Friday, October 27, 2006

23Things #13

I first became interested in 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 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 tag a flickr photo page the photo appears in my 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.

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, 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 - (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


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,, 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


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 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, so could Pageflakes be worth a look?

Another quick search revealed a possibly not impartial perspective: Web-Based Desktop Startpage Pageflakes - which I might have dismissed but for:
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 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


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

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?


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