Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thing 10 - Virtual Library

Saving the Best for Last. This by far is my favorite "Thing". In fact, this how I got introduced to the Skokie Public Library. One day I called the Evanston Public Library in search of a service that I read about that would allow me to download audiobooks from home. They referred me to the Skokie Public Library. Unfortunately, I had to be a Skokie Card Holder to utilize this service. A couple months later, I took a position as a part-time Technology Assistant and was able to take full advantage of OverDrive. I now use it regularly. It is simple to use and the collection gets larger and larger every month. E-books are something that I haven't spent much time accessing but I plan to in the future.


Thing 9 - Google Tools

Google Tools offers some great applications. Although these types of application have been offered for quite some time, never have they been available for free. Having the ability to collaborate on projects together with a group makes for less email and attaching. It also helps free up storage space in your email outbox. Google Docs spreadsheet is Googles version of Excel. Its serves the purpose, but compared to Excel, doesn't allow you near the freedom as far as formating is concerned. It does however, allow the Library to post easily accessible presentation slides from computer classes that we have held in the past. This allows patrons to access slides from a class they attended. Overall, I give it an B+.

Above Picture- Sergey Brin & Larry Page, Google Founders

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thing 8 - Wikis

Wikis are extremely useful in many ways. The major advantage of a wiki is the abundance of content that is constantly updated and added to. I recently was looking for information on the popular dvd game "Scene It?". Not only did the site wikipedia provide me with what I was looking for but it gave me the most up to date statistics on the game including sales, release dates of new versions, and a detailed history of how it was created. It also is simple to narrow searches down throught the links provided in each page. I was easily able to navigate to "comparison" dvd games pages through the "Scene It?" page. Wikipedia was undergone scrutiny in the past for accuracy issue. With my particular searches, it was important that I had a reliable source. I double checked all of the info with the company that created "SceneIt?", ScreenLife. Everything checked out.


You can check out my contribution to the 1o Things Wiki at http://theskokieten.pbwiki.com/

Thing 7 - Podcasting

I had alot of fun with the podcasting. Specifically the Learn Out Loud website. They had a good variety of podcasts and they were organized well. My subscriptions included Real Time with Bill Maher and Kiplinger Personal Finance. I think Podcasts would be great for the any library. Our patrons that are small business owners would benifit from some of the podcasts that deal with their particualr industry. There are also some good intro to computers podcasts that might be beneficial to those patron who seek assistance with the learning new and old technologies. I have been subscribing to podcasts for years. Many of which have assisted me in stay informed on various topics from politics to technology.


Thing 6- Social Bookmarking

My experience with Social Bookmarking has been great. JPB introduced me to del-icio-us a while back. However, I remember using it before then also. The tags for websites are helpful. Especially when I was trying to track down a song I heard in a commercial once. There is a secret society of website dedicated to tracking down rare music heard in commercials and movie trailers. Many people describe (or tag) these songs similarly: "The upbeat song in the Volkswagen commercial" is an example.

Thing 5 - Flickr and Photosharing

Photo Sharing gives us a rare glimpse into other peoples experiences and moments. Flickr by far is the most user friendly and provides the most options. I enjoyed my experienced with Flickr. Kodak Easyshare has a similar setup but they compress files so much that the quality is low. I enjoyed view the library staffs photos. (I saw a pic of Hal S. with a long beard in 2003).


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Thing 4 - Social Networking

Having worked in both the Youth Computer Lab and the Adult Computer Lab for the past 2 1/2 years I've seen my share of Social Networking. Everyone is involved in some way or another, whether its directly or indirectly. Myspace has been the talk of the town for quite some time now and although they have more users than FaceBook, Facebook is growing at a faster rate. Being able to add music and other media to help personalize your page, make Myspace more appealing to some. Facebook certainly appears more reserved and professional. Personally, I like FaceBook better, but only by a slight margin. Myspace bothers me visually, there is way too much going on. The constant ads are somewhat annoying and I some individual page are so overcrowded with music and videos that you have to turn off the music that automatically starts when you open the page just to listen to the other content. That same creative freedom that Myspace gives user is a blessing and a curse. I've added an interesting article on Myspace/Facebook below. It's worth checking out. Until next time.