Monday, September 29, 2008

If you think Week 7 took a long time . . .

how long do you think these guys took not to do their 'real' jobs?

(Don't you just love the embed thing? It used to take AGES to download clips into my blogs).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Week 7 And so the story ends in the LibraryThing

And was it an anticlimax? Not at all. LibraryThing was the best part of this week's exercise.

As noted before I've had a LibraryThing account for some time and have kept a list of what I have read since opening the account. Maybe I should also go back and add what's on the shelves at home that I haven't read for a while. And the kid's reading??

After admiring them for some time on staff blogs by High Altitude and Snow, I was especially thrilled to finally learn how to add the LibraryThing widgets to my blog. And aren't there a lot to choose from, one could go mad. And I added a "chiclet". Go me.

Go search my LIbraryThing - does it hurt? NB: It only seems to like one search term at a time, a search for "Ian Rankin" brings up Ian McEwan too???

I had a quick look at Shelfari and Gurulib too. Shelfari is aesthetically more pleasing perhaps than LibraryThing but appears to be no different otherwise. Looking at the sample library on Gurulib, it seems to allow you to add music, films/DVDs, games and software too which I haven't seen in LibraryThing. I might have chosen it first if I'd seen it. It's also aesthetically pleasing and has Wishlist and Recommended sections.

How long will it take me to move my LibraryThing collection do you think? Too long I suspect.

Week 7 The technocratical bit commences. . .

So you can look up a blog on Technocrati? Not sure why I would use it again, although it's interesting to know it's there. Perhaps.

I'm very excited about this though: I did a search for Readers in the Mist (advanced search - all of the words). click on the Blogs tab and RITM comes up.

See we have Authority 2? "Technorati Authority is the number of blogs linking to a website in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has. It is important to note that we measure the number of blogs, rather than the number of links. So, if a blog links to your blog many times, it still only count as +1 toward your authority. Of course, new links mean the +1 will last another 180 days." (Tecnocrati Support FAQ)

Clicking on Authority 2 you see which blogs have made mention of RITM or posts from RITM. You can see we get a little bit of coverage. Including links from Iain Banks' website/blog (or Iain M Banks if he's writing Fantasy) - excellent Scottish author by the way.

To report on the Discover #2 thing - I had the same results with 'bookmobile' as others did - same results for general search, all words search and just one more for exact phrase search. No blogs result and 40 for tagged. So?
Couldn't find anything for nswpl2008 except under blogs tag. Maybe the blog should've been registered? How do you do that though? Yet another login and password?
Off to do the last wee bit - LibraryThing.

Week 7 The yummy plot so far . . .

OK. I've got as far as creating a
Heidi account
and have populated it with two links which I have also put in to two 'bundles', all tagged and ready for action.

I didn't download the Extensions thing today because our system wouldn't allow it and I haven't worked out where I go back in to do it were I to do it from home in order to "make it easier to access your account and add new bookmarks." Without the Extensions it seems easy enough to do so how much easier can it get? Maybe I'll investigate and report back on that one?

After the blogs and Flickr and YouTube and the likes, seems very plain and pedestrian. Where's the bit where we get to put in pictures and stuff? I can see how it can be very useful in the library environment. The National Library page was interesting and a great resource for reference. Do we use it, or start our own internal one, or a bit of both?

On looking at the Cleveland Public Library site, I thought would be a great way for us here at BMCL to get around having to inform our IT department when we come across a great site we want to add to the Recommended sites pages of the BMCC website. But then I noted that each link went to a different CPL site - that just seems counter-productive to me.

I'm not keen on the tagging at In Blogger tags are separated by a comma so multi-word tags are possible, eg. Books and Reading in Readers in the Mist. In Flickr you put your multi-word tags within inverted commas ("Springwood Colquhouns"). I don't like the underscore that some people are using, (United_Kingdom) so I have taken to running words together (BooksandReading). It'll have to do.

Now, which of my myriad Internet Explorer Favourites do I want open to public scrutiny? Hmmmmm.

Am feeling a bit overloaded at this stage and will look at the networking bit after lunch - or perhaps even next week.

And there's still Technorati to look at. Luckily I've been using LibraryThing for a while now (love it) so that cuts down the work a bit. What a full on session Week 7 is.

Corduroy Mansions #2: 2

That was soooooo easy. All I had to do was click on Get and Share, then choose Embed, then select Blogger and it arranged to stick it all in a new post.


Corduroy Mansions #2

Having another go at embedding this. It's different this time so maybe it'll actually work.
Here goes:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Adding a newsfeed

We had our first (but hopefully not our last - VE???) struggle session in the lower mountains this morning. I for one got some assistance and you will see that I now have a feed from The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh on my sidebar. Thank you VE.

However, we were unable to help poor Allnew2me who has been taken over by aliens!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith

The Daily Telegraph (UK) is serialising Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith at the moment. You can sign on to get each chapter sent to you one day at a time via email. (I've done that but haven't actually got round to reading any further than Chapter 1). It seems to be like 44 Scotland Street but set in London not Edinburgh. In that it's about the various inhabitants of a tenement house.

Corduroy Mansions is quite a package - as well as the daily chapters there are podcasts, character profiles, a Facebook page, a widget and a video tour of Pimlico.

I couldn't resist the idea of adding a Corduroy Mansions widget. You can see it there on the sidebar. But it falls off the side a little so I've added it here too (unfortunately only visible at limited times for our staff I think) :

(It's embedded here. Again I had to copy and paste into a Word document and then copy and paste here. If you do the Widget thing it sorts you out with a widget automatically - very clever.)

Feeling valued?

In the Guardian's book blog I came across an article entitled Bibliotherapy by one Stuart Evers about a London bookshop called The School of Life.

Initially I thought it might be about a great scheme which many UK councils are using whereby GPs write a prescription for a book title that their patient then takes to their library to get a copy to take home.

But no, Evers is talking about how this book shop is so different from the high street book shops with it's individualised service.

This is the paragraph in the piece that floored me:
"The idea that really marks out The School of Life from other book enterprises is their recommendation service, Bibliotherapy. For £50 - excluding books - a specialist will help you choose books perfectly suited to you; a sort of literary personal trainer, if you will. To my mind, it's a great idea. With so few of us near a bookseller of experience and understanding, it's the perfect way to pick your way through the minefield of what to read next".

As I have said in the comment I left, why does this man think it is a good idea to pay that ridiculous sum of money to have someone help him choose a book? Is that per book, or is it a life-time subscription?

Either way there are specialists in every library in the country who are able to provide this service for free - and it's us - Librarians!

You can read the full article here. See if you can read it without getting hot under the collar.


I looked up The School of Life website and some of my questions are answered here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just one bu##er today

See yesterday's post, I finally got that video to embed and wow is it muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch faster than uploading via the Add video link in the editing tools when doing a post.

I did it by going and finding (the same) clip on Google Video. If you click on the little arrow button in the bottom right side of the video clip another window opens with the Embed text and upload ability thingy. I tried straight copying from there and pasting into the blogger post but only got part of the text so I tried (a few goes later) copying and then pasting into a Word document - got the full text then and copied and pasted it from there into the blogger post. Still muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch faster than uploading via the Add video link.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bu##er, bu##er, Bu##er

Week 6 - the most frustrating week so far. Should have been simple but because of the restrictions the IT department put on some sites (YouTube for instance) I have spent 1 1/2 hours today getting nowhere. When we do get access to YouTube the rest of Council is trawling the net and you can't get the site - I spent 25 minutes earlier waiting for YouTube to load only to get a blank screen with Done at the bottom. Ditto the Google video site. When, hooray, I did get to YouTube it was at 2pm and my next link gave me the "You're not allowed to watch this during working hours, get back to work you slacker" page. Not happy.

I have only been able to complete Week 6 by coming upstairs to Springwood branch and logging on to the public PCs. I appreciate that that's a luxury many staff don't have.

So back to the Week 6 activities. I found the choice of things to look up a little strange - anyone else get a big kick out of "Liverpool plains" or "Kogorah". Perhaps they wanted to point out what a load of guff is on YouTube & Google video. And why would you go to Google video - my search results were almost exactly the same.

I can see how video clips would be good for showcasing library activities and staff to our customers although, as one commenter on the SLNSW learning 2.0 blog said, libraries would need to ensure the production was of a high quality. I really liked the We love our NJ Libraries clip.

And what a lovely thing for local history collections - not just the audio of an oral history but video too. What a gift to the generations that come.

There is a site where people are doing book reviews via video - will add link soon - I'm not sure it adds to the quality of the reviewing but I guess for some people it's easier to speak a review than type it so more may be added - from our Readers in the Mist experience we see how difficult it is to get people to write their own book reviews.

But staff orientation - please! I don't know how many staff PLCMC has, but I'd be insulted if the Library Manager couldn't be bothered to welcome me and introduce her/himself to me in person.

I'm not sure why the SLNSW have said there is a 10 minute cap on videos in YouTube because I have watched Michael Wesch's video, An anthropological introduction to YouTube, and it's 55:33 mins long - and every last second of it makes fascinating viewing:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wiki quickie

Just completed the week 5 stuff.

Liked the YouTube video explaining how wikis work. The Faulco mums have been trying to organise a night out - 200 emails later and still no one knows where or when we are going. Think we need a wiki.

I liked the Ann Arbor and Rochester wikis - especially the good dining bits! And the mystery picture bit in the Rochester one - can you guess where this picture was taken? What fun!

We could do something like that - but would it/should it be a whole of council project?

Think we could use one for Reader's Advisory. Remember we were making reading lists, Crime Through Time and Legal Thrillers and Gourmet Crime after doing the RA course all that time ago. Well I think we should have somewhere we can use all that hard work. I'm investigating it so watch this space.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Off for a week

I'm off on leave for a week while we move house. I'll upload the address etc later from home when I can access the editing things which I haven't been able to from work for a while.
Anyway, once you can see where we're moving to please feel free to drop in if you are passing - or if you have to make a detour. I'll make sure the kettle, tea and coffee are first to be unpacked.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Week 4 Adventure conundrum

The Week 4 Adventure said to add a news feed to your own blog - did they mean add an RSS feed? I added a Newsreel gadget but have taken it off because I didn't like it. I doubt they meant a Newsreel anyway, not having mentioned it anywhere else in the Week 4 to-do-list.

RSS Feeds

What do you like about RSS and newsreaders?
I like that they do exactly what the YouTube video says they do - they let you know, from one place, which of the blogs and other sites you like to look at have been updated. You save time by not going to each site individually only to find half of them have not been updated since Christmas 1848.

What sites did you select for your RSS reader?
I've had a bloglines account for some time now so I've got a fair few. I have found that some sites I stumble across as a result of reading other blogs. They seem fun/interesting and I add them. Some don't live up to expectations and are deleted againg. It's a fairly fluid list.
One of the blogs I used to subscribe to was I hate Asheville where a librarian was blogging about the customers he/she encountered - it was fun for a little while then went quiet for so long I deleted it - perhaps this was the librarian who lost his/her job because of the blog??

My blog feeds include: Aussie Bloggers * Blue Mountains City Library Local Studies * BooksForKidsBlog * CILGG * Circ and Serve * Citizen Reader * Feel-good Librarian * The Generator Blog * Give 'em What They Want * Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - books * i love typography, the typography and fonts blog * Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day * Judge a Book by its Cover * Learn & Play @CML * Librarian Avengers * Libraries Build Communities * LibraryBytes (Helene Blowers) * LibraryStream * Merryjack * Novel ideas : Manly Library * Powerhouse Museum Photo of the Day (as per Week 4 instructions) * Read it or Weep * The Reader's Advisor Online Blog * Readers in the Mist * News - News * Shelf Talk * The Shifted Librarian * Smart Bitches, Trashy Books * So Much to Learn...So Little Time * Springwood Weather * Stephen's Lighthouse * Wild Ephemera * The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks
One of my favourite blogs is People Reading where the blogger roams about and takes pictures of people reading and writes about the book and the reader. What a great way to meet new people.
I thought about adding everyone else's blogs from the BM Library Manager's blog but the internet connection is so slow it's easier to click in and out from the BMLM blog.

How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your work?
I use it to keep up to date with Library 2.0 stuff and other technology stuff. I also have feeds to book review blogs which keeps me up to date there.
I like that, if I read an interesting article/post, I can easily email it to a colleague/friend and share it with them from within bloglines.

How can libraries use RSS or take advantage of this new technology?
Adding RSS feeds to our blogs will enable our 'audiences' to feed our blogs to their desktops.

Did you find any good examples of other library blogs?
I think the Sutherland blog is outstanding. Beautiful to look at; clean, clear and crisp. And, oh, to be able to have multiple pages hanging off the one title page.

Like Snow, I wasn't particularly impressed by the Quick Picks thing.