Schuylerville Public Library Book Club's currently-reading book montage
Schuylerville Public Library Book Club 7 members
The Schuylerville Public Library is located in Schuylerville, NY. Our book club reads one book a mo...

Books we're currently reading

Breakfast with Buddha Breakfast with Buddha
by Roland Merullo
Start date: June 1, 2011

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thing #9: eBooks, eBooks, eBooks!

Now that I am offically a proud owner of an Android, I was especially excited for this lesson.  I downloaded the Kindle app and for the purpose of this lesson, I downloaded the #1 free eBook offered by Amazon.  The process was so effortless and quick!  I opted for a free book for a few reasons.  I am not sure how committed to eBooks I am, so I don't think I can put money into them, knowing I will never be able to physically hold it, or watch it age from use and love, or loan it someone or bookmark a page with my favorite bookmark.  Call me old-fashioned (or a nerd) but these are the things I love.  Right now, I feel like I am an adulterer, who has been married to print for so long, and having an affair with these seductive eBooks.  My heart will always be foremost with printed books, but I find myself attracted to the mysterious world of eReaders and books.

For the purpose of libraries, I think eBooks are wonderful. Though I have to admit, I have never had a patron ask anything about Overdrive or anything eBook related, I do think they will become more and more popular as they progress with availablity of books.  Once the Kindle turns its leaf and forms a relationship with libraries, I think we will see more and more patrons looking for help, because I think Kindle is a more popular eReader, since its pretty affordable.  However, I have very limited knowledge and experience in this field, so what do I know?

I thought it was really interesting to see the Amazon results on print vs. eBook sales and I know its a valid arguement to say that the eBooks won the race, but I feel like in that setting it makes sense.  With regards to libraries, I don't think eBooks will ever take over because there will always be the hoi-polloi who just don't want to deal with eReaders, or just don't have the time or money to ivest into them.  I'm really curious to see the future of eReaders, and to see if its more or less a trend, or if it will grow and take off. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thing 8: Video

During one of my media studies classes, my professor gave us an assignment to go home and watch a video similar to the T-Mobile one posted below.  It was years ago before anyone had really seen anything like this and he explained the difficulty they must have had communicating to get this to go down the way it did.  Though I am not sure if it really was a planned surprise on the travelers, it really is an amazing video and I love that the premise of it was to promote video and photo sharing via cell phones.  It really was genious to me.

I think videos use on library blogs and websites ius a great way to promote events and even host contests.  One idea would be to have the patrons create a commerical for the library or host a video short contest for teens interested in persuing the field of media and film. 

The video was very easy to add to my blog, because I have Blogger, but I think it would be more difficult using other sites.  For example, Wordpress is not that user friendly if you're new to the blogging world, as I am.  I created a library blog using Wordpress and I'm finding harder to navigate than blogger.  I guess that means I have more learing ahead of me!

The T-Mobile Dance

Thing 7: Productivity & Collaboration Tools

The first tool I decided to check out was Remember the Milk.  Though I do think it was neat tool, I think I am more of a traditional, write on a scrap paper or in my planner type of list maker.  To me, having to login and access my lists is more work than I am looking for, even if I can just access it on my phone.

The next tool I explored was Google Calender.  I chose this one because I see it on sites all over and I've always been curious about it.  I think it will be useful in remembering events and such, but similar to my tendencies with list making, I think I like my planner more than an online source.  I have a feeling that I would fill my Google Calender with things, and then forget I did it, thereby accidently missing them.  I am going to give it some time, however, and see if I enjoy using it.

There are other tools I want to explore, such as the ones to help remember passwords, and I plan to explore them in future when I have a spare moment.

Thing 6: Online Meetings and Webinars

The webinar I chose to watch was called Targeting the ages: programming that hits the mark, and it was an extremely useful resource.  I came away from it with so many ideas and tools to actually implement those tools.  The archived video was about an hour and half long, and having the ability to press play and then pause whenever I needed to made it even better.  It was very easy to access, since all I had to was click the button and there it was.  I apparently already had the software needed, so that made things smoother. 

I actually took a class once that was set up similar to this, except we met in person and live chatted with another class room within my university's system so we were one big class.  The instructor would rotate each week which location she was at.  It was a strange set up, but I enjoyed it because it gave us that many more people to contribute to the conversation and helped make things very interesting.  It was for a communications class, so it also helped display different (more modern) ways of communicating.  I really enjoyed the webinar, because it gives the viewer a chance to listen while also looking at the powerpoint presentations they show and the websites they reference.  In a way, I liked it more than an in-person meeting, because sometimes when meeting in person, you don't get a chance to cover all the topics you wanted and things get left out because of the conversations started.  A lot of valuable information can be lost, but when they are on a tight production schedule, they are forced to cover all topics.  I will definitely be viewing more webinars, and I am so happy I took the time to explore them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thing 5: Reflection

Since starting these online tutorials, I have since realized how easy blogs are and how great a resource they can be.  I just started one for the library but I'm still getting it up and running, so isn't very exciting just yet.  I am using it as a place to post about events and book reviews and general things about our library.  My hope for it is that patrons visit the blog and leave comments, questions, suggestions etc. 

I have also furthered my understanding of social media sites and their usefulness in the library.  I now have the know-how and motivation to get the library using all of these tools.

Thing 4: Online Communities

I love online communities.  They are just fun.  Personally, I am a member of Facebook, Goodreads (amanda85), and Ravelry (amanda45).  I have been using Goodreads for a few years and I love it.  It not only lets me keep track of what I've read, but it gives me ideas on what I may like based on my ratings.  I especially like the "to-read" list so that I can keep track of all those books I see, want to read and then can't ever remember where that scrap piece of paper with the title went.  It just makes it easy having all my book titles in one spot.  I think this could be a great tool for the library if we were to create a library group and share reviews and what the book club is reading. 

I am obsessed with Ravelry, a site that I only recently became aware of when a member of our knit/crochet club mentioned it.  I am planning on making a group and/or forum for our knitting club so people can post pictures of what they're working on and questions they may have in between meetings.  It would also give those who can't make it to our meetings a chance to still be a part of the group. 

The library got a Twitter account a month or so ago, despite my hesitation.  I have never had any use for one on a personal level, since it seemed like just another page to log-in to and update a status and it seemed like you could just do that on Facebook or AIM.  But with regards to the library, I think its a very useful tool.  However, after having it for a bit, we still only have 8 followers, which seemingly makes it usless as far as getting information out there.  I think if we had more people following our tweets, it would be an awesome tool.  The questions is:  How do we get the word out there? 

We also have a Facebook with is a wonderful tool for getting information out to many people at once and it gives the patrons a chance to leave us comments too.  Facebook is a no-brainer for us.

Thing 3: Photo Sharing

I surprisingly had never used Flikr before now.  I loved how easy it was to post a picture to the blog and that made the site very user friendly for people like me who are still getting the hang of photo sharing and blogging etc.  However I thought the storage capabilites of the site were less than desirable and it took an exceedingly long time to upload many pictures at once.  I have used other sites such as Kodak Gallery and piccassa and I think I would be more likely to use those in the future.
I think the idea of using a photo sharing site for the library is a really great one because it gives the public a sense of what we do at the library.  If they see pictures of events and such they may see all the things they can join in on and it could add to the number of people attending events.

American Girl Day

P3260006 by SVL2011
P3260006, a photo by SVL2011 on Flickr.

We had an American Girl meet and greet which was a huge success!  Over 70 people attended, American Girl Dolls in tow and we had fun decorating cupcakes, eating pizza & lemonade, and making friendship bracelets for the girls and their dolls.