Monday, April 27, 2009


C'est fini!

#22 Audio books

We have to deal with questions about Overdrive and downloadable audio from time to time in the Hotline. Most of the time, I just send these down to IT, because I haven't used this services myself and don't know much about using or troubleshooting it. I very rarely listen to audiobooks, so it's not a feature that I would normally consider. However, with the recent addition of music and videos, it does have more appeal. It will be interesting to see how this particular collection grows.

#21 podcasts

I've had some exposure to podcast, but not much, at least not in a subscription way. I catch up on a few shows on Hulu, but that's about it, and since those are major studio productions, that's probably not quite the same as what's being addressed in this 'thing'.

The podcast directories seemed to me to be limited in their usefulness, as far as browsing goes. They have the audio podcast separated into very broad categories, but after that, they are just listed by name, so unless the name itself gives a specific description of what the podcast is about, there's no way to look for particular topics. Even worse were the video podcasts, which were what interested me more. They are even divided up by categories, just all lumped together as video.

So, I just went to couple of sites with which I was already familiar and subscribed to a couple of their podcasts. The first was YouTube, which has a feed for the most discussed videos of the day. I figure this way I can keep up with the latest viral videos, which is of course of the utmost importance. The second was Studio Tulsa on KWGS.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

#20 Online Video

I did a search on YouTube under Tulsa Library, and the only 3 hits that I saw there actually about the library were these two posted by Karl from the Ghosts preformance from the now defunct Tuesday Tunes program, and this one from a Music Sandwiched In series:

YouTube could be useful for TCCL as a place to post video tutorials for basic library services, such as how to access your library account online, how to place holds, how to access some of our databases, etc. I don't know if we do anything like that now or not, but it might be something worth trying.

#19 Web 2.0 tools

I took a look at two sites, under Real Estate, and under Music.

Zillow provides information on residential properties (maybe commercial too, I didn't look), including size and features, and provides an estimate value of the house. I'm not too sure about the accuracy of the figure it gave me on my house. It was about $15,000 more than what I paid for it 2 years ago. That's a good number to see, of course, but only if it's accurate. I'm guessing the number they give is based on recent sales of other property in my area, which is a standard practice as I understand it. They obviously aren't taking into account the fact that my house needs some repair and updating. Anyway, it is nice to see what the property could potentially be worth given a little work. looks like to be similar to Pandora, in that it creates customized radio stations based on artists you like. However, also has features that remind me of, such as biographical info & discographies for artists and lists of similar artists that you can look at immediately. The site also offers you the option to purchase albums, and a social feature that allows you to create a profile, leave comments on an artist's page, and create personalized playlists. I couldn't listen to the radio feature on the desk, so I don't know how good the radio station feature is, but it looks like a site worth using.

#18 web based docs

Huzzah, I wrote the previous post on Google Docs and transfer it from there to the blog. I'm giving myself an A for this step.

Very handy tool. I have an old Mac at home, and the word processing software is not compatable with Microsoft office, so I hardly ever use it. This will make things easier.

I have helped some customers with Goo...

I have helped some customers with Google docs before, and it seems like a great idea to me. No more having to worry about compatability of software between different machines. Of course, it does require internet access, so it may not be as useful to some of our patrons who can't get online from home, but for those who do have access from home, and use the library for printing, this service could eliminate a lot of headaches.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wikis #16 & 17

Before today, I had yet to delve into the world of editing wikis, although there is one, a huge time waster called, that I have often been tempted to join. The library wikis looked interesting, and may be of some use for TCCL, but it looks like a lot of the information on those example pages was stuff we already had on our site in one form or another, either via a blog, pathfinder, or some other tool. Perhaps a wiki could serve a hub for those other avenues, but I don't know if that would make things easier or just complicate them.

I had a little trouble with the TCCL pbwiki page. The first entry, under favorite movies, was no problem, but when I tried to add my name on the 'blogs' page, it wouldn't take. After several tries, Tim came to the rescue and figured that there was a problem with the html on a previous entry that was blocking my edits. He deleted some interfering code and that fixed things, so huzzah for Tim. I took a one time Con Ed class on html a few years ago, and have had to deal with it some on the Featured Services blog, but aside from that I'm pretty ignorant about it. Maybe it's time I practiced up on it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

#15 library 2.0

I'm not an MLIS student or graduate, so I haven't read as much about 2.0 as a lot of the other 23 Thingers have. Seems like it has its ups and downs. Finding better ways to get our resources to our patrons is a necessary change that we've already been experiencing for some time. I can imagine a time in the near future when our Askus Hotline grows into a larger, increasingly important entity, as more of our services become available remotely and more patrons seek our help outside of our library buildings. Sharing information, techniques and ideas is a great idea, and necessary if we are to keep up. At the same time, having too much information can be almost as problematic as having not enough, if it's not organized in a way that makes it findable. As long as it has a real structure that makes it useful, then it sounds great.

As for the idea of allowing the public to post comments, reviews, ideas, etc on library sites, it's fine to give people a forum to express their thoughts and opinions, but I don't know about its usefulness as a tool for shaping library procedures and services. Very often when I read the comments section of any article that is even remotely controversial (or sometimes not even), I usually feel dumber for having done so. (Of course, that may be simply a testament to the sorts of sites I frequent.) Yes, we should listen to public opinion and cater our services to our patrons, but again, the effectiveness of this will depend on the structure its given.