or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk




CIL2007 Wednesday – Tech Freebies & Program Ideas

   April 19th, 2007 Brian Herzog

The last session of the day was called "Tech Freebies & Program Ideas," given by people from different libraries covering successes they've had with technology-related programs in their libraries.

The Princeton (NJ) Public Library puts a tremendous amount of resources into their Technology Training (which is a better phrase than "computer classes"). Their classes include both staff and patrons, and cover a varied of topics: Photoshop/GIMP, Blogger/Wordpress, Bloglines/Google Reader, social bookmarking, creating & hosting podcasts, digital scrapbooking, and more.

They also listed a few ways to keep up with emerging technologies (PC Magazine's Top 101 websites, SEOmoz's Web 2.0 awards, Filehippo, and Time's 50 Coolest websites), and some of the more interesting online tools:

After them, a team from another library showed a mobile animation setup they used (a Mac laptop, camera, and portable greenscreen designed to let teens create and edit their own stop-animation videos. Which was neat and interesting (actually, quite amazing), but since this was geared towards Macs, and teens, and it was the last session of the day, I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been.

AjaxWrite, cil 2007, cil2007, Cozi Central, eCalendar, EveryStockPhoto, flickr, GIMP, Google Calendar, Google Docs, libraries, library, LogMeIn, OneTrueMedia, online Text editors, princeton public library, public libraries, public library, TaDaLists, Tech Freebies & Program Ideas, Text editors



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Post-Christmas Post

   December 26th, 2006 Brian Herzog

Books make great Christmas giftsIt's the day after Christmas,
and all through the house,
not a creature is stirring,
because everyone has gone home...

A few people this year have told me that the day after Christmas is the saddest day of the year for them - all of the hustle-and-bustle of Christmas is over, and today is such a letdown. Personally, I am fairly anti-hustle-and-bustle in general, so I don't mind. After all, we still have leftovers.

Plus, if you were nice all year (and Christian), you should have some gifts to play with. This year, among a few other things, I got two books, Ben Schott's Schott's Almanac and Tom Robbins' short story collection Wild Ducks Flying Backward.

I also got a Canon PowerShot A540 digital camera. I figure having my own camera will make updating my profile on flickr a bit easier (so here's to entering the Information Age, one baby step at a time).

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your holiday, if you chose to celebrate one.

Ben Schott, Canon PowerShot A540 digital camera, christmas, flickr, gifts, Schott's Almanac, Tom Robbins, Wild Ducks Flying Backward



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More NELA residue

   November 2nd, 2006 Brian Herzog

While attending the sessions at NELA, I was keeping a running list of social networking websites I had never heard of before, but that I thought might have some application within the library. I intended to post about all these last week, but forgot until Chris happened to mention one in an email. I know I'm probably the last to hear about such things, but here they are...

  • Readers Advisory-type Websites
  • last.fm: Pays attention to the music you play on your computer or ipod, and keeps a running list in your music profile on their website. Your profile can be viewed by others who share your taste in music, and you can find new music to listen to by finding other people who share your tastes (like Chris does)
  • AllConsuming.net: This website covers anything and everything that people consume, but the section that interested me was, of course, the books section. Search for a book to find people that are currently reading or have read it, reader reviews, and also links to other books read by these same people - I like the "read-alike" aspect of this website (although I wasn't too impressed with the design)
  • 43Things: A website where people can keep track of the things they want to do with their life, like "write a novel" [4312 people] or "learn Klingon" [29 people]. It's a way to meet people with similar interests, and have people find you
  • WebShots.com: Very similar to flickr (which I use) but apparently attracts more youngies than old people like me - but it's always good to know what the kids are up to. They also seem to have more "mature content" control than flickr does, which I found interesting
  • "Enhance Your Website" Tools
  • Even I had heard of Meebo.com, but MeeboMe.com was new. It lets you embed an IM chat window right on your website, so client software does not need to be installed on a computer. I really like this idea. I have been trying to get IM Reference going in my library, and this might be the way to go. I think, just like Meebo, it works with AIM, MSN, Yahoo and GTalk, so this would be a great tool to have available on the library's public computers. I have to play with it more, but I'll keep you posted
  • Feed2JS.org: Again, this requires more playing on my part, but from what I understand of it, this tool lets you convert RSS feeds to javascript code, which can then be easily embedded on a website. So, if I wanted to display the posts from a Weird Al Yankovic blog (and after all, who wouldn't?) right on my own homepage, this tool allows me to do so

So many websites to keep up with. The distressing part is trying to get this information to my patrons (of course, they might know about them long before I do). It seems to me that making a webpage bibliography of these is a bit anachronistic, but will serve until I find something better - so if you know of a better way, please comment and let me know.

43things, allconsuming.net, books, chris, feed2js.org, flickr, im, last.fm, library, meebo.com, meebome.com, nela, readers advisory, rss, social networking, webshots.com, websites



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