Thursday, February 24, 2011

Twaddle

Twaddle or Twitter ? -  So much talk! The fact that someone needs an account to get information from Twitter might in some cases be a deterrent. As mentioned in our 23 Things, there is the possibility of catching the last news item that hasn’t yet reached the UP’s yet.  For some patrons it is a good source of hiding behind the screen type of having their say. I'll admit it does have it's uses. It's quiet, and can grab people's attention for hours. Hey, where was this when my children were growing up! No, seriously, after searching for someone to follow, I located Holly Black whose books can fill my world for hours. And while looking for a emerging event...I have to say I got side tracked by Simon and Schuster's offer of free reads on PulseItBooks.com but I will go back to see the other messages my search found on teen books.

Facebook - First there was MySpace and now Facebook. My Mom always said children should be heard and not seen. Or was it the other way around? In any case, there are a number of my friends and family who choose to use Facebook to keep in touch and so I have an account. I just don’t use it so often. Facebook is a little easier for me to handle as it isn’t a blow by blow account of someone’s day. It’s the business’ that have accounts that I believe could offer the most useful information to our patrons.

In addition, from my perspective, I believe teens need to practice socialization skills and both Twitter and Facebook can allow this to happen. My only concern is we still haven’t learned to talk nice to others nor have we gained the ability to stop and think before we speak. Still, would I recommend them? Yes. Patrons need to make their own decisions and in many cases they may well find some uses for these social networks that escape me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Where's the fun?

Google Docs -I have been to Google Docs and found them quite useful if for some reason you don't have access to storage on the computer you are using or a thumb drive. This happens a lot to our patrons. As to my work, there is the opportunity for me to upload information from my desktop that I may need access to at home and this is a shorter route then having to copy the information to a thumb drive, remember where I put it, and than upload it to my computer at home. So this is an acceptable source for saving and transfering information. For myself I would rather it be temporary. For our patrons, I would caution them not to use this storage space for sensative information.
Google Books - now this is a horse of another color! I will take my books anyway I can get them and if I can get some free and download them to every ereading device I have so much the better. In case of point, I wanted to read Pride and Predjudice by Bronte. I probably did at some point purchase a paper back copy, and while it is most likely buried under to tonage of the rest of my book collection at home, I was able to download a free copy to read on my device. Fun! Although, the books to purchase here are running neck and neck with Amazon.
Google Scholar - could be enhanced if I could get my mitts on the full text of ERIC documents, but it isn't too bad. Because it cuts to the chase when you put in a subject there didn't seem to be the number of links to have to chase down. This might be of help for research when patrons are looking for reports and we get a number of education majors.
Google Patents - I believe if a patron was interested in patenting an invention, this would be a site to check for anything that might duplicate their invention. Although, I believe I would need the Krell's brain boosting machine to even begin to understand the drawings, much less the instructions.
Google Uncle Sam -  After searching for government grants, the links appeared to be closer to what I was looking for than when I used the general Google search, narrowed down a bit. There were more direct links to things that patrons have requested in the past such as vital stats and where to send for them. There was still a lot of sifting to do since it is government.
Google Maps - Thanks to Lynette for leading me to the yellow brick road and putting helping me find my way to the Emerald City. When you create a set of maps, you can store a number of addresses one right after the other, like connecting the dots, that can take me from one outreach to another. This would be really grand for a patron who has to make several stops on the way or too keep a log of directions of where they are going or where they have been.
Google Sites - Creating your own website can be a challenge. I enjoyed using the now defunct Adobe PageMill and Front Page, but this is a good start for those who aren't into the pulling their hair out to make everything stay where you want it. It's a lot easier to stay out of trouble to offering you materials that don't infringe on copywrite laws. This would be good for a beginner and would be at the top of my list for someone who wanted to create a simple website.
iGoogle - For a long time iGoogle helped me keep up the weather in the parts of the country where I had family. I won't so crazy about the busy backgrounds they offered but loved checking out the extra gadgets. Sometimes I had a hard time turning them off or keeping from over crowding my homepage.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Testing the Waters of Blogs

After duly checking out the three blogs offered for our perusal, I have found two that I would make use of
both for different reasons.
librarian.net - This website is visiually easy to read, while the knowledge she imparts is both informational and intriguing. It captures the attention first because some of it may directly impact my work such as the info about keyloggers and than articles about that statisfy my curiousity, such as the library in New York City that was an apartment building. Short and to the point. Quick reads.

ddc.typepad.com/ - Dewy blog, does what all expert librarians are supposed to do in the Library World, it catagorizes information. There is a lot of information here and it takes time to sort through it. As a resource to help patrons better understand Dewy, this is a good start.
I will be checking back in periodically with both of these blogs to see what's up, how I can make use of them  to assist my patrons and further enhance my own knowledge.