Thursday, September 18, 2008

Social Networking and Libraries

Some interesting comments in the articles in this exercise. I looked at some of the Library My Space sites and while the medium doesn't appeal to me personally I appreciate that the young ones are using these sites and that they appeal to them.

Is there a place for social networking sites in libraries? I think the answer has to be Yes .... this is the communication tool young people are using today! It offers another way of reaching out to the community, taking the library to those who may never come in, and giving patrons a voice in their library.

But (and there is a big BUT) it has to be done well and be well maintained. It needs to be relevant to libraries - offering a one stop shop for book reviews (both library and patron reviews), author information, librarian's tips on study topics, information on library events, link to the library catalogue, forum for patrons to have their say on library matters, etc.

Bebo, My Space and Facebook

This exercise was good as it made me find out more about these social networking sites myself rather than relying on information gleaned from the media, contemporaries and my children.

I was interested to find out more about Facebook as, apart from my children, even some of my contemporaries have joined ! I joined using my pseudonym (I'm not ready myself yet) so I could have a better look around. For those who are into communicating through the web I can see that this site offers a place where people can catch up with one another, share photos, play games, etc. and it seems easy to use. People with particular interests can make up a group and communicate through Facebook as well.

I looked at Bebo through the ACL and Rotorua Library sites and the My Space home page (didn't want to sign up), I found the screens very busy with lots of scrolling and frivilous goings-on - not something I'd be interested in (but then I suppose it's not aimed at my age group anyway!).

So, what do I think about these social networking sites now that I have actually had a nosey around? They still don't appeal to me personally - although I can see that they do serve a purpose and, if used sensibly, are just another way of communicating and keeping up to date with what friends and family are up to. I do worry about people putting too much personal information up on the web and how it can "expose" you e.g. through inappropriate photos and comments left on your "wall".

Saturday, September 13, 2008


As someone who loves "real" books and the whole reading experience of curling up with a good book in a comfortable environment, the thought of downloading a novel and reading from a computer screen does not appeal in the slightest.

However, doing this exercise has broadened my outlook and I must concede that there is a place for ebooks, especially in the areas of research and study - being able to access and download out of print books, classics, rare poems, etc. at the touch of a mouse/keyboard (or whatever!) is great.

And, with the emergence of reading devices such as Kindle, which enables people to store books and information in one place as well as offering a light, hand held screen for display, I can see ebooks becoming a choice for some people (not me yet ... I'm still coming to terms with texting!)

I used the Gutenberg site to search for A. B. Paterson. It listed six of his titles. I selected "The Man from Snowy River" where I had the option to download the text or read online. I then did the same search on LibriVox with no results so I changed the search to a sure on - Pride and Prejudice and got 4 results with the option to download chapter by chapter. Wonder how long it takes to download? Both sites were easy to use.


This exercise has taken a while for the lightbulb to go on! I understand what podcasts are but it took me a while playing around in the directories to work out how to use them and to get feeds to add to Bloglines.

I liked PodNova and Podcastalley the best - they gave the best results and were displayed in a user-friendly format. I particularly liked the options for browsing in PodNova. I searched for "library news" in all the directories and the results were quite different. I couldn't find anything that was particularly appealing - maybe I wasn't digging deep enough or that podcasts just aren't my thing.

I added some podcasts - Library Geeks and Guitar lessons - to my Bloglines account which was pretty simple to do. I also managed to add a couple of podcasts to my son's ipod list on the computer - that happened when I selected download - I presume it found a compatable site on the computer. Anyway I'm sure he'll appreciate taking some guitar lessons instead of listening to his favourite music the next time he goes into the site and .... I'll just play dumb!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You Tube

I wasn't overly impressed with the library videos in this exercise but can see that if produced to a high quality and with a pertinent message videos could be an effective way of marketing the library and upcoming events - especially for the teen market. Could the video be added to the Web page?

I had a look around the You Tube site and didn't know where to start to find something for this exercise. Watching videos on a computer doesn't really appeal although I do appreciate some of the funny / inspirational ones that we get via email. This reminded me of one that was emailed to us recently (had us in stitches) so I wondered if I'd be able to find it again. I did a search for "waterbeds funny" and lo and behold! - success. Up popped the very one that had been emailed to us. Not only was I able to find it but have also managed to embed it in my blog for you all to enjoy! Let me know what you think....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Web 2.0 Awards

I had a look at quite a few of the sites that I was interested in from the Winners List. It was all very interesting, some easier to navigate than others.

Google Maps is a particular faviourite of mine - so easy to use and it gives results in an instant. From the home page (with a map of the whole world), I typed in my home address and within seconds my street is right there on the screen. You can have a street or satellite view, show the terrain, view photos and get directions. With a son overseas and hosting overseas homestays, it's wonderful to be able to get an idea of where they are or have come from.

I also looked at some geneaology sites (Genie and My Heritage) - both were extremely easy to use and I loved the idea of being able to build a family tree, record family history and photos that is only shared within the family.

Zoho Writer

Welcome to Howie-nz's Zoho Writer Exercise

I thought I'd do this exercise using Zoho Writer and try to upload it onto my Blog - so if you are reading this - I've been successful!!!

Well we've gone from pen and paper, typewriters, electric typewriters, word processors and now this .. the Zoho writer which has all the benefits of the word processor plus the Web 2.0 technologies. The mind boggles as to what is next!

I particularly like that it has all the familiar features of Word plus heaps more. I have noticed that when I've played around with some of the features, e.g. add a comment, smiley, line spacing, etc. it takes a wee while to work ... is it the time of day, or just so many people using this application - if it happens alot that could be a down side to sharing this application with so many other people in the world!

I've have a quick look at the other Zoho services and it is very impressive - so much you can do. Will have to go back at another time and explore further.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I've looked around Rollyo, created two search rolls and even managed to save the Searchroll to my Blog (thanks to the very clear instructions on the Exercises Blog - which the Rollyo site doesn't appear to have).

From what I can gather, Rollyo seems to offer a way to store all your favourite search engines in one place. As an alternative to using "Favourites? or is there something more it offers - I'm not quite sure on this one.

Here is a link to my search rolls:

Monday, September 1, 2008

Library Thing

What a wonderful tool for libraries and booklovers alike. Easy to use (must be - because I managed to catalogue some books, add tags, search for them in different ways, looked at the ratings, and read some conversations people in cyberspace were having about the books). I particularly liked the set up, the fact that you can have your very own on-line cataglogue, and your own tags. Whether I'd ever get around to catagloguing my own books remains to be seen but I am certainly inspired!!

Here's a link to my library catalogue .....