Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ten Random Things: the Bonus Round.

1) I played in a few rock bands in my dissolute youth (the 80s, that is). The bands were of varying quality, but it was fun and a real learning experience. We got a local government noise ordinance changed in the first band I was in (we were a bit loud).

2) I was a bird-watcher for about 10 years. I enjoyed tramping across woods and fields to get a glimpse of a bird I hadn't seen before. A birdwatcher's secret: you usually identify birds by hearing their songs, not by actually seeing them.

3) I was a member of the All-Ohio Youth Choir in high school. Nothing like singing the theme to 'Happy Days' in 4-part harmony! I enjoyed singing.

4) Italian food is awesome. It can't be beat. There is no such thing as too much Italian food.

5) I've read The Lord of the Rings 13 times. I used to read it yearly back in the day.

6) I was a classical music fan in my youth until Simon & Garfunkel lured me into pop music. Styx turned me into a rock fan. The theme song for Homecoming my senior year was Come Sail Away.

7) I taught myself how to play guitar. I started out just listening to songs and playing them back on an acoustic guitar without understanding the concept of standard tuning. It was rather creative until I learned how to play properly (that sounded bad).

8) When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut or an astronomer. I stayed up late and saw the first step taken on the moon by my astronaut hero Neil Armstrong. I took pictures of the TV screen to document the event.

9) I met Jesse Owens when I was a young kid. He was signing autographs at a car dealership if I remember right, a promotional thing. My dad took me up to him and told me what a famous man he was. He signed a poster for me.

10) When I was really young I carried around a yellow blanket, sort of like Linus on Peanuts. It got really ragged and my mom threw it out one day. I went on a crying binge until they bought me a new blanket- it was blue, it wasn't quite the same, but I carried it around a while. Then I decided the whole blanket scene wasn't cool.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Learn & Play: The Retrospective!

Well, it's been an interesting few months. Learn and Play at CML has expanded my 2.0 horizons, and I'm not new to the concept. It familiarized me with several things that I'd had virtually no experience with. This is a great way to continue lifelong learning.

I'd have to say my favorite exercises were learning about RSS feeds through Blogines, and tweeting through Twitter. Being able to subscribe to web sites that you frequently browse, and to do mini-blogging by tweeting were both worthwhile 2.0 experiences that I shall continue to engage in.

I was pleasantly surprised that the whole Web 2.0 phenomenon was deeper than I realized at first. Not only is there user-created content to see, but the users are communicating in much more non-traditional ways than even email, which is not that old a communication medium.

I would do another discovery program like this in a heartbeat. Perhaps one exercise a week would be plenty; it was easy to fall behind with normal workloads on top of Learn & Play. But count me in for any more programs! :)

MOLDI looks like the future of libraries.

MOLDI- the Mid-Ohio Library Digital Initiative- is a step towards what the future of libraries will be.

MOLDI gives you, the library user, the capability to check out online books, films, music, and audio books, right from your PC at home. Or perhaps your PDA, wherever you are.

This is the future of libraries, folks. Easy to access from anywhere; no having to go to a physical location to check out and return items; in fact, no items to lose or to owe fines on; all still for free. Just like public internet computers are now the major draw to libraries across the country, once everyone has an internet PC at home, libraries will evolve to serve customers anytime, anywhere.

I looked through the ebook offerings on MOLDI- and found an interesting biography about Alexander the Great. I will be looking at more selections with the eye towards downloading them at home.

I love libraries 2.0! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Podcasts are a great way to get broadcasts on demand on any subject. One more Web 2.0 technology that frees you from the tyranny of scheduled broadcasts from certain outlets. Broadcast on demand is rapidly becoming the preferred way of experiencing content.

I went to Podcast Alley, which lives up to its motto: Free the Airwaves. Browsing among the various subjects, I found an interesting podcast series called Econtalk that deals with economics in everyday life. I added their RSS feed at to my Bloglines account. Very neat!

Libraries can definitely take advantage of podcasting as a way of reaching customers. You could broadcast current library news, interviews with authors and staff, and local community happenings. This would connect you to your customers when they are at home, and make your library web pages more information-dense and much more relevant.


And now, for a timely topic:

Electing a US President in Plain English

YouTube is famous in the Web 2.0 world, and justifiably so. The ease of finding videos, the sheer amount of them on an incredible variety of topics, the optional high-resolution mode, the handy URL and Embed codes right next to the vid- all much appreciated. The comments section can be rather rough, but it is fun seeing how many times a video has been watched. Creating an account allows you to build your own favorites list.

Having videos embedded in library web pages could be an effective marketing tool, or a convenient way for customers to see instructional how-to clips such as 'how to reserve a book from our online catalog'. Perhaps staff at a particular branch could record their own videos for use about their location for the public.

Many, many possibilities!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

CML Power Tools Blog.

My favorite part of the CML Power Tools page is Tooling Around, the Power Tools page blog. This blog highlights useful tech and Web 2.0 features (as well as CML's tools).

For instance, a recent post there was: Top Five Reasons To Use Gmail. Since Gmail is my favorite email service, I heartily agreed (and chimed in with a comment on the post). Reasons discussed were the availability of built-in chat, the large amount of storage space, and the ease of labeling and archiving emails. In my comment I mentioned the tabbed email conversations that allowed an ongoing conversation in one single email, as opposed to a new email for every response.

Tech blogs such as Tooling Around always interest me, because you almost always learn something from reading them. One can never have too much knowledge in this fast-moving technology world we inhabit.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 won 2nd place in the 2008 Web 2.0 Awards books category. If you like used, rare or out-of-print books, this is a great resource!

To quote from their site, "We are proud to host over 5000 of the finest bookstores and booksellers worldwide, representing a combined inventory of over 50 million books from these bookstores." Biblio is a centralized site that allows you to buy from thousands of booksellers from all over the planet. You simply create an account- you have the option of using Paypal or, if you prefer credit card, of not storing your credit card info on your account (this is a nice touch). If you've ever ordered anything from Amazon, you'll be familiar with their system.

Doing a search is easy. From the front page, you can search by title, author, keyword or ISBN number. One can easily be surprised at the amount of hits on a particular title that you can come up with. Here is a sample search- check out those low prices!

The sheer number of sources that uses to find books for you is a powerful incentive to use their service. There's even a textbook section on their site.

Buyers and sellers from around the globe come together at this one site, and this benefits everyone in the process.

Web 2.0 is a wonderful thing :-)