Monday, August 20, 2007

Thing 23 - I'm finished!!!

Finally!!! Completing the 23 Things program while working on the desk has been an experience. I enjoyed the "fun" components the most. The online image generators and the music websites were a lot of fun to explore. I think the program has given me the opportunity (and direction) to explore sites that I probably wouldn't have found on my own. One of the ideas that I'm taking away from this program is that there are still so many ways that the library can use technology to provide new/better services to our patrons.

The pod casts at the beginning of some of the "things" weren't really useful because it's difficult to have the sound turned on or the volume level very loud when you're on a public desk (the only time many of us had to work on the program). I think if the program incorporated more fun things (where participants can play while they learn) people would be more likely to do it and maybe less intimidated by all the technology.

I would probably participate in another discovery program like this if one was offered in the future. I'd be more likely to participate if there was a specific incentive or prize that you knew about in advance for completing the program.

Thing 22 - downloadable books

I had to look at several of these sites for LATI earlier this year. Our library links to Overdrive, so that's the site where I set up my account. I understand the appeal of downloadable books. You can find titles that your system might not carry and you may be able to get a new title faster than you could going through the normal holds lists at the library. Some titles allow you to burn the file to Cd's, making the experience similar to checking out an audio book at the library. I like the fact that you can see how many people would be in line ahead of you before you place a hold on an item that's already checked out. I searched for several different titles and was able to find them all in one format or another. It would be nice if they carried Young Adult books as well. This might be a good way to introduce teens to the audio book format.

I didn't find any titles that I really wanted to try to download. As with traditional audio books, I think I'd have a hard time focusing on listening to a book while I was driving or working on something. I don't think I'd want to read a book off my computer screen either. I end up staring at a computer screen for a large part of my day already. It's not what I want to do for hours at home just to read a book.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thing 21 - podcasts

For this "thing", I explored and Yahoo! podcasts. I had a hard time finding a podcast series that I actually wanted to add to my bloglines account. I could find individual episodes about subjects that interested me, but not an entire series. I ended up with a commentary series about the Baltimore Orioles. I understand the value of having podcasts but they aren't all that appealing to me. I tend to get distracted or start doing or thinking about something else and miss parts of the podcasts. I also don't really have any desire to create my own podcast any time soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thing 20 - YouTube

I've used YouTube before. People post videos there for just about anything. More recently, I've started using it to find music videos from artists or groups that I like. I wasn't sure how licensing worked with posting a video to my blog and I found out quickly that just because they let you post the video, doesn't mean they'll let you play it on your blog. The first video I posted gave me a message that said due to licensing agreements (or something), I would need to visit YouTube to view the video. So, I tried another of my favorite artists and his video plays just fine. I chose Jason Aldean's video for Amarillo Sky because I thought I'd add some of my personal interests to the blog, even though I've kept it mostly work-related so far.

Integrating a video feature into the library's website could allow us to share programs with others via the Internet. We could also post book talks done by staff members. If we were to share videos created by other people/organizations, we'd probably have to be careful about licensing agreements and copyright infringement.

Jason Aldean- Amarillo Sky

OK, so I tried to post a video from Sugarland but they wouldn't let me play it from the blog, just post it. So, I'm trying again with a song from Jason Aldean.

Thing 19 - my own personal radio station

I love music (country music mostly) so I decided to check out the Web 2.0 awards music category. I chose to explore the category winner, a site that creates a "radio station" just for you based on an initial song or artist input and any feedback that you supply on subsequent songs. You may not hear the initial song or artist you entered right away. I thought the site was really cool because it tried to focus in on the specific type of songs I was looking for, not just a general genre. The only drawback I found was that it only lets you skip so many songs per hour. So you can't see what else is next on the play list for your station. I think patrons could use this site if they wanted to listen to music while using library computers. I don't think it's very useful for library staff members while they're helping the public but it does provide an option for listening to music at your desk (if you have one).

Thing 18

The post below is an online document that I create with Google Docs and published to my blog. I have contributed to an online document created by someone else before and viewed documents from other people through Google. This was my first experience creating my own document in Google Docs. It's pretty easy and if you're going to be sharing a document frequently, it's definitely easier than having to attach files to email and download a new version each time someone sends you an update.