Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wrapping it Up

I found this to be more fun than I expected, and think this should be a mandatory task for all new hires to the library, especially if they work with the public, because I have a feeling that they are more savvy about this stuff than most staff.

While I agree we should know about this technology, I think much of it really isn't relevant to our day to day library function. This is especially true for anything reference that is created and maintained by the public. It's like the old "SOME say that blah, blah, blah"--you can't vet the information, so don't give it out as an answer to a question!!!

Much of this technology is used to connect people socially, which could possibly be used to connect professional librarians.

I guess this would be useful if you traveled a lot--you could access your bookmarks no matter where you were. Librarians on the go could use it with different logins, so depending on how you log in, you could access subject-specific lists of sites. Although, why you wouldn't just create some subject folders in the first place, I don't know.

I looked at the most popular, and it appears to be very tech oriented. If you're looking for any kind of programming or technology, you might be behooved to check for information.


Interesting site. The little demo I watched must be old, because the site has a completely different look. I actually prefer the old version because it seemed to contain more options and was better organized, clearer and more colorful.

I checked out Boingboing--not very practical, but it did contain some fun stuff.

I actually used Technorati to answer (or semi-answer) a question at the staff desk. A man needed info on how to play the banjo. Of course we only had one book, and it was just sheet music. I went on Technorati, thinking there have to be some tech savvy banjo pickers, and I found a blog which had a link to a PDF article interviewing a well-known-in-the-banjo-circle guy and one of the questions was how he taught himself how to play. He listed some of his favorite books, so I printed it out for the man, and told him we could inter-library loan them. I found another blog which listed some DVDs too, and the man was quite happy! Go technology!!!

Web 2.0 Library

I agree with much of what was written in these article, but one additional item I think should be included is the necessity of training and informing the staff. True, many of the new librarians have grown up in the post Donkey Kong era, and are quite comfortable with the technology, but to keep up with trends and to use new technology in an innovative, useful way still requires some degree of continuing education--not only learning the technology, but to apply it in a useful, library-enhancing way.

Libraries of the future, in order to remain relevant, will have to push themselves into people's consciences. There are so many distractions in peoples' lives, that libraries must compete for attention. If we are passive and wait for people to come to us, then we are doomed. We will always be repositories for a print collection (who wants to bring a laptop to the beach?) but we must try to embrace new technology, or at least the technology that people prefer, and remain relevant to peoples' needs.

I did have a bit of a problem with the "users add value" statement. It depends on the user and their qualifications. If you let morons "add" their input, it dilutes the purity and accuracy of information, so there does need to be professional monitoring to act as quality control agents.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Learn About Audiobooks

I could only look at Gutenberg because the library suspended our license for Netlibrary, and since I don't have a computer at home, I couldn't look at Overdrive, unfortunately.

Gutenberg is pretty nice--I've used it numerous times for people. Just the other day, someone needed the original tales of the Brothers Grimm (you know, not the Disney version, but the version where evil step-sisters lop off their heels to try and fit into dainty slippers!) and I found it for her on Gutenberg.

Granted, it only contains public domain titles, but still, it's great for history questions. One nice trick is if a book is heavy on the images, you can download the HTML version, and then the audiobook version, and you can read along. Pretty cool, huh! (I really need to get a life...)

Web 2.0 Tool--Clipmarks

I first came across Clipmarks when I was meandering through Firefox addons. As a librarian, I use this almost weekly--if someone just needs a part of a page, I just clip and print, saving a lot of wasted paper! The down side is that it must be installed on every computer you use, but it only takes a second to do it!
clipped from

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and surrounding areas.
There were more than a thousand fatalities, billions of dollars in property losses,
and tens of thousands of people were stranded and/or lost their homes. Despite
a long history of flooding and dire predictions, all levels of government failed
to act in a timely and organized manner, which further exacerbated the problems.
In the past year, recovery efforts were slow and there was much discussion of
topics such as race, class, government response, and how the nation as a whole
should think about New Orleans and the Gulf Coast’s future.
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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

MERLIN & Blogs/Feeds

I tried Feedster, but couldn't connect, so I'm hoping they're just doing some maintenance and will try them again.

I used Technorati, and was able to find a good library technology blog located at and is authored by Michael Stephens. It has some good links about trends in technology that are of interest to librarians, but it also has the fun stuff, like Second Life (which I just can't get into--why not live the first life. It can get creepy. I found a Second Life memorial to the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting, complete with mourning avatars. I guess the next step is virtual funerals. Now you can mourn great aunt Mathilda in your underwear, with a beer in your hand.) A lot of the info (and presentations are available, too!) is directly related to what the Web 2.0 and 23 Things cover, so I strongly recommend checking out this blog if you like doing the 23 Things.

One thing that would be nice is if when you search a term, when it retrieves the relevant posts, if it would automatically highlight the search term. I performed a search on this blog for the term "koha" and it returned three posts. When you open each post, then you have to perform another search for the term within the post. A minor point, I know.

I used Topix, which visually reminded me of Yahoo. I did some searches, and the thing that struck me was the number of ads on the site. I did find some good info on libraries, including a great site which recommends Native American children's literature. Evidently, many of the popular titles are horribly inaccurate. The site is found at

Another article I found listed links to a couple libraries that use podcasts for book reviews--I really, really like this idea! The article is at

Unfortunately, Feedster is still down. :-(

I tried Sydic8 and the first thing that struck me is how each entry resembles a catalog record, so it was really easy for me to find the info I needed. The ads were there, but much more subdued than Technorati. Through this site, I found a nice feed for what's new in science at the Library of Congress.