Friday, April 25, 2008

Poscasting and Vodcasting

Write a blog entry discussing how you felt about the experience of using YouTube and what you think about this service. Do you see any potential uses for Podcasting in the library? If so what and why?

I didn't want to be too serious with my choice of YouTube video, so a classic.

I have had some great excitement for podcasting and vodcasting and could see many uses for these technologies in the library. Sadly, I had to throw cold water on my colleague who is also completing this class. Podcasting seemed to be the most wonderful thing to get started to him. Think of all the applications of all we could do! We must go to the Web Committee now and propose they give us whatever we need for surely they will see the wonderful applications!

Yes, I said, surely, except, I've already investigated the possibilities. One of my duties at the library is to look into Web 2.0 technology and that is one of the main reasons I am taking this class. It works well that this is an area that also interests me greatly:-)

I have viewed many good podcasts on library websites, and some bad ones too, but not many places have them. What I discovered was this: libraries with events had traffic on their podcasts. So annual lectures, or lecture series of any sort were very popular. Some libraries even had class lectures. Some sort of continuity seemed important though.

Here at out small medical library we have nothing of this sort, no lecture series on campus I could even find. Which put us in the not continuous spot. Until I remembered we have a concert series. Nothing fancy, just students, staff and faculty sharing their musical talents with the rest of us. (Which brings up the whole you're a doctor and you can play Bach, that's totally not fair you got more than your share of the good genes) The concerts are monthly during the regular school year.

This would be a great place to start. Then we began expanding. Well, we also have weekly Grand Rounds. Humm, must check on HIPPA for this one. What about the roughly monthly talks sponsored by our Academic Council? What if we could get a professor who teaches first or second year medical students to put up his lectures? Maybe a week later to make sure the students are still coming to class ;-)

The ideas began presenting themselves the more we thought about it, but now we still have to go to the Web Committee for space, equipment, and support.

Humm, wonder if I could just get Tom to create a link to a YouTube Channel for me and I can just upload my tutorials there? Certainly saves us both time in the end and server space.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Online Photo Sharing

Photo Sharing is fun! I got involved in photo sharing about 6 months ago. I was getting married and needed somewhere to post the pictures, so everyone could see them. I also wanted to post pictures from our honeymoon in Europe. So my friend, Amanda showed me the online program she used: Picassa. It's a program through Google which works like Flickr, except I can have my online documents, photo sharing site, blog, and reader all under one easy site. Months later I find myself constantly posting new photos for friends to view and taking more pictures than ever. First it was the stuffed hamsters my husband and I bought in Rome. They travel with us on trips and take photos doing all the things hamsters do. Then our new house. Then our friend Yasser's wedding. Then our new puppy, Zoey, pictured above. It has been easy for me to let everyone who wants to know what we're doing up to date.

When I began thinking about how I could apply this to the library, I admit I was at a bit of a loss. I have seen some good uses of photo pages. Primarily, for libraries, I have seen a few examples where photo sites were used during construction. Visitors to the site could see what the library was going to look like in architect's drawings, they could see how the progress was going, and they could see what the library looks like when finished, compared to where it started. Students can not only view what's going on, but see that their favorite study room is currently home to the painter's tools, or the coffee shop they normally get their caffeine from has moved to the other side of the building.(Important things to know in the early morning hours)

This also seemed like a good way to store archival information. No one may care today that we took out our reference collection shelves, painted stripes on our back wall, and put in a study/core collection area, but in a few years when it's all different, it'll be interesting to look back at the changes made.

However, I still have trouble seeing the value of photo sharing in a library on a day to day basis. As a small library we have few events. We do take pictures a few times a year, which may be interesting to post, but we don't have many annual events of interest and nothing weekly or monthly to speak of. This is why I am going to make an effort to read as many of the blog entries of my fellow students as I can. I hope to collect some good ideas to supplement mine.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Online Office Tools

Is this the future of all software products? What do you think?

This week we're working with online office tools. I stuck with and tried various Google applications. Partially because I already have a Google account and partially because I love all things Google. I know as a Librarian that's a terrible thing to say and I could be burned at the stake for such talk, but I'm also a young librarian. I grew up with technology(my father helped to introduce computers into the Kansas City Star newsroom in the 70's). My sister, husband, brother-in-law and numerous friends are in the business of creating websites and online applications. My job actually includes me working with and finding applications for these new technologies(lucky me huh?).

I enjoyed using the online office tools. Although in this short class time, I didn't have a chance to use them in more that one location ( a functionality I was really looking forward to) I can still imagine how they might benefit many projects. I have been working in the drudge of a SHARE drive. In the middle of re-creating a 6 week summer course for pre-college students, I have forgotten what version I have, what's on the SHARE drive and what my partner has. So, I decided to start my next document in Google docs send it to my partner that way. While we haven't gotten to the editing stage yet( and I'm not entirely sure I've sold her on the idea) she liked the ease of accessing the document and that we could both see what the current version looked like. No need to make sure the version I updated was in the SHARE Drive.

Is this where all software will go? Probably. Will it happen tomorrow? No. It seems that the more we advance our knowledge and the more we bring applications and work online the more (and less) we worry about security. I admit, I'm one of the non worriers. I lead a fairly simple unexciting life. The new puppy is my highlight for the next month. When my father(very seriously) told me that my new phone had a GPS chip in it and the government could track my every move, I laughed. "Great dad. They can see I drive to work in the morning, then back home in the evenings, and sometimes I even venture to the next town over." Maybe I'm an optimist, or maybe I'm sure of my obscurity. I don't believe many people have interest in where I am or what I do. I'm not doing anything illegal, so I have nothing to worry about right?

OK, so I can see dads point on some level. No, I'm not doing anything illegal, does this mean I don't care if someone is listening into a conversation I'm having? Heck no! I want to be secure as anyone else, but not at the price of my privacy. Certainly, our world and our country has not become so dangerous that we all need to be assumed guilty. This is where I don't see online applications as flying too far too soon. It seems that no application has been build that hasn't been cracked. Now, I have no plans of using online applications in Google for sensitive information, but that means I miss out on many potential applications for this technology.

I think that we will see a move towards greater usage of this type of technology and with it we will see more companies using the software which allows organizations to interact within their walls and protect themselves form the rest of the world. I also see many people informally using Google docs and other free online applications to share, edit, and collaborate.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere?

For months my friend Nanda has been trying to get me to join a social bookmarking site. This particular one is devoted to shopping on the web. I had offered to just send her my amazon wishlist, but she insisted on having choices and the ease of buying them in between billing and talking to patrons. I wasn't crazy about the idea and ignored the repeated email requests she had sent to my inbox. I'm not saying I spend my whole day working, but I try to curtail my online wanderings and mostly keep to related sites. Bookmarking sites with desired objects seemed like a good way to get started on wasting a lot of time. But when I was asked to look into social bookmarking as a class assignment. It was the first thing I thought of. Of course, now my friend is out of town and I can't do that, so I explored other options for social bookmarking.

I opened my account and installed the icons on my browser. Then I headed into my workday as normal bookmarking an tagging where I might normally bookmark on my browser. While I still doubt I will use this at home, I realized that I do have several folders on my browsers bookmarks tab. I also had a folder of articles, mostly online for a project that I am working on with a few other colleagues. It occurred to me that YES social bookmarking could be useful for research. All these articles that had been printed, copied or sent by email could be collected into one site for use by all of us. Which I did. Then I went to get my colleagues set up on Now instead of searching through all my literature by hand while working on a certain area of the project or trying to remember what article talked about 'that topic' I can use the tagging system we'd already developed(we are librarians) and search for the topic we were currently working on. Presto! The articles we need to reference for this section there. New articles could be added and we could all reach them even if at home, in the hospital, or in another office.(all possible scenarios for our group) It has made the collaboration and compiling of research and writing just that much easier!