Monday, November 17, 2008

Exercise #21 Facebook, etc

I have had a facebook spot for a few months - mainly set up so people who want to can look at my photos, i.e. I don't have to send them whopping great folders by email or force them to look at my computer screen and admire my handiwork when it is mostly average!
I can see from younger people who are my friends though that they use it to organise gatherings and invites to parties/gigs/clubs/exhibitions, all sorts - which is brilliant - like your own personalised social club. So I can see if you check it every day or so you would be reaching a lot of people - and the link to community and library events is logical for those who are into it. I suppose there are the rest of us though who would prefer email notifications or google searches.

Anyway I have recently discovered also that you can store or link to your favourite music, books, etc and build up collections ..... so given a bit more development it could probably take over from some of the other applications like Library Thing [oh wash your mouth out].
I am wary of revealing too much about myself of course and of how there are limits to what one communicates to others.
The North Shore Library group required me to ask to join so I didn't carry on with it but it would be a great way to share general news that wasn't just the official stuff. Yes, I really would like to hear what some of the sessions at the LIANZA conference were like - not just look at the endless flickr photos which really didn't tell me anything much. [In the end I did join and there were a few comments posted about maybe 2 sessions at the LIANZA conference but then they petered out - so I assume people were only impressed by those 2 or that's all they had time to comment on.]
So my conclusion is - along with my next post- that we and the public still depend on [and value highly] person to person contact- it takes up less of our time and doesn't require us to become journalists. Patrons can take advantage of it while they are in the library picking up books - so there can be a combination of checking a website for recommendations, reserving online but still having human contact. If someone asks me to provide a book recommendation or review I can do that at the drop of a hat as I have worked on this for many years but not everyone is comfortable in doing this in public or in writing. Lots of librarians can do this verbally on a one to one basis with no problem at all and library users feel comfortable with this as it is an individual service, i.e. they can interpret body language and work out whether you are someone who might have similar tastes to them. It also means that anyone on a counter , doing shelving or working on a desk in the library needs to be versatile and to be able to switch from reference type queries to issuing a book, to accessing internet facilites when the queues allow.

[Still working on this]

Auckland Library's bebo looked like a good experiment but you do get some really irrelevant comments on the friends page. A nicer way to get feedback on library services eventually!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


My browsing of the suggested sites and reading about the different ways to access an ebook made me think that it is all very much in its infancy. I don't know anyone who has purchased an ebook reader and North Shore Libraries has still not purchased them despite the hype from Geoff Chamberlain about 2 years ago.
It seems logical but somehow totally unappealing. It will take us many years before we can browse an internet site the way we do a bookshop to find out about the equivalent of the latest fiction paperbacks. However, I was impressed to find that Terry Pratchett's latest, "Nation" is available on Kindle Bookstore. However at $10 US, although it is cheaper than a hardback book it is not particularly cheap considering it is downloadable by wireless connection and one would be paying for the download access time as well. In a few months it will be available in paperback at around $14 US [at today's exchange rates!].
Some of the sites did not have acceptable search mechanisms either.
I do like them for the possibility offered of browsing a limited number of pages to see if it is what you want but then I found a Margaret Mahy title where most of the illustrations had been pixellated out due to copyright issues - so what would be the point of browsing it.
Anyway I'm sure if I was into reading some classics that I'd never got around to it would be useful if a really good reader device became available.
Considering all the wonderful things I am storing on my computer I guess the odd novel could be acceptable - but not a preferred option. Could be quite useful for sections of works that one wants to refer to later.
And there's a new one [21/11/08]

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Had a look for what could be found in the first 2 directories.
In the end I went back to my favourite one which is Point England School. They are up to episode 195 in their book reviews which they have been doing for 3 years. This could be useful for adult viewers/library users too but probably not worth their while by the time they've downloaded itunes and quicktime - just as easy for them to read a review on a website. It may appeal to teens though because of the enhanced visuals.
While browsing that one I found another Auckland school Glenbrae had also set up podcasts - one on the subject of Preserving Culture was very well done so I will be able to preserve the link to that as well.
I am working on getting them linked to my Netvibes setup. Bloglines didn't seem to want me! So, still learning but am on the whole attracted to them and want to learn how to set them up.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Attempting photo link

Just trying out speed of photo upload. Uploaded old photo quickly - doesn't upload new ones at all.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

You tube

Many wonderful things can be discovered here. I would have like to import the library students' Rock and roll presentation into my facebook but I needed to allow cookies and that escaped me. At least i have put the link up here. The useage to promote library services seems specially useful.

Web 2.0 awards

In the short lists for Web 2.0 awards I picked Events first place getter 'Upcoming.' [The first event quite neatly focussed on a conference for developers of social network applications on the internet, with a special focus on building a layered identity - if I understood it right.]
This seemed to me to be a wonderful facility, i.e. the events lister/booker to bring communities together at little or no cost for publicity - once everyone has learned to use them that is. Assuming anyone can contribute to the listings it could make it easy to add to the events listed on the NS Libraries' website or the same section on the Council website.
Another site I visited allowed employees who produced a graghic design magazine to work from anywhere they could locate an internet connection and retrieve and contribute to common files - which they were very thrilled about.
Some of the other sites I visited seemed to have nothing much in them despite being prizewinners - I wonder how they are all going to get our attention?

Zoho writer/google docs

I had already been using google docs before this exercise, which worked well in a collaborative sense. I have also used it to store documents I can't afford to lose.
I set up a Zoho writer a/c and at the first 2 visits it looks like it might have more features than google. However when trying to store documents the save function wasn't working within an acceptable time so I gave up.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Library thing[ out of order]

I have 2 Library Things I contribute to; it took me a while to realize that if I don't sign out of one of them then that will be the one which comes up each time, and I won't be able to get into the other one even though I can see it. The old bad dream thing where you are in a cage and can't get out.
Or like my friend who I recently visited who has only just realized after 8 months that she has 6 gears on her car!! Well, she's never had a car with overdrive before!

Anyway, they make it very easy for you and it's been especially useful for a book group I belong to. We don't have to email a list out any more and if someone is away from the meeting they can still enter reviews. I may suggest starting one for the other book club I belong to but probably not to cover the backlog.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rollyo ho ho

Really liked the idea - but the practice revealed that it searched and found mainly American sites - well in my case 'children's book reviews" it seemed to be all American.
It also didn't say how many it had found which was annoying as I trolled through page after page.
So I'm not sure yet how different it is from doing a google search.

When I registered I was then invited me to enter the url s of the ones I preferred - too much work! May as well just keep them on another site I've already established ..........
Still I will go back and fiddle with it later as there do seem to be some useful features -like being able to attach urls to your own scroll bar and to do it from anywhere - just too complicated for me to absorb all at once at this time of night.

Oh dear, could now become an image freak.

Image generators

Above is the link to the site I used - these could be nice eye catching devices to liven up a notice or a communication with fellow workers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Using Wiki Sandbox

I have no idea what happened but I reinforced my blog link which was already visible!
I tried to join and then thought maybe we didn't have to .....................
Maybe I'll go back later, I thought this would be easy..
I added a photo but in the process messed up someone else's entry, and the text I added and saved does not seem to be there.
This does not live up to the hype of how easy it is.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I love wikis- easy to understand the concept ; most can have relatively simple layout, can be easy to keep confidential and easy to contribute to.
I especially like the opportunity for library users to contribute to book reviews and enhance the service the library can offer - librarians would never be able to keep up the quantity.
Great potential for guidance for parents regarding reading suggestions, high school students for resources and suggestions for study and of course their very own wiki for reading recommendations.

Another way of using them which seems to work well is for consultation,e.g.

on digital strategy.

Of course there is an assumption that contributors have a certain level of expertise - there can be the downside of a variation in knowledge and presentation and it would be a better service if it was mediated.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Blogs I'm following

Some of the worthy ones I intended are now visible, and a few frivolous ones too. A never ending business if you explore the links from one to another and come across intriguing people [who on the whole seem quite amazed that other people are interested in the same pursuits and like to read their blogs regularly.]

At one stage I thought I was being stalked online as there was a list of blogs forming which were not inserted by me - 'sit down man' was an entertaining one - I think they were just the ones highlighted by across the top of the screen. Maybe I will eventually remember how to retrieve them.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Exploring technorati

I found some of the advice and notes quite useful but following tags to find useful stuff for me was tedious. The layout is typical of most US sites - very cluttered, loads of pop ups and adverts - still, if I was starting from scratch and needing to find blogs I suppose it would be a start.....

For example; this had worried me - how to keep some blog entries in case the blogger doesn't put them in an archive.

What is a permalink?
The homepages of most weblogs have several entries, or posts, listed on them. Because blogs tend to be frequently updated, articles you find on a weblog's homepage one day may not be there the next. A permalink is the permanent identifier to a specific weblog post or article. Bloggers love permalinks — they provide an easy way to capture specific references to posts or articles about which bloggers are writing.
Not even halfway through the exercises and I am search weary/wary - oh not another way to troll/trawl!

Having searched by the different methods suggested ; tags, directory and blogs , I found blogs gave more results but were of varying levels of expertise or nerdiness - the others didn't seem satisfactory at all. Technorati may be useful in the US and certainly a trawling feature for blogs is needed but it wasn't particularly useful for me.

Thoughts on web 2.0 possibilities

It's amazing how some of the readings already look a little dated - we are already accepting that we are in the Web2.0 environment and thinking about moving on.
It may become a battle between innovators about which application serves us best, which can be readily adapted for library use, which can be combined to provide 'one site that can fit all needs.' Some heartening aspects are :
that most of the current facilities are being supplied free,
that people are looking to collaborate rather than compete.
that people are looking to provide a service rather than just a personal plaything.
I look forward to the day when there is one site to go to which comprehensively covers all possibilities for reference queries and deeper academic research.

I find it hard to comment further till I've finished the whole 23 things; there are already sections I've covered and posted and forgotten what I'd written!
I appreciate some of the following viewpoints:
that Web 2.0 is a marvellous opportunity to reach library customers and provide them with the kind of links and information that they need which are both interesting and reliable/well researched.
that libraries are all about community and this is a great way to enhance that.
But for many users the internet is still not a possibility or too hard.

This book has captured me:
Quiet Please: dispatches from a public librarian, Scott Douglas, Da Capo Press 2008
a lovely mix of humour and seriousness about his coming of age as a librarian and what his role is.

These readings I found intriguing:
Nicholas Carr: google making us glib and stupid, not deep thinking or contemplating, skimming for info , not knowledge.

Concentration low, looking for easy answer.
1st book discusses wider IT implications
The Big Switch

Linked with libraries providing the link to everything - librarians making it easy for people to search for info they want
depends on
a] everyone having searchtime on the internet
b] librarians continually being able to enable their customers, over and over till everyone has a base level of skills on the web
c] customers having the willingness to take it on board
d] making relevant content available - we don't just need what technorati, google and EBSCO and Gale can provide. We need to be sure our local content is just as good.

Although I am using this to store bookmarks with my own tags I find it a little tedious as it's another thing I have to sign in and out of.

I think I would rather attach links to my blog or facebook or Library thing or whatever site I was using the most. Certainly discovering what others with similar interests are accessing is good but Library thing and the Netvibe aggregator are probably enough.

If I was doing large amounts of research I think I would use it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Using Aggregators/Feedreaders

I already had an aggregator called Netvibes which has a clear display with the latest feeds from each blog set out in its own box. I find this much easier visually than the bland listings which seem to appear on other feedreaders.
The benefit to me is naturally that I do not have to clog up my email inbox with these items and can read the ones that interest me when I have time - and store them for referral. I have not yet discovered if you can remove some of the archive but I guess it hardly matters as it is not being stored on my computer - another huge advantage. Because of this exercise I have transferred 1 feed from a daily email to an RSS, added 2 more new ones and will go back to see if I can transfer any more. It's a pity the list serves I use do not have this facility as it would cut down on all the unnecessary messages we get to say someone in unsubscribing or out of the office which inadvertently occur.
For libraries I can see RSS messages could be used to alert library users to a new service, new book list, event etc.
The blog search sites were very disappointing a] American b] didn't find anything interesting on my chosen search terms of 'children reading' - c] Technorati was 'away for repairs' d] the one which had some NZ content was mostly referring to old or not so important news.

It seems the way I will find more feeds is through my usual method of personal recommendations or lists from other blogs I am already familiar with. Presumably I will eventually find another blog troller/trawler.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

a new new new solution to too many social network sites

Check out
face in a
Set up by a guy who came to NZ looking for a new direction to his life, still not able to afford a house and thought of this.
Instead of signing up to Bebo, my space, facebook etc and sending out messages to find your friends and like minded people - you sign up to this site and it links you. Only costs a dollar! I don't know how it works yet but it seems so much better if you are using it for networking rather than just storing your 'stuff.'

Monday, August 25, 2008

Technology note[d]

For me the most useful asset will be when I have learned to download photos onto free hosting sites, especially while and after travelling.
I had given up taking photos in the last few years because of the considerable size of the albums taking up almost a whole cupboard - and leaving it to other family members to create computer files - the easy way out.
Now I feel that I can join people up to my facebook site and they can view the photos when they want to - or mostly if they want to.........

The other great plus to life and work in general from all this web knowledge is the possibility for the general public to create their own tags to store and search for information. I am hoping this becomes part of library practice so that they can contribute to sites/catalogues etc and more easily find what they are looking for - subject headings as proscribed by librarians' systems are not always user friendly - even for librarians. My vision seems to involve a section of a library site or opac they can go to and suggest the tags they would use , which librarians then select and paste in. Let the customer take some control! I haven't got to the other ways of trolling the internet yet but it will be the most intriguing for me I think.

Aaaaah, so that's where people learned all that amazing stuff

I had been aware of people being able to make calendars, name tags, CD covers but didn't know where they found it all. I particularly liked the bighugestuff site where I could make a name badge [in my other job I have student librarians who desperately need badges...] so I will go back to that.I didn't like the idea of the librarian trading cards - well it seems it's just another facebook/myspace etc but I got the impression from the ones I looked at that people who had pretty public jobs were giving out too much unprofessional personal info and it had the potential to give others too much info as well - like where they took the photos, their children's photos etc.

completely gaga

Just spent half an hour figuring out why I can't post to my blog - didn't remember the necessity to simply sign in and was looking for other wondrous features like "Next blog post" or similar.

OK; to Flickr - and can I even spell it?

I really enjoyed the Birkenhead Library's space and could see the potential for collegiality/colleague- e- alness amongst the wider group if each library had one of these. It would also suit people who work at different sites of the same organisation.
Also appreciated Rodney's as the photos were largely of features, visits and events that other NZ librarians may find very useful.
I especially love this seating area. So far this is my favourite library of all at Christchurch South and I have visited it 3 times even though I live on the Shore! One day maybe one of our libraries will look like this.

Monday, July 28, 2008

2nd instalment/aftermath of storm

I am just pleased I managed to find my way back here.
During this recent stormy weekend where our pleasures and amusements had to be indoor ones I would have thought I would have read a lot.
However it mostly boiled down to dvds, cooking and red wine!
So from one librarian to others -
"The bucket list" with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman was excellent, gentle and probably would have been a failure without 2 such amazing actors.
"Death at a funeral" was English farce at its very best [even if you hate farce], all actors incredibly good with rather unlikely events set in English country house.
Star Wars for the umpteenth time on tv still seems worth watching.
Blokes enjoyed "The Dark Knight."
Mixed audience from 18 up were alternately impressed and repelled by "A country for old men."
Still have 'Under the mountain' to go!!!!

A look around the neighbourhood saw a lot of storm debris, a chopped up branch and a beach covered in seaweed. Lucky we didn't have power cuts in this area.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Communication daze

Started my blog, didn't understand about choosing a url - thought it had to be an existing one!
Anyway, now in a daze of passwords and usernames and will take advice to write them all down for this exercise as they are not particularly private. Haven't found the place to alter the time yet.

An intro:
Librarian in many locations
specialise in Childrens' needs and hope to specialise further in reference
like trying new things