Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fresh Start

I'm fully aware that there's no one out there reading this work blog anymore... but for my own selfish interests I just thought I'd note that I've begun another. [Bob would be proud!]

Read more about my newest adventures on my brand-spankin' new blog.

And if you are actually interested in all of this nothingness, then thanks!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

I'm free!

It's really fun to think that if I want to blog here (which I'm not promising will ever happen), I can say whatever I want. No more assignments to fulfill!


I must say that although the 2.0 project was a bit of struggle to slug through at times, I do feel a bit more comfortable with some of the terms and major ideas behind these online resources. Only time will tell whether I actually am able to pull this knowledge out of the depths of my subconscious when trying to help patrons, however.

It's been fun! And the prizes certainly never hurt, either...

Check back for haphazard ramblings, or more likely, complete silence on this blog.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Could've used these 8 years ago

I might have done a bit better in college with the help of all of these sites. I really loved surfing around on the sites 4 students and can easily see how they might be helpful in reference work. Even though many of them are still in beta form and may change or disappear eventually, they are great for short-term work when you need to access documents and other files from more than one location or wish to share them with others.

I would love to have this list available in our education pages on the I think many students who are using our site would find them helpful. And I wish we as staff had known about the Zoho-type sites before we had a word-processing computer at our branch. Even now, the sites with office programs will enable our patrons to create documents on the web, which our library computers currently don't.

I personally liked the looks of Backpack. I have mentioned before that I'm a hopeless list-maker. I like the way this site helps to organize both checklists and notes with images and weblinks all in a visually pleasing way. My husband, a college student and ESL teacher was pretty into some of these links too. He's going to share the note-taking and school ones with his WWU cohort, like mySchoolog and Notecentric.

Only thing I'm wondering - with most of these being free, are the creators of these sites getting paid? I don't see a lot of advertisements on the webpages themselves. Or are they just hoping to get bought out by the bigger web corporations?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tweet Tweet

Twitter to me just seems like a mini-blog. And I guess it has built-in RSS feed capability. I can't believe I'm even comfortable using all of this terminology now!! I guess 2.0 is really working its magic on the recesses of my brain, huh?

Twitter would probably be better than blogs for me personally because I tend to ramble on (and on and on....) and the limit forces me to keep it succinct. But I'm not so sure I can see the value in the library uses of posting updates and event information. I feel like if you really want to reach people, we would have more results by posting those onto our homepage. Maybe twittering will really take off and then we'll have more people asking for us to send them information on the blackberries and such. But for now, it seems like such a minority of people. Could it really be worth the extra effort?

Fun fact: my husband, who has reconfigured all of our hard drives and always is the one to inform me of the next big techie thing, had never heard of Twitter before. That was a big change in our household! hahaha

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Facebook is evil...

...well, not really. But I was really hoping to be a good sport and give it a go. Even reading all of those warnings on the KRL2.0 site didn't totally scare me away. But then, that darn first page of Facebook forces you to put in a full name. What??!? Isn't that the first rule of online safety and the first step towards maintaining your anonimity? I attempted a few ways around this - I tried doing my first name and last initial, I tried Mrs [name] (with no periods to try to fool the programmers). I even thought I was being cute and tried to use Missus [name] when it wouldn't let me do anything else. After being blocked from about 5 combinations, I absolutely gave up.

Why is this a requirement? And once I started feeling odd about that whole name business, I started to think over all of those warnings again about how hard it is to delete the profile once it's been created and how there are programs which then track so much of your personal activity on the computer and send that activity to your friends. So, no facebook participation for me.

But, in the end, I'm a bit disappointed that I can't even see the KRL page or surf around on the site a bit. I'm not really sure that I can see how social networking sites would be useful in the workplace though. That suggested blogpost made some good points about making your library visible to more people, I suppose. But, well, hmmmm.... I'm still on the fence on this one.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

wikis are hard! (my whining rant)

Okay, I finally did it. After putting off the actual modification of the official KRL wiki for as long as I could I bit the bullet and added the regular library events for our branch. Why did I pick that, you might ask? Well, all of the obvious things like a branch photo and hours were already taken. And I was feeling particularly lazy and didn't want to bother with attempting to upload a photo. I am extremely impressed by those who did manage to make page links or upload photos. But there's no way that I would be able to accomplish such a thing in under the half-hour time limit. (Yeah, yeah, I'll read The Little Engine That Could again tomorrow, stat!). After I was done I surfed around on the other branches pages and was really blown away. We've got some really talented people here. One thing, though, how are there eight MLS librarians at Bainbridge??? Holy cow. I'm feeling some MLS envy on Poulsbo's behalf at the moment.

So, done and done. I'm moving on and probably won't bother with wikis again, quite honestly. But I can imagine that wikis might be a fun way for libraries to have a more interactive reader's advisory or enable us to upload our own branches' library events. We'll see...

In other news, Poulsbo branch is supposed to be getting our self-checkout machines next week!! Maybe one of our intrepid staff members will upload a photo and/or some quick tips about those when we finally get to try them out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

me no likey wiki

Ewwww. I'm not sure I'm sold on the whole wiki thing. I have used wikipedia before for general quick facts - it's sometimes easier to find that information than trying a general google search. But I wouldn't use it for real research or anything I was clueless about. It's just not trustworthy enough.

I tried surfing around on the Stevens County wiki for some ideas of how we might use them in our organization. Frankly, I found it rather boring. I would really worry about putting all of that information in the public collaborative domain - who's to say that someone wouldn't just go in and delete everything? Plus, from what I found out trying to play with the fake KRL wiki page, it's a lot harder than it looks and I prefer leaving it up to the talented professionals who can get the information out there and make it look pretty and easy to navigate at the same time.

The Book Lust wiki was a bit more interesting. I suppose if we had a patron-supported wiki for reading recommendations, that might feasible. I just know that we'd have to have staff regulating the contributions constantly for content and I don't know that it would really be worth the trade-off.

Also, it was a lot more complicated to contribute to the wiki than I had thought! I thought it would be more like blogging somehow, which I guess it is in a way. But I was afraid to leave it in edit mode for too long, so I typed my text in a word file and tried to copy and paste. Apparently, it's not so simple. I managed to make my contribution, eventually, but to me it's really not worth the trouble and I wouldn't have bothered if I didn't have to.