Tuesday, January 15, 2008


It's highly addictive! There are sooo many videos of all kinds to enjoy and share.
I want to upload one to this blog, but don't know if I'll manage it. The video is 1-2-3-4 by Feist. It's a great song and a fun video. The end is clever, because everyone disappears behind her.

Award winning sites for Web 2.0

Many are familiar at this point, so I tried Twitter, because I'd heard of it and wanted to know more about it. Twice I tried to open an account and couldn't get it to actually say I have been accepted. It was taking a time out to work with stuff, so maybe that's why. I'll go back later.

Craigslist is extensive. There are many uses for it, not sure if the library would want to use it for anything. I remember a woman from Minnesota or Wisconsin venting about library patrons on Craigslist. That would not be advised.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Google Labs

First I tried some of the technologies Google Labs have made public and found them to be amazing. I was very surprised to learn about goog411. Fantastic idea.

The experimental ones weren't as impressive, but hopefully they will improve with feedback and the lab team. My favorites are:

Google Suggest, because it saves time typing and helps if you aren't sure about the spelling, or phrasing of a subject. I expect this lab to be put into use.

Google Ride Finder is a cool idea, and would be very helpful to those that find themselves in need of transportation quickly in a strange city with the use of a cell phone and internet.

Google Page Creator would be a terrific asset for many who know little about this task, but want their own web page. I didn't want to make a page, but it appears to be very user friendly for those that do. If it works as they claim, I think it would be greatly used by the public.

Google Mars was amazing and fun to explore. I don't know how many people would actually use it, if it went public, but maybe more than you think.

Google Music Trends was interesting. Fortunately they had an explanation on how it works and how to use it. I spent a fair amount of time looking through this one, and thought it was good to find new groups in a genre, but I was disappointed in the small amount of groups they had under each genre. Perhaps since the list is created and updated by the Google Talk listeners, it limits the music added, and the genre it's added to. They didn't list Techno, and the Electronic and Dance genres didn't fill that gap. This might be used a lot in the future, because it's a quick way to reach information about groups and new music, but I feel it would have to be improved to be more inclusive.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Using Web Applications

This is a great option I didn't even know existed! I told my husband about it and he was happy to learn about it, too, and can see ways to put it to use making it easier for him to have documents accessible to work on in his office and at home.

I immediately liked the Google Docs, because it's accessible directly from my Gmail account. But I discovered that we can't access Google Docs at home, because it will not work with Safari, which is what we have on our iMac at home. I could not find a spell check on the Google Doc site either, which is something ZOHO Writer did have, along with various options Google Docs didn't have.

Fortunately the Google Calendar does work at home, and after working with the Google Calendar I found it liked it better than the "30 Boxes" calendar application. I have already signed up for both. Google calendar was easy to use and I love the color coding. Not only that, but it's so easy to access right from Gmail. I am considering using an online calendar along with my staff to keep track of when everyone is scheduled and to keep up with any changes. It would require having everyone on board for using it.

I rarely have need of a spreadsheet, but this is another wonderful option to have available free online. I can see this being helpful with organizations to keep of expenses and have databases available. For example, having the FOCL membership contact list available to everyone. Keeping the FOCL info here would be helpful to FOCL Board members, but I am always fearful of having private contact info available online. Anyway, there's exciting new stuff out there explore!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Trying new search engines

I tried all seven search engines listed on the 2.0 lesson doing 2 different searches with each to compare the results. They all worked very differently.
Exalead had a nice format, but it didn't have relevent results for my seaches at the top.
Wink was just a people search, but it was easy to use.
Gravee turned out to be an interesting engine, but at first I couldn't get it to search. I thought it was requiring you to login and I didn't want to do that just to mess around with it. I went back later and it was working correctly. It had good results and even has a button to add a bookmark or claim the site, and asked if the results were relevent. I would go back and use this again, so I think it's my second favorite.
Clusty got better as I figured out some benefits in the left frame to choose a more relevent direction for the search.
Mooter was my favorite, because it had the most appropriate site results for my search. It had sub seaches for you to choose from depending on the direction you wanted to go in a graphic format, although, I did get into something very strange that I had a hard time getting out of that said it found viruses or worms and wanted me to download a program to stop it. I feared doing that too, and closed out of everything.
Yahoo was so much better than I remembered it. I never use it anymore. It even had dropdown search choices to help narrow your search. I found surpisingly good results from it and would say it was my third favorite of these engines.
Kartoo was really veird. It was very visual, but I found it very confusing the more I worked with it and tried different things. It would open a new page and offer more options. This one would take a lot more investigation. Perhaps with more time I would find it to be better than other search engines, given it's unusual graphic link options.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Library 2.0 and the future

It's obvious to me that we are already into the "future" referred to in these articles just a year ago, such as the OCLC Newsletter articles published in early 2006. Already our library and others across the country have put these new Web 2.0 technologies into practice. It is moving so quickly now that it's apparent to me that all librarians will need to be familiar with these technologies to stay current with user/patron demands and to help them access information.

Rick Anderson talks about the "just in case collection" as a thing of the past, and that we should move away from this concept. We are doing this with online reference databases and with e-books, but I do feel there will always be a need for the print format as there will always be people who want a book in their hands. It will be interesting to see how libraries will meet this need in the next 10 years. I agree we need to remove barriers between patrons and information, and with user friendly Web 2.0, it may be possible. There will continue to be those who resist anything to do with computers, and although we are moving on with or without them, they are our patrons and they are using our libraries. We can introduce them to the advantages of new technology and hopefully they will warm to the idea after seeing the benefits.

To show how things have already happened as predicted, I noticed in the 2006 OCLC article by Chip Niles that they planned to allow anyone with a Web browser to search all of WorldCat by spring of 2007. So, I went to WorldCat and looked up a title. I was able access WorldCat without authorization. It knew my location as Jefferson City and brought up libraries in my area to choose a catalog to search. Clicking MRRL brought up our catalog and I placed a hold on the item all within a few moments. I was impressed with the process.

The article called "Into a New World of Librarianship" by Michael Stephens describes the traits necessary for the librarian of the future. "This librarian" is Bill, "this librarian" is Robin, "this librarian" is Bobbi. They already believe in and have incorporated these ideals into our library currently and into future plans. They have invited us to join them by providing the MRRL Learning Library 2.0. Now we all have the opportunity to be "this librarian."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

States visited

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Somehow the entire map didn't show up on the blog. I'll see if I can find a way to change this. This was easy and fun. I hadn't realized I've been to 38 states!