Monday, December 17, 2007

Thing #23 What Did You Learn From This Experience?

I really enjoyed posting pictures up on the web and it was interesting to think about how we could use these tools to better engage our customers (see my post about podcasts). I hadn't stopped to look at a lot of the new things on the Internet for a while, and I was glad for this opportunity.

I'm probably going to spend some more time looking at our electronic collection, too. I really hadn't paid any attention to it, until I realized that we had Douglas Adams.

It was fun to try to see the Big Picture of how we can make these Web 2.0 tools work for the library and IF we should make them work for the library. The half hour of work time per week really wasn't enough to do it properly, though. I think we should allow people to budget more time for this program, should we offer it again. Would I do something like this? Yes, I probably would. (I think I'm going to maintain this blog and put more information about the books I'm reading on it, so I can keep track of them all, share ideas for readalikes, etc.)

Audiobooks, Thing #22, or we're getting closer.....

I have dial-up at home. I'm changing over to a faster internet connection, but in the meantime, downloading an audiobook from dialup takes FOREVER (over an hour), and I'm not sure if the customers who listen to audiobooks are going to want to wait that long for an audiobook. Also, I downloaded "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Tertiary Edition," which was actually an audiobook of "Life, the Universe, and Everything." I would have been annoyed if I'd been really interested in listening to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," so maybe somebody needs to go through the catalog to ensure that the digital media is cataloged properly.

Also, while I was downloading the audiobook, there was a box in the bottom right corner of the screen telling me that I could purchase the item from Napster. I think we should be careful about mentioning for-profit services on our webpage. We are still a non-profit organization; if we don't allow people to offer services for a charge at programs at the library, I think it's equally important not to offer fee-based services on our webpages as well.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Podcasts Thing #21 (almost there....)

OK, I can't open the podcasts from podcast alley, because the pc at work is demanding that I download another application; but gave me no problems at all, I just wasn't sure exactly what to look for. (I was pretty sure that The Daily Show and the Colbert Report were available via podcast, but I couldn't find them.) I tried looking through for humor, but then I had to figure out how to limit my search results to humor IN ENGLISH, because I won't understand humor in other languages. The see also suggestsion (marketing, sermons, electro, funk) made no sense at all to me. Now, the Old Time Radio Shows might be of interest to our customers, but are these the customers who will be able to find them? (Right content, wrong format problem.)

We might be able to use podcasts to record Library program's musical performances, so that people who can't make it to that branch or wish to listen to a concert again could be able to attend a "virtual" program; and we could also put links to other items that might be of interest to our customers as part of a podcast pathfinder; a page that had a podcast of a concert of Cole Porter music could also have links to CDs we have of Cole Porter's music; books about Cole Porter and Jazz in general; and movies about Cole Porter (though the only movie I know that would qualify is De-Lovely.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

YouTube Videos Thing #20

I'm undecided about YouTube. I think it's a wonderful resource in many ways and it makes me wish I had a much faster computer at home. Now I go to YouTube, let the video run once in the background while I do something else (check my email, usually), and then, after the video has been loaded into the cache, I can watch it all the way through. Since YouTube is such a bandwidth hog, I'm not sure it's appropriate for our webpage, because it would be telling our users that we are creating a webpage that is more easily accessible by those who have the money to have a really fast connection as opposed to those of us who have dialup.

However, it was easier to post that YouTube video to my blog than it was to post pictures to my blog.

Speech at the White House Correspondent's Dinner (2006) p1

I think this was a wonderful speech and I was so pleased that I got a free copy on DVD before CSPAN decided that demand was enough to justify charging for it; fortunately for everyone else, someone else put it on YouTube.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tools for 2.0 Task #19

I had a lot of trouble exploring picasa and picnik. I wanted to put some pictures up on the web (see the Cat in Lucca, the painting from the hotel, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa) but picnik took a very long time to upload the pictures from my laptop to the website. I had downloaded all of my pictures (23 of them) with Picasa before picnik had finished downloading one picture. I would recommend using Picasa to our customers over picnik (if I'm ever asked) because of this time difference.

However Google has some interesting Terms of Service that I'm not sure are appropriate; Google explains that the Terms of Service were written in English and if there's any difference between a foreign language translation and the English version the English version is correct and a user will be held to the English Terms of Service. I don't feel comfortable pushing a service that is that unfriendly to people who don't speak English fluently enough to read (and understand) Terms of Service in English.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Rethinking Facebook

I think we should rethink using Facebook anywhere. As a public entity that is committed to protecting our customers' privacy any public library should be very careful about endorsing and using a resource provided by a private entity that is less interested in privacy than in making a profit. Facebook's recent bad press might give customers' pause if we were using Facebook even if we did explicit state that any information gathered by Facebook is the property of Facebook. I know that our Terms of Use already address this issue, but I still think it's a slippery slope if we are using the Internet resource for a program or service (like a online reading group) that is endorsed by the Queens Library.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cat in Luca


I just liked this cat.
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Painting from vacation


This was one of the paintings at my hotel. Some patrons of the hotel thought it was a little racy.
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Italy pictures

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