Thursday, April 2, 2009

Week 10: Thing 23, 24, 25, 26 & 27

Thing # 23 - Find and request a copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer in three clicks or less from the homepage: This is a trick question if your not paying attention to the fact that there is a FIND IN THE CATALOG search bar at the very top right of the SPL homepage. I love the fact that this search bar is now there and Reserve a Computer and My Account click arrows as well. I really think our SPL homepage is looking fabulous and quickly becoming much easier to use.

Get some money saving advice: I clicked on the get $ Smart square on the SPL homepage and found:
Smart Investing for Women Series
Date: Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Library: Central Library
Well, I missed this free workshop and hope that they will have more. But I did find some cool reads like: Rich Like Them: My Door-To-Door Search for the Secrets of Wealth in America's Richest Neighborhoods By D'Agostino, Ryan and Shop Smart, Save More: Learn the Grocery Game and Save Hundreds of Dollars a Month By Gault, TeriBerk, Sheryl.
I also found 2 great articles under Money Saving Tips: 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy and How to Unspoil Your Kids. I emailed the second article to several family members.
The Money Smart @ your library resource page is extremely helpful and I subscribed to it quite awhile ago but doing this Discovery Exercise reminded me to keep coming back to this super resource!

Find a health research aid: Ok, I clicked on Discover on the SPL homepage and then Articles & More Knowledge Center, then General Newspapers & Magazines, then Health & Wellness Resource Center Informational articles from health/medical journals, reference books, pamphlets, videos. Wow, you can search the Gale Databases on Health topics, online Medical Dictionary, Drugs & Herbal remedies database, Medical Topics in the news, and sign-ups for Clinic Trials. You can also use the health assessment calculators so I tried the stress calculator and it said: According to your score, you may be under considerable stress. I really like the Health & Wellness Resource Center!!! There is lots of useful info there and very easy to access!

Look at some Sacramento job resources: Ok, I clicked on Discover on the SPL homepage and then Colleges & Careers and found Career Guidance On-line Profiles of over 1,800 of today's most popular jobs in more than fifty industries. This is Facts on File Ferguson's Career Guidance Center. You can go over cover letters, resumes and interviewing skills. You can look into Job and industry profiles as well as Career and industry resources. So I searched for the Children's Librarian job profile and found a great description of what I do professionally. Reading this made me realize actually how much YS Librarians are responsible for:
Children's librarians oversee the daily operations of the children's department of public and private libraries and school libraries. They purchase books, periodicals, music and films, and other informational material, and prepare them for circulation. Children's librarians also serve as instructors and mentors to students. In addition, they conduct activities to introduce children to different types of literature. These activities include story time, reading challenges, book discussions, and outreach projects. Approximately 159,000 librarians (including children's librarians) are employed in the United States.
The Job
Many libraries have special departments that cater to children. This library within a library, often called a children's library, houses collections of age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction, as well as research tools such as encyclopedias and atlases. They may also have computers that feature programs and games that appeal to the young and more traditional toys and puzzles. Oftentimes, librarians choose to work with a particular age group. Those who work specifically with children and young adults are referred to as children's librarians or youth services librarians. If employed in a school setting, such librarians are called library media specialists. Regardless of title, children's librarians help young library patrons find and select information best suited to their needs, whether for school research, personal knowledge, or simply the enjoyment of reading a book or finding a useful or entertaining resource.

Maintaining and organizing library facilities are the primary responsibilities of children's librarians. One major task is selecting and ordering books and other media, including fiction and nonfiction, reference books such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, study guides, maps, periodicals, videos, DVDs, and music. These materials must be organized so library patrons can access them easily. New acquisitions are cataloged in card files by title, author, and subject matter. More often, cataloging is computerized. Each book is given a label and card pocket, and stamped with the library's name and address. A bar code is attached to help keep track of its location. Children's librarians must regularly inventory their collection to locate lost or overdue books, identify books that need repairs, or to dispose of outdated or worn materials.

Libraries are given an annual budget by either the school board or library board. Children's librarians must consider this budget when making new purchases or additions to the collection. When the budget allows, they fulfill special book requests from children, teachers, or parents.
Children's librarians are teachers as well. They have a thorough knowledge of their library's collection so they can effectively help students with any research questions, or guide them towards a reading selection suited for their grade or reading level. They are familiar with the works of established authors, as well as newly published books and series. Children's librarians also teach effective ways to navigate library resources using the Dewey Decimal System, online catalog systems, or research on the Internet. They work with area schools and teachers to help plan and organize upcoming class projects and tests. Many times, they provide instruction to patrons and students on the use of library equipment—computers, audiovisual equipment, copy machines, or computer programs.

The implementation of special projects is also a major responsibility of children's librarians. They host story time for toddlers and preschool age children, often planning a special craft project related to the day's story. Children's librarians often schedule holiday parties and puppet shows. They may offer school age children summer reading programs and challenges, author visits, or book clubs.

Children's librarians also organize displays of books, artwork, collections, or memorabilia that may be of interest to children. They are responsible for soliciting the display of private collections and setting up and dismantling the displays. They create a comfortable and inviting space that is appealing to children of all ages using colorful furniture and cozy reading areas. They also decorate the library with book displays, posters, toys, and seasonal items.
Children's librarians are also responsible for outreach services such as the book mobile. These mini-libraries house a collection of books and periodicals that travel to different locations in the community. Library employees staff the book mobile and often conduct a story and craft time for the children. Children's librarians may also promote library services at area preschools via story telling, book totes, and bookmarks.

Children's librarians also have management duties. They supervise library technicians and non-professional staff such as clerks, student workers, or volunteers. They often train staff regarding the layout of the library, use of special equipment, or new computer programs.

Thing # 24 - Learn a new language with Mango Language Learning: Ok, I clicked on Discover on the SPL homepage and then Online Learning Languages. Wow, you can select between 12 languages to start learning. I chose Italian since I just watched the 1980's movie Breaking Away with Dennis Quaid and since Italy is the only European country I've been to. Oh my goodness, what great fun!!!!!!!! If I only had this resource back in 2004! I traveled by myself all the way to Italy without being able to speak Italian or Spanish. But I did know a few key phrases from friends and my Let's Go Italy guide book. Mango Languages is an awesome resource and now I don't have to wait for a Pimsleur course. I knew we had this database but I also know now how easy it is to actually use!

Thing # 25 - Tweet on Twitter: Ok, I signed up for twitter and have tweeted once. I have to admit, I'm shy when it comes to tweeting. But I think I will tweet more if I can get my storytime and Elk parents crowd to follow for Elk Library updates. Funny enough I did sign up to follow my 1st three tweeters, Ellen (I DVR Ellen's show every day & she's always talking about tweeting something), Suze Orman, and theCivilLibrarian.

Thing #26 - What is Thingfo? Well, oops, I went to sign up for Thingfo and their site says: "Thingfo is currently invite-only while we focus on the next version." It sounds like a really cool idea to somehow pull all of these latest web creations together and link them by streaming them together? It will be interesting to check bak with them in the future . . .

Thing # 27 - Summarize your thoughts about the "27 Things" program on your blog. The exercises I like best are LibraryThing,, flickr, and the online image generator. I am also grateful that our staff has been so supportive and helpful with one another. Learning 2.0 has sparked many a debate here at ELK while offering us a forum to communicate about these new technological tools. We've been so extremely busy that many staff have not been able to complete the 27 things program. However, the excitement generated from even getting a blog set up and thinking about new technologies such as online images generators, facebook or twitter has opened many eyes to new possibilities and especially in regards to library services.

I think that my technological worldview has once again, been greatly expanded and I see many possibilities for using these applications as a Children's Librarian. I have made a commitment to be a Librarian 2.0 and have adopted the Librarian manifesto from the Utube video I posted. I'm always looking for ways to become more tech savvy and learning 2.0 has continued me down this path.

SPL should definitely do the "27 Things" Program again! I think that many staff still have the desire to set up and complete their blogs but due to staffing levels getting shifted across the system, many branches simply have not had enough time. Overall, I think it's a huge success and extremely exciting to learn what creative ways SPL staff come up with to better serve our public.

Week 9: Podcasts, Video & Downloadable audio - Thing 20, 21, & 22

Thing #20 - Discover YouTube and a few sites that allow users to upload and share videos. Here is a video that I really like: UTube is so easy that I now understand what the hype is all about. It is so great to know what the kids and other adults are looking at. I can't wait to see more librarian videos. I think SJPL should make some really fun ones! I would love to be part of that. Another librarian showed me March of the Librarians and I love that one too! You can see comercials and band performances too! This is a very easy site to navigate and upload videos to.

Thing #21 - Podcasts (You don’t need an iPod!). I waisted a bunch of time trying and for some reason, none of the podcasts would download. I will now try which did not work out that great either. So I finally tried yahoo podcasts and found "Spellcheck does Avalon High" which is a teen reviewing the book "Avalon High" from the Sunnyvale Library. This is a great idea for teens to get involved in revieing YA books. And it is cute that her code name is Spellcheck like a DJ name. This is a Prime Speaks program. Prime is a librarian who lets teens peer review books through podcasting and reviews books himself through various podcasts. This reminds me of a college DJ format of programming. It is really cool to know that storytimes and book reviews can be podcast to library users. I tried to get pull the RSS feed into my Bloglines account as well and I forgot my yahoo ID and password. There are so many IDs & passwords that we need a secure way to organize those. I've tried to use the same ones but it is impossible as many usernames are already taken. The most important thng I learned is to locate where to add podcasts & RSS feeds into my bloglines account. I just lost the original podcast.

Thing #22 - eBooks and Audio eBooks. I looked for the ebook Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I am so happy we have the eBook. I actually was able to download the ebook but it is not intuitive to put a book in the bookbag and then proceed to checkout and then download the book. I wish this was a 1 step process instead of a 3 step process. I understand that bookbag is intened to be in place of shopping cart and proceed to checkout is the same but it is sort of confusing. I hope someday that our eBooks are much more intuitive and easier to checkout with one simple click.

Week 8: Online Applications & Tools - Thing 18 & 19

Thing #18 - Take a look at some online productivity (word processing, spreadsheet) tools. Wow, Zoho writer is a very cool site! There are so many templates already created to use for free. I added a resume cover letter and their office suite is full of free applications to use. This could help library users when they need to do a resume or cover letter or anything else to create a ready made document. It would be even more helpful to write up a cheatsheet to hand out when necessary. This is a great web tool to introduce customers to in the Basic Internet Class.

Thing #19 - Take a look at LibraryThing and catalog some of your favorite books. My favorite books are at: Out of all of my favorite books, Crime and Punishment was the most poular with 5317 postings as a favorite. I will start using LibraryThing right away. I needed a place to stick all of my favorite storytime books. This way I can keep track of everything that works well in reading to the kids. I love this site!

Week 7: Wikis - Thing 16 & 17

Thing #16 - Learn about wikis and discover some innovative ways that libraries are using them. I first looked at "Library Success: A best practices wiki." There was so much to check out on this wiki. I specifically liked "Self-Promotion Tips for New Librarians" where it gives suggestions on how to make sure you are adding a positive contribution to the library field. It is so easy to forget that there are so many other libraries out there facing the same challenges that we do. It is always good to get out and meet other librarians and talk with them about what new things they are doing. This reminds me to get more involved in associations to keep current with new ideas, especially in children's librarianship. For example, many libraries previously did MySpace pages and now we are in the Facebook era. Our new SPL Facebook page has encouraged our branch to create an ELK Facebook page as well as my own Miss Christy page for our storytime crowd.

Thing #17 - Add an entry to the SPL -Learning Wiki Sandbox. Wow, I just added my blog to the staff blog list. At first I had some difficulties because it wasn't displaying the editing tabs. I should have printed out the directions as suggested. I actually forgot that I missed this step and had to come back after finishing my blog to correct it. Well, its finally on there. Libraries could use a wiki to talk about their bookclubs, for example, my ELK Children's Book Club so our members could share information about the books we are reading!

Week 6: Tagging, Folksonomies & Technorati - Thing 13, 14, & 15

Thing #13 - Learn about tagging and discover (a social bookmaking site). I registered on delicious through firefox. I've come to discover that there seems to be certain things you can not do as easily on internet explorer. This is frustrating but I am trying to switch over. And, every time I sign on to a new site I have to use different passwords. I have started to keep a file because I can't keep track of everything. But the good news is that I am learning. I got the delicious and tag sign up on the mozilla firefox interface. It is really cool to have all of your bookmarks in one place but I downloaded all of the bookmarks I had from internet explorer and dumped them into my delicious account. This might not have been the best idea. It might be better to start from scratch or try and add one at a time? This really has helped me to learn that there are better ways to organize information and that is so important. I really want to have everything organized into one nice neat space and I think that in time delcious will help me do this. It is also good to see what other people have bookmarked because most likely, some better sites have already been tagged. It's amazing all of the info you can get from just one tag!

Thing #14 - Explore Technorati and learn how tags work with blog posts. I did a keyword search usine "Learning 2.0" and came up with different results. For blog posts, I came up with 2,642 posts about doing the excersizes in learning 2.0 and I even recognized some of the blog posts. For tags, I got 260 tags. For blog directory, I got 75 blogs about learning 2.0. This means that more people should be tagging so as to track all of these blogs. There are so many blogs its incredible.On the popular favorites page of technorati, I watched two video clips. The first video clip was voted OK Go and was the famous "Here it Goes Again" with the 4 guys in suits on the treadmills. Wow, they must have really practiced lots. The second video was the FREE Hugs campaign where a guy holds up a sign that says Free Hugs and it takes awhile before people actually take free hugs. That was very inspiring. So it looks really easy to get videos recognized and out there. It's amazing how people come up with this stuff and even more amazing how quickly people become famous after a video posting.There seems to be many advatages to tagging, the biggest one being that you organize and compare your information searching against others information seeking. Tagging seems to help set up one's personal library. A disadvantage might be trying to reorganize one's favorites through a different type of identification process. This takes some getting use to but maybe only initially.

Thing #15 - Read a few perspectives on Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the future of libraries and blog your thoughts. I read "Into a new world of librarianship." The main point of this article is that librarians need to sharpen their techno skills while keeping in mind what might be useful to library users. Librarians can be key players in using new web tools to help us better do our job and to forge innovative information seeking pathways. The whole point of being a Librarian 2.0 is to be creative and not afraid to make mistakes. A new school librarian looks to collarboration and implementing the best ideas while not being afraid to change one's information seeking worldview. I really liked this article and it seems totally relevant to working as a librarian today in the 21st century. This article also does well at explaing how library users are the ones who are creating content and new and improved ways to access info.Next, I read "Away from Icebergs," in which the writer claims there are 3 ways to block the future success of libraries. The first iceberg is having "a just in case" library collection. I am so glad to be at a branch where weeding is a "good thing." So many librarians out there still get very upset when we want to get rid of old, outdated materials! Usually, it is on the web and we need to remember our online content will far outlast the physical material. I like the fact that we can now think of blogs as an information source. The second iceberg is having a library system where you need to be taught how to use it. The goal is to be as user friendly as possible. This totally makes sense. Sometimes, the staff does not even know how to best use our research tools which is a big problem and indicator that we still have much work to do. The last iceberg is the "come to us" model of service. We really need to remind ourselves to give customers what they want and need on their terms as opposed to our terms. People that need to find library info online need to be able to do so from any location they choose. I really identified with this article. I think that everyday I work one of these icebergs drifts in front of my path and I am constantly rowing my boat in the world wide web while showing others how to use their paddles as best I can.Library 2.0 has become a way for me keep learning the current technologies and how to best understand and apply them to how I navigate through this vast sea of information. It really has been the best life jacket thus far.

Week 5: Play - Thing 10, 11 & 12

Thing #10 - Wow, I really had fun with the wordle online image generator! I finally figured out how to get the image right and post it. The possibilities are endless . . . The following is a wordle of my favorite Children's Book Titles:
Wordle: Favorite Children's Books
Thing #11 - So I started a new Library Thing account for the picture books I like to use for storytime. I like the idea of having a special catalog of my favorites. Here's the link:
Thing #12 - I created a searchroll on Rollyo titled "Help Children Search." I like being able to access a site where you can organize your favorite web sites. I need to add many more searchrolls to make it worth it. I can see using this at work as a way to help Children with homework help, reader's advisory (especially navigating through series), non-fiction reference and learning the dewey decimal system. Librarians now have access to really cool web tools that can help make our jobs much easier in offering better customer service. Link to my searchroll (just a start):

Week 4: RSS & Newsreaders - Thing 8 & 9

Thing #8 - Ok, I set up a Bloglines account to get library related news fed through my saclibrary email. This way I can keep up on all the latest news in the wonderful world of libraries. I also set up RRS feeds for news through my outlook.

Thing #9 - For my blog, I signed up for RSS feeds through the American Libraries Association. This is so cool! I spotted a feed that reads "Make literacy learning easy with songs and activities." This will really help with gathering new ideas for the next round of storytimes and great ideas for the back-to-school class visits which are now being booked. I also set up an RSS feed through Library School Journal Web 2.0 news. I like the option of linking feeds through emails and/or blogs. Having the convenience of news-updates coming to me rather than me searching for stuff is so much easier. It's really the easiest way to keep informed. The only problem is too much info. I guess the idea is to spot check everything to see what's most useful right now. I also liked using technorati (best way to look up specific types of blogs) and google reader as well.