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 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( 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.