Thursday, November 02, 2006

Take a poll, change the world

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Library 2.0 summary

This has been a nice project (although I have one entry left) and an excellent idea. Unfortunately the circulation staff here at Morrison didn't have easy access to the internet and I know they were struggling down there to get this done. I hope someday soon circulation staffs will have internet access in their workrooms and at the front desk. I do not see any reason to handicap them so with all this talk of web and library 2.0.

I think the one of the 'things' that really surprised me was the wiki we put together. That was just like a bulletin board (or sandbox as some put it) that we could all play with. I find wikis very intriguing and I think the sky is the limit with them.

I guess what I like most about this project was that many of the websites out there that many people use and enjoy are now being embraced by libraries and businesses. There is more of an acceptance, it seems to me, of the internet. It's been demystified rapidly and projects like this will help library employees to stay, if not on the edge, then at least near the front with their internet know-how.

#15, the reading I saved for last

I hate to admit it but professional reading puts me to sleep. Mostly because %75 of it is filler and you have to slog through all that to get to point the writer is trying to make. Micael Stephens "Into a new world of librarianship" has a better ratio of content to fluff. I like that he maintains that technology for the sake of technology is a bad approach. He knows that the essential face to face interaction of our profession is one of the things people enjoy. That's why they come into the library, we just use our new tools to help them find more of what they need. Online resources are a good example. I can offer a user so much more information now than I could a few years ago. I can say here's a book, here's a magazine database and here's Wikipedia. Go crazy, kid.

Reimer's "To Better Bibliographic Services" has a great point about adding web features to catalogs. It seems that PLCMC is going in this direction and I hope our new catalog gives users all the options they desire. I think our catalog should someday allow the user to choose his own color scheme and text font and anything he or she chooses to customize. It's what people want and, from what I understand, is what made Myspace the success it is.
Thing #19

One of the first 2.0 things I guess I ever messed around with was the Google start page which I see is on this list. I used it for a while but it just didn't have enough space to do all the things I wanted. I guess the number of items I preferred to have access to couldn't fit on the page so I had to move on to Bloglines and Google still has my email traffic and my word processing documents so they didn't lose anything there.
Wiki Sandbox

I started the voting for the green anole in favorite pets. It looks like they won in a landslide. Go green anoles! I had fun with the Wiki sandbox. It looks like more than a couple of people returned and kept playing with it. By adding fake votes to the green anoles I started a fun competition with the dog and cat people. It was like tagging a wall with a gang sign.

Online productivity

I've been using for a while now and it's been bought out by Google and is now known as Google documents. There still are some bugs to work out in the word processing program but it is nice to be able to access my work from anywhere and not have to worry about losing my flash drive or discs.

Video websites

I've been messing around with Youtube for over a year now. One of my favorite searches to do is plugging in the word NASCAR along with the name of the track they raced at most recently. You can always find a video or two made by fans in the stands and these videos give you a completely different perspective than the view you get from network television. If you do this search be sure to sort by dated added.

Net Library

I am currently downloading "God Wills it" a book about the crusades. I've done some searching before but I have never actually attempted to download a title. I am still more than a little disappointed that I can't get these titles in mp3 format so I can put them on my Ipod. Maybe someday?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I checked out the three podcast directory and I liked because you could narrow the categories down a bit further there than on the other two. Instead of just sports you could find podcasts about types of sports under that heading. That is much more helpful. I'll have to mess around with that some more at home and see if I can find some to add to my Ipod.

I also found this nice column from PC Magazine about podcasting the death of radio.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wiki Stuff

I went ahead and contributed to the Learning 2.0 wiki. Kind of a nice little website there. In some ways it reminds me of Writely. Writely also allows you to share and collaborate just on text documents. I used it once to share with an employee at another branch who was working on a class similar to what I was working on. It allowed him to see how I was approaching the class and steal any ideas he wished. I don't know how much it helped him. I viewed his finished product and I think his syllabis was better than mine, the over achieving creep.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

More Panoramas

The first is the circulation workroom at Morrison and the second is a night shot of Morrison.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Living Room 2.0?

This post about the upcoming innovations from Apple is very intriguing.

This got me thinking about Myspace. I have a feeling that Myspace is going to be very short lived. I am actually a little surprised that it hasn't been usurped by by instant messengers. Why not have have an instant messenger that has the ability to network like Myspace? Once instant messengers become interconnecting and friend lists interlink then who in the heck needs Myspace? You would think social networking could become decentralized pretty easily in a way similar to bit torrent technology.

That's another reason that bill that went through the house of representatives in late July is so silly. Any website that requires you to create a username is essentially a social networking website. I guess you can slam any bill through our congress if you declare that you are a patriot or that you are protecting children. All that bill really is is a reaction to Myspace. Teens have been networking on the internet since they first got on. Myspace just did it right.

Funny, I thought Rollyo was Fred Sanford's neighbor not a website. I forgot that I had a Rollyo account until I tried to log in with my usual user name and found out somone had already used it. Must have been me so I had them email my password to me. I had already made a search for used and rare books. Give it a shot here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Playing with tags

OK, I am going to try tagging my post. Is there an easier way than using this html code? I really don't want to have to memoize any more code. Ever.

Just for an example: I like Primus. They are one of my favorite bands. Do you like Primus?

Delicious (not so)

I tried Delicious a couple of months ago and I wasn't too fond of it. I found that you couldn't arrange your links alphabetically and was told about and immediately switched over to that site. Helene mentioned that people might like Delicious because of the social networking aspect of it. Not being a big user of sites like Myspace that has never been a concern of mine. I like to be able to arrange my content the way I like it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Library Thang

I tried Library Thing a while ago and I thought it was interesting but I didn't keep up with it. I didn't see where it would really be of use to me. I put a few of my personal books up and moved on. There is a site or two that will allow you to do the same thing with your DVD's. I did make a list of my bootleg CD's for trading purposes and I did that at That allow me to share what I have so I can trade with other collectors. To each his own, I guess.
The Big Madden Tournament

This Saturday we had our big Madden football tournament on the Xbox. I had 11 total participants and I even joined in to make it an even twelve. We had three Xbox's going so the twelve of us were able to complete the tourney is just a couple of hours. If you are wondering how I did, I lost in the first round on the last play of the game. I was trying to the tie the game and send it into overtime and my wide receiver was tackled on the one yard line. Football is heartbreaker.

We played with a basic tournament bracket with one loss putting you out. We used 4-minute quarters and used an unofficial mercy rule if a game was too out of hand and other games in that round we over. I only had to call one game due to time consideration. In Madden if a team falls behind and has to start passing the contest can go on forever because each incomplete pass stops the game clock. If that player is really bad then it can become a nightmare.

About three guys who signed up arrived an hour after we started and I couldn't work them into the bracket. That's too bad because 16 players would have been perfect. At least everyone who showed up was able to get some free play in after the tournament shook out and one of the three Xboxes opened up for practice and free play. No one left disappointed.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

OK, one more

I saw this one and couldn't resist trying the generator.

OK, I'm in.

At least Steve Irwin, AKA The Crocodile Hunter, died doing what he loved: harassing animals in the wild.
The new seal

I guess this works.

This is too funny

I was going to spell "Library 2.0" but you can't put numbers in. Strange. You can find the generator here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Someone else did it

In case anyone cares I went ahead and made my Bloglines subscriptions public. You can view them here.

Monday, August 28, 2006


So this week we are doing Bloglines. I love Bloglines. Before I took Helene's class a couple of months back I was using Google's personalized webpage. I was unhappy with how it worked and was thrilled to see how you could personalize the categories in Bloglines. Before that I had messed around with but that site stressed reading blogs and I stopped going to it after a while. Was I ahead of the curve? We'll let history decide. My conclusion? Bloglines is the bomb. It's an incredible time saver and allows you to waste time on the Internets twice as effectively.

Along this line I would also recommend I use my account here to bookmark sites that don't have a useful RSS feed. I was initially using Delicious for this but I didn't like how Delicious didn't allow you to personalize your websites. It ordered them by either popularity or date added. How unuseful is that?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Morrison Library Exterior

Originally uploaded by edwardmmcdonald.
I took this so we could use it on our inhouse program schedule that Ms. Melanie puts together every month.

Reference Panorama

Originally uploaded by edwardmmcdonald.
This is the view from the reference desk at Morrison. I did it with a trial version of some very cool software. I wanted to purchase it but it was a too expensive since I wouldn't be using it all that much.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

This library 2.0 thing

I've been struggling with the term "Library 2.0" I do not have a problem with moving forward with our technology and integrating these new technologies into the daily workings of the library. That's part of what we do. To me the term itself smacks a little of, not desperation, but a sense of urgency. When computers were first introduced to branches when I worked in circulation at the Independence library there weren't proclamations about library 1.5 making the rounds. Lifelong learning is obviously a good thing. I feel like a I do it every day as I check Bloglines or look at another library employee's blog or read a book review or answer some reference question that came out of the vicinity of left field.

Perhaps the sense of urgency is legitimate. Here at MOR I felt us slowly getting obsolete over the last year or so. I was telling way too many people that we didn't have wifi capability. Our computers were too slow and our CD-ROM's were read-only. Oops, they still only read but, you know what I mean. Is that what 2.0 is? A wake up call to libraries and their staff? Are we afraid of becoming obsolete?

Maybe the term Library 2.0 is something the outside world can discover and then think that their local libary is leading the way in technology. That is good for us. I guess in that way it's similar to the library of the year award we won a while back. Our foray into the world of Library 2.0 could be a little bit of marketing. It's something we can speak about to the media. One of the most enlightening statements I heard in library school was when the director of the program said, "the main goal of an institution is to survive." Library 2.0 is helping us to survive by being an image and a project.

I guess I see it as arbitrary. Haven't we always gone forward, tried new services, integrated new technologies? To me it's still the library with a few new toys. You could all it Library 6.66 and we'd still be trying new things and offering new services. What all this makes me wonder is are we too scared or not scared enough?

Straight to the top

I've found something that will put you in front of numbers on a list, punctuation.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Work dialogue

I walk into circulation workroom and get asked a question:

Circulation person: Ed, who's your favorite James Bond?
Me: Um...that's like asking me what's my favorite diet soda.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Chain, chain, chain

Yesterday a regular patron axed me for my email address because he wanted to send me some information about how all our cell phone numbers being released to telemarketers. My urban legend sense started tingling yet I gave him my email address. After I received his email I went to and found an article about this email being a bogus chain email. It copied the link and sent it to him. He was a little embarrassed because he had sent that email to, in his words, "a lot of people." If an email sounds far fetched be sure to check with Snopes.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Myspace and the kids

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours at the West Blvd branch. They were short staffed so I was covering. They put me in their computer lab and the desk I sat at is in the middle of the room with most of the computers' screens facing me. I was in there for two hours and I logged in seven to ten teenagers and ever single teen that came in there checked their Myspace account before they did anything else. Amazing.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Changing the toner

We have one of those Dell 3100cn printers here at our branch. It reminds me of the contraption that Captain Pike was strapped in in the original pilot of Star Trek. Today it was my turn to change the black toner in the printer. I approached this task with dread. I observed another librarian here change it a couple weeks back and he's pretty good with computers and he almost quit while changing the toner. My experience was worse.

First I couldn't get the expired cartridge out. I Got ink all over my hands in the process and had a patron hovering and offering "helpful" suggestions. I was following the instructions printed on the printer. I know I was doing it right. I unlocked the cartridge and pulled. Nothing. I pulled some more, this time harder. Nothing. then I really pulled harder and the printer slid across the tabletop. I was grappling with that cartridge like a frontier dentist and getting more frustrated by the second. After about twenty minutes of this there was a horrible cracking noise and it came out. I was sure I had broken it.

Then I had to put the full cartridge in. Twenty minutes later and a few more scary cracking noises I had managed to get the cartridge almost in but couldn't get it to lock. While trying to lock it the barrel holding the toner cartridges managed to rotate around to where I couldn't get to it. I started crying, the patron left and then I emailed the help desk.

John, who is now my hero, walked me through rotating the barrel full of toners so I could get to the one I was "fixing." When it rolled around I was able to lock it in with no trouble at all. What's up with that? Do I have to break it before I can fix it. Nest time someone else can replace the toner. I'll do it again in a few months when I have recovered emotionally.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Flickr Badge

Some other library blogger linked to a Flickr badge thing. I wish I knew how to get it a little lower on the screen. It's in Java so it is beyond all my knowledge.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Library 2.0?

Shoot, I'm ready for 2.1