Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Round 2 - Once more with feeling

I've learned several things since I last posted, just as a matter of being curious and taking advantage of opportunities (and serendipity):

1) Tech Talk program on Guitar Hero (hits from my formative years, like Cheap Trick)and other Gaming software. Perhaps I can bowl better in virtual reality than I can in real life. NOT that that is what influences my voting choices . . .

2) Seeing pictures of my new sister-in-law and nephew in Romania, via my Macbook and photos which my brother brought over on a flashdrive - some had been sent to him that very morning. Also seeing a video of their Christmas via the TV and Dan's $150 little video camera (forgot name of the device).

3) Downloading podcasts of PLA programs - now I'll have to listen to them when I'm at my desk (at that rate, it will take until PLA 2010 . . .)

4) Seeing new technologies at PLA, such as Overdrive

5) And just the fact that I've pretty much abandoned the "mainstream media" in favor of news sources and blogs on the Internet.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

#19, Podcasts

I listened to a great one on MPR's site yesterday - it was about the current MN Opera production, and the conductor, Harry Bicket, was being interviewed. OOOH that English accent, but I digress. This gave me the opportunity to listen, which was a different dimension than, say, reading a transcript of the interview. I see that there is a link to MPR from the 23things blog - it gives podcasts of the "new classical music broadcasts" - another great way to try things before you buy.

I know several radio shows offer podcasts - you can usually listen for free the day of the broadcast, and then pay a monthly fee if you want to access at other times. Just download to your iPod (which I don't have). For example - StephCasts!! http://www.stephaniemiller.com/subscribe.php

A few years ago brother was downloading computer files of old radio shows - evidently a man had a collection of these (out of copyright) and was letting them be downloaded for free to others who shared his enthusiasm. I have no idea what program he used; I wonder if he could now upload them to a portable device. For those hard-to-find things or niche interests, this is perfect.

Our BookLetters newsletter does include some audioclips which are embedded into the online newsletters.

Here's a link to a podcast, from the "educational podcast" link given at 23things - it's audio clips of Naxos music. Great way to advertise!!
Every so often we get requests for pieces of music for students - say, the middle school chorus needs to listen to something. I bet that this would be a good way to find a music clip, especially as our music CD collection isn't that extensive.

#18, YouTube continued 2

So how could we use video etc clips on our library Website?
1) Author visit - find a clip of them speaking
2) Advertise any streaming videos available in the collection or any multimedia capabilities of databases
3) Use to promote books - for instance, any short blurb of someone on booktv.org - perhaps the author has won an award
4) Videos from a past summer performance, or from a teen contest or activity

#18, YouTube continued

OK, I just posted a video from YouTube. Why did I choose this clip? Because I am thinking of purchasing this DVD and I can get a good idea of what the production is like by watching this.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

#2 - Library 2.0, continued

I can't get the volume right on the Abrams video clip - too distorted. I would love to hear his time-saving ideas. I bet he gets to make his own schedule. Most librarians don't have this luxury, however. I wonder how many librarians would be allowed to watch YouTube on the public desk!!! Perhaps we could all be issued iPods and then we could watch while we are roaming (another idea that bit the dust - see also Seattle Public).

Why am I doing this? Because it's a well-thought out training program that has been tested and adapted. Because there is support for it. Because I am curious about many of these things. I wish we had more statewide programs like this. How about 23 RA things on a stick??

#2 - What is Library 2.0?

I have read extensively about this in the last year. I fall somewhere in the middle between the "Webtamers" (i.e. Michael Stephens, http://www.tametheweb.com/) and the Annoyed Librarian (http://www.annoyedlibrarian.blogspot.com/), who waxes poetic about "Twopointopians".

Re the Blyberg post - what bothers me is the assertion that we need to "make libraries relevant". Well, my library is pretty darn relevant in the community. Can we make it MORE relevant. Of course. Can we attempt to bring people who don't yet feel it is relevant into the library? Of course - but the idea that people aren't already coming in droves is ludicrous here. I'd love to get some things like RA blogs going - but it's not the "staff" who are slowing this down. And why does the library's mission need to be "fundamentally" changed? Also, I read somewhere recently that Millenials DO use the library frequently, so I'm not sure about that assertion either. Yes, there are a lot of issues coming down the pike which will need to be dealt with - open source software and catalogs is a big one. If you asked me what the big fundamental change in the last decade for the library has been, however, it's been the Internet's presence, and not just for "reference work" or "content". The behavior issue has been the biggest, and that is the one that "leadership" has failed to accept. There is a library in this state which has (or perhaps now had) an institute for the library of the future. Well, the library of the future was present in several of the branches, in which security guards were needed. THAT was the real future, until management realized it and started to do something about it. Librarians don't have much time for 2.0 stuff if they spend most of their day dealing with Internet-related behavior problems.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

#18 YouTube

I discovered YouTube last fall when a fellow librarian sent me a link to a music video created by a fan of a miniseries which this libn and I were smitten with. It was fascinating to see how much "stuff" was on YouTube. I also began to notice YouTube links in the many blogs I had been visiting (posting on a few). I was blown away to find entire episodes of TV shows - added, I might add, in 9:59 increments, I suppose to get around copyright somehow. I watched an entire 2 hour British comedy this way. This was BEFORE the Democrat's YouTube debate; when Jon Stewart made some snarky comments about how only young people could actually see YouTube on an iPod or MP3 player and that many people didn't know how to enlarge the screen - well, I realized that I didn't - I had watched the entire show in the little preview size. Was I embarrassed. This is how I pick up most of my technology.

I admit feeling superior, however, when I showed my younger, IT-professional brother how to find stuff. He was looking for an Internet-based Romanian music station. I asked him what kind of music was typically "Romanian"; he mentioned "manele". So I typed that into YouTube and we found all sorts of examples. He was blown away. "I thought that was just for the "kids" at work watching dumb TV commercials", he said. Smirk.

None of this would have been possible had I not bought a macbook last summer and gotten wireless access. No wonder I read less in 2007 - or at least in book form. My wireless reception is REALLY GOOD on Saturday nights, when only geeks are using it.