Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thing 24 Twitter

I Twitter could be useful for distributing new title lists to patrons. I know that was discussed in the School Library Journal article, but I thought it would be a good idea before I read that other libraries are doing it. I currently am responsible for posting the new title lists for adult books, children's books, adult DVDs, children's DVDs, music, and audiobooks. All titles link back to the catalog, and a patron can then place a hold on the item. However, I often wonder if anyone bothers to read them and places a hold on the catalog through the list. If patrons could get the feed from Twitter, I think people would utilize this service. I also think it would be a good way to for library staff to communicate with one another in a quick manner. Even though I am from a medium sized library, we have many different departments, and it is hard to keep up with what is going on in each department. This would be an efficient way to communicate internally. I wonder, though, when is it more appropriate to use a regular blog, as opposed to twitter or a microblog?

Thing 25 Food Glorious Food

I like using Epicurious and AllRecipes.com. I decided to look for a nice veggie lasagna, and came up with this recipe from Epicurious Butternut Squash and Mushroom Lasagna. It sounds good for Thanksgiving or the holidays, especially if you have vegetarian guests. I haven't made it yet, but the reviews give me an idea what to do, and what not to do. Here is an easy Spinach Lasagna from AllRecipes.com, with reviews that give me ideas on modifying the recipe. Here's another recipe from Epicurious that I like for Butternut Squash Soup. I like that this recipe can be made quickly with frozen butternut squash. I always like quick recipes. You can also see I love butternut squash!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thing 21 E-Books

We have Overdrive here at my library like Boston does, and we even had the Overdrive truck come for a demonstration for library patrons this summer. So, I decided to see what the New York Public Library had. I was intrigued with their TumbleBooks picture e-books for children. I had never seen a picture e-book before. I browsed through their collection. They have a wide range of books, all with good reviews. Since I don't work in the Children's Department and don't have children I was only familiar with the a picture book, Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story, which I had read in hard cover. It was recommended to me by the technical services staff, who see every book that comes along. I found it charming in the online version. The story is read out loud, and the illustrations are animated. The text that is being read aloud is highlighted in red. Children today are more engaged with computers and electronic format, and I think it is good that through the New York Public Library they can be exposed to this at an early age. I think more libraries should make this format available to children.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thing 23 Radio Streaming

I was intrigued by Pandora's description of creating a customized radio station for me, so I opened a free account. I created different radio stations with some of my favorite artists: The Beatles, Abba, Josh Groban, and I also created radio stations based on the songs The River by Garth Brooks, Smooth by Santana, and Mambo No. 5 by Vega. I also made a separate station by mixing all of these stations together. What is interesting is Pandora picks songs and artists similar to those you initially started with. If you don't like a song you can tell them you don't like it by clicking on the thumb downs sign; similarly if you like a song you can click the thumbs up sign. By clicking thumbs down, Pandora will try to stay away from songs like that; conversely, if you click thumbs up Pandora will try to find more songs similar to that. You can also "skip" 6 songs an hour; you don't have to listen to them, but you also are not voting on them. It's a little different than I thought. You can't listen to songs on demand, or rewind because of licensing issues. Also, the station picks the songs for you to put in your station. You can't search for a song (unless its your "seed" or first song for your station) and add it to your station. Still, it's as close as you can get to an Ipod or Mp3 player for free. It's also very tempting to keep voting all day long to "perfect" your stations!

Thing 22 to the Wayback Machine

Here is the link to our first website. It's not impressive at all because the Wayback Machine did not archive the images on our page. So, you cannot see the library, or the button links on the lefthand side.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Picasa and the Agawam Library

Yesterday, I persuaded the Adult Services Librarian who is in charge of all the art displays to create an Agawam Library gmail account so we can have photo albums of our displays each month. Right now, she e-mails me the photos and I save them to the website, then paste them to the page. It is very tedious. I am curious to try out the Picasa album feature next month.

Thing 20 Reference Chat

Yesterday, I had a nice chat with our teacher, Jennifer. One of the things we talked about was reference chat. I had used it at the Lansing, IL Public Library at the beginning of our class. I wanted to know how they set it up. I was referred to Kelli Staley in the IT Department. She e-mailed me back. I found out they use Meebo.com to create the (free) meebo widget placed on their website. They had used Trillan software in the past. Their chat interface is only available when the teen librarian is at work and online. Next week, the are abandoning it, as they have joined their statewide 24/7 virtual reference service AskAway Illinois (using questionpoint). She also referred to me to this website Library Success Wiki which lists a lot of Instant Messaging libraries (IM) and the software they use:

Thing 18 Wiki Book Review

Yesterday, I posted the book review of An Unquiet Mind by Kay R. Jamison to the BPL Booklist.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thing 19: Clip, Clip, Clip Social Bookmarking

Some day I plan on owning two llamas. So, I decided to check out the bookmarks on llamas on delicious. This is the link to the first page. I had to go through to the tenth page to find some good info. on llama care on these two sites: Llamapaedia and Llama Training. For fun though, check out these two llama videos from YouTube that I found on through Delicious. One is includes real video footage of llamas with the funny audio of the llama song in the background, and one is the real funny llama song video.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thing 17.2 Harvesting the Bounty

After the last assisgnment, I was ready for a little fun, and found it with Susan V.'s online shopping site LuckyScent, a perfumerie. My favorite perfume is from Penhaligons, Lavandula, a lavender based perfume. I have tried, but have not found anything as good as this. The only thing that comes close was a homemade lavender perfume I bought in Seattle, but the scent didn't last that long. My last bottle broke a while ago, and I am almost out of their hand and body lotion, which is almost as good. I leaped with excitement when I saw I could purchase two samples for $4.oo each, $3.00 shipping and handling instead of a bottle for $125! Well, I purchased those two samples right away. Thank you Susan for sharing this fun site. I certainly benefited from it.

Thing 17 Online Learning

Well, I have thought and thought and thought...The obivious answer for our library would be do online computer training: e-mail, Internet searching, Word, databases, etc. We currently do not offer any formal computer classes because of lack of staff resources and lack of available computers. While we still would have to address who would teach the courses (perhaps someone from the outside), we are thinking of purchasing wireless laptops specifically for the class, and because we are not limited to space, we could open it up to anyone with a computer at his/her home or office. Another possible use for us would our English as a Second Language Class. That also could be opened up to anybody with a computer. I looked through the websites in Thing 17 and noticed that was not listed. A third thing I thought of would be an online book discussion group. We could have people come in person and others could join us online. Or, we could have one book club in person, and one virtual. My last idea, is to take all the adult programs/lectures each year and have them available online in podcast or YouTube so everybody could partake in them. These the only ideas I could come up with.

Thing 16 Documents

I decideded to do a spreadsheet. However, I found it more difficult than using Excel. Sometimes a formula would work such as substracting two columns together, and sometimes it would not. I would get value error messages. Also, when dividing the value of two columns, I noticed sometimes it worked, and sometimes I just got the text c42/c14. I saved and closed the document yesterday and went to work on it today. Suprisingly, all the oddities had disappeared, and the formulas were working. For spreadsheets, I think I will still rely on Excel. Here is my spreadsheet.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Podcasting and YouTube

Now that I've listened to Podcasts and seen Youtube videoes, how do I technically go about adding them to my library's website? I think it would be great to YouTube or Podcast library programs, especially the book discussion group. Does anybody know how to do this? Thank you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thing 15 Itsy Bitsy Etsy

I was not aware of any of these online shopping sites before. I was very impressed with Etsy. I did a search under llamas, and came up with over 706 items! I love llamas and llama stuff and collect it. I have found a new place to find some very unique things, including various llama earings, and clothing made from llama's wool. I also liked that you could search the vintage collection, too. I also liked Lulu.com. I found a very nice llama calendar, with different pictures for every month of the year. For me, I didn't like CafePress or Zazzle as much. I looked for llama calendars, but could only find one llama picture above a calendar for the whole year. They did have great llama pictures for T-shirts, though, but I am not a T-shirt person. They would be great in finding T-Shirts for people. I'm thinking of using VistaPrint for my holiday cards this year, if I can get a picture of me and my cat in time for the shipping. It would be cheaper than using CVS.

Right in Your Own Backyard

This assignment was trickier for me. I could not find a Halloween listing in Agawam, (where I work), or the surrounding area through American Towns, or Wicked Local (does not cover Western Mass.) I even tried looking up my home town Granby, CT in American Towns, and at first could not find a Halloween listing near by. The closest was Bristol, an hour away. However, I decided to look up Simsbury, CT the next down over from me and came up with the Story of the Pettibone Ghost (haunts a restaurant in Simsbury) listed in general events, not in the Halloween listings. In the spirit of Halloween, I thought it was neat that I could find places to buy pumpkins in Agawam and in Granby, CT. I was amazed to find on the Agawam site that our library events are listed! I guess they get them from Eventkeeper!

Horror LibraryThing

I did some searching on LibraryThing to find some scary reads. I found I had to use the tag "horror" to pull up adult books. "Scary" pulled up a lot of children's books. I tried to find some reads besides the standard authors like Stephen King, Lovecraft, Anne Rice, etc. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill looked interesting. An aging rock-star, Jude Coyne, buys online a suit haunted by a ghost. One horror author who reviewed the book describes it as a spine-tinglinger, and the average rating from reviewers is 3.83/5.00 stars. I also found a classic horror story: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Eleanor Vance goes to ghost watch at a haunted house in New England. This is a classic haunted house story with a psychological twist. The average rating from reviewers is 4.11 stars out of 5.00.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Well, this week I have been very fortunate in that my blogs and e-mails have helped me with my assignments. I got my YouTube from my Western Mass. Regional Library System blog, and now I got my podcast partly through my e-mail. It is Robert Maier from the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners talking about the impact question number one would have on libraries. They had a link to it in my e-mail, but it didn't work. So, I used google and typed in maier podcast. That wasn't narrow enough; It brought up a lot of other Maier's. So I had to type robert maier podcast to take me to Sunrise Radio Podcast, UMASS Lowell, Public Radio, and to the interview with Robert Maier. I have been hearing about the negative effects it will have on libraries, but I needed to hear it from someone with a lot of knowledge of the situation. I learned that eliminating the state income tax would cut 40% of the Commonwealth's budget. However, cuts would not be made equally across departments. Some departments might suffer little or no cuts at all. Libraries would be in jeopardy. The regional library systems for transporting materials across the state would be gone. Databases would be gone. State Aid to public libraries would be gone. Requirement to serve other residents of certified libraries would be gone. Funding for automated networks would be gone. This is during a time of difficult economic times when people are using libraries more than ever, circulation is at an all time high, number of programs is at an all time high, and the number of people attending program is at an all time high. I found the interview very informative, but was hopeful, because right now the pollster's indicate the elimation of the state income tax will not pass. I hope not, especially because I live in Connecticut and cannot vote no!

YouTube Clapp for the Community

I just subscribed to the WMRLS Blog (Western Massachusetts Regional Library System), and I got this YouTube video Clapp for the Community. It's about ten minutes long, and its focus is how many different type people of all ages use the Clapp Library in Belchertown for a variety of services: computers, reading, programs, homeschooling, homework, a place to come, history, etc. The video interviewed and showed all different types of people of all ages using the library for different services: computers, reading, programs for children and adults, homeschooling, homework, a place to come, and historical research. It also emphasized the friendliness of the staff. In addition, it showed how the library is need of expansion so it can provide better service to its community, especially with a growing population. I thought it was clever to entitle it Clapp (like clap) for the Community although I was worried people wouldn't find it on YouTube, because it doesn't list Belchertown or Library in the title, but when I did a word search just under Belchertown it comes up, and has library in the first sentence. I think it is another excellent way to get the word out to the community about the library, and the need for financial support for expansion.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Photo Reviews

I went to TripAdvisor to find photos of other places I might like to stay in Ogunquit, Maine for a very special occasion. (You may read my review at TripAdvisor of where my friend and I stayed this year, the Sea View Motel. We were very satisfied. Also, my revised review of the Swiss Inn has been posted ). I remembered the Beachmere Inn from my walk along the Marginal Way, so decided to look it up on TripAdvisor. I learned from Expedia that most rooms had balconies, decks, or terraces. I found a review that had photos of outside a family's room and the view from their room. I was very pleased to see that someone staying there actually had a great view of the ocean, and that I did not just have to rely on the hotel's statement. It makes me want to stay here for a very special occasion, if I could get a room with a view like that. (I travel cheaply, so it would have to be a very, very special occasion for me to stay here). By the way, with TripAdvisor, I noticed I cannot post the photos directly. I have to put them in as a link.

Uses of Photo Tools in Personal or Professional Life

I forgot in my last post to answer how I could use Flickr in my personal or professional life. Personally, I could share photos with my friends. Also, I belong to a Catholic group called Credo, and we could put all of our photos of our events in one album for everybody to see. Professionally, I wonder if we could use Picasa to show our photos of our exhibits. Right now, I directly paste them into the website. I would choose Picasa, because my colleague who takes the digital photos, uses Picasa all the time in her side jewelry business. I'd have to play with it to see if I could make it work.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

MARTHA'S VINEYARD - Aquinnah Cliffs

Now, I will probably shock everybody following my blog. While I have been to Cape Cod, I have never been to Martha's Vineyard! The horror! So, I decided to look at pictures of Martha's Vineyard. The first one that came up on Flickr took my breath away. I have always been amazed by mountains and cliffs (as have been my boyfriend Stanley and my best friend Pauline). We have enjoyed the Green Mountains, Cliff Walk in Newport, the Bluffs at Block Island, and the Marginal Way in Maine. After seeing this photo, I am definitely going to Martha's Vineyard either next year, or the year after next, with one of them. I like Flickr better than Picasa. I found more photos. I also learned that with Flickr I can put the picture directly in my post, so enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Learning from Each Other

The best thing about this course so far for me has been learning from other members of the group. By following their blogs, I've gotten a lot of ideas to see how the 2.o technologies can work in a library setting, or in my personal life. I look forward to learning more from everybody as time goes on.

To Do Lists and Feeds

Well, I subscribed to Toodledo and Todoist, (even though I am not a list person). I am much more impressed with Toodledo as I can import my tasks into my google calendar, (suprise the help screens worked!). I liked the easy way I could set due dates for tasks in the near or distant future. I found it very user friendly. I was not impressed by Todoist. I can keep such a list on paper (if I think of it). I probably will not use the Calendar or Toodledo, as I am more comfortable using paper (if I think of it ) to keep track of such things.

By the way, I forgot to mention in our talk about RSS Feeds that our library's website has feeds(http://www.agawamlibrary.org/) has a feed. We have a program called Eventkeeper that we use to list all our programs, exhibits, and holiday closings. If an event is listed with the keyword general, it is sent to the General Events Feed on the home page. If an event is listed with the keyword children's it is sent to the Children's Programs Page. If an event is listed with the editor's note as exhibit, it goes to the exhibits page. If an event is listed with the editor's note as teen it goes to the Teen's Programs Page (none listed right now).

Now, I just have to rewrite my review of the Swiss Inn and I will be caught up, and ready for the next two things!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Calendars and To Do Lists

I actually I was happy that I subscribed to phree4all's blog. She's like me. She doesn't like lists and calendars. I don't either. I don't keep a paper calendar at home. I try to make up to do lists, and they end up being obsolete. I don't know why I have this adversion. However, if you saw the calendar I made for assignment, you wouldn't believe that all. I disliked using the google calendar. I found it locked up on me, and did not find it user friendly. I did not like that it automatically assumed an event took one hour, when maybe I just wanted the list the time to get up, or leave for work, etc. Well, my whole month of October and November 1 are very organized for now. I doubt I will ever use it again. I have to look at the to do list tools, and will write a separate post on those. By the way, my TripAdvisor review has now been removed at my request, so I will have to post a new review. The link on my blog is dead. I do not have access to the Internet at home, since my computer died, and will not be in until 1:05 on Tuesday, 14. So, I should have a couple of new posts then.

Feed Me, Feed Me

I had already subscribed to four of the blogs of my fellow students, so the challenge for me was to find a library or news blog that was of interest to me, and not too overwhelming. That was difficult! I kept unsubscribing to them because there were so many posts. I finally subsribed to LibraryThing as it has interesting information on new books, and reviews of books. I can go through these to find books for my book club. However, I am still overwhelmed by the number of posts. I think I need to make up a cut off date, and ignore all posts before that, and I should mark them as read. I don't think I'll subscribe to anymore feeds except possibly LJ's reference reviews, and a book blog from LJ. P.S. LibraryThing is on Bloglines, but I was able to successfuly export to my google reader. That required reading the help screens, which actually worked!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

TripAdvisor Review

I decided to choose to review a travel destination, as I was away on vacation in Vermont a couple of weeks ago. I chose TripAdvisor. You have to become a member to leave a review. I like that they encourage you not to leave your real name. I looked up the motel we stayed at and was surprised by the negative reviews. We had a good experience. I liked writing the review, but found it more difficult answering their survey questions such as if it was good for young singles, older adults, etc. I realize I made a mistake, in saying they had a pool scene. They had tennis courts but not a pool. I cannot edit my review. I have to e-mail them and they will remove my review, and I have to write it over again. I do not like this feature. I also did not like that when I was through, they took me to a place that let me add all the places I have visited on a map. They listed 10 cities at a time, and there was no rhyme or reason or order to the listing of the cities. I had to read each one, and there must have been hundreds all over the globe. I think they could have a drop down menu for all U. S. cities, and all cities for specific countries. It is interesting looking at all the reviews favorable and unfavorable on this site. Here is my review of the Swiss Inn. It may disappear as I e-mailed them that I needed to make a change about the pool scene. If they remove it, I will have to write it over again, and my link will not work. I am going to Maine on Friday, so my new link may not be available until Monday.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I never knew Craigslist existed, and I was quite impressed with the types of things I could find, Halloween costumes, gowns, wedding gowns, leather jackets, apartments around the rate I am paying now. I looked at the Western Mass. version, the Hartford version, and the Northwest Connecticut version, as these are the areas I live or work. I decided to compare it with Masslive's classifieds, which is really The Springfield Republican's classifieds. I was very disappointed. I couldn't find wedding gowns, and they only had a handful of clothing for sale. (I am very much into buying used clothing)! Craigslist had more rentals $600 and under in Western Mass than Masslive. Both confirmed though that I am getting a deal where I am! $500 in a house converted into 4 apartments, includes heat, hot water, and electricity, and cats! I liked Craigslist, however I don't like all of their listings. In fact in Connecticut, prositutes were using Craigslist to sell their services, and the police buste them for it. I'm torn about putting a link to it on our website. What would you all do? By the way, I have finished Thing 5. I have to wait for TripAdvisor to publish my review. Once that is done, I will post it in my blog.

Social Networking

I had a chance to look at two social networking sites geared to book lovers: Goodreads and LibraryThing. Goodreads is smaller and has about over 5,000 people. LibraryThing has over 400,000 people. I could see providing links to these sites on our web page. Patrons could fine reviews of books by other readers, post their own reviews of books, keep track of the books they have read, and share with other readers. They could also connect with authors. I plan on adding links to these resources on to our website. I joined Goodreads and LibraryThing. I haven't had a chance to add all the books I have read yet to Goodreads, only what I am currently reading! I haven't had a chance to add anything to LibraryThing yet. Too many books, too little time this week!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clean Up of Settings

I realized from other people following my blog, that I didn't have to run all the words together. That's only necessary for the url. So, I cleaned up my title, and changed it to an intro. to the 2.0 world, as I think that is more descreptive of the experience.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Agawam Library finally has its own blog!