Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 9: Last Post

It has been interesting completing the Web 2.0 exercises. There were some things I already know about such as Facebook, Youtube, Downloadable Media, NetLibrary, Tumblebooks, TumbleReadables and RSS feeds. However there were many terms and websites I had heard about so often but never bothered to find out what it was. I had seen many teenagers use Bebo on the computers but never knew that it was a social networking site just like Facebook. I did not know what "Podcast" was before I started this exercise. One of my favourite websites was "Flickr". I always had difficulty using Photo Wizard but Flickr made it so easy for me to touch up photos. I will definitely recommend this website to customers who need help with digital photography.

I learned many new things in the last couple of weeks. Thank you and I look forward to doing more exercises about Web 2.0!

Week 9: eBooks and eAudiobooks

I already know about netlibrary, tumble readables and tumblebooks. Customers have come up to me asking where to find an ebook and I have shown them how to use netlibrary. Netlibrary is extremely useful if you don't want to buy the book but want to read the contents for free. I would recommends TumbleReadables for early readers because it has a read along audio component along with the ebook. Also, there is a quiz after you finish the book to make sure the child understands the content of the book. Downloadable media is something I am not too keen on. As I said earlier in my blog, I don't like listening to audiobooks. I have recommended this software to several customers but it is extremely hard to give them exact instructions on how to use it because we cannot install it onto our library computers. All I can do is to show them the button where they can take a guided tour online and find out how to use it.

Week 9: Podcasts

Podcast.... I never knew what it was until I did this exercise. I signed up for a Bloglines account. Then I went to to search for graphic novel reviews. I thought it might be of use to our teen book group to listen to some good book reviews. There were many podcast about manga reviews so I downloaded one on "Death Note" (This is a really popular manga in Asia). Unfortunately, the sound quality was not that good and the first 2 minutes, I heard a song by an unknown artist. I must admit I don't like listening to audiobooks or PODCASTS. I still prefer reading a book or reading a review on the internet. I can't think of a use for Podcast except that we can do book reviews for people with difficulty reading small print.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Week 9: Youtube

I am quite familiar with Youtube because I often watch music videos and anime on this website. I embedded the video about Mr Bean at the library. Mr Bean was the first comedy I watched when I first came to New Zealand. The good thing about Mr Bean is that he hardly says a word of English but you understand the funny stuff he does. The reason I included this video was because it was situated in the library. You can't help but compare the working environment we are in nowadays. Back in those days, all the libraries were quiet and librarians would stare at you, raising their fingers and go "shhh". Not any more. The library I work in is so noisy that sometimes I can't hear what the other customers are saying. There was nothing I don't like about youtube except that they have included ads onto some popular videos so you have to wait about 10 seconds before watching the video. Also, some videos get deleted because of copyright infringement.
It took me a while to figure out how to embed the video into my blog. But I finally worked it. Just copy the embed link on the right hand side of youtube. Go to Edit Html on your blog and paste it there. I think ACL can use youtube to make videos to educate the public about searching the catalogue, searching the digital library, subscribing to newsletters, using the scanners, attaching documents to email etc.

Week 8: Discovering web 2.0 tools

I went to the list of all the winners of the Web 2.0 applications. I chose "Farecast" because I was planning to travel overseas next month and wanted to find cheap tickets. I have been on the Cathay Pacific and Air New Zealand website in hopes of finding cheap airfare but no luck. I was quite surprised when I went onto "Farecast". Everything was quite simple. Selecting your destination and dates, non-stop, how many people etc etc. The search came up with a quite reasonable price range about $1468-$1495. The travel agent had quoted a similar price. When I clicked on the price, it was immediately linked to Cathay Pacific so I could order it online. At the same time that you do this search, it also compares their results with other results from different travel websites like Expedia, Hotwire, Booking Buddy, Priceline and Travelocity. Another thing I like is "Price predictor" which can predict whether the airfare price will go up so you should buy now or whether it will go down so you should wait.

I am quite satisfied with this website. I have been on other sites such as "webjet" but I think this is the best one if you are looking for good deals. In the past, I had quite a number of customers asking me about finding cheap tickets online. Now I can recommend this site to them.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week 8: Online productivity tools

I signed in Google docs because I already have a gmail account. Google docs is great. You can upload your documents and access them online. I have no usb memory stick at home so what I usually do is attach documents to my gmail and save it as a draft. Now that I know about Google docs, I can just upload them or create them on Google docs. The only disadvantage is that they can't upload documents bigger than 500mbs. I have included a link to my strawberry jelly cheesecake recipe.

Week 7: PBwiki

This exercise was so simple that it took 2 minutes to finish it. I logged on using the acl elgar gmail address and the password given. I went to favourite blogs. Clicked on edit and then "insert/edit link". I copied and pasted my blog url address. It was interesting reading about what people's favourite destination and restaurants are. But I think I find this exercise too easy and boring.

Week 7: Wikis

I had a look at the St Joseph County Public Library wiki. The subject classification system sounds like a good idea but their system looked a bit too simple. There were just too few subjects. I clicked on cooking and they were able to suggest a few useful websites. I quite like because it had a variety of really simple recipes.

Booklovers wiki was quite interesting. It was more like a review of the books that the Princeton Public Library did for the Summer Reading book club back in 2006. Unfortunately, they stopped updating it. I think Auckland City Libraries can do something similar especially the libraries who have book clubs. People who didn't attend the book club meeting could always go online to find out what books were discussed.

Library Success has many links and resources on how we can run libraries better. I was particularly interested in Reader's Advisory. I was hoping to find some ideas on how to start book groups and recommend books for teens. However, the resources were for adult book clubs. Because we haven't attended the Reader's Advisory training workshop, we can use these links to help us make some good suggestions in the future.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Week 6: On Library 2.0 & Web 2.0

Sounds like I am trying to answer an exam question...

With the current advance in technology, I think our job description has changed significantly. Not only do we have to help people find books in the library, we also have to show people how to find up to date information on the internet. I think Web 2.0 helps us to gain an insight on the latest internet technology such as flickr, youtube, librarything, rollyo, delicious and myspace. With this new knowledge, we can apply this in our day to day customer service. For example, we can show customers how to use flickr in our akozone learning classes or we can tell customers about librarything if they have trouble keeping records of what they have read. Sometimes, customers have asked me to find a book in the library and it's not available. This is when I can use my knowledge of the internet websites and databases to offer customers a source of information so that they don't return empty handed. For me, Library 2.0 means constantly gaining new knowledge about the internet and applying them so that customers get up to date and reliable information.

I cannot imagine what Auckland City Libraries will be like in the future. But I am sure that books will still play an important part in libraries. I tried reading ebooks and it is really hard on the eyes. I still prefer a good old paperback. I also think that in the future, we don't have to help customers with computer problems (like how to use scanners or attach emails) because by that time, everyone will know how to use the computer and the internet competently.

Week 6: Technorati

It took me a while to figure out how to claim my blog on Technorati. I had to click on my username and put it my blog url address and the details. I was stuck when they asked for my feed url. I finally figured out that there was a RSS icon next to the address bar. All I needed to do was click on that icon and copy the url address when the google reader page comes up.

I tried looking for Learning 2.0 using Blog post, tags and blog directory. But no luck. I also tried the link popular blog, searches and tags on the aclelgar blog. It says that technorati's popular section is unavailable.

I think Technorati is not a very useful website. It's a good search engine for looking for blogs. But I still don't see how it would be applicable to libraries or in everyday life.

Week 6: Delicious

It was easy signing up for Delicious. I actually imported all my bookmarks from mozilla firefox into delicious. Delicious can be useful if I am using another computer other than my own because it stores all the bookmarks online. I can access it anywhere. However, I have a long list of bookmarks so it might be difficult for me to find the website I want. I am sure Delicious would be very useful when I go overseas next month. Oh yeah... I couldn't watch the youtube video "Social bookmarking in plain english". There was a message saying the video was private.

Week 5: Rollyo

Rollyo is very annoying. First of all, it was slow. I had to wait a long time before my registration was accepted. It was easy to create a search roll but this message comes up "Didn't connect - too many connections". I had to refresh the page so many times. I don't see how this is relevant with library work. I normally save my favourite websites to my bookmarks in mozilla firefox. It is much faster than waiting for Rollyo to load.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Week 5: Librarything

Librarything is actually quite useful... sort of like "Bookjetty". It's quite easy because you can just type in the title or the author to search for and add books to your profile. As I am starting a teen book group very soon, this would be useful for me to keep track of what books I have got out. You can also tag your books. I tagged mine with dates of the book club meetings so I know which ones I am using. I think this website is great. Instead of having to write down what books I have read, I can just add the books here and keep a record.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week 4: Twitter

It was easy signing up for Twitter. I tried looking for my friends on Twitter but couldn't find any. I followed the NY public library, Mt Roskill Library and Margaret Atwood (because she is my favourite author). I found Margaret Atwood's twitter very confusing. I don't really see the point in using twitter. Firstly, my friends and family don't use twitter. I heard that a lot of famous actors, actresses and singers use twitter. Unless you want to follow them, then I don't see the point in using twitter. Second, the search box is great, you type in a keyword and it comes up with a bunch of comments with that word in it. But is it relevant? I am really not interested in what people think. So I can safely say that I still prefer to use facebook. I guess ACL can advertise their library events on Twitter.

Here's the link

Week 4: RSS Feeds

I learned about RSS feeds at the beginning of last year so I already have a google reader account. Unfortunately, I never got around to checking for the latest updates because it was annoying to find that there was a long list of updates each time I logged into google reader. I have gotten used to going onto the website and checking for new posts. It was much easier that way.

However, I am helping my colleague start a Teen book group next month so I subscribed to new and recommended teen fiction and graphic novel. I need to keep up to date with teen novels so I will try and use google reader more. I also found that you can unsubscribe from some RSS feeds that you don't want to read anymore. If you click on a particular feed on the left hand side, you can read the updates from just that particular website instead of reading everything all at once.

Week 3: Image Generators (Part 4)

I quite like Letter James and Image Generator. In Letter James, you could search for a lot of pictures, select the one you want and put in the words. One annoying thing was that you had to type in word verification every time you made changes or to confirm your image. Image Generator was the same without the hassle of typing in word verification. However the website offers only a small amount of images.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Week 3: Edit your own images (part 3)

My parents had a pink photo of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I decided to use picnik to fix it. I thought it was a going to be a difficult task but actually it was quite easy. Picnik is much user friendly than the photo wizard we normally use in the library computer. There were lots of useful functions. First of all, I clicked on auto-colour to change the pink to greyish white. I also clicked on Crop and cut off the black edge on the left hand side. Then I clicked on the Create tab, clicked on "text" and typed in the word "after" and placed it at the bottom of the photo. I also went to frames and changed the photo so that the edges were rounded.

I have included both photos before and after the change.

I think Picnik is a great website for touching up photos.

Week 3: Flickr Fun (part 2)

I looked at a couple of flickr mashups. I think the one I like the most is Flickr color pickr. Instead of the normal search where you type in a keyword, you search for images by picking the colour. Again, I do not think any of this would be useful to my library job. The only thing I can think of is that it might be useful for doing displays. If you wanted images of the same colour, you can go to the website and search for images.

Trading card maker was much more interesting. It was fun and quite easy making cards by uploading your photos or pictures you like. I would recommend this website to kids as a school holiday activity. I also made a magazine cover. This is a cool activity when you are bored and need something to do.

Week 3: Explore Flickr (Part 1)

To be honest, I found Flickr a little bit boring. I don't take photos a lot and hardly share any at all (even on facebook). I did not want to set up my own account so I used the Aclelgar one instead. I typed in "Sakura" which means Cherry Blossom in Japanese and found some lovely photos. This is the one I picked out of all the images. The annoying thing was I couldn't add the photo into my gallery and save it to my favourites in Flickr. In the end, I saved the photo onto my desktop and uploaded it onto the blog. Here's the link:

I understand that flickr could be a useful website if people wanted to search for images online and share their photos. I don't think I would use this website at all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Week 2: Social Networking

I am a Facebook user so Bebo and Myspace was just not that interesting to me. First of all, I only found one friend on Bebo. I think all my friends and relatives use facebook. I read somewhere that teenagers use Bebo a lot whereas the 20-30 age range use Facebook. I didn't like Myspace at all. Sure, there were stuff about music but I could find them on google or wikipedia. There were also "sponsored links" (advertisements) that you scroll down and ignore before you could find out the information you wanted.

The one thing I really like about Facebook is the social networking games like Restaurant City, Cafe World, Farmville or Pet Society.

Restaurant City is a cooking game where you design your own restaurant and collect or buy ingredients to cook more dishes. If your friends play these games, you can also visit them and see what they do with their restaurants. You can send them gifts and trade ingredients. You can also find out what ranking you are among them.

Here's the link to Restaurant City

I think facebook might be a good thing to promote events in Auckland City Libraries. They have something called "News feed" where we can write about upcoming events and publish them on our profile. I am not sure about Bebo and Myspace. I think the libraries could use Bebo to promote kids and teen events because I noticed that a lot of kids and teenagers use bebo a lot.

Week 1: Learn through Play Web 2.0

Well... first week of Learn through Play. I already had a gmail account and blogger account from doing License to Play last year so it was basically just registering my name and blog. Nothing much to do this week...
Looking forward to the activities and exercises next week.