Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Week 9, Thing 23 - Conclusion

My journey through San Jose Library's Learning 2.0 has been amazing. When I started this "lifelong learning" experience, I was new to every "thing." As the weeks unfolded, I found myself trying to solve puzzles each new topic and website would bring.

I was moored by Flickr until I was taught, by one of our talented interns, how to copy and paste a URL. This new bit of knowledge sent me cruising through Really Simple Syndication feeds and HTML postings. I totally enjoyed creating art work from Flickr's third party websites, using image generators, and posting a video from YouTube.

I have found that my Rollyo on U.S. Elections has pulled up some interesting articles. I have also found that "tags" can give you a place to start when deciphering information and photos on Flickr, Technorati or Also, wikis are the tool of the day - enabling a group to edit a piece fluidly.

In thinking about the library potential of many of the different websites, I found endless possibilities. They include Library Clerks sharing a wiki and Librarians posting an instructional video on a subject blog. Most importantly, this program has enabled me to provide more knowledgeable service for our customers. Just the other day, I was asked, "How to you post a picture on a blog?" I said, "All you need to do is..."

I completely enjoyed the learning experience! However, the time commitment was enormous. The nine to twelve week session is so very long. In the future, I would like to see the learning programs broken down into shorter units.
I would like to especially thank the Virtual Services Team for their wonderful work in reviewing hundreds of postings that fill the amazing San Jose Library's Learning 2.0 blogs. Thank you for your kind comments and encouragement.

This journey has been a treasure, and it continues - these technology lessons are just the beginning of my learning experience. My sails are full and they will take me on new adventures within and outside the "23 Things" of this "lifelong learning" experience.

Week 9, Thing 22 - Ebooks & Audio Ebooks

The resources available electronically are numerous. On our website, we provide five different services: netLibrary, Overdrive, Pimsleur Language, Safari Tech and Ebrary Academic. However, the services are separated for San Jose Public Library customers and San Jose State University customers. Although the material is similiar, SJSU focuses on "scholarly" material for research, and SJPL focuses on "general" material for "lifelong learning."

Both SJSU and SJPL provide netLibrary for their customers. It includes topics such as Business, Education, Literature, the Sciences and Social Sciences among others. It is interesting to note that netLibrary can be searched in five different languages besides English. It also has an embedded dictionary that can actually pronounce words. As a browsing library, it is not necessary to check the item out. It must also be read online and can be accessed from the computers in the library. Searching here, I was able to see the variety of material available and found an ebook on the environment: Harmony and Conflict in the Living World by Alexander Frank Skutch.

The Pimsleur Language service is provided to SJPL customers. This netLibrary service provides over 160 different audiobooks in a variety of language lessons including Arabic, Egyptian, Hebrew, Japanese and Spanish, among others. The material must be checked out and downloaded; however, it can be played offline and on some portable audio devices. For this service, I downloaded: Spanish (Latin America) The Plus Course.

Overdrive is a SJPL service, and it provides a variety of material including: Ebooks, digital audiobooks, and digital music. The collection includes: Nonfiction ebooks and audio ebooks on Travel, Biographies, History, Self Help, etc.; Fiction ebooks and audio ebooks on Classics, Mysteries, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Young Adult and Children's Fiction, etc. The music collection is small but varied including Classics, and New Age, etc. Overdrive is set up nicely with descriptions of the material, about the author, even excerpts of the music collection. I checked out and downloaded: Autobiography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by Clayborne Carson, Ph.D.

Safari Tech is a resource for "programmers and IT professionals." This service is provided by SJPL and SJSU. It includes topics on Artificial Intelligence, Desktop Publishing, Graphics, Multimedia, Operating Systems, Security, etc. Safari Tech is browsable and the full-text can be searched on a particular issue or the ebook can be read from "cover-to-cover."

Ebrary Academic is a SJSU service - it is also browsable and doesn't need to be checked out. This service is available on our Library computers. The topics covered include Library Science, Education, Fine Arts, History, Law, Literature, Medicine, Music, Political Science, Science, Technology, etc. With the Personal Bookshelf, highlights, notes and bookmarks can be saved. Also, "InfoTools" has links to more information in our Library and the Internet. Since the service is browsable, I found some interesting ebooks: Lives of Moral Leadership by Robert Coles and Adapting the United Nations to a Postmodern Era: Lessons Learned edited by Andy W. Knight.

Although I've downloaded ebooks before, this "Thing" was a good review. It is simply amazing to see what is available including the 100,000 electronic books from the World Ebook Fair and Project Gutenberg. The topics are endless. I searched a variety of subjects including Thomas Jefferson, the Environment and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), Iraq and Transitional Government, and Nutrition. I found ebooks available on all of these topics. Unfortunately, for me, ebooks are a difficult read online, but a tremendous asset for full-text searching on wide variety of research topics.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Journey to Ecuador

The sun shines through the white cumulus , on a cold winter day, as we board a Pan Am flight for our journey to Ecuador. As a newly appointed United States Foreign Service Officer, my Father bundles up his family of six.

Quito, a beautiful capitol, is surrounded by mountains with Cotopaxi as its highest peak. White sugar icing covers the mountain's jagged edges as winter cold settles in. The buildings of the city are colored pastel: Orange, green, blue and pink. Churches and steeples grace the town squares spiraling to the heavens. Open markets -- with fresh fruits picked by tender hands -- tortillas of corn ground and slapped into thin, small, round patties -- fill the aroma of the air.

It is a treasured adventure -- the new world before me sparkles.

Week 9, Thing 21 - Podcasts

"Podcasts" are like radio programs on the Internet - they have no music or video broadcasting within them. The New Oxford American Dictionary named "Podcast" the "word of the year" in 2005. It is defined as "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player." However, the "podcast" can also be heard on a PC that has the needed software and access to the Internet. Using a directory, such as "Yahoo! Podcasts," makes searching easy. Tags are used to help describe "podcasts," but you can also search by keyword. If the "podcast" is part of a series, RSS feeds can be used to add it to a site like Bloglines. In this way, you will be notified of any new programs in a series.
In searching through "podcasts," I did find NPR's book reviews which I posted to my Bloglines. I also found an interesting "podcast" on library news, but the latest update to the series was November 2006. I listened for a while, to a number of "podcasts," and found the variety of subjects very interesting, instructional and entertaining.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Week 9, Thing 20 - YouTube

"YouTube" is absolutely the most entertaining site I have visited through Learning 2.0. The site is so easy to use - after signing in - you just search and play. It is also easy to share a video through email or embed one in a blog.
You can "stream" by opening a page that lets you send messages and share videos at the same time. On "YouTube," you can use the "QuickList" page to save a video temporarily, or you can create a "Playlist" to share and save your favorite videos. Saving your videos under "favorites" will enable you to view them at another time. Videos can also be rated and you can post comments as part of the "YouTube" community.
Since blogging is a tool that can be used by librarians for instruction, "YouTube" would be ideal for making an instructional video to be posted on a blog. Such an addition would be ideal for an Academic Librarian's subject page or a Public Librarian's area of expertise.
Unfortunately, I did find some unwanted video pictures and advertisements that were on the "YouTube" website.

The video below is a pretty accurate reflection of my experience with Learning 2.0. 8)

Thanks to lesterjohnson who uploaded "This is Yacht Racing" on "YouTube."

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Week 8, Thing 19 - LibraryThing

"LibraryThing" is a wonderful tool! It enables you to set up your own personal cataloged library including books you have in your home library, or simply books you have read. There are 8 million books listed on "LibraryThing" - it uses sources such as the Library of Congress, Amazon and 30 Library catalogs from around the globe. Although the Library of Congress subject headings are used, "LibraryThing" also uses tags. Tags, book reviews and ratings are completely user generated and can be shared making "LibraryThing" a "social" place.

"LibraryThing" is also a useful place for libraries - you can set up a display of recommended, recent or random books with a "LibraryThing" widget. Tim Spalding, the "LibraryThing" creator, is also working with Innovative Interfaces' Millennium OPAC to possibly include "LibraryThing" information.

My "LibraryThing" widget is posted to the right.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Week 8, Thing 18 - Productivity Tools

The story posted above, "Journey to Ecuador," was created on Zoho Writer, a web-based writing tool. Because it is web-based, I am able to write and edit on any computer that supports the Internet and Zoho Writer's writing tool, JavaScript. It is amazingly easy to use - it has many of the same elements as Microsoft Word, and has more than 40 templates including resume writing and business labels. It has the added benefit of supporting collaboration - meaning that others can edit a piece with its wiki tool.
Thanks to Dimplemonkey who posted the "Streets of Quito" on Flickr's Creative Commons Attribution License web page.