This week on Librarian in Black and Tame the Web...

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We learn that the Librarian in Black is still reeling from her invitation to the official White House Tweet Up for the State of the Union Address and that Tame the Web can sort of teach us to hack a Kindle and more.

As for the Librarian in Black, the author was invited with 50 or so people to discuss their feelings about the SOTU and got to see it enhanced with technology presence and on a nice jumbo display.

From her experience, she suggested that libraries should consider doing a Tweet Up of a big event, like the SOTU address, to engage their users and community. This would be a great idea to integrate the library, one of today’s most used social networking sites – Twitter – and garner some interest from the community, especially from the Millennial generation.

In the world of Tame the Web, a blog contributor teaches us how to sort of hack a Kindle in order to save some electronic articles that are found on databases your library might subscribe to and turn those articles into files that the Kindle will read.

This method, though tedious, is a good way to collect research and store it on your Kindle to use later to cite in your paper, when you are not at the library any more. You can also use Instapaper to do the same thing.

Also posted on Tame the Web this week is an advertisement for a library having a Kindle for Beginners class. This is a great way to move forward with the emerging technology, teach library users how to work with the technology and draw people into the library.

Searching for something

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After reading the assigned reading on general searching and online catalog searching, I feel my competency on the matter is some where in beginner to intermediate.

I haven’t used the software that allows you to change the OPAC, so I am not familiar with how to do that. Because of this, I have dropped my skill assessment level down to the beginner to intermediate.

I feel confident in the basic searching aspect but I don’t feel as confident in updating catalog records as I have never done it before. If I had a little more experience, I believe I would catch on pretty quickly. I can do the public searching and have had some training in how to search through OPACs and databases. I don’t claim to be an expert here though.

As for the rest of this week, I thought the Search Skills Test was not as easy as it first appeared to be. It was difficult to find a recipe for American spaghetti from a French source. I am not sure if it was the language barrier, they way Google wanted me to mix those terms together and the amount of hits I had because who hasn’t heard of French cuisine or spaghetti? It was a challenge.

I am just hoping for Spring Break. I had three projects due this session for the three classes I am in right now. My fourth class starts up here in March. Today, we had a funeral to go to. My fiance’s great uncle died.

In other random news, I started my hours for my library service project for my library technical services class. I spent hours repairing an 88-year-old book on the exploration of Indiana to 1850. It was full of torn pages, pages that need to be tipped in and delicate paper that tears with the slightest movement. It’s a relic, but I had fun using nearly 600-inches of archival tissue mending tape on it.

Here’s a picture of the book:

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The tangled web we weave

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As cheesy as the photo is above, I find myself continuous confined and tangled in the wires we must use to keep the technology in our house going day after day. I cannot wait until almost everything is wireless and we don’t have to plan for where cabling is going to show or where our toddler daughter might find herself getting in trouble if the cabling is easy to get to.

We have a home wireless network with two laptops connected to it and occasionally connect our wireless phones to the wireless connection when watching videos and the like on our phones. We have password protected our router, so we can limit who has access to the network.

This week’s reading reminded me a bit of the networking class I took last semester. I did not realize how in-depth library professionals might need to know about how the library’s network works, the name for the devices and what topology their network might be.

Despite my prior knowledge, I did find the matching quiz a bit laborious. The long, 20-something matching terminology quiz was a little confusing with the definitions that can seemingly apply to other terms and just the length of it all in one shot was making my head hurt a little. Also, I think it’s easier to just point out in real life what things are rather than having to actually take the time out and define them. I guess I like the hands-on approach to complicated tasks.

I think it would have helped to take the quiz without the headache I developed from my lack of caffeine (I’m really trying to quit) and the screaming toddler in the background who refuses to take a nap.

The end of the road...

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After a long 15 weeks in this class, we are nearly finished.

I can’t honestly say I am sad to not have more assignments to do for another 15 weeks. I will say I am sad to see the class go. It has probably been my favorite library class so far, even with the workload. It has been good to see the future of library and technology in the library. I am sure after we finish this class, the technology tools we used will be outdated. But that’s the life and style of technology.

I am ready for the semester to be completely over, not just this class. I need the summer break to recharge and really focus on my next big task: completely potty training my toddler. Yeah. It sounds appealing, I know. You should be jealous. She’s interested, she uses the potty when she wants but we need consistency and focus.

I think I will take a break from technology for a while too. I am need some downtime away from a computer after this semester. I am tiring of graphical displays, reading and all that jazz. I doubt I will really stop, but it’s nice to dream and hope. I will probably fill some of my time on, doing some genealogy work on the ol’ family tree. There’s always work to do on it. It’s quite addicting and takes up quite a bit of time.

Well, I think that’s it. I don’t really have much to say. I learned a lot about how technology is being used in the libraries and libraries should embrace technology to keep moving forward in today’s world. Without embracing technology, the library will die out, like the publishing community is doing oh so slowly.

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Taking a break for spring -- or anything else you can think of

I am going to use my last few days of this online spring break to relax and prepare for another family trip to Indy to finish our fun at the children’s museum.

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Last weekend, we made it about halfway through the building and had a good time up until the end when we were exhausted. Luckily, we bought a family membership there, so  if we go four times in a year, it pays for itself. Soon to have two down, two to go.

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Our 20-month-old daughter loved crocodile in the Egypt exhibit a bit too much as she was admonishing children who were stepping on its head. She kept yelling in an anguished “no” and then petting the crocodile’s head afterward. I will try to catch it on video this weekend if she does it again.

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I loved the Barbie exhibit. I tried to share my giddiness of childhood memories with my family, but I am not sure they were nearly as excited. Sofie did work the runway though and take a call from Barbie.

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While it’s not the sand or surf that my Spring Breaks of my youth were about, it’s still nice to get out of town and do something fun with the family, even if it is a production every time we go somewhere.

This weekend, the LEGO exhibit opens. Maybe I will build my paradise Spring Break out of LEGOs and pretend I’m not in Indiana and not in my 30s.

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This week on Librarian in Black and Tame the Web...

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The Librarian in Black waged a war with publishers who are refusing to sell or license eBooks to libraries by making this Truth-inspired poster to help bring awareness to the issue.

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I, too, have an issue with publishers “walking away from the library table,” as the Librarian in Black put it. After working in the publishing industry for seven years, I learned that publishers can be lazy and stuck in their ways. They don’t care about trying to move forward in technology or the demand for it in the market until it’s too late and it’s the last straw they have grasp for before going under. I am not sure why publishers would back away from providing licensing options for eBooks to libraries as this is where books are going. As a publisher, you could make a lot more money by providing a licensing deal and it’s not like you have to put that much more effort into formatting as the text is already in electronic format.

While the ALA claims it’s about pursuing eBook editions from publishers, it appears they don’t do it as much as one would like to think, the Librarian in Black said. So, she is urging everyone to spread the awareness through your local library and social media outlets to get the message across and heard.

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Tame the Web also touched on eBooks this week with the discussion on how Stockholm Public Libraries have taken the stagnation problem into their own hands. Stockholm is doing it on their own or getting help.

Tame the Web summarizes Stockholm’s actions best:

Cooperate:  we can’t do it on our own, let’s find strategic partnerships, for e-book openness and innovation. Digitise: let’s not just sit and wait. If nobody else seems keen on digitising, well, then we do it ourselves. Integrate: making literature accessible for everybody in 2012 is not just about digitisation, it’s also a question of packaging and integration of the content in user friendly and flexible user interfaces. Engage: let’s explore the potential of co-creating new content together with the users of today: the prosumers.
The number you have reached is no longer in service

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This week I was supposed to be talking about my experience using Skype and my reference role reversal assignment, but I could not find any one who wanted to do the project before the last minute or at all, even as I waited to the last minute because no one could do it actually earlier than Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

I can easily say I am frustrated. I am frustrated with the fact we have an entire week to do an assignment and everyone – myself included at times – waits until the last minute. I had plans this weekend with my family that I had made a while back and tried to get my work done early and on time. But no. No one was available to do it early or attempt it early, so I decided to take time away from my family today and see if anyone was available to do the assignment today. No one was online and the one person I did send an IM to, did not respond.

The one person I thought I had arranged time with, and I put my daughter in daycare that day so I could get it done without listening to screaming or interruption, was not willing to do it because it looked too complicated. It’s not complicated. It’s Skype. So, I am also frustrated with the willingness of my classmates to try something that might not be easy for them because it seems too complicated or hard. It doesn’t help anyone, including yourself. It just leaves us with two people who cannot get their work done.

So, here I am writing my post beyond the time I wanted to be awake or doing this assignment altogether because group projects make you rely on others – others you haven’t met in person or have the same educational drive you do. It’s easy to say no or ignore people who are not standing in front of you, face-to-face.

But, this isn’t the first class I’ve had issues with others not pulling their weight or showing up to do group work. It’s happened in every class I’ve taken online with Ivy Tech.

Now, that I am done with my rant and frustration with others in the virtual world…

I bring you a summation of following Librarian in Black and Tame the Web for the last few weeks. I found the posts helpful about learning some new things happening in the industry, but most of it, I found it not really helpful or relevant to where I am right now. I didn’t expect it to be either. Most of the time, Librarian in Black did not updated her blog as frequently as I would think a professional in the technological field would post. Then, some of the posts of Tame the Web just really focused on conferences and other random workshops that did not pertain to me. I really didn’t find too much I found to be cutting edge outside of how to hack a Kindle.