Monday, October 1, 2007

Mini Waterfall at Patapsco State Park

Camera Phone Pics 029
Originally uploaded by lizylvania
Two Fridays ago, I had the day off so I decided to take a hike at the Patapsco State Park near my house. Climbing up to the waterfall area reminded me that I am a bit out of shape, but the hike was worth it. My camera phone doesn't do the serenity and beauty of the area any justice.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Things 9, 20, and 21

Ok, so I thought I posted these things already, but in all actuality, I just drafted them. Ooopsie! That'll learn me to pay closer attention to what I am doing! Sorry for the lack of order, but I figured it was just easier to cut and paste them and put them all together in one posting. My apologies to anyone offended by my inconsistency. =-D


I created a Merlin account and a MD23-ning account. I must say that I am a cheater because when I was looking for things, I used the search boxes instead of searching for things on the page. Also, when looking for newsfeeds, I looked for ones that other people had recommended. There is soooo much information available that it was a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but the more exploring I do, the more comfortable I feel with it.

THINIG 20- YouTube
I’ve been a user of YouTube for a while now. I first became acquainted with it a few years ago when one of my friends roped me into being in a “Don’t be afraid to vote” commercial. Since, then, when I need to find video for something, I go to YouTube first. The only bad thing about YT is that anyone can put stuff on the site and there are great discrepancies in quality. The video that I chose for this exercise is and it’s about fainting goats. I discovered fainting goats a few years ago and when I am having a bad day, a fainting goat video can make me smile.
One feature that I think would be helpful to add to the library catalog would be the 5 start rating thing they do. I am sure that patrons would love to be able to rate the books they check out and to see how other books are rated.

Thing 21- Podcasts

I’d never listened to a podcast before MD23, but the experience was a good one.

I added a few podcasts to my bloglines. Although I was not able to listen to them yet, they look promising. One looks like it has things for children to listen to. If it IS indeed what I think it will be, it is an awesome concept. It would allow children to listen to pre-recorded storied via internet. I chose this one because you didn’t need a special player to listen to them. I also added an RSS feed for LibVibe, which is a library news site. The few times I’ve been able to find time to listen to the podcast, I liked it because it was like a radio station of just library-related items.

For grins and giggles, I also subscribed to a few history and education podcasts via iTunes and they have proven mot interesting. I subscribed to a one that is a daily Spanish learning podcast (they didn’t have a Russian podcast, so I settled even though I speak no Spanish just to explore). Unfortunately, the podcasts in iTunes are a bit on the limited side for the subjects that I am interested in, but they are fascinating none the less.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thing 23- Summarizing! Huzzah!

Whew! I finally made it to the end. Because I am horrible at thinking of what to say, I am just going to use the questions in the "if you are drawing a blank" prompt. Please forgive my lack of originality. :)

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey? My favorite discovery activities were and right now, Project Gutenburg is coming a close second. I have already shown a handful of our regular library patrons Librarything and they love it too. It's an easy and effective way to keep a log of what books you have read. The only downfall is that the free account is limited to two hundred books. My solution to get around this? Start a second listing with the number 2 after your original log in. It keeps it simple. :) Project Gutenburg is running a close second because they, unlike other web-based e/audiobook sites, have literature in foreign languages. I still have many aspects to explore, but I am smitten with it already.
How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? This program has shown me that not all technology is scary and there are so many resources on line that we don't know about that could prove themselves valuable in the library setting.
Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? An unexpected outcome for this program is that I feel more confident and comfortable in manipulating technology. Sure, I am not a pro and there are bound to be mistakes, but as long as there is a decent tutorial and I follow directions, I'll be fine and nothing is irreparable.
What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? I think that having the option to do the program with a buddy would be very beneficial for a lot of people who are not as confident as others. I notices in a lot of braches, there was a lot of natural-pairing with staff, if for nothing more than moral support.

And last but not least… If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again chose to participate? Probaby yes. It was very helpful in exploring the newer technologies. Without the program, I would have never been exposed to certain sites. It would be nice to have another program in maybe two years to see how technology has changed. (Every year would just become burdensome and wouldn't make as much an impact as a bi-yearly program, in my opinion.)
How would you describe your learning experience in a few words or a few sentences, so we can share our successes and promote this program?

Thing 22-Project Gutenburg, Overdrive and NetLibrary

I explored NetLibrary, Overdrive and Project Gutenburg. I wound up getting lost in the world of Gutenburg because they have foreign language books in both audio and e-text format. As a linguist, I became quickly fascinated at all of the languages they provide. Granted, some languages only have 1 or 3 items under the language listing, but still, it was far more material than was available elsewhere. Also, it was easier to manipulate than Overdrive and NetLibrary. The only downfall that I came across may just be an error of my behalf, but the etext items were only viewable, not able to be saved on my computer like the audio files were.

I am very curious (and excited!) to see how Project Gutenburg evolves over the next few months and the next few years.

"7.5 Habits..." AKA "The Accidentally Skipped Thing 2"

I inadvertantly skipped "Thing 2"! Ooops! Thanks for the reminder e-mail!

The easiest habit for me is accepting responsibility for my own learning. I love learning new things and go out of my way to find new things to learn, even if it is something obscure like "the newest symbol to the Internation Phonetic Alphabet is a symbol representing a labio-dental flap, but it not found in Standard American English". (As an aside, I am a language/linguistics junkie and actually had a small celebration with friends over the labio-dental flap.:-D) If ever a day goes by that I fail to learn something, it will be because I failed to make the effort to learn something. Ultimately, I am the ONLY one to be held accountable for my own learning. Besides, how do you get someone to learn for you?

Definitely, the hardest habit for me is to view a problem as a "challenge". I am overly practical at times and I call things as I see them. Problems are problems and shouldn't be sugar-coated. Sometimes I am viewed as having a negative perspective on certain things because I call them like I see them, but to me, it's just being honest without any attempt at deception. The way the distinction works in my mind is like this: A challenge can be accepted or denied. A challenge can also be met or you can fail the challenge. Problems have an immediacy. Problems need to be solved. To me, there is a distinct difference between the two. Problems are a little more immediate and require attention. A challenge is not as immediate and it can be put on then back-burner. I don't know, but to me, it's very difficult to call an apple an orange. Like I said earlier, often times, my practicality is perceived as pessimism, but I am working like a fiend to overcome this. For those of you who know me: Please be patient; I am a work in progress. =-D

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Things 15, 16, and 17

Thing 15: Because I read the entries for perspectives on Library 2.0, I had to go back and re-read them and the same thing stood out to me both times that I went through them.
"Librarian 2.0 controls technolust. This librarian does not buy technology for the sake of technology. “Techno-worship” does not exist here. Without a firm foundation in the mission and goals of the institution, new technologies are not implemented for the sake of coolness and status. Technology is put to the test: Does it meet the users need in a new or improved way? Does it create a useful service for putting users together with the information and experience they seek? These are some of the questions this librarian asks when planning for technology. This librarian creates and nurtures a living, breathing technology plan." From my personal experience, people believe one of two things- 1: That libraries are outdated and will eventually become extinct on favor of all information being accessible online and 2: Libraries follow the latest trends and have unlimited fundin to roll back and forth on the trends-tide and to be able to follow with popular, no matter how impractical. I like how this passage explains how all technologies have to be assessed and analyzed to see if it will prove useful for long-term use by library users. I think that more people need to take a step back and realize that the library, while not not out dated and well on the way to extinction, that we actually have to take time and effort and energy to apick technologies that are useful and benefitial for the entire library community.

Thinhg 16- I thought that the usage of the wikis for book lists and reviews was a very good usage of the concept of a wiki.

Thing 17- Even though it took me a while to figure out how to add my blog and link it, I think I did it right. :)