Friday, November 23, 2007

Web 2.0 awads list

Man, there's a whole lot of stuff on there! It's pretty cool how some of the sites on the Web 2.0 awards list are things that we've touched upon through PalsPLUS2.0 (Google docs,, LibraryThing, etc).

I was also happy to find sites that I already know and sometimes use (Google maps, Picasa, YouTube, Craiglist, etc).

One of the sites I found to be interesting is called ColorBlender. You can make your own color palettes, match colors, find "blends," etc and use them in Photoshop and Illustrator. I'm sure something like this will come in handy at some point in the future with my artwork.

Also of interest was Spoke, one of the 3 sites they have listed for professional networking. I've heard of this site before, but never fully checked it out. I think that I'm going to have to take a closer look at a couple of these...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Google docs!

I wish I had known about Google docs sooner. I was late jumping into all of Google's goodies and now I feel like I'm really playing catchup. This would have been an EXCELLENT resource for all of those patrons who came into the library to use the internet AND Microsoft Word only to find that we didn't offer that service at the time.

Here, they would have been able to do research online and open a Google document and type to their hearts content (until the time limit was up. This still would not have been a big deal since Google ceremoniously backs up pretty much everything you do... if only Illustrator was so kind...). There appear to be enough other online resources available for those who don't use Google/Gmail services. Very handy.

I don't necessarily feel that these types of programs will make Microsoft Office obsolete. I can see them perhaps using it in conjunction with traditional word processing software. Isn't it a good idea to be more versatile anyway?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Library 2.0, Web 2.0, etc...

Well I must say that I enjoyed this "thing." In fact, I found most of these perspectives to be quite comforting in that some librarians and libraries "get it."

I'm not a librarian (shock! gasp!). However, being immersed in public libraries for over 10 years, I feel like I'm a pretty good judge or outside authority on the subject.

I thought Rick Anderson's "Away from the Icebergs" article summarized much of what has become an issue for libraries today. For example, I would agree with his thoughts on the collections of libraries. Certain materials are in higher demand than others and it's imperative to meet those demands in order to serve the public.

Now granted, a library community's demographic will help to dictate the needs for that library's changes. We have a heavy "reader" population for our library branch. There are families that checkout upwards of 50 or 60 books at a shot (I think the record since I've been here was around 100 books at a pop). We also have a high demand for the bestsellers and popular authors, fiction, mystery, etc that any other library has. That's not to say that we don't have patrons looking for nonfiction or reference materials. However, our city is fortunate enough to house two libraries. More often than not, when it comes to collection development in the reference areas, the main building (understandably so) is the one that gets the most current material. Originally this was a frustrating issue. But when it comes down to it, there are tons of resources available online. If push comes to shove and that patron really, really, really needs the most current information from that reference book on stamps, he can just drive the 10 minutes over to the main building and go to town.

In some respects, I agree with one of my coworkers about our branch evolving into a fiction library. Almost like a circulating Barnes and Noble. Stock multiple copies of the most current fiction, the hottest authors, the best reads of the year. Not that we'd have to eliminate nonfiction or reference entirely. But I feel the collections can be adjusted to meet our needs. Resources would still be available online, and we have a whole OTHER library for our patrons to access. How many towns can claim that?

The other thing that was touched upon in this article was "reliance on user education." Let me apologize in advance to any coworkers or supervisors I may offend by my following opinion. We're understaffed. Now I know that's nothing new, and it's been like that for years and it's probably like that everywhere. But we're not just understaffed when it comes to numbers. We are understaffed when it comes to people capable of answering the questions or teaching the public about the services that they can access. It's absolutely great that we can offer down loadable audio books and as I just learned today, video on demand service. (How cool is that? All with your library card!!)

But our staff is under trained. It's almost a guarantee that any person who walks through that door or picks up a phone to ask about these services I'm going to have to field the question. Let me remind you that I am not a librarian. Let me also throw in that I'm not even a supervisor, let alone anywhere near the top of the food chain. I am an artist. If you told any of my college friends that I'm the "tech guy" they would laugh at you. Out loud. In your face. What I know I've learned from playing around on my own. I understand if numbers in the library cannot be increased. The staff NEEDS to be more knowledgeable. There's no point in providing services that are not understood by library staff. As a whole we need to be more aware of these services and at least understand the concept enough to be able to explain it to someone else.

I was going to talk about some of the other articles, but this post is way too long already. However I will add that I am proud of our libraries. Look at what we're doing. Look at what we offer. We may not be the forerunner by any means, but we're not really being left in the dust either. I think we're in a good position to keep adjusting and evolving. And if we're able to do so, the public won't outgrow us. They'll need us just as much, just in a different way.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Thing #14 is pretty interesting. Talk about sharing! Haha. To be able to browse for information from alllll those blogs. It's pretty neat, and I like the idea of being able to search for say, pen and ink techniques or something and get a myriad of results.

(I actually did search for pen and ink techniques and even got a few videos people posted. Not bad.)

While I don't see Technorati as being a site I would use religiously, it's a cool resource to remember.

I think I like Thing #13. Using to bookmark sites and keep track of them on the internet as opposed to a certain computer is an awesome idea. Sites can be accessed and managed from any computer at any time. No more jotting sites down or emailing myself for later.

The idea seems a little similar to RSSing in that you subscribe and keep track of internet sites through another website. However, I can see as becoming a strong source of reference material. (A better one for me than perhaps Rollyo...) The first thing I tagged is "How to Fix a Broken iPod."

Hopefully I'll never have to refer to it. But if I need it, it's there! Or if a friend needs it, it's there. Nice.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

One Book New Jersey 2008 (Part 1)

I am taking quick break from working on the OBNJ poster. I'm actually a little ansty working on it this year. The deadline isn't even that tight. I think I'm just a little concerned over having my eyeballs lasered this week. I am anticipating my work output to slow down. (I was going to add a funny comment about how at work, even with my work output decreasing, I'd still probably be pretty much on par... Interesting.)

Anyway, I'm about halfway done with what I'm actually able to work on. I'm a bit limited with how far I can go since no one knows what book #4 is yet. Hopefully the Reader's Advisory Committee (if that's what it was) will pick something a little different from the previous years. That would be cool.

Okay Emily, since I know you're the only one that reads this more or less, I will keep you posted on my progress!


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Yo, Rollyo

I'm going to be honest: I am not a fan of Thing 12.

Don't get me wrong, Rollyo seems like a pretty cool tool. The concept of just searching websites you know and trust is a good one. And I can definitely see a use for this for a librarian who gets frequent questions about specific topics. Instead of googling, yahooing, or asking jeeves, you have your roll of 5, 10, or 50 sites that you can just search through. Sharing your rolls is cool and fits into that social networking stuff.

But I just don't like it. Right now, it's not for me. I don't mind googling or goodsearching for something and getting a new site now and then. If it's a site that I frequent, I'd just as soon bookmark it or add it to my Reader.

(Not to mention I'm not crazy about remembering all these user names and passwords.)

So, I have explored Rollyo. I see its purpose, understand what it represents and the possibilities it holds.

I'm just not going to jump into this one right now. Thanks for presenting it to us though!