Welcome. This site was created to support the Queens Library Learning 2.0 Program, a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies and reward them for doing 23 1/2 Things.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Deadline Day

It's seems like we just started! More than 50 people have completed 23 1/2 Things. When you finish, don't forget to send an e-mail to ql.things@gmail.com. If you need an extra day, just be sure to make your evaluation post by 8 a.m. Wednesday, December 26.

If you haven't had a chance, read what your colleagues think of the program: Learning2.0Eval.

Friday, December 14, 2007

the card's in the mail

If you completed Thing 23 by Wednesday, your $25 card (from Commerce Bank) should have been sent out. We received them in Forest Hills today. A new batch will be sent out the next two weeks (December 19 and December 26). We're still working on the date for the laptop raffle that will take place in the CEL cafeteria. Perhaps January 8th? Stay tuned and keep on Thingin'.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tips and Zips, Part 2

This slide show features more zips than tips. Be sure to see Part 1 for tips on posting links, pictures, and widgets. With only two weeks of the program left, I'd like to encourage everyone to cut corners. I also think the first 12 Things take more time than the second 12 Things. If you've fallen behind, try asking your manager for more time to spend on QL L2.0.

Happy Zipping,
Hood and Hat, QL L2.0

If you cannot see the embedded slide show below, go direct to the slideshare.net site: Tips and Zips, Part 2

Thursday, December 6, 2007

bullet points of pure QL L2.0

  • We'll be posting Tips and Zips for Things 13-23 early next week.
  • The program ends December 24. In early January we will do a live raffle in the CEL cafeteria for the laptop computer. We're still working on the logistics for distributing the gift cards, which we hope to give out as soon as possible (and before the raffle).
  • December 10-24 we'll post "bloglets" of Things 5-22 and highlight activities of the QL L2.0 participants. This will also be a way for those who did not participate in the program to have short introductions to the emerging technologies.
  • Thirteen people have crossed the finish line. Go to the ql.things' del.icio.us account to see their thoughts: Learning2.0Eval.

If you still have a bunch of Things to do, you have time: 19 days! If you're on Thing 5, that's only one Thing per day. Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

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

Wow! Congratulations! You've reached the 23rd thing. Be sure to give yourself a pat on the back for completing the program. Your reward for completing this journey before the December 24th deadline is a $25 gift card and a chance to win a laptop. But before sending this off ... one last discovery post.

For your last and final exercise for this program please reflect on your learning journey and post a few thoughts. Here are some questions to prompt you if you're drawing a blank ...

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

And last but not least…

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again chose to participate?

Note: Once you have made your final post about the program, send an e-mail to ql.things@gmail.com indicating that you have completed all 23 1/2 Things. Your blog will be reviewed by our team and we will send you a confirmation notice within 7 days.

Edited to add: Following PLCMC's idea, I've tagged everyone's evaluation posts as "Learning2.0Eval" in the ql.things del.icio.us account.

#22 Audiobooks (or "The end is in sight ")

Queens Library provides access to digital books, videos, music and audiobooks through the eMedia center.

For this discovery exercise, you merely need to familiarize yourself a bit with the structure of the digital catalog and get an idea of the types of titles you can find here. Take a look around and locate a few titles of interest. Be sure to check out the Advanced Search feature.

Discovery Resources:

OverDrive Digital Media Guided Tour
Digital Media Quick Start Guide

Discovery Exercise:

1. Click on the eAudiobooks link and explore some of the 900+ titles.
2. Create a blog post about your findings. Did you locate a title that you might want to try out and download once you have your player?

OPTIONAL: If you are doing this from a home computer, try downloading a title. You don’t have to have a portable player to isten to audiobooks, you can also listen to it from a computer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

#21 Podcasts, Smodcasts!

Listen to a podcast about podcasts.

The word podcast is used to refer to a non-musical audio or video broadcast that is distributed over the Internet. What differentiates a podcast from regular streaming audio or video is that the delivery method for podcasts is often done automatically through RSS.

In 2005, "podcast" was named the "word of the year" by New Oxford American Dictionary and with the growth of podcasting, it's easy to see why.

Podcasts take many forms, from short 1-10 minutes commentaries to much longer in person interviews or panel group discussions. There’s a podcast out there for just about every interest area and the best part about this technology is that you don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to access them. Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, a popular compressed format for audio files, you really just need a PC (or portal device) with headphones or a speaker.

iTunes, the free downloadable application created by Apple is the directory finding service most associated with podcasts, but if you don’t have iTunes installed there are still plenty of options.

For this discovery exercise participants are asked to take a look at some popular podcast directory tools. Do some exploring on your own and locate a podcast that is of interest to you. Once found, you can easily pull the RSS feed into your Bloglines account as well, so that when new casts become available you’ll be automatically notified of their existence.

Discovery Resources:

There are many, many podcast directories and finding tools out there. Here are just three of the more popular ones that, unlike iTunes, don't require a software download:

What? You want to learn how to be a podcaster too?
(Optional Resources for those who want to learn create podcasts)

Discovery Exercise:

1. Take a look at one or two of the podcast directories listed and see if you can find a podcast that interests you. See if you can find some interesting library related podcasts here like book review podcasts or library news.
2. Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your Bloglines account
3. Create a blog post about your discovery process. Did you find anything useful here?

#20 I Tube, YouTube

Video hosting sites allow users to easily to upload and share videos on the web. Among all the web 2.0 players in this area, YouTube is currently top dog serving up 100 million video views a day and allowing users not only to upload their own video content easily, but also embed clips into their own sites easily.

Do some searching around YouTube yourself and see what the site has to offer. You'll find everything from 1970s TV commercials and the rantings of two brothers to library dominos and how to charge an iPod using electrolytes and an onion. Of course, like any free site you’ll also find a lot stuff not worth watching too. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore and see for yourself what the site has too offer.

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Explore YouTube & find a video worth adding as an entry in your blog.
  2. Create a blog post about your experience. What did you like or dislike about the site and why did you choose the video that you did? Can you see any features or components of the site that might be interesting if they were applied to library websites?

OPTIONAL: Try placing the video inside your blog using the copy and paste code for the for "Embeddable Player.” Note: you'll need to use Blogger's Edit HTML tab when pasting this code.

Other popular video hosting sites:

NOTE: Videos, like music downloads, are bandwidth hogs. It is recommended that you complete this exercise during light internet usage times.

*Edited to Add: We've received a report that these two websites are blocked by Queens Library. We'll submit them for review. In the meantime, enjoy these sites at home, and we apologize for the inconvenience. Thanks to Library thoughts and musings for the heads up.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

#19 Discovering Web 2.0 tools

Speaking of the Web 2.0 Awards ...

Throughout the course of this Learning 2.0 program we’ve explored just a small sampling of these new internet technologies and websites that are empowering users with the ability to create and share content. But given time there are so many more we could explore. Although time will only tell which of these new collaborative, social networking and information tools will remain on top, one thing is for sure, they're not going to go away (at least anytime soon).

For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to select any site from this list of Web 2.0 Awards nominees and explore it. With so many to choose from, it might be handy to first select a category that interests you (like Books or Personal Organization) and then simply select a tool/site to explore. Be careful to select a tool that is Free and that doesn't require a plug-in or download. The majority of these free, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Discovery Exercise:

1. Select any site/tool from the list of Web 2.0 Awards nominees. (If you prefer to select from just the winners, here’s a link to the short list.)
2. Explore the site you selected.
3. Create a post about your discovery. What did you like or dislike about the tool? What were the site’s useful features? Could you see any applications for its use in a library setting?

#18 Let's Collaborate and Have a Good Time

The availability and use of online productivity web-based applications (think word processing and spreadsheets) has exploded over the past few years and for good reasons! These powerful applications provide users with the ability to create and share documents over the internet without the need of installed desktop applications. Some experts speculate that this emerging trend may mean the death to Microsoft Office and other software-based productivity tools, while others think web-based applications have their place, but not in the office. But no matter which side of the office suite platform you side with, on this both sides seem to agree; web-based apps have their place.

One large benefit to web-based applications it that they eliminate the need to worry about different software versions or file types as you email documents or move from PC to PC. Another bonus is that they easily accommodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file (with versioning) and provide users the ability to easily save and convert documents as multiple file types (including HTML and pdf). And, you can even use many of these tools, such as Zoho Writer and Google Docs to author and publish posts to your blog. It’s this type of integration with other web 2.0 tools that also makes web-based apps so appealing.

For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to take a look at a web-based word processing tools.

Discovery Resources:

The following sites received 2007 Web 2.0 Awards for Collaborative Writing and Word Processing:

  1. Google Docs
  2. Writeboard
  3. ThinkFree
Discovery Exercise:
  1. Create a free account for yourself in one of the above.
  2. Explore the site and create a few test documents or two.
  3. Create a blog post about your discoveries.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Please Note:

Things 18 and 19 will be posted later in the week, probably Wednesday and Thursday. Please use this time to catch up and read each others' blogs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

#17 1/2 Explore Facebook and Social Networking

As you know, this program is based on one originally implemented by The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. Most days we merely copy and paste, checking links and tweaking the language for Queens Library. We add a new article or discovery resource here and there.

However, Thing 17 1/2 is a new addition. For this Thing, we'd like you to discover how libraries use social networking sites to reach customers and offer more services. One of the more popular social networking sites, Facebook, was originally launched for students at Harvard College. Over the last three and a half years, its membership has been opened up and expanded to include almost anyone who has an e-mail address. Users, in addition to setting up profiles and linking to people and networks, can also pick and choose from thousands of applications.

Discovery Resources:

Discovery Activity:

1. Read through the Top Ten Facebook Apps for Librarians (links above).

2. Blog about your findings. Which applications do you like? Which ones do you think QL customers would like?

Optional: If you're up for the challenge and curious, join Facebook and explore the popular social networking site. We've asked you to register for many different accounts during 23 1/2 Things. Joining Facebook is optional.

Friday, November 9, 2007

#17 Playing Around With Wikis

This one's pretty straight-forward: create, add to, or edit an entry or two to any wiki and write about the experience in your blog.

Browse the List of wikis on Wikipedia or see Library Success for examples of library wikis. You can also look at the ql.things' del.icio.us tag "wiki" for more ideas.

Edited to add: You do not have to create a completely new entry. You may wish to edit or add to an existing entry or page. Apologies for the confusion.

#16 Wiki Me This

A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and perhaps the most well known of these knowledge sharing tools. With the benefits that wikis provide the use and popularity of these tools is exploding.

Some of the benefits that make wikis so attractive are:

* Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
* Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
* Earlier versions of a page can be viewed and reinstated when needed.
* And users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content. In most cases simple syntax structure is used.

As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, libraries all over the country have begun to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, ALA conference wikis and even library best practices wikis.

Discovery Resources:
Use these resources to learn more about wikis:

* Wiki’s: A Beginner’s Look – an excellent short slide presentation that offers a short introduction and examples.
* What is a Wiki? – Library Success wiki presentation
* Using Wikis to Create Online Communities – a good overview of what a wiki is and how it can be used in libraries.

Discovery Exercise:

1. For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at some library wikis and blog about your finding. Here’s a few examples to get you started:

* SJCPL Subject Guides – a pathfinder wiki developed by the St. Joseph County Public Library system

* Book Lovers Wiki - developed by the Princeton Public Library

* Library Success: A best practices wiki

* Other library wiki examples

2. Create a blog post about your findings. What did you find interesting? What types of applications within libraries might work well with a wiki?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

#15 On Library 2.0 & Web 2.0 ...

Library 2.0 is term used to describe a new set of concepts for developing and delivering library services. The name, as you may guess, is an extension of Web2.0 and shares many of its same philosophies and concepts including harnessing the user in both design and implementation of services, embracing constant change as a development cycle over the traditional notion of upgrades, and reworking library services to meet the users in their space, as opposed to ours (libraries).

Many have argued that the notion of Library 2.0 is more than just a term used to describe concepts that merely revolve around the use of technology; it also a term that can be used to describe both physical and mindset changes that are occurring within libraries to make our spaces and services more user-centric and inviting. Others within the profession have asserted that libraries have always been 2.0: collaborative, customer friendly and welcoming. But no matter which side of the debate proponents fall, both sides agree that libraries of tomorrow, even five or ten years from now, will look substantially different from libraries today.

Discovery Resources:

OCLC Next Space Newsletter – Web 2.0: Where will the next generation of the web it take libraries?

Perspectives: Away from Icebergs; Into a new world of librarianship; To more powerful ways to cooperate; To better bibliographic services; To a temporary place in time

Additional Perspectives and Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

1. Read two or three of the perspectives on Library 2.0 from the list above.
2. Create a blog post about your thoughts on any one of these? Library 2.0 - It's many things to many people. What does it mean to you?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

#14 Getting not-so-technical with Technorati

So now that you’ve been blogging for awhile, you might be wondering just how big the blogosphere is. Well, according to Technorati, the leading search tool and authority for blogs, the number of blogs doubles just about every 6 months with over 110 million blogs currently being tracked by the site.

Yes, these numbers are astounding, but as you’ve already seen for yourselves, blogging is so easy that these publishing tools are being taken advantage of by almost every industry, including libraries.

So how does a person get their blog listed as part of the blogosphere and how can you tag your posts with keywords to make them more findable through a Technorati search? The answer to the first question is that your blog is probably already being captured by Technorati due to the fact that you're already using Blogger, the most popular blogging tool. But if you want to join the party and have your blog officially listed on Technorati and also take advantage of the watchlist and other features, you’ll need to claim your blog yourself.

Discovery Resources:
Discovery Exercise:

1. Take a look at Technorati and try doing a keyword search for “Learning 2.0” in Blog posts, in tags and in the Blog Directory. Are the results different?
2. Explore popular blog, searches and tags. Is anything interesting or surprising in your results?
3. Create a blog post about your discoveries on this site.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Tips and Zips

Here a slide show to help you move through Things 1-12 quickly. There is an overview of each thing that includes a link to the appropriate post. There are also screen shots and instructions for posting links, pictures, and widgets.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

#13 Tag! You're It!

Tagging is an open and informal method of categorizing that allows users to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures & posts). Unlike library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (i.e.Library of Congress subject headings), tagging is completely unstructured and freeform, allowing users to create connections between data anyway they want.

In the past few weeks, we’ve already explored a few sites – Flickr and LibraryThing to name two --that allow users to take advantage of tagging and in week 3 many even used a common tag ("Queens Library") to create an association between photos that we individually uploaded. This week, in addition to exploring Technorati tagging, we want to also take at popular social bookmarking site called Del.icio.us (typed in as http://del.icio.us).

Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking manager which allows you to bookmark a web page and add tags to categorize your bookmarks.

Many users find that the real power of Del.icio.us is in the social network aspect, which allows you to see how other users have tagged similar links and also discover other websites that may be of interest to you. You can think of it as peering into another users’ filing cabinet, but with this powerful bookmarking tool each user's filing cabinet helps to build an expansive knowledge network.

For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at Del.icio.us and learn about this popular bookmarking tool.

Discovery Resources:

* Tags Help Make Libraries Del.icio.us - Library Journal, 9/15/2007
* Otter Group Del.icio.us tutorial (8 min video)
* Us.ef.ul: A beginners guide to Del.icio.us
* Several Habits of Wildly Successful Del.icio.us Users

Discovery Exercise:

1. Take a look around Del.icio.us using the QL L2.0 account that was created for this exercise. Note: In this account you will find lots of resources that have been highlighted or used throughout the course of the Learning 2.0 program.
2. Explore the site options and try clicking on a bookmark that has also been bookmarked by a lot of other users. Can you see the comments they added about this bookmark or the tags that they used to categorize this reference?
3. Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about this tool. Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere?

OPTIONAL: If you’re up to the challenge, create a Del.icio.us account for yourself and discover how this useful bookmarking tool can replace your traditional browser bookmark list.

PS Okay, yeah, sure, we said we wouldn't post until November 5, but y'all have been such busy little catch-up bees, and I thought I'd reward you.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

checking in ...

How's everyone doing? Catching up on all the Things? Eager for more and counting the days until November 5? Here's an interesting article published by two Pratt professors:

Information professionals' attitude toward the adoption of innovations in everyday life by Debbie L. Rabina and David J. Walczyk.

When new technology is introduced, where do you fall: first on the block, among the first, just before everyone else, when everyone else does, or last on the block? I think I tend to be just before everyone else.

There will be a little surprise delivered to the registered participants over the next week or so. Keep up the good work and come back Monday for Week 6 which features my most favorite Thing of all the Things: tagging and folksonomies.

Chin up,
Hood and Hat, QL L2.0

Saturday, October 27, 2007

by the numbers

We've been seeing a lot of posts (and hearing from folks) that people feel like they're falling behind. Here are some quickly-compiled stats from the children's desk on a rainy Saturday:

42 percent of registered participants have not done anything beyond setting up their blogs and making initial test posts.

Less than 5 percent of registered participants are "up-to-date" (or have completed 12 Things).

The median number of Things completed is 5.

The average number of Things completed is 6.45.

Further, 65 percent of people have made between 1 and 5 blog posts; 30 percent people have made between 6 and 10 blog posts; 5 percent of people have made 11 or more posts.

Even if you're not on Thing 12, you're not behind. You are simply moving at your own pace. Some Things will take more time than others. Stick with it!

The more active blogs include: Barb's Blog, Fun to Learn, Haydee's Space, Library Land, Library thoughts and musings, Newbie YA Librarian, The Queens Blogger, Sherwood Living Library, Stream of Consciousness, and Where does that leave you?

Use the above blogs to see examples and ask questions. Or, post them here. Tell us what you want tips about. You can also post questions to your own blogs. We try to read each of your posts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

if we took a holiday ...

I posted Thing 12 a few minutes ago and Queens Library Learning 2.0 is officially on mid-term break until Monday, November 5.

Use this time to catch up or ignore all things technological. Visit each others' blogs, leave comments, leave questions here, or post things to QL Chat.

I hope to post some tips and hints next week, but there will be absolutely no new Things.

Be good,
--Hood and Hat, your faithful QL L2.0 Team Leader

#12 Roll your own search engine

Do you have a group of websites that are your favorites? Or a set of online resources that are similar that you frequently use to answer homework or reference questions? Well Rollyo may be the tool for you. Rollyo allows you to create your own search tool for the just the websites you know and trust.

Take a look at some of these search rolls that have already been created:

* Public Domain e-Books Search
* Free Photos
* Everything Star Wars
* Reference
* Explore other rolls here.

Discovery Exercise:

1. Explore Rollyo and create an account for yourself.
2. Create a search roll for any subject you like.
3. Create a post in your blog about your experience and link to your search roll.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

#11 Thing This: LibraryThing

Are you book lover or cataloger at heart? Or do you enjoy finding lost and forgotten gems on the shelf to read? Then LibraryThing may be just the tool for you. Developed for booklovers, this online tool not only allows you to easily create an online catalog of your own it also connects you to other people who have similar libraries and reading tastes.

Add a book to your catalog by just entering the title -- It’s so easy that you don’t even need MARC record training to do it – or connect with other users through your similar reading tastes. There are lots of ways to use LibraryThing. You can even view your books on a virtual shelf, add a widget to display titles that are in your catalog or install a LT Search box on your blog.

So why not join the ranks and create your own library online.

Discovery Resources:

* About LibraryThing
* Library Thing tour
* LibraryThing blog (updates & news)

Discovery Exercise:

1. Take a look around LibraryThing and create an account.
2. Add a least 5 books to your library.
3. Blog about your findings and be sure to link to your LibraryThing catalog.

*Photo - Andreas Gursky, Library, 1999.

Monday, October 22, 2007

#10 Play around with Image Generators

Generators? No, we're not talking about those gas powered back-up things. The generators we are talking about allow you to easily manipulate image and graphics to create fun images like this*:

For this discovery exercise, have fun. Find a few fun image or text generators to play around with and write a post in your blog about one of your favorites and display the result. Often adding the image you mocked up to your blog is as simple as copying and pasting code that the page provides. If not, you may just need to right click on the image and then save it to your hard drive before using Blogger’s image button to add it to your post.

If you’re having difficulty getting your image added to a post in your blog, ask a co-worker for help. In looking at several staff blogs, it’s easy to see that we have lots of people in the system who have figured out how easy it is to add images to their blogs.

Discovery Resources:

The Generator Blog
Letter James
FD Toys

Also try searching for online generators, text generators or image generators!

Discovery Exercise:

1. Play around with some image generators and find one that you like.
2. Post the result of your discovery process in your blog.
Note: Be sure to include a link to the image generator itself, so other participants can discover it too.

So take some time and have fun with this exercise. And remember to be tasteful too!

* Image created with Custom Neon Sign Generator

Sunday, October 21, 2007

High five

Welcome to Week 5. This week we'll be playing. You will:
  • Play around with an online image generator.
  • Take a look at LibraryThing and catalog some of your favorite books.
  • Roll your own search tool with Rollyo.

When you've completed this week's Things, you will be half-way to earning that $25 gift card and a chance to win a laptop. If you're just starting, it might be easier to view the list of things in order, 1-23.

As usual, the Things will be posted throughout the week. Play! Discover! Have a Blast!

Friday, October 19, 2007

#9 Feeding frenzy

Now that you have a newsreader (your Bloglines account), you can begin adding other newsfeeds that interest you. There are several ways you can locate newsfeeds:

When visiting your favorite websites -- look for news feed icons that indicate the website provides it. Often a feed icon will be displayed somewhere in the navigation bar of the site. (Here's an image that contains a sampling of several feed icons).

Use Blogline's Search tool - Bloglines recently expanded search tool lets you search for news feeds in addition to posts, citations and the web. Use the Search for Feeds option to locate RSS feeds you might be interested in.

Other Search tools that can help you find feeds:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Explore some of the search tools noted above that can help you locate some news feeds.
  2. Create a blog post about your experience. Don't know what to blog about? Here some questions to think about ...
  • Which method of finding feeds did you find easiest to use?
  • Which Search tool was the easiest for you? Which was more confusing?
  • What kind of useful feeds did you find in your travels?
  • Or what kind of unusual ones did you find?
  • What other tools or ways did you find to locate newsfeeds?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

100 Blogs Served!

With the addition of Kendra's Library Learning Blog, we hit 100.

We suggest you celebrate by viewing Short Pencil Saga. (via ALA Direct)

From ALA Focus:

Short pencils: a library fixture you probably take for granted. But not anymore! Using archival footage from the Prelinger Archives, Nick "March of the Librarians" Baker's latest comedic offering delves into the stubby writing implement's exciting history: “It all began thousands of years ago...."

Next Up: Thing 9 will be posted Friday afternoon, but you can go ahead and use Bloglines, Feedster, Technorati, and Syndic8 to explore library-related blogs and feeds.

PS: If you didn't complete this week's (or last week's) discoveries, don't worry, there's still plenty of time. Remember that the official end date for the program is December 24 - and that's still over two months away! Also, you still have tons of time to sign up. Is this format sometimes confusing? View a list of the things in order, 1-23.

PPS: If you're having trouble with something, post a question or comment here. We'll do our best to help.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

#8 Make life simple with RSS

powered by ODEO

You've heard of RSS? You’ve seen those small funny tags on websites? You've heard co-workers and acquaintances swear by it, but still have no idea what RSS is? Well don’t worry, according to a recent survey you’re still in the majority, but this is changing rapidly. In the information world, RSS is not only revolutionalizing the way news, media and content creators share information, but it also is swiftly changing the way everyday users are consuming information.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is a file format for delivering regularly updated information over the web.

Just think about the websites and news information sources you visit every day. It takes time to visit those sites and scour the ad-filled and image-heavy pages for just the text you want to read, doesn’t it? Now imagine if you could visit all those information sources and web pages in just one place and all at the same time … without being bombarded with advertising… without having to search for new information on the page you’d already seen or read before… and without having to consume a lot of time visiting each site individually. Would that be valuable to you? Well, it’s available now through a newsreader and RSS.

This week’s discovery exercises focus on learning about RSS news feeds and setting up a Bloglines account (a free online newsreader) for yourself to bring your feeds together.

Discovery Resources:

* CNET Video: RSS – Feel the Need for Feeds (3:32) – a good over view of what RSS is and the benefits to users.

* Feed Me: A gentle introduction to Internet feeds - a good tutorial from Palinet, a library cooperative

* Using Bloglines Tutorial (how to keep up with dozens of blogs everyday) – This online tutorial walks you through how to setup a Bloglines account and add newsfeeds. Follow Steps 1 to 3 to set up your Bloglines account. Steps 4 – 9 are optional and cover how to subscribe to different types of feeds (podcasts, Flickr albums, etc)

* Adding RSS Feeds to Bloglines - A short YouTube video that PLCMC's Helene Blowers created showing how to add feeds.

* Additional Bloglines news feed subcription information (screenshot image)

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Follow the discovery resources above to learn more about RSS and newsreaders.
  2. Create a free online Bloglines account for yourself and subscribe to at least 10 newsfeeds to your reader. See Using Bloglines Tutorial steps 1-3 for instructions.
  3. Create a post in your blog about this exercise. Don’t know what to blog about? Think about these questions:
  • What do you like about RSS and newsreaders?
  • How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your work or personal life?
  • How can libraries use RSS or take advantage of this new technology?

Please note: While PLCMC's podcast about RSS is posted above, it is not necessary to listen to the podcast to complete the exercise.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Week end, week begin


Last week we flickr'd away. This week we'll tackle RSS feeds. Since there are only two Things for the entire week, we'll be posting them later on. Use this time to read your colleagues' blogs and make comments. Some recent highlights:

Newbie YA Librarian points to links on the Library 2.0 discussion. The Clash Librarian notes, "I am starting to look at other QL Learning 2.0 blogs and there certainly is a range of activity and postings." Library Land gives a shout out to a different set of things, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Be sure to check out May your hands always be busy ... 's post on technology. Not a fan of Flickr? LibraryLearning2.0 posted alternative sites to Flickr.

Total Registrants: 91*

*If you've been lurking and you've set up your blog, be sure to send us an e-mail. There might or might not be a surprise sent to the first 100 registrants. We'd reveal more, but then it wouldn't be a surprise!

Some more new blogs with names we like ...

Rhymes with Shmibrarian
As the Web Turns
No Cellphones

**Image from Fun to learn.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

#7 Blog about Technology

Hello Learning 2.0 participants.

For this thing, simply blog about anything technology related. Yes, it can be anything that relates to technology! You just need to share a few thoughts.

If you haven't had a chance, this would also be a great time to register and explore QL Chat!

PS: Also be sure add at least one comment to another participant's blog. That's what online communities are all about - connecting and communication. :)

PPS: Need more ideas about what to write about? Visit QL L2.0's del.icio.us page. We'll go over del.icio.us in more depth during Week 6, but you can scan the social bookmarking manager now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

#6 More Flickr Fun

Like many web 2.0 sites, Flickr has encouraged other people to build their own online applications using images found on the site. Through the use of APIs (application programming interfaces), many people have created third party tools and mashups* that use Flickr images. Here are just a sampling of a few …

Discover more mashups, web apps, and Flickr tools.

Discovery Exercise:

Your discovery exercise for this “thing” is to:

  1. Explore some of the fun Flickr mashups and 3rd party tools that are out there.
  2. Create a blog post about one that intrigues you.

If you like, try FD ToysTrading Card Maker. And there’s a ton of librarians out there that have created their own Librarian Trading Card.

So have some fun discovering and exploring some neat little apps. And if you're up to the challenge while you’re at it, why not create a trading card of your own.

* Mashup Note: Wikipedia offers some great articles that explain mashups. Basically they are hybrid web applications that take features from one application (like Flickr) and mash it up with another (like a map). In this example, you get Mappr.

PS: Learning 2.0 image created by Spell with Flickr.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

#5 Discover Flickr

originally uploaded by ql.things.
Photo sharing websites have been around since the 90s, but it took a small startup site called Flickr to catapult the idea of “sharing” into a full blown online community. Flickr has become the fastest growing photo sharing site on the web and is known as one of the first websites to use keyword “tags” to create associations and connections between photos and users of the site. For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a good look at Flickr and discover what this site has to offer. Find out how tags work, what groups are, and all the neat things that people and other libraries are using Flickr for.

Discovery Resources:
· Flickr Learn More tour (6 steps)
· Mediamazine Flickr Tutorials
· Flickr: Popular tags Interesting- Last 7 days
· Flickr Services (3rd party applications & mashups) and let’s not forget to look at some other libraries on Flickr

Discovery Exercise: In this discovery exercise, you have two options…

a. Take a good look around Flickr and discover an interesting image that you want to blog about. Be sure to include either a link to the image or, if you create a Flickr account, you can use Flickr's blogging tool to add the image in your post. Another option you have for including images in your post is to use Blogger's photo upload tool.

-- OR --

b. If you're up to an easy challenge ... create a Free account in Flickr and use a digital camera (or a camera phone) to capture a few pictures of something in your community library. Upload these to your Flickr account and tag at least one of the images “QueensLibrary and mark it public. Then create a post in your blog about your photo and experience. Be sure to include the image in your post. Once you have a Flickr account, you have two options for doing this: through Flickr's blogging tool or using Blogger's photo upload feature.

So go ahead, explore the site and have some Flickr photo fun.

PS: A quick word about photo posting etiquette - When posting identifiable photos of other people (especially minors) is it advisable to get the person's permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like Flickr. Never upload pictures that weren't taken by you (unless you have the photographer's consent) and always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else in your blog.

PPS: This entry was posted via the "blog this" feature inside Flickr. The photo is of Forest Hills Library, where two of the three QL L2.0 team members work.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Week 2 Round Up

If you've already registered, congratulations. If you're thinking about signing up but haven't joined the party, let us emphasize that you can join up whenever you like as long as you finish everything by December 24. The last "thing" will be posted the week of November 19, and you will have an additional four weeks to finish.

Total Registrants: 61
Total Comments Left on QL L2.0 "official" blogs: 98
Total Blog Names Incorporating "Learn": 7
Total Blog Names Incorporating "Library" or "Librarian": 14
Total Blogs Incorporating a Person's Name: 8
Total Blogs With "Blog" in Name: 7

Some of our favorite names so far:
  • Learning Qurve
  • Lycheelicious
  • Vandal Camaraderie Plaza
  • (what the world needs now is…) One More Blog

    You will, of course, want to write about the Things in your blogs, but please feel free to post about other things that may be of interest, like U.S. Librarians In Prague.

    Next up: Flickr. Due to the holiday, the three things will (probably) be posted on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. In the interim, click around your colleagues' blogs. Leave comments or ask for tips if you see something you like. If you registered but do not see your blog listed under Participants, email us at ql.things@gmail.com
  • Sunday, September 30, 2007

    #4 Register your blog

    If you've made it this far, you already have three items or "things" completed of the 23 1/2 that are required to earn the gift card (not to mention qualify for the laptop drawing).

    But how do you qualify? Good question! By registering your blog and recording your progress on each of the 23 1/2 Things. For the sake of simplifying this process for Queens Library staff involved, you will need to send an e-mail to ql.things@gmail.com with your name, employee number, and a link to your blog.

    Each blog post should reflect your thoughts and experiences on each thing. Aim to write 100-150 words for each post.

    #3 Grab yourself a blog in 3 steps

    Now that you've done some exploring around this website and understand how this program will work, it's time to setup your very own personal blog to begin recording your thoughts, discoveries and exercises in. For this program, I recommend that you use Blogger*, a popular free online blog hosting service that is extremely easy to use.

    Creating a blog using Blogger takes just three steps:

    1. Create an account (view screenshot)
    2. Name your blog (view screenshot)
    3. Select your template (view screenshot)

    Once you've created your blog here are two important things to know:

    To add posts: The maintenance interface that you will use to add posts, edit or change the step-up your blog is accessed online at http://www.blogger.com. Be sure to write down your login and password.

    To view your blog: Your blog address is http://(xxxx).blogspot.com, (xxxx)=the unique identifier you entered in Step 2. Be sure to also write down your blog address.

    If you run into problems or would like more information about blogs and using Blogger here is a resource you can use:

    * Blogger's Quick Tutorial

    OK -- Now, it's your turn...

    Discovery Exercise:

    1. Setup a blog for yourself through Blogger. https://www.blogger.com/start
    2. Add a test post or two.
      Note: Use one of your test posts to create an entry about the habits among the 7 and 1/2 lifelong learning habits that is easiest and hardest for you & why. Posts should be 100-150 words in length.
    3. Have fun!

    IMPORTANT NOTE: How you choose to identify yourself on your blog is your choice. You can blog under a screen name, anonymously, or as yourself. However, in order to qualify for the gift card and laptop drawing, you will need to send an e-mail to ql.things@gmail.com.

    Use of Blogger is only a recommendation. If there is another blog hosting site that you are more comfortable with, please feel free to use it.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    #2 Lifelong Learning

    Among libraries, lifelong learning is one of the core values we practice. Before we embark on this new online learning and discovery journey that we should take a few minutes to review a few habits that can assist in creating lifelong learners.

    These habits, which PLCMC* called the Seven and 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners, will provide you with a refresher on what it means to be a lifelong learner.

    Discovery Exercise:

    1. Make sure you have headphones or speakers attached to your computer.
    2. Open up the 7 & 1/2 Habits online tutorial* and view the online tutorial.
    3. As you watch and listen, write down which habit among the 7 & 1/2 that is easiest for you and which is hardest. You will use your personal blog (which you will set up next) to post your thoughts about lifelong learning.

    Have fun! If you haven't jumped on board yet, it's never too late to become a lifelong learner.

    *This tutorial was created by PLCMC, the library system that pioneered the Learning 2.0 program. If you are unable to hear the tutorial's narration or you lack headphones, you can opt to read the text in the tutorial's left sidebar.

    Next Up: Creating your blog so you can begin tracking your journey. Several staff have already taken a jump start on this activity, so if you're up to it why not join the early bird crowd.

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    Just a quick post ...

    ... to address a few things:

    1. Even though it might not make sense now, registration does not occur until next week. This is to give you time to learn about the program before you set up your own blog. The first four things are designed for simplicity's sake to ease you into learning about web 2.0 things. You'll be blogging before you know it.

    2. We are blown away by your enthusiasm. It's great to see everyone's comments. Keep 'em coming, and we can't wait to start reading your blogs next week.

    3. If you happen to read this before tomorrow, be sure to stop by our table at the staff breakfast. We'll have additional flyers for anyone who did not receive one.

    --QL L2.0 Team

    #1 Play. Discover. Have a Blast.

    Welcome to QL's Learning 2.0 program & blog. Chances are if you've found your way here you're either:
    1. A member of Queens Library's staff who's participating in the Learning 2.0 program.
    2. Interested in learning about and playing around (yes, recreation is part of our mission) with some new web 2.0 tools that will help you expand your information literacy toolbox.
      - or -
    3. Interested in earning an awesome $25 gift card and the chance to win a new laptop.

    Either way, it's good to have you!

    Learning 2.0 is an online learning program that encourages staff to learn more about emerging technologies on the web that are changing the way people, society and libraries access information and communicate with each other.

    Over the course of the next nine weeks this website will highlight "23 1/2 Things" and discovery exercises to help staff become familiar with blogging, RSS news feeds, tagging, wikis, podcasting, online applications, and video and image hosting sites.

    To familiarize yourself with this project, be sure to read the About page. The FAQs should answer most of your questions about this program. If not, then please add your question to the FAQ page as a comment.

    So fasten your seat belts, grab your mouse and get ready for a discovery adventure … and remember, it's OK to play in the library and have fun! The program starts today, September 24th and concludes in 13 weeks. Go at your pace, just make sure to enjoy your trip!

    Monday, May 7, 2007

    Hello and Welcome

    Welcome to Queens Library Learning 2.0 program. This program will launch September 24. Stay tuned to this blog for more details. Also, please stop by the Queens Library Learning 2.0 table at the staff breakfast.