Friday, December 08, 2006

Commenting at blogs

I'm definitely curious... Twice today I've seen mention of CoComment, and keeping track of one's own comments all over the web is one of those things I thought would be useful when I found interesting posts among 23 Things-ers. I wonder how it works?

Okay, but why am I posting about it when I haven't investigated it yet? Ah... I'm enjoying tracking back how I came to the second mention which was at Cool Cat Teacher Blog: How to comment like a king (or queen!). I tagged that post based upon the first point - because I do value meaningful comments. And only then went on to read the other 6 points (with a mention of CoComment at #4).

I landed at that post courtesy of Susan Ettenheim'sDeveloping Student Dialogue on Blogs: Listen to last week, prepare for this week to which I had scrolled upon scanning Teachers Teaching Teachers which was nominated for Best Group Blog 2006 among the Edublog Awards mentioned to me (thanks to Bloglines) by Peta at Innovate.

Around the same time, I noticed that the FischBowl lists snippets of "recent comments by Karl on other blogs" - which appears to use del.icio.us. Hmmmmm.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Civility in classes

(with gratitude to Bloglines) Thanks Michael Stephens for mentionining J. Lewandowski's new blog, her post at Teaching and Thinking With Technology: Bringing Back Civility and the article that stimulated her post didn't ask or answer why students are tempted to split their attention from the class.

Attention is too often not essential in order to pass or even excel in the course.

1. Ensure the class presentation is riveting
BUT
2. Only require class attendance if content is not able to be obtained any other way
a) big example: don't repeat (including repeat in advance of) written information.
(i) to be fair some people need to learn auditorily rather than from text, so if the class is available to present the same information which has or will come in written form the unit outline could specify read this and/or attend that class.
b) if class attendance is required for assessable participation in discussion then have a legitimate method of evaluation of participation - not just attendance.

Whether attendance is required or optional what ought to be the codes of conduct then? I lean toward a compassionate democratic needs/solutions based approach: ie each class determines the needs of teacher and students and develops creative agreements to meet those needs.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Protopage (v.3) has Tabs


protopageWithTabs
Originally uploaded by moonflowerdragon.
Hooray for protopage v.3.

Now I can express my delight unequivocably. With that little wrinkle ironed out protopage walks all over startpage alternatives. Movable resizable overlappable sticky notes - can't beat that.

I wondered whether being able to include my del.icio.us page of bookmarks as one of my firefox homepages would take the place of my startpage. However I just recently added a couple of quicklinks to my private protopage quicklink sticky - I guess because when I do want to use those links I don't want to have to search for them. Perhaps it is only the other pages (now under named tabs) - unless I can figure a way to place links or content there automatically (eg mash from specific del.icio.us/Flickr tags and Bloglines folders)

It's also now got TO DO list stickies - niftier than the text sticky I was using... although with text I would format the text to highlight priority items.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Puzzle Pirates - my second MMORPG

As I've mentioned at Counting Everything, I've had the opportunity to try another MMORPG. If you get addicted to tetris-type or hit-the-dropping-items-before-they-get-to-the-bottom or cleverly-manoeuvre-icons-into-groups-of-3+-colours-before-they-crowd-to-the-top games Puzzle Pirates will very kindly remind you how long you've been playing and remind you to take a break and stretch.






Miniclip Games - Puzzle Pirates
Puzzle Pirates

Join a crew of friendly pirates in this massive multiplayer game.

Play this free game now!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

43 Things I might want to do this year

Bloglining by The Questing Librarian today I peeked back at Stephen Abram's 43 Things I might want to do this year...

I've yet to finish my 23 Things, but when I do perhaps I'll check back on some of these.

It feels good to see how many I've already done.

1. Take a digital picture with a camera and/or phone and download it to your PC.
2. Register at Blogger and start a blog. Post every once in a while and add a photo.
3. Register at Bloglines and aggregate your blog and RSS subscriptions into one reader. Check out what other blogs align with your interests.
4. Look at Facebook and see the next generation of social networking.
5. Set up a Flickr account and post a few of digital photos online. Tag and annotate them.
6. Look at LibraryElf and see the potential for personal library tools.
7. Check out LibraryThing and catalogue a few books from your personal collection.
8. Register at MSN Photo Album and build an album to share with friends, family, or colleagues. {why when Flickr is so great?}
9. Check out Myspace and see how this service has become so huge globally.
10. Have some fun with the links on the Generator Blog.
11. Download Firefox and compare it to Explorer and Opera.
12. Research bookmarklets and try a few.
13. Revisit Yahoo! and remind yourself why it is visited more than Google. {although I haven't discovered why it would be more visited than google as I'd be very happy if my yahoogroup became googlegroups}
14. Learn about iFILM and viral video.
15. Get a PubSub account and start searching the future.
16. Make a map of all the countries or states you've been to at Visited Countries. {not really worth it for me}
17. Experiment with some sound and picture search engines like Podscope.
18. Try some new Web search engines like Exalead, Wink, Gravee, Clusty, Mooter, Kartoo, etc., or others you can find at Search Engine Watch's list. {google does me fine}
19. Learn more about visual display tools like Grokker.
20. Check out Google Base and see what the fuss is all about.
21. Register with NetFlix and rent a movie. Learn how to deal with streaming media.
22. Get a Del.icio.us account and play with social bookmarking and tags.
23. Play with Blinkx and learn about searching TV shows, video and podcasts.
24. Try MovieFlix too. There are plenty of free movies here to learn to do this.
25. Set up a Google Picasa account. Post a picture and then edit it.
26. Download an MP3 file to your PC, laptop or phone. Try iTunes, LimeWire, Kazaa, or eDonkey. Look for something that's not music too.
27. Listen to a podcast. There are quite a few about library issues, too.
28. Find your home and your office on Google Maps.
29. Check out your local public library's website. You'll likely find some cool stuff like talking books for that long commute, or classical music collections, or eBooks.
30. Change your ring tone so you don't jump when everyone else's default ring goes off.
31. Visit the Google Labs site regularly. (love google spreadsheet)
32. Set up a personalized Google or My Yahoo! page {don't bother - go with protopage}
33. Play with JibJab.
34. Play with Wikipedia. Edit an entry, feel the network.
35. Play with Copernic and extend your searching.
36. Play an online multiplayer game.
37. Take an e-learning course from Click University.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

23Things #16 So what’s in a wiki?

  • From the possibilities presented in: Wiki’s: A Beginner’s Look, the most useful to me would be an internal library (or other organisation) wiki particularly because of the capacity for collaborative editing of documents.

    When I consider how usefully the wiki tool gathers a knowledge base (such as particularly collecting local community information or history) I wonder whether a project that coordinates adding that knowledge to wikipedia might make a larger contribution than creating a separate wiki.


  • From Using Wikis to Create Online Communities – I jumped to how OCLC are using wiki to enable users to add content (and value) to WorldCat records, which looks just like what I've admired before of Hennepin County Libraries' catalogue.



Something I did notice was the heavy text base combined with spartan and non-intuitive presentation of most wikis - a definite down-side. I wonder whether it is at all possible for a wiki to mash with other tools (eg Flickr, YouTube, del.icio.us for better effect). If so could someone send me examples?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

23Things #15 Library2.0

I didn't realise it at the time, but I pre-empted (for myself) this step.

Library2.0 to me means only: libraries serving community members in the Web2.0 environment - upon the same rationales that have ever defined quality library service.

23Things #14 Technorati

So... I claimed my blog at Technorati today ...

To properly participate though will be a little fiddly, but let me compare... to tag with Technorati I include easy html in my blog post ... to tag with del.icio.us I click a button in my toolbar.  The sooner I can migrate to Blogger Beta the better.  Almost wish I'd bitten the bullet and gone with Wordpress from the start.

It might be interesting to search sometime, though I have no real need presently I enjoyed a brief diversion thanks to Serena at Talk Nerd posting a YouTube of Walking on Sunshine.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Silkroad Online ... my first MMORPG FUN

The boys and their friends have introduced me to Silkroad online and I've had a very interesting, engaging week adventuring around Jangan.

There are always new skills to learn, and I'm thinking maybe it is just a little repetitive trying to level to meet something new, but it is very fun "meeting" people from all over (ages 14-43): helping (it feels wonderful knowing and sharing the little bits even newer plays want to know) and being helped.



Right now I'm trying to sell some of the treasures monsters have kindly dropped for me - I'd like to be able to afford a pet wolf. It is not easy calculating a fair price for goods, and timing is probably off as I set up stall when I'm going to be away from the keyboard rather than take up playing time.

Scenarios for Internet Ethics

Thanks to my Bloglines account, and Francey from Gargoyles Loose in the Library, I now have a bunch of new scenarios to raise when discussing internet issues with my boys.

Our local library gave us material from the government's initiative to promote internet safety (can't remember what it is called), which didn't really address anything we hadn't already discussed ... but finding the material prompted a refresher discussion in a timely way for our exploration of Silkroad (about which more later, right now I want to PLAY).

IT goddesses


If I'd had daughters instead of sons, this calendar would be my first purchase.



I love the eye catching way it "smashes through perceptions of geeky technologists", and in the process aims to:

# Raise awareness of the diversity of Women in IT
# Raise money for non profit groups that run initiatives to encourage females to take up technology studies and to enter technology careers

Friday, October 27, 2006

23Things #13 del.icio.us

I first became interested in del.icio.us as a way of hacking categories for blogger. I've put off that exploration in hopes I can transfer to Blogger Beta, but as soon as I noticed del.icio.us in the 23 Things I created an account (doing the Things slightly out of order) and have been tagging since, slightly frustrated by a suspicion that I could be using better tags.

To commemorate Thing#13/23 though, I have accepted the offer of a tagroll for my sidebar. (update Jan2007: lost and not yet replaced on switch to new blogger)

I love the way that if I del.icio.us tag a flickr photo page the photo appears in my del.icio.us page making it prettier.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

23Things #12 Clearly I don't do a lot of searching...

because I don't yet have my own need for Rollyo (or Google's Custom Search Engine).

I've spent a little time trying to conceive of a combination of sources useful to me, but as yet ... nada.

I would relish a work-related purpose when the time comes, and I'd be very interested to hear experiences of improved results or search time from the tools.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

23Things #11 My LibraryThing

Since joining up with LibraryThing (before this Learning2.0 thing appeared on my radar) I've managed to upload most of my ISBNs, and entered a bundle that could not be found, and begun loading books without ISBNs. Unfortunately my database has notes that if they were able to be uploaded I didn't know how, and LibraryThing doesn't help me track the value of my library.

Thanks to Superpatron I am now aware of GuruLib - whose design I appreciate for the visual simplicity in sorting by location, and format (book, music, movie, game, software), but again I can't see a way to record and calculate replacement value. match what my Access database could do with a field for estimated item replacement value: totalling the value of my library inventory. I use that total to be sure I have enough insurance cover.

Rana's comment prompted me to go have another look so I could be as clear as possible in clarification. My guess is restricted by not seeing behind the scenes because I don't want to provide all the details required to sign up.

Compare:
LibraryThing requires: username + password
GuruLib requires: First name, last name, gender, GuruLibID, password, and in case you lose your password personal security question and answer, date of birth, zipcode and email address.


By perusing top users libraries I've noticed that it is possible to sort items by best or new price for which there must be fields, so perhaps it would be possible to extract the information I would use: an estimated total replacement value of my library (for insurance).

I also noticed that some users created subject 'shelves' instead of physical location shelves - neat if not quite the flexibility of tags.

23Things #10 Image Generators

With so many to choose from surely it shouldn't have taken so long to find one I could enjoy? Many hours later ...

Thanks to other 2.0Learners I drifted by Yahoo Avatars, and just in case I ever take it back out of my blogger template...

Yahoo! Avatars

Because I like Questing Librarian's poster from her hero, I took a look at the Hero Machine, but I couldn't decide what my heroine would look like.

And days later...Until a personality reconfiguration makes me either profound or witty ... this was just for the learning, and pretty...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Communicating Compassionately with yourself and others

Sunday, 22nd October at 2.30 p.m.

at my house (please book)

An introductory exploration of the basic principles of Non-Violent Communication, guided by Cherie Scott, based on the work of
Marshall Rosenberg

  • Create empowering heart-centred relationships
  • Hear behind the words to what people are really saying
  • Learn how to have compassion for yourself and others in difficult situations
  • Express your needs with clarity and compassion
  • Be free of blame, guilt, criticism and submission.
  • Support others emotionally in a way that enriches you (and doesn't wear you out!)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

23Things #9 Finding Feeds

I'm not in interested in fishing for more feeds - I'm already caught up in the internet equivalent of the East Australian Current.

I have a button (bookmarklet) in my Firefox toolbar, which gets a work out thanks to serendipity.

So rather than exploring, I took a quick look only at Technorati (interesting, social - but I couldn't see it offering anything I need beyond del.icio.us?), Feedster (restful on the eyes), Topix (I did indeed find local news) and Syndic8 (?)

My easiest source of feeds? Serendipitous surfing.

23Things #8 RSS, Bloglines and feeds

RSS became useful to me a few years ago when I found an interesting source of news in the field of breastfeeding promotion. Nervously I subscribed to the service and happily received regular emails although I didn't appreciate how automated they were.

Since then my google searches would often offer results at blogs that were motherloads of the kind of information I enjoyed. I'd bookmark them, but found it difficult to find the time to visit them regularly. I signed up to receive regular Bloglet emails from Peter Scott's Library Blog - http://blog.xrefer.com (where is that now?).

Then Bloglet (or was it another service) suggested I move to Feedblitz several months ago. Feedblitz made it very easy to subscribe to the motherloads of information I was now discovering in blogs, each of which introduced me to other interesting blogs. Daily emails were full of fascinating updates - but also links to even more interesting sources.

I'd see blogrolls in blog sidebars everywhere and wanted one. Some were powered by Bloglines. I couldn't see anyway to get a blogroll from Feedblitz, but changing feed service wasn't attractive - wouldn't this mean going through a fiddly process of copying the feeding URLs? Still, for the sake of learning (and a blogroll) I set up my own account and noticed this 'import' option. Sure enough when I checked back at Feedblitz - they had a straightforward process to export to an OPML file.

It was worthwhile - it is now so much easier to scan the sources I like - although it is still a time-challenge when a new post sends me surfing.

So for my #8 I decided to work out how to get a blogroll. Super-easy. Then just another fiddle with the template and there it is.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Loathing

Wicked Musical

In my music I usually prefer lyrics of a theme or feeling to which I can relate my own experience. In this I don't - but I like it - I enjoy the voices and the presentation.

Thanks TLB of The cat's meow for the link (and PLCMC Learning 2.0 for the link to TLB)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

23 Things #7 Blog About Technology

I've become incredibly absorbed in learning stimulated by the desire to participate in Learning2.0 at PLCMC. Initially, I had desired to check how my current awareness stacks up against Helene's 23 Things, having already discovered blogs, RSS, del.icio.us, Flickr and YouTube among other things; but I also wanted to see whether the program could help me see whether any of these would be useful to my library studies or to my family's homeschooling.

Flickr in particular was the straw that broke my frugal resistance to the expense of a digital camera: I was finally able to see that it is an investment in economy: being able to check photos before printing too many that I just don't want means that if my camera lasts twenty years its cost will match what I would have spent in film development while, but in much less time than that, the boys and I will be able to learn (through trial and deletion) a lot about photography that we couldn't afford to do with film.

Consequently, I've been dabbling my toes at the shore of photography. While still trying to come to grips with actually capturing a clear picture with adequate light (particularly hard with people who insist on moving) I'm gazing at the swells and trying to absorb a glimmer of an idea that I have lots to learn about composition, framing, depth of field. I'm not going to start a list of the technicalities about which I have no idea (yet).

I had such a thrill receiving comments on my photos, I hope to gain more. That is a personal thrill ... let's see if I can consider this from a library perspective...

Sudden imagination - what if public libraries could mashup with photosharing sites like Flickr to catalogue/display local product? NLA have Picture Australia which has begun drawing images from Flickr, I'd like to see Picture Victoria do the same, and local libraries gathering images by their patrons / community members and of our geographical area. PictureAustralia's Flickr endeavour demonstrates how community can contribute to and improve local archival record, and how people love to do so.

Going back to my learning process, I imagine the public library linking patrons who participate in contributing to local photographic archives with opportunities to learn more about photography through suggestions from the catalogue and liaison with classes.

Through the map in the Flickr Organizer I can see other photos taken in my town and communicate if I wish with the people who took those photos.

Which brings me to something I think public libraries should but probably don't often do very well: connect people with people as much as they do with things. It is why I was excited to see Hennepin's catalogue allowing comments on catalogued items.

Connecting with people is something I've finally taken up from this 2.0 activity (I listed as an international participant of the PLCMC Learning 2.0 23 Things project), I commented on a photo at Flickr, and for this #7PS of the 23 Things I've commented at some other participant blogs:

Librarian Stud's PLCMC Blog
Ally's My Learning 2.0 blog
Martin's 23 Things

and want to comment even more, but it is time to be done, publish and go have tea.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

23 Things #6 More Flickr Fun

Thanks Helene,

I think Flickr Color Pickr could actually be useful. So far when I've been on an image search it is usually for content on a theme, but I can imagine a time when colour might be just as important and this lets you find public photos (even within themes such as flowers or urban) in Flickr that match a specific colour from a colour palette of variable hue.

Although I'm glad to know about them, I can't imagine a use for Montagr when it takes such a long time to load, and Mappr doesn't look like it can compare to the maps inside Flickr's own wonderful Organizer?

I enjoyed the toys, making my own photographers card, the profile thing at the top of the page and a mosaic (which I had to save and must upload rather than blog from Flickr because I've already reached my upload limit this month):



I'm also contemplating trying Sprinklr - any comments?

If the policy makes sense?

Does your staff training in customer service include policy scapegoating? When I'm eventually available for work (after the boys' homeschooling is finished), I do hope I find a library that understands quality policy management. What is that? Guessing without source here...

1. Policies that make sense.
2. Everyone in a position to enact a policy can explain its rationale.
3. Everyone who is responsible for enacting a policy is capable of recognising when the policy doesn't make sense.
4. Efficient (quick and easy to enact) procedures for following up when policies are shown to not make as much sense as was first thought.

Maybe one day I'll clarify for myself what I think "makes sense" means. It'd have something to do with fairness, equality, contributes to the organisation's mission, treats people with respect.

Thanks to Garrett'sLibrary Zen: Policy Scapegoat whose comments and link to Why ask Why (.pdf) triggered my thinking on this.

ILL Bags: Does anyone in Vic/Aus use them?

Garett Hungerford's Gentle Plea at Library Zen about ILL bags had me wondering - do any library services in Victoria or Australia use a staff-friendly method for packaging ILLs? Anything like this:

?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Nurturing innovation

Thanks to Jennifer of Life As I Know It I discovered Blog about Libraries whereat I thank Steve Backs forWhich "culture of" is your workplace? for introducing me to Five Rules of Creativity, (apparently created by the Weiden and Kennedy ad agency). On reflection I realise that I've discovered the principles elsewhere from time to time, so I hope this reread and reflection refreshes my action in sync.

1. Act Stupid. "Our philosophy is to come in ignorant every day. The idea of retaining ignorance is sort of counterintuitive, but it subverts a lot of [problems] that come from absolute mastery. If you think you know the answer better than somebody else does, you become closed to being fresh." states Jelly Helm, creative director.

Hm, my trouble with this one is not that I think I know the answer, but I think that I should - so what I'm needing is a way of "coming in ignorant" without coming 'across' stupid.

2. Shut up. "The first thing we do when we meet with clients is listen. We try to figure out what their problems are. Then we come back with questions, not solutions. We write these out and put them on the wall. And then we circle the ones that we think are interesting. More often than not, the questions hold the answer."

I think I do this naturally, and then I find myself looking back on an interaction thinking hm, maybe I could have shut up more and listened then. So I guess yeah, I do it naturally, but I'm perfectly fallible too.

3. Always say yes. "What I've learned from improvisation is to let go of outcome and just say 'yes' to what ever the situation is. If you say an idea is bad, you're creating conflict--you're breaking an improv rule. You want an energy flow that moves you forward, as opposed to a creative stasis."

Even if it is a yes and... Certainly when the goal is creativity the black hat comes off ... and on again with plenty of time for plan refinement before execution.

4. Chase Talent. "Find people who make you better. It's best to be the least talented person in the room. It's reciprocal. It challenges you to keep up."

It's not hard for me to be the least talented person in the room. It is hard to be aware of this and remain confident that the more talented will be patient with me - which is, I do see, what challenges me to keep up.

5. Be Fearless. "Do anything, say anything. In the worlds of our president, Dan Wieden, 'You're not useful to me until you've made three momentous mistakes.' He knows that if you try not to make mistakes, you miss out on the value of learning from them."

Cool - I hope I find bosses like this fellow, although this quote doesn't indicate whether he prefers to take on people only after they've made their three momentous mistakes.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Yes I'm Blogging This

Are You Blogging This?

Why Not? That was fun... shows me how much more I have to learn.

I've had a lot of fun at YouTube today: from Numa Numa and NumaNuma in English, to "Ray of Light" St. Joseph County Public Library Version

Monday, October 09, 2006

Supercoolpic



Go see it, really it is supercool.

Thanks zoomquilt team, and whichever social bookmarker led me there... anyone have any idea which bookmarking community has tagged and rated zoomquilt's supercoolpic?

And does anyone want to advise me whether to just stick to one (ie del.icio.us) tagging tool, or whether to use a suite of them - maybe for different purposes?
Which one/s?

Library System Upgrade

I'm curious about my local Library's System Upgrade 16th - 24th October.

I discovered this just as I was preparing to send 'feedback' or rather suggestions along the lines of things I've discovered happens at other wonderful libraries online, so I guess I'll wait till after the upgrade in case they've already been working on such things:

  • I'd like to see an open, public communication with patrons by discussion board, wiki, or blog with comments (with options for patrons to communicate privately if they choose of course). Or at the very least something like the university's library where responses to feedback are publicised.
  • I'd love to see blogs - communication between library people and patrons and between patrons.
  • I would enjoy being able to comment on items in the library's collection like patrons can at Hennepin County Library. {aside: &^%$#@! Blogger search pathetic ... I knew I had mentioned Hennepin before but do you think Blogger Search would help me find it? Luckily I emailed that post so I found it with a search of my gmail}.
  • Actually that post reminded me of the 8th thing Michael Stephens learned at Internet Librarian 2005: #8 We need to put a face on the library...
let's make our conversations human. Let's get the library a human face. Sign blog posts. Use images. Have a voice. It's not technology, it's people.
  • I'd love for the library's events to be on a Google calendar, or to be able to receive a feed for each event that I could then add to my calendar with a click.
{Which reminds me: I'd like to find out what in certain emails triggers Gmail to offer to add an event to my calendar, when others for which it would be useful don't get the offer.}

  • How could I forget: the last straw prompting me to go the library page to make a suggestion: I'd love to be able to set up with Library ELF.

Move from protopage to pageflakes? or Netvibes?

I've been using protopage as a startpage (though you won't see all the sticky notes I use most often which are on a private page 1) and I love the way the sticky notes can be any size at all plus can overlap and can be minimised to expand when a mouse pointer hovers over it.



However one major limitation which I'll go into in a sec puts finding an alternative on my todo list. It is one of the less important tasks but I'm working on the search now thanks to Bloglines, Dave's [old] blog, Brett Kelly, and my boys being away. If I hadn't started a Bloglines account I wouldn't have been scrolling through back posts of Dave's old blog, and wouldn't have read his comments on Netvibes, so I wouldn't have been reminded of my dissatisfaction with protopage.

Which is... although it is wonderful that one can create different pages for different topical areas or different tools, those different pages are numbered. I had to create an index sticky - and copy it to each page, and if I change the pages around - change index sticky. Of course I could just remember which page is which - but another wonderful thing about protopage is that one can make one or all of the pages public. I've looked at others' protopages, seen others have gone to the bother of creating index stickies too and wonder at our tenacity.

This objection is heightened since I picked up google notebook - when notebook is open it covers the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 page links in the bottom right hand corner.

Netvibes looked like it offered a lot, but on first glance not much that protopage doesn't, and a lot of things I just don't use even at protopage - in particular I noticed all the modules are in columns so they don't appear to have the flexibility in page layout offered by protopage (I still love being able to move the sticky notes around and resize them at will). Being a novice user of protopage anyway (I don't even have pictures up yet), I thought I'd look for expert comparisons.

While I didn't find any - I did discover Brett Kelly's review of Netvibes and Pageflakes.

I was impressed that he believed Pageflakes to be a superior product, "hands-down", even though he'd be staying with netvibes until Pageflakes offer a manual refresh and get the Ma.gnolia module working right. Now I don't intend to use a startpage for feeds or reading email so refreshing doesn't bother me and I don't even know yet what Ma.gnolia *is* (... ah looks like a social bookmarking tool like del.icio.us?), so could Pageflakes be worth a look?

Another quick search revealed a possibly not impartial perspective: Web-Based Desktop Startpage Pageflakes - rev2.org which I might have dismissed but for:
"Pages
The thing that differentiates Pageflakes with some other startpages is that instead of having just one 'desktop' or page, you can create as many as you like. For example, I can create a page called 'News' and have kinds of news 'flakes' like BBC, Reuters, AP, and so on. Upon that, I can have another page called 'RSS' with just my RSS feeds on it. Then I can have 'Tools' with calculators and dictionaries and converters, and so on".
Named pages with the names as top-tabs - that's what I'd like, although I'll miss the huge flexibility of positioning, sizing and overlapping with stickies.

So, now to give it a go?...

UPDATE: 29 November 2006: I didn't have to... I went to comment to protopage about my need and discovered that a v.3 was in the works so I've been waiting and .... hooray!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Star Wars Saga Weekend

I believe my local public library may have had a Star Wars saga event, but they didn't promote it this well.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Low-tech library patron service ... or ... finally defining Library 2.0 for myself

I'm still studying Michelle Boule's links in 'What a long strange trip'.
-> The third thing she learned from the ALA TechSource Blog in the last year (... "that the unused technology potential in school libraries was huge") sent me to Michael Stephens' interview of Christopher Harris,
-> from which I chose to find out just what Christopher (at Infomancy) had to say about School Library 2.0.
-> While there I thought I'll take a quick look at Meredith Farkas' Label 2.0 post,
-> from which I took Meredith's advice to check out Laura’s very simple, but very brilliant, idea for reaching teens at her library.

  • Laura wanted to interact with YA patrons and obstacles were:
    • no dedicated YA space - 'just some bookshelves and a bulletin board'
    • she works out of sign from YA shelves
    • library doesn't allow IM
    • many patrons don't have home internet access anyway
  • So, Laura placed a suggestion envelop on an empty slot near the YA magazines
    • "it's where the patrons are"
  • and received suggestions
    • it's as anonymous or open as patrons wish
  • to which she posted responses.
    • "it's interactive"
    • it connects with YA patrons and hopefully helps them feel "connection with the library and with 'their' librarian."
And that's when I wanted to make notes I would share (thinking of fellow students)...

As definition of 'Library 2.0' as a label appears to be subjective, I've avoided exploring its origins or discussions surrounding definition or defining it out-loud for myself.

Yet, for my own purposes (limited, as a library student) I guess I have chosen my own definition ... when I del.icio.us tag "Library2.0" I'm specifically referencing discussions/examples about library use of Web2.0 social networking software for better practice. It seems to me that principles of quality, or best practice for libraries (having been around since the dawn of libraries) span too many issues for such a nifty label to remain relevant. Now that I've shown that to myself, I know why I was nodding in agreement sometime in the last 36 hours when I skimmed
So, Laura's strategy to solicit suggestions from YA patrons, act on those suggestions and communicate that action provides quality library service to her YA patrons. It is sound practice: an affordable, effective strategy. To my mind it isn't a Library 2.0 strategy, but quality library practice doesn't have to be Library 2.0.

My school (TAFE) library recently displayed at the inner door of the library responses to suggestions received (ie what was being done to fix problems). This was quality library patron service (ie not just acting, but communicating about the action). The complaints and responses also appeared on the Library's Feedback page ... Library 1.5?

In all my adoration of Library 2.0, I am conscious that one of the major values (to me) of libraries, particularly public libraries, is equitable access to human knowledge for all who might wish to educate themselves. That is, for me, Library = access to knowledge for all.

I believe that provision of adequate public access computers (PACs) is as vital to the goal of equitable access to knowledge as is a sound budget for ongoing collection development. (and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one).

However, even if PAC quality and quantity were adequate, quality library practice will not occur solely with Library 2.0 (ie web-based) strategies, because not all patrons choose to live 2.0.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Lego on YouTube... These boots are made for walking



Okay, remember how I love the journey as much or more than the destination? Let me try to track back how I found this...

Helene Blowers Library 2.0 bootcamp blog

'cause hers was first on the Library2.0 bootcamp participant blog list and she's commented on my blog.

From Michelle Boule's ALA TechSource Blog post 'What a long strange trip'

Which I'm now reading at Bloglines ... an experiment, as I was very happy with my Feedblitz emails.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Flickr Photographer

anticipation


anticipation
Originally uploaded by YvetteDownunder.
Wow, I found a photo of my sister, while perusing one of my idol's photos.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

23Things #5.a.1 Tulip


Tulip
Originally uploaded by swarme.
Good heavens there is a lot to flickr.
I'm looking forward to trying out fd's Flickr Toys, and I'd like to have a go at the other optional activities in 23Things #5.

However, for the sake of going to bed before I have to be up, I don't have a lot to say about swarme's tulip. Clearly I'm contemplating that my own first photo was also a tulip from above, but I like swarme's black background - how does one get so much blackness?

Saturday, September 30, 2006

So is it pink or mauve


Margie says mauve. I say pink.

Margie's tulip from Alex


I stopped by to see Margie earlier. She was gardening (natch) so I pitched in for a while, and when we stopped for lunch I also did some experimenting with the new camera. Margie's tulip from Alex came up nicely, it doesn't move around like Titch.

LSJ Editors' Blog

My thanks to Sharon and [aliaSTUDENTS] for informing me about the first issue of Library Student Journal.

I enjoyed thinking about how instant messaging might or might not serve patrons, stimulated by Licia Slimon's IM reference service for teens case study. And I particularly enjoyed the editor's explanation of why the journal is produced for open access.

Who wouldn't be curious what happens at the LSJ Editors' Blog? I'm glad I was
... Google jockeys? ... so I'm curious, doubtful (how distracting), critical (for effective teaching wouldn't planning an engaging presentation be more valuable?), and back to curious (if anyone has found such an activity valuable for the subject of the 'lecture' how and why?)

and

At some stage in my course will be a subject on library space design, and when I saw Jessamyn's post about SPL's signage woes, felt I must make a note.

"the weird juxtaposition of amazing architecture with crummy laser-printed signage or post-it signage."


Updated 29 May 2010: Links, as Library Student Journal and the editor's blog have moved at least once.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Talk Like a Pirate Day training video #1

I'm experimenting with posting about videos - can't do it from MySpace, which is disappointing because I would have included Weird Al's White and Nerdy, but perhaps YouTube will be friendlier.



Unfortunately YouTube appears to be having trouble accessing my blogger details to set up my blog at YouTube... so I wonder whether I can just post the embed script by email?



Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Talk Like A Pirate Day

What a coincidence, I just submitted, as a course assignment, a Program of annual Library events, in which I proposed that it would be fun to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Naturally staff might need some training - for which, I suggested, we could collect phrases, and soundtracks, and maybe watch movies.

So guess what I find today? ...Pirate Phrases - TalkLikeAPirateDay which has a link to videos at YouTube demonstrating Pirate speech Aaaaargh!

Okay, so Google didn't do a special logo this year, and apparently they were great sports in the spirit of their reply... but what I loved seeing was the nifty pirate's keyboard at The New Marketing : Pirate-speakin' Google not be celebratin' no Pirate day

Sunday, September 17, 2006

September 17: Assignments IN!

I'm trying to see whether blogging is an effective way to promote future events for ABA.

On this day, I'm hoping to blog that my last assignments for the year have been submitted.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Building Community - North Portland Tool Library

So friends of mine who scoff at my ideas ... here's another one that's been done (thanks for pointing it out Superpatron): "The North Portland Tool Library is a community resource that loans a wide variety of tools to community members free of charge. The Tool Library benefits North Portland residents by reducing the costs of maintaining and improving their homes, building community, and sustaining diverse, livable neighborhoods."

Hm, and topping that, Superpatron reader 'ctr' tells that Berkeley Public Library have absorbed Berkeley's Tool Lending Library - and yes, I checked, items are listed and searchable in the catalog. That's how I think it should be. I'd love to see my local public library do that.

Better book lists

Thanks Superpatron for nudging me via Rebecca's pocket to find the booklists at waterboro public library and Morton Grove Public Library where I actually found a list of cat character mystery books. Now I just need time to peruse that list (trying not to feel pessimistic about the chances of finding copies in my local library - although I have discovered that CHRLC have actually stopped charging reservation fees!), and then find cats in other genres.

Now imagine if library catalogues had a field for booklists (like those LoC subject headings). Of course tagging methods might address this need - but they're vulnerable to spelling variations ... I wonder how Hennepin have combined some of their "If you liked..." lists with their catalogue (like the If you liked ... The Lord of the Rings - anyone tell me?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Library Link - Victorian public library portal

Library Link wasn't news to me but after seeing that the Hennepin County Library catalog offers users the ability to comment on items, as well as read summaries, reviews and excerpts, when I read Connecting Librarian's Library Link - Victorian public library portal post all I could think about was wanting to be able to search the catalog more effectively, and to interact with other patrons about the items we read or view - what is the chance Library Link will allow any of that before I'm older and greyer?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

23Things #5

#5 I briefly explored Flickr with interest after seeing what some libraries had been doing with Flickr while researching library marketing and promotions.

However this ''lesson'', suggests so much more will be tasty.

... it'll have to wait.

Monday, September 04, 2006

23 Things #4 ... & Supermodel 2.0

Register your blog on PLCMC Central and begin your Learning 2.0 journey. Will I? Maybe after September 17.

Just when I began to wonder whether to blog, or save, or note or otherwise the long list of PLCMC Participant Blogs, I surfed past Supermodel 2.0 so now I'm learning about Evidence Based Library & Information Practice, instead of completing assignments.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Saturday, September 02, 2006

23 Things #2

I like the articulate powered presentation tool used to present the Seven and 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners by which PCLMC's training specialist Lori Reed introduced pointers from lifelong learners. So I how well do I 'nurture {my} own learning process'?

1. My learning goals are very open-ended.
I want to learn everything I can about working in libraries so that when I have finished supervising the boys' homeschooling I might become employed in a library.
I want to learn about these wonderful technologies to find ways to simplify the collaborative processes in volunteering for ABA, and to enhance interactive relations with library patrons.
Other learning goals: non-violent communication, Auslan, other languages - have to wait.
2. I have always taken responsibility for my own learning. I'm also encouraging the boys to do the same.
3. I view problems as challenges or opportunities to learn.
4. I generally think of myself as a competent learner.
5. My toolkit grows: huge library of books; I avoid expenditure on technology until I am certain it will be an investment; I take classes as necessary; I discuss what I want to learn from my friends and acquaintances (mentors); have ready access to the internet.
6. I do use the internet and tutorials as a primary how-to resource.
7. When opportunities arise, I teach what I've learned to others.
7.5. Play - I play with what I learn - though I am frugal with my time and $$$.

Easiest habit? Take responsibility for my own learning.
Hardest habit? Playing with what I learn - I'm a little serious.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Paper Hats

On September 9, at the Australian Breastfeeding Association Goldfields Regional Meeting I have planned a deBono Thinking Hats session to contemplate the issue of the cost of 2007 conference and training. I thought it might be fun to have coloured hats to wear while we think in each colour, so I went looking for paper hat instructions.

Using a large coloured sheet might get a little pricey - but perhaps the boys could paint some made from newspaper. CreativeKidsAtHome had suggestions to achieve the different shapes I'd like to use. Enchanted Learning offer an origami samurai hat. Then there is one way to make four different hats. Then there is the white chef's hat or, from about.com a green leprechaun hat or black top hat.

A green garden hat (from Playschool).

Not so usable for me, but fascinating: While the Smithsonian introduced the Mad Hatter, they don't have images online, so it is Mr Paper I thank for my first image of Moses' beautiful headware sculptures. I'm equally grateful to the student artists, their teacher and Dwight-Englewood School for displaying the students' Mad Hatter inspired creations.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hot Library Smut

Hot Library Smut

For once I don't care how I found it - my night-time fantasties are fuelled for months. This is one I'll look at each night before bed, and fantasise about one day getting hardcopy.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Having Fun: How Girly Are You?




You Are 40% Girly



You are a pretty hardcore tomboy, and a very free spirit.

Gender roles be dammed, you like to do things your way.



Girls-Only Blogthings - How Girly Are You?

Friday, August 25, 2006

del.icio.us/moonflowerdragon

My latest Web 2.0 exploration is with del.icio.us/moonflowerdragon

It appears to operate a little more easily than google's notebook. With the notebook I can't organise the notes without opening a full screen. However I don't know how easy organising with del.icio.us will be as I am still unused to tagging. I cannot guess the full range of tags I will wish I had applied.

Obviously I'll tag to be able to find relevant content. But can I come up with nifty tags to help me refind the sites whose design or features I liked? I have tagged 'reread' and 'surfstart', for those pages I want to get back to, one day, when I have more time.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Impressive Libraries

Thanks to a feed from ALA Tech Source, I am once again distracted from program and agenda planning by the beautiful things some libraries are doing.

Princeton's web-face doesn't approach the best - but I love their physical presence and services from what I could see on Michael Stephens' Flickr show of his tour .

Darien's web-face is white and wordy - but I think those eight blogs are a great way to communicate with patrons.

For web-presence Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County is a hot competitor.  I'll need to spend lots of time, some other time, comparing it to others - I'll be viewing those multimedia tours, for a start.

But back to work for now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dewey Decimal Classification

I'm not sure how relevant the DDC will be to my sons.  Possibly they'll only need a basic appreciation of the system in order to use libraries.  I'd like to learn enough to classify materials myself.  There is an animated tour of the DDC at the Online Computer Library Centre. I wonder whether the notion or practice of classifying websites to DDC is at all useful.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

World Breastfeeding Week is not in Wikipedia

World Breastfeeding Week is not yet listed in Wikipedia's International Observances page.

I don't have time to write something up at the moment, let me know if someone does?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Library Design

Eventually I may do the Library Design topic.  Some links that might help at that time:

Youth Space Album
Kids Space Album
One Small Room

Web 2.0 for ABA?

When my course assignments, regional meeting and CE workshop are behind me; when we have that extra computer for the boys; when we have found a cheaper home or replacement funds to be able to stay where we are: I want to contact ABA's website working group and join abachat to discover whether anyone else has been considering whether Web 2.0 can benefit the Australian Breastfeeding Association's working groups and volunteer efforts.

I'm thinking Flickr could image share as well as make our activity public.

I'm thinking Wikis to assist with development of training materials and the material in the Community Relations Kit.

Maybe I'll set up a test Wiki to explore all the ideas. For now, just noting for myself the webpages that will help me think about it:

techsoup - the technology place for non-profits: Exploring the World of Wikis,

I'll check back at 10 ways nonprofits can use blogs, and Brand new and useful: a survey of the week's newest tools, and as they refer to tagging - best check out Thirteen tips for effective tagging.

I skimmed over Rethink your organisation's website because I think ABA's website is great, very carefully thought out, well-upgraded from time to time.

Other things like podcasts or RSS feeds, might want to start from.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I'll be doing 23 Things... eventually

With wistful sigh that I am not a staff member of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County to be motivated by their wonderful incentives, when my assignments and workshop organisation are out of the way by September 17, I plan to get cracking on the 23 Things
23 Things (or small exercises) that you can do on the web to explore and expand your knowledge of the Internet and Web 2.0

It looks like I've begun already, but there are some new ones there for me.

I'm impressed with the whole project as an entertaining staff training method - modelling, motivating, respectful of adult choice, collaborative.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tracking bloggers of Australian Breastfeeding Association

How many things can I find to distract me from the current assignment?

I merely contemplated how a blog format main page like that of Plainview Public Library, might facilitate updating the website of my local Australian Breastfeeding Association group, thought I remembered seeing another group's website that did use a blog format, and googled a bit.  Didn't find what I sought but was fascinated to find how many people have blogged about the association, or breastfeeding with links to ABA.

For example:
Tell me about others?

Flickr_ing Libraries

I'd like to see my public library improve its web presence - and I'll write more about that later...

one of the features I've enjoyed on some library sites (not ones where the number of photos is huge, and the images look like there has been absolutely no selection so it is like the same photo with slight variations) is a Flickr widget.

Such as at: Sherrard Public Library, Albany, Plainview, Thomas Ford (Libraries & Librarians on Flickr)

I have to learn more about how it can be used to enhance a website - like whether it can enable patrons to view the library's images without having to leave the library's website. Perhaps I could start at Tame the Web's push, ten, ten more or world-rocking reasons.

Another excellent item would be linking to and encouraging patrons to contribute to National Library of Australia's PictureAustralia by Flickr endeavour, for example I didn't find any of Australia's classic breastfeeding images at PictureAustralia.

The Libraries and Librarians Flickr group discussion included responding to patron concerns. I'm glad one of the comments pointed to Michael Stephens blogarticle Flickr + Libraries = Scary, Scary, Scary to Some Folks.

Then, when I've had enough of Flickr I can go back to studying in more detail the first modern steps for a library to connect with its public.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

More library promotion

This time, Kathleen Odean's ideas to encourage moms & daugh ters to read at home led to these ideas

"Read Mermaid Janine before going swimming or starting swimming lessons."  Following on from reading other relevant books before for example walking at a pond, going to a circus or the zoo - I thought - I just don't think about reading related books before such things - but then...

What if the library briefly reviewed some of their relevant books for the aquatic centre newsletter, perhaps in a series? 


@rt library

@rt library - that's the way I want to be introduced to art.  Maybe with sparkers too.

Library Activities & Special Events - sleepover?

With life's typical unfurling style despite the months' advance notice of my obligation to present a library event, with seven days to go I have still not decided what to present. Leave aside that I don't work in a library so will be presenting on a theoretical event, the wealth of ideas (eg one list and another[book week]) is just too distracting to make a decision.

I like the idea of a sleep-over for older children ( Gracie Woodard claims it helps the library staff bond with the community:
  • Most impressive was Julie Page's Girl Scout book badge earner: with its heavy theme on book preservation.
  • Locked in the library - Apparently the Town of Newington library has one annually for children ages 6-12. Children bring their own sleeping bags, pillows and parent/caregiver. They sing karaoke, make crafts, hear bedtime stories, eat snacks and have breakfast in the morning.
  • A halloween sleepover at Enfield featured a spooky campfire, special candles and ghost stories.
  • Joy Hanchett of Southern Adirondack Library System found the American girls sleepover book and Statewide Summer Reading Program manual useful in filling out her library campout night.
  • As an unschooler I'm not convinced of the value of using a sleepover as a prize/enticement for reading volume such as a Robert W Rowe Public Library although I'd like to know more from their perspective, and what happened at the sleepover.
  • At Northland Public Library they had a family sleepover - I'd love to know more about it and their other Library Week activities: customer appreciation contest, a read-a-thon, book nook discounts, and special adult and children's programs. They also have regular teen movie nights, and game nights.
  • Not sure that this would transfer to a public library, but Bement School's sleepover sounds like it was fun (elements: movies, pizza, facials [it was all girls] and a conga line]). I wonder what other items were auctioned at the Spring Fling and were "the Jacksons" the parents who won the sleepover at auction?

Book/activity ideas

Then, when surfing from that one list:

  • From book/activity ideas for fathers & sons, I brainstormed more of my own:
    • Combining crafts and books: Reading (search library for picture books re: trip, travel, postcards) then make some postcards and send them to friends and relatives.  Maybe Australia Post might sponsor the event with some postcard-backing or blank postcard supplies.
    • From "Take a low-key field trip in conjunction with a picture-story book. Read Matthew's Meadow and then take a walk in a meadow."  I began thinking about taking a pseudo-trip through the library - with super-large models between the stacks or in window-spaces - craft/colour activities could be placed near the window-scenes (I'm envisioning  window-sized scenes now!
    • Could the make your own book idea be done in a library?: Perhaps in a 6-10 week program?  Library (sponsor?) provides a blank 'book', and week by week different illustrative methods are used to expand a story or anthology.  Add an "About the Author" paragraph.
    • Having music by a composer/musician playing in the background during a children's biography of the composer/musician - and continue with free-form drawing to the music.
    • An ongoing book club or storytime program might "travel around the world" with a map in the library progressively charting locations from books read/discussed.
    • This one "Read a novel in conjunction with a trip to a geographic region: Go Fish for Florida, Nekomah Creek for Oregon, and so on..." I thought, well unless there are a lot of stories about local places its not a library event - but then if the library's website has discussion boards or a wiki (which I think is a great idea with libraries connecting local people online) then this could be a topic for the board - first a suggestion to families with an invitation to write back about it (and maybe send a postcard - all of which could be displayed as they come in and collected, bound for the local history collection).
    • Many other ideas could also be expanded through such a discussion board: including the stories of our travels with audio-books.
  • Same list, no additional inspiration, but I like them and want to find the books that put it together (but get an artist-type to do the activities)
    • After reading a book illustrated with collage, try making a collage. Or paint with watercolors after seeing watercolor illustrations in a book.
    • This idea didn't take me anywhere for a library promotion but I am very curious about the books: "If you live in a city, read Alphabet City, then go look for letters in your urban setting. With older children, read Round Buildings, Square Buildings, and Building That Wriggle Like a Fish, then take a walk and talk about the buildings you see." (Actually this also might be a theme for a library field-trip combined with a discussion board topic, with photos being collected for a local history collection).
    • Clearly for an teen or pre-teen book club: match a novel to a  movie, enjoy & compare.
  • Same list, not sure how appealing it would be in a library - but would love to hear experience that supports the idea (in a library setting):
    • Read a biography together about an artist and take a trip to a museum. Paint a picture or make a sculpture together. Since children's book have a limited number of reproductions of paintings, find a book for adults with even more pictures to look at.

Marketing the Library

This online training package fairly well covers the point of one of my
current subjects.

http://www.olc.org/marketing/

It is prettier than my subject handbook.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

How well is WebCT used at University of Ballarat?

I think Ryan Tansey is luckier with his experience of how well Blackboard is used by faculty at University of Puget Sound than I have been with WebCT and University of Ballarat.

It might be interesting to see an evaluation tool for such a judgement.

In my course at UB (Advanced Diploma of Library and Information Services):

I have been happy that assignments must be posted online rather than in print, and that all assignments are accessible online. I have enjoyed using the quiz feature on those few occasions when it is part of the assessment.

It is great that course material is also posted online - although I think considerable face-to-face time is wasted not with the handout of the same thing in print because that doesn't take long, but in plowing through that print material together. To me it would be more valuable to require reading of material and an activity such as one of Ryan's professors: "generate at least one question and two comments for every reading assignment" or even better - a quiz or two - leaving class-time for discussion, clarification, valuable collaborative assessment tasks.

I have enjoyed being able to easily email lecturers whenever I am tackling a problem rather than trying to schedule a phone call during the day.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ms Stackman fun

I wonder if I'll ever get time to find out whether Ms Stackman is fun?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Proud of my state library - its history

Is valuing and preserving history and knowledge an essential characteristic of civilisation? If so, is the formation of free public libraries an integral development of a civilisation? I'm not sufficiently curious to research that at the moment. I became only slightly curious on that point when I began to wonder whether the fact that I personally highly value the philosophy of free public libraries is simply a consequence of being a product of my civilisation and culture. In which case, it would not be surprising that I connect with the objectives of the founders of the State Library of Victoria who built cultural institutions to provide access to useful knowledge to assist in the growth and development of our society. And it would also then only be natural for me to be grateful that Sir Redmond Barry envisioned a ' great emporium of learning and philosophy, of literature, science and art'

And yet, I've visited the State Library only three times: first as a secondary student when the museum was still located on the same site; secondly with my godfather who introduced my sons and I to the chess room; and thirdly thanks to my library technicians' course including a rapid but comprehensive tour including glimpses behind the scenes. Still, while I've never accessed the State Library of Victoria for my own research, my knowledge of my world includes awareness that knowledge gained by others in my society is valued, accumulated, collected, preserved and accessible should I ever need it. Just how much we make use of that knowledge in constructing our future is a bunch of different questions.

Reading the history of the State Library of Victoria online I was engrossed:


  • I appreciated the foresight of the founders' criteria for building design that it should be capable of expansion (and since the tour which mentioned the leaking & service issues that have come with expansions, I wonder whether those experiences have contributed hindsight for architecture and building).
  • I bless the government who wisely passed the Copyright Protection Act in 1869 (and later the Libraries Act 1988) 'requiring that a copy of every book, magazine, pamphlet and map published in Victoria should be lodged at the Library by the publisher' even if that meant providing 'everything' Victorian rather than just 'the best of everything' desired by Sir Redmond Barry.
  • I wondered about the experiences of the people who perhaps struggled with the decisions and circumstances through which the library evolved over time:
    • the travelling libraries scheme, 1859-1981
    • the lending service, 1892-1971
    • understandable diversion of resources to universities,
    • changing focus to acquire Australiana since the 1950s,
    • overturning original rules of exclusion to include items of popular culture and contemporary material (I was
    • the onsite library training school, 1948-1970 (what was it like to train there? what were the assessments like?)
    • building expansions and preservation to retain the 'order, class and magnitude suitable to the prospects of the country'
    • sharing then not sharing location with the museum and art gallery,
    • introducing automated cataloguing.

While I can't afford to buy Treasures of the State Library of Victoria, from which the text of the online history is taken, I certainly plan to read it next time I'm in.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to take the tour in person - to explore and experience the building so well restored and developed. While the online tour offers a little taste, on site was entrancing.

Monday, June 26, 2006

*&^%$#@! assignment time again

The unit: Develop and apply knowledge of library information services.

The first assignment: 

Write a report (1000 words for each library) on the State Library of Victoria, The Museum Library and one other Academic or Public Library.  Report should include: brief summary of the library's history; account of the information role of the library and its relationship with its users; summary of management and reporting structure; discussion of key issues facing the library; summary of key legislation which effects (sic)(?affects) library's role and performance.

Why it is *&^%$#@!:
I hate writing solely for the purpose of being assessed on what I've written.  Valuable purposes of formal writing are to compose information useful in content and style to the work's reader.  My assessor already knows this stuff so what I write can't be useful to her.  When "what is in it for me" is only a grade I feel sick.

So: To get around that I have to:
  • find a personal motive, maybe:
    • a focussed series of entries for my blog
      • What this unit contributes to my industry knowledge
      • How that new knowledge could contribute to my future work in the industry
      • Preferably: what I enjoyed learning or found interesting or personally relevant
    • if I had a workplace I might "report" to a staff meeting or staff blog / wiki - but I don't yet;
    • career planning - too far away: I'll be homeschooling for a few more years.
  • maybe alter my 'educated' notions of what a report looks like
    • (boring... headings, sub-headings, prose content, conclusion)
    • play with the assessment criteria invitation to organise it 'innovatively'
Priority: Get it done!
  • Writing to format frustrated me to tears
    • eg SLV have pages galore dedicated to the areas relevant to the inclusions for my short report
    • all of which I find interesting
    • I would have to summarise what has already been extensively summarised.
  • Break it into pieces
    • There are two more assignments in this unit due in 28 days
    • := 9 days each
    • := 3 days each library of this one.
    • := 1/2 day per element to include.
    • leaving hopefully enough time to wrap it all up in a report!
????

Saturday, June 24, 2006

xrefer brainteaser: learning ... guessing ... knew

I knew that Judas Iscariot was the name of the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver.

I knew that a "buttinski" is a 'Mr Pointy Nose', one who interferes, a meddler ...?a social worker?

I guessed that Williams Shakespeare was the dramatist wrote the words "Cowards die many times before their deaths"

I described a "martinet" as a bossy-boots, a tyrant, a control-freak, an iron-gusset, one who insists things be done by the book - is that close enough to ""?

I learned [again] that a "Dutch nightingale" is a frog.

I guessed from vague recollection that a dodo was a large bird native to Mauritius though I wasn't certain it wasn't Madagascar [it wasn't]

I learned that the poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" about a sailor shooting an albatross - was written by Coleridge and thanks to the electronic text center of the University of Virginia Library I now know the source of the phrase " Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink."

I guessed that the Roman deity Janus had two faces, though I'm going to have to re-check who that was.

I described a "dotard" as a dotty old person.

I learned that the American politician was known as "the Illinois gorilla" and "the original gorilla" was Abraham Lincoln.  Issy & Lotsofstuff recognised that piece of information, Issy thinking they recognised it from the Simpsons.

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