Sunday, July 15, 2007

Thoughts about Blogging

My introduction to blogging began in young adult literature class. Before this class, I had no idea what a blog was. A blog to me was a excerpt of something that was written on paper. I had no idea that software was even involved.
I have enjoyed using blogs as a way of posting information. It not only enables you to write down your thoughts and ideas, it lets others view what you are thinking. The best part of blogs is that they can be shared. I enjoying having others give me feedback on a topic. It is a great way to get a different perspective about things.
I truly believe that blogs can be used in any library program. The best way to use the tool is by getting information out to your patrons. It could be used as a site to show patrons about upcoming new release titles, happenings at the library and maybe even utilizing it for a book club discussion. When I get into a library I would definitely utilize a blog. I believe that it is another way of reaching patrons and showing them that the library truly cares. When I do get the chance, I would begin by using the blog as an advertisement for the library. I would then take it further by using it as a book club blog area. Who knows what would come next.
I have yet to find any blogs that I will continue to read but, I haven't really had the time to search as of yet.

Embracing New Technologies

Title: Embracing New Technologies
Title of Journal: School Library Activities Monthly; May 2007
Author: Franklin, Pat and Stephens, Claire Gatrell
Date: July, 15, 2007

This article talks about the importance of knowing about new technologies. It tells how we as media specialist are always referred to as being technology leaders. In order to retain that title, we must stay abreast of new software applications and different types of equipment. It also talks about the importance of the media specialist to have a support system. This support system enables teachers and students to rely not just on the librarian but other individuals who are familiar. By staying current, a librarian is aware of new technologies that you may want in your school or library. Then these new technologies can be passed on to individuals who can utilize them and who may not know about them. When a new technology is discovered it is important to play with it, learn about its general functions, and advertise the new equipment or software to teachers and students who can use it. Always remember, embrace new technology with excitement and don't let it intimidate you.
I enjoyed reading this article. It was set up similar to someone giving a pep talk. I felt as if it gave good information and pointers to those who may be weary of using new technology and software. I enjoy learning and using new technology. I think that technology is very important for any school or library program. If we didn't have technology where would our libraries be.

San Jose SLIS Embraces Second Life

Title:San Jose SLIS Embraces Second Life
Author: Blumenstein, Lynn and Oder, Norman
Title of Journal: Library Journal; 6/15/07, vol. 132 issue 11, p17
Date: July 15, 2007

This article discusses the use of the online software virtual reality site Second Life. The SLIS school at San Jose University is running a summer class in the Second Life environment. The University began reading itself for such an undertaking last year. The Soros Foundation enabled the school to purchase a 16 acres site on the Second Life. This particular parcel has been deemed information island. Several of the classes at SLIS have been using second life as a tool for their students to setup young adult spaces for the library program. The schools future plans are for the students to create a reference experience via using a voice chat tool. The SLIS assistant director says that Second Life is a way of showing students different types of software applications. The school has even begun to think of a prototype virtual graduate school.
I had previously been introduced to the Second Life in young adult literature class. It was a bit over the top for me. I fin it hard to believe that a university could think about using Second Life as a virtual graduate program. I think that it would be difficult for individuals to use the program and have the needed components to utilize it properly. My thought on the other hand, is that it is a great tool for informal chats and for meeting people around the world. The Second Life would not be something that I would use in my library but, it would be something that I could tell my patrons about.

Monday, July 2, 2007

That Bloggin' Pneumonia !

Title: That Bloggin' Pneumonia !
Title of Journal: Library Journal; 6/1/07, Vol. 132, p88
Author: Powell, Antoinette
Date: July 2,2007

This article discusses blogging and other community resources available on the web. The first thing that the author discusses is the use of a blog for library management purpose. She explains that it is very important to not make the blog an online bulletin board. The patrons will get bored with that and not bother reading it. So, the librarians needs to post anything about the library and change it daily. It is also important to give logins and passwords to library staff. This allows them to help in the process of keeping the blog current and adding information that someone may have missed. The next update was the librarians use of wikis to introduce books or library materials that would match up with special happenings during any given month. The final update was a flickr page showcasing the libraries CD collection. This page enabled patrons to view the CD. All three of these new technologies were linked back to the blogging page. Now that these new technologies have begun the only problem that the library staff has with the blog is trying to decide on a theme for each month.
Blogging like a My Space page would be very beneficial for any library program. More and More young people are on the web. By using these technologies we are in a sense letting patrons know that we are current with information and that we are knowledgeable with new age advances. Blogging is cost effective and in smaller districts that is a plus. A blogging page could even take the place of a web page for those who cannot afford one.

My Space=My Opportunity

Title: My Space=My Opportunity
Title of Journal: Library Journal; 3/15/07, Vol. 132, p7
Author: Evans, Beth
Date: July 2, 2007

This article talks about how an academic librarins sat up a My Space page for the library and its success. Brooklyn College Library had previously been sending emails to personal email addresses. Beth soon learned from her daughter that the only emial that she reads is the one through her My Space account. Beth soon found out that the majority of her patrons do the same. Beth sat up a My Space page for the library and within seven months of its conception she had 2350 friends/patrons. The My Space page enables Beth to tell her patrons what the library is offering, help with research, and showcase the libraries online catalog. Beth also has the chance to see another side of her patrons that she normally does not see at the reference desk. She is able to better tailor the library to certain patrons by looking at their interests and hobbies. Librarian Beth Evans has taken the library further into cyberspace by learning how to reach her patrons.
I was so interested in this article. I too have a My Space and have found old friends adn made new ones. I can truly see where this would be a huge advertising ploy.We as librarians better meet our patrons needs by staying abreast of current technologies. This idea would be of great use to even a high school librarian. This idea would also be very cost effective for a library program.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Wikis and Collaborative Writing

Title: Wikis and Collaborative Writing
Title of Journal: Teacher Librarian; Jun2007, Vol.34 Issue 5, p57-59
Authors: Lamb, Annette
Johnson, Larry
Date: July 1, 2007

This article explains the concept of a wiki. A wiki is a collaboratively created website(s). This website can cotain graphics, audio, video, and animation. Users make changes by selecting form options and filling in forms. Authorized users, or moderatos, can add, delete, and change the content of a particular site. Wikis are a specific type of socila technology. According to the authors of this article wikis have 5 charachteristics.1) Unique 2)Collaborative 3)Open editing 4)Simple coding 5)Evolving. The article goes on to explain how to setup a wiki, basic functions, and the content. Children as young as kindergarten are using forms of wikis in classrooms. These children are guided by their teacher and their wikis are often setup during small group instruction. Their wikis for example may be about a particular animal. Each studnet then adds what they would like to the site with the assistance of the teacher. The main goals of a wiki is to not only learn and use new technology but to use the technology in a collaborative format. A wiki can also be used to post new information. The possibilities are endless.
After reading this article, I wanted to make my own wiki. I have had previous experince with wikipedia but I had no idea that it was in such a format that anyone could add comments to any topic. I feel as if this will be the replacemanet of a PWIM chart in K-2 classrooms. I think that it is a wonderful tool. A wiki reminds me of a blog. The only difference being that on a blog one can add comments and on a wiki one can actually change the content. What a wonderful upcoming technology.

Scanning for Digitization Projects

Title: Scanning for Digitization Projects
Title of Journal: Computers in Libraries; Vol. 27 Issue 3, p46-48
Author: Wentzel, Larry
Date: July 1, 2007

This article talks about the act of digitization. Digitization is the act of creating digital images with optimal quality for library digitization. What is library digitization. For example,when a patron searches for a particular title and with the title and summary is the picture of the book jacket. The picture of the book jacket has been digitized. Libraries around the world are digitizing items in their collection because it makes files easier to manipulatenad transfer.
The remainder of the article talks about the particular equipment that is used to digitize items. The first item that is necessary is a flatbed scanner. The scanner does the actual digitization. The most imporatnt thing to remeber is that in order to get a successful product one must first familiarize themself with the scanner. The second item is a digital camera. A digital camera works much like the scanner. The only difference is that you may view the product before ever downloading the image into the computer. The next thing that an individula must work with is the resolutiopn, color space and file formats of the digitized image. In order to be successful The Digital Librray Foundation recommends that anyone wanting to digitize needs to take a closer look at their website. On their website they break down the specifications in parts.
I had no idea that there was so many things involved when scanning an object. I always thought that you laid the image on the scanner. The most you would have to do is use the edit feature. I had no idea that you could change the size, color quality and change the dots per inch. This articel was an eye opener. I would like to learn more about the actual process of digitizing a libraries collection.

Increasing Children's Access to Books through Technology

Title: Increasing Children's Access to Books through Technology
Title of Journal: School Library Media Activities Monthly; March 2007
Author: Weeks, Carlson Ann
Date: July 1,2007

This article talks about The International Children's Digital Library. The ICDL began as a research project funded by many different organizations. By 2008 they hope to build a collection of 10,000 books in at least 100 languages and then make them freely available. The ICDL caters to two different audiences. The first audience is children 3-13 as well as teachers, librarians, parents and those who work with children. The second audience is international scholars and researchers in the area of children's literature. The collection of books consist of contemporary children's books and historical works. The intent of this organization is to make children's books more accessible and to preserve children's literature with the help of technology. The ICDL has unique characteristis for searching their catalog. Children may search by physical characteristics of a book, the way a book makes you feel, the size of the book and main characters. These searching strategies were made possible by the help and partnership of children during its conception.
This is quite the hidden treasure. I totally was in awe of this article. I went online and sat up a free account and started searching. This is an absolutely wonderful resource. I could totally see me utilizing this in any library or classroom situation. It opens a door to the unknown of children literature. I especially liked the searching strategies. The ICDL is truly committed to servicing children and others with bounds of children's literature.

Podcasting 101

Title: Podcasting 101
Title of Journal: School Library Media Activities Monthly; March 2007, p22-23
Author: Fontichiaro, Kristin
Date: July 1, 2007

This article defines many aspects of podcasting from what it is, what equipment is needed, projects , and personal safety.
What is podcasting? Podcasting is an audio file recorded on a computer and later shared with others. The term comes from a combination of the words Ipod and broadcast.
What equipment is required? Podcasting equipment is very inexpensive. A microphone and free downloadable recording software is necessary for PC users. For Mac users, a more expensive microphone is required and they will use the same software as PC users. They also have the chose of using another software entitled Garage Band. This software is normally already installed on new Macs.
What can I do? For beginners it is important to just start out with a simple recording. As you become more familiar with the software you can gradually add multiple voices, sound effects and themes.
Personal Safety? This refers to the access of your podcast. It is hard to say who will hear your podcast and so it is important to remember a few safety rules. First, have students or others involved only use first name or pseudonym. Second, make sure that there are no identifying details on the podcast such as school name or organizations name. Finally, make sure that all proper permission slips are signed before moving forward.
This particular article was quite interesting. It used lay person terms so that anyone could understand what a podcast actually is. This article would be great to send home to par nets explaining what exactly is going on in your classroom. I could definitely see myself using podcasting in a library setting. One idea that comes to mind is a weekly author highlight. I could highlight an author on a podcast. This would not only showcase the author but their books and also the library. Podcasting would also be used for a overview of the library policies for the first day of school. There are so many possibilities.

Baking Up a Technology Pie

Title: Baking Up Technology Pie
Title of Journal: Online; May/Jun 2007, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p41-43
Author: Hammond, Richard
Date: July 1, 2007

This article talks about the new technologies that are available to libraries. These new tools range RFID,open standards, Web 2.0, Podcast, electronic paper, and semantic tools. The article speaks of these technologies in a fun food based format. When making anything there must first be a chef or a baker. In this case the chef/baker is the librarians. These librarians will combine these ingredients to achieve just the right flavor in a library. The one important thing to remember as a chef before baking is that technology will always remain an enabling, not a decision making, tool. Another thing to keep in mind before adding ingredients is to "remebre that it is not just the ingredients it is how we bake them together that makes them work".
The first ingredient that the author talks about is RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). These are small transmitters and receivers that enable libraries to check in a mass quantity of materials at one time. Barcodes are no longer hindering or even necessary. This technology does have its downfalls. It presents a challege for staff members to be technology support.
The second ingredient is open standard. An open standard is the agreed upon dictionary of allowable terms. This standards allows users to exchange data between different systems without purchasing specific, proprietary software. This too has its downfalls with it requiring more upfront involvement and maintenance.
The third ingredients is Web 2.0. This particular ingredients doesn't have an exact definition. One way to describe it is its ability for two way conversation for collaborative endeavors. One such example is Wikipedia. This too is a continuous improvement process.
The fourth ingredients is Podcast. This is a technology of listening to everything. Nothing now days is just text. This technology is allowing anyone and everyone to communicate with a variety of formats.
The fifth ingredient is electronic paper. Electronic paper can better be described as Ebooks. This technology allows users to read books from their computer screen. Its downfall is that some individuals want to hold a book instead of scrolling.
The sixth and final ingredient is semantic tools. These tools, in conjunction with open standard, adds intelligence to search inquires. One may search for example anything about a "tasty orange" not just a plain orange.
With librarians using these ingredients they are able to showcase their talents to the patrons and bake up a yummy treat.
This particular articles content was foreign. I had no idea what these products did or how they worked. I now know that the independent checkout at my library is using an RFID. That Web 2.0 is not based on Internet explorer but is a particular program that enhances the online experience for two or more individuals. And lastly, that a search engine can be hindered by semantic and open standard searching. I truly feel that this article brought me up to speed on a few new technologies.

Physical Space and Digital Space--Librarians Belong in Both

Title: Physical Space and Digital Space--Librarians Belong in Both
Title of Journal: Computers in Libraries; May 2007, Vol. 27 Issue 5 P26-29
Author: Balas, Janet L.
Date: July 1, 2007

This article discusses the workload of librarins. The workload has been doubled due to the management of the physicla library and now also the digital library space. Technology has enabled library patrons to not nly access infrmation at the library but also at home. The ability to service people outside of the library has raised many questions aboiut the need for a physicla library space. If these resources are accessable online why is it neccessary to haev a librray. Librarins have since responded with the promotion of the "librray as a place". It is crucila that during this promotion that librarins demonstarte personal servie, socila interaction and emphasize programming to patrons. In many ways the digital space of the library is the same as the physicla space. Patrons are able to have personal service through reference intiatives adn they have social interaction with various networking technologies. Librarins are trying to make the digital library as easy to access as the physical space. These two spaces should be comfortable places that patrons want to visti. By librarians taking on this double duty they are showcasing there job duties and the library as an efficient place to find information.
The second part of the article discusses the trends that are emerging to showcase both the digital and physicla library space. The first trend is called Information Commons. It is a communal space with free flowing staff with research computers and maybe even a coffee shop. This space is supposed to be more inviting to patrons. The second trend that works closely with the first is a roving refernce librarian. Instead of the usual reference desk, these librarins conduct there searches away from the reference desk. They lend assistance to patrons while they are in the referece section of the library. Some librarins are even taking it outside of the library. The main goal of these two trends is to raise patrons interest and showcase the accessiblity of the library.
This article really helped me to understand the differences of the two library spaces. I knew before what they meant I just did not know how they were defined. I find it very interesting that in 2007 we are actually considering going with just a digital space for a library. It is upsetting to me because I find it to be very unrealistic. The libraries patrons consisit of a diverse group and not everyone has online access . To some of these patrons the library is a sanctuary of comfort and relaxation. I beleive that if we ever get to the point of only having a digidtal space that respect for the libray and its services would greatly diminish.