Too Much Chaos
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
The program assists me in lifelong learning goals by making me more knowledgeable about what resources are out there. It also gives me a little more confidence that I will be aware of Web 2.0 resources when they are mentioned by others. I hope I will be able to utilize them to help people in the library.
A take-away that surprised me is that so many people spend so much time engaged in Web 2.0 activities. I don't understand how people have so much time for it, but I suppose some make it a priority in their lives.
I would definitely participate in another discovery program like this one. I think it would be improved by being realistic about the amount of time it takes. I spent an average of two hours on each lesson, more on some. If I hadn't taken three months off right in the middle because of other things going on in my life I would have spent much more time on each lesson. However, if I hadn't had some help from a co-worker, I would have been hopelessly stymied at some points. That was what took the most time, trying to find my way when I didn't know what I was doing. I know that the leaders of the program at HCPL would have helped me too, but since I was under the gun, there was no way to call on them.
Thank you for introducing me to many fascinating Web 2.0 resources. I know I've barely scratched the surface.
I went to Project Gutenberg and was amazed by the quantity of titles that are available. Many are quite academic in nature. It's helpful to be aware of this resource.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Well I went back to Podcast.net and saw that you don't have to download the software, but they think it helps. I tried listening & watching podcasts without the software, and they were fine. I went under Learning and Instruction and then put in Spanish. I listened to a podcast called Doors to a World of Adventures from ISA (Iowa State University). It was interesting and gave a lot of information, including several professors talking about the value of taking Spanish or other languages, but ultimately it turned out to be a promo for ISA's foreign language programs. I tried another podcast. This one was a videocast lesson -- Spanish Arriba -- on adjectives. The teacher used cards and pictures to demonstrate as she talked about various vehicles. It was a good beginning lesson. Another podcast on Spanish was the first of a series of audio podcasts on verbs using a combination of Spanish & English. It was good also. I tried to add the RSS feed for Spanish Arriba to my Bloglines account. I didn't succeed in doing that, but I was able to add it to my Favorites. (Meanwhile when I went back to Bloglines I was reminded that I had a feed for New York Times Movie Reviews and read the review of The Jane Austen Book Club and was sent to a video preview of the movie as well. What fun!)
I also used library and libraries for keyword searches for podcasts. I did get a group from the Sunnyvale Public Library, but they were so low in volume that I had to turn it way up just to hear. I'm not sure the public would get a lot out of the ones I attempted to listen to. Another one I tried called Rock & Roll Librarian turned out to be aimed at the grandparents of the little girl babbling as her father talks about the book she is experiencing "Touch & Feel Puppy." It's funny, especially for the baby's family. The Rock & Roll Librarian has other podcasts too. One is an interview with Dave Roman from Nickelodeon Magazine, where he edits comics. The Rock & Roll Librarian himself is a young adult librarian. There is potential for libraries and librarians to produce some valuable work using podcasts.
I heard and saw Nini Beegan's podcast and vodcast on Merlin and think she did a good job of making it seem like a very accessible process. That was the feeling I came away with from the podcast lesson. Podcasts are accessible, and you can learn a lot from them or just enjoy them.
I should have more to add later, but I want to keep moving for now.
Now it's the next day, October 3, and I still can't see any YouTube videos. They just won't come up. Also I tried the search for Library again, and it said: "Searching for videos is temporarily unavailable."
Could this site be useful in the library? Absolutely. If someone asks about places to go, it has recommendations and a map with the place marked on the map. You can zero in or out, just like on Mapquest. I checked on Pizza, and sure enough Matthews was at the top of the list. I've seen it on "Best Pizza" lists before. It's a place I've got to try as well as the crabcake places. Natasha R didn't review this place, so the reviews were all good.
I went on to desserts & bakeries. Everything sounds so good. I want to try them all.
Is the site totally comprehensive? No. I looked in some other areas by keyword -- rug cleaners (they listed three), ceramic tiles (listed several, but not the really great one I've been to recently in Parkville). They do list places they have no reviews for, such as the rug cleaners. And they do ask for you to contribute if they are missing something. To offer a more comprehensive review of the site, I wanted to move away from the Restaurants and Food categories, but then I saw that those really are the emphasis. They're the areas with the most reviews by far. So now I don't feel so guilty.
Monday, October 1, 2007
In Memory of Mr. Kitty
I just want to say a few words about Mr. Kitty. He was a stray gray tabby cat with a lot of white trim. My mother started feeding him in her yard in Lexington, South Carolina, several years ago. When my mother had surgeries and had to be in rehab for months, a friend (and I, when I was there) continued to feed him. When my mother had to come to Maryland to live in an assisted living, I brought Mr. Kitty too. I had taken him to the vet in South Carolina and learned that he was FELV positive. So he had to stay indoors, but he couldn't mix with my indoor cats. He stayed with my mother in her room at Catered Living of Bel Air. He grew fat, but he was happy. He stayed by my mother and purred loudly when I or staff came to visit and petted him. I had been afraid that he would long to be outdoors again, having started life that way, but he became quite a bed potato. When my mother had a fall and had to be hospitalized, Mr. Kitty continued to stay in her $3000 plus room for two months, and I would go visit him every day. But my mother had to move to another assisted living, one which wouldn't let her have a pet, so I took Mr. Kitty to live with me in my guest room. I went in to sit with him in the morning when I had my breakfast and in the evening after I got home. He would get very close to me and purr and purr. (He couldn't go out in the rest of my condo because I had three other cats of my own.) He remained there with me since February, but just last week, he suddenly seemed to go downhill. When he wouldn't come out on Friday and had stopped eating, I knew it was bad. The vet said that the feline leukemia had taken its toll and that he would have to be euthanized. I know she was right, because when we were in the examination room waiting for her, I petted him and petted him and he didn't purr and he no longer gazed into my eyes with adoration, but just looked straight ahead. It's hard to lose such a sweet pet, and I miss him in the morning and in the evening when I would normally go visit with him.