Wednesday, December 16, 2009

#23 of the 23 Things

#23 of the 23 Things is pretty simple: summarize your thoughts on the usefulness of the program. Overall, I thought it was a great program. I learned about a lot of very useful technological tools that I had never heard of before/never bothered to try before. I think this program should have required users to sign up for a social networking site like Myspace or Facebook. I find that a lot of public library users have questions about these websites and my experience with these sites has helped me answer many reference questions in the past.

The significance of a program like 23 Things is that people who work in public libraries need to know how to use the technological devices, websites, et cetera that their customers use---so they are prepared to answer questions. Also, as more people become Internet saavy, libraries can communicate with/provide services to their customers or potential customers online in a variety of ways. Thus, we need to stay up-to-date on new technologies and Web 2.0 applications. Providing reference assistance to library customers today requires librarians to constantly expand their knowledge of new technologies. I also like how some of the things I learned about through the program can help me provide better, more accurate answers to reference questions—I was especially impressed with Rollyo, as it seems like a great way to improve my search precision when trying to locate information for customers online. Overall, I would recommend that all libraries undertake training programs like this one on a frequent basis to stay up-to-date with new technological trends and innovations.

#22 of the 23 Things

#22 of the 23 Things was meant for the original participants of the program, who were supposed to explore the contents of NetLibrary, which offers ebooks and eaudiobooks to subscribing libraries. I have used NetLibrary before, as my local public library subscribes to this service. The library that I work at also subscribes to a different e-book and e-audiobook service, I prefer the offerings on to NetLibrary---however, NetLibrary has a few features that are more user-friendly, I think. Specifically, users have the option of viewing many ebooks on the site without downloading them first. NetLibrary seems to offer a lot of classic books, while My Media Mall has a lot of contemporary materials. At any rate, I think all public libraries that can afford to do so should subscribe to a service like this one---it is really beneficial for library customers that don’t want to come into the library to get a book or audiobook (and have no issues with electronic formats). E-books and e-audiobooks are the wave of the future and services like NetLibrary will need to work with publishing companies more than ever in the future to secure digital rights to more intellectual content.

#21 of the 23 Things

#21 of the 23 Things instructed participants to use a podcast directory to locate library related podcasts. I used to find some library related podcasts. The best one that I found was a podcast from the SirsiDynix Insitute. Here is the podcastalley description: “The SirsiDynix Institute is an ongoing forum for professional development in the library community. By providing free access to industry-leading speakers and events, our mission is to support librarianship and advance the work of librarians around the world. Attend our free Web seminars as the SirsiDynix Institute presents compelling speakers selected from among leaders in librarianship and information technology.”

Since the library that I work at uses SirsiDynix as its ILS, I think podcast episodes from this feed might provide me with some useful information in the future. One of the most recent episodes was about web videos and how libraries can utilize this medium. Unfortunately, the last podcast was in July 2008…I added the RSS feed for this podcast to my Bloglines account in case they add new episodes in the future. On the podcastalley website, I also found a lot of podcasts from libraries that provide information about new library services, as well as book review podcasts. This is a great way for libraries to communicate with their users on a variety of topics----libraries can utilize podcasts to bring new information to library users and to connect with library users (if the library has a staff member that can provide an entertaining show related to new books or something like that).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

23 Things #20

Like many (most?) Internet users, I am an avid user of YouTube.

So #20 of the 23 Things was pretty easy: explore YouTube and blog about the features of the site that might be interesting if they were applied to library websites. I was also instructed to find a video that would make an interesting blog post.

What I like most about the design of is the site's extremely simple interface. After you select a video from your search results, a list of "Related Videos" appears on the side of the screen---making browsing very easy and rewarding. I think library websites are often too cluttered---they should look more like Youtube's website.

I found a video of a storytime event at the Rapid City Public Library by conducting a keyword search on the site. I think this is a great use of YouTube by a library: post videos of library events on YouTube and then embed these videos on the library's website.

23 Things #19

#19 of the 23 Things is: explore a website from the Web 2.0 Awards list...and blog about it.

I chose a site that was listed in the category of Collaborative Writing and Word Processing. Writeboard was awarded second place in this category. According to the Web 2.0 Awards website: "Writeboard lets users edit documents while still being able to access earlier versions of the same text. Subscribe to RSS feeds of documents' changes and share documents with as many people as you like."

What I like about this online productivity tool is the fact that you can subscribe to a RSS feed of the document your group or team is working on---and view all the changes! What a great idea, especially if you are in charge of a team collaborating on an important document for work or school. I love this website and how easy they make it for writers to compare multiple versions of a document and restore changes made to their documents. Revise without fear!