Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Week 9, Thing 23

Reflections on 23 Things:

1-Favorite discoveries/experiences- I enjoyed setting up my blog, and I felt a sense of accomplishment as I posted each activity that I had completed. I liked Flickr and I also enjoyed creating a make-believe image of myself (several years younger) using Meez.

2-Affect on lifelong learning goals- Although many times I resented the time that it took to do the exercises, I realize that if we are to effectively serve our patrons we need to try to keep up with what is available. I certainly do not have the time or expertise to explore and sort through all of the new technologies that are out there. Therefore, a program like this to guide and advise us in a definite, though sometimes rambling, framework is helpful. Although at times I felt pressured, having weekly tasks (with a little leeway), kept me somewhat focused instead of allowing me to procrastinate. It was important to me that I was able to meet my goal of completing the program within the allotted time period of 12 weeks.

3-Surprises- Before this program, I truly had no idea of what I did and did not know about the internet. I learned some new terms and was introduced to a lot of new technologies and interesting sites. I realize that the internet is vast, change is certain, and we face a constant challenge to be aware of what is out there.

4-Improvements- I understand the importance of this type of program to help us to better serve our patrons. I know that it must be hard to design a program for a cross-section of people with different levels of computer skills, different computers (some old, some new, some outdated), and different working situations. I think that if these exercises are only supposed to take 15 to 20 minutes (and does that include posting a blog each time?), then clearer instructions and hints should be given. Some people work alone and have no support system on site. Occasional workshops (maybe in a computer lab) where we could ask questions and share our experiences before we forget them would be a great improvement.

5-Participate, again?- Yes, I do enjoy learning new things, and I know that I can always benefit from an update on the latest technologies that have been selected as highly relevant to my job.

6-Summary- Am I a successful lifelong learner? I definitely began with the end in mind (hoping I'd get there quickly)! I had to accept responsiblity for my own learning, and, not always happily, I came to view (most) problems as challenges. I did find the program to be worthwhile. Although I had frustrations, I did learn a lot, and I know that I still have a lot to learn. It would be nice if I could keep Ashley in my "toolbox".

Monday, August 27, 2007

Week 9, Thing 22

Although we have had eBooks in our system for quite awhile, we, to my knowledge, have never been offered any instruction concerning their use. Therefore, I was eager to learn about them as well as the downloadable audio books. However, in no way would I label this exercise as part of "a fun week", due in part, I'm sure, to the computers that we use.

First of all, the "Overdrive Digital Media Guided Tour" would not download on 1 of our 2 computers, and it could only be viewed without sound on the other. After waiting for 40 minutes for "Introduction to NetLibrary" to load, I gave up, although my co-worker was eventually able to view (not hear) it on the 2nd computer. "Project Gutenberg" is cumbersome and not very exciting, but at least I could view and explore it fairly easily. I also checked our "World eBook Fair", but I personally would not subscribe to it.

After much wasted time and frustration, I was determined to gain some understanding of "Maryland's Digital eLibrary Consortium" (Maryland OverDrive) because that is the one that is available to our patrons. Therefore, I went through all of the steps and checked out a book. I checked the titles of the downloadable videos, and I did not see anything that really interested me. I do feel that I now at least have a little knowledge about the whole process, if not a complete understanding. I would probably not read a book online, and I would not use the videos which are currently available. However, I do think that the downloadable audio books are good for some of our patrons who regularly check out those that we have on our shelves.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Week 9, Thing 21

Did I mention that we cannot control the sound on our computer? Combine that with the on-again off-again video and it was impossible to understand "Ask A Ninja". However, I used the other discovery tools, and I found a podcast on Yahoo Podcasts that seemed like something I would listen to if I had the time. It is Chefs Line- The Culinary Hotline, and I subscribed to it on Bloglines.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Week 9, Thing 20

I explored YouTube and had a difficult time watching the videos on this computer because of all of the starting and stopping. It almost literally gave me a headache.
I watched several, and I vaguely remembered some of the '70s commercials (Wisk, Pepsi,...). Trying to watch music videos was not fun, so I went to "Funny Cat Pictures" because I am ruled by one. I can see how this site would appeal to our patrons, especially the teens, and with the wide variety of offerings, I am sure that some could be useful in a library.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Week 8, Thing 19

I chose the short list of Web 2.0 Awards which gave me more than enough choices.I checked out "Google Spreadsheets" because I have a lot of lists to do. It was brighter and appeared to be more user-friendly than Excel, and it was a 1st place winner. Of course, I did not stop there. Fun Stuff was led by "Cocktail Builder" which seemed like an ideal choice after a long day - I'm sure it could prove to be very helpful (in a social, not a work setting). "One Sentence" was interesting, and I checked out the Games category. "Yahoo! Answers" in the Questions and Advice category makes for interesting reading, but some might be hesitant to ask for millions of opinions. To each his own. This "thing" was kind of fun, and the most useful one for work that I searched would be the Google one.

Week 8, Thing 18+

I enjoyed looking at the productivity tools. Using Zoho Writer, I decided that at last I would post something that related to the name of my blog site. I had a little trouble figuring out how to send it to my blog and have it appear. Oh well, it is there. I hope that those of you with a sweet tooth enjoy the recipe!

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies






1 cup butter or margarine

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup miniature semisweet chocholate chips




     Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in flour. Stir in chocolate chips.


     Roll dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten to about 1/2-inch thickness with greased bottom of glass dipped in sugar. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until set. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet.


Yield: 3 dozen cookies