Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Week 9, Thing # 23 - Summary

I am glad that BCPL is doing the "23 Things" program because it is educating alot of people about the technology that is widely available. Educating people is half the battle when it comes to technology. Once someone know how to use some piece of technology then they are more likely to use it if they feel it is worth their time. In libraries, the staff are from different generations and because of that the technological expertise will vary from staff member to staff member. This program is bringing these technologies to all staff members and making a level playing field. Now that all staff members are aware of these technologies they can apply them in their job duties. 23 Things also shows how other libraries have embraced these technologies and how they have integrated them into their library system. I think it is exciting to see library systems using technology to its advantage.

When I started this program, I knew that there would be some things I would be familiar with and others that I wouldn't. The reason for that is that I am a technology fan and because I maintain my church's website that uses some of these technologies. If I had to pick my favorite things they would be RSS feeds, Wikis, Rollyo, Library Thing and avatars. The reason being is that they were fun to learn and they are things that I am wanting to continue using. I have even started showing my wife, who is a preschool teacher, some of these technologies to help her in her job.

The future of libraries is going to depend on whether they embrace new technologies or not. Libraries have to change with the times. What I mean is that we need to keep up with what our customers needs are, how can we meet those needs and by what means can we fullfill those needs. If we do that then libraries will be the focal point for information for years to come.

Week 9, Thing # 22 - Downloadable Audiobooks

I haved used our downloadable audiobook service several times since it was introduced. BCPL currently has two downloadable services, Overdrive and Net Library. There are pros and cons of each. Most of the audiobooks offered through Overdrive can be burned to a CD but they don't have a huge selection to choose from. Everytime I have used Overdrive I had to place a hold on the audiobook that I wanted and I would get an email when the book is available for download.

NetLibrary has a bigger selection of audiobooks but they can't be burned to a CD. Having the book on CD is a big plus for me because I don't want to be attached to my computer to listen to the audiobook. I have a mp3 player but the storage size is about average. Most of the books I have downloaded would fill up my mp3 player. I guess that's why I prefer to have my books on CD. I know BCPL is discontinuing the Netlibrary service soon and maybe the library's customers feel the same way I do in regards to downloadable audiobooks. If you have not tried downloading an audiobook, give it a wirl. You never know it may be exactly what you are looking for!

Week 9, Thing # 21 - Podcasting

If I am understanding podcasting, it is any non-musical audio or video that is distributed over the Internet. I took a look at Yahoo podcasts as well as Merlin podcasts and didn't find anything that I really had to have in my bloglines. I did add the rss feed for "Running To Win". It sounds like something that will encourage me to run more. Merlin had some interesting podcasts because they were library related. There are some libraries that are taking advantage of the technology that is out there. Hopefully BCPL will do the same.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Week 9, Thing # 20 - You Tube

I became familiar with You Tube after I watched the movie "Music & Lyrics". I fell in love with two songs from the movie. They are "Don't Write Me Off Just Yet" and "Way Back Into Love." I wanted to hear the songs again, so I went online and searched for the songs and found them on You Tube. You Tube is a place where people can post their favorite videos online. There are some very unique videos on You Tube. Take a look and see what You Tube has to offer.

I can see libraries using You Tube to their advantage. Libraries can video their branches and then post them online. Libraries can use You Tube by interviewing customers and asking them what do they like about the library and then post the video online. These are just a couple of ways that libraries can take advantage of this technology.

I am posting both videos from the movie "Music & Lyrics". Listen and you will see why I fell in love with them.

"Don't Write Me Off Just Yet"

"Way Back Into Love"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Week 8, Thing # 19 - Web 2.0 Awards

I looked around the list of Web 2.0 awards and didn't find anything that stood out until I found Pandora. Pandora is a music site that creates radio stations of music that only you like. You type in either a song title or the artist's name and it will play either that song or one of the artist's signature songs. Then Pandora will display music that has similarities to the song you liked. It is quite easy. You can create radio stations of music only that you like. I guess the reason that I like Pandora is because I have a wide taste in music. I mostly listen to Christian Worship, Christian Rock and Country music. The choices of music that they gave me were exactly the type of music I love to listen to. I have added some of my radio stations from Pandora to this blog. Take a look and see if Pandora is for you.

Week 8, Thing # 18 - Online Productivity

I am familiar with Google Docs - one of the online productivity applications. I really like Google Docs because I like the advantage of being able to access my documents from anywhere without the use of email or flash drives. Since Google Docs has a word processsor and a spreadsheet, it is like having two of the most popular Microsoft Office products in one without the cost and installing software. It is not dependent on operating systems either, which is a plus! I have created this document in Google Docs and I am going to try to publish this to my blog. Hopefully it works.

It was easier than I thought to publish my online document to my blog since Google owns both and Google Docs! Try it for yourself!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Week 7, Thing 17 - Sandbox Wiki

It was pretty easy to add some of my favorite books to the Sandbox Wiki and add my blog to the favorite blogs. If you have not tried it, go for it!