Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thing 15


I played around with Rollyo during the Web 2.0 workshop I took last year. I remember it being a cool concept, but I'm just not sure how often I would use it (and to be honest, I haven't used it since!). I attempted to use it during that workshop to gather information for my (then) upcoming San Diego trip by adding links to a bunch of information on the city, some attractions, visitors guides, the hotel's website, etc.

Rollyo could be pretty neat, since it allows you to search just the sites you want for information you need, but I almost think I would rather just save the sites to a favorites menu and go through them one-by-one than search them all together. Rollyo can be useful if you're looking for a particular item or specific information but you're not sure which site it might belong to -- if you've included it in the Rollyo search engine you've built, it would be easy to search for it and find it. But, a downfall of this would be if you have too many sites saved to the Rollyo search engine, you might have to still sort through pages of search results to find the exact information you're looking for.

A use for it within the library might be to create a "search engine" to just look through favorite sites for programs, storytimes, fingerplays, etc. It might also be useful for public computers for saving things like popular news sites, homework help sites, job search sites, etc., for the public to use. It would save them lots of time and would only search sites preselected by library staff for information.

It was fun to try out the program, but I think I'll stick with my favorites menu for now.

Thing 22

I had fun checking out the different online tools available for free throughout the course of this 23 Things experience. Some of my favorites really served no real-world purpose, but others were quite useful, such as the homework calendars, LibraryThing and Wikis. Overall, this was an enjoyable experience and I hope to spend more time working with the tools that I learned about in the 23 Things.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thing 21

Student 2.0 Tools

Wow, those assignment calculators could serve to be very useful resources for students! I will talk to my department head about linking to them from our webpage (or from the teen webpage) -- what a great resource. I especially liked the PDF resources, from the Resource Project Calculator, that librarians and students can print out to help with all stages of the homework projects. This would be handy to promote to junior high and high school students. This site should really be promoted within the library and on the website to encourage students to take advantage of it. Teachers should also be informed of this site to help promote it to their students. It would be super easy and inexpensive to design bookmarks promoting this site and then have them available at the public desks for patrons to take (parents might see them and take them home for their teens). Definitely two sites worth checking out.

Thing 20

Books 2.0

Reading in my library appears to be on the rise, and with series books especially, children read the first book (oftentimes, their school librarians are great at promoting first books to them), they get hooked and they come to us for additional series titles. Digital books are very popular among adults, but not so much among the children, although we recently saw a surge in our Playaway circulation stats because of a promotional bulletin board and display that we created in October (Playaways were very popular with the patrons once they saw them and we had a chance to promote them).

Some of the online resources listed in this Thing look and sound quite appealing. Of the Books on Your Phone section, the one I would be interested in is DailyLit. I do have an internet-enabled phone but would rather not eat up data time by reading books on it, plus the screen isn't *that* big. :)

In the Readers Advisory section, I have heard of What Should I Read Next? And What's Next? (and if not those two sites, then sites with very similar names). Isn't there a print reference material with the title What Should I Read Next? broken down by genre? In our children's department, some of us use the MCPL Series & Sequels site regularly. While it's not completely up-to-date, it is oftentimes VERY handy for looking up books within a series. I would be interested in trying out most of those Readers Advisory sites listed.

The Book Group & Book Review resources also seem like they would be useful, partly for work and partly for personal interest reading. I will have to explore them more in depth when free time allows. I read the description of the LibraVox site under the Audio Books section, and that sounds intriguing! What a cool idea -- to convert public domain works to audio book format and use volunteers as readers. While I'm not an audio book believer, I may just have to check out that site anyway.

Thing 19

Other social networking sites.

I am not currently a member of any of these online communities (and most of them I had not even heard of prior to completing this Thing).

I took a peek at WebJunction, which I have heard of but don't believe I've ever actually visited, and it seems that it would be useful and beneficial to join that community. Despite being hesitant to register for any of the previous sites mentioned in the other Things, I will sign up for WebJunction in order to read and participate in the content offered. It would be a site that would serve a purpose for me as an information professional.

As far as the additional social networking sites listed, I checked out BakeSpace and thought it was a neat, fun site full of interesting recipes. I probably won't join it, but it was fun to explore a little (and right on the homepage, I found a nice little peppermint marshmallow recipe that I will have to try out).

Thing 18

Facebook & MySpace: Social Networking

I am a regular Facebook user (used to have a MySpace account but have since converted to f/b). On f/b I am part of several groups including one for staff of the library where I work. The point of that group was to be for us to share information with each other, but so far it's never been used for anything until a few days ago when I posted some photos from our recent staff in-service day & library director's retirement celebration. I have created a group on f/b for students that used to attend the grammar school that my brother and I went to (Orchard Hill Farm School in IL, which, sadly, has since closed). It was a small private school on a farm, complete with horses, sheep and a goat, and multiple grades together in single classrooms. I created the group so that those of us who went there during the school's history could connect and share news with each other. At first, the only members were my brother and I, but we've since grown to 128 members. Aside from these two groups, there other groups I belong on f/b, as well.

I think f/b may be the fastest growing social network because it is so easy to join and navigate. And teens and young adults (there are a few of my much younger cousins & kids I used to babysit who are still in grade school and junior high that are on f/b -- inappropriate in my eyes) can add friends and share information with each other very quickly. They can quickly and easily post pictures, news & silly information, play games, and join groups to make them feel like they belong. I think they like the sense of community and fitting in with others. Plus, for some I think it's a popularity game -- unfortunately (some people have hundreds and thousands of so-called "friends" on f/b).

At times, I think f/b's reputation is deserved, but not all the time. When people treat or use it inappropriately, certainly it's going to get a bad reputation. But the site is also awesome for connecting people with old friends, family members, etc. I have reconnected with several of my old grammar school friends via the OHFS group, and that is very cool. I'm also able to keep in touch with cousins that I don't regularly see and I get to see pictures of their kids and I share them with my parents. Another great thing about f/b is the promotion of events, business and organizations. Our youth services department page at work is regularly updated with program information and photos from recent programs. We also have our youth blog linked to the f/b page, so blog updates such as book reviews, are posted to the f/b page. Very cool.

Thing 17


Now here's something I'm unfamiliar with.

The podcasts I listened to where on the Education Podcast Network. I listened to two poetry readings and one about copycats from the Idiom of the Day. I liked the idiom one, but was not crazy about the poetry readings. I like poetry, but I was imagining those poems being read differently than they were. Still neat to be able to listen to these things rather than reading them though.

This thing hasn't inspired me to do any podcasting myself, but perhaps I will look more into them in the future. I would like to see what other kinds of podcasts are out there besides just the ones on the Education Network.