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.