Monday, November 26, 2007

23 - I'm done

Well. 23 Things was a positive exercise for a lot of people who were afraid of technology. I think it encouraged people to play with different websites, different forms of technology, etc. and realize that they weren't going to break anything. It took the fear away, which was SO fabulous. A lot of my coworkers are so much less afraid and more apt to take a chance and just try something new rather than panic.

However... I think 23 things could have been improved in a lot of ways as well. It was far, far too long. Too long to the point that it was discouraging. For people like myself who have grown up with these websites, it felt very close to a waste of time, especially when we were swamped with work at our branches during the whole process. Also, much of what 23 things required of us had no direct connection to what we do every day. It's wonderful that people are now comfortable with playing with technology, but that could have been achieved with a much shorter program that was perhaps more focused on our day-to-day work.

Overall, though, I think the push toward being more comfortable with technology within the library system is a fabulous thing and I support that 100%.

22 - My love for downloadable books

While podcasts are not my cup of tea, I'll rave to you for days about how I love downloadable books. I think I mourned the loss of NetLibrary for a week when we discontinued our subscription. I guess our customers haven't caught on to its greatness, but Overdrive just simply doesn't cut it.

I tend to travel a lot because I'm an old, restless soul and everytime I go somewhere, I download a book to my mp3 player and by the time I get back, I'm done with it. Whether I'm going by car, plane or (rarely) train, I always manage to finish the book because I get so wrapped up in it. Maybe it's because I loved the magic carpet in kindergarten when the teacher would read to us for a half an hour. Haha. Oh, childhood memories. Either way, though, I wish people would catch on faster. Audiobooks are so much easier to deal with, you can't lose them, you can take that tiny mp3 player with you anywhere.

Can you tell I love these things? Can we please have Netlibrary back? Please?

Podcasts 21

I haven't really found my niche with podcasting. I don't typically listen to things except music or books, I don't like short snippets. Podcasts just haven't "gotten" me yet.

Anyway, I found kind of a cool podcast on alternative Muslim views, which I'm totally into because of my background in Islamic studies, so it's possible I might listen to that sometime in the distant future. It just seems like too much work for me. It took 15 minutes to find a podcast I might actually listen to, and another 5 or 7 to add it to my RSS feed (which I also don't use/like). I have my own system which doesn't include podcasts or RSS feeds. But... at least I know how to use them!! I have fancy intarweb skillz.

Libraries have done a lot with podcasting, though. I went to a little (read: long) class on blogging and podcasting at MLA and while I thought the podcasts were painfully boring, I guess some people actually listen to them, which is fabulous. I'd much rather read how to do something because I can read much faster and skim through what I need to figure out -- it takes a while to listen to a whole podcast of someone speaking at a painfully slow speed. But like I said, a lot of people are really into them, and I appreciate that. Lots of people learn in many different ways, I guess that's just not my cup of tea.

Silly politics. If I watch things like this at all, I have to watch them on YouTube so I can pause and come back once I've regained my composure. I like YouTube a lot, they have tons of funny stuff (and lots of weird things, too), but whatever floats your boat. I'm not sure how libraries would use something like this, really. Maybe for instructional videos, but I'm young and hip (haha), so that seems pretty boring to me. Who knows...

Thing 19...

I'm a big list-maker, so I went to You can make lists of all the things you want to do before you die and see all the people who want to do the same things you do. You can also get ideas of things to do from all the other people on the site, which is cool, because I'm always up for adding to my list. Anybody want to go to Morocco?

I suppose it could be used in a library setting, but I'd put a different twist on it. Like 43 things you'd like to see at the library, or 43 things you'd like to do at the library. That would be kind of neat because it would give us - as librarians - ideas as to how our customers really want to use the library, since the uses of libraries are changing so much now. It could give us great ideas about how we could better serve our community specifically. Maybe Columbia has specific needs that other communities don't that we could cater to pretty easily and just don't realize. Users could also see what everybody else is saying and get ideas or agree/disagree, which I think would be good. It could also serve as a neat social networking tool without being myspacey.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Google Docs is one of my favorite things ever. Possibly because anything Google is one of my favorite things ever, but also because it's just insanely cool. I make all sorts of lists, because I have one of those list-making personalities - and I keep them on google docs, and sometimes I share them with my friends so they can edit them with me. Amy in LTS shared a couple docs with me on Ubuntu when I got my laptop, and it was so cool that multiple people can view and/or edit the document at once and somehow it just knows how to make everything mesh once you save it. I have no idea how, but it's pretty sweet. I've never tried doing anything online with a spreadsheet or presentation. I do a lot of calendar sharing, though.

I think I'll stick with Google Docs. I'm sure Zoho is pretty cool (and probably has a better name than Google Docs) but I remain loyal...

lookie, I did it