Friday, March 27, 2009

A Pall Hangs Over NCLC Today

We have lost a dear friend.



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: UP Snow Scenes
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Poor Boy Wants a Cat

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Poor Boy

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Monday, March 23, 2009

My Favorite Things

Twitter has to be at the top of my favorite things list.  It's such a simple concept, a status report, but so versatile and adaptable that dozens of applications have sprung up around it.  I tried it out in the first 23 Things (it was part of the Challenges in in Thing 7) just to see what possible use it might have. I was a skeptic, but willing to try it. Not too much later my "aha" moment came when I saw how Kenley Neufeld from the Santa Barbara City College's Luria Library was using it there.  I had to share it with someone in my blog and with a fellow thinger from Hibbing, Cheryl Gillis, who in turn shared it with Chris (another thinger), who almost immediately implemented it for the Hibbing Public Library.  (Cheryl has recently inherited the responsibility for tweets there as Chris has moved to city government.)  Anyway, seeing that simple, FREE method of using Twitter to broadcast services and events quickly made me realize the potential it had.  I've since seen more and more uses for it.  It's kind of like an ongoing cocktail party that you can drop in and out of at will.  Because of Twitter I've found that elusive Wii Fit at Christmas, found a fabulous new quilted purse and Twitter follower from an Etsy shop, found a non-greasy handcreme, followed a conference or two,  kept up with friends and acquaintances, been alerted early to events that make the  news, shared links, found links, and so much more.  I don't know how one can't see the value that this simple, free service has, but I guess you each have to have your own "aha" moment. The growth of Twitter should be an indication that these folks have got something special here.  And with Facebook blatantly copying the Twitter model with the new Facebook changes, it seems that movers and shakers can see it too. You dismiss Twitter at your peril.

Blogger is another of my favorites, something I would never have expected. Like lots of librarians I know, I'm a fairly private person.Who would think that I'd like to write about what I do or think?  Blogging seems to help with reflection in problem solving, helping me sort things out in my own mind, and bringing clarity.  I think of Blogger now as my Learning Sandbox.  When I try new things, I try to incorporate them into my blog in some way: increasing functionality, adding content, keeping track of those things I tried for myself, and sharing what I've learned with others who might chose to visit and read my blog.  It seems that everything I do for the things makes me realize something else that should be considered when blogging, and that learning experience transfers to my work.  What's true for a personal blog is probably worth consideration in designing a  work web space.  One step leads to another, continuous learning that's fun besides.   And reading other blogs  is fun too, a sort of people watching in a different way, watching them learn and grow, and benefiting from their sharing of experiences and expertise.

Tagging with is the third thing that quickly became a favorite.  With two places to call home, work and a laptop, it's absolutely essential to be able to access those places I use regularly.  Having to bookmark them on four separate computers is just not the best solution; but clearly was.  Now I can go to my bookmarks by tags that mean something to me and find them easily.  I don't have to re-search or try to remember where I was when I saved something, it's all there in front of me with  And I can search other peoples tags as well and benefit from their knowledge of a subject.  Social media, that's what it's all about. 

I started thinking about what I use regularly now that I didn't before the 23 Things program and it's a long list, bound to get longer as I explore More On a Stick. Among them are Twitter, Facebook,, Flickr, Blogger, Google Reader, Friendfeed,,   personalized home page,  Picasa and the list just goes on.On Twitter recently I offered this advice: If you want your 23 Things program to succeed, get people to see the value of things to them personally and they will then find a way to apply it to their work life.  I know this is true from my own experience.  What do you think?

Evangelizing Yourself

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Snow What?

Snowflakes (ice crystals) by Wilson Bentley, 1902Image via Wikipedia

In honor of the passing into the spring equinox, I am now removing the snow effect widget from my sidebar. Perhaps I should have removed it just before the first day of spring and we wouldn't have gotten the little snowstorm which dropped four inches of snow on us. What do you think?

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Quick Post

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Friday, March 20, 2009

A Tweet That Says a Lot

Following the tweets from the keynote by Michael Wesch at #ias09, I thought this one said a lot:

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Key to Success

I think that this tweet on Twitter from HBraum during #libcampks09 (planning for a 23 things program in Kansas) which followed the 23 Things Summit on WebJunction is the essential key to success of the program with participants. What do you think?

It was very interesting to follow the thread of tweets during their planning. The Tweets caught many significant points without embellishment. It was fun.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thing 24: Refresh Your Blog

I reviewed with interest the Slideshare presentation The 25 Basic Styles of Blogging...and When to Use Each One. I think at one time or another I have done almost every one of those styles of blogging. I can see that to have a single focus for your blog might be more effective if you have a specific thing you wish to accomplish. However, since my blog was begun to experiment with various things as part of the 23 Things on a Stick program, I don't feel obligated to have that single focus. I've blogged regularly since the 23 Things program ended, mostly on things that have caught my fancy or I've found interesting usually two or three times a week.

I spent lots of time looking for another template with which to refresh my blog, but it took looking at the templates in the For the Curious portion of this Thing 24 at Pyzam before I found one that I liked as much as the template I was already using.

My old template was a soft yellow with blue type, a two column look that I liked. The graphics and photos stood out on it and I liked the look overall very much, finding it hard to see anything I liked as well. I found an image from the old template on a social media aggregator that I tried out called Plaxo since I hadn't thought to save a sample image before making the template change.

In order to change my template I read up on how to do so. I found that any elements or gadgets in the sidebar need to be saved separately or they would be lost so I painstakingly saved each and every one of the forty plus gadgets in my sidebar so I could restore them later.It really didn't take as long as I thought it might. I saved them using Windows Wordpad by number so I could replace them in the same order. I backed up my blog according to the instructions in Blogger help and the installed the new template according to the instructions at the Pyzam site. It worked without a hitch. I found that I wanted the area used to be wider than the template allowed as it was, so tinkered with expanding the columns and header and footer until I was satisfied with them. I didn't like the bright orange strip advertising Pyzam at the top of my blog so changed the color to blend with my blog, but left the text so Pyzam still gets the credit for the template. After I was satisfied with the look, I added back the gadgets, and added a weather gadget as well. The only gadget I didn't put back was the countdown to Christmas which I will re-install closer to Christmas when I might want to know that information.

I had a Yahoo avatar with a black cat that I elected to keep, but changed my clothes. I did look at many of the other possibilities, but found none I liked any better. I added some interests to my profile which was already fairly complete.Anyone checking my profile should easily find who I am; I made no attempt to hide my identity.

My blog is registered for the More on a Stick program and listed in the blog roll. I'm late getting to doing the actual blogging about Thing 24, but I did all this in January after helping my assistant do the same thing. It was fun working with someone else when you didn't know what to do or how to do it. Combining experiences allowed us both to accomplish what we wanted to do to change the look of our blogs. Since neither of us knew much about style sheets or html we considered this a real learning experience, not just change for the sake of change.

I do like blogging. It's great for reflection. I also like that I can include in my content things I might wish to refer to again so I can find them easily. It allows me to practice writing and keep those skills I learned to teach to others from getting too rusty, although I do break all kinds of rules. Hey! At least I know I'm breaking them.

I try to read and comment on at least the blogs in my own region since feedback is important to keep them interested. I enjoy finding out more about the people in my region and try to make thoughtful comments and suggestions. I've also found some other blogs in the program that I try to read to get the sense of the program all over the state. Everyone has something to learn and to contribute and I'd like to think that reading and commmenting helps them know that their contributions are noted and appreciated.

Once I found a template that I thought I might enjoy seeing regularly and adjusted it to my liking, I found just one little thing I don't exactly understand about it. Placement of images in the main blog area is not always centered despite that being my default choice when importing images. Since I'm generally otherwise satisfied, I can live with the image placement as it occurs. But one of these days I'm going to spend enough time to figure out why the inconsistent placement of images. I spent probably a couple of hours on researching possible reasons and making fixes suggested, but none of them actually had much effect on the problem. I need to closely examine the template code to see what might be causing it. But it isn't bothersome enough to take any more time to do it at present.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Laurel Burch Purse

I can't wait to get this and see it up close and personal. I love the color and brightness. (Will I be brave enough to use it?)

Twitter is responsible for my finding this marvelous purse; yet another reason why people should Twitter! In addition to one for myself, I ordered one as a gift. I wonder if I'll be able to part with it once I see it. It's the same purse, but in pastels. If you want to see what else the talented artist has in her shop, you'll find find her creations at

All this and I got a new Twitter follower to boot.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Wisdom of Robert Frost

The poetry of Robert Frost has always spoken to me in a way that's hard to explain. He seems to have a plain spoken practical view of life, but was able to express himself in a very artistic way. His words paint pictures that are beautiful, yet haunting and stark. His words don't age.

Robert Frost on banks which seems like enough said in our current economy:

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

How Twitter Started

The founders of Twitter have a history that makes them and Twitter something to watch. Are there any clues here on how they might turn Twitter into a moneymaker?

Watch and Learn to Use the Fuze

I wish I'd found this Youtube clip that demonstrates how to use the Sansa Fuze before I learned how to use it by trial and error. There's no narration, but if you watch it carefully, it shows you all the features and how to use them. Just watch the fingers navigate the menus. As it goes you see a demo of all the features too.

I got my Fuze for Christmas and I love it. I listen to downloadable audiobooks, have loads of my favorite music on it, and also can put photos and video on it. I have my favorite radio stations programmed in for quick access. You can use it to record reminders too. Best of all, it's expandable by adding a memory card. Sound is quite amazing for such a small device and no fancy speakers.

I liked mine so much that I got a smaller version called the Clip for my son for his birthday so he can wear it while he's working outdoors, or in the garage and the Clip on it will keep him from losing it since it can be clipped on a pocket or belt.

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