Gargantuan Google

December 9, 2008 at 8:42 pm (Great 8)

Google’s tentacles seem to reach everywhere these days. Here are some thoughts…

I recently started using Google Documents for a nonwork project that involves a number of collaborators. It’s very convenient and reminds me of a wiki, in that multiple users can make changes. It’s nice not to have to constantly e-mail things back and forth.

I’ve been using Google Maps for about a year.  For this exercise I couldn’t resist finding the house where I lived in Castelsarrasin, France. The satellite view is pretty cool!

Moving into newer territory, I checked out Google Books. I did a search for my own books. Almost all of them are up there with a “limited preview” (you have to go to the library for the whole thing!). btw, I did not write Eating Well. Google Books has that wrong.

I also tried out Google Product Search.  Wasn’t this called Froogle once? I did a search for women’s cowboy boots. The results showed lots of different boots at various prices. It seemed good for comparison shopping, but it made me uneasy for some reason, perhaps because the search didn’t seem very shopping-friendly. It was like any other Google search.  I mean, I don’t look for books or facts the same way I look for shoes. I think I’ll stick to the mall for now.


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November 25, 2008 at 10:35 pm (Great 8)

Did I ever tell you about the time I was eating dinner al fresco and a little green man came up to me and gave me free tickets to see a band called Wookiefoot? And that I actually went to see them?

If this blog were a wiki, you could delete that, because it doesn’t make much sense! But it’s not a wiki, so it stays! And I can blather on about my wikixperience. I had a little bit of trouble getting started. For some reason it wouldn’t let me into the “edit” mode to start writing. I had to switch over to Explorer and click around a little bit before I could do anything. Did this happen to anyone else?

This wiki project made me think of our kids book blog and staff book blog. It looks like our book blogs function a lot like other libraries’ wikis. Patrons or staff can add entries, but they don’t really change others’ entries; instead they comment on them. I think a wiki would be most useful for internal staff communication. The catch would be remembering to check it! I see that you can get e-mails telling you when the wiki has been updated. That sounds helpful.

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November 18, 2008 at 6:20 pm (Great 8)

I just had a nice chat with Alex R from Schaumburg. I asked him for resources about buying a used car. He pointed me to Schaumburg’s car-buying page and also Wilmette’s. He found the link to Consumer Reports for me. Then the AskAway service e-mailed me the transcript. I didn’t have to write anything down or create a new account or anything. Very handy!

The library where I used to work made good internal use of instant messaging. There were only 6 libraries in the county/system and we mostly only borrowed books from each other. So when a patron needed a book from the library across town, I’d just IM the librarian there. The librarian would pull it right away and put it on a pile to go to my library in the next delivery. It was pretty efficient and really shortened the pick list.

omg, I heart IM abbreviations. Especially ROTFL, SOZ, and ZZZ.


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Pod People

November 11, 2008 at 6:27 pm (Uncategorized)

Ooh, podcasts. That was fun! I listened to one at Longshots, an interview with some librarians from Northwestern.

This inspired me to look further. My other favorite library (besides WPL, of course), the Cooperative Children’s Book Center in Madison, has podcasts about new books.

Sometimes I like to hear the live stream from a radio station in MN, the Current, which also has podcasts of their song of the day.

I think that if I had a bigger ipod and a longer commute, I would listen to podcasts. Mostly I’m preoccupied with listening to the music I already have. But sometimes that music does get stale. Maybe podcasts are the solution!

As for libraries, we could include instructions for various things as podcasts, or perhaps authors doing readings as podcasts. Maybe we could make podcasts of library performers’ programs. I’m really text-oriented, but I know that some people respond better to listening. I think podcasts would be a good way to reach people who have slightly different learning styles.

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October 29, 2008 at 6:16 pm (Uncategorized)

Librarians in Wisconsin really love their dogs! So much so that they’ve created a website for them: Dogs of Wisconsin Libraries!



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October 28, 2008 at 5:20 pm (Great 8)

I just did Adventure #4. It felt more like a trip to the corner store than a visit to the jungle. We use many of these resources every day here in the youth services department. I did update my e-mail address for e-mail notification. And I tried some new databases. I use the newspaper databases and Novelist fairly frequently, so I tried some things I’ve never done before. I visited Ancestry Library Edition. I didn’t find any of my ancesters, but it was fun to poke around. I have an aunt who’s really into geneaology–I wonder if she uses databases like this, or if she haunts the archives of the WI Historical Society instead. Hmmm.

I also checked out the Consumers’ Checkbook. This was interesting, but I didn’t get tons of information. I looked for acupuncturists, car dealers, and physical therapists in Evanston. People don’t seem too forthcoming with their comments. By contrast, people seem to really let loose on Yelp. This website is more accessible (you don’t have to go to the library website first) and comprehensive. But it’s more commercial that Consumer’s Checkbook, which is all independent and nonprofit. So neither one is perfect.

It’s a jungle out there, I tell you…

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Just You Tube

October 21, 2008 at 5:25 pm (Great 8)

I love You Tube. It’s the best time-suck ever. It’s like an unending episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos. With other, you know, more important stuff. And I have to say, posting a video on this blog was pretty easy. WordPress does a good job with that.

Hm, I’ve heard about libraries having contests for Teen Read Week and such where teens make videos for the library and post them on You Tube. My personal favorite idea is having kids/teens/adults make videos of decorated book carts. Kind of like Pimp My Bookcart, but with videos.  What do you say, WPL staff?????

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You Tube and Chocolate

October 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm (Uncategorized)

At the great risk of extreme embarrassment and shameless self-promotion, I give you There’s Something About Chocolate.

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Photo sharing

October 16, 2008 at 3:39 pm (Great 8)

As you can see, I got my flickr account up and posted a photo! I’ve been really curious about flickr for a long time but hadn’t opened an account. I didn’t realize you had to have a Yahoo account. That’s kind of a nuisance. Anyhow, people kept sending me things on Snapfish, so I keep my photos there. Snapfish seems a lot less exciting than flickr, though. I’ll have to post some photos when I get home. I don’t think I want to share all my photos with the whole world, just some photos with selected people. Hm. Lots more to explore…

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Milwaukee Art Museum Interior #2

October 16, 2008 at 3:30 pm (Uncategorized)

Milwaukee Art Museum Interior #2

Originally uploaded by hoodwinks

Here’s a picture from my hometown!

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