Thursday, March 15, 2007

Week 9: Exercise #23 Summarize your thoughts

Horary! I finally finished this learning program. I need to record this historical moment- March 15, 2007 at 12:35 pm. :-) I understand that I had worked on every exercise seriously with my best efforts. The workload of completing 22 exercises is not less than taking an intensive class. I am going to reward myself with a long sleep.

The above 22 things is my knowledge now. However the exercise 23 is the important input for the administrative team to formulate future learning program. Therefore, I would sincerely present my thoughts below.

1.Appreciation: First of all, I want to express my thanks for the learning 2.0 team who answers my questions, views my blog and gives me feedback. Seeing any comment is important for us. Also I wan to thank Sandra who sends out the weekly tips which helped me start efficiently. Jenny’s visitation to our branch was also helpful to me and many colleagues.

2.More Focused: This program covers a lot of topics for us to learn. I would suggest choose several important ones and allow us to have more time to explore in depth. For example, using Wiki as a tool for creating a path finder is a good idea. Then SJPL can start a library wiki in particular subject area for us to participate.

3.Updated handout: I do not know when the handout is last updated. Some of the screen prints do not match exactly what we see. There are also some steps are not clearly stated. It is difficult to learn by ourselves if we do not have clear instruction to follow. Individual Exploration is very time consuming. For example, in the podcast exercise, we are asked to subscribe RSS to our Bloglines account. Yahoo podcasts do not have obvious big RSS sign. It is embedded under each podcast. It took me a while to find it so I can copy and past to Bloglines.

4.Mission impossible for some staff: Although we are encouraged to learn this at work hours, in reality it is a mission impossible. I asked some people, none of them seem able to do it at work. This kind of learning needs concentration and non interruption. We are so busy at work. I cannot figure out how we can do this at work, especially for some staff like pages and clerks. For this reason, I would suggest to design shorter program for them so anyone can participate.

I like the job as a librarian because I pursue a career with life-long learning opportunity. This Learning 2.0 program exactly provides me an opportunity to extend knowledge after I graduated from the library school. I will definitely participate in any of the similar programs in the future.

Thanks to Virtual Service Team-you had done a good job!

Week 9: Exercise #22 Explore Ebooks and Audio Ebooks

I had heard many librarians proclaim they are book lovers. However, I rarely heard people mention they are fans for E-books or Audio E-books.

Once a while, I would like to listen to Book CD while I have a long drive. Personally I do not enjoy E-books or Audio E-books in general. The main reason for me is “listening” or reading” an E-book does not give me the feeling of exactly turning the pages and reading something real. However, I can foresee E-books are an inevitable trend to hook book reading to the Z generation who owns all sorts of electron gears.

I explored JPL’s E-books site carefully since I had been questioned at information desk and did not know the proper answers. Now I would like to propose my observations here.

First, to most customers, they do not know the difference between Net Library and Overdrive Digital Library. They do not understand under what circumstance they should search a title in Net Library or when they should go to Digital Library. This type of basic questions should be informed through the SLPL E-book Site to let the customers know about it.

Second, Another problem puzzled me is the search feature in SJPL E-books site. I wonder if this search feature is linked to SLPL’s book catalog. If yes, why isn’t there an advanced search feature here? I assume if there is the advanced search feature would help librarians or customers yield more precise results.

Third, why E-Books is listed under the category of Research instead of the home page?
Here is the link takes me to the E-book collections.

I assume E-books are considered an important part of the SJPL collection and cost lots of money to subscribe, shouldn't it put at a dominant place for people to see and to use? I doubt the public would know it is hidden under Research. Is there a particular reason for doing this?


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Week 9: Exercise #21 Podcasts

I thought learning would be easy and smooth for me toward the end. However, it was not true for the Podcasts exercise. First, I thought a PC and a speaker would be enough for me to start. I explored first but it requires download of QuickTime. I encountered to shut down my computer for two times then had to restart. It also took me a while to locate a favorite podcast. Finally I found one that I enjoyed. It is called Nature Cures Clinic Health Chat, which is a good program discusses the various topics relate to health and disease with alternate and contemporary treatment.

I turned to to see if I had better luck. Unfortunately, its layout and the quality of the content were unbearable. I tried some searches and found the results were just far behind my expectation.

The last shot was Yahoo podcasts. I liked it the best. The layout, the coverage and the content was the best among all the three podcast directories. It was so easy to get what I want and without even asking me to download additional program to listen. I found several podcasts that I liked such as NPR: Story of the Day, Inside Silicon Valley, ESL learning etc.

I especially liked the features What We Like and What Other People Like. In my opinion, this organized feature will help numerous users access at least something they enjoyed with the least efforts.

Now I have one question.

Do I have to install QuickTime or iTunes to hear some podcasts? I saw the license mark from Apple, is there any copyright issue associated with those podcasts?

Thanks for your answer!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Week 9: Exercise #20 Discover YouTube

I have heard YouTube is very popular among young people and many bad things about it. Therefore, I never have the real interest to explore what on earth is YouTub and why it is so loved by many people.

Look at the “mission statement” that I took from YouTube. I highlight the important words below.
  • YouTube is a way to get your videos to the people who matter to you.
  • With YouTube you can:• Upload, tag and share your videos worldwide
  • Browse thousands of original videos uploaded by community members
  • Find, join and create video groups to connect with people with similar interests
  • Customize your experience with playlists and subscriptions

I kind of understand why it is popular. As I had observed, YouTube at least has these features: broad coverage and influence, free and freedom, a social and fun place. Most of all, the user has total control of what he wants to post. There is no wonder it is popular for the young generation who wants to be in the driver seat.

Personally I see the educational value of YouTube is minimum; however, I find out its tagging feature is wonderful. It is very easy for me to find the videos that I want to see and avoid those that I dislike. Maybe the similar concept of tagging can comprehensively apply to the library’s website someday. Therefore, the website of the library is more user friendly.

Here is the funny library video that I like and want to share with you. I laughed when I watched it, how about you?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Week8: Exercise #19 Take a Look at LibraryThing

There are a couple of things that I want to say about LibraryThing.

First, this is a good tool for those book lovers who do not even have any knowledge about bibliographic records.

Second, this is a good tool for the library to merchandise the best sellers. The reader can easily find the books by covers.

Third, this is a safe social place for book lovers. I read some group discussion in the librarian LibrayThing; it contains healthy talk and constructive information exchange. As the statement in Q& A of LibraryThing, one answer to this question refers that “LibraryThing is not a dating site”.

Fourth: The feature of Tag is useful to perform the search. On the other hand, it also relates to other members who post the same books. Thus it is easy to know how many persons share the same interest.

I had posted my five books in
shuhua's LibraryThing. They are The Five Love Languages of Children, This I Believe, Two Sides of Love, This Is My Best: Great Writers Share Their Favorite Work and Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Week8: Optional Exercise #18 Post to blog through Zoho Writer

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart quotes

“[T]o talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.”

"Music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music.”

"It is a great consolation for me to remember that the Lord, to whom I had drawn near in humble and child-like faith, has suffered and died for me, and that He will look on me in love and compassion.”

"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.”

Week8: Exercise #18 Take a look at some online productivity (word processing, spreadsheet) tools.

My exploring process of Zoho Writer is fruitful. I like this online work processing tools for several reasons.

First, Clean Interface:
Comparing the interface with Microsoft Word and Zoho Writer, the latter one obviously looks nicer. The tool bar is user friendly with pictorial icons or words. icons or written buttons, and more user friendly.

Second, Comprehensive features:
As an online word processing tool, Zoho Writer has all the necessary features such as import, export, e-mail, share and so on. I especially like its feature of History which does not only allow me to know what I had done; I can also sort the documents by name, date and time. This feature also applies when I test the blog posting. The feature of Format gives the user a quick option to start the document. Other features provide options too. For example, the feature of e-mail allows mail-in or mail-out; the feature of share allows read only or read & write options.

Third, Connect to blogs:
Zoho Writer has a wonderful feature to allow the user to post the writing to the Blog directly. I think this is a very convenient feature to many users who have their personal blogs.