Saturday, January 24, 2009

We're Baaaaccccckkkkkkk!!!

Its great to see participants pushing through the gates to join in our More Things on a Stick program. Lets keep it light and fun like it was during 23 Things on a Stick! I can't decide how to use my blog this time. i will try to blog specifically about all of the Things, but could get hung up if I need to fall back to help some of our participants along. This time, I also created a group for CMLE members on the Ning, so will cruise through there looking for people needing help.I'll resurface here whenever I can!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thing 23: Final Thoughts

Learning these Things and showing them to others, has renewed my interest in being a darned good librarian. I've also noticed that when I am in a learning mode (after the first hard part) I notice that I am wearing more colorful clothing, trying unusual foods, and actually laughing more.Feeling more alive!! Sometimes life can get waaaayyyy too serious, and I think some exploring and learning in a playful way, is just the ticket to re-invigorate many of us. I love Wisconsin's tag line for a similar program: Play More. Learn More. Fear Less. Seems to me, that sums it up!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thing 22: Ongoing Learning

I really hope our participants choose to continue their personal learning in a future version of 23 things. I am so happy with the sense of accomplishment I hear in participants blog posts.For many, this has restored confidence that was missing there for a while. As a part of my job, I subscribe to many of the blogs listed in this Thing, partly, so I am aware of new tools or ideas to share with our member libraries. Lets keep learning together!

Thing 21: Other Social Networks

I love Ning. It is sooooo easy to use, and I sort of wish we had "herded" our 23 Things participants through our Ning at the beginning of the Things. Some of my CMLE bloggers got lost in our Ning, and I had a heck of a time getting them out so they could set up Thing 1 through Blogger. I welcomed some new people, and commented on some discussions that are going on. Uploaded my picture of course and worked on my profile a bit. Am wondering if CMLE members would congregate in a CMLE Ning. More to think about. Gather definitely has a whole different tone, which I liked. What is better than a "MySpace for Books"? Oh, and last, but certainly not least, I dorked around in Shelfari for a while, and even added my Shelfari bookshelf to my blog. The wish list caught my eye, besides the other helpful categories for your books. I will be digging into the group discussions on this site more in the future. Sweet!

Thing 20: Facebook and MySpace

I have had a Facebook account for a while, but I must admit that I was reluctantly just lurking out there occasionally. I had to "restart" my account because Facebook no longer liked my password (yes, I had written it down). I spent a little time on my profile, posted on the wall of a high school friend, then took a look at the group called Libraries Using Facebook Pages. If I was an academic librarian, I would set up a Facebook page with no question. I would really like to think through how helpful this would be for CMLE, so I subscribed to this group as a way to monitor. The whole "friending" thing really has no appeal for me, but hey, that's just me! Makes me feel stodgy, but honest!!I can completely see why Facebook and MySpace would have great appeal to students. I can also see why very shy people may have outrageous social networking pages (and possibly need a lesson on safe computing). Looking forward to Thingee 21, I've been looking forward to exploring Shelfari.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Thing 19: Podcasting

I've used podcasts before, but challenged myself to learn something new. In poking around,I stumbled upon a site called Mediafly (beta), and I really liked how easy it was to find categories of podcasts and it was super easy to Play Now or Add to my Play List. What I especially liked is that a drop down offers the choices of readers to add the RSS feed to, which is nice. I tried adding a feed just to see how easy it was, amazingly so! I get annoyed when you almost have to stand on your head to add a feed to your Reader, I know, get over it! Anyway, Mediafly has audio books, produced by LibriVox, so I have no idea how the copyright works, but I thought this content was great for libraries. I like to look for a podcast and listen to it, but don't want the commitment of an ongoing feed. I have been toying with producing some podcasts from CMLE to its members, but am not sure anyone really wants to hear me drone on about anything. If a strong need arises, I will do it in a flash. Being situated here at SCSU, I can pull on the expertise of the podcasting team here if I run into trouble, but of course if I use something as simplistic as Gcast, there is no need. Gcast would be great for teachers to leave assignments online by just calling the 800 number and talking into a phone. Easier than typing. Not my favorite thing, but that is OK!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thing 18: You Tube; Rock n' Roll Library

March of the Librarians: I spy Mary Ann VanCura!!

You too can be a rock star if you use your library!People who know me well, know that I often tell high achievers that they are making like a rock star! So, of course when I saw this library rock star video, it had to come to my bloggie.....No problems using the site at all, and what fun. Who wouldn't like You Tube? It just amazes me how easily you can manipulate video...have I fallen asleep for 200 years and just woke up? Feels that way sometimes!!

Thing 17: ELM Productivity Tools

Academic Premier search alert.Even witht he revised newsletter instructions, I was having trouble setting up my RSS feed in IE. No often happens in 2.0, I found a way around. I have all of my feeds set up through Google Reader and it didn't look probable that I could make this work, or that I would remember to check the feed in IE. Therefore, I set up my alert as an email alert, which will get the job done until we are able to set up feeds through Google Reader. Page Composer. Very cool. I had a MINITEX trainer demo this in November at the CMLE annual meeting in Mora. Most in the audience could think of many ways to use this, one being to do a search for administrators and wow them with the professional look of the search results!The ProQuest Create a Web Page was the best set of instructions in this Thing. Easy, and very professional looking.NetLibrary. The video did not show me anything I didn't currently know. I especially like to use NetLibrary to get travel maps, short bits about places I want to go. Nice to pull a few day trips rather than buying or borrowing the entire travel guide.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Thing 16: Student 2.0 Tools

Both the U of M Assignment Calculator (higher ed) and the Research Project Calculator (k-12) are fabulous tools, that I sure wish we had when we were learning to do research in high school. IF parents know about the RPC, they've just got to love it. When my kids were in high school I had many of their friends tapping on my door for assistance with their research. They usually cried "uncle" when it came to their bibliographies.Now, with the RPC, if they have the use of a computer, they have some guidance throughout the process, which is great! Having dates of what needs to happen by when, has to offer them great reassurance. I've been watching the Assignment Calculator for years, and the part of it that I like best is at the very front end, from the drop-down list, you select your topic. Then, when you receive your steps for action, the actual relevants databases are listed there. Wow, this is just so incredibly helpful to college wonder, issues with printing, becomes one of the most common reference desk questions these days.The more we can customize the information for the need of the student, the more served and directed they feel without having to feel dumb, and ask a Hats off to the folks who created these tools for Minnesota, well done!

Thing 15:Gaming

This was a tough Thing for me. Once, a few years ago, I downloaded some skunky game, and really messed up our home computer. So, I have flashbacks of the angst this created in the family. I am really careful about ANY downloads.
My strategy was to do Puzzle Pirates, but it requires a download. Scratch.
I've always wanted to do Second Life, actually signed up once at a Second Life workshop and never got back to it. So, I watched the video, and thought, what the hell, I am just going to do this.I read all of the FAQ's, and honestly have no idea what kind of video card I have, so decided to just go ahead and download the software, and not be such a chicken. However, when I did so, I got a security warning telling me that "the publisher of the download could not be verified. Yikes, scared me off....I even set up my account, my name is Lola Steig, and my avatar in 2nd Life is very funky looking. I had even saved a 2nd Life blog post from the Learning About Sticks blog, which had really good information about walking you through your first 2nd life experience. I would be more willing to try this at work where I would actually have some technical support if I get into trouble with the download. I can totally see why people would enjoy 2nd life, and of course it makes sense to have libraries in 2nd life. Maybe more later when I get my courage back!

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