Thursday, May 7, 2009

Week 11: Goonies

Where has Google Docs been all my life? While I am slightly concerned that Google does seem to be controlling the world, this is one of the best things out there. Back in college the "easy" way to right a group paper was just to pass it around through email, then senior year one teacher showed us how to use Track Changes in Word. What a great thing that was, unfortunately, it seemed that the rest of the campus was unaware and therefore made my super knowledge useless.

Being able to share documents this way could solve the worlds problems. Alright maybe that's overstating it, but the freedom that Delicious and GoogleDocs provides is amazing and extremely useful. Passing this simple information on to patrons will help them become more mobile and productive. It has certainly helped me. While I will continue to use my somewhat excessive like 8 gigs of thumb drives, and will never be caught without my external hard drive, GoogleDocs will be an important tool for professional use in the future.

Week 7: Wiki's World

While I have heard of Wikipedia, I only really use it to find quick answers to somewhat irrelevant questions. So to say that I was skeptical of using wikis in work would be putting it mildly. But, my mother taught me how to play nicely in the sandbox with others, so I jumped into the wiki sandbox feet first.

I enjoyed playing around in the CHPLearning "sandbox" wiki. Even though I got stage fright and didn't make a post, I think that this was a wonderful teaching tool for this technology. Wikis really do have their place in the world, and for a work sharing platform could be extremely beneficial. I really loved the Library Success wiki. So long live wikis!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Week 10: Tag and the City

Once again, Web2.0 has almost a sixth sense when it comes to our weekly topic and my life.

My final paper for my Information Organization class was all about "subjects." One of the requirements was to take our unique topic and search for it using one web search engine and one web resource. Naturally, with all of the buzz, I chose to use Delicious as my web resource.

Setting up my account was pretty easy and searching and tagging items was even better. Using it for my paper was even more beneficial to me when combined with the Web2.0 training since it was a timely, in depth project on social tagging. While I will spare everyone a repeat of the 15 pages of knowledge I have now gained, I believe Delicious will be a great Library resource for years to come.

One of the downsides of course is the lack of controlled vocabulary in the tagging. If someone was to search for my account and see my tag "Bibliography" it would probably not be very helpful to them. However, for my other class, I found it to be a lifesaver to group my resources for my bibliography project together. (My topic by the way, is Jewish Fiction for children between the ages of 9 and 12).

But this lack of controlled vocabulary is also one of the great things about it, since it gives us an unexpected look into how patrons think about the information they need.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Week 9: Faceoff

Ahh, the joys of social networking. What used to be done in restaurants and bars can now be enjoyed in your pajamas from the privacy of your own computer. I did not graduate from JMU that long ago, but it seems like something happened to the world in May of 2004. I left college and ran away to Walt Disney World, and it would appear to me that in the Internet dark ages of my supposedly wireless apartment, MySpace and Facebook exploded. Back when I was in college we used things called telephones and AOL Instant Messenger to keep in touch.

Upon my exodus from Disney and the return to the real world my friends who were still in school begged me to get on MySpace or Facebook. I avoided them for almost two years and then when I decided to change my life's direction somehow Facebook became a part of it. Because of my heavy involvement with youth groups, I strive to keep my page as professional as possible. I ignore most applications and heavily monitor the content that I post. I also only 'Friend' people that I actually know. One of the things I love the most is the ability to stay connected with my friends, old coworkers, and my Fraternity brothers from college (yes, I said fraternity, check us out at or our chapter website I do utilize the picture sharing. I do love the groups on Facebook, ('When I was your age Pluto was a planet' and 'Grad students aren't bad people they just made poor life choices' are my two personal favorites) I belong to both the VLA and ALA groups.

I really enjoyed reading all of the Professional advice for Facebook that the Web 2.0 committee collected and the top Apps for Librarians. I started months ago using the iRead Application to keep track of my books, but switched over to Shelfari at the beginning of the Web 2.0 training. I find Shelfari to better suit my needs, and I am less distracted while using it since it is separate.

Week 8: Second Life? I'm still working on my first

In all honosty, this week was spent on catch up learning. Boy will I be glad next Friday when the semester is over!

However, for my Information Organization class this semester, I participated in a research study for my Professor and actually attended class meetings in Second Life instead of the traditional Blackboard. Florida State has created their own island in Second Life, and for class we just sit on the green and look at a big screen the displays the Powerpoint slides. In what spare time I have had to explore, I have taken the walking tour of the FSU campus and visited the ALA island. It is much easier to attend class in Second Life and listen to the Professor talk, instead of just reading a scrolling chatbox. I do wish that my Professor had done more with some of the technology. I might have even got more out of attending class using Elluminate then I did in Second Life.

There are advantages to using Second Life; however, one of the big downsides is that it is very time intensive to learn. I just need to spend some more time exploring and learning. Though I thought it was easy to operate. However, like all timely things with this Web 2.0 training, Second Life was featured in the coming strip Funky Winkerbean on April 12. (

As far as online gaming is concerned, I am more of a Popcap girl myself. ( But would rather spend my time doing the USAToday online crossword and other brain puzzles.

Week 6: If a Picture Paints a Thousand Words then Why Can't I Paint You?

Photo sharing. While my photography skills do not allow me to be labeled as anything higher then an 'Amature Shutterbug,' my background does provide me with journalistic and candid photo composition experience. While I do think that digital photography is one of the best things to happen since sliced cheese, it has become a lot more expensive to print out my photographs.

Which is one of the many reasons that I love being able to upload my photos online. For sharing with my friends I will admit that I do tend to utilize Facebook more for that purpose, I also do have (and need to start using) my Snapfish account. Its one of those online accounts that I have had for several years because someone wanted to share there album with me. In fact, I might be on Shutterfly too, but I'm not even sure.

I enjoyed learned more about Flickr this week, but other then for creating promotional pieces or slideshows, I am unsure as how I would use this for work. Professionally, I would be more inclined to use Snapfish or a site more like it, where we could give patrons a username and password to access library pictures. In addition to a photo release form, I would feel more comfortable if I new the entire world didn't have access.

I would also like to thank the band Bread for providing the title for this weeks blog from their song "If." I know that I have strayed from my movie theme, but just this once I thought it was important.

Monday, March 30, 2009

10 K update

The Monument Ave 10K was awesome on Saturday! Perfect running weather, and this year it didn't rain. I am very proud of my 1:14:56 time, which is more then 10 minutes off of my 1:26:41 from last year.

Check out for pictures of the dress up and run winner, my personal favorite Indiana Jones!

Week 5: My Infinite Playlist

Podcasting is something I already enjoy personally and need to do more of. While I am not the type of person who would create a podcast for personal use, I wouldn't rule it out if it was something I could do for work. For the All Henrico Reads titles or the individual branches book discussion groups, it would be great to have a podcast about each title available for those who are interested but need more to get them started. Sort of like a mini-book talk.

The youth group that my husband works with, one of the chapters from another state has started their own podcast as a recruitment tool and its working! This technology will only benefit the Young Adult crowd, who I see strolling through the building with their MP3 players everyday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Week 4: Twitlight

It seems that right now Twitter is EVERYWHERE! The news, TV shows, and even Unshelved. For my up to the minute status updates on my friends, I prefer Facebook, which actually stalks people for me. While I am not sure that right now Twitter is something that I will use personally, I am not unwilling to keep learning about it and playing with it. I do believe that it has a lot of potential.

There is so much technology coming at me from every angle that sometimes I just want to turn off the computer and pick up a book!

Speaking of books, I only started reading the Twilight Saga in December, so why do I now feel like the resident expert? Am I really that obsessed? Guess so, I will be at Target bright and early tomorrow morning to pick up my DVD.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Week 3: RSS and the Last Crusade

Really Simple Syndication or RSS seems to be an up and coming Web 2.0 trend. The video really showed how more efficient RSS can make our daily website or blog hopping. If you follow a blog that doesn't update frequently, it would be really nice to know when changes are made. Also, having everything come to one "reader" instead of looking over multiple sites for new info can save time.

Even Indiana Jones would be impressed with my new Google Reader which allows School Library Journal and my daily Unshelved fix to come right to me. I am looking forward to exploring Feedity to see what it has to offer.

I would love it if our Library had an RSS, I think that would benefit and draw in the "younger" (16-29) crowd. Having one for our Staff Training would benefit me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Week 2: There is Something About Blogs

Until this week I have never had a blog or read a blog that wasn't emailed to me by a friend. I don't even know if any of my friends have blogs of their own. I have known that they existed, but don't know if I avoided them due to lack of time or interest.

Now, like email and Facebook, I foresee blogging becoming a part of my daily, online routine. I can see how easy it is to fall into the trap of an unprofessional blog, since this is a great way to release some work stress. If you can't laugh at what you do or some of the surreal situations you find yourself in, then pretty soon you will forget what it is that you do love.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Introduction to Web 2.0

Welcome to the Lerd Word!

I am excited to begin my Web2.0 training and everything that goes along with it. While I am an avid Facebooker and occasionally think to check out YouTube, I am new to blogging and some of the other great features of Web2.0.

Embarrassing as it is to admit, I have never heard the term Web2.0 before and found myself a little confused. So I am thrilled to have this training opportunity, especially to learn how I can use these new tools professionally.

You maybe asking yourself, "What is a Lerd?"

Thanks to my yearbook background, I am a yerd or Yearbook Nerd. I can recognize fonts on movie titles, I know a few PMS colors by heart (thats Pantone Matching System), and I do judge books by their cover. The longer I work at the library the more I realize that I am a Library Nerd as well, and so thus begins the life of a Lerd!