Monday, October 29, 2007

p.s. - Revolution OS

Richard Stallman
Originally uploaded by surfstyle
Very entertaining, this video is about the history and philosophy of the Open Software movement and the development of Linux, told largely in the words of the actual innovators, developers, and entrepreneurs themselves. It was interesting to learn about the eccentric characters involved, the passions stirred up and conflicts yet unresolved.

This is an old photo of a youthful Richard Stallman, the man who began the free software movement with his GNU Project and is still fighting the good fight.

Thing #23: Saying Goodbye

Waving Goodbye
Originally uploaded by lat454205 / Lisa

I begin this final posting with a response to the "last but not least" in the list. My answer is a most definite "Yes!" - I would like another discovery program to be offered in the future. This independent-learning online tutorial format worked for me. It seems ideal to help us keep up with new technology. Professional gain in tech learning aside, I found it valuable (and fun!) personally to learn about Flickr, Zoho, podcasts, electronic books and the rest. The program had enough built-in guidance to let me accomplish most of the exercises on my own, and my grand colleagues/mentors helped me out with the rest. The only drawback - I wonder if others were like me who had to do some of this on my own time. We part-timers just don't have enough hours off the desk and even when we're off the desk, we have other responsibilities. Also, I'm pretty sure that, tech-challenged as I am, I had to spent much more time on the whole than was figured when assigning the CEU's. In a very positive final note and in response to another point in the list, a valuable outcome for me was rediscovering that with support, time and perseverance, new learning can happen and pay off handsomely in unexpected ways.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thing #22: Electronic Books

Electronic Books are becoming more popular at the Library despite being downloadable only to an MP3 player and not to the ubiquitous iPod. Haven't used my player yet buy it's the ideal motivator to learn more about the Library's electronic book offerings. I especially enjoyed reading about Project Gutenburg. It's powered by volunteers and has over 20,000 titles of the most eclectic offerings. I managed to establish an account in Overdrive and downloaded the software. I found a few titles of interest to me in electronic format in our catalog, and figured out how to put them into a Bookbag for downloading. I haven't downloaded anything yet, but will soon.

Thing #21: Podcasts

I would frequently hear the term but never knew for certain what a "podcast" was. Now, after seeing what all the fuss is about, the idea of choosing favorite podcasts to listen to while I'm on the Internet at home is very appealing. I loaded some business podcasts for my husband and added the RSS feed of the podcast of a humorous NPR program, "Wait Wait..Don't Tell Me!" for me. I imagine that having my own list of podcast feeds will be like having my own private radio station - just my programs, all the time.
Looked into some of the podcast directories (Yahoo's closing theirs down soon) and then at some of the libraries now using podcasts for storytimes and booktalks. Great avenue for libraries to reach the public.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thing #20 Sharing Videos

Here is a clip of that wonderful and strange actor, Christopher Walken, showing his roots as a dancer. I originally saw it on the blog of a Frederick County librarian.
After looking around at YouTube, I better understand its appeal and why it seems that every teenager in the Library has his eyes glued to it. It is vast in variety of subjects and easy to access.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Thing #19: The Web 2.0 Awards

Quite a list, and I saw several sites I'll check out later. For this exercise, I decided to look at DonorsChoose.Org. It was recently highlighted on an evening news program I'd watched. This philanthropy site,, allows you to fund online a public school project anywhere in the country for the purpose of providing students with a resource their schools lack. A teacher writes an essay describing what is needed and why. After the project (books, field trip funding, musical instruments, etc.) is fulfilled, a photo and thank you are sent to the donor. You can see how this would be very attractive to potential donors: a very personal, selective way to contribute their hard-earned money, and with direct feedback that applauds them and strokes their charitable egos. The site is user friendly and lets you to search for a project by state, keyword and cost.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thing #18: Online Productivity Tools

I set up a Zoho account and used Zoho to create this document and post it to my blog. I like the idea of being able to save a document in Zoho either at work or at home on line and work on it anywhere. I can see how Microsoft might be worried that most people have no need to buy its apps if these functions are now available for free on-line. With Zoho, you've got useful templates, spreadsheets, the ability to revert to any version of a document, e-mailing and posting your document online, and even open editing and collaboration if desired. I also checked out "30 Boxes" and some of the other listed online tools.