Monday, October 29, 2007

Number 9 locating newsfeeds

I think I would really need to need to do this. I found all the tools confusing. And I kept getting results that would be spam if I got them in emails. The results didn't have a thing to do with the subjects I entered. Of the 4 suggestions, I liked Technorati the best. I didn't really add anything to my feeds doing this. However, nowadays I'm really trying to actively manage my information "input". I actively share information, keep up with a lot of friends, share a lot of pictures, and so forth. But I'll keep these tools in mind when the time comes (as I know it will) that I want to add to my news feeds.

Number 12 Rollyo

I'm not doing these in I think I'll start numbering the "things".

Rollyo was new to me, which was fun. I remember when Google was whispered about from librarian to librarian (none of my non-librarian friends in those days had heard of Google). This was more or less what you did, gathered useful sites and search them. I'd sort of forgotten how nice it is to be able to do a search of sites I want to search and not what results a commercial site chooses to give me.

I think I might set of some of these if I were still doing reference every day.

What I did was think about a few sites I search for music. I added those together and came up with this. I don't know that I will use it often, but I enjoyed learning something new.

Everything seemed straightforward except finding the link to post here. It took me a long time to find "share"!

Library Thing

And here you have a photograph of my Italian greyhound, Dolcezza (you can call her Chessa, if you meet her on the street) by my friend Jason Smith and a "Warholized" version from fd's Flickr Toys.

As many people already know, there's a candy jar available in CLS, on Karen Washington's desk, stocked by me. Personally, of course.

Help yourself to a small treat if you happen to be by the office.

Now, that's image generation and helpful information!


I've used Bloglines for a few years now to keep track of some things I like to read: some personal blogs, a few library sites, a site with a tip about dogs every week, a few sites with photographs.

But I have to say, for all I find the newsreader useful, I don't really like it. I can't say why, exactly.

On my personal blog, I keep a long list of links. I find it's more my style to think "I wonder if Karen has posted something new" while writing in my own blog than to check the newsreader. It's sort of the way I read in general, more random than organized, more serendipitous than planned.

Yet I keep using Bloglines for one primary reason. It alerts me to sites that I thought were more or less dormant when they spring back to life.

And that's worth a lot.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"unread" books

From a friend's blog:

These are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing's users as of 30 September 2007. Bold what you have read, italicize what you started but didn't finish, and underline it if you watched the movie adaptation.

(I didn't bother with the films, as I haven't seen films of any of the books I haven't read.)

The Aeneid

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
American Gods
Anansi Boys
Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
Angels and Demons
Anna Karenina
Atlas Shrugged
The Blind Assassin
Brave New World
The Brothers Karamazov
The Canterbury Tales
(at least one Tale just as written, that is, in the original English)
The Catcher in the Rye
A Clockwork Orange

Cloud Atlas
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
A Confederacy of Dunces
The Confusion
The Corrections
The Count of Monte Cristo
Crime and Punishment

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
David Copperfield
Don Quixote
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Foucault's Pendulum
but it was tough going
The Fountainhead
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

The God of Small Things
The Grapes of Wrath I love this book....and the film.
Gravity's Rainbow
Great Expectations
Gulliver's Travels

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
The Historian
The Hobbit
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Iliad
In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences
not every bit of it, but enough to count, I think
Jane Eyre
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
The Kite Runner
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Love in the Time of Cholera
and have seen the opera, Florencia en el Amazonas
Madame Bovary
Mansfield Park
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Mists of Avalon
Moby Dick
Mrs. Dalloway
The Name of the Rose

Northanger Abbey
The Odyssey
Oliver Twist
On the Road
The Once and Future King
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Hundred Years of Solitude
Oryx and Crake
A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Poisonwood Bible
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Pride and Prejudice
The Prince

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Scarlet Letter

A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Silmarillion
The Sound and the Fury
A Tale of Two Cities
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
The Three Musketeers

The Time Traveler's Wife
To the Lighthouse
Treasure Island
The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Vanity Fair
War and Peace
Watership Down

White Teeth
Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values


When I think of technology, I first think of washing clothes.

Bear with me for a moment, as I know that's not what you first thought of--or at least I'm guessing it's not!

While the automatic clothes washer had certainly been invented by the time I came along and while my mother owned one (and a dryer as well), I often stayed with my grandparents as a child. My grandparents weren't all that old (my father's grandmother was only 50 years old when I was born). They looked forward and back at the same time. For example, my mother's father made all of us chop cotton every spring for at least a day and pick cotton for at least a day every fall. His logic was that no matter how badly your day had gone at any other job, you could always think back "well, at least I'm not in the cotton field". And I have to tell you, he was right.

Both my grandmothers taught me (and my cousins) to wash with a scrub board. Nope that's not just a decorative object or an instrument in a zydeco band. It's really meant to wash clothes, complete in this picture with the same kind of homemade soap that we learned to make as well. My grandmothers figured, that if there was no electricity (which was often the case), you still had to know how to wash clothes.

After we mastered the scrub board, we moved on the the washing machine. Perhaps you've seen this contraption on Green Acres. Or perhaps you've used one yourself.

Ours was outside and did connect to the power grid directly through the electric pole. Getting water into it involved heating water on the stove and hauling it outside to the washing machine. Believe me, you washed the cleaner clothes first, so that you didn't have to keep changing the water. The rinse water was in a basin on legs.

So, every single time I do laundry by putting the quarters in the machine, pressing "warm" and sitting down to wait, I'm grateful for technology.

When I think of my great-grandmother's mother, who went to visit her sister in Indiana, coming from Oklahoma to do so, in 1898, I'm grateful for technology. She took her eldest daughter, 2 mules, and a wagon. She was gone two years, because by the time she got there, she figured she might as well stay a while. (It took her 9 months to get to Indiana and 6 months to get home; the rest was the visit.) Imagine this: Google estimates that same trip to take 11 hours and 12 minutes (from Roff, Oklahoma, to Terre Haute, Indiana). Now people won't be telling stories about my trips a hundred years from now, but I'm thinking an airplane or even a bus beats two mules and a wagon any day.

I started working in libraries in 1980. The first library I worked in not only typed catalog cards and used the Gaylord Card Charger, but also painted the spine of light colored books with a peculiar black paint and had staff hand-write call numbers with a heated pen, through a white tape.

So, just like using the scrub board or the wringer washing machine, I know how much work it was to operate libraries before computer technology.

Mostly, now, I enjoy learning more and more about computer-based technology. I never wanted to master a computer language or be a programmer, but the user-focused way technology works today makes it very inviting and often satisfying.

Sometimes, it seems as though technology changes too fast. Cell phones, for example. I don't want to get a new one, because I'm quite sure I haven't yet figured out everything my current phone can do! With a new phone, who knows what it might be able to do? Cook dinner?

I enjoyed learning about Flickr and opened a Flickr account to put my picture on this blog.

So, I'll end with a photo from The Encampment, a public art installation on Roosevelt Island last week, exploring the history of that island through art, seen at night in tents:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Children's programs

Well, really a question.

When I was a children's librarian, many years ago and many miles away, I used a great book that suggested passages of classical music to play while doing storytime. I only remember one, which was to use the Blue Danube while reading Swimmy.

Does anyone else remember this book?

It was such a great enhancement to my regular storytime (using that word in its most generic sense).

Monday, October 1, 2007

name in Chinese (xing) script

7 and a half habits

1. Begin with the end in mind. My goal for this blog and for the 23½ things is simple enough: to take part each week. I'm excited to see how others here learn and use the tools and I'm looking forward to learning new things. I also have a goal, longer term than this program, to think of the best ways (trying things that turn out not to be the best ways, most likely) to use the Web 2.0 concepts to improve communication within, among, from and to librarians and library workers.

2. Accept responsibility for your own learning. I'm comfortable with that.

3. View problems as challanges. I think this is an important habit for life and one that I had a lot of great examples as a child and as a young librarian to see how others lived out this habit.

4. Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner. I really find that most everyone who works in libraries is confident and comfortable learning.

5. Create your own learning toolbox. I read other blogs, talk with librarians, talk with friends in other fields (social work, sociology, and retail are the ones I think I've learned the most from) and read. I also find that I look for the tools with the problem...make that opportunity presents itself. So, I didn't seek out photo sharing tools until a friend asked me to put a picture of my dog on my other blog.

6. Use technology to your advantage. I try to do that.

7. Teach/mentor others. Recently I'm showing a group of librarians from around the country how to use Facebook. That's been really interesting. These librarians are mid-career or closer to retirement. All are excited about the opportunities, but each is learning differently.

7½. Play. !


I have another blog that's named with a line in a Leonard Cohen song.

So, I've named this one with a line from a Bob Dylan song that I like very much (though I usually think of Joan Baez singing it): Forever Young.

Here's the stanza:

"May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young."