Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I've been impressed--it's often been eye-opening--with the amount and kinds of information, entertainment, and creative thinking on the Internet. I feel at the end of the day that I know more about where to find good books and book reviews, as well as author interviews; can find and explore some pertinent and lively discussions on blogs, podcasts, wikis; can use and follow tags to sort out my discoveries and input to such sites as Library Thing and Delicious; and can have as much fun as my kids in exploring You Tube or playing with an online Meez. And I also discovered some cool sites on the Web 2.0 awards list. It's been a bit rushed for me (I started in October) but well worth it, despite the sense of cramming for a test. On the negative side, I got bored with all the little info-"bytes," the time drain, and the facile content: you begin to feel all life begins with the worldwide web. Still, it was well worth the journey!
I looked through Overdrive titles with some interest and will revisit titles in the future, especially hard to get, popular audios, though I see we would have holds on these titles even at such sites. The NetLibrary podcast was helpful, since we get questions from time to time about downloading problems with our own NetLibrary and Maryland Consortium. I find the Project Gutenberg site to be a little jargony and hard to follow, though the project itself is momentous. The titles I found on NetLibrary were ones I would tend to put a hold on here, rather than try to download. I may find myself more interested in downloading audios after I use my new MP3 player for awhile!
I visited podcast.com and was surprised at the varied topics and level of expertise of the podcasts. I especially gravitated toward the book reviews (including Diana Gabaldon and a reading of a Defoe novel, Roxanna) or educational podcasts (one called ShakesPodosphere was a discussion of early sonnets) and also like the how-tos (how to play piano included a fairly informal discussion of chords, with everyone chiming in from around the country). The most polished podcasts I listened to I found at the online Washington Post site, where I listened to an interview with Oliver Sacks on music and the brain (how music is somehow wired in the brain of stroke victims, even Alheimer's patients). On this same site I found a link to a National Geographic video of elephants in an African wildlife sanctuary that were being systematically poached for their ivory tusks. It was horrible seeing what happens to the elephant families, but was a graphic statement that probably would not have made it to television--the images were amazing. These podcasts are an excellent source for students (lectures, directions) and are also often (not always) entertaining.
This is great fun and should be wonderful for book groups seeking video interviews with authors. I watched Mary Lawson talking about the genesis of her book, "The Other Side of the Bridge," the book I'm discussing with a library group. I'm also reading "Loving Frank" and discovered a you tube video of the author touring Frank Llloyd Wright houses,and, in particular, the one he built for Mamah (his second wife) and the family she raised before running away with Frank. I also checked out LibVibe to watch library news--a report on missing items at L of C and an Internet filtering debate (a little boring, actually). These videos would be great for our author visits and could expand our audiences. We could also use You Tube to promote our services and collections.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I like the idea of Rollyo and signed up for the choices (health, libraries, and books +authors). I may use these, especially the book websites, for recommendations. I like the simplicity of bookmarks, however, and maybe Rollyo is a little redundant unless you're writing for the NY Times or are Arianna Huffington. I went back to Rollyo simply to refresh my memory of it: I decided to do a rollbar of favorite libraries, to find books and book club ideas. It's still a little overwhelming to think about the numbers of sites you can peruse through, if you have the time and stamina.
Merlin seems packed with resources for techno-impaired librarians. I like the links to library blogs, some of which I need to peruse when I have more time. I was also impressed by the online courses available, from "how to handle difficult customers" to technology-related courses and wikis. I'll definitely visit Merlin from time to time to see what's new.