Friday, November 30, 2007

My reflections on the 10 things

I am done. Yippee! I didn't think I would make it but I did. I do acknowledge I crammed most of it into the last week.

Initially the whole project overwhelmed me and I freaked out about how I was going to get it down when I had so much already on my plate. If this hadn't been mandatory I don't know that I would have done it and that would have been a huge loss for me. Once I started the project, though I grumbled about it, I do have to say I learned a lot from the 10 Things. I feel that I have a good basic knowledge of many of the new technologies out there. Some of the things like Wikis and IM I was already using on a limited basis. So I was current but didn't know it. Who knew!

My thanks go to the 10 Things Dream Team-Ruth, Jenn, Toby and Richard for putting this together and bringing me up-to-date on Technology. I am still not a Techno-Diva like Cathy but maybe someday!

Thing 10-The Finish Line

I finally made it. I have been a fan of audiobooks for a long time. I don't have an MP3 player so I just check out the CDs from the Library. This exercise served as a good opportunity for me to try to download an ebook to my computer. Now that I have done it I am better equipped to help patrons.

The Library's website is great. There is so much it has to offer that it is a truly a virtual branch. Sometimes, though, I do think maybe there is too much on our site. It can be a bit cumbersome to navigate with all of its many layers. When trying to explain to a patron how to access something I have seen some of them shut down because it appears so complicated to them.

As for my favorite thing on the website it has to be the CoolKids Collection but I am biased. Ruth and I worked to get this developed with help from Gail S. and Dawn T. I love it! I think another great feature is the events calendar. It is great to be able to go to one spot and see what is going on in the entire library for the day.

SPL Rocks!

Thing 9-Google Docs

I am in the home stretch. Yeah!!! I love the concept behind Google Docs but found the word processing to be a bit too basic. I was trying to change the font of my document, which consisted of some items I had cut and pasted into the doc. I wanted to get everything to be the same font and size and Goggle Docs wouldn't do it for me. I had to do each section individually. This aside the ability to share docs and invite others to look at it and edit it has much potential. I can't see a patron use at this time but I am sure there is one. I can definitely see staff using it to share and edit documents.

On to Thing 10!

Thing 8-To Wiki or Not

Wow, radical trust...that's radical! I would use Wikipedia with the knowledge that anyone could be putting information on there that might not be accurate. I would verify the information elsewhere. I think, though, there is a lot that can be done with wikis and our community. We need to understand that the wiki would not necessarily be authoritative. That doesn't mean it doesn't have a place. As for a wiki in Youth Services, I would love to see us use it to develop a YS staff training/procedures manual. As a department we could all be working on the document and it would help to have the input of many on the document.

I have used Wikis for some of my ALA committees and it is a really useful tool. One committee I was on was charged with creating a pamphlet about intellectual freedom. We put the document on a Wiki so everyone on the committee could work on the document. This worked really, really well.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thing 7-Podcasts

My "library-oriented" podcasts both had to do with children's literature. I found a podcast of booktalks of children's books. This will help me as I plan booktalks to take out to the Skokie schools. The other "library-oriented" podcast I discovered was a podcast that offers me interviews of well-known children's authors. I think it would be great to offer these on our website and to publicize this to teachers. If a teacher was doing a class unit on a certain book by a particular author the teacher could show her students a podcast interview with the author. Ths would make authors more accessible to kids.

As for what type of podcasts the Library should offer. Maybe we could offer booktalks of our VOYA books. Some schools just can't work it into their daily schedules to have library staff visit their classroom to deliver a booktalk. This is a way we could take the booktalks to them without directly visiting the classroom. The teacher could run the podcast when it worked best in their schedule.

Prior to this exercise, my only experience with podcasts was watching episodes of Grey's Anatomy from the ABC website. I did this before I got a DVR. How did I live before my DVR?!?!?!

Social Bookmarking-Thing 6

Okay, this makes a lot of sense to me. I love the idea of being able to access my favorite sites from any computer. I think for the library great tags would include good books, quick reads, book report due tomorrow, short books.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hanging out with Hannah and Kimberly Willis Holt

This photo was taken this month when I had the chance to host Kimberly at Skokie Public Library. She is such a kind person and a wonderful writer of books for children. She is one of my favorites.