So this is not the end of the program, but the beginning of …

Just when I thought I had a good handle on where we should be heading with library 2.0 services, the report from OCLC called “Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World” made me stop and think and even revise my ideas.

The report defines social networking as “doing something more than advancing communications between individuals, driving commerce or speeding connectivity. It is redefining roles, muddying the waters between audience and creator, rules and relationships, trust and security, private and public. And the roles are changing, not just for a few but for everyone, and for every service, on the Web.”

The report advises us that if our goal is to create a social library, if we focus on broadcast services such as RSS feeds, we are likely going in the wrong direction. RSS, as good as it is, just “perpetuates the traditional concept of the library as a supplier of information, not a place for idea generation and exchange.” Simple techniques such as adding a “my favorites” or a “wish list” would go a long way towards providing library users with the interaction they find elsewhere. 

Many people think of a social library as a library of traditional services enhanced by a “set of social tools – wikis, blogs, mashups and podcasts.”

What was interesting to me, is that the report writers  said that after working on the report they revised their concept of a social library.

Becoming engaged in the social web is not about learning new services or mastering new technologies. To create a checklist of social tools for librarians to learn, or to generate a “top ten” list of services to implement on the current library Web site, would be shortsighted.

The social Web is not being built by augmenting traditional Web sites with new tools. And a social library will not be created by implementing a list of social software features on our current sites. The social Web is being created by opening the doors to the production of the Web, dismantling the current structures and inviting users in to create their content and establish new rules.

Opening the doors to mass participation can be messy. But it often creates “the most exciting venues for collaboration, creativity, community building – and transformation.”

Opening the doors to mass participation also works towards the mission of the library in that it provides our customers with the joint ownership they want in their web experience and gives them a reason to return to the library website. By inviting participation, the connection between the customer and the library changes, as does their perception of the library.

Adding a Rollyo searchbox to your blog

1. Log into Rollyo and click on the Tools menu at the top of the page.
2. Click on “Put a Rollyo Searchbox on your site”
3. In the “Searchrolls” box, choose your roll and click the right arrows button
4. Choose a style (plain, plainer, gray, black, red) and you’ll see a preview of what you Rollyo Searchbox will look like to the right of your style choices.
5. Copy the code from the box called “Cope and paste Code” [use Ctrl-C]
6. Go to your blog and sign in
7. From your Dashboard, click the Layout link
8. Click “Add a page element” in your sidebar and choose the one called “HTML/Javascript”. Click the Add to Blog button.
9. Paste [Ctrl-V] the content from Rollyo into the large box and leave the title bar blank.
10. Click the Save Changes button.
11. If you have several things in your sidebar, click and drag the new box so that it appears in the order you want and click Save.
12. View Blog.

How To do Thing 17: Add an entry into the Sandbox Wiki created with PB Wiki

Several people have had trouble following the directions for Thing 17, including me to my chagrin. I started using PBWiki last year – how could I NOT get it? Well I didn’t, and Donna H. helped me so don’t feel bad if you have trouble too!

Here are my directions for another staff member:
1. Go to http://marylandlibrariessandbox.pbwiki.com/Favorite%20Blogs.

2. Click the Edit Page link at the top of the page. This will prompt you to enter the password which is mdstaff. You also have to enter your name and email address. Once you do this you’ll be in editing mode for the page.

3. Scroll down to where BCPL has their entries – about halfway down the page.

4. Put your cursor at the end of the title above where yours will go, and hit enter. This should open up a line for you to enter the title of your blog.

5. After you type in the title, highlight it with your cursor.

6. Go to the editing buttons and find the one for a link. It should look like a chain link icon.

7. When you click that icon, set link type to URL and then enter the URL for your blog (http://….).

8. Click OK to close the URL box, and then click SAVE to save the changes you made to the wiki page.

9. Check to make sure it looks the way you want it on the wiki page. If it appears next to the previous blog title, just put your cursor between the two and hit enter to drop it down to the next line.

10. Save again.

Aquabrowser updates

My DiscoveriesI just discovered that Aquabrowser, one of our catalogs, has been adding web 2.0 functionality. They already had the ability to add RSS feeds in the catalog although BCPL has not turned that feature on yet.

1) Now  the company has added something they call “My Discoveries” which offers:

  • Lists that users can make for themselves or make public to help others
  • Tagging, Reviewing and Scoring on any item
  • Personal profiles

AquaBrowser connects people and knowledge by offering user tagging and user reviews on any item in your collection. This kind of social searching perfectly combines human intelligence with search algorithms to perform information retrieval. User tags and reviews from the local library users will only add to the ability of community libraries to be tailored for the people they are intended, because those very people will be giving their input to almost every dynamic of the library catalog.

2) AquaBrowser now allows all the item records in a library’s collection to be indexed and found by any internet search engine, as if to create a separate web page for every title in the library’s collection. This means any item in the entire collection can be found as a search result when performing a regular web search, driving traffic to the library website and allowing anyone to discover its community valuable information. The more accessible a library is online, the more the community uses and benefits from it. This information can be found in the Archive section of MediaLab‘s website.

Why are my blog address, my title and my post name, all different and how can I change them?

Those are all different because you initially set it up that way but you can change it all!Log into your blog and go to your dashboard.

Display Name: If you want to change your “Display Name”, click on Edit Profile (right-hand column). Scroll down until you see Display Name. If you make changes, scroll down and click on the Save Profile button.

Blog Title: Go to the Dashboard. Click on the Settings link for your blog. The first thing you’ll see under the Basic link is Title and a box for entering anything you want. You can change what you currently have and then scroll down and Click on Save Settings. Don’t choose to Delete your blog!

BlogSpot Address: If you click on the Publishing section of the Settings tab, you’ll see where you can change the BlogSpot address. That’s the URL or address of your blog. Don’t change this unless you feel really strongly about it. If you change it, you will need to notify us so we can find your blog and track your progress in the program.

Welcome to Week 4 of 23 Things!

Welcome to Week 4 of 23 Things! Hopefully you have completed the Things for Week 3 which means that you have explored Flickr, mashups, and posted something about “anything technology” to your blogs.  Most people have really enjoyed learning about Flickr and are really being very creative!

As you move through the 23 Things, you might find some “things” that you like more than others. If you don’t want to spend much time on something, just read the information and write about what you liked or didn’t like. Spend more time on the “things” you really like or things you think BCPL might use with our customers.

Did you visit the participant blogs yet?  (http://baltimorecountyparticipants.blogspot.com/) They are really looking great!  I see lots of good learning going on out there.  Also, take a look at what participants are doing across the State.  For example, check out Eastern Shore Regional, Western Maryland Regional, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Cecil County, and more!

I suggest you use the Account Reference Sheet and the Tracking Log as you move through the program. Both of these are available from the right-hand side of the BCPL Participants Page, http://baltimorecountyparticipants.blogspot.com/,  under “Handy Links.” You do NOT need to turn in the Tracking Log to us even though the directions say to. However, you might find it useful for tracking your own progress through the 23 Things. Don’t forget to label your posts with the Week number and Thing #. This helps us track your progress and qualify you for CEUs and prizes.

This week’s topic is RSS & Newsreaders – you have the following activities to complete:

Week 7: RSS & Newsreaders
8. Learn about
RSS feeds and setup your own Bloglines newsreader account.
9. Locate a
few useful library related-blogs and/or news feeds.

Tips for Week 4:

  • You may find the very end of the Thing 8 is a little difficult in terms of “finding your public Bloglines” URL.  Consider that part optional, but take it on as a challenge.  Blogrolls are lists of other people’s blogs that you put onto your blog.  Often you will see a blog that lists other blogs.  This is a blogroll.  There’s an example on MERLIN (see “Library News Blogs” on right of home page). MERLIN is discussed in Thing 9.
  • In Thing 9, we mention MERLIN.  If you don’t know about MERLIN, please check it out.  Currently, the MERLIN Advisory is starting a new site supporter team to work on the MERLIN website.  If you have any suggestions, please post these to your blog  for Thing 9.  We hope that after you finish the 23 Things, that you will continue to play with new technologies and use MERLIN as a resource.  We plan to continue to add cool new stuff and ways that we can share as a community there.

General Tips and Tricks:

         I don’t see many blogs using Labels yet. To add Labels to your blog:

o   Log into your blog and then choose Customize from the upper right-hand corner.

o   Choose to “add a new page element” and choose the one called Labels.

o   Each time you write a post, you can “catalog” them the way that makes sense to you. Some blogs call these labels (Blogger) and some call them tags or categories. You can have a “Tag Cloud” or a list of categories. See my blog for an example of a tag cloud and a list of categories, http://learninglibrary20.wordpress.com/.

o   For more help : http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=50644

Don’t forget to check out the “Posts Worth Reading” on the BCPL Participants Page, http://baltimorecountyparticipants.blogspot.com/. These are posts from your co-workers’ blogs!

Would you like to add a widget for “Recent Comments” to your blog? See my post for an example and directions,

http://learninglibrary20.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/recent-comments-widget-for-your-blogger-blog/

 The discovery exercise #1 for Week 6, Thing 13 says to listen to the Del-icio.us tutorial. That link does not work. Try this one instead, http://www.ottergroup.com/blog/_archives/2006/10/9/2401289.html.

Did you know you can add a poll to your blog? Go into your template and add a “page element.” Choose the one for a poll and create away!

Here’s a hint for your blogs from ScrappinErin, http://scrappinerin.blogspot.com/,  who has finished her 23 Things! Congratulations!


Helpful Hint #1 – Making your time stamp match
If you’re wondering why your time stamp does not match the actual time, you have to change it to eastern time under settings on your blog, here’s how:

  • Click on Customize in the upper right hand corner
  • Click on Settings Tab
  • Click on Formatting Tab
  • Scroll down to – Time Zone
  • Select – Eastern Time

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions

Welcome to Week 3 of 23 Things!

Welcome to Week 3 of 23 Things! Hopefully you have completed the Things for Week 2 which means that you have set up your blog and registered it.  Soon you will see everybody’s blog listed on the BCPL participants’ page:  http://baltimorecountyparticipants.blogspot.com/. We even have a few participants who have already finished the program and have qualified for their CEUs and prizes! Don’t forget: you must actually complete all 23 Things to qualify for the CEUs and prizes.

1. If you have not registered for the program but would still like to do so, please give me a call or send me an email.

2. If you have not registered your blog yet, you can do so from the BCPL participants page, http://baltimorecountyparticipants.blogspot.com/. Scroll partway down the page until you see the info below or click the link in this email message:

Week 2, Thing 4 Details – Registering Your Blog. To complete Thing #4, you’ll need to Register Your Blog. Please use your WORK email address, as registration is monitored. Remember that your blog address can be anonymous on your blog, but your liaison needs to know the address so you can be added to our Participant Blog List. You don’t want to miss out on CEUs or prizes!”

3. If you have registered your blog but it has not appeared on the BCPL Participants page, please send me an email with your name and blog address (starts with http://). Please give us 1-2 days to post your blog on the Participants page.

4. If you would like some help, you have several options:

a. Ask a co-worker!
b. Call me (Ellen Ward), x2514, or send me an email, ellen@bcpl.net
c. Sign up to attend our 23 Things Drop-In session at the North Point training lab on Thursday 7/26, 9:00 AM-3:00 PM. Call the Help Desk, x3000, to sign up.

This week’s topic is Photos & Images – you have the following activities to complete:
5. Explore Flickr and learn about this popular image hosting site.
6. Have some Flickr fun and discover some Flickr mashups & 3rd party sites.
7. Create a blog post about anything technology related that interests you this week.
You may find it helpful to listen to the podcast developed by Helene Blowers for PLCMC.  We have not included it on our site because she references PLCMC directly at times, but if you can ignore that part and focus on all of the good information she has to share you will find it helpful.  Click on this link to access the podcast:  Flickr Fun podcast – http://odeo.com/audio/1460333/view . (Click the audio file at the top of the page to listen.)

Week 3 Challenge!
I challenge you to write an interesting post about how BCPL can use any of the new services you’ve been learning about! I’ll choose the best posts and add them to “Posts Worth Reading” on the BCPL Participants page.

Handy Things to Know
1. I found a problem with Blogger posts not posting promptly. I haven’t heard about this problem from any of our staff but you might just want to be aware of it. http://bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.com/2007/07/posts-not-posting-promptly.html

  1.  In Blogger, if you use the Dots theme, you have to add a page element to get the title of your blog to display on your blog’s main page. Sign in to your blog and that will take you to your “Dashboard”. Click on the Layout link and then on top left of your page, click on the link to “Add a Page Element.” You’ll see lots of choices here, but for now, choose “Add a Page Header” and click on the “Add to Blog” button. Add a title for your blog and a description, if you want to. You can even add an image but make sure it looks okay after you save it. (Mine didn’t.) Click Save changes and then click on the link to View Blog. Make sure everything looks the way you want it!See my example: http://bcpltestblog.blogspot.com/.
  2. Add your blog address to your Flickr account by clicking on the down arrow next to the menu for “You.” Choose “Your Account” from the drop down list of menu items. Click on the “Extending Flickr” tab (it looks like a link). You’ll see something for “Your blogs” and can add your blog address here.
  3. How do I post photos to my blog from Flickr? First you’ll have to configure your Blogger blog so Flickr knows where to find it (see number 3 above). You’ll be guided through the set-up process, and at the end you can try a test post to make sure everything works.  When that’s done, you can blog any public photo you see on Flickr. When you’re looking at a single photo, for example, http://www.flickr.com/photo.gne?id=23754, you’ll see a “Blog This” button above it.  Note: If you don’t see the “Blog This” button, you probably need to make the photo public (click “edit” next to the privacy indicator under “Additional Information” on the photo’s page).

Click the “Blog This” button for the photo you want to post. If you’ve set up your blog, you can post immediately by adding a title and body for the post. There’s a link to your blog as well so you can check that the entry looks OK.  You can set up as many blogs as you like. 


What I’m Reading

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Europe Through the Back Door 2008 by Rick Steves

What I Plan to Read

Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger
Life of Pi by Yann Martel

What I Finished Reading

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Sleight of Hand by Kate Wilhelm The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

Flickr Photos

Zookeepers Wife

Everyone admiring the greenhouse

Greenhouse Introduction

Ron answering questions from Peter and Anita

The ribbon cutting

More Photos
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