January 8, 2008

Holiday Lights (2)

Holiday Lights

November 30, 2007

Potential apps for library

Lulu might be useful for publishing and selling library materials, if we want to digitize unique or rare copies of books in the public domain.

There are many interesting tools on the seomog.org site. However, for privacy concerns, we should use similar tools offered by the University.

November 29, 2007

Love Google Docs!

I found Google Docs easy to use. It is like a free online Office Suite. One can share documents with others or publish on the web. It is also easy to export in different formats, such as PDF.

zoho wiki or pb wiki?

I looked at both pb wiki and zoho wiki and like the latter better. As a matter of fact, zoho offers more tools than just wiki, such as chat, polls, group mail, database and reports, project management, and web conference.

I created a zoho wiki called Gateway to China (http://gateway2china.wiki.zoho.com/) and added a page there called "Cities Worthy a Visit). It is a short list and will be expanded.

November 28, 2007

Controlled collaboration

The original intent of wiki is to allow anyone to freely create and edit contents on the web. However, vandalism prompted many organizations to build in a validation mechanism. So wiki has evolved to be a controlled collaboration. That makes sense. You don't want your wiki to present misleading info or someone else to delete your contents. "Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki" is a good example.

We could create a wiki for UMD Library Technical Services, say, for a manual of operational procedures. Each staff can create and edit the contents in their own resposible areas.

November 1, 2007

Paradigm Shifts in Library Services

I've read all the 5 articles recommended by the Learning 2.0 Team. Of the five, I particular like Rick Anderson's. I believe, too, that we need a paradign shfit in libraries.

I think that more and more librarians now realize that it is impractical nor desirable to continue to build a just-in-case collection. But it is harder to convince many librarians that library education is not a solution to solve patrons' perplexity over the services a library is providing.

I cannot agree with Rick more that "if our services can’t be used without training, then it’s the services that need to be fixed—not our patrons". It is impossible to teach every student on campus. What is our librarians' ratio with the student body? Besides, library education is definitely not a high priority for students. We need to change our mindset and focus on howto break down barriers for students to get what they need.

As to his argument about the "come to us" model, in addition to provide information resources in the user's preferred environment (e.g., web), librarians need also to go to the users physically, either in the form of co-teaching academic classes or regular office hours in the academic departments to provide in-depth consultation.

October 25, 2007

Searching and tagging with Technorati

I searched "Learning 2.0" in Tag Search and found 675 posts tagged as such.

I searched "Learning 2.0" in Blog Directory and found 737 blogs, each of which shows how many fans.

I've also added a tag for this post as "Shixing's Technorati tag test".

Bookmarking with del.icio.us

I created an account on del.icio.us and installed the two buttons. And it automatically grabbed Berman Collection - a photoset on Flickr and added to my "del.icio.us" button. So it seems that there is some internal linkage between del.icio.us and Flickr.

Then I did a search in del.icio.us for "scenic spots in duluth mn" and the search results showed up in Yahoo! So del.icio.us seems to use Yahoo's search engine.

I used the "TAG" button to bookmark a webpage (http://www.superiortrails.com/duluth-hawk-ridge.html) and it shows up under my "del.icio.us" button.

October 24, 2007

Fall Color

I searched free photos with Rollyo (http://rollyo.com/ericrolph/free_photos/) and found beautiful pictures around the world. It seems to search Flickr and freefoto.com. Here are some examples:



Books about Duluth

Library Thing (http://www.librarything.com) is a great place to look for books that one is interested in. I did a search for "Duluth" and found 850 books in Amazon.com. It also allows you to search by Library of Congress and it retrieved 1,352 books! Besides, there is an option to search from 82 other sources around the world!

I've added the following books to my Library:

1. The climate of Duluth, Minnesota by Herbert W Richardson. Commercial club of Duluth (1914).

2. Duluth: Gem Of The Freshwater Sea by Anita Zager. Adventure Publications (2004), Paperback, 123 pages.

3. Duluth, Minnesota (Images of America) by Maryanne C. Norton. Arcadia Publishing (2001), Paperback, 128 pages.

4. The North Shore Birding Trail: A Guide to Birding Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior from Duluth to Grand Portage by Audubon Minnesota. National Audubon Society (2007), Paperback, 64 pages.

5. Tales of Spirit Mountain: A Narrative History of Duluth, Minnesota by Anne Crooks. Prairie Smoke Press (2006), Perfect Paperback, 160 pages.

6. Duluth (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) by Gore Vidal. Penguin Classics (1998), Paperback, 224 pages.

Create a logo for Tech Services

I first tried the Delftware Generator (http://www.royaldelft.com) but could not find a way to save the logo created there. So I ended up using the Custom Neon Sign Generator (http://generatorblog.blogspot.com) and created a logo for the Technical Services. See the logo below:


October 12, 2007

Build collections of pictures with Facebook

I found it handy to use Facebook to build collections of pictures. Recently, I have put a collection of pictures taken at the Opening Ceremony of the Michael Berman Political Collection at the UMD Library on Flickr and shared it with all staff. However, when I tried to add another collection of pictures taked at Adele's retirement party, I've exceeded the limit of 3 free sets from Flickr!

I turned to Facebook. It does not have a limit on how many albums you can create. So I've added pictures from Adele's party there and shared with all staff.

Besides, Flickr allows you to tag each picture while Facebook allows you to tag each person in a picture. A “tag? in Flickr facilitates searching for a picture while a “tag? in Facebook displays the name of a person in a picture when your cursor is on that person. In fact, Rory has “tagged? Sunshine on one of these pictures.

It turned out that Flickr uses "Note" for what Facebook calls "tag" and Facebook uses "Caption" for what Flickr calls a tag. Can't they use the same terminology?

All in all, I prefer Facebook.

To IM or not IM?

To me, Instant Messaging is too intrusive. Whenever there is a new message coming in, an icon will flash on the screen. If you are successful with IM and have a large group of friends, you may feel impulsive to respond to each incoming message and thus may "neglect" your assigned duties.

To Flickr or Facebook?

Flickr only allows for 3 sets (or albums) of pictures while Facebook does not have any limits. Flickr allows you to tag each picture while Facebook allows you to tag each person in a picture. A “tag? in Flickr facilitates searching for a picture while a “tag? in Facebook displays the name of a person in a picture when your cursor is on that person. In fact, Rory has “tagged? Sunshine on one of these pictures.