Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wrapping Up

Thing #23

What was your favorite thing you learned about?
I love using the digital camera and posting photos, and especially liked using Picnik to add a frame and text to my flower picture. Exploring Flickr was fun and I found some interesting blogs through Bloglines. I can see myself using Library Thing in the future as well as wikis and ListenNJ. YouTube is of course fun and I am now interested in podcasts as well.

Conversely, what did you like least about Web 2.0?
Even though I was exposed to more sites of interest because of Bloglines, I think RSS feeds might be my least favorite thing about Web 2.0. I'm just not sold on it.

What areas of Web 2.0 do you think the library should get more involved in?
I know they have already started using it, but I think using YouTube as a way to advertise and expose library programs is something OCL could get more involved in. YouTube is really popular so we could reach a lot of people that way.

What Web 2.0 services have you shared with your friends and family?
I am going to share about ListenNJ with friends and family because I don't think many people know about this.


Thing #22
I think ListenNJ is a great service, that I think I will actually use. I like how it is ok to burn the books to CD. Lately, I have been really enjoying listening to books on my commute, so this would be ideal for me. I plan to download more books in the future.


Thing #21
I went to and chose to look at the news podcasts. I selected NPR and then chose the 10 am News Summary. It is available at I can see how getting your news updates in this fashion could be very convenient. I still have a lot to learn about podcasting but am happy to have made a start.


Thing #20

It's always fun to see old commercials. Here are a bunch from the 80's.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Web 2.0 Awards

Thing #19
I read through the Web 2.0 Awards and can definitely see myself using some of these sites. The health sites like Healia and Medstory would be useful because I am always diagnosing myself and loved ones with various ailments. The Eventful, Confabb, and Upcoming sites would also be useful for trying to find local events and different things to do. 43 Things might be interesting, as well as Pandora.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Web Apps

Thing #18

I added my name to the Google Docs document and yes, the setup is very similar to Microsoft Word. I think this is an extremely useful tool, not just for collaborative work but individual work as well. I am constantly working on things and then emailing them to myself so that I can access them from home. With Google Docs I would never have to do that because it would be available from anywhere. I think there are many possibilities for using this for a branch project.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Play in the Sandbox

Thing #17

I went to our wiki and added a link to my blog. I like how you can change the font and color. Then I added my favorite candy (candy corn) and then I tried to upload an image of my favorite book but it didn't work out. The first was too small, then when I tried with another image, all that would show up was a red X. I also added my favorite activity, "laying around with my cat." Playing in the sandbox was fun.


Thing #16
I went to the Library Bloggers Wiki and was surprised to see how many public library blogs were listed. This could definitely be a useful resource. Nancy Pearl's Wiki was very interesting as well. At the Library Success wiki, I was very impressed with the wealth of information available. I thought the EZ Library Program Database was a great idea. I would think that would be a pretty difficult thing to maintain however. I found the items under the "Professional" topic useful, particularly, Keeping Up With the Profession. I will visit this wiki again.

Then I went to Ocean County Library's article on Wikipedia and clicked on the history tab. I did some other looking around and had to laugh when I saw that the previous mascot of OCL was a sea captain called Captain Book. I just thought this was really funny. As a former school library media specialist, I am still not sold on Wikipedia. I just can't get passed the fact that all of this unreliable information is out there and kids are taking it as fact. I had a rule that they could not use Wikipedia as a source.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friends Earth Day Display

The IH Friends put together a lovely display for Earth Day:

Thursday, April 17, 2008


A patron cut this out of the paper and brought it to us today (click to view the full strip):

On Library 2.0 and Web 2.0...

Thing #15

I read Web 2.0: Where will the next generation of the web it take libraries? by Tom Storey and then looked at Away from Icebergs by Rick Anderson and Into a new world of librarianship by Michael Stephens.

Anderson discusses three"potential disasters" for library's progress with Web 2.0:
  1. "The 'just in case' collection" (print resources that don't really seem to be needed but are there just in case someone may need it. He says we need to turn our attention instead to "digital collections of journals, books, blogs, podcasts, etc.")
  2. "Reliance on user education" (We should understand that thinking we can teach every patron how to be tech savvy is unrealistic: "[...] if our services can't be used without training, then it's the services that need to be fixed--not our patrons")
  3. "The 'come to us' model of library service" (Anderson points out how libraries no longer have the monopoly on information and that we have to come up with ways for users to use the library other than just physically visiting the library)

According to Michael Stephens, "the Library is human" and the most important qualities of Librarian 2.0 are:

  1. "Librarians 2.0 plans for their users" (Librarian is completely user centered and focuses on removing barriers for the patron)
  2. "Librarian 2.0 embraces Web 2.0 tools" (Librarian recognizes advantages of these technologies and connects with users online)
  3. "Librarian 2.0 controls technolust" (Technology decisions are based on what will be best for the user, not simply on what is new and cool)
  4. "Librarian 2.0 makes good, yet fast decisions" (Project plans made too far in advance are not conducive with 2.0 because things are changing all the time)
  5. "Librarian 2.0 is a trendspotter" (Librarian is always on the lookout for ways to improve service)
  6. "Librarian 2.0 gets content" (Librarian knows that the library's future depends on how patrons "access, consume, and create content")

Of equal importance is that "Librarian 2.0 also listens to staff and users when planning, tells the stories of successes and failures, learns from both, celebrates those successes, allows staff time to play and learn, and never stops dreaming about the best library services."

I think both of these authors make some great points and I agree with their comments. I am still developing my own concept of what Library 2.0 means to me but reading what others say on the topic is definitely helping to form my own definition.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Thing #14
When I did a search for "Learning 2.0" at Technorati I was surprised to see that it turned up 1,472 results. Obviously, there are other areas than education, technology, and business where lifelong learning applies. When I explored popular blogs, searches, and tags, I was surprised that quite a few of the popular searches were people or things I had never heard of before. One blog that I found that I will continue reading is PostSecret. I had heard of it before but I don't think I ever saw it. The image below is a funny example postcard someone sent in:

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thing #13

I watched the tutorial and now have a better understanding of what this is all about. I went to through the OCLwebthings account and looked around a little. I clicked on some bookmarks and saw other people's comments and tags.

I am not sure I can see myself using this tool for my general Internet use. But I will try it the next time I am researching something. It would be better than just doing a Google search because you would be accessing other people's tags, not just the words that are in the actual article or whatever. So yes, I can see how it could be useful in this sense.

Monday, April 7, 2008

NetLibrary and WorldCat

Thing #12


I set up a NetLibrary account and took a look around. I found it easy to set up the account. I browsed through an ebook titled Caldecott on the Net, which I think would be a useful resource for teachers and librarians. I think the best thing about NetLibrary is that once you have created your account you can access it anytime. I do think I could show a customer how to use NetLibrary. I think there are some patrons who would find this very useful while others might not understand.


I did a search for a book called No One Heard Her Scream that one of our Island Hrights patrons recently filled out an ILL form for. The closest library that owns the title is Mercer County Library. I think WorldCat's Advanced Search Screen is set up in a way that people will easily understand and would definitely be useful when filling out the "Request for Materials" form.

Library Thing

Thing #11

I can definitely see myself getting into using Library Thing. I would love to have a catalog of all of my books, and I think it would help me to not buy so many books, too! I could just go into my catalog and see that I already have something that might work for what I am looking for.

Here is a link to my catalog. All of these books are required texts for the current R.U. course I am taking in Gender and Culture in Children's Picture Books. Almost all of the books had preexisting tags, which I edited based on my own opinions. Some of my books were more popular than others. There was some discussion about my favorites while others had little or no discussion at all.

Technology Blogging

Thing #10

I read Stephan Abram's article "20 Things to Watch" and have decided to write a little about my experiences with e-learning. For me, this is an ideal way to use technology and continue my education at the same time. I really cannot say enough good things about it.

When I was in grad school at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, I did not have the same attitude, however. I had to take a management course online and some of my other courses had web based elements that I did not enjoy. I guess I prefer one or the other, meaning at that time I lived in Clarion and went to most of my classes in a regular classroom setting already, so having to do certain things online didn't really make my life more convenient, it actually added more stress. Now I am involved in a completely online certificate program, and I love being able to go to class in my pajamas and work for the most part at my own pace.

For the second part of this exercise, I have added a comment to dlheyson's blog. This Web Challenge player left me a very friendly comment and I wanted to return the favor. I love the photo they have with Thing #6!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Break Fun: Some Extra Things for Spring Break!

"Swan, paddleboat getting back together"
Follow this link to read about this image:

I got this as an email yesterday and thought it was so funny.

Dog and Cat Diaries

The Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat's Diary

Day 983 of my captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs. I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now.....

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Things #8 and #9

Below is my Bloglines "Blogroll." Some are feeds suggested through the OCL Web Challenge page, some were from the Bloglines Top 1000, some were suggested to me through Bloglines based on what I selected as my interests, and others I found on my own or knew about previously.

I like how RSS allows you to have links to all of your favorite blogs or news sites all in one place, and it lets you know when things have been updated. I am not proud of it, but I check The Superficial and Perez Hilton pretty much everyday and am always disappointed when I go there to find nothing new has been posted. Obviously, I think this is a great way for me to have all of my library/work information in one place, too. It will save a lot of time.

Besides the feeds that were automatically given to me based on my interests, it was definitely easiest to find and add feeds either through the Bloglines Top 1000 (many of which are library related) or by going to sites I already knew and seeing if they had a Bloglines icon. Skimming through the Bloglines Top 1000 was very time consuming but still worth it because you can easily add the feeds you want from there.

My favorite blog I found through this exercise that I was not aware of before was A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette. Very funny!

My Blogroll:

Oh and this is just a funny I picture I happened to see while doing this exercise. It is from the Best Week Ever feed:

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Scanner and Me


Thing #7


I was going through some pictures and came across this one that my mom took one morning on a walk in Point Pleasant Beach. (She loves to take pictures and have them developed and refuses to go digital). I scanned it and sent it, and here it is.

Scanning and editing pictures used to be something that caused me a lot of frustration. Now that I have the hang of it, I'm really happy I know how to do it. It's funny, too, how I kept thinking of pictures I wanted to use, but then realized I didn't have a hard copy of them to scan. Slowly but surely I have really gotten used to the digital camera. Someday soon I need to actually get some of those pictures printed!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring is just around the corner

Thing #6 Optional Exercise
(Our first daffodil of the season here at Island Heights Branch.)

I used Picnik to add a frame and text to this picture from outside our library. I like Picnik and find it easy to use. I also like the large amount of texts and colors available.

More Photo Fun

Thing #6

Welcome to our branch! It was easy to take and upload the photos because the camera we have here at the branch is similar to the one I have at home. I had never made a Flickr account before, but now I see it is pretty simple :-) What a nice day to get out and take some photos!

Flikr Fun

Thing #5

I went to Flikr and did a search of "Ocean City, New Jersey." I came across this image of the giant ferris wheel. Click here to follow the link to this image.

I have been visiting Ocean City with my family every summer since I was 3 months old. It is a family tradition that goes back to my great grandparents. Seeing this picture brought a smile to my face :-)

7 1/2 Habits of Lifelong Learning

Thing #2
After viewing the tutorial I see that I am definitely a lifelong learner. Of the 7 1/2 Habits, I think the easiest for me is accepting responsibility for my own learning. The hardest is probably viewing problems as challenges. I am good at doing this in my life and work, but when it comes to technology things that I don't understand, I can get frustrated with the problem and don't really see it so much as a challenge as I do an annoyance. Hopefully participating in the Web Challenge will help me with this :-)


Things #1, #3, and #4
Hello. I'm Melissa, and I'm the new Branch Manager at Island Heights. I decided to do the Web Challenge because I love to learn new things. I hope to be able to help other people with the new information I get from this.

I have used Blogger before. This summer I took a course on Fairy Tales and did a project on "Sleeping Beauty" stories. That blog is linked to my profile. I am enrolled in the Rutgers Online Youth Literature Certificate Program, which gives me lots of opportunities to create projects in various formats. Click here to see a project I did on the Leo Lionni book Little Blue and Little Yellow.