Saturday, August 19, 2017

I am thinking of using this private blog as a place to journal my thoughts

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Method 12

After all this learning about Web 2.0 and all its various parts, I have somewhat of a better idea and understanding of what it is, but I'm still a little grainy in grasping it all. In a final reflection of it all, I don't see myself as being a web 2.0 follower or doer too much personally, although there may be times when one or more of the web 2.0 processes can be used in the library to effectively bring in more interest in some library event or service. Web 2.0 processes are not passive. They must be kept up to date by those start them. A Twitter, MySpace, Flicker page, etc., needs to be kept fresh to be relevant. Several of the examples that I looked at during this web 2.0 journey have not always been so.

I did not use Instant Messaging before, but make use of it now. I can see the value of a well organized, kept up to date, wiki. Maybe someday I will make one that describes the materials and services we have in the Genealogy and Special Collections Department. I have come to like using Zoho writer better than Google Docs. The RSS feeds have brought in some interesting blogs to read, but I usually forget that they are there. I had made use of before this course, but did not know that I was using a web 2.0 process. It is a very useful service because there are so many web site that one comes across but doesn't want to take the time to bookmark them permanently. can allow one to mark web sites in a temporary way, and then go back to take another look at them to decide if they are worth bookmarking permanently, discarding, or just keeping in a list. Some day, I may try to use Flickr or Picassa to put photographs on, mainly as a place to keep backup copies of photos that I have taken and don't want to lose. But I have yet to do so.

Overall, I am glad that I went through the course. I have a better understanding about some aspects of Web 2.0, am still confused about some things, and finally in some areas I am still confused but have a better understanding of what I am confused about.

Thank you for putting this course together. I, and I'm sure many others, are glad that you did. Thanks!

Rob Groman

Amarillo Public Library

Amarillo, TX

Friday, February 26, 2010

Method 11

After several tries at searching some of the podcast directories for different subjects of interest in order to get an idea of how to find podcasts and to learn what was out there, for lack of a better idea I put in the word "books" into one of the directories to see what would come up. I figured that there would have to be quite a lot of podcasts in this area. Several things came up that looked interesting, but I decided to listen to a podcast called "How the Rare Book Business is an Online Treasure Hunt". I don't have a great personal interests in rare books (other than a wish to learn that I have in my own collection of books, 3 or 4 books worth several thousand dollars each), but our library has quite a few very rare books. So I thought it might be interesting to listen to. It didn't really relate to the type of books that our library has, but it was interesting to listen to anyway, and I learned a few things. I tried a few other podcasts, including several from the list of library related podcasts, but I think I have determined that I am not a podcast type person.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Method 10

The first thing I tried was the SJCPL Subject Guides. I was impressed with how well the guides were organized and how much information was there, as well as the simple, but attractive, layout of the wiki. Several other libraries, such as the Grand Rapids Public Library, also show what can be done with a well organized wiki. Some ways to use wikis, including ways already mentioned are subject guides, guides to a library's collections, how to guides such as general research or genealogy research, internal staff manuals, guides to periodicals and newspapers including what is subscribed to in print and what is available via databases, and how to use periodicals in research. A library could also make use of a wiki to work out programming involving several different branches, such as organizing Christmas skits. The wiki could be used to list ideas, discuss who will take part in the skits, where and when they will be shown, what supplies would be needed, etc. The subject guide wikis that I looked at seemed similar to some of the subject guide tag lists that were seen in the lesson on tags and tagging, but the wikis seem better organized and more attractively done. Maybe one way that tags and wikis could be used by a library is to use tagging for quickly bookmarking attractive and useful websites, and wikis for a more formalized guide to resources that would include some, but not necessarily all, of the websites that had been previously tagged. On the negative side, I also observed that some of the wikis that had been created by libraries, had not been updated in several years. It can be difficult to keep something like a wiki or a web page updated regularly, but doing so shows that the information on a source can be trusted to be up to date.

I inserted the following comments into the Library Development A Dozen Ways to Two Step Favorites wiki.

In addition to many other forms of music, I enjoy opera a lot. Especially Wagner and Puccini.

A reference website I enjoy going to is There is a word of the day along with its definition. What makes it a fun site, beside learning new words, is the examples of three or four sentences given in which the word is used. The sentences are usually taken from books or magazine articles. The way an author uses a word in a sentence can give an additional nuance to a definition of a word, in addition to that supplied in the word's formal definition. At the above website, in addition to the word of the day, one can get the definition for most English language words. It also has a thesaurus, which I like to go to when I want to find a different way to say something.

Method 9

Our library currently does not offer any type of chat service with patrons. It is something that may be done in the future, but I have not heard any other library staff members talk of doing anything like those libraries that were referred to are doing. One concern I would have about putting a Meebo widget embedded in catalog searches that yield no search results is that it would result in more requests for help than the staff could keep up with. I would expect that some libraries who have set this type of service up, have run into this problem. IM is used internally in the Amarillo Public Library for communication between librarians, and between branches. After going over this lesson, I asked our tech librarian to set me up with an IM account. I have made use of it a few times. It has worked out well in communicating with a staff member at another library branch, who is deaf. Since she cannot use the phone, using Instant Messenger has worked out well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Method 8

Method 8

I started off looking at the Facebook and MySpace pages of the Library of Congress. The Facebook page was informative in that it included information about several events that the LOC was sponsoring. Also, there were some links to some interesting Flickr photos. The LOC MySpace page had very little to offer. The Texas Tech MySpace and Facebook pages both had interesting and useful information and links on their respective sites.

I have never sent out a twitter message, but in looking at some of the sites that distribute twitter messages, I can see how they can be used to reach people that don't normally use the library. Also, to reach library users to help make them aware of certain library events, or new books, or programs, etc. In some of the material that I have looked at, someone made the comment that keeping a Twitter page current and interesting could take a lot of time. If it is not being updated, library patrons and other people will stop visiting that library's Twitter page. Operating a Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook page is definitely something that needs to constantly be updated and kept current and relevant, in order to keep people coming back. One thing that I noticed is that several of the sites, whether Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace kept material on their pages long after it was no longer relevent and current. I don't know how easy it is to remove messages, but I would think that should be part of the process in running this type of Social Network.

I have decided not to create a MySpace or Facebook page at this time, but I realize that in order to really understand how a Social Network works, I may have to sign up for one or the other or both, in order to better understand how they work. I don't know if I would worry about privacy or not. Probably not too much, but I wouldn't really know until I had a Facebook or MySpace account. Our library has a MySpace page, but not a lot of information is on there. Several of the links to other information do not work. There have been a lot of changes here at the Amarillo Public Library with some staff reorganization and an extensive remodeling project, which may explain why the MySpace page isn't being used to its full potential yet, but I suspect that in time, it will become a more useful and interesting site.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Method 7

Method 7

The use of Tags in an interesting concept. I had heard of tags, and had come across them in several different places, but had not explored the concept on my own. I had already opened a account several months ago, and had bookmarked several Internet sites, mainly articles that I wanted to come back to read at a later time. The idea of bookmarking different web sites through delicious and organizing them in the same way that I have organized web sites in folders on my home and work pc did not occur to me, at least not in a well thought out manner. This is something that I will try. I am also looking to see how other libraries are using Delicious. San Mateo Public Library's way of organizing bookmarks by Dewey order is an interesting concept. Some libraries arrange the bookmarks by many specific topics. Grouping topics into Tag Bundles, or some other grouping, seems to be a better use of tagging.