Friday, August 24, 2007

My Final Thoughts on "MY 23 THINGS"

I've really enjoyed going to all the different sites. I'm sure if it wasn't for this exercise I wouldn't have explored the vast amount of web sites that I did over the past 2 months. While I may not use some of them I have discovered that a few will definitely be in my "Favorites" folder for easy access. I'm also excited about the Wiki sites since my kids are not familiar with these and I think I have a handle on it now (one upmanship is big in my family where computer technology and internet technology is concerned). Flikr, Photobucket, Google Docs. and a few others are things that I will share with my extended family members (I think everyone will be getting a flicker calendar for christmas this year...haha). I had a lot of fun and I've learned a lot (but then I love different technology anyway...just not something that makes me put things in my ears). My next project is to learn how to download my MP3 files into my MP3 player. I have a ton of them on my computer that I need to get off to make space. I think I'll ask for a different set of ear thingies so I can listen to it (maybe for Christmas...hope I don't get a flicker calendar from anyone!!!).

Audio Books

Not a real fan of audio books that are downloadable. I guess I haven't had a need for them so far...I don't have a CD player in my car (20 years old) and I really hate using earphones (phobic about my ears and putting things in them ever since I jammed an eraser in my ear at 7 years old). I know I could just download them on my computer and listen over the speakers but you really need to hear the noise level in my house to understand why that won't work well (3 TV's usually playing along with music on the other computer, phones ringing, etc.). Yes, it's quite noisy. The Project Gutenburg site was interesting and had quite a few titles (especially the Dickens titles) that were downloadable but I didn't understand the difference in the sizes and why there were such vast differences. I guess I'm just tech challenged when it comes to this type of thing.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Podcasting - Exploring the "New World"

This site was quite interesting. I've become familiar with podcasting because I listen to news programs on Sunday morning and alot of the time their shows are on the web. It's a help when you miss a program and you're up till one in the morning anyway with nothing to do (long story).

Anyway, I didn't know about the Merlin sites and how wonderful they were. I particularly liked the Denver Public Library - Stories for Kids site (even though it didn't have as much as I had hoped it would, it was easy to navigate and the podcast were smooth and clear). I also liked the Westerville Public Library site. The Westerville site was cool because it offered regular books with the reading level attached in the preview sections and it also offered audio books. The Language Learning link was of particular interest since so much has been in the news about multi-cultural language breakdown and the scarce amount of books in libraries for the different ethnic populations of our country. Definitely a recommended site in my opinion.

The Sandbox - Uncovering Hidden Treasures

Well I added my favorite all time comic strips to the Maryland Libraries Sandbox and I also linked my blog to the page of "Favorite Blogs" page. It was kind of neat but I had some trouble with it. I do like PBWiki as it seems simple to use. I would like to start one for receipes and have people add to it. I love to try new dishes and would be interested in getting ideas from all over. When I have time I'm going to try to do this.

There are so many uses the library could implement with this type of technology. I can envision a story time idea page with themes, finger plays, rhymes and booklists. I can also envision monthly book club discussions and maybe even library tech tips that work in the stacks. Possibilities are endless.

YouTube - "MyTube, Anybody's Tube..."

I'm wondering if this is what they mean by everyone will have 15 minutes of fame? Some interesting things on this site. Not too sure if I'm sold on it or not. The 70's commercials were funny and neat and of course my husband did like the 60's music videos. We've bookmarked that one for him. He's actually coming into the 21st century (I have hope for him yet).

Web 2.0 awards - Nifty Site

So many neat things on this site. I actually love, (and I mean LOVE) the ARCAPLAY site. I'm into games on the web when I have nothing better to do (which I haven't had time for anything for the past 3 months (long story). But the ARCAPLAY site with so many games was definitely a fun site and a stress reducer. I've bookmarked it on my home computer and I've recommended it to my friends (one is Meg's friend who is housebound because of lukemia...he gets bored and there's not much to do after 6 months of sitting at home). Of course I also love my Flickr account and my Meebo account is always being used (it seems I can get in touch with Meg much easier during the day when I'm on Meebo).

My husband was looking at this site (wondering what it is) and saw the "music" section. Well we tried both "Pandora" and also "". Way cool sites. You just type in the genre of music you like (or a group that you like) and it creates a radio station with "your type of music". God is this neat. I've bookmarked both sites and my husband is definitely going to keep me (he's discovered after 31 years of marriage that I'm "way cool" too.) This Awards site is such a wonderful site to find different things on. I've bookmarked this site to come back to when I have even more time to explore.

Google Docs. - Neat Idea

I actually had a need to use the Google Docs website the other day. It was really awesome. Worked just as well as my Microsoft Office Word program and was just as easy to use (if not easier). I'm kind of sold on this now and I'm glad to know it's accessible (and available) for when my computer get's crazy again.

Wikis: A Necessary Tool for the Future

I can see where Wikis could become super important in the future. Just the fact that different members of all types of organizaitons: college professors, group-project members, businesses, government leaders and even the medical community could easily set up pages to share information, edit info already there and access other peoples information on their wiki sites spaning a wide variety of subjects, will make life much easier.

Classroom projects, business information, medical and science news would be readily accessible and accurate due to the pooling of knowledge from so many different sources. The possiblities would be endless (especially if the information on the pages can be restricted to only those trustworthy to edit the information so no false info would be added). I'm anxious to see where this goes over the next couple of years.

Web 2.0 and Library 2.0

Web 2.0 has been here for quite a while. My children have been using Myspace, Facebook, YouTube, MP3's, Ipods, etc. for well over 4 years. I'm so far behind on what I know, technologically speaking, that I usually go to them for their "expertise". I really think it's amazing, interesting and convenient (because you can do so much right out of your house), but I also think that we're losing the "human" side of conversation and information sharing, socialization in person to person form, and just the ability to hold things in our hands and look at them, feel them, smell them, etc. I understand that MP3's, digital cameras, PDA's and everything else make life much easier, but at the same time some of my best memories are wiping off old 45's and hearing the tiny little scratches and remembering what caused them(usually because they were played over and over). I love the old pictures (especially the B/W ones that weren't so perfect where someone's "head" was cut off, or it was off center. You couldn't just delete the "bad" pic from your camera) I also have my mom's and grandmother's old receipe cards and telephone directories and their handwriting brings so much back to me now that they've passed away. My friend discovered over 500 love letters that her mother and father sent to each other when he was in WWII and overseas. They were bundled with ribbon in the attic of her parent's home and they've become precious heirlooms to her children and grandchildren. Printed e-mail pages just aren't going to have the same "reaction" years from now. Library books are the same way. I have some very old library books from my childhood and my mother's childhood that I ocassionally take out and page through. Of course their yellowed, and they smell a little musty, but to touch them and know that so many other people have handled them with love and care is just mind boggling. Is the information accurate...probably not but it's a part of an era and because it's in print it can't just be "edited" like it can on the web. I also love to see the expressions on the librarians faces when they talk to a child about a book that they've recommended (the animation on the librarian's face can make the difference whether the child will read the book with excitement and anticipation.) Somehow I just don't "get the expressions" on the librarians faces when they recommend a website for a book, and if the sites down you've lost your "few moments" and possibly even created frustration for the child. I understand that collections can be overwhelming and a lot of work and that there are websites that have all the information available on them but to me there is nothing like discovering a "different" book that you wouldn't normally find out there. To me that's amazing. So library 2.0 may be for some people but I like my little library building and the stacks and the human side of information discovery.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Creating Links in Blogging

Here is a link to the HCPL home page to help people get to that