Friday, April 17, 2009

The Journey Along 550

When first coming to the class, I felt that much of what I already knew was going to be rehashed and maybe presented in a different light. What I found out was that I needed to be refreshed in the topics I thought I knew and that there was much more I needed to know.

One of the areas I really enjoyed knowing about was the availability of open source programs. As an educator/librarian in the middle school, I am confronted with a number of students who have stated the did not have programs for presentations, image editing etc. Having the information about all the available open source programs will help many of the students in producing similar work as their peers who have purchased familiar software suites.

As a media specialist, I find myself being delegated tasks for the school that can be considered those of a public relation's person; however, this task is a necessity for the library. Discovering the many available image generators will provide another level of publishing. Introducing students to these websites will certainly gain their interest in other topics I may have to offer.

What I've taken away from 550 is an area of learning which I categorize as intertaining learning i.e. wikies, blogs, Petchu Ketcha, tweeter, rss feeds and more. These programs are certainly going to play a part in the lives of the community of techies but eventually a part of many others' lives (just think of Star Trek and the infamous communicator - our blue tooth today). Somehow the future (the future is at hand) educators need to know how to integrate this technology into the curriculum.

If I were to change anything of the 550 journey it would be to isolate the area on technologies and create a course on how to use them to enhance the library experience and how to use them in the classroom to enrich the curriculum. I would be very much interested in more information in this area.

No more stomping the pavement:Online Applications and Tools

The new online tools are really making an impact on everyday life. We now have websites for purchasing books, researching health topics, genealogical research and much more. One of my favorite is Career Builder (; a site for searching employment opportunities (not that I'm looking).
Career Builder lets you look by state, city, job type, time posted (you can search by most recently posted to those ads posted weeks prior). Being able to search by time posted comes in handy. If you have access to the web 24/7 you have the opportunity to be the first to see the position posted. It also has a link that allows you to see the average pay for a particular field in certain locations.
One important feature of this site is that it allows you to create an account (free) and request notifications of positions that fit the criteria you presented. For those who are seeking employment today, sites like Career Builder takes a situation most find unpleasant to be in, a little more stress free.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

You Tube - Really!!!! Outside the Box

With the onset of YouTube, the doors have been flung open to almost anyone to present a message, information or just gripe. Many consider this an issue with so many other things to consider rather than hearing a young man pleading for the media to "leave Brittany alone." But You Tube can also be a vehicle for enlightenment. Consider the video on the displacement of students in New Orleans; .

Here was an opportunity to let the world see the collateral damage of the devastation caused by Katrina. Rather than still pictures cataloging the damage, you hear and see the students who were affected by the immediate evacuation of their dorms. The tremor in their voices is a much more compelling attribute of having it on you tube.

You also have podcasts by ITunes that are providing students k-12 with a wealth of information that will enrich their education. It is also allowing (some may question the motive) students to post their own podcasts (with the school district's approval). So at the elementary level students are being introduced to the use of podcasts and learning a technology they are most likely already have some knowledge of (at least the viewing part).

Bottom line You Tube and other podcasting sites are a part of life today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wiki World

What is a wiki but an open source web design application?, you might ask. But that's saying alot. All one has to do is look at the number of people who now go to wikipedia more often then the online Webster's dictionary. So many wiki web applications are free that there is more likely a chance that what you are looking at is a web page designed by a wiki. You can go to for a list of wikis (many of them free).

After looking at the samples of wikis at the 2.0 project, its easy to see a further explosion of wiki use. The St. Joseph County Public Library System's use of their wiki is one I can see becoming more popular. It has the same format as the typical catalog system that's paid for by many libraries; and in the light of budget cuts all around I can see more libraries gravitating to the idea of a wiki cat. Princeton Public Library's wiki is right up my alley. What better way to develop a list of books for acquistion then to have people comment on what they've read and add what they would like to read.

Library Success in one idea I'm glad someone used to create a wiki. One stop shopping for information on just about everything pertaining to the library is a need. Most librarians do not have the opportunity to search like they would like to for information. Their day is so crammed with a thousand other things (not just checking books in and out :) that to have information at your fingertips is great. With the addition of having many people jotting down what they have in regards to information, this site can be out of sight---pun intended.

The ALA's wiki on their past conference in New Orleans is another needed wiki. I can't count how many times I've wanted information on a conference I attended and maybe couldn't get to one of the workshops. I could be I attended the workshop but missed some detail that I now want. I see this type of wiki as a must for any conference and wander is this the trend to come. I hope so!! The wiki developed by the Bull Run Library is an example of how a wiki can appear like any other website. This may be of some comfort to those who are probably thinking "I don't want a web page that looks like wikipedia (no frills)". The Bull Run Library's website gives no hint that its a wiki except for those who edit. All in all it's a wiki world, so we might as well get used to it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Michael Stephens has the right idea and attitude about being a Web 2.0 librarian. I agree with everything he lists as a requirement. I especially like the idea that a librarian must be able to control technolust. Many times I've had to put the brakes on my adventure into techno world. Having to access technology on a constant basis makes it difficult. I also agree that a Web 2.0 librarian is a trendsetter. I think it's in the blood. Having technolust brings you upon to so many new devices and this in turn makes you want to try out what's new.

Dr. Schulz is on point when she describes the library as a community. A library rich with print and non-print materials is an inviting setting. Just like teachers having learning centers, librarians have their "centers" i.e. fiction, non-fiction, biographies, reference etc. They navigate patrons to these "centers" and become a living cataloger and organizer as they show patrons how materials relate. The librarian who successfully provides the patron with what they are searching for usally has a friend for life.

These two perspectives on Web 2.0 express how I feel and convinces me even more I'm in the right profession.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Reading on the internet has been made easier. Tags are electronic bookmarks called social bookmarking used for organizing information . Not only can you tag your information, you can add to the tags with notes that might provide more insight as to why you first thought it necessary to tag. You can create your own hierarchy of information. How many of us have placed bookmarks in items only forgotten exactly why that information was so important. Using the tags you can place links to support your research. Del-icio-us ( is probably the one most familiar. Technorati ( is more appealing since it seems more organized.

Image Generators

Well, when told to have some fun, I thought yeah okay; but this was fun. Image generators are without a doubt something Librarians will most likely need when publicizing the events and attributes of the library. I now see how quickly an image can be added in a layout with little effort. Maybe a good thing, maybe not. Whether you want to create fake magazine covers, make postcards or anything else, the image generator makes it easy to do. The added benefit comes from With this tool you can easily change the size of your image without having to go back and alter the original image. I'm hooked!!!!!