Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Information R/evolution

Thanks to Engaged Learning for pointing me to this video. It's about a year old but still so relevant to why Social Learning is so important. The video's description states:

"This video explores the changes in the way we find, store, create, critique, and share information. This video was created as a conversation starter, and works especially well when brainstorming with people about the near future and the skills needed in order to harness, evaluate, and create information effectively."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quarryville Youth Services Blog

A big thumbs up to Nikki Hartman, Youth Services Coordinator at the Quarryville Library for starting the QVL Youth Services Blog. I'm subscribed, are you?!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thriller - National Library of Australia Style

Thanks to American Libraries Direct for sharing a link to this YouTube video from the Staff at the National Library of Australia in Canberra. They really get creative when it comes to the annual Christmas staff party. Who says libraries don't throw good parties?!

And check out what they did LAST year? I wonder if they need a trainer? (just kidding...)

Nonprofits in Second Life Video

This link was in my Techsoup weekly email - By the Cup It really makes me wish my computer had a video card that could handle Second Life. Unfortunately, my virtual body breaks in half when I try to move around in the virtual world. I feel like I am missing a lot of great opportunities! Anyway, this is a great video of how Nonprofits are using Second Life successfully despite a lot of misunderstanding. From this link:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I am Not Unique

Unlike Beth who IS unique, I am not:
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Thanks Beth for another fun online toy...

How I Learn Online

Marianne did a wonderful post that describes beautifully how I continue my education for my job online, daily. Her ten steps are exactly what I have done over the 5 years in my position to help me. I will continue to do this and hope you will take some of her advice! Go over and read her ten steps - NOW. PS, I also do this in other areas like my hobbies, parenting and my faith. I love to learn and doing so in this manner is efficient, powerful and breeds success in many areas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let Me Google That For You

Thanks to the BaldGeek for pointing me to the Let Me Google That For You site. Now, for those people who don't bother to Google something before asking another person, just type in the google search for them at this site and share the link with them. Here's an example of the results.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Libraries Offer Free Relief from Tough Times

Seems libraries are getting a lot of attention these days in our hurting economy. Too bad we're experiencing some deep cuts at the state and local levels this year in our area. The whole country is really feeling the pain. Here is NBC Nightly News reporting on the value of libraries in tough economic times:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How to Help Someone Use a Computer

Librarians are computer trainers by default because of the Public Computers present in most libraries today. However, did they receive computer training classes during their library studies? Thanks to Brenda Hough who posted this great article written by Phil Agre titled "How to help someone use a computer". These are great tips and ones any computer trainer should become familiar with.

I also COMPLETELY agree wtih Brenda's additional tip. She states:
"The tip I would add to the list (and I think it fits with Agre’s, “Never do something for someone that they are capable of doing for themselves”) is try not to take control of someone’s mouse unless absolutely necessary and only then after asking permission."
I can't stand to see someone just grab a mouse out of a user's hand; what an insult!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

g-speak Spatial Operating System

I learned about this on geekbrief today.

Oblong Industries is the developer of the g-speak spatial operating environment. From their website:
"The SOE's combination of gestural i/o, recombinant networking, and real-world pixels brings the first major step in computer interface since 1984; starting today, g-speak will fundamentally change the way people use machines at work, in the living room, in conference rooms, in vehicles. The g-speak platform is a complete application development and execution environment that redresses the dire constriction of human intent imposed by traditional GUIs. Its idiom of spatial immediacy and information responsive to real-world geometry enables a necessary new kind of work: data-intensive, embodied, real-time, predicated on universal human expertise."

To me, it just looks like Minority Report coming to real life and the hope that I will one day NOT have to use a mouse (sorry, my memory is too poor to remember all the keyboard shortcuts!). This is truly amazing...

g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stealth Marketing Web2.0 Style

I was reading a friend's blog post today and she mentioned a cool online generator called Yearbook Yourself. So being one who HAS to try these things out I hopped on over. This takes a photo of yourself that you upload and transforms you into yearbook shots from 1950 to 2000. It is very entertaining.

I thought it was just a cute online toy the first few steps - select your gender, upload a picture, and then it said "Please Select Mall". I had NO IDEA what they were referring to, so I just chose one from the list. Up came results and then suggestions of where to shop for the products they mention. Then it hit me - Stealth Marketing - GOTCHA.

This really is quite genius. Turns out Taubman Centers, a network of US shopping malls is behind all of this. You can read about this marketing campaign here.

Well, they got me and they got me good, but I sure did have fun:

Go ahead and guess the years or use the links below to cheat. Truly genius use of Social Software to market!

1. 1952, 2. 1958, 3. 1960, 4. 1962, 5. 1964, 6. 1966, 7. 1968, 8. 1970, 9. 1974, 10. 1982, 11. 1984, 12. 1990, 13. 1994, 14. 1996, 15. 1998, 16. 2000

Friday, November 14, 2008

You Have a Dewey Number

I stumbled on this yesterday and flagged it to blog. Then I saw Jennifer's post today and figured I had to do it too. Go ahead and give it a try.

Stephanie Zimmerman's Dewey Decimal Section:

012 Bibliographies of individuals

Stephanie Zimmerman's birthday: 4/3/1969 = 43+1969 = 2012

000 Computer Science, Information & General Works

Encyclopedias, magazines, journals and books with quotations.

What it says about you:
You are very informative and up to date. You're working on living in the here and now, not the past. You go through a lot of changes. When you make a decision you can be very sure of yourself, maybe even stubborn, but your friends appreciate your honesty and resolve.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Great Uses of Digital Tutorials for Librarians

I just finished another great WebJunction Webinar entitled 24/7 Librarianship: Reaching Patrons with Digital Tutorials - look for it on their archive page.

During the presentation, this great example of Library Promotion was featured, gotta love it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Technology-Related Collection Development Resource

The Tech Static -
from the About page:

"The Tech Static’s creator, Rachel Singer Gordon, wrote Library Journal’s “Computer Media” review column from 2002 until it was retired in October 2008. She launched The Tech Static in November 2008 to fill the resulting gap in the library literature; few library-oriented publications currently review computer books.

The Tech Static is focused on technology-related collection development in libraries. To this end, it contains:
  • Reviews of current computer books
  • Reviews of technology-related titles targeted at librarians
  • Collection development articles (weeding, “must-haves,” balancing a computer book collection)
  • Prepublication alerts
  • Publisher press releases
  • DVD and ebook reviews
  • … and more!

Contact Rachel with questions or comments at"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Electing a US President in Plain English

Common Craft has explained to me in 3 min and 43 sec what I have never truly understood - how votes are counted to elect the President in this country. Seriously, I don't think I every "got it" until now. Yes, I know it's sad, but THANKS CommonCraft for enlightening me:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Twitter Vote Report

I was watching a Rocketboom episode from last week where Joanne reported on Twitter Vote Report. There is also a very good blog post about this on FastCompany's site. Here is the sample note from the site to spread the word - go ahead, use Twitter and be a part of democracy!


On November 4th 2008, millions of Americans will go to over 200,000 distinct voting locations and using different systems and machinery to vote. Some voters will have a terrific experience, and others will experience the same problems we have been hearing about for years - long lines, broken machines, inaccurate voting rolls, and others will experience problems that we haven’t heard about before. That’s why a new citizen-driven election monitoring system called Twitter Vote Report ( was just launched. Using either, iPhone, direct SMS, or our telephone hotlines, voters will have a new way to share their experiences with one another and ensure that the media and watchdog groups are aware of any problems.

And YOU can help! Be a citizen journalist! Submit a report about conditions at your polling place.

Four ways to submit reports to Vote Report:

  • Twitter: include #votereport and other tags to describe the scene on the ground
  • SMS: Send text messages to 66937 (MOZES) starting with the keyword #votereport plus other hash tags
  • iPhone: We have a Twitter Vote Report iPhone app in the App store!
  • Phone: Call our automated system at 567-258-VOTE (8683) to report about conditions, using any touch-tone phone

And if you would like to talk to a human to report bad conditions you’ve observed, please call our partner 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

As news outlets and blogs will report on Election Day stories, is an invaluable resource for thousands of voters to get immediate help. From questions like “where do I vote” or “how do I make sure that my rights are being upheld,” Twitter Voter Report augments these efforts by providing a new way for voters to send text messages (aka tweets) via cellphones or computers which will be aggregated and mapped so that everyone can see the Nation’s voting problems in real-time.

Imagine a nationwide web map with pins identifying every zip code where Americans are waiting over 30 minutes to vote or indicating those election districts where the voting machines are not working. Collectively we will inform each other when the lines are too long and ensure that media and watchdog groups know where problems exist.

For more information, go to The complete list of tags or keywords that you can include in your reports is listed there. And please help to spread the word — send this to everyone you know!"

Friday, October 24, 2008

Genius use of Flickr at Cambridge Libraries

Check out this awesome use of flickr by Cambridge Libraries in Ontario. Each book in the photo has been annotated with a link to the item in their catalog! Imagine, any library could do this to showcase their new arrivals, special program displays, etc. Highlighting this on the library's website would be a great way to advertise and build community. The library could encourage patrons to comment on the photo and become contacts in flickr. Genius, genius, genius! I am continuously amazed by the creativity of librarians!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

AARP Goes Viral Video

Web2.0 marketing techniques are really booming these days. Check out AARP's Viral Video campaign that is storming the Internet right now encouraging all of us to vote on 11/4/08. Go ahead, give it a try... (Don't let the entry shot scare you away, this is definitely rated G)

AARP 08 Video
Enter your name to see who can bring real change to Washington.
First Name:
Last Name:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

JOCO Library Staff Day Video

What an impressive Staff Day Video from Johnson County Library in Overland Park KS. This must be a great place to work! Congratulations on great strategic plans and wonderful video editing :-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Middleburgh Library is so 2.0

I love seeing libraries use the full potential of Web2.0. Middleburgh Library in New York is a prime example. They are using a Blogger blog as their home page. They used slide to create a virtual tour and they have created a New Books widget using AdaptiveBlue's Widget Gallery. They created a site using Google Pages (looks like you have to use Google Sites from now on) for their Online Research and other links on the top right of their site. Their Teen Lounge and Kid's Corner links are separate blogs with styles for those audiences. Each of those blogs have tons of cool Web2.0-ey stuff. Their Instant Help link brings you to a Meebo widget for live chatting - love it! I bet they have spent very little to no money on all of this. It's visually so appealing and easy to navigate. What a shining example!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How did I end up in libraryland?

That is a good question! Lori Reed tagged me for the "how I became a librarian" meme. It started from superstarchivist's friendfeed comment-turned-meme.

The first thing you need to know... I am NOT a librarian. I am a technology trainer who works for a Library System as their Training Coordinator. However, after doing this for almost 5 years, I find I really am developing a passion for libraries and librarians. I was tossing around the idea of an MLIS, but then I started having kids (working on the 2nd one right now - 16 weeks in...), so that plan is on hold right now. Plus, I still can't decide between an MLIS or a Masters in Training & Development.

Here's the strange trip I've taken to land here:

I grew up in a small western Pennsylvania town called, Indiana. From about the age of 6, my goal was to become the next Jacques Cousteau - the amazing marine biologist. Of course, I would be Jacqueline Cousteau. So, all throughout school, I took as many science and math courses as I could and did quite well. I even had the opportunity between my Jr and Sr year of high school to go on a Marine Biology Quest. I won a scholarship to go to Andros Island in the Bahamas (no, it's not Nassau or Grand Bahama, this is an island with NO touristy extras and hotels, but some cabins and research facilities and the bare minimums of comfort). There I got to explore the world's third largest barrier reef and see in person all of the beauty I yearned to see for years from books and TV shows.

Not growing up with a lot of money, I chose a great state school here in Pennsylvania; Millersville University. They have a very good Marine Biology program. So at 18 I traveled all the way across the state to beautiful Lancaster County to begin my quest to become a great scientist. Unfortunately, college science and math are a LOT HARDER than high school science and math and I found that I could not do well in those classes and party at the same time. Go figure. Being young and naive, instead of putting a stop to partying and buckling down, I decided I wasn't smart enough to be a marine biologist and was left to ponder what the heck I was going to be now! My only other love was Spanish and I in no way wanted to be a teacher (isn't THAT ironic). Someone told me that there is a big need for bilingual Social Workers. Ahhh, save the world and become a Social Worker, sounds like a plan.

So I graduated in May of 1991 with a BA in Social Work and Spanish. I really enjoyed my Social Work classes and learned so much from the major. I worked as an SSI Claims Representative for the Social Security Administration until the end of 1998. I found I was pushing beaurocratic papers more than doing true Social Work here, but come on, it was a Federal Government job - great salary, great benefits, how could I possibly leave. To this day I have still not matched the salary I had there when I left. The great part about this job is that here I was, this young college kid and hardly any of the people I worked with had ever used a PC. It was here that I found a love for all things software. I had used computers just a bit in college to write papers, but nothing more than that. I used their computer labs, never had my own computer. When I started my job with SSA, we used terminal computers connected to a Main Frame - you know, the black screens with the green letters. We had 2 PCs in the whole office with Windows 3.something or other. About a year after I started, we moved to a LAN/WAN environment and everyone was shocked by the huge change. I had a knack of picking up software rather quickly and became the go-to person when people had questions or needed help. When the paper forms became incorporated into a software program, I was sent away to be trained and bring that training back to the staff in my office. Well, that did it! After that first time teaching software to my coworkers, I knew that's what I wanted to do as a career.

So, I enrolled in the Computer Information Systems Associate Degree program at Harrisburg Area Community College while still at SSA. I always say I went to school backwards; got the BA, then went for an Associates. I decided at the end of 1998 to take a grass-roots Social Work job just to be sure I didn't fit in that field while at HACC. I worked about a year for a wonderful agency, Tabor Community Services, as an In-Home Intensive Program Counselor helping the homeless to learn how to get a job, establish a residence, and learn to use a budget. I realized I was not cut out to be a Social Worker during that year.

At the end of 1999, I was still at HACC, and was hired by Lancaster County Domestic Relations as their Assistant Systems Administrator. My job was to create training manuals and train all of the new staff when they started and all staff on any changes to the software used. I really enjoyed the work, but felt it was time to leave government work by the end of that year. I also got married in October of 1999 :-) to my wonderful husband, Bill.

Thanks to, I got a job with Spectra Marketing in January of 2000. Here I trained retailers and manufacturers across the country in the consumer packaged goods industry to use geodemographic marketing software. I truly enjoyed this job and got to see so much of the country. But my husband and I bought our first home in April of 2003 and by the end of the year, I didn't want to be flying and away so much.

In December of 2003, I saw an add for a Training Coordinator at LSLC. Sounded interesting, but I was hesitant as I had no background in libraries. I knew immediately during the interview that I had found a gem of a job. Here was the joining of all of my skills. I'm still at social worker at heart, I want to help people. But private industry just wasn't a fit for me. I was back in the non-profit world and found a true love for libraries. Luckily, I was hired in January of 2004.

As soon as I started this job, I began delving into the world of the Social Web. Here I was, a trainer with no library background, being told to create a training program for all of the staff and volunteers of the member libraries and the system employees. There were no other local trainers to go to for help, I was the sole trainer working within the IT department of the system. First, I had to learn Millennium (the ILS) inside and out. I joined the Innovative Users Group and began begging and borrowing all I could through people I met on the listserv. Then, I found WebJunction through a Google search. What a gold mine! I started following people through their blogs, then learned how to subscribe through RSS, and well, the rest is history. All along the way I have shared whatever I have developed, because so many have and continue to share with me. That is the beauty of Web2.0 - SHARING!

My husband and I received a most wonderful gift on 1/5/07 with the birth of our daughter, Xia. We were told we could not have children, so this has been quite the turn of events. Thank goodness I work for libraries and have access to so much information. How fortunate that it would happen after we bought the house and I stopped traveling. That's what I call providence. We found out this summer that Xia will be having a sibling around 3/30/09. Wow, two miracles; what do doctors know?

So, that's my LONG story. If you're still reading, bless you. I think my story proves that you should NEVER settle for a job you are not completely happy with. I just kept job hopping until I landed here and I LOVE my job. I really enjoy working with librarians and bringing them further along their careers with technology is quite the rewarding experience.

As for tagging others in this meme, by now, most of the people I follow have been already tagged. However, I did some workshops recently and there are now a bunch of new blogging librarians in my state. So, I tag... lubrarian, Sharon, Kelley, Jan and Beth.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Guide to Online Video for Nonprofit Professionals

See3 does a nice job of explaining how nonprofits can use online video in their Guide to Online Video. Their description: " This 7-part introduction is designed to get you thinking about online video, and to get you started on the path toward becoming a more web-centric organization." It's worth the watch. You can start by watching episode one:

1. The World We Live In from See3 Communications on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Cyber Smorgasbord

I presented on Wed 10/1/08 at the South Central Chapter of the PA Library Association (PALA). Here are all of the links from the presentation.

Link to PowerPoint on Slideshare:

The Cyber Smorgasbord
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: web2.0 libraries)
What is Web 2.0?: Michael Stephens “The Hyperlinked Library” -

Rich User Interface:

The Web as Platform:,

Technological Changes: Howard Rheingold –

This is Why!: Helene Blowers –

Blogs: Helene Blowers –


Types of Biblioblogs: “Web2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software” – Michael Stephens -

Provide Content and Information: - Ann Arbor MI

Promote a Collection: – Lansing MI

For a Specific Audience: - Lansing MI

From...: - Plainfield IL

A Patron Blogs: - Ann Arbor MI

Creative Titles: - Brooklyn NY

Professional Development:

Local Examples:

Libraries that Blog:

Librarians that Blog:

Implementing Library Blogs: “Web2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software” – Michael Stephens -

Best Practices for Library Blogs: “Web2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software” – Michael Stephens -

Podcasts: Helene Blowers – and

Podcatching Software:,,,

My iTunes:

Podcasts in General: and and

Podcasts in Libraries: – Tom Peters TAP Information Services, – Lansing IL, - Homer Glen IL, - Fairfax Co. VA

MORE Podcasts in Libraries:

Podcasts for Professional Development:,,,

10 Points on Podcasting in Libraries: “Web2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software” – Michael Stephens -

Photo Sharing:

Photo Sharing Sites:,,,,,


My flickr:

Libraries that flickr: - Minnetonka MN, - Lenexa KS, - Hershey PA, Lawrenceville GA

Good flickr Profile: - Lawrenceville GA

Involve!: Minnetonka MN

Library of Congress flickrs:

Library Groups in flickr:,

Get Creative: - Champaign IL

Hints for Using flickr in Libraries: “Web2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software” – Michael Stephens -
Laws for Using Photos You take at Your Library-, Legally, should Libraries NOT be Using flickr?-

Video Sharing:

Video Hosting Services:,,,,

Video Blogs: Helene Blowers – and

Video Blogs in General:,,

Video Blogs in Libraries: Elgin IL, - Arlington Heights IL, Arlington Heights IL, - Fredericksburg PA

Video Contests: - Denver CO, - Lancaster PA

Video Tutorials:, - Fort Wayne IN, Fort Wayne IN

For Fun: – South Bend IN,

Make a Statement:

An Interactive Library: Steve Campion –

10 Steps for Staff Buy-In for Technology Projects: “Web2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software” – Michael Stephens -

Go Download This NOW: – Michael Stephens

Check Out This Resource:

Where to Find Me:

References to images used in the presentation. Most are flickr photos used through the FlickrCC site (all CreativeCommons licenced photos from flickr):

Build Community:

Where are they?:

The Web as Platform:

Wait... Why?:


Types of Biblioblogs:

Implementing Library Blogs:

Best Practices for Library Blogs:



Podcatching Software:

10 Points on Podcasting in Libraries:

Photo Sharing:

Video Sharing:

Video Blogs:

Tips for Using Video in Libraries:

An Interactive Library:

How Do We Do This?:

Don't Feel...:

Be excited...:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Computer Messages I Can Understand

It's time for a good laugh. For some amusing Windows errors, please check out these entertaining examples. Here's one of my favorites:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Web2.0 is Contagious!

I'm so proud of all of the wonderful Web2.0 activities happening across PA since doing the workshops.

Sharon Custer from Eccles-Lesher Memorial Library started a team blog for her library and incorporated a Google Calendar which helped address one of her library's needs. See the blog here. As she stated, "Many of our phone calls are about when our programs are, or to schedule use of the community room. The calendar, which will also go on our web site once we have the full re-design done, will help our patrons find that information even when we are closed. It will also allow all staff to immediately see when something is going on, and whether or not the community room is in use at any time." Great work using the tools to address the needs.

Beth Grant, Youth Services Librarian for the Rebecca M. Arthurs Library actually started a social network before coming to the workshop using Ning. It's called the RMA Parent Connection . It is by invitation only, but she let me peek in as a guest. This is just wonderful. The description states "This social network is an opportunity for parents, grandparents, educators and caregivers in the Brookville area to share resources & ideas." Parents can post their photo, have their own blog, make friends with other parents, share pictures and video and all the other wonderful stuff social networks allow you to do. Here's a screen shot:

Their Teen Services Coordinator (first, how cool that they have one of those...) set up another Ning network called The RMA Teen Connection. It's description states, "This social network is an opportunity for members of the teen book club at Rebecca Arthurs Memorial Library to share resources and ideas". Again, it is invitation only.

Beth also shared a cool Web2.0 tool with me, It allows you to create polls that you can then put on websites.

Lastly, they created a new blog after the workshop that will be promoted to all of the teens in their school district. Check out RMA Teen Space for yourself. Great work Beth and all at your library!

Next up, Linda Young, County Coordinator for Cambria County Library asked me a question about Scribd and iPaper. She read about them at the Internet Tourbus site. First, I'd never seen the Internet Tourbus site that's been around just about as long as the Internet. I added it to my Bloglines reader, of course. I also missed the boat on Scribd and iPaper and read up on those. This would be a great way to share documents on blogs or other avenues on the web. Thanks so much Linda for pointing me to these resources!

Lastly, Lynn Burkholder from Lower Providence Community Library shared an internal blog she set up for their staff. In her words, "I created a blog for our staff to improve communication since so many of us work different shifts, different days, and part-time. We often have information about issues, problems, a change in procedure, and so forth that needs to be passed along. We have a shortcut saved on the desktop of all staff computers and staff members are instructed to check it each time they report for work. Any staff member can post. We can also use it to share information about books we recommend, helpful websites, etc." Since this is a private blog, I will not share the link, but yet another great use of Web2.0 technologies to build communication.

I tell you, I'm learning more and more just watching everyone else. I look forward to continued updates of what people are doing and will continue to share what I learn with all of you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Improve Your Library's Usability

This is a great post by Heather Johnson from It talks about 100 Ways to Improve Usability in Your Library. The intro states:

"With the popularity of Library 2.0, libraries are getting more complicated these days, and it’s becoming harder to make sure that everyone is happy. You have to stay on top of online collections, new library programs, websites, and more. Read on to find out how you can make these and other components of your library better, and make life easier for yourself and the people that visit your library."

These are grouped into the following sections:

  • General
  • Website
  • Catalog & Search
  • Availability
  • Staff
  • Library Environment
  • Interaction
  • Computers
  • Equipment
  • Kid Friendly
  • Fun Tools

Web 2.0 Hands On Workshops are Finished

Wow, August was quite a busy month for me. I used up 6 days of vacation in order to do some workshops across the state of PA for Commonwealth Libraries. These were Web 2.0 Hands On Workshops and I had a great time meeting many librarians across the state willing and ready to learn how to play with 2.0 technologies. If you want to see all of the information we covered, check out the workshop wiki. I think I learned as much as each participant did!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Test Post from Workshop

Originally uploaded by xiayeriel
Hey, just showing you my husband and daughter because of technical difficulties at a workshop! Demo time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Shanachie Tour in a Book

I've been following the Shanachie Tour through video podcasts. It's a story about 3 Dutch librarians who came to America for 3 weeks and traveled across the country interviewing librarians. The video podcasts are great. The were the keynote speakers at the CIL Conference and have become quite a hit.

Well, now they are releasing a Book/DVD called Shanachie Tour: A Library Road Trip Across America. I sure hope one of our libraries gets this as I can't wait to see it. Here's a great post about it and the site where you can preorder.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Next WebJunction is Now

It's official. The new and improved and redesigned WebJunction site is live. A good place to start to orient yourself to the new site is the Getting Started page.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vista May Not be as Bad as You Hear

I haven't seen Vista yet except in a few demo videos, but all I've heard is negativity. Michael Sauers pointed me toward this post that referred me to the Mojave Experiment. This is "a focus group effort we initiated a few weeks ago. We interviewed and polled 120 participants in San Francisco, in hopes of better understanding everyday users' perceptions of Windows Vista and seeing whether there really is a gap between perception and reality. We wanted to see how people reacted to Windows Vista when they were not aware they were seeing Windows Vista. We recorded our discussions, and today you can see them for yourself."

Tricky, tricky marketing ploy, but I bet they would have pulled the wool over my eyes too. Makes me pause and think I shouldn't believe all the negative hype until I use the OS myself!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bibliocommons for the Future

Be still my heart... I just saw the most amazing catlog at Oakville Public Library in Oakville Ontario. Thanks to Michael Stephens for pointing this out to me. Watch the tour and see the future unfold. This comes from Bibliocommons "a complete social discovery system for libraries". I want, I want...

Cool Video Explanation of Web2.0

I can't believe I haven't seen this one before. If you have, sorry for bringing it to your attention again. I just think this was so well done. One of the best visual explanations of Web2.0 I've ever seen. Michael Wesch of Diginal Ethnography at Kansas State University put this gem together. For a transcript of the text, go here.

You can download your very own high resolution copy here.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Can this be true?

Obviously, someone has played quite a joke on me. PLEASE do not vote for me, I have NO DESIRE to be president!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

List of Blogs in Pennsylvania

PA Commonwealth Libraries is presenting Web2.0 Hands On Workshops across the state in August. I am lucky enough to be the presenter/trainer for these workshops. I'm really looking forward to them.

On Friday, one of the people attending asked for an example of a library blog. Bonnie Young of Commonwealth Libraries sent out a link to some listservs and asked for any other examples. They came rolling in all day long in separate emails.

Since the idea of Web2.0 technologies is sharing, I decided to create a quick and easy wiki where anyone in Pennsylvania who is connected to a library can put the link to their blog. Go to PA Library Blogs and add your blog today. Just follow the instructions on the front page. I welcome any feedback and suggestions in the comments.

Want to paint like Jackson Pollack?

Click here and use your mouse to paint just like him (well, kind of...)

Friday, July 25, 2008

MaintainIT Webinar for Trainers

Thanks to Brenda Hough for inviting me to a webinar for library technology trainers on Wed 8/6 at 2pm EST. Rather than restate all the details, I'll let her tell you about it. Go ahead, click that link and read about it. Or click here to register.

Playing the Building

This is an amazing art project by David Byrne (yes, the guy from Talking Heads). It's in NYC until 8/24/08. Maybe a library will sponsor a bus trip? I would love to see this in action.

Thanks Rocketboom for making my lunch hour so special!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sneak Peak at the NEW WebJunction

If you haven't caught on by now, I'm a huge fan of WebJunction. On August 4, they will be unveiling their new website. I've seen some sneak peaks of this, but now they are on describing great details of what's to come. This was done very well. I love the conversational style of the videos and how Michael Porter and Dale bring us the highlights as if they are newscasters. Please subscribe to their feed so you're ready to rock n' roll when the new site goes live!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Trying to post to blog via email

If this works, it will be most excellent!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Day in the Life #5 - LAST ONE

Well, it's Friday already. I'm always amazed at how quickly the weeks go by at this job. The best part is I'm not waiting for Friday on Monday morning like some previous jobs. I truly enjoy what I do and that is such a blessing.

I have to say I was a little nervous about the Webinar when I got to work this morning. I logged in 45 minutes early to do some more practicing just to make sure I was ready. Gratefully, there were no major technical snafus on the part of the participants, the other presenters, or myself. Woo hoo!! You just never know with the Internet; know what I mean? Everything flowed very smoothly and the presenters and participants all did great. Now there's a big check mark off of my list of things to do!

That took up the whole morning, so I went home for lunch, but Xia was sleeping :-( When I got back to work it was email ciy since I hadn't touched it all morning.

  • I scheduled some one on one training for a new branch manager starting next week
  • I entered in some training hours for a coworker (I keep track of all continuing ed taken by the people who work here at the system on top of a list of all of the attendees of trainings we conduct or coordinate)
  • Helped with some Spanish Translation (no I do not do this well but offered input on some translation we received back)
  • Closed a couple of Work Orders that finally were finished: A name correction for a user of our intranet wiki, you'd be amazed how difficult that was to do. It took a couple of weeks to work it out with support and our IT Manager and Asst Manager did it, not me - way over my head. Also closed a couple of work orders asking for reports. I sure wish Millennium's reporting modules were easier to use. I offer trainings and people take them, but it's still very difficult for the users to do this on their own. If only we had a programmer on staff that could make it magic by pushing a couple of buttons and getting canned reports like they do at NOBLE. Ahhh, wishful thinking.
  • And of course, then I jumped back into the world of Outlook Exchange. I just wish I could get a big chunk of time on this!

Well, I appreciate you all joining me for the ride. Don't know how exciting you may find my week, but I'm so glad I have a job that continuously challenges me and makes me keep on learnin! Have a great weekend :-)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Day in the Life #4

Before I get rolling on my day today, let me say that I FINALLY made it to an episode of Uncontrolled Vocabulary last night. I've been wanting to dial in and be a part of this live podcast done by Greg Schwartz using TalkShoe, but 10pm is pretty late for me. I really enjoyed it, but I don't know if I'll be able to do it again. I usually listen to the archived podcast of the show. I stayed pretty quiet; in fact, I didn't really do much more than introduce myself. I was hoping to just sneak in and mute my phone, but Greg caught me and I got pulled in. It's pretty heady dialog for me, but I learn so much from it just by listening.

So, today - Thursday - Day 4 - has been pretty exciting. I did my first official screencast today because so many people are having trouble with logging in to our intranet wiki called LILLY. You can see what I did here. I had Jing bookmarked as something to try and I finally downloaded it today. My only gripe is that I had to install Microsoft's .NET frameword for it to work, but it works so easily. I had it done within 20 minutes after download. Their blog has great how-tos with videos of it all (of course). I still don't think I'd use something like this for official online tutorials to put on our OPAC or anything like that, but for quick and dirty stuff it was great.

Got caught up on email and finally devised a system to keep track of sites I want to review and videos I need to catch up on, archived webcasts etc. Tried tagging in as dowhentime, but never got around to it. So I started sending myself emails with the links, but they were just piling up in my inbox. So I created 3 folders in Outlook (since I don't use gmail for my work email, bummer, love the labels in gmail)- "Links to listen or watch when time" (which means over my lunch hour), "Links to look at when time" and "Links-suff to blog". Whew, that cleaned up my inbox as it was all very confusing. I use very detailed subject headings on these to help me know what's what. This really seems to be working well.

After that I received word from WebJunction that my ppt for tomorrow's webinar had been loaded and polls added where I wanted them. So, we're ready to roll. I'm a little nervous about the start of tomorrow's web conference. I used to do these all of the time at my last job with Spectra Marketing, but that was almost 5 years ago now. Wimba is really easy to use so I'm not worried about that. I'm worried about getting everyone in to the conference. I remember that was always the hardest part. If they haven't run the test wizard; if this is their first webinar; if they aren't real tech savvy; don't have admin rights, etc it can get kind of hairy. I'll let you know how it goes.

Worked on my new "Links.." folders in Outlook over my lunch hour as I couldn't go home for lunch yet again today. Hubby and daughter off to a playdate at the Choo Choo Barn today. Again, severe jealousy! My husband and I had one of our very first dates there. I knew I would marry him when he leaned in for a kiss as the lights went out and the mini train display mimicked evening with twinkling Christmas lights on the ceiling as stars. Come on, it doesn't get more romantic than that, right? LOL

Next I got cracking on the survey that needed to be finished today in surveymonkey. Got it done. Then I had a request to help someone create a complex list in our ILS system, Millennium, using the Create Lists mode. That ended up taking almost 2 hours, so here I am at the end of the day. Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Day in the Life #3

Helpdesk Wednesday. Yep, today was my day to cover the helpdesk. We usually get this duty once/wk within the department. We have an email address that all member libraries use to submit their helpdesk requests. So once/wk one of us monitors all the incoming email and then logs the information into our help desk management solution called Track-It! We haven't gotten to the point yet of having the member libraries do the submitting themselves through the online client, though I sure hope we do some day.

The issues that came up today varied from, all Millennium ports being used, an OPAC not working, how to set up a vacation message in our IMail system, adding a laptop to a networked printer, etc. Needless to say it's hard to focus on a project with all the interruptions that come in on your helpdesk day, but hey, it's only one day a week.

Still finalizing some parts of the ppt we'll be using for the web conference on Friday. Met with our PR Coordinator and will get to create yet another survey in surveymonkey. She is going to survey all of the staff and volunteers of the libraries to find out what types of database and OPAC trainings are needed to help us better serve the patrons. I think this is a very exciting initiative. I also hope there will be time some day when I and the system staff have enough time for me to train them how to do this themselves. For now, it's faster for me to just do it for them.

I entered in some names to our training database as I was getting a little behind from the last month's worth of classes. So that's now all up to date.

Had a discussion with the IT Asst Mgr, Mark about all of the details he has learned about Exchange this week. Lots of confusing stuff to sort out. My goal now is to just learn the whole thing inside and out and be ready for the questions rather than try to create some big training document. It's too big to do that. I hope to just make some quick job aids people can refer to for the basics and then serve as a resource for the more complex stuff. This first wave of training is just showing people how to send/check mail and manage contacts, we'll delve deeper later.

Lastly, I've been meaning to try out and there was a post about it on techsoup so I finally went over there and realized I needed a "beta code" to get in. The site states " is a simple service that makes updating your social networks a snap". Wanting to get this off my checklist today, I threw out a share on FriendFeed and literally within 5 minutes got the code from David. Thanks David. If anyone else needs to know, for today it is pingbewithyou. So now I can just post in one place and it goes out to all of my social networks. Pretty cool. Just another example of how social networks DO help you. I can instantly get answers to my questions without using email - do you need more incentive than that?

Lastly, I am doing some contract work on my own time for the PA Commonwealth Libraries and the invitation to come to a Web2.0 Hands On Workshop went out to the PADLC and PASYS listserves today. I'm very excited to be able to do these workshops across the state as I've been waiting a long time to be able to train on Social Software. My goal for the workshop is to begin by creating a blog in Blogger; then create an account in Bloglines to subscribe to the blogs we created; then set up a account for social bookmarking (and show how to incorporate that into the blog) and show a little Flickr and YouTube along the way (also incorporating that into the blog). I haven't been able to do such a workshop at the system as this will be a full day workshop (my trainings aren't to go over 3 hours at a time) and there are other projects that have always taken precedence. So, I'm burning a lot of midnight oil to do something I love :-) By the way, if anyone in PA reading this wants to register, please check those listserves for the post sent today from Bonnie Young. This is the only way to get at the registration form. They don't have online registration :-(

Well, that's a wrap for the day. I didn't get to go home for lunch today as my husband and daughter went to the wonderful Family Place program at the Quarryville Library. She LOVES that. You can see how much she loves it here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All My Faves

Being a visual person, if you can present something to me in a picture, I'll be much happier. Enter AllMyFaves. Here's what their About Page says:

"How often have you visited search engines and couldn't find exactly what you wanted?
You searched the web for a specific site and found only sites that had nothing to do with your actual request. Why search? Our team of experts did the search for you! We have searched the web and provided you with a visual directory that includes the best sites in each category!"

Check it out, it's darn perty. And thanks to the Baldgeekinmd for pointing it out!

A Day in the Life #2

Helloooo Tuesday. This was quite an interesting day. Let's see what I can remember of the day...
  • more email to sift through as usual

  • helped organize some training dates for new staff coming to the Pequea Valley Public Library's new branch, Salisbury Township

  • blocked some dates for a new Branch Manager that will be coming to the Mountville branch of Lancaster Public Library.

  • stayed in for lunch today as Grammy is taking care of my daughter today

  • watched my favorite video blogs during lunch:
    Tekzilla Daily
    Mobuzz TV

  • Also followed an online chat during lunch hour from Philanthropy Today titled "Building Your Online Presence on a Tight Budget". Didn't get to follow it too well and hope to read the transcript at another time.

  • created the survey for the mini-grant being offered by the PA Spanish Outreach mentioned yesterday.

  • received approval for the final version of the ppt we will be using during Friday's web conference and sent it off to the Webjunction folks

  • chatted with Lori Reed about Outlook training

  • figured out I DON'T have to train two different versions of Outlook Web Access - just one! A consultant was in last week and got rid of some legacy stuff so what I was actually seeing was OWA 2003 interface and in reality EVERYONE will now see OWA 2007 interface. Yippee! I'm so glad I hadn't done too much documenting already

Hope you'll stay for the ride for day 3 tomorrow...

Monday, July 14, 2008


This is a really cool site for those of you who don't want to learn how to use an RSS Aggregator (like Bloglines or Google Reader). You:
  1. enter in the URL of the site you'd like to subscribe to - THEY find the RSS feed for you.
  2. Enter in your email address and choose your delivery preferences.
  3. Preview what the RSS email will look like and subscribe!

It doesn't get any easier than that, folks! So stop checking websites every day that have feeds, get the info delivered right to you.

(I still think taking the time to use an RSS Aggregator is better!)

Thanks to David Bigwood who commented on Nicole's post and pointed me to this great resource.

A Day in the Life #1

So, welcome to Monday. The day always begins with a catch up of all the email that came in over the weekend. First task, help a few people learn how to log into our intranet, LILLY. We use Mindtouch's DekiWiki for our intranet, and this is still a fairly new process. Now everyone can comment on pages or even create their own pages. It's a great way to exchange information and build internal communication. However, you must log in to use it, and a lot of people are still struggling with how exactly to do that. I'm hoping we can create a screencast that we can post on the entry page that demos how it's done.

Every Monday morning the IT Department, which I am a part of, has a meeting at 9:30am. Today, it was pushed back to 10:00am. Then, we received an emergency helpdesk call in the middle of the meeting. It's always tough to get all 6 of us together. The department is made up of:
  • IT Manager/Deputy Administrator - Bill Hudson
  • Assistant Manager - Mark Sandblade
  • PC/Systems Specialist - Jordan Binkley
  • PC/LAN Technician - John Ditmore
  • Webmaster/System Specialist - Jeff Somerfield
  • Training Coordinaotr - Stephanie Zimmerman (hey, that's me!)

We have a lot of projects going on right now, so it's always good to get together and figure out where everyone is and what needs to happen next.

I helped someone unlock a record in our Millennium ILS (Integrated Library System), helped someone figure out how to edit a header in a Word document, then off to lunch. I try to go home as often as I can over my lunch hour to spend some time with my daughter, Xia.

When I got back, I did some prep work for a web conference I'll be running with the rest of the PA Spanish Outreach team this Friday. We're going to be using WebJunction's Horizon Wimba client and I'm really enjoying that system. Our state coordinator realized she had some LSTA monies left over in her budget, so we're going to offer some mini grants out to people who come to the web conference. There are lots of criteria to work out and it has to be done quickly, but this is a great incentive for people to come and a great way to reach Latinos for our state's libraries. I will be creating a survey in surveymonkey that they will use to submit their proposals.

So now it's 3:30pm, and as soon as I post this, I'm off to work on getting ready for Outlook Exchange Training for our first library that is going to be migrated at the end of this month. For some reason, I am finding this to be more difficult than when I had to create training materials for Millennium! The main hurdle is that I really have to create a training plan and brief documentation for 2 separate groups. One group will ONLY use the Outlook Web Access 2007 interface. The other group will use Outlook 2003 on their desktop with Outlook Web Access 2007. What's so frustrating is that the interface for OWA for those who DON'T have Outlook 2003 on their desktop looks and acts differently than the OWA interface for those that DO have Outlook 2003 on their desktop. Go figure! If anyone out there has lived through this already, PLEASE share with me how you did your training in the comments.

See you tomorrow as you journey with me in A Day in the Life of a "Librarian".

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Librarian

Well, I'm not a librarian, but I train a lot of librarians. Taking a cue from Bobbi Newman at Librarian By Day, I will attempt to give you a picture of my days next week. She proposed that librarians out there bust open the myths of what librarians REALLY do (NO, they don't sit around and read books all day!) by having librarians blog about what it is they do. So those of you who care to know what it is I do will get a picture by reading about it next week.

Would you like to join us? Check out the wiki put together by Lori Reed and read her directions of how to use it here. Hope to "see" what you all are doing next week :-)

Genious Way to use

I stumbled on an amazing way to use the social bookmarking site the other day. In addition to being a trainer, I am also a new mom and new to this whole cooking for a family thing. Simplemom, a mommy blogger, decided to use to create her meal planning. See how she did it here. See her food planner here.

This is truly genious! It's times like this I'm sad that I don't work directly in a library. What a wonderful program this would be to present at a library. Do a hands on class to teach people how to do this themselves. Sure hope someone will try this out and if you do, PLEASE tell me all about it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Medicare and Medicaid Services Toolkit

From WebJunction:

"This extensive toolkit will help librarians direct Medicare beneficiaries/seniors to the right place when needing help regarding Medicare issues. Resources are provided in both English and Spanish."

Go and get it today!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Library2.0 Roundtable: Virtual Cafe Archive from ALA

Go over to WebJunction and check out the archive of the Library2.0 Roundtable - Virtual Cafe. Lots of great information on how your library can apply Library2.0 concepts. I think this experiment went very well. Way to go WebJunction!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

100 Awesome YouTube Vids for Librarians

Thanks to The MLxperience for pointing out this great list. Don't think YouTube is relevant to libraries? Think again!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Proof I was at ALA on Saturday

Thanks to Lori Reed for taking a shot of my virtual presence at ALA on Saturday. It went very well and I'm anxious to see the archive at WebJunction.

The Girl Effect

Another great post from Techsoup. They talk about a video that the Girl Effect put on YouTube which went viral. A simple, clear message with some nice music and text. It's powerful and made me log into their site. Imagine doing something like this to market your library. How information found in the library or with the library's help can CHANGE the world. Go ahead, do it and when you do, PLEASE share a link to the video with me. Or, maybe you already have done it - then PLEASE share a link to the video with me :-) Here's the video:

Monday, June 30, 2008

Great Translation Resources for Your Library

From Libraries and Autism come some GREAT resources to help you communicate with diverse populations. Check out this page for some great resources, especially the Library Special Needs Communication Guide - a non-verbal communication tool. Here you'll find the English word, a pictorial representation, translation to Spanish, and the finger spelling in Sign. Please check this stuff out and make it available to front line staff in your library!

Library Programming Idea - What to do with Old CDs and DVDs

Go over and read this post from Techsoup filled with information about what to do with old CDs and DVDs. And check out this Lifecycle of a CD poster. Lots to learn about these future coasters for your cups...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

ALA 2008 - Virtual Library 2.0 Cafe Webinar on Saturday

I will actually be in Anaheim CA for ALA on Saturday... virtually that is. The great folks at WebJunction were kind enough to ask me to help by being one of the table hosts for their Library 2.0 Cafe. I was sad to tell them I could not do so as I was not going to ALA. But then, they asked if I'd be willing to help them out virtually. How cool!

Read the WHOLE post all about how this will work on BlogJunction. I really think this is going to be an exciting experiment and I hope some of you can join in. I will be helping out in the Wimba Classroom by moderating and facilitating all the chat coming in.

They put together a nice menu and glossary you should check out. Also, their wiki has the coolest stuff. My favorite, a link to Web2.0 Top 100 resources which is awesome!

Okay, last thing... I stumbled on something called Wordle today which is "a toy for generating word clouds from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text." So, to give you some eye candy to bring you virtually to this Cafe with me, I took the glossary mentioned above and put all the text from it into their generator. Here is a "picture" of what will be discussed at this cafe (click it to see a larger version). Now come on - you DON'T want to miss this...

"See" you there!