Saturday, November 24, 2007

Week 9 # 23 Wrap up

Well, here I am at # 23! I have just looked back at my oldest posts, and I am reminded that I really had no idea what I was embarking on. The week of looking at social networking sites coincided with my son and his flatmates putting our dog’s profile on the Dogbook section of Facebook and they were very surprised that I knew what they were talking about! On to Flickr – with a new grandchild due next year, this will be a great way of sharing photos.

The next stage was RSS feeds and I have to say I found this section the most difficult of the whole journey, and had to call upon a more IT savvy workmate to assist the first time I added a feed. The library feeds exercises showed very useful ways of both helping our customers and helping ourselves to locate useful information about book reviews and so on. The Image Generators would be a good place for finding ideas for Christmas themes, both for library decorating and for personal use. The folksonomies concept caters very well to people with like interests, so that they can take advantage of others’ knowledge in building their lists of favourites. Wikis and online tools are unbelievably useful, so thanks to the ACL Learning programme for drawing our attention to all these.

I had heard of YouTube of course and had even followed a link to one or two videos myself, but I had never before gone to the site and had a look around – I will be returning frequently. And the ebooks resources in our own library were a revelation! How can we advertise this better to customers?

Many thanks to Jane and the team for all their work. Congratulations – it’s a great programme.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Week 9 # 22 ebooks

I successfully set up an account with NetLibrary, which was very easy. I searched for a few books which I guessed were long out of copyright, such as Little Women and Pride and Prejudice, and added them to my Favorites. There are many books by authors such as Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde available. The Anne of Green Gables series is there too.
I also searched for Shakespeare and saw that there are a lot of Cliffs Notes on Shakespeare’s plays which would be very handy for students of English literature, particularly since the text of all these ebooks is searchable, so it would be very easy to bring up a particular quote, rather than searching through a hard copy.
There were also many ebooks on computer software such as Photoshop, which would be very convenient to access if you ran into a problem and needed a quick answer. I can see I will spend many happy hours on NetLibrary – one thing just leads to another.

There has been some publicity in the media this week about Kindle, the electronic book reader, so I had been doing some reading about it before it popped up in this exercise. It seems very pricy at $US399 but presumably like all new technology it won’t take long for the price to tumble if it catches on. It would be great to have on an overseas trip if it can indeed hold 200 books and last 30 hours before recharging. I would definitely be interesting in owning one if it lives up to its promise.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Week 9 # 21 Podcasts

For this exercise I first of all went to and selected the alphabetical option. Purely randomly I clicked on B and then decided on Baby Boomers (simply because I am one!) This brought up four options. However, I then ran into trouble with my chosen podcast because I was required to download something called ActiveX, but ended up going around in circles because of course I couldn’t download it here at the library and couldn’t get any further without it. So then I went to Yahoo podcasts and searched on Library, and came up with “Resources for librarians who are interested in the application of web design and technologies in libraries”. This is the one I chose: lwc_podcast2.mp3 which seems to be an oral blog.
I suspect you would have to be selective in what blog to listen to, as come might be a bit rambling. Probably better to stick to radio broadcasts and other professionally made podcasts.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Week 9 # 20 YouTube

On looking around the YouTube home page I saw the tab categories, , so went there first to have a look at what was available. I chose the category Pets and Animals, and from there a video clip from National Geographic called Flamingos of Bogoria (duration 3 min., 14 sec) which certainly demonstrates there is no sentiment in Mother Nature. There were also homemade video clips on the site which people had made of their pets, some of which were very funny.
The first thing I noticed was the length of time it took to bring up a category once you clicked on it - bandwidth hogs indeed! However it seems to be a site of endless possibilities, and could keep anyone entertained for hours. Suitable video clips would be a great feature on library websites, drawing customers attention to events, services and resources.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Week 8 # 19 Discovering Web 2.0 tools

For this exercise I selected a site from the list of Web 2.0 Awards nominees at, under the category Questions and Advice, called Yahoo Answers, which is an interactive site for knowledge-sharing. This is not a search engine, but a site where you can pose a question and other people answer in real time. Obviously, you would not get an answer immediately, but if you had a specific question which Google or a similar search engine couldn’t provide the answer to, this would be a great place to go. Equally, you can share your knowledge with others by answering questions. An example of a question which I saw while browsing is How do you keep cats from climbing up the Christmas Tree??. I must say the first answer (“Screw the tree stand to the floor.”) seemed a bit extreme, until I read another (“Put mousetraps in the tree.”)! Pet repellent spray around the base of the tree seemed the most sensible solution.
This certainly looks a very promising and entertaining site, and one which I will no doubt use from time to time. It seems very simple to use. I think this would have an application in a library setting when schoolchildren pose those awkward questions from their homework assignments!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Week 8 # 18 Online productivity

I signed into Zoho Writer and then imported this Microsoft Word document from my own files. I notice the 'degree' symbol didn't import properly but can't initially see how to fix this. This programme obviously doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Word but I can see it would be a great way to ensure that everyone can read your document without having to worry about whether the person you're sending a file to has the software to read your version.

P.S Publishing to the blog from Zoho Writer was a breeze.


600g potatoes

50g butter

300g thin smoked streaky bacon rashers

freshly ground pepper

120g gruyere or similar cheese, grated

Heat the oven to 220ûC. Peel the potatoes and slice them very thinly. Brush a 24-26cm cast iron or similarly heavy ovenproof dish with a little melted butter.

Line the dish with the slices of bacon, covering the bottom and sides and leaving the upper third or so of each rasher hanging over the top of the dish. Put in a layer of potatoes, season with pepper and scatter over some cheese. Repeat the layers, finishing with potatoes. Cover the potatoes with the bacon overhang. Dot with the remaining butter, cover with a double layer of foil and bake for about 1 hour or until the potatoes are cooked.

Remove the dish from the heat, uncover and let it stand for 5 minutes. Loosen the bacon rashers from the sides of the dish and turn the "cake" out onto a warm serving dish. A green salad is a good accompaniment.

Serves 4.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Week 7 # 17 Playing around with PBWiki

My first task was to find out what PBwiki means, and apparently it means Peanut Butter Wiki, as in “it’s as easy as peanut butter”. Users can create free wikis with advertising, or pay for a wiki and avoid ads. Wikis can be public or private (password protected). The ACL Learning wiki was created using the free version. I logged in and added my blog to the Favourite Blogs page and it seemed very easy – too easy, so maybe it didn’t work!

I went to Favourite Books page and immediately saw two of my favourite books in the first few listed, so I knew I would like this page. However only a few of the books listed had a link to a review or to the catalogue which was disappointing. I added a link to the ACL catalogue for the Poisonwood Bible, one of my all time favourite books.

I looked into Favourite Recipes and found only one link to a recipe there (quick lasagne, yum) so added a link to a sticky date pudding recipe. Happy cooking!