles and getting them shipped internationally.
X-Japan, a Japanese 80's metal band, reunited after they disbanded in the late 90's to do a song for the movie Saw 4. Called IV, it was the first time their fans had seen them perform together-something no one had expected to see since their guitarist Hide had committed suicide a year or two after the band disbanded. Seeing this video, even though it was made for the movie, provoked a strong reaction from fans as they used original tracks from Hide's solo album that were never produced to create the song. To commemorate his life and his work, the band also has snapshots of Hide's guitar, propped up on the stage with them. It was my distinct pleasure this summer when I was out in L.A. to have the opportunity to meet the driving force of the band, their drummer, Yoshiki. A true honor for anyone who is a fan of the band. (for comparison, Hide was virtually the John Lennon of Japanese rock music, and it's uncertain if his death was suicide or accidental)

2. Create a blog post about your experience. What did you like or dislike about the site and why did you choose the video that you did? Can you see any features or components of the site that might be interesting if they were applied to library websites?
I believe I answered this above the video to question one... with library websites? I would LOVE love love to see how-to videos with staff teaching patrons how to do certain things on the library websites, perhaps with voiceover instructions. It would also be amazing for building staff confidence and rapport with our patrons!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Change Pirate Day 9: Post #12

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

Discovery Exercise:
1. Create a free account for yourself in Zoho Writer or Google Docs
2. Explore the site and create a few test documents.
3. Try out Zoho Writer’s or Google Docs features and create a blog post about your discoveries.
I went ahead with Google Docs so I wouldn't have to create yet another login password. I'm afraid I'm going just a bit batty keeping track of all of these!
So far I absolutely love the simplicty of it, the basic format and layout that's easy to navigate, it's not cluttered, and it doesn't drive me crazy with all of it's gadgets and special ways of doing thigns. I like things simple, basic and clearcut, as practical as I can make them.
This will be wonderful for keeping track of my things from work to home and back to work again-particularly when I'm working on schoolwork and might hit up as many as three or four different locations in one day. THe basic formatting is great to be compatable with all sorts of formats and programs, and I can easily see myself transferring them from lj to gj to yahoo mail to word to publisher and back to google dogs, and then to lj again.
Huzzah for short story writing? Who knows!
Either way, I think this is one of the most useful tools that I've found so far in my own personal life as well as for versatility at work.

Thing#19-Discovering web 2.0 tools

Discovery Exercise:
1. Select any site/tool from the lists on Web 2.0 Awards or Recipes for Success. Explore the site you selected.
2. Create a post about your discovery. What did you like or dislike about the tool? What were the site’s useful features? Could you see any applications for its use in a library setting?
I looked through Recipes for Success and to my delight, there was Meebo and AOL Instant Messanger! These two are long time favorites of mine for distance communication or discussionw ith someone when I can't leave my desk at work. If I need to check in with a supervisor or doublecheck what time I'm scheduled to run up to someone's offie, I can always just drop a quick note and ask!
I would lvoe to be able to use it to successfully collaborate with other people at other branches who are on the same project as me, setting up times to discuss issues online and exchange ideas!

Change Pirate Day 8: Post #11

Wiki's, in my opinion, are one of the coolest things ever on the internet!!
#16 So What’s in a Wiki?
1. For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at some library wikis and blog about your finding.
I took a look at the Wiki for the 2009 Midwinter ALA conference, and I Loved the idea!
2. Create a blog post about your findings. What did you find interesting? What types of applications within libraries might work well with a wiki?
I really think that for event organization, the event-specific Wiki is absolutely fantastic for all those involved. It hink that would be an excellent format for even a library website, perhaps? Something that the librarians in the systemc ould change and edit, and the public search and view. I'd love to be a part of a project like that!

#17 Playing around with PBWiki
1. Access the PLCMC Learning 2.0 wiki and create a login account for yourself.
Done that! Once again, my only complaint about this 23 things is the ridiculous amount of new logins I have.

2. Add your blog to the Favorite Blogs page. That's how we'll know that you've been there.
I now exist on PBWikI!

3. Create a post in your blog about the experience.
I had some problems with the editing page, but I do like how it's almost an exact replica of posting in blogger with rich text! That makes it a very easy, interchangeable interface to use.
Personally, I was not fond of how they have their login ID set up. They're not so special they get to change terminology and expect people to NOT sit there going "....wha?"

Friday, November 7, 2008

Change Pirate Day 7: Post #10

#15 On Library 2.0 & Web 2.0 ...

"But it no longer makes sense to collect information products as if they were hard to get. They aren’t. In fact, it may no longer make sense to “collect” in the traditional sense at all. In my library, we’ve seen a 55 percent drop in circulation rates over the past twelve years, making it harder and harder to justify the continued buildup of a large “just in case” print collection." -from Here.

I would love to encourage, somehow, that libraries act as an organism rather than a cold, angry place of research.
Think of how libraries are interpreted as in the media, in movies, books and comics... then ask yourself how you want it to be.
For me personally a library was a place of discovery, adventure, and comfort. Didn't have friends? The bookshelves were always there to engage me. Moved to a new town/city/country? The dewey decimal system always made sense regardless of the language spoken by those who worked there. Bored at looking out over the dull, lifeless plains of snow over a 100 miles from the nearest walmart? In the library I could explore another planet, another life, another perspective.
The challenge is to get that sense of adventure, wonder and excitement off the shelves and into people's minds, so that they look at this place as more than just a building with shelves and library staff that sit behind their desks waiting to yell at the slightest sound.
In this changing society and technological age, staff needs to be trained in helping people to understand not only how to point and click properly with a mouse, but how to explain in laymans terms what it is to point and click...or how to explain the layout of a website in order to navigate it.... like comparing the internet to a city, as a coworker pointed out to me. A city with lots of houses with different kinds of information in each one of them....