Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thing 15: Can You Digg It?

Hello Readers,

Today's entry is a nugget called Digg. Again it's power to the people- you decide what is the popular "news" of the day. Funny and unusual tombstones, Acer overtaking the rest of the computer competition and the passing of Oxy Clean/ Infomercial King Bill Mays took were the popular "diggs" during my time of exploration.

Again, these last few things have my mind on information overload. Is there such thing as too much access? Too much information? Right On! That's why as librarians we can help our users sift through all of this info. It also helps to see where our users get all of this info. I'm taking a break for now, before I dig myself into a hole I cannot escape from. It may be time for a information fast/ news fast. Keep reading, but it won't hurt to take a break. Stay cool.

Queen B.

Thing 14: Mmmm, Delicious

Hello Readers,

Today, I'm serving up a tasty morsel from the Web 2.0 buffet- Delicious. A social bookmarking site that allows you access your favorites when you're not at your computer. I totally dig it (which is another entry for later). This is especially helpful when you computer has to be reimaged, buy a new computer, change internet services or on vacation (you know some of you can't stay away from the internet). It helps to back up your favorites anyway, but Delicious it great as well.

I imported many of my bookmarks and I realized three things:
  1. I have a lot of bookmarks, I need to delete the ones I don't go to anymore.
  2. Delicious used my folder names as tags. I don't give standard names to folders, so I had to rename a few of my tags.
  3. When Delicious asks you if you want to remove the bookmarks from you're browser, say no. I may not want to log on the site just to access my bookmarks, I may not want to share all of my bookmarks (even though you have the option not to share a bookmark) and sites go down. It would be my luck I want to go to a site and Delicious is down.
Okay, that may be more than three things. The dilemma with these Things, you can't do just one. Until then, keep reading, blogging and "tasting" these web tools.

Queen B.

Thing 7: RSS Feed Me!


I'm not quite clear on what you want for this thing. It just seems so similar to the blog feeds. I wanted to make sure I did it correctly. Thanks.

Yeah, RSS Feeds and Blogs are closely related. In fact, a blog feed is one type of RSS feed. Other types of RSS feeds could be news stories from or some library databases use RSS feeds to alert researchers of new articles in a specific subject.

As a librarian, I love information as much as the next person, but I feel I'm courting information
overload. RSS feeds, can help my keep up with the last trends, lessions and information related to my profession without hunting down specific websites, podcasts, etc. Goggle Reader does make it easy to access all of these feeds. If you want to read more (as if you needed more information), try a book called Blogging and RSS: a Librarian Guide by Michael P. Sauers. Until then, keep reading.

Queen B.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bonus Buzz: Web Tool Book- Blogger

Hello Readers,

I can't believe I didn't have a blog before 23 Things. Well, I had my reservations, but I'm really enjoying this now. Blogger is so easy to use, but there is so much more. When I decided to take on these 23 Things, I checked out a couple of books. One book I found useful was Publishing a Blog with Blogger (part of the Visual Quick Project series).

Just to let you know, the book was published in 2005, so some of the features look different in the book than how they look in Blogger now. Still, the book was very visual- large color pictures, concise text and multiple examples. There was also clear explanation and breakdown of HTML codes and how it looks in your posts. Now I'm not into code, but it did help me see how it translates. One day I'll probably go down that road when I need that challenge.

Now everything in the book could probably be found in Blogger's help section, but I can't stare at a computer screen to read all of the time. Having a book to refer to while I'm doing a project helps. Give this book a look. Let me know if you've found a better book on Blogger or blogging in general. Until then, keep reading.

Queen B.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thing 13: Tagging, You're It!

Hello Readers,

Today's thing is tagging. The idea that someone can label any book, blog entry, anything with any label can be both accessible and annoying. As a librarian searching Amazon, I find it a bit frustrating. Although, it has gotten a bit better over the years. I even read that the term for social network tagging is called Folksonomy. The people determine what labels an entry get. For a lot people who didn't go to the library or were shown how to search in library catalogs, I can understand how such tagging evolved. Even the Library of Congress were behind in how subjects were labeled leaving archaic or terms that fallen out of favor, making it difficult to find books.

For instance, a reader of Anime Insider complained he couldn't find all of the anime DVDs when he typed in the term "anime". If he typed in Animation-Japan, this person would. But no one I know calls in animation from Japan, they call it anime. I did type in anime is a few of the library catalogs I use and if the word was present anywhere in the MARC record, the title came up (it was review in Anime Insider or "series aired on the Anime Network). Many titles I knew fell under the anime genre did show up.

The Anglo American Catalog dictates how items are catalogued in its MARC record. The culture changes so rapidly. I can understand why libraries shouldn't submit to quickly, but the young users (those we know use the library) don't use the subject headings librarians use. Keyword searches sometimes help with that social tagging mentality. Then there are people that give some items esoteric or obscure tags.

I'm sure the tags I use for my blog entries are a bit much, but I know I don't use LOC subject headings. Until then, keep reading.

Queen B.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thing 10: It Don't Mean a Thing If It's Not on Ning

Hello Readers,

Today it's a social networking site called Ning. It's seems like the groups found on Yahoo, but it's more public. You don't need a Yahoo account and you can see how big or small a group is. He can see all of the groups at once and preview them. Some of the Yahoo groups I wanted to see wouldn't let me look around without being a member. The site also uses folksonomy to tag it's group, so the search engine can pull in groups that totally related to what you're searching for and what you're NOT searching for. It's also a good way to find local groups (if the location was tagged).

I did look up some groups: artist sites, manga/anime fan sites and composition art journal groups (people who only do visual journaling in those cheap marbled composition books). Some groups had interesting names:
  • Many Maniacs Creating Art
  • The Land of Lost Luggage Network
  • Animation and Illustration Ministry (sounds like a church)
I may look into joining a group later since I do enjoy creating art and reading mangas.

Until then, keep reading.

Queen B.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thing 12 Twitter Has Me Buzzin'

Whatya doing?
No what are you doing?
You mean whatever?
U R totally wasting char spaces

Let people know what I'm doing in 140 spaces? Sound like I'm speaking to a teenager. It's amazing they say more on Twitter and Facebook that to someone's face (or at least their parent's face). It's not like I dislike Twitter. I like it. It helps me follow some of my colleagues, other librarians, artists and interesting people. If you're interested, curious or just nosy (the world now is practically a fishbowl), you can following me @
I usually try to keep my tweets art related, book related, movie related, movies based on books related and of course, library related.

It's so amazing how the world unfolds on twitter. Would the world know about the events unfolding in Iran so closely without Twitter? There was a song that stated: "The Revolution will not be televised". No, it will be Twittered.

In case you're wondering, I did skip and couple of things. I'll get back to them. Facebook? I'll tackle that after the 4th of July weekend.

To all of the fathers out there, especially my Dad, happy Father's Day! Keep reading.

Queen B.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thing 6: Google Reader

Hello Readers,

Today it's all about Google Reader. How did I survive without you? Pretty well, but this has helped me keep track of the many blogs I was reading. I made little folders for library/ literature blogs I was following as well as some artists and foodies I was following. I realized this is also useful when I want to read my favorite blogs and sites and I'm not at my computer . I'm glad I had the opportunity to use this tool. Until then, keep reading.

Queen B.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bonus Buzz: A Web Tool Book to Check Out

Hello All,

Queen B here giving you some bonus buzz. Storms came and went, but that's Texas. While I waited for the weather to clear, I read by flashlight- a quick read called No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog by Margaret Mason. You could follow the Amazon link, but many public libraries have this title (World Cat says 193 libraries worldwide have this title physically in their library and over 200 have an electronic version available ). What I found interesting about this book is the blogging ideas are divided by the amount of time you may have to dedicate to your blog. The first chapter is called "Fifteen Minutes of Fame". The other chapters cover Thirty minutes, one hour and long term blogs.

The one of the ideas I found interesting was "29-Place Yourself". Using the website Platial, you can create a Google map mashup of anything you like. For instance, the summer reading program for our district is "Books that Bite". Librarians or students can do literature maps like "Places That Bite" (a Google map mashup of the settings of vampire stories, shark , reptile or bug related stories). I going to explore this site and let you know how it goes. Until then, keep buzzing.

Queen B

Monday, June 8, 2009

Breaking News: Cook Up Your Own Image (Thing 5)

News Flash!

Queen B compels all who read this blog to use this summer to Get Your Read On!

I was introduced to Image Chef before through a colleague, but I never got the chance to thoroughly explore this tool. I the way you can create images so easily. This would be a great tool for projects and publicity. I also looked at Pixton, a comics generator. I think Pixton and other comic generators would be a great tool to use with students who are learning a new language. Even students with certain learning disabilities. It doesn't matter if you can read the prominent language or not. Most visual stories can be understood by all.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thing 4: Mashup


I spent a lot of time on the various mashup links for thing 4. Maybe TOO much time. The Spell with Flickr site reminded me of the Caldecott Honor book Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson. His book has illustrations of city objects that look like the letters of the alphabet. Johnson also created a sequel using numbers called City by Numbers. Check them out, they are more than your standard counting and alphabet books. Until then, keep buzzing.

Thing 3: My Friend Flickr

Hello All,

Queen B here. Flickr is not unfamiliar to me. Colleagues that had babies, artists sharing their journals and decorators showing off their work have kept me occupied for hours. I didn't know libraries that photostreams on Flickr until I read the assignment for thing 3. I set up a photostream for the library I work at called Queen B.'s ArcHIVE. Since the school year has ended, I don't have many pictures, but come back to the arcHIVE in September after school has started. I will definitely add more.

Also, while exploring Flickr I found this photo of books organized by color. Chotda, the screen name of the photostream's creator, said the shelves contains books collected over a decade. Maybe some libraries ordered books like this before Dewey came along. It's visually stunning. Enjoy. Until next time, keep buzzing.

Queen B.

Thing 2: Library 2.0

Thing 2 is about Library 2.0. Personally, I think it should be called "Libraries: the Next Generation" or "Libraries: the Second Wave". Maybe, a spin-off of that MTV show "Pimp My Ride" and call it "Pimp My Media Center". Okay. You may not know that show, but I bet some of your users do. If you're not familiar with the show, the premise is simple: young adults with old, plain vehicles take them to an auto detailing shop to get it "pimped out". Television sets in the back seat, aquariums in the headrests, special colored lights inside and under the car. It's wild. Some of the updates seem unnecessary, but fun and tailored to the driver's desires.

Well, our libraries need to meet our users at least halfway to stay relevant and be useful to them. It's a bit of a challenge for school libraries and librarians. Some of these 2.0 tools are blocked by districts, but as intellectual freedom fighters and facilitators, we must work with our faculty, tech reps and curriculum heads to gain access. After all, every state has technology objectives that are required by the state to be taught. Here's it your crowbar to pry those block accessed tools open. Thankful the district is very open to technology and software, but there is still a gap. The gap between our state and district approved databases (what we want our students to use) and tools like Wikipedia and Google (what the students, even some teachers want to use).

Given the age of the students I work with, some of the tools may be out of reach for them, but I can introduce some of them. I can see them contributing to our library's Flickr page with their projects, creating mashups and using image generators. Some may even be ready to blog using our district's email provider. I hope to share some of their work in the future. Until then, keep buzzing.

Queen B.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Thing 1: What's the Buzz?

The buzz is about North Texas 23 Things project. Hello fellow participants! I'm looking foward to this journey. As an elementary school librarian I'm always looking for new ways to intergrate technology and learning with my students. They are very open to new things. I do admit I only deal with web tools and technology when I have too, but I enjoy it when I do. Thank you to the organizers of this project. I'm so left brain, that sometimes I'm not as organized as I should. I'm creative, but not as organized as right brain people expect.

So I'm jumping feet first into these 23 things. Hopefully I can pass what I learn from all of you (and learn from myself) to my fellow faculty members and others who haven't had the 2.0 experience. Check back later this week for more posts!

Queen B.