Monday, 15 August 2011

Things 3 to 9

Once again I have fallen behind.  I was doing quite well until week 6, but I did forget to blog.

 Week 2 Twitter Extra thing Twitter extended
Twitter was not one of my favourite things.  I decided I did not want to resurruect my account, so I did not do the extra thing.  However I thought it had some useful looking applications and can see a use for them in a library setting, especially as more and more information can be given via Twitter.  The recording of information and the ability of sending tweets at a different time to composing,  plus mobile usage  I am sure some libraries are already making use of these.

Things 5 and 6 .
Lightshot looked really useful, so I tried downloading it only to discover the virus checker on my computer would not let me.  I thought we might be able to add illustrations to the library guide.  I'll make a note to try again later.
Extra Thing - Screen casting
Screen casting which I did not try, sounded very useful for catching those people who don't come to library inductions.  The other area where it has potential is demonstrating how to use equipment.  Very useful when the library is open, but unstaffed.
Things 7 and 8.
I looked at doodle and Google calendar last year and thought them useful.  I noticed during the past year use of Doodle has increased.  A plus for  Cam 23 Things.
Extra Thing Using the library widget.
I was very pleased with myself.  I managed to load the library widget onto my igoole page, only to discover I had loaded the test widet.  A useful tool, so I must try again once Cam 23.2.0 is complete
Thing 9  Google docs
Once again I did this last time, and thought it a useful tool.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Thing 1 extra thing

The return of 23 Things was a welcome surprise. I blew the dust off my file and resurrected by blog and gmail address.  After a break of 10 months it was a steep learning curve.  I had forgotten most of what I had learnt last year.

I decided only to do the extras.  With assistance I changed the colour of my blog.  Quite a bit of time was spent exploring and working out how to do it, only to discover it was not that difficult.  We had fun experimenting,

Friday, 20 August 2010

wordle and Finale

  Well I did try to save and post my wordle screen shot but unfortunately this was the result.  I am still having problems with my computer which was upgraded on Wednesday afternoon.  I do hope I find the picture again; and everything else.

Final thoughts.
I have reached the end of 23 things, hurray, and now it is time to comment.
I found Google calendar and doodle the most useful tools in that they are the ones I think I could apply in my library.  I disliked Delicious, blogging, twitter and LinkedIn, but can see their merits.  As for persisting with any, I have not really had the time.  I would like to explore some of the Things covered as I think they have potential for future library use; and may look at a couple for personal use.  I do not know what the policy of the College is with regard to social media and this would have to be investigated before anything could be started.
social media is affecting library services whether we like it or not and it cannot be ignored.  It is a way of interacting with our users and collaborating with our colleagues.  It offers a way to reach our increasingly distant users.  However selecting the method best suited to both library and users is a nearly impossible task.  It requires time, dedication and enthusiasm to make it work and to be effective.  I still think conversations and a good web page are the best way to communicate with our users, but even in Cambridge they are becoming more distant, hence an interest in social media as a means of keeping in contact with them.
My knowledge of social networking was practically non-existant and 23 Things offered me the opportunity to rectify this.  Participating in the programme forced  me to try things I had heard of, and not heard of.  Assistance can via links, readings and instructions, but above all friendly, helpful people who were  there to support me and evyone else.  My grateful thanks to all the 23 Things Cambridge team for devising the programme which has finally forced me to do something about social networking; to Suzan for starting me off and keeping me going and Lyn for the tips.  It has been a hard few weeks, but an enjoyable and social one as well.  Thank you to all involved and to all the other participants.


Thursday, 19 August 2010

Reivew Things 3-13

My original blogs were either sketchy or non-existent so I am catching up.
With help I managed to set up a blog and have been blogging.  I do find it difficult as communication is not my strong point.  I can see why some libraries find it useful to have a blog, simply as a general communication method with distant and perhaps not so distant readers to keep them informed.  However access depends on users reading the blog so important items would have to be posted elsewhere.  I do wonder how many users read the blog and how many other people. 
Thing 13 - As I never sound enthusistic about anything, I don't think I will have a library blog in the immediate future.  I can see the usefulness of a blog in promoting events, happenings and developments in a library.  We have very few so I don't think a blog would be interesting.  In a large library, split-site or scattered community it is a useful way to communicate, and is one method by which some users expect to find out what is on/happening.

Thing 5
Doodle was something I could see would be a useful tool.  A much simpler way of organizing a meeting than creating a birdcage.  One of the advantages is that you can see when others can attend, which can be helpful.  I did arrange a change of date for a meeting and received notification of another.
Thing 13 - I can see the potential of doodle not only in arranging professional meetings but also social meetings, clubs and socieites.  I have noticed over the past few weeks there has been an increase in its use, so others are finding it useful.

Thing 6
I liked google calendar and thought it esay to access and navigate.  Within a library setting it offers another way to communicate with users, letting them know of events like Vacation borrowing.
Thing 13 -  I thought this had potential for my library as a way of advertising routine things like when books are due for return at the end of the Vacation, the dates when the opening hours change etc.  I am thinking about it for my library.  On a personal level I will keep to my paper diaries.

Thing 7
With 140 characters a tweet has to be precise and I suspect can cause problems in some circumstances.  I can see why numerous libraries have a 'follow us on Twitter' button as another way of communicating with users, telling them what is happening and receiving a response.  It is a popular tool and can reach a large number of people.  I do wonder how time consuming it is and how frequently you need to tweet for users to remain interested.
Thing 13 -  personally have problems with Twitter, I just don't like it.  Whether it is the press coverage it has had or the fact you only have 140 characters I don't know.  I did attend Emma's course at the UL and have not changed my mind.  I know Twitter is popular and it is now expected that large, and even small, libraries are on.  But it is dependent on followers.  I do wonder how many of those who follow a library on Twitter are other librarians.

Thing 8
I think the majority of web users have tags, in one form or another.  they are a way of keeping track of resources.  As librarian's we use a controlled vocabulary, which is not always clear to our users.  Users may use a different vocabulary for their personal work/social activities.  Tagging is best done, so I understand, as you go along. I did do a tag, but am a bit misty about how I did it.
Thing 13 - This is something I must explore further when I have more time.  I can see its usefulness but am not sure of the application.

Things 9 and 10
I really enjoyed exploring Flickr and looking at the different images.  Some were beautiful and others were fun.  I spent some time look at pictures of where I had been on holiday.  Happy memories.  I did not look to see if there were any images of the College, something I must do.  Permission is required to take photographs of the interior of the library, so I am dependent on the College for those.  I suspect the College would only agree to its offical photograhs being used for publicity purposes or offical College documentation like Web pages.  Having said that Flickr is a mine of useful images which can be used to illustrate various things, as peoples blogs have shown.  Images have always had an impact and tell a story.  They add to promotional materials, web pages and guides.  Flickr has potential, but limited in my circumstances.  I was really pleased we were told about the creative commons.  It is useful to know what can be downloaded without breach of copyright.
Thing 13 - I do wonder if Flickr is more a social tool, like looking at holiday photographs.  Having said that I have really enjoyed looking at the pictures on the Cam23 blogs, such a wide range.  I think the problem of copyright would also concern me and wonder how many people are aware of the restrictions and what they can or cannot download.  You can spend a great deal of time on Flickr.

Thing 11
I have mixed feelings about this.  It is a useful resource for those who cannot attend conferences and talks in person, although inevitably some of the message is lost.  I can see for those libraries with distance learners, or users who only come into the library out of office hours, it provides a way of communicating information.  However finding what you are looking for can be a problem, a hit and miss affair.  On the up side you may find something you did not know existed.  Quality is also a problem.  Some articles are excellent whilst others leve much to be desired.
thing 13 - I think this may be more for personal development than library use.  I think you could wast a great deal of time and effort for very little result.

Thing 12
I should admit at the beginning I did not open a Delicious account.  With access to only one computer is did not seem worth it.  I thought for those who have both personal and work computers or work in split  site libraries or have more than one work station than Delicious might be a useful tool.  I understand it is a good way to save links to things you are interested in.  I did wonder about how time consuming Delicious would be in a library setting.  If you have links, do you need to keep checking them on a regular basis.  Would users find this a useful tool or do they have their own accounts?  I think as far as libraries are concerned it may depend on the department and what the library offers.
Thing 13 - Social book marketing, again I think for personal and professional use rather than general library use.  I cannot see the potential for Delicious in my library at the moment.  I will be returning to the LibrarianGoddess book marks with great interest.

Thing 13
The Web is immense and finding information on it is a commplicated and never ending task.  There is always something new and sometimes things do not stay long.  My thoughts so far.  I have used things I had heard of and not heard of.  I have spent, as anticipated, a great deal of time and effort, with out following all the links and doing all the readings so kindly provided.  I really need to go over it all again.  I have found things of use to the library and things of no interest.  I have learnt a great deal and my skills have improved.  Using the tools is time consuming.  I suspect if they are not kept up to date users will stop accessing them.  I can see why libraries are using them to communicate with users, but I think the tools need to be chosen with care.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Yes, even I had heard of and used Wikipedia as a quick reference tool and managed to successfully side track myself on occasion.  I have also read some of the literature with regard to accuracy and amendments and so know to check if I require particular information like a date or a location. 
Wikis provide a method of collaboration.  a way to share information, documents and, as the video showed us, what needs to be done and who is doing what or what is finished.  I think there is potential for libraries and quite a number use them.  Most seem to be large libraries and the information they provide varies.  Most seem to think it is a good way to keep an up-to-date staff manual, others are more adventuresome. My concern is that anyone can edit the documents and this could lead to abuse by users.  I think what we use Wikis for needs careful thought, but it is another way of communicating with our users.
Yet again I think this is not for us.  Large and split site organisations could well benefit.  I was interested that TeachMeet had a Wiki for signing up to attend.  I did not realise this when I was looking at it and it shows another use.

Podcasting and YouTube

People have been using Podcasts to catch up on radio programmes they have missed for several years now and it has become an accepted piece of technology rather like the video recorder for television.  Increasing lectures and seminars are being posted, so if you have a clash or cannot get to it you can hear it.  It is a popular form of communicating with a scattered membership.
film has for many years been used as an educational tool as seen by the 'Dig for Victory' and road safety films.  They reach a large audience communicating a message in a way people understand and usually with some humour.  to work well they must look professional, be well planned, well produced and convey the information without alienating the viewer.  I can see they have potential in large libraries or in libraries which are unstaffed for most of their opening hours.  We can reach all of our readers and inform them of new services and how to use current services without having to be there.  On the downside badly produced film will not enhance our image or convey the message we hope to convey, what ever it may be.  It is free on the net, but what about the time it takes to plan and produce the film?  They require a certain amout of creativity and not all of us have this.  Of course systems change, so our film becomes obsolete and a new one has to be produced.  Yes I can see the potential but I think it is something that requires careful consideration before embarking on anything.  One of the strengths of a small library is its personalised service.  Face to face encounters give a valuable exchange of information which I would not like to lose.
I did watch the videos suggested and could see what they were trying to achieve and how successful they were with me.  Video, like books, can be quite personal.
I will not be producing a video for this library.  I am looking forward to seeing the Cambridge induction video.  If successful perhaps other areas could be considered.

Google docs

I did not create a new document, due to lack of time, but used a document I had already created for another purpose.  I sent it to be amended and it all worked well.  However I did wonder if it was as good and as easy to use as the demonstration led me to believe.  I only did a small uncomplicated document, but something more complicated may poise problems. 
I can see how useful Google docs could be in a split site library or in a large library where numbers of documents are shared or sent for comment.  Also for those producing articles and documents when those involved are geographically a long distance apart.  It could, as Google tells us, save a lot of time and worry.  I suspect it could also create worry and take longer.
In this small library I cannot see myself using Google docs.  We can easily talk to each other and send items to be amended by email attachment.  Also there is not really much use for them, except at certain times of the year, like amending the library guide.  I can see a potential within the Cambridge libraries.  With increase co-operation and collaboration Google docs could be quite useful.  But I do wonder it is as easy and simple to use as is made out.  Also, it is another thing to find on an increasingly full web pages.