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.