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