Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 8 - Thing 19

Using Library Thing was really easy. I have been using a site called Good Reads to keep track of all the books that I have been reading for the past couple of years. Both of these sites provide the same features, but I think I like the appearance of Good Reads a bit better.

I was able to locate at least six books that would be appropriate for fourth grade students. These books give information on the Solar System and will be useful when the students are trying to locate data. It was interesting to read reviews that others wrote and to see how many people had these books on their lists. A few of my books had comments that other's made, so I could see what they liked and disliked about the books. One of my books had as many as 182 fans and one had as little as 3. I think it is neat to see which books are popular and which are not so popular.

Some of the features that I really like are the recommendations, being able to search other's tags, and the links that the site gives to purchase the books. The rating system also helps the user to see how well-liked or disliked a book may be. Library Thing seems like a user-friendly site that would be easy for students and teachers alike to use. I will definitely look into using this site in the future.

This is the link to my Library Thing catalog:

Week 8 - Thing 18

When I set about making my account for Zoho Writer, the first thing I noticed was that it looked very similar to Microsoft Word. I made a list of books I wanted to read and used features such as underline, bold, numbering, save as, etc. At first, I didn't see why this would be beneficial to use over Microsoft Word, but once I thought about it, I realized that this would be useful since I use several computers during the day. Documents can be created and saved on Zoho Writer and then accessed from any computer. This is useful to me because the computers at my school do not work too well with thumb drives. For some reason, once a computer has read a thumb drive, it will only work with that one. This makes it hard to transfer documents back and forth from school to home. I am not sure if I will definitely use this site, but I can see it's benefits! I had a hard time trying to post in my blog from Zoho Writer, which was slightly disappointing. I will have to keep trying.

I also viewed the tutorial for Google Sites. This seems like a tool that could be useful in schools and libraries. It creates a common site that various members of a group can access and edit. I think that clubs and classes within schools can use this as a central meeting place. Libraries can use this to hold book club meetings, as a place for librarians to gather, etc. I definitely want to try to use this site. I am so glad that we are learning about all of these useful tools!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Week 7 - Thing 17

Well, this week I made a webquest on the Solar System and also redid my Rollyo so the links would go along with my new topic.

The new Rollyo link is :

The link to my webquest is:

The sandbox wiki is a very unique idea. It lets the user know that a wiki does not have to be about something important, it can be used to get to know others and for entertainment. Wikis are a great idea because the user is not required to have any knowledge of html. They can simply edit the page using user-friendly icons and options. A lock can be put on a wiki so that only certain people can edit it. I think that a wiki can be used for any setting that involves several people's opinions or input. It can even be used as a classroom webpage, although access may be limited to a select few. Wikis have become a very important tool that can be used in school and libraries, and just about anywhere!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Week 7 - Thing 16

Wow... after looking at all of the various ways that libraries and schools are using wikis, I am amazed. One way that wikis can be used is for professional development and training. Many wikis are developed so that librarians can read about trends, practices, or news within the library profession. These sites can then be edited or added to by others who have knowledge on the topic. These sites are great because it is an easy way to discuss library related topics with peers and can be added to by just about anyone.

Another use for wikis in libraries is to provide patrons with information about new books and resources. Librarians can add information about a new item and patrons can view the post and make comments. This is a great way to promote reading. Patrons within the library can provide reviews, criticism, and recommendations. Many patrons will enjoy hearing what others have to say. Also, libraries can provide posts on programs and events that involve the library. Patrons can add to these posts, ask questions, etc. Wikis can be a great way to market and promote the library.

Finally, libraries can use wikis to provide patrons with information about a variety of topics. Similar to Wikipedia, some libraries have created information pages that allow their users to learn just about anything. These can be updated by other users to keep the most up-to-date information. Wikis seem like a tool that can be very helpful to libraries and their patrons!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week 6 - Thing 15

Library 2.0 means something different to everyone. When I first heard about it, I thought it was just using Web 2.0 tools in the library environment. My opinion on this has since changed. I have now come to think of Library 2.0 as something different. It is librarians reaching out to members of the community to help them find information. Prior to the widespread use of the Internet, librarians would wait for patrons to come to them because eventually they would. However, now that the Internet is almost available in every household, this can no longer be the case. Many patrons view the library as no longer necessary. Librarians must make it known that we are more necessary than ever to help our patrons sort through the information overload that comes with the Internet. We can no longer sit by and wait for patrons to come to us, we must advertise and go to them. This can be done through Web 2.0 tools, by marketing, or by simply approaching patrons when in the library. Library 2.0 is not just a technology thing, it is an attitude that librarians must learn to use.

I decided to respond to the perspective of Michael Stephens in his article "Into a new world of librarianship". In this article he talks about what the Librarian 2.0 should be. He goes on to explain the the librarian 2.0 will find the proper tools to meet the needs of patrons and also to reach out to patrons. This person will not buy tools just for the sake of having them. Instead the librarian will purchase tools that will provide a wealth of information and also tools that will appeal to patrons. This person will make good decisions that will appeal to users and will be an expert in these technologies. I thought this was a very good point of view. Once librarians start to realize the wealth of technology is available, they may feel the need to subscribe to everything. I think it is important to recognize a few great tools that will reach patrons and meet their needs rather than a large amount of average tools that will not do a great job. It is important to be knowledgeable of technology purchases and follow through with the tools. Library 2.0 is on the rise and I think it is going to improve how libraries function and reach out to patrons.

Week 6 - Thing 14

When I first read about Technorati, I did not really see why it would be useful. Since I have not previously used blogs as a primary form of communication or expression, I could not understand why others would want to search blogs. However, after starting a blog and looking at my classmates blogs, I have realized that blogs can contain valuable information that could be useful in my professional. career. Technorati is a tool that can help distinguish between personal blogs and blogs related to topics that could be of use. I used the advance search options to locate information by blog, by tag, and by blog content. It was interesting to see what results came up for each one. It was also interesting to look at some of the most popular blogs and popular search terms. I experimented by trying some of my own tags to see what popped up.

After looking at several sites that employ tagging by users, I am able to see the advantages and disadvantages to tagging. It is an easy way to enable searching by terms. The author of the post can easily assign subject terms to the post so that others who are looking for a similar topic will be able to find it. On the other hand, since there is no standard for subject terms, users may not be able to locate an item because of variations in spelling. The Shelley text did point out that even though this may be so, the user will be able to locate enough hits to find something that will serve their purposes. I think tagging is a great way to share sites with others and I am going to look into it in more depth.

Week 6 - Thing 13

I started a account last year because we were examining so many valuable links that I wanted a place to keep them all. A account comes in handy when I am accessing several computers because it keeps all the links in one central location without losing the links when I am on another computer. When I first started adding pages to my account, I did not use tagging or see the use for it. However, reading about tagging in the Shelley text has helped me to see the advantages of tagging. Tagging is an easy way of allowing users to locate information through common terms. Although there are not standard subject terms used by this system, it is fairly logical that the user will be able to find useful sites by searching any term.

I think that a social bookmarking site is an easy way to bookmark pages, but I also think that this can be used as a valuable research tool. Users can easily search for any term to locate potential information sources. Also, libraries can create pages that can assist patrons in finding reliable sites that can assist them in finding the information that is needed. One nice thing is that folders can be created to separate pages into folders for easy access. Libraries can provide a link to their page to refer users to a central location for many useful web pages. I think that social bookmarking is something that will be on the rise in the coming years and it is something that libraries can use to reach out to patrons. With so many patrons using the Internet rather than libraries, this is a way for libraries to help those patrons locate safe, reliable sites.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Week 5 - Thing 12

It was very easy to create an account of Rollyo and to create a searchroll. Since I started my job this year, I decided to try to create a lesson that I can possibly use in my library. I am going to teach a lesson related to famous children's authors. The lesson will probably require the fourth and fifth grade students to research one of their favorite authors and the author's books. The students will then create a presentation and poster which they will tell about in class. I decided to create a Rollyo of some favorite children's authors that the students may wish to use. It was very easy to add sites to the list and create the searchroll. Check out my children's authors searchroll at: I think that Rollyo has a definite place in a library or school setting. Teachers and librarians can create searchrolls on various topics. Students can then access the searchroll and go to teacher approved sites to research topics. I think that this is definitely something I will try to utilize in the future.

Week 5 - Thing 11

After hearing so much hype about Twitter, I finally decided to check it out. At first it seemed overly simple... the user enters in a short message about what they are doing right now. My first thought was "Who cares?" I decided to join to see how it works. I still think it is simple, but I started to see why some people like it. It is a way to keep in touch with a group of friends in a very short time. It is very convenient to be able to make comments from a phone while on the go. Instead of texting a bunch of friends to let them know about plans, a quick message on Twitter can notify a large group at once. The implications for schools or libraries can be big. Libraries can use this tool to notify patrons about events going on at the library. Updates can be made often as the event approaches so that patrons are reminded. Librarians can also make updates about new books and resources in quick blurbs. Schools may not be able to use this device because it is social networking, but it could be used to remind students of events, forms that need to be turned in, or homework assignment reminders. With so many new tools, it is going to be hard to choose the best ones to use in the work environment!

Week 5 - Thing 10

Wow... I just spent a ton of time fooling around with image generators. There are so many neat things that can be made. I found a generator that allows the user to create a puzzle out of the photo. I made one of my dog, Holly. This tool is available at: I also made a comic strip, a mosaic, a trading card, and a bunch of other things. This could be a fun hobby from now on. I'm glad I got the chance to learn more about this. Image generators can be useful in schools and libraries. For example, the trading card generator can be used for characters in stories. I really feel that these tools can have educational uses. Also, libraries can use these tools for promotional ideas on Facebook, blogs, etc.