Thursday, November 4, 2010

130 days until Pi Day

This is it; I've done it; I've logged all of my 23 Things. I did the learning by serendipity and by following what I liked over the last nearly four years (and before, of course), but I did the tracking and blogging in a very compressed way over the last week or so. I discovered that, while some of the new Web 2.0 tools have supplanted others, or evolved substantially, or become irrelevant (to me, anyway), the world that opens up all across the interwebs when you really look to see what's out there is magical (as we knew it would be) and robust and right in tune with who we are as librarians and as a profession.

Talking to ourselves

Or thing 9.
It turns out that the most useful library news aggregator for me comes as the weekly American Libraries email newsletter. Fabulous links to all things library universe, intellectual freedom, library marketing, etc. David Lee King is pretty irresistible, as well, as he is bright, articulate and wonderfully customer-aware.


I have mentioned that I have not yet (yes, I'll get to it, soon, really, I promise) touched my iPod Touch. Could it be the 1,470+ books from 2010 that are asking for my undivided attention? Can it be that "podcasting" is a term only about 6 years old, at most? Is it ok if sometimes I listen to the radio and not subscribe to the podcast? And ok if sometimes I get my learning from YouTube? Did I mention that I like to be free to move around the web and listen to what I like? Like RSS feeds, there's a cumulative and therefore somewhat scary quality to podcast subscriptions. I've had years and years to get used to not keeping up with The New Yorker; I'm not planning to have scores of podcasts piling up around me. Their covers aren't as lovely.

Ce que vous aimez (from 2007)

circus amaze
What you like.
The art of reading, doing, thinking, writing, saying, knowing...
ce que vous aimez.

The two books I've encountered in as many days of real vacation both feature women who go off to Maine islands and adopt dogs. I did not go looking for Maine escape literature, or even books about dogs, but there it is.
My mother likes spicy foods, so we went in search of good Thai food, a cuisine she'd not experienced often, but we knew that the heat could be very satisfying. The restaurant staff were lovely and gracious, and saw her coming and muted all the chilis into what seemed to my mother a kind of blandness.
My mother also likes big loud movies where heroes are double-crossed but get revenge. So do my sister and I. So when we took her to see Live Free or Die Hard the weekend it opened and got some looks of askance on the part of the box office staff who saw two rather zaftig women trailing a slender white-haired and frail looking older lady into the theatre it just rolled right off us. They probably thought we came to see Bruce Willis, but I really had to make a bit of an effort to avoid thinking about his politics.

Tag; you're it

I love tagging. For this post (thing 13 if you must know), I went back and thought about tagging all my posts. I had already, long (as in years) ago, decided not to use Delicious for my bookmarks. As with other potentially large universes, time has made my bookmark universe smaller, and accessible in other, less direct but more intuitive and useful ways. The incredible usefulness of the new Google quick search adds to my ability to (almost) forgo bookmarks altogether. I used to mark anything I thought I'd lose track of; now I have given myself over to a kind of detachment--if I need to find it again, I will. I could go on about this, but it's hard to make sense about something that is as personal as one's own filing system...

Search engines (your own)

I put this collection into my Rollyo/Firefox search engine. Not sure I'll remember to use it, though it's interesting to me to think about how few, relatively speaking, sources I routinely search when I'm looking for information. What's missing from this list are things like the OED from our electronic subscription. I didn't add another dictionary, however.

Google docs (thing 18); more clouds

More is not necessarily better, so I'm sticking, for this post, with Google Docs. We need to figure out how to help library customers set up their documents in Google Docs instead of Word. The Innovation Cohort tried its best to encourage MCPL to make thumb drives available to our customers--we could have sold them cheaply and even branded them with our logo. But somehow the logistics of this presented an insurmountable challenge. So why not move our users to a cloud based online productivity tool? Google Docs is versatile and works easily for anyone who's used a word-processing program; it also allows for editing or markups by someone else. My middle schooler submits about half of his papers this way, especially the ones that are part of group projects. It's time to help our library user achieve the same flexibility and productivity.