Thursday, August 9, 2007

Week 9, Task 23: The Last Word

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Library 2.0 refers to a model of library service that, like Web 2.0 on the internet, is flexible and open to change, constantly updated and reevaluated, and relies on user feedback in the design and implementation of effective new services. I would hope that these are traits that we are already practicing in our school libraries and that the tools that we have acquired this summer will serve as reminders and motivators to best meet the needs of the communities that we serve.

The challenge is to integrate what we already know (and, in many cases, do) about best practices with some of the great new tools that we have been invited to explore through this class.
  • For the last year I have been researching how best to offer audio books to elementary school students. I have tested books with CDs, Follett's "Playaways" and gathered information from services such as and All of which are a great use of available technology BUT: where is 'flexible', 'open to change' or 'constantly updated and reevaluated' in this delivery model? I am now considering a model in which students read and record books (like Librivox).
  • I have wanted a forum for student book reviews but lacked a clear vision of how to solicit and where to post them. Perhaps a wiki would meet that goal?
  • I am considering re-purposing my blog from this summer as a tool for my library: sharing what's new, linking to video and audio sources, offering the tool I developed in Rollyo for age-appropriate book reviews and recommendations, etc.
At the beginning of this course, I wrote:

"Libraries and lifelong learning go hand in hand - each brings you to the other. Those of us who love and live in libraries are both learners and facilitators of learning. The more we learn, the better we can facilitate the learning of those who use our libraries. My goal for Library Learning 2.0 is to expand my knowledge of new technology available to libraries and select those tools that will work best for my library and its users. I will learn new skills; my school community will receive expanded services; we will all learn together... My greatest challenge is the last 1/2 habit: to play! ... My greatest challenge will be reminding myself to play and finding ways for others to play with what I have learned."

I have certainly met my goal of expanding my knowledge base. I am learning to use and apply new tools, although proficiency will take both time and practice. And as for play? Well, I still have ten days left of summer vacation!

I would absolutely participate in another program if it was offered. Bring it on! (And please continue to offer the option of credit. I was able to include this course as part of a professional development plan with my district.)

The keywords I would use to describe my experience are: lifelong learning, library tools, flexibility (of both thought and practice), openness to change, democratization, discovery. My thanks to the entire team.

Week 9, Task 22: I Hear With My Little Ear...

I was so disappointed to find that the World eBook Fair's free downloads ended less than one week ago, on August 4. It only goes to reinforce that oft-quoted maxim: the early bird catches the worm... I'll just have to try again next summer. I then disapparated on over to Librivox for a survey of their offerings. It's an interesting proposition: all volunteer readers, all public domain books. Very democratic. Their FAQs are addressed on a wiki, which is in keeping with the 'open to all' philosophy. This is a good example of Web 2.0 in action and their model could possibly be tried in a school setting. The old "each one teach one" slogan comes to mind. Classes could 'adopt' books as projects. Kids would enjoy recording 'their' chapters and listening to the completed books. This could be good collaboration between classroom teachers, library staff and computer staff (not that we have any at our school, but I'm sure someone out there does!).

I would like to add some information that this "thing" didn't include, and that is the value of sites like is an audio book subscription service. They have a good selection and excellent narrators. You can download your selections and store them on your computer, transfer them to an MP3 player or burn them onto CDs. I have been searching for a similar service that could provide a site license and school-appropriate selections (audible used to but alas, no longer). So far I have only found one service - - and their cost is prohibitive (they want to deal with county-wide systems, not individual sites). Any suggestions from the team or my fellow bloggers?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Week 9, Task 21: Pod Person

I will never be a pod person! I am so strongly visual - the disembodied voice just does not work well for me. Certainly it has its places: I listen to books on the long drive between the Bay Area and LA, and I enjoy music while I am slaving around the house. But in general, this is not the format in which I choose to receive information. My husband, on the other hand, is visually impaired, and the explosion of downloadable audio resources has been a real boon for him. (In fact, we have CALIB to thank for his introduction to, several years ago. We were among the first and incredibly grateful users.) For today's assignment I listened to two NPR programs: "Story of the Day" and "Wait wait...don't tell me!". I had also picked out two Harry Potter podcasts but was not able to connect on either one (heavy traffic?). I chose not to subscribe to any podcasts, because I would just rather READ!!! But rest assured that they will be on my list of recommended resources for all of those audio learners.

Week 9, Task 20: Down the Tubes

Today was YouTube day and forewarned is forearmed. There is a lot of useless, er, "garbage" (with the accent on the second syllable) out there and it takes a whole lot of sifting to separate the good from the bad and the ugly. One of my personal favorites was the Hollywood Librarian Trailer by Ann Seidl in which we learn that libraries have more outlets than McDonalds and move more items than FedEx. I plan to quote her on that, possibly in my school newsletter, with a link to the video. Wouldn't I be the Queen of Cool?!?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Week 8, Task 19: LibraryThing

What can I say: it's a book-lover's dream! It was hard to stop at five books but I still have a life (and I can always come back as time allows). I decided to enter some of my summer reading as my beta project on LibraryThing. (See bottom of blog if you're, like me, always curious.) I am now wondering if there is a check-out function that would allow me to keep track of books loaned out? I signed up to be an early reviewer (one my of my dream jobs, aside from running a library, would be to review books). All of the titles were closed for this month, but I plan to keep my eye on the site for the next round. You know how some kids think we live in the library? They just might be on to something!

Week 8, Task 18: Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

Nothing like visiting new places and trying new things! So this is Zoho...
I love the idea of being able to write and save documents online. Seems like I spend a lot of time e-mailing projects back and forth between work and home. I work on it one place and send it to another and if I forget to e-mail after each saved version, I don't necessarily have what
I want where and when I want it next. Whew! This could be a real lifesaver. I'm also thinking that Zoho could be a good way to share projects with the other library managers in our district. If someone is interested in what I have done, it would be so easy to e-mail them a link. Then they could modify an existing document to suit their needs rather than starting all over again. This could also work well as a way to send existing documents to a website or blog - I just have to learn the import and export process. If I didn't sleep all summer long, maybe I could master everything on this Library Learning 2.0 list...

Well, Ta for now!

Love, the Book Case

Monday, August 6, 2007

Week 7: Tasks 16, 17: Wiki wiki!

Wikis have been an ongoing topic of discussion in my family - my young adult sons love them and I have concern over the validity of their contents - so this was a topic of particular interest to me. The core issue seems to be balancing truth with free use. I am drawn to the egalitarian nature of wikis. I love the idea that every user is equal and that the sites reflect the ideas and imaginations of all of their participants. A wiki as a tool for discussion seems like a natural extension of their dynamic and interactive nature. I just can't see using something like Wikipedia as a definitive reference. I can, however, envision it as a starting point for a research project: "see what a variety of people think about a given topic and find other sources to support or disprove their views".

I dropped on by the Learning 2.0 Sandbox and added my two cents worth to the Wiki entries. It was relatively easy to do. It appeared to me that the end result was more of an add-on list than a collaborative project. I will have to visit more wikis to see if this is the general trend.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Week 6, Task 15: Library 2.0

Library 2.0 refers to a model of library service that, like Web 2.0 on the internet, is flexible and open to change, constantly updated and reevaluated, and relies on user feedback in the design and implementation of effective new services. I would hope that these are traits that we are already practicing in our school libraries and that the perspectives we read this week will serve as reminders and motivators to best meet the needs of the students and staff that we serve.

I was fortunate to begin my job in a brand new library ten years ago. Our catalog is online, our computers have internet access, our site council and PTA have supported us in developing our collection of books and electronic resources. The infrastructure is in place. Now, CSLA is supporting me in developing my personal tool collection to use the resources of the web to best advantage.

I will go back to school in the fall with so many new ideas that I'll never be able to implement them all, but that's not really the point. I think that one of the key points of library 2.0 is that 'it's never done'. We need to reorient our way of thinking from fixed goals to be met, to ongoing goals that are a work in progress. We need to be trendspotters and maybe even trendsetters for our schools. We don't need to be techno-geeks; what we need is to be good readers, good listeners and flexible professionals who value and collaborate with our patrons.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Week 6, Task 14: Deja vu all over again

It's like deja vu all over again...

I visited Technorati while working on my Week 4 workaround (see July 16 entry for all of the fun details). I already registered and claimed my blog. So, on with the show!

I did a keyword search for "library learning 2.0" and received the following results:
  • 245 results for "all blogs" (including some of my own entries!)
  • 84 blog directories, and
  • 4,297 tags linked to blog posts
I think that if I were to search for something by tags, the trick would be to use multiple and hopefully intersecting keywords to narrow down the volume of results. This is also a good reminder that, if I want anyone to be able to find my own [hopefully relevant] posts, I should attach multiple tags when I create them!

Week 6, Task 13: Book'em, Dano!

I enjoyed today's taste test of what a great use of existing technology to improve on a feature we don't ordinarily give much thought to. I could have used online bookmarks earlier this summer when I was working on this class from another computer in another location and did not have access to any of the bookmarks on my home computer. It just seems so obvious that you have to wonder why no one thought of it sooner...

In typical internet fashion, the otter group tutorial was "temporarily unavailable or does not exist". ( Here today, gone tomorrow... not the first time any of us have encountered this glitch, I'm sure.) I used some of the other links to get started, specifically the site "about" features and "Us.ef.ul: A beginner's guide to". The key points of access from anywhere, shared resources and learning from others make this a real winner. It could work well for students doing a group research project, for professionals collaborating on a lesson plan or just for me personally as a means of organizing and sorting information flexibly.

And how about 'tagging' - not just for punks! There's a whole new image for library professionals: "Tag it! Ask a librarian!" This is an easy step from the keywords we know and love into the new realm of online information management.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Library Learning 2.0: Week 5, Task 12: Rolling With Rollyo

I am rolling with Rollyo! I began my exploration by looking at some of the searches that were already available. The public domain ebooks ( were of particular interest to me both for use at school and for my husband who is visually impaired (in fact, I sent him the link and my guess is that he will be 'on the case' by this evening). I was also impressed by San Jose's reference database ( This would be a wonderful tool to use at school and to publicize for family use at home. I considered customizing this for my Task 12 project but I felt a little guilty about modifiying someone else's work, rather than creating my own. So, I decided to find a need and fill it.

What do people ask me about at school? One of the questions I hear most often is: what books do you recommend? Of course I have many favorites, and knowing what is in my collection as well as who the reader will be allows me to give very specific answers. But what about the kids (and their parents) who don't ask? Or can't be at school to ask? Or are embarassed to look ignorant? How about a search site for children's book reviews and recommendations? I now proudly present:, my search site in progress. Feel free to visit, test drive, offer suggestions or build upon as you see fit. I deliberately chose not to include sites that are by subscription (like School Library Journal or Book List), as I want this site to feel user-friendly and inclusive.

So, roll on, you avid readers...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Library Learning 2.0: Week 5, Task 11: And the winner is...

The Web 2.0 award winners are an impressive bunch: so much to choose from, so little time!

Sites I had already experienced in my 2.0 quest: Flickr (Photos and Digital Images), Technorati and Bloglines* (Blog Guides)

Others I've used in my 'real' life: Craigslist (Classifieds and Directories), Google Maps (Mapping), Kayak (Travel), Video (You Tube)

And still more that are on the 'upcoming assignments' list: Ning (Mashups), Rollyo (Search), (Social Tagging)

I decided to explore Lulu (books) in further detail. Who among us does not love a good book? And, as someone with a book in mind (just beginning to find it's way onto paper), I had a practical interest as well. Lulu is a self-publishing tool for both print and download books, music, videos, calendars, yearbooks, etc. Their demo was clear and easy to follow. When I finished viewing it, I felt that I could come back to this site with a variety of self-publishing projects. A majority of the titles available appear to be self-help "how-tos" and course materials, with an additional sprinkling of memoirs, anthologies, compilations of art and photos, exhibition catalogs and fiction.

The immediate application that came to mind was CSLA presentation handouts. Last year, as a presenter, I assembled a workbook for my session participants that involved my home PC and printer, and the local copy center (when the copy machine at school went out and remained out for almost an entire week). I could have sent my text from my home PC to Lulu and either ordered print copies (for a reasonable price) or made it available online as a download to either the general public or a limited group . I could even, if I was a little more mercenary, have offered a sampler at my session and had the full workbook available for sale online (Lulu will even calculate your royalties).

Another obvious application would be class or school-wide writing anthologies. This year, our school printed a monthly anthology of student writing. Lulu could have allowed us a year-end compilation which could be read online or ordered printed and bound. The site would have handled the production and distribution: no volunteer needed (in this case, the volunteer was our principal!), no tie-ups at the copier.

After my visit to Lulu, I zipped on over to Ning to learn how to become a social butterfly online. A few groups that caught my eye were "Library Technicians United: Because We All Have Good Ideas" (I'm one and I do too), "American Library Association" (you have to be a member) and "Library Selection and Evaluation" which identifies itself as a private network. The link said they were accepting new members by request, so I sent a request and will see what happens. I think that nings could be a real lifeline for those who are isolated by geography or practical constraints from interaction with their peers. Our own CSLA listserv seems to fill the same need on a professional level. I'm not sure I need one more source of connection in my life right now; sometimes, what I long for is to simply disconnect!

* and, in one last footnote to a very long entry, I finally heard back from Bloglines, five days after my initial pleas for help. I am now a registered user with feeds from "Planet Esme", "NPR Topics: Children's books" and "Publisher's Weekly Books News". Will it all be too much connection? Tune in next week for another installment in the 2.0 tale...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Library Learning 2.0: Week 4, Tasks 8 & 9, Week 5, Task 10: I work around, round, round, round, I work around...

Still no word from Bloglines but I am nothing if not persistent! Today I used Google Blog Search to set up a "Google Alert" for weekly feeds on Library Learning 2.0. I'm wired!

In the course of beginning Week 5 tasks, I also used my lifelong learning skills to link an image generator to Flickr via Profile Widget, a Flickr accessory that I found on fd toys ( Not only did I customize my Flickr page (a little), I also copied and pasted the HTML code into the format for this blog. If you look at the bottom of the page, there is now a box called "Look!" (in honor of the first word I learned to read). So, look!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Library Learning 2.0: Week 4, Tasks 8 & 9: Simple (?) Life

My RSS experience has been far from 'simple'. As might be expected, I did well with the research, although I beg to differ with the "Really Simple Syndication" nomenclature (probably Rich Site Summary came first anyway). I went to bloglines to set up my feed four days ago. In order to register, they need to send an e-mail to your address for verification. When I hadn't received the e-mail after four hours, I tried again. When I hadn't received either e-mail after 24 hours I sent a note to the help desk. I then received an e-mail with a problem tracking number. And here I am, four days later, still waiting. In order to verify that the problem was with their end (rather than user ignorance or error), I asked my husband to try to register from his e-mail account. Now we are both waiting.

Never one to waste time, I also checked out Technorati and registered there. No problemo. Live and learn, I say...

Library Learning 2.0: Week 3: Flickr Flash

As you can see, I have now uploaded some photos to Flickr and done a 'test send' to this blog. Ignoring the fact that this took me the better part of an afternoon, I feel reasonably proud of my accomplishment. I was careful to only include photos of places, inanimate objects and myself (yes, I have my own permission).


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Library Learning 2.0: Week 3, Tasks 5-7: A picture is worth...

A picture is worth a thousand words... so maybe this should be a thousand word post (?!?) as I am writing about pictures that you can not [yet] see.

Fortunately, I am a dedicated and self-motivated learner and I am posting this on my vacation from the other side of the country. This has been a learning experience in itself since I am: a) working on a Mac for the first time, b) working without my own saved files or bookmarks and c) vying for computer time with my cousin's three teenagers. Unfortunately, because of clause b), I can not post my many wonderful library photos at this time. Fortunately, I took this opportunity to set up my Flickr account, granted access to Flickr to upload to my blog, and created and saved a post template. Watch out online world, here I come (and thanks Remy Charlip...) !

In my explorations of Flickr, I discovered a group titled "Classroom Displays" that includes photos of classroom and library displays. This could be a place for us to share some of our good ideas. Or, hey kids, let's put on a show! We could set up a Library Learning 2.0 group and link it to the CSLA site! What do you think??

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Library Learning 2.0: Week 2, Task 3: Mini-Me

Look at me - I'm an avatar! Creating a virtual image was a lot of fun. The export process was a lot of frustration. I copied the html code and then couldn't get it to paste. This turned out to be (as usual) a case of 'operator error'. I had selected the code for my avatar but not copied it. Of course I had closed each window as I went along (tidy me) so that I had to re-open each one, re-enter my password, search for where I had been and what I had saved and then repeat the process correctly. We all learn from our mistakes, right? (I think that may be in my notes on lifelong learning...yep, Habit #3: view problems as opportunities to learn!)

Library Learning 2.0: Week 2, Task 3: Lifelong Learners

Libraries and lifelong learning go hand in hand - each brings you to the other. Those of us who love and live in libraries are both learners and facilitators of learning. The more we learn, the better we can facilitate the learning of those who use our libraries. My goal for Library Learning 2.0 is to expand my knowledge of new technology available to libraries and select those tools that will work best for my library and its users. I will learn new skills; my school community will receive expanded services; we will all learn together.

I am a natural lifelong learner: I am curious, self-motivated, organized, persistent, patient and resourceful. The first seven habits of highly effective learners should be the proverbial piece of cake. My greatest challenge is the last 1/2 habit: to play! Along with being a lifelong learner, I have also been a lifelong 'straight man' (or, in my case, woman). My greatest challenge will be reminding myself to play and finding ways for others to play with what I have learned.