Monday, November 26, 2007

# 23 Is this really the end? Or just the beginning .....

This really does now feel like the beginning of something big!! I am really happy to have reached the end of the 23 tasks and within the time frame of the course - but after this Library 2.0 learning journey so far I now feel really enthused to continue on. As soon as I attend to a few other things that I have neglected in my new found enthusiasm for blogging over the past few weeks I will start on the next series of exercises in Learning 2.1!

Learning 2.0 has been very much a learning journey with a sense of discovery and delight at having the world of web technology suddenly opened up to me. And the learning is definitely an ongoing journey, as I continue on to the next step of Learning 2.0 and beyond.
In the process of following a variety of links during all exercises in the course I have also learnt so much more about libraries and librarians around the world today. I also have lots of sites to follow up on and go back to. Because I am now thinking about the new technology I have become aware of references to it in all sorts of places that I never noticed before! I have read articles in newspapers, magazines, online, heard about it in conversations, and see symbols refering to it everywhere!!!

I had great fun with the photos, mashups and online image generators. I was really happy to learn about RSS feeds and, both of which will help me enormously in keeping up with information. I also subscribed to Library Link of the Day, that I learnt about during my travels on this course, and have already had some very interesting library related sites emailed to me to peruse. Ideas for implementing Web 2.0 technology in libraries are endless.

This Library 2.0 course was, however, quite difficult to follow at times (especially in the beginning) and it is a shame to see so many participants drop out. We need to be able to give more support and encouragement to staff members who are undertaking the exercises. I also ended up doing the whole course at home because of the amount of time needed. It is also the kind of course where the more you put into it, the more you definitely get out of it.
The requirements of the exercises were not always clear and a lot of time could be wasted in trying to find out what to do. The learning process was also not linear as a textbook would be - dipping in and out of sites and following links in different directions is a whole new concept in learning in itself for some of us. Talking to other participants was always helpful.

Before I go any further I think I also need to go back over the 23 things to refresh my memory of each one and to ensure that I continue to use the new skills that I have learnt. I am looking forward to continuing to explore the world of Web 2.0 technology, especially in relation to libraries of the future. Thank you to everyone involved in the presentation of this Learning 2.0 course.

# 22 Audiobooks

Downloadable audio books appear to be a resource that will expand much more in the future as more and more books become available online. The concept of the subscription services Netlibrary and Overdrive that enable libraries to purchase audio files so library members can download them on to their mp3 players is very interesting - especially the fact that the audio files are automatically deleted from the mp3 player at the end of the loan period!

I had a look around the World eBook Fair site, especially the Gutenberg's Audio eBook Collection and The Sound of Literary Works Collection. I had a listen to some of the The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde, Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm, and The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen. Just as in the audio books in the library now, the skill and quality of the reader makes a huge difference to your enjoyment of the story. The titles are generally of very old books at present.

The World eBook Fair site also has a section marked Project Gutenberg of Australia, but the page is under construction. Even though I had read about Project Gutenberg before, it was interesting to follow some of the links about it - and a site with some of the history of the project -

# 21 Podcasts

I had a look at the podcast directory tools -, and Yahoo podcasts. I did find some interesting podcasts through those directories, but I think the best podcasts I have come across have been in my general searching and visiting of Internet sites at other times. Many Internet sites now have podcasts available.

The SirsiDynix Institute has some really good podcasts of library related seminars and talks. I have listened to some already during this course. One I plan to go back and listen to is -
25 Technologies in 50 minutes, a presentation by Stephen Abram (Vice President of Innovation at the SirsiDynix Institute) on the new technologies.

I have added the SirsiDynix Institute podcasts to my Bloglines account so that I can keep up with their latest seminars.

I am also interested in ABC Radio's podcasts of shows such as The Health Report. It would be great to just listen to The Health Report via podcast as it is broadcast at a time that is not suitable for me. I have added The Health Report podcast Pod feed to my bloglines account too.

Podcasts will be very useful for me in keeping up with the latest information or talks etc that I have missed. They have great potential for use on our library website for such things as author talks and interviews, explanations of library resources, library radio show broadcasts, showcasing library events.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

# 20 You too can YouTube

I have spent some time looking at lots of interesting clips on YouTube. You can really get carried away here!

I really liked the Medieval IT Help Desk at - I could relate to the poor fellows confusion with new technology (the book!),
and Conan the Librarian at

I looked at quite a few clips on libraries, and then started looking at fiddle music clips of Alasdair Fraser, a really wonderful Scottish fiddle player who now lives in America. I hadn't really looked at the YouTube site before (only seen odd video clips elsewhere). It was really great to see some good clips of fiddle concerts. I wanted to post an Alasdair Fraser clip on to my blog but the clips of his concerts said no embedding by request. I guess that means that I can't do it, but maybe I can still add a link to one. I ended up putting a funny one of Mr Bean in the library on the blog instead.

The Alasdair Fraser video clip I wanted to share is at -

Video clips could be used on the library website or blog for recording events, author talks, library promotion, reader education explanations about aspects of the library. They could be used on the staff intranet for teaching purposes, promotion of branches, news etc etc.

The material that is already on YouTube varies between really good clips and rubbish. Libraries can however create their own material.

Friday, November 23, 2007

# 19 Discovering Web 2.0 Tools

I looked at a large number of the sites listed on the Web 2.0 Awards pages .
Many of them didn't seem to be all that useful. Some had potential though and were interesting.

Realtravel - describes itself as the travel guide and trip planner powered by advice from real travelers. It shows places to go, things to do, helps you plan a trip, hosts your free travel blog. The advice is from real people talking about their own trips. Could have some very useful information.

Listdump - is a community list generator based on the simple fact that everybody loves a good list. Some of the top lists I saw were: Most beautiful mountain ranges in the U.S., Best Food Websites, The Coolest New Blogs, Generators for Web 2.0, All Things Japanese. Some lists had lots of entries, some just a few. They were open to anyone for contributions, or you could start your own list.

Ucoming - upcoming events, and it did come up with events on in Melbourne first. Only had a small listing of what is really on in Melbourne in any given week.

These were all made up of contributions from anyone and therefore the content and quality of the information varied a lot. The concept of being a community resource open to all for contributions is very different to what we are used to, though it does have lots of potential. I can see this idea being well used for sharing information on reading, favourite books and authors.

# 18 Web based Applications and Tools - Zoho Writer

I am writing this piece in Zoho Writer after creating an account for myself, and hope to post it to my blog when I have finished.

The idea of being able to access your documents from any computer, anywhere, and being able to work collaboratively with other people on them is great. This would perhaps have been even better than using a wiki for my previous example of editing a book. We could perhaps have used Zoho Writer effectively for drafts, although a lot of the book was done in the first instance by using specialist music software and as I understand it Zoho Writer is confined to standard word processing.

Zoho Writer seems to have a lot of the word processing style features of microsoft Word, which I have used endlessly over the years. I am about to experiment with background colour to distinguish this piece from my normal blog posts.

This colour is very bright! What do you think?

#17 Playing around with PBWiki

On the PBwiki Learning 2.0 I added my blog to the Favourite Blogs list You'll find it under Australian Blogs - Learning 2.0 Blogs, Eastern Regional Libraries.

I also added a line to the Favourite Vacation Spots list.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

#16 So What's in a Wiki?

The essential thing that I learned about wikis is that they are collaborative websites that allow users to easily add, remove and edit content. I had often checked out Wikipedia before, knowing that the content could be contributed by anyone, but I didn't know anything about other wikis.

I can see, after looking at a number of library wikis and checking out all the links on this topic, that wikis can be a very useful tool for a number of things - group projects, staff intranets, conference planning, meeting discussions, collaborative editing of documents and so on.
I have just been involved with the editing of a book for publication. It involved a couple of other people in Melbourne and the author in Bendigo. We could have usefully used a wiki for our little group instead of emailing sections back and forth and sending full hard copy drafts in the mail.

I like the article by Meredith Farkas on Web Junction where she says that wikis.. at their best, they can become true community resources that can postiton the library as an online hub of their local community.
We are trying to create libraries as physical hubs of our communities, so a vision of them as an online hubs, contributed to by the community, is very interesting.
There are good examples of wikis as community information resources, as book review sites, as subject guides in libraries (that include information not only on books but also on local clubs, shops, other Internet sites etc on the topic).

Library Success: a best practices wiki provides links to very interesting blogs on library success stories.

Monday, November 19, 2007

#15 Web 2.0, Library 2.0

I read through all the five perspectives on Library 2.0 that were listed, but the best articles I found were from the references listed at the bottom of the Wikipedia entry (though some of these references were a couple of years old).

One link was to an interesting blog of John Blyberg with a posting entitled - 11 reasons why Library 2.0 exists and matters. He talks about Library 2.0 being partially a response to a Post-Google world. Google's impact on the way we do business has already created profound changes in usage patterns in libraries. He argues that Library 2.0 is revolutionary, is essential for survival, is an ever-changing amalgam of ideas, dreams and visions, and is happening - and requires great changes in libraries.

Another link was to a podcast of a seminar talk in 2006 available on the SirsiDynix Institute site - Creating a 2.0 Library by Thad Hartman & David King from Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in the U.S.
They talked about libraries needing to be with the times, not behind; about the library as a human, changing organism; about the great books and other materials that we have that we need to let people know about; about creating a digital branch with all sorts of ideas about providing the best of library functions in a digital space, connected as well to a physical library. They gave examples of using blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Flickr, RSS etc (linking catalogue information, ILL access, ebooks, digital subject guides, author broadcasts, event attendance on-line, events connected digitally to relevant books/authors, digital events, email reference services, patron participation).

They also talked about creating a Travel Neighbourhood (genre collection) in their library, which brought together all the travel related materials (mostly books in 910's in dewey, foreign language phrase books, books on hotels, restaurants, travelling with children, travel magazines/DVD's). The also then created a Travel Subject Guide on the library website's blog and included postings on travel books, events, finding articles on travel, planning a holiday, local attractions. This was especially of interest as we have recently re-arranged the non-fiction collection in our branch into genres (all into genres, not just one genre).

I was inspired to go to the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Libray website to check them out.

I also looked at an article in the SirsiDynix montly e-newsletter by Stephen Abram (Vice President of Innovation at SirsiDynix) - Can This 2.0 Stuff Help Libraries with Promotion?.,b5PTDpv0.
This article is also posted on Stephen Abram's good blog Stephen's Lighthouse
He described a great many ways of using Library 2.0 technology to promote libraries - using YouTube, Second Life, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Podcasts, Wikipedia, Ning, Twitter, Mozes, NowPublic, Blogging and RSS, SearchEngine Optimization, eSurveys.

The video from YouTube that was linked to the Library 2.0 training - "Web 2.0 - The Machine is Us/ing Us " was excellent.

It really does seem that libraries have changed for ever. We don't want to leave behind the patrons who are not computer literate, or throw away the great things that we do, but we do need to get people back into libraries by making libraries relevant to what they want and need in their daily lives. Many, many people today use blogs, eBay, Amazon, Flickr, Facebook etc and expect the library to be similar. We need to be visible in these places so that the library is, as Sarah Houghton said in another article, a destination and not an afterthought.

I am really glad to be doing this training - it has opened up a whole new world of Web 2.0 technology to me that I knew very little about before. There are a great many articles, blogs, and discussions on Library 2.0 that I wish to come back and look at later.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

#14 Technorati

Technorati is supposed to be the leading authority on blogs and for searching content within blog posts. However I felt that I didn't have much success with it. First of all I couldn't get the video clip in the exercise to load, so I just had a look around the Technorati site myself (and found it a bit confusing). I discovered eventually that to keyword search in Blog posts, in tags, and in Blog Directory (as the exercise indicated) it was necessary to go to Advanced Search. Doing a search for Learning 2.0 did not yield much in blog posts or tags, but brought out a clear list in blog directory. Maybe I wasn't using the search process correctly. I wasn't inspired to join Technorati or claim my blog or tag the posts in my blog at this stage.

# 13 Tagging and (a social bookmarking site) will be really great for organising bookmarks, being able to access them from any computer, and for the capability of sharing a network of useful Internet sites with other people.

After looking at the site at I created my own account, and added toolbar buttons to my computer for easy access to my listings and for easy tagging of useful Internet sites. I then tagged a number of sites that I had been using and will want to visit again in the future, as well as some for my nephew Aden.
I added a Network Badge to my blog (a little link to my listings) and a list of my tags (subject headings that I had used to describe the Internet sites I listed) in a cloud formation.

When I have more time I will go back and have a look at what other people are listing and tagging. I can see that following the tag trail of another user could yield some useful sites on topics of interest as well.

The facility could be well used for sharing a network of useful Internet sites with a group of colleagues, friends, or library patrons.

#12 Roll your own search engine with Rollyo

I had a look at a couple of Rollyo search engines on different topics, then created a Rollyo account for myself and decided to put together a search roll that could be useful for me when searching for sheet music of folk music tunes. I called my search roll Folk Tunes - see, and added it to my blog.
I often find myself searching for tunes on the web. Being able to search several of the main sites at once (instead of having to search them individually) would save me a lot of time and effort. For some topics, especially when searching for specific information (like specific tunes) , this would work really well. At other times it would be better to browse an individual site.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

#11 Library Thing

Aden's Favourite Books
I opened an account at Library Thing, created a short list of Aden's favourite books and posted the list to my blog by using a Library Thing widget.
Now I've managed to do the same with some of the books from my book shelves, though a number of books I tried to show were not listed through Library Thing, and most of the others had no covers available. I also created a search link to my own list of books at Library Thing.
It was really interesting to see who else had listed the same books and I learnt about a number of literary groups by following the links to these other people and under the groups button.

This great photo was taken by my brother at the Mainz Festival in Germany a few years ago and I have turned it into a motivational poster at http://wigflip/automotivator/, once again found through The Generator Blog.

# 10 Play Around with Image Generators

After browsing through lots of image generators I chose some to try out on my blog.

Aden's Tartan

The first one is from the House of Tartan site at
My nephew Aden has recently been on a trip to Scotland so I created a tartan for him with the interactive weaver on this site. You choose the colours you want and the order of the colours in the weaving and then the interactive weaver weaves the tartan for you! You can then even have the tartan made up for you in Scotland.
I found this generator on The Generator Blog

I also used the Wizard Text Generator at to create a wizard message banner at the bottom of my blog for Aden and his dog, Shadow. Hope you like it Aden!

I created a magazine at

Shadow's Magazine

# 9 Finding Feeds

I tried to find some other useful feeds about libraries by using the search tools listed in the exercise, but didn't find them all that helpful. Blogline's Search Tool and Google Blog Search were straightforward, Topix is more for news items which was not what I was looking for, Technorati produced some feeds, and I couldn't get into the Feedster site. The best way of finding good feeds about libraries in the end was to use links and blogrolls on other sites and blogs. I had already found some very interesting blogs about promoting libraries and using the new technology in libraries and have spent some time checking out the links from these sites. My RSS feeds in bloglines have already given me some very interesting posts to read.

I finally worked out how to create a blogroll on my blog. It turns out I just wasn't using the correct username!