Monthly Archives: October 2008

Being Cool

I’m not cool, and most days I’m satisfied with that. Sometimes I wish I were cooler, but I know that that wish takes me even further away from “cool.” I once read (in a really stupid airline magazine, for a good example of how uncool I am) that people who are actually cool are those who don’t want to be, but by wanting to be cool you automatically remove yourself from the possibility.

Anyway, this had a point, which was that people who blog or podcast, must at some level want to be cool. I say this because there is some assumption on the part of the creator of the blog/podcast that their content is interesting enough that someone else will want to read it/listen to it. (I acknowledge my desire to be cool, and to get a flashdrive)

I confronted this reality for two reasons today: one is that podcasts are thing 21, and two that another blog I follow linked my blog. This last thing led to a giddy thrill of excitement, even if it was a reciprocal link.

Podcasts are something I’ve never really understood–sure I get the concept of how it works, and in some cases why, but for the most part I’d rather read something then hear it. I do think it is great for distributing library events to those who couldn’t attend. I found a couple public libraries that podcast some of their adult and YA programing–like author visits, so those who couldn’t attend could hear the author. I found a great list–on the best practices wiki of libraries using podcasts.

I don’t know that I want to subscribe to a podcast–as I said I’d rather read most information, but I know how and can even see the advantage in some cases.

YouTube, Guilt, and Cornsnakes

Well, I honestly never thought I’d see the day when I could concievably watch youtube, when I was supposed to be working and not feel guilty. And actually that day is not today, so maybe I was right. Even though this is a learn and play thing I still feel bad watching Youtube at work. Mostly that is because I don’t have headphones or a dollar, so other people have to hear at least a little. But it just doesn’t feel remotely productive.

I am doing this on my lunch, and well…I don’t need to explain myself really! Urg, anyway, I don’t normally use YouTube that much, more just when someone links it or recommends it. Occasionally I’ll look up funny library clips.

Today’s library clip is brought to you by SnakeBytesTV, who follows me on Twitter. I had never heard of them before that, but I suppose they found me by searching people who were interested in snakes. I had someone add me because I said I like fish–they were about fish sure enough, CATCHING and EATING them! Somehow not the same thing as aquarium fish! Anyway, without further ado–Cornsnakes on Snakebytes (which is pretty good, though they call Amels Albinos and Anerys Blacks, even though both are technically Albino, and the Anerys are not so black)

CML Power Tools

Back in the spring, I remember hearing about the new tool bar that CML created. I was pretty excited and wanted to try it out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out where to go to get it at home. I looked all over the website and even tried a few searches of the internet. After a while I gave up and forgot about it, maybe it wasn’t released to the public or there weren’t any links from the main page.

When I came to Whetstone, I was happy to see that some of the computers had the tool bar installed, so I got to try it a little. I wasn’t impressed, maybe because of lingering resentment about not being able to find it.

For this activity in Learn and Play I downloaded the catalog plug in for my internet browser. It is actually pretty cool, just so long as I remember when I have it selected and when I am searching google. I like to go from searching the internet for ideas for storytimes, to searching if we have that book in our catalog!

Discovering 2.0 Tools

Learn and Play has pretty much all been about discovering Web 2.0 tools, so when I saw that number 17 involved discovering 2.0 tools I wondered what new angle they had found on the subject. Well, it turns out there are groups that aggregate all sorts of tools into one place and allow users to vote for which are the best and most popular. For this week, we are encouraged to explore some and see if they are useful/interesting.

Now, many of the tools we have already used are on this list, as well as less popular versions of the same type of tool. So I can’t say I’ve never heard of them, or that all the tools were useless. What I can say, is that I had no desire whatsoever to sign up for another web 2.0 tool. I may just be jaded about the whole 2.0 thing, or irritated at making yet another user profile/password/yadda yadda. But for thing #17 I’ve discovered that sometimes it is better to enjoy what you have and not go looking for more.

After all, I’m still discovering new ways to use the tools I have signed up for–so that is where I am focusing my attention. And, many of the tools I use are on that list, even if I didn’t discover them from the list.

Google Everything

I remember back in 2000 or so, I was studying for a brief time in College Park, and every week I took the green line into DC to work in the library of a little museum. It was a good experience, both the commuting and working in the library. The reason I am relating this expereience, is that I seem to have a dim fuzzy memory of that time (it also could have been in the spring of 2001, when I was in England, it is a dim memory) of seeing a sign for something with a strange spelling and lots of “o”s in it. I do believe I was seeing “google” for the first time, though I had no idea what it was or how it would take over everything. I just remember seeing the word and wondering if this was some strange big city thing that we would never know back in the suburb where I was born.

Now, however, google is everywhere. Not just the search engine, but the google mail, the google blogs, the google documents, and google reader. Its apparent all pervasiveness makes me reluctant to like it, but it is very useful, so I do. In fact, I just switched to google reader, because I wasn’t getting all my updates on bloglines *sigh*.

Anyway, “thing 17” is discover web-based aps, like those on google. Which, I have already discovered during one of my on-line classes. It was very nice to work on a group project for an on-line class, where participants lived far away, and we could all access and contribute to the document. I also like the google callendar, and think it could be useful in a number of ways, but only with people of equal technological skills and attitudes. Using google documents isn’t hard, but requires a new outlook on technology and a trust that some patrons might not possess.

Multi-purpose blogs

I started this blog way back in the spring, when I was working in a transitional job and actively looking for a full time job. It was my way of keeping track of my professional development in the temporary job and served as a way to demonstrate some of the things I was working on for potential employers. While I found a full time job, I continue to use the blog to showcase some of the things I’m involved in. Though having found a full time job, I found I had less time to blog, hence fewer posts for a while.

I revisited the blog when my work announced their Learn and Play program, which required a blog to complete the activities. Rather then make another blog, I returned to this blog to record my learn and play activities. The early posts are much more interesting, later posts reflect the time crunch in completing activities while getting the Homework Help Center open and running. (which it is, yeah!!)

Now, I’m here to use the blog in yet another way. My library and technology class requires us to create a blog and post there. I am opposed to cluttering up the internet with more needless blogs that could be traced back to me, so I plan on using this same blog again! I know some bloggers have many blogs, to represent different interests and purposes, but since all of these uses represent different aspects of my professional development, I prefer to keep them all together.