Wednesday, October 31, 2007

TLC 2.0 Experience - thoughts of a newbie (n00b) or Mission impossible (not)

Whew! So I took up The Learning Challenge (TLC) 2.0 in July 2007 and attempted to complete the 23 web 2.0 things assigned by the TLC 2.0 Task Force at my library, the Alvin Sherman Library. Today, October 31, I am proud to say I did it! I completed my 23 things (and some bonus things along the way). TLC 2.0 is an off-shoot of the Learning 2.0 Program and I encourage all my colleagues to try completing the program.

Having completed the TLC 2.0 challenge, I would like to share with you 6 things I learnt along the way:

  1. I did not have to be a 'techie' or' technologically savvy' to try the web 2.0 tools or to complete the exercises assigned

  2. All of the web 2.0 tools I tried, can be adapted and are currently being used by me at work or at home (my blog, my wiki, my RSS feeds, my own search-engine, my second life, my social network, my photos, my widgets)

  3. Using/playing with the web 2.0 tools was addictive. But, here is the caveat- trying TLC 2.o is all about playing with the new technology and having fun

  4. I have been able to re-establish important ties with my Caribbean colleagues

  5. I am now so knowledgeable about the web 2.0 tools and their use in libraries that I have given a presentation on the topic during a one day symposium hosted by the Libraries at the College of the Bahamas, and believe I can write (at length) about the phenomenon known as Web 2.0

  6. All I need is 15 minutes a day to continue to explore and try out more new web 2.0 applications in cyberspace. My goal is to find another 23 things to play with!!!

Social Bookmarks - Facebook

Have you read the news lately? Here is one bit of interesting news to librarians: in August 2007 14 million people interacted with Facebook applications. So I guess we can now add Facebook to the list of online competitors for library users time along with Google, MySpace, Second Life and other addictive web 2.0-like applications. I recently jumped on the Facebook bandwagon and created a Facebook account so that I could liaise with colleagues, family and friends. Many libraries and librarians are hopping on the same bandwagon and creating Facebook profiles. Read about one academic library experience with Facebook and also 12 ways to use Facebook professionally.


Podcasts have become so popular that in 2005 the New Oxford American Dictionary selected podcast as the 2005 word of the year. Podcasts are downloadable audio files distributed over the Internet. Many libraries are creating podcasts in-house to distribute audio content about events, exhibits, bibliographic instructions, library collections etc. Many podcasts are available through RSS feeds and these can be played using aggregators such as Google Reader or Bloglines and using special software which can be downloaded from the Internet.

Here are some resources to help you get started finding, listening and creating your own podcasts:

Directories for finding podcasts:
Podcast alley
Yahoo Podcasts
Digital Podcast

Tools for creating your own podcasts:

Free software available for listening to your podcasts:
There are other freely available software for listening to podcasts called podcast aggregators. Podcast alley provides links and instructions for downloading these aggregators.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Here are three interesting facts about Libraries which you may not know. Libraries:

  1. have more cardholders than Visa

  2. have more outlets than McDonald's

  3. move more items than FedEx

These, and other fascinating facts are revealed in the documentary Hollywood Librarian: a Look at Librarians through Film. This full length, very entertaining documentary focuses on librarians as they are portrayed in movies -bespectacled, hair piled in the inevitable bun to the top/back of the head and with the imposing 'shushing' finger.

A review of the film and where it is currently being screened is available on its homepage. The trailer is available on You tube. This video is a must have for your library!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Web 2.0 Awards

What is your favorite web 2.0 tool? Check out the 2007 list of Web 2.0 Awards to see if your favorite tool made the list. Over 200 Web 2.0 sites were reviewed and the winners listed in 41 categories. Categories include blog guides, book-marking sites, business, communication, videos, widgets and wikis. My top five are:

1. Lulu can assist in publishing your own book.
2. Create your own social network with Ning.
3. Bar full of booze and no idea what to do with it? Tell the Cocktail Builder what liquor and mixers you have lying around and it will tell you what cocktails you can make!
4.Pandora is described as your "personal DJ" as it allows you to select your favorite song, or artist and plays selections based on your choice.
5.Odeo shares millions of podcasts and MP3s. Users can generate their own podcasts or simply enjoy those of others.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Create collaborative projects using web-based productivity tools

Are you working on a project (document, spreadsheet, conference presentation, workshop) with several colleagues and need online work space to create, edit and complete the project? There are two web-based productivity applications which may help you work on your project: Zoho Writer and Google Docs. Both applications are web 2.0 tools which are available free of charge on the web and which eliminate the need to store documents on your local PC or library server. They are great tools for collaborative work. Zoho Writer has the added functionality of allowing you to post the document you are working on directly to a web page or your blog.

If you are interested in similar web-based productivity tools, here is a short list of tools created by my colleague at ASL:

Try these tools and let me know what you think.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Working with wikis

A wiki (wiki means “quick” in Hawaiian) is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, a collaborative online encyclopedia, is the largest and perhaps the most popular wiki.

Wikis, like other web 2.0 tools are very easy to set up and many libraries are using wikis to create subject guides, pathfinders, conference sites, procedure manuals etc.

Pbwiki and Wetpaint are software freely available for creating your own wikis.

Here is a link to my wiki and a link to other successful library wikis

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Library Thing

Try cataloging all the books in your personal library online using Library Thing.

Create your own search engine using Rollyo

Are you interested in creating your own search engine to search your favorite online resources? Rollyo may be the tool you need, as it allows you to list the URLs of your favorite sites and create a search engine to search just the sites listed. I used Rollyo to create a search engine which will search the websites of my favorite Caribbean Libraries (see link on navigation bar).

Try Rollyo and start rolling out your own search engines!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Librarian 2.0

On October 11, I gave a keynote speech on the topic Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Librarian 2.0: Are you on board? at a one day symposium hosted by the Libraries and Instructional Media Services (LIMS) at the College of The Bahamas. Here are links to the presentation:

Main PowerPoint presentation
Handout 1 - selected slides from the main presentation
Handout 2 - list of free web 2.0 resources available on the Internet