Monday, August 31, 2009


Well, I think I have learned a lot about new things. Before I started I did not even know what most of the Things even were. I had heard about several such as Facebook, Instant Messaging, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube , but were not that familiar with them. At the beginning it was a little challenging getting started due to the number of sites to visit, setting up accounts, passwords etc. It was a little confusing as well. Information overload set in, but I was able to work through it.

Of the 23 Things my least favorite was Instant Messaging. I don't think I will use this due to having to be a the computer to use it effectively. My favorites were YouTube, Facebook and Podcasts. It was fun on Facebook to find a neighborhood friend who I went to school with. YouTube was fun and I tended to gravitate to the humor approach of learning. Libraries are funny places and humor is a great way to learn. I would like our library to use video more to promote. Long live humor.

Through this process I learned that I can learn new things even though I have been a librarian over 23 years. Change is good, I keep telling myself. I will use the Blog Reader to keep up to date with new things. I plan on using Flickr Mashups when I can on promotional materials at the library. I will expand Facebook to spread the word about our Book Discussion Group and see if I can even have an account for just our group. And maybe a Ning account for our Book Discussion group as well. I want o eventually have all my personal books on LibraryThing and I will use it for readers advisory and also as a source to select future books for reading at our SE Book Discussion Group.

The real challenge for completing this was to work it in around a busy schedule. Having to work at the reference desk most of my time, does limit it. But I think it has been of great benefit for me to complete this. I will try to continue the learning process by going back and actually using the different things to make my job more effective. And another benefit is that I am not alone and I can use the resource of other librarians who have completed it also, to share with and learn.

I am looking forward to the Next 23 Things. I'm sure there will be new things coming up.

23 Things For My Library

I am almost done completing this project of learning. I plan on adapting this program to increase the technology level among the staff working at my branch library. At present, I am the only one at my branch completing it. I will begin by determining at what level they are already at. I will have them complete a brief survey listing the 23 Things and their knowledge or lack of. I will have them give me a definition of what each are. If the 23 Things is being left available online for future use, I will have them start on their own completing it. I will make sure they get recognition for completing it,with a certificate. Then periodically I can survey them again asking them to define the items on the 23 list to verify if they have learned anything. At staff meetings I will one at at time, or more, discuss some of the 23 Things and share this with my staff.

My staff is a great resource of knowledge and I want to ask them for their ideas of how they can do a better job with these technologies. I will make sure that staff who are working on the 23 Things are communicating with each other through Facebook, Twitter, etc. And in staff meetings I will have them report their progress and tell fellow staff about what new things they are learning. This is a great learning opportunity they all of us need, and I plan on taking advantage of it to have my staff earn something new.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Well, I'm getting near the end.

I really enjoyed investigating the podcasts that are available. I am a visual learner but I also enjoy listening to books on tape, radio, etc. I can see that podcasts are very useful in enhancing the experience of patrons using library webpages. You can see what is on the site, (Text and Pictures) but the podcast brings the ear into play where the Library Speaks to it's patrons.

I looked at a variety of podcasts to find out what types are available.

The Sunnyvale Public Library had The Unreleased Beatles a book talk by the author discussing the unreleased audio and video of the Beatles. It was very intertaining and informative. It had their Decca audition from Jan 1, 1962 with Pete Best as their drummer. It sounds a lot like Paul is trying to sound like Elvis, who the Beatles were a fan of. It makes me want to find the book to learn more about this subject. Thus another use for a podcast. To make someone look for a book and read.

The Pierce County Library System had a book review of Marley and Me given by one of their reference librarians. It looks like they have a daily book review. Another idea to entice patrons to read.

The Kankakee Public Library had two podcasts I listed to. They had An Evening With Elizabeth Berg. She read from several of her books and took questions from the audience. This was of interest to me because our book discusion group has read several of her books. And there was a radio interview with David Sedaris: Bill Yohnka Show promoting his new When You Are Engulfed in Flames book. He is very funny to listen to and I enjoyed it.

The audio quality varied from site to site. So this would be a prime concern when producing these. I think we should use all options available to us to enhance the libraries ability to spread the word about what we can offer to our patrons. I can see us having Story Times posted of book readings, etc. Reference Librarians doing book reviews. Posting greetings from the Librarians promoting new services, books, programs, etc.

The library is a information institution, and we should provide information in a variety of physical formats, as well as electronic formats. I look forward to seeing our library provide this service.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Being a visual learner, I really enjoyed this particular assignment. What a life, getting paid to watch videos. I was surprised to learn we had a couple that were done by our library. "Arlington Public Library PSA-Arlington Texas" This is a one minute psa using card catalog cards in a creative way. It shows the card and then links to a visual video related to it. At the end it has a young girl reading a book. I thought this was very well done. I'm not sure who created it for us, but I liked it. It was a good way to tie the old (card Catalog) and the new video and film. Great.

Melissa Dease a librarian at our NE Branch Library has a short video she did promoting YA materials. "Arlington Public Library -YA Video Blog". I appreciate her doing this to enhance our library tools in communicating to our public. She is giving selections of YA books she is recommending adults to read. Very well done.

UTA has a short video "Mineral Well 1893-1951" that shows the mineral well that used to be in Arlington, near the current Central Library. It is narrated by Lea Worcester who works at UTA but earlier in her career she worked at the Cental Library here in Arlington. Most people are not aware of local history and this helps with that issue.

Harper College has a video "Tour of the Library" that is a humorous attempt to introduce the Library. It's funny and shows that if we don't listen to our patrons we cannot meet their needs. The main character is so full of himself, and is not aware how obnoxious he is. Being pushed around the library on a book cart was great idea. I got the message they were trying to say.

"Be quiet in the Library or else" was produced by Bear Creek High School. It's very funny. They decided to ban any noise in the library. It shows what happens to students who make any noise. They have security guards enforce the rule. Lt. Burke, Silence Enforcement Agency has some great lines. "Its like what I was born to do, you know..." "God gave me a gift and if I don't act on the gift I'm slapping God in the face." This is in reference to his enforcement practices. The funny part is they are very Loud, Yelling, trying to enforce the quiet rules. It's a great way to use humor and exaggeration to make a point. So next time you make a noise in the library be careful, Bruno, Brutus, or Steve will get you.

I think we need to use this as much as we can, because everyone else is. It could be used as a way to introduce the patrons to our library, it's services and its staff. I vote for a ban on Boring Videos, so Humor has to be included. Libraries are very funny places and we need to let the world know. Our patrons are using YouTube, and we need to be there so they can find us.

I could go on and on, but we need to be relevant, and waiting around at the library for our patrons to come to us is old school. We need to move the library out to the patrons using whatever means we have, and this is a great means.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Google Docs

Google Docs look great. It has a lot of potential. It's free for one thing and you don't have to worry about having to backup your files. You don't have to buy a program and load it on your individual computer. You have access to it from any computer that accesses the web. Also, through the sharing option multiple users can work on the same document to create a real time editing experience. It connects the document(s) with its creators even if the creators even if the creators are miles apart. This is more convenient than the traditional way of using e-mail revisions, etc. As long as everyone else is using Google Docs then there is no compatibilty problem. I found the Form option a little confusing, but maybe it's just me. I'm more of a visual person, so the Form one was not as fun.

Is it compatable with all the Microsoft products? Just a question, having not had a lot of experience with it.

I looked at the From Templates option and it looks like a great resource of standard templates already made for me to use. I found a copy of a checkbook register..... etc.

I created several documents and shared with two fellow 23 Things travelers. They seems to be more basic versions of Word, Powerpoint, etc. Microsoft Word has page setup, and looks more like wordprocessing with tabs etc. Google Docs does not and is designed more for the online environment. It's a great alternative to Microsoft products.

The Google Docs Blog had a entry on how to create an online store using Google Spreadsheet. It looks pretty easy and would be a cheap alternative to anything else. The other entries are good to keep up-to-date with changes.

At our library we have Microsoft Office, but I see how Google Docs would be of benefit when I am blogging or working on a project with a group. Being able to all work on the same document is a plus.

I look forward to exploring more with this free product.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I have used Wikipedia a lot in the past and find it useful as a good starting place. Due to lack of controll I would not use it as my only source. Under Disclamers-- It says "Wikipedia cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here." So reader beware. But due to the number of people who have access to it, bogus materials are kept to a minimum by the input of all who access it. The history tab, is interesting showing the development of the entry. It seems there are alot of people out there who have a lot of time on their hands keeping an eye on their favorite subjects. The discussion tab is interesting in showing the talk behind the changes that may or not be commited to the article. I looked up our President Obama and noticed on the Discussion section it had been put on article probation. Interesting. This seems to be a temporary thing. The discussion section gives you a behind the scenes peak at what the people that contributed to the article are thinking.

I like the format with further reading, references and external links. The hyperlinks within the articles are very helpful and fun to enjoy learning a lot more than just the specific search term at the time. I looked up Cartoon. At the beginning of the article it says....

"This article needs additional citations for verification.Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2007)"

This alerts the reader to consider the source when using this entry. It had only one source listed. So it does alert the reader about the relaibility of what is there.

There is a page for Arlington Texas, which gives agood overview of our city. In the external links it would be fun to see how we could get our library as a link.

I created my Wiki with pages for my Family, Fuzzball, and Humor. This was fun to be a creator of something that is actually on the web. I posted a picture of Fuzzball my dog driving. And my favorite cartoon on my humor page. It would be fun to have a page like this for library staff, that other staff could access, to learn more about each other. And provide some access for the public to learn about the staff. This puts a human side to our organization. Or use it for bookclubs or other special programs.

I know this has been rambling but I can see the benefits of this service as another way to spread the word about our library and communicate with our users. I look forward to see what happens at our library.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I have investigated LibWorm for a while and it's not as fun as some of the previous sites and services. The Home Page is Bland and dull. Once you get into it it's better. The Tag option gives you a quick way to see what is available and how much there is. The Subjects option is good for narrowing down what your looking for. I clicked on Reference and the first listing was for the Friday Brain Teaser from Credo Reference. This is a fun list of reference questions and it does have the answers on another link. The Feed Categories narrows them down also. For example Public Libraries. I liked the Humor option and the first one it listed was the Unshelved Strip for today.

I searched for Arlington Public Library I got 5 pages but only a few were for mine. I added Texas to it and searched exact phrase and got several entries for job openings at my library. I can see this site has a benefit of keeping up with new current news related to the Library field.

I do like the option that you don't have to register to view it. I have enough accounts as it is. This source is beneficial in keeping up with the new. I think it meets the goal of keeping us aware of whats current and new in the library field. This is a great source for links to add to my Google Reader, which I will be doing in the near future.