Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thing #23 - Summary of thoughts on program

I thought that the 23 Things program was one of the - if not the - most useful Lifelong Learning opportunities that I have completed since leaving graduate school. It is also a necessary part of continuing education that propels a career onward and upward. Not having awareness of the aspects of most of the 23 things would be a major detriment to a successful career in the library world.

This was also very valuable to me personally, as I have touched upon many of the 23 things before but never in a structured way that allowed me to learn the how-to and why. It has been a terrific experience and one that I would highly recommend.

Thank you Ellen & Jim for all of your hard work and time expended.

Thing #22 - Downloadable audiobooks

I created an account with Overdrive, after months and months of discussing this collection in our department meetings. I was surprised at how many titles had a waiting list associated with them, particularly those not on conventional bestseller lists. I noticed a lot of self-improvement titles were checked out. Of course, this is a consortium of libraries throughout Maryland, so the likelihood of someone somewhere checking out the item is higher than just within Baltimore County.

I looked over the young adult titles and had always heard good things about the audio version of the M. T. Anderson book titled Feed. I placed a hold on it and hope to listen to it when it becomes available.

Thing #21 - Podcasts

Podcasts, in their short existence, have somewhat baffled me. While I understand the value in hearing expanded information from established personalities, or unedited, unvetted broadcasts about well-known or niche interests, there has been a nagging thought about them. Who has the time to listen? Given that, I realize that there is and will continue to be fragmentation of what product our society views and listens.

I think I will stick to niche interest rather than hearing more and more from someone I've probably already heard enough from. I've always wanted to travel to Japan, so I have added the Japan Explorer podcast to my Bloglines feed.

Thing #20 - YouTube

There are so many things to watch on YouTube - old TV performances you'd never think you'd see again; Novak Djokovic singing I Will Survive; covers of tunes you thought you were the only person who remembered them; art installations; clips of football games ranging from NFL to PeeWee; and so very much more. I can kill hours and hours watching and commenting (TKinBaltimore is my login) on these videos. I haven't gotten into looking at it for current events and political information, as I think I get enough of that from other sources. I prefer YouTube to entertain me!

One cover I have watched a number of times is Luc Perkins doing the Innocence Mission's July, voice and acoustic guitar. It's one of my favorite songs and I was impressed with his version of it.

Thing #19 - Web 2.0 Awards list

I looked at the City Guides & Reviews winners, including and Both were very interesting, and yelp would be even better for Baltimore if there was more input by users. Which is a critical issue for a number of sites; the content must exist to maintain a robust, useful site. Judysbook suffered from a similar problem; additionally, it did not recognize Baltimore zip codes, but I found the content on Baltimore businesses when I typed in the words Baltimore, MD.

Thing #18 - Online Productivity Tools

I have used Google Docs and Spreadsheets on numerous occasions. The Great Books Consortium is currently using Google Spreadsheets to keep track of what books each age group is reading, which books have been dropped from and kept on the list(s). I also use Google Docs at home, as my laptop doesn't have the MS Office suite loaded on it.

The one major failing I've noticed with Google Spreadsheets is the inability to edit within a cell. Until that feature is improved, I will be using MS Excel for most of my work-related spreadsheet needs.

Thing #17 - Learning 2.0 Sandbox Wiki

I used Ellen's modified directions to get my blog on the Sandbox Wiki. It's amazing to see how many people have contributed. I'm hopeful that this will propel Maryland librarians to a better understanding of the tools of Library 2.0, and that most of them have not looked upon this as a chore rather than a learning and bettering opportunity.