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.

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