Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wikis, Part 1

I first used a (non-Wikipedia, anyway) wiki in class for a Intellectual Freedom project on Street Lit. This wiki from ALA provided us with a wealth of resources that we might not have found otherwise as well as a solid overview of the issues of how to integrate these materials into collection development policies. For a topic like this with a lot of nontraditional sources, it's a great way to centralize information in a coherent way-a blog requires more sustained commitment and commentary.

This semester, we have a wiki in one of our courses in lieu of a Learn at UW page, which I think works better for the types of information we are transmitting to each other (storytime ideas, links, so on). I think they are far better than Learn at UW-type sites for classes that will be offered again another semester, as our instructor pointed out, since the information doesn't have to be continually re-posted. The layout is also prettier...yes, I'm that shallow...

I couldn't get in to actually edit on the PB Works wiki, but judging from several of the other 23 Things bloggers that I read and their followers, it wasn't just me. It's cool that it's as simple as this:
[ | Reference Course ]

I feel compelled to link to this classic clip on Wikipedia. This was right around the time everyone at my college realized our Wikipedia page was pretty much an extact copy of the admissions site. Now, major corporations hire "web 2.0 consultants" to manage undesirable comments on wikipedia, twitter, and blogs. More than anything, that shows to me the importance of learning all of these applications and software programs. They're a part of the American business model at this point. Libraries, although we would never interfere with their content to that extent, need to learn how to use them to find new ways to reach our patrons.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

this week

My sister has been using Delicious (which I refuse to spell with the periods-lo que sea) for a while as a theater student, so I had a chat with her about it. Since she's constantly moving back and forth between states, much less computers, it's an essential part of her life. She said it also made discussions easier in the days before Google Docs. I found an interesting new website while I was searching for children's books there- a free phonics website that might be a home supplement for the often very expensive software out there on this subject. I loved how you could narrow your searches by tag-what a cool feature!

I didn't set up a Technorati account, since I don't think it's quite right for either of my blogs, but I have noticed that some of my favorite blogs use it. Looking through some of the popular tags, it's easy to see why many want tagging to replace cataloging, especially of websites-some of these terms have no ready LoC equivalent. I noticed that there was only one tag under the libraries section but more under library-little thing like that do get standardized in cataloging, which makes searching more accurate.

I was looking over the reference log, PS Stats, today (I'm not required to look over it-but I find it so interesting that I find myself looking when I have a spare five minutes throughout the week. One of the staff members really writes out his thought process and most of them copy-paste in the Jing screencasts if they used them) and I found a reference request I felt so jealous that I didn't get to have. Is that a normal emotion? Hmmm...

Friday, October 16, 2009


Rollyo is an interesting concept to me. I didn't quite get it until I saw the search results for my first group. I'm so used to blogrolls at this point that it didn't quite click for me. Once I saw the results, I thought of ways that I search just a little bit harder. I compiled a bunch of review websites together so I could search just for a title and see what's out there on a given book. This would be really helpful for people who want to search something specific to children's materials-since I choose the sites, it's a filter in a certain sense but it doesn't limit the patron since an all-web search is the default. Connected with a specific theme or blog, I can see how useful and appreciated this tool would be.

The site crashed on me both times that I was on it, so I would have to study it more before I decided whether or not to use it in a library setting.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This week...

1. Humbling article about excuses for not using Twitter. My primary one-I don't have enough to say is number one...and apparently that just means I'm boring. Ooops....

2. Library Thing- I already had an account, but admittedly I hadn't updated it since my undergrad days. I'm glad to have an excuse to take it up again. Some of the YA lists were very helpful for me when I was just starting out-some of the discussions in that genre are also highly amusing. Somehow I don't mind sharing my book preferences as much...since it's sort of my job anyway. With children's books it can also be helpful to see where the overlap is between authors when making recommendations. I also trust these reviewers a little more than the general public since they skew teachers/librarians on that group. I also hadn't been on it since the whole Twilight phenomenon exploded and it was interesting to read some of the commentary on that series. It's a game-changer for YA in terms of marketing and programming, for sure. I'm also interested in how middle school libraries choose to collect it-some only collect the first, some try to avoid it altogether...interesting...

3. Image generators- I'm a big fan of the mock-inspiration posters (the above is a tribute to D.-thought it would amuse you!): I will save so much time with these when making posters for events, especially the comics generators, since I'm not "artsy." Any image generator that can be used as a profile pic, especially the Mad Men one that was popular over the summer, is sure to capture people's attention.

4. Interesting discussion about cultural authenticity last week on SLJ's Heavy Medal blog...I'll post on my other blog (see profile) about it...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Feeds, Children's Books, and Twitter, Part 2

I've been using Google Reader since...mmm...ever- and it has become a part of my morning routine to check it. So when we were asked to look at Bloglines for class this week , my general first impression was indifference. I do like the ease by which I can subdivide by topic in Blogline and the search features are different as well. I don't think I would continue to use it outside of class, but it's nice to have options and understand the non-Google world just a little better just so I have options if/when Google takes over the world.

I found this site, which helped me to understand some of the usability differences between the two. It also made me feel better about not liking Bloglines, to be honest.

Imported from Reader to Bloglines...some of my children's lit blogs to explore:

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

American Indians in Children's Literature

Nerdfighters (John Green)


Bonus site (found this from a librarian at my practicum site): makes techie things seem so very much less technical

I saw this on Google News today....I feel a slight sense of shame that I've outlasted Miley Cyrus on Twitter, but indeed Twitter can be used for good, as I'm finding and indeed I might even learn something....

Saturday, October 3, 2009


yay for the pretty tree bark...

I will withhold a rant on Twitter, since I personally don't enjoy it even if I see its benefits for me as an individual to communicate. That said, I would gladly use it in a library setting. It's great for getting the word out quickly for events, closings, send out relevant links, and so on.

Flickr, however, has come in handy a few times. Like last week, when I used it to scope out the Sequoya Branch before my site visit for another class in the hopes that I would ask questions without a very obvious answer. Or, when I need cute pictures of bento boxes for my selfish procrastination needs...or when I'm really, really ridiculously homesick.

Of all the mashups, this one won me over by introducing me to the photo at the top of my post. I tried out the librarian trading card as well, but then I thought about it for a second. And as a young adult/school librarian, would I really want to hand those out? Hmmm...nope, but it's a sweet idea nonetheless. I think as a hyper-private person, some of these exercises will be a challenge of sorts for me.