Thursday, November 10, 2011

Summarizing My Thoughts

I did enjoy Learning 2.0. I think that a lot of us grew up as the internet did, and are still amazed at what it can be used for. I know that I'm still shocked by what the apps on my phone can do and how much fun the different tools that Google offers are. I really enjoyed browsing through the list of Web 2.0 award winners, and I felt a lot of gratification in seeing sites I regularly visit on that list. I thought it was interesting how Twitter beat out Facebook at least once. I think it's very valuable to be introduced or reintroduced to all of the tools on Learning 2.0, and to be asked to consider them from a future librarian's point of view. Until now, I've thought of a lot of these tools as procrastination helpers--like Threadless or Google Earth--but I think that now I'll recognize that these sites can be used within professional, academic, and private spheres alike.

Other Web 2.0 Tools

While browsing the winners of the Web 2.0 awards I came across a retail site called I'm very familiar with Threadless and I'm delighted that it's on this list. I highly recommend the site to anyone who reads this. It's a tshirt store that uses designs submitted by regular people. The designs are submitted and voted on and some are eventually printed. I've purchased tshirts for myself and many friends and family members for about six years, as I discovered the site when I was a college freshman. They often sell older designs for $5, and any hip cheap tshirt is very attractive for a poor college student. This sort of company just wouldn't work as well in a physical store, so I wanted to bring Threadless up as being an example of the web helping certain companies exist, who might not have had a chance otherwise. Go buy a tshirt!

Looking over all that Google offers in terms of tools, it seems as if there's nothing that Google doesn't now offer, or aims to offer in the future. The first tool I looked at was Google Offers. I turns out that this is exactly like Groupon, only you use your Google account. This tool, however, is in its beta stage and is only available for the most highly populated areas of the country like New York and LA. While living in Buffalo, I can't take advantage of this. However, my parents live very close to NYC and I used to work in midtown. When I'm back there visiting my parents, I can use these coupons for food, drinks, and entertainment. And hopefully Buffalo will soon be including in Google Offers. This could be very useful for libraries. Even though libraries aren't selling anything particularly, I think that Google Offers could make people aware of the events that may be going on at their local library.

Then I chose to re-examine Google+. When it was first announced, I was very enthusiastic and eager to receive an invitation. Now that it's open to the public, it's hard to remember why I wanted an account so badly. I find myself wanting to search for my Facebook friends in order to grow my community on Google+. I know that there's the +1 on everything on Google, but I have yet to really  experiment with this. It seems like a social network that is much cleaner and maybe even more innocent than Facebook has become, but since it's built as competition for Facebook, that won't be for long. So today I took the account I created months ago and really made it a profile. Now I feel sure I'll be engrossed for hours in my +1s. Libraries could use Google+ as they do Facebook. There must exist Google enthusiasts who prefer it to Facebook somewhere, right?
my Google+

Library 2.0

After reading a few of the articles on the Learning 2.0 site, to me it seems that Library 2.0 is all about the patrons and users of the library. I think that previously the library has been all about the information and knowledge found there. There's a reason why libraries and librarians have the stereotypes that they do. Traditionally libraries are more like shrines to books. Places to keep information safe in book form--whether actual people came to actually read them or not. Now, in 2011, I think Library 2.0 represents the library's recognition that it cannot exist without its patrons. And in order to draw in patrons to the institution, the institution has to accommodate the patrons. Library 2.0 makes sure that patrons are involved in the decisions and actions the library makes. Patrons are able to have a say in how services are designed and instated. This seems to be a very good idea, one that many libraries are practicing now, as times are changing and technology is giving those precious books a run for their money. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


My Zotero

It seemed like everyone is a little weary of Zotero, but I kinda liked it. I haven't put anything in there that's super important, or even relevant to school, but I love keeping tract of the books I've read, and I think that this is a very good tool for that. It's obviously also a good tool for what it's intended: citation management.  Journal citations are especially annoying, and I think that Zotero makes it a little easier--and keeps it all in one place. I'd like to use Zotero more, and I will use it with all of my upcoming papers. Hopefully it'll make my transition from MLA to APA easier?

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I found to be very confusing and hard to get around. I created an account, but every time I tried to add a link they suggested to my own account, it would go back to the "create an account" page. This was immediately frustrating. Even without this hiccup, it seems as if the site isn't very self-explanatory, as even Learning 2.0 had to offer tutorials. However, once I downloaded the Chrome extension of the site, I thought it was a nice alternative to the bookmark function that already came with the browser. The idea is also very useful if I were to often switch computers. Bookmarks are very important when researching, and I can see Delicious as being very useful for this purpose. I'm not sure, however, how useful this would be to libraries, as it seems most relevant to individual use.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

RSS feeds

I've been familiar with how RSS works for a little while now, but I have yet to really use it. I always feel like there is so much (too much) to read on the internet, and I do need something to feed me what I'll find most interesting, but for some reason I have yet to really attempt this. They are incredibly useful, however, for keeping up to date on news--both in the library world and elsewhere. Libraries can get a lot of use out of RSS. Having an RSS feed right on the library website can educate patrons on what is happening in libraries around the world. When patrons subscribe to their particular library's RSS, they should have the ability to see what programs are being offered that day or week, even if they don't remember to visit the library's website.


I haven't had a lot of experience with wikis--except of course for Wikipedia. I find the concept of wikis to be useful in terms of a sort of collective blog, but suspect when it comes to factual information. I browsed around the wikis that Learning 2.0 suggested and found the Book Lovers Wiki to be especially interesting. I think this use of a wiki would be very useful on a library's website. In this Book Lovers Wiki it displays multiple people reviewing multiple books, giving those who visit the site ideas for their next book. I think this would really encourage library patrons to take out more books. Staff Picks are one thing, but wikis demonstrate how the average person feels about a particular book. I love non-fiction, especially biographies and memoirs, and there seem to be a bunch of great suggestions. Wikis seem very useful for helping patrons feel as if they are an active part of their library community.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I'm pretty familiar with YouTube. I've been in many situations (as I'm sure everyone has) when I'm forced to watch videos other people find funny, and when I force others to watch videos I find funny. (Everyone watch the Drunk History series. They're only like 7 or 8 minutes long and awesome.) Some of the time I find YouTube to be a little annoying because not everything people video is worth watching, but most of the time I find it to be an amazing concept. Just as blogs allow individuals to become authors, YouTube allows them to become directors.

I think that YouTube can be very beneficial for libraries. I know from experience that most students in an academic setting have no clue how to find books, let alone electronic journal articles in their school's library. I also know that most will not ask a librarian how to do so. I would think that creating how-to YouTube videos illustrating how to find materials in the library would help those students tremendously.

Looking for library videos on YouTube immediately brought me to an episode of Mr. Bean that features the man himself going to extreme lengths to avoid the legendary library taboo of making noise.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Living in the iPod age has made me very familiar with podcasts. As I think I've said before on the discussion board, it's come to the point where I prefer to listen to "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" or "This American Life" over music.

Looking through I find a lot of podcasts that I would be interested in listening to such as "The Signal" which talks about the Joss Whedon's Firefly and Serenity, and maybe "Mail Order Zombie" which reviews all the straight-to-DVD zombie films that are produced.

Browsing through the most popular podcasts, I didn't find many that were directly, or indirectly, library related. There were, however, a good deal dedicated to comic books. As graphic novels rapidly become the material used for successful movies, I think that they also deserve a lot of attention from libraries, especially public libraries, because this is the medium of literature that the young generation seems to enjoy. There are, of course, many podcasts like "The Book Report" which are sort of book clubs--often with live interactive discussions.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


My experience with Flickr was a pretty straightforward one. I have never used it before, but I have used sites like Photobucket, and it proved to be very similar. Using the photo uploading capabilities of Facebook often also has prepared me to be familiar with how a site like Flickr works.

I posted a photo of myself and a few members of my family at the Harry Potter part of Universal Orlando this past August.

When it came to posting photos having to do with libraries, I have been unable to actually get to a library so I improvised with photos I already possessed that had any connection to libraries. I hope this is okay! I posted a photo of a sign at NUI Galway that I took while spending a semester there in undergrad. The sign points the way to the University's library in both English and Irish. The other photo is of my aunt's dog reading Wuthering Heights--proving that literature is important to both humans and canines alike.

My Flickr Page

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

7 1/2 Lifelong Learning Habits

My family always jokes that I should just stay in school forever. I'm going on my seventh straight year of higher education since I began undergrad. I love learning (just as much as I dislike working?) and going to class to learn about a subject I'm interested is a privilege. Listening to the 7 1/2 Lifelong Learning Habits helped me admit, once again, that although I love to learn, I can be resistant to the conventional student role. The habit I think is easiest for me is accepting responsibility for my own learning. I know how I learn best and I like to shape my role as a student to get the most out of any lesson in life. The most difficult habit for me is viewing problems as challenges. I think of problems often as crises and fail to remember that they may be learning opportunities. I can get frustrated easily.