Final Exercise

I have wanted to work with 23 Things for a while. I appreciated the opportunity to work with it and I am very glad to see so many members of the Heights Library staff finish.

Even though I am quite familiar with most of these, there are still a lot I need to learn. I am enhancing my skills through reading other sites such as Sphinn and other library blogs. I am definitely looking forward to attending the Ohio Library Council Innovative Environments Conference next week.

Going down the line of Things for what I can see as being useful for the library:
– Blogs – we’re doing them: What to Read Next and we’re being very successful with it. Our readership is consistently increasing and we’ve had quite a few authors comment on our entries.
– Flickr – We have a Flickr account: Heights Library Flickr I would like to have more pictures within the community and of programs on this page. It is not only a great archiving tool, it illustrates what we’re doing now. There are still things to watch out for. Legal considerations of using Flickr. I would hope that cease and desist would be the initial step in any battles over whether someone didn’t want a picture up on our Flickr page, hopefully with less legal bits…a persnickety email demanding us to take down the picture would be fine.
– LibraryThing – If we can integrate reviews and reading lists into our catalog, I think that would be a HUGE step forward.
– MyMaps – We have added a number of maps to our library website. It is indeed useful for those that want a visual layout of where the library is located. Historical maps within the community may also be useful.
– Facebook and other social networking sites – We have a page on Facebook. Cleveland Heights-University Heights Facebook page. There’s not a lot on there and I really want to build this up even more.
– – We have used it in the past. I would like to see something like this work but we have something similar within our current website and through our content management system, it is almost the same type of interface. I just need to get more people trained on this.
– YouTube – As stated in my previous entry, we have a channel/account. We will get more videos on there not only of the library and its services but the community.

Now, for other tools that we didn’t cover in 23 Things that I want to utilize:
– Twitter or other forms of text reference – In light of Google’s announcement that they will be integrating chat with SMS, I can see this as a possibility to expand service. Even though one may state that this is a very small segment of the population that is texting, we need to look at that group as the future and we need to reach out to them, out to all people.
– Programming events that not only educate but can be entertaining as well. I want to bring/implement the Living Library to Ohio. I see this as a definite possibility for October 2009.
– Creating a library social network of libraries for library users. While the catalog is not created for patrons, I want to help create tools that library patrons need and want to use.

I want to keep learning. I also want the freedom and opportunity to completely focus on web work, social media/networks, maintaining community ties and creating the best website for the library. I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to working with those that completed 23 Things…you are my little army now. 🙂 Not exactly. I feel comfortable in approaching those that completed in asking for assistance with these above projects. We can and will make this work. The social media movement is here to stay!

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 11:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thing 23: Read a few perspectives on Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the future of libraries.

Here are my perspectives of the “2.0” movement within libraries:

Libraries as you know them are over.

We aren’t just books anymore. We were created as the great equalisers, the people’s university, etc. We can still be that. Just not as we are now.

For better or worse, many libraries cling to the traditional “BOOKS” model. As the social media movement has gained traction, most libraries have been left behind in terms of integrating these tools into their services. That’s what I really hope to change.

People say that libraries are quickly becoming community centers. In many ways that is true. Libraries are the anchors and bedrocks of communities. Through these institutions, knowledge and entertainment is given to all.

* I want a social library and I want it now! I want to create a social network that is the library’s website. Patrons could log into the website and have a completely personalised experience.
* We should and can add on tools to the catalog to make it more social (reviews, personalised recommendations, maintain reading lists, etc.)
* We should and can expand and enhance our real estate within social media networks (Flickr, Facebook, etc.) We should also look into areas where patrons are and we’re not. Maybe make a Ravelry group for the library’s knitting group?
* We need to be more involved in the community. Everyone should work a few hours a week within in the community whether it’s volunteering, book talks, digital bookmobile, resume review, etc.

There are so many paths and so many projects I want to take on. I wish I could have 2 more of me to make this happen. I implore the library staff to join me on this journey to shake off the fears of privacy, control and embrace the “new Library.”

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 11:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Thing 22: Find some useful tools for locating podcasts.

Whenever I’ve listened to podcasts, it’s always been directly on my computer as opposed to downloading it to a device.

The Onion has a fantastically hilarious podcast: Onion Radio News.
Press The Button has a podcast, Press The Button podcast.

As a bit of a Mac dork and relentlessly flailing my music collection headlong into the DRM tainted iTunes, I typically find a lot of my podcasts there.
Using PodcastAlley, I was able to find additional podcasts that I don’t normally see on iTunes.

I don’t necessarily think that “it’s a new technology, we don’t need to move into this realm.” It does have some pretty valid uses. In the 1970s/1980s, there was a big push for personal audio archives/oral history projects. In these times, I find that most people embrace the video format.
That’s not to say that people don’t enjoy podcasts. I do. In many ways, if I didn’t have an affiliation with WRUW, I would potentially do weekly podcasts.

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thing 21: Discover YouTube and a few other sites that allow users to upload and share videos.

OMG teh YouTubez! It is amazing. This is probably what Andy Warhol meant when he said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

You have vloggers that share their daily lives, video clips, tutorials, reviews…everything! It is as if the whole world was just put into a blender and out came commentary that can not only be scathing and immature and endearing along with bits of people’s lives.

Heights Library has its own YouTube channel where we’ve posted some videos. We’re definitely going to post more in the future. Programs, tutorials, things that we would like to share with the community through the format of video.

I also love Hulu. I can watch shows, movies, etc. If I don’t want to deal with BitTorrent, Hulu is a great alternative. No seeds to worry about…just streaming which can be wonky with a slow connection.

There’s also videos through the Internet Archive. Things like old government documentaries and propaganda. I’ve used a lot of the stuff on there for my radio show that I do with others, Press the Button.

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 6:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thing 20. Explore some widgets

I was given the nickname widget by my Uncle Doug years ago since his nickname in the family is Uncle Wizard and I wanted to be a wizard just like him. Well, I had to rise up through the ranks of wizardom. One level was widget and while I’ve since become a “wizard,” I still use the name widget or infowidget for many things. So, anytime I hear the word widget, it definitely brings a smile to my face as I think of my uncle.

Other than the widgets that I can add through my WordPress account that I added (Flickr, Blogroll, etc.) I had fun exploring the widgets with Yourminis but I don’t really know how to add them to my blog here and I doubt that I will be adding them on my professional one.
Unless I was creating sites and/or designs/themes for blogs…I don’t see myself delving into widgets. Facebook apps on the other hand… 🙂

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thing 19. Explore any site from the Web 2.0 awards list, play with it and write a blog post about your findings.

This list is amazing! I found some sites on here that I hadn’t heard of before. I am definitely going to be checking out these sites! I can’t just pick one site for this 23 Things entry!

Im Cooked is a social community of people that share recipes and post videos. If you’ve ever wanted to be a star on Food Network or PBS, this is your opportunity to shine and find fellow foodies. A number of my friends, including myself, enjoy cooking. A social community that enables others to interact and share recipes via

Cocktail Builder reminds me of a Palm Pilot application that I had a few years ago where you could type in one type of liquor/alcohol to find types of drinks you can make. This seems to take it a step further. You can search via multiple types of alcohol. Nonetheless, it seems rather unfortunate that this is a web only type of application. I’m confident that there is one out there that uses this same type of interface, offline. If not, there should be!

Craigslist is skeevy, local, useful and hilarious. Here’s the local site. I have sold things and even found an apartment on it. Some of the missed connections are so funny/sad since how is anyone going to find the person that they saw weeks or a month ago? Maybe they do find each other. Nonetheless, I love the Best of Craigslist that highlights ads that are funny, informative, etc. Other than Freecycle, I think Craigslist is a way to find other people who are local who want to buy your stuff and you might even find something on there too. It’s like a huge local garage sale…among other things

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 5:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thing 18. Play with online calendars, personal organizers, and to-do lists.

Ok, Backpack is right out because I know there are free productivity tools out there that I don’t have to pay $24/month for. Ugh!

One of my favourite blogs, The Simple Dollar has a great blog entry about personal productivity using online lists.

I have been using Remember the Milk for a while but have yet to really tap into the potential of it. In playing around with this for my 23 Things entry, I noticed that I can subscribe to my iCalendar feed so that my Google Calendar *and* AppleCalendar can stay up-to-date. I will definitely use this so that I can access my calendar from my phone, iPod and home computer.

Libraries can use some of these calendars to create a free calendar page on their website that others in the organization can add to. I am always trying to find ways to be more productive/organized since there are so many projects that I want to start and maintain. I think importing my calendar to multiple devices will help.

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 4:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thing 17 – Learn about tagging and discover (a social bookmarking site).

I have been using since 2006. Infowidget’s account
It’s where I first learned the term tagging. It is an easy way to keep track of bookmarks as opposed to just keeping them on my computer. Whenever I read a book and it has a number of interesting links in its bibliography, I add them to my account. It is a very useful resource.

I heard that Heights Library had a account before and I know that some libraries use this as a link list and other people can add to the list. The social aspects of it are very cool too. I can tag links as for_$FRIEND and vice versa. If someone likes links and passes them my way, I find something that I may not have seen. I can even subscribe to a RSS feed of other people’s bookmarks.

I have used as a search engine a few times. When researching something obscure for a patron, sometimes I find that someone out there has created a bookmark to a page that I can’t find on Google or other popular search engines.

Definitely useful!

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 4:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thing 16 – Create an account at a social networking site such as Facebook, MySpace, Linked In, Gather, Ning, & WebJunction.

There are dualistic battles being waged on the Interblag. mySpace vs. Facebook, Digg vs. Reddit, Pandora vs., Twitter vs. Plurk, etc.

I have a Facebook account. Amy Harmon’s Facebook
I like the clean interface and unlike many Facebook users, I don’t really mind the new layout. It did take some adjustment then again, I figure I’m making more neural pathways…therefore keeping my brain young!

As a person that is attempting to integrate social media tools within the organization, I should definitely also be on Linked In. It’s a great professional networking tool. I more than likely would not link acquaintances that I only know in a social setting unless I want to “use them to my advantage.” This is where it almost seems like your friendships are based on “how can they help me professionally”/”what can they do for me?”
This would be the social tool Machiavelli would use, in addition to Facebook to “keep it real.”

This leads into the research that was recently released by Laura E. Buffardi and W. Keith Campbell, both from the University of Georgia: Social Networking is for Narcissists. Explanation of the research here: Psychcentral article.

Maybe this is why I sometimes have a hard time on this. It has taken me a while to be able to toot my horn and I don’t fully understand how anyone can find enough time to do it all. I’m getting there.

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 3:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thing 15 – Explore Social media sites such as Digg, Reddit, Newsvine, Mixx, and StumbleUpon

I know a number of people that swear by StumbleUpon and I have played with it a bit. I have found some pretty wacky stuff on there.I find it more fun than Digg or Reddit.
I see Digg or Reddit more as news sites which is fine. Both sites enable voting which if you like a certain page/story, you can Digg it or vote up; if you don’t like something you can kind of push it down/bury the story. It is definitely democratic but then, democracy has its flaws.
That is probably one of the negative aspects of some social media tools. You can have a tyranny of trolls and rabble. If I had to choose one to use, I would probably pick StumbleUpon since it seems more personalised which is probably another reason why I like Pandora more. It seems almost “magical” but undoubtedly it is a sophisticated search algorithm and well, they fascinate me.

Published in: on October 31, 2008 at 3:11 pm  Leave a Comment