Friday, May 27, 2011

Thing #9: e-books

Does it count that I have a title in my hold list?  I just went on (Upper Hudson) and perused their e-book titles, and found one I'd really like to try, The Bird Sisters by  Rebecca Rasmussen, but unfortunately it was not available for immediate download (Oh, the horrors of delayed gratification!).  So I went ahead and added it to my hold list and apparently I'll be emailed when it becomes available, at which time I'll have 3 days to put it in my "digital book bag".  Oh, my....

Anyway, yes, I admit this was to be my first e-book download.  Yup, I'm a fan of the plain, old paper variety of books.  Not to say that I won't like their digital counterparts - I just haven't needed one yet.  It does sort of crack me up, though, that for my first experience looking for an e-book, every adult title I chose was unavailable and had several people ahead of me in the queue.  I guess these are indeed popular!

But to have the experience of uploading, I did eventually find a Magic Tree House book that was available (hallelujah!) and nabbed that.  Perhaps my son will want to cozy up to the computer screen tonight to read a few chapters?  Not quite as fun as when we snuggle in bed together to read, but hey... If he likes this, maybe I'll suck it up and buy a portable reader device :-)

Oh, and it just so happens that I've been talking to Terry Small about Follett's e-book bundles for my school library.  We're K-8, and although I don't think I want to try to push these on the K-5 set, I do think it might fly with 6-8, who are more likely to have iPads, etc.  I'm also strongly leaning towards their Professional Collection bundle as that's an area I've been working on a lot lately, and I'm still struggling to get the staff to touch the books I'm buying.  Maybe they'd like the ease of uploading from home when the mood strikes?  I've been putting out feelers and we'll see....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thing #8: Video

So here's my dirty little secret:  I have been madly in love with Dave Gahan (front man for Depeche Mode) since I was 12.  I have imaginary dates with him every day when I'm on the treadmill and my children can sing-along to countless Depeche Mode standards.  Not only that, but I actually spent $600 for third row seats (thanks eBay!) to see my sweetie pie in Boston a couple years ago, hoping in my feverish fantasies that he would spy me in the audience like that girl in the Bruce Springsteen video and suddenly realize I was the woman of his dreams.....  But, no.

Instead I keep my girlish crush alive through YouTube videos like this one that actually shows his apartment (address: 99 Jane Street, NYC - 11th floor.  Really, I'm NOT a stalker...).  If I pretend really hard I can almost see myself curled up on the red sofa right next to him - can't you (tee hee!)?

Opps!  Back to the assignment.  How can video sharing be helpful to libraries?  Well I think the Web Junction guys summed it up way better than I can.  You can use it to promote upcoming events, show off your resources, give online tutorials and tours, and just generally bring your services and space to the masses.  How would I use it?  Hmmmmm - maybe I should've tried the video editing assignment to see if I could photoshop myself into Dave Gahan's apartment.... (wavy lines indicating that Linda is about to have another day dream sequence)

But seriously - just this morning I used YouTube to try to find someone reading Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root because I can't figure out how to sing it to my 1st graders.  Sadly I found only two videos of it being read, both by children, and neither doing any better with it than I can.  If YOU happen to know what tune would work best with it, can you give me a call - or better yet - set up a web cam and meet me on Skype and show me just how it's done!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thing #7: Productivity & Collaboration Tools

What a fun project this week!  Usually I post my "homework" right away, but this week I had to slow down and do some real exploration! 

The two tools that I chose to focus on for this assignment are Delicious (bookmarks) and Only2Clicks (full page of web links).

Delicious will be really handy for when I'm working online at different locations (most notably, home and work).  I have already started loading it up with all my most necessary go-to spots.  This is a great way to consolodate my most needed web adresses and to make them easily accessible from wherever I am.

Only2Clicks should work out well for my students.  I already have ways of giving them web links for projects and general use, but I really like the visual format of this lay-out.  I just created a page for my 4th graders who are working on a reference packet in my class, and I'm sure they're going to love it.

Like so many others have posted, this is a lesson that I am sure to visit and re-visit time and again.  Thank you, Polly, for putting this handy list together.  Although it is not all inclusive, it certainly contains enough resources to keep someone busy (and happy) for a long, long time!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thing #6: Online Meetings & Webinars

Here's a topic that I feel pretty good about!  I was excited to have attended the first Questar webinar last year that Polly ran pertaining to Google functionality.  It was a terrific experience.  I really appreciated the fact that I could participate from home and at a convenient time after school.  Polly did an outstanding job leading the discussion and demonstrations, and showed us how easy it was to participate and comment.

So I just made my own account on Elluminate (boy - it WAS easy!), and right now have a live conference window open that I am playing with at the same time that I write this post.  I think this is what we used last year, isn't it Polly?  It looks very familiar.

Once I get the hang of it and figure out what kind of presentation I want to upload (step 2), I'll invite a couple friends to join me one evening and we'll give it a go.  I can see where this would be a great tool to use, especially for someone like me who works as the sole librarian (heck - I don't even have a clerk!) in a one-school district.  This can be an easy, convenient, and fun way to stay connected with fellow professionals - especially for those of us who might occasionally feel isolated and a little "dis-connected" from the wider library world :-)