Sunday, October 12, 2008

Safely back on shore - on the other side of the stream

It's a huge relief to get to the end of the programme more-or-less on time. At first I thought, "of course I can do it," but quickly found myself treading water - out of my comfort zone and into unknown realms. So, doing the programme has been like medicine - necessary to get better - but also a journey into new territory where the vistas change constantly, the horizon is always a long way off and it's exciting!
I enjoyed Image generator, Wikis, Flickrvision and will go back to RSS feeds and podcasts to better understand them. I may use them in the library.
The Facebook and Bebo exercise was helpful as I will use these basic skills in the future with my volunteer work and family. I am pleased to have enrolled for the course and to finish it - thanks for the opportunity.

Exercise "22" - a familiar number at Shore LIbraries

Social networking is very much a thing of the moment. Observing my wider family, it doesnt seem such a great thing from the point of view of sustaining good relationships in the home. Let's face it, if you are on a computer you cant be holding a good conversation with your partner, can you?
I find I get a bit cross about the amount of time I need to spend in front of a screen at home in order to find information, answer the emails, keep up with my interests. I would rather be in the garden and would like to better organise my time so that the computer doesn't take such a big role.
At work in the library it I can see that social networking may be an inevitable step to keep libraries used and relevant. It is a pity that this will mean librarians spend more time in front of a screen, but for the moment there seems to be a good balance of direct interaction with library users and working on line. This is possible because of the hourly roster rotation where I work. I couldn't imagine working all day at a desk as I really enjoy being on my feet at the desk, back and forward to the shelves, etc.
Change is inevitable and I am sure we will rise to it as it comes.

Twenty one today - Exercise 21

Bebo was quite easy to join up and I managed to find the Auckland Ciy Libraries entry but not the Rotorua Public Libraries. Perhaps it was having an off day.
Myspace involved a very short visit from my slow home computer, I then found that I could not paste images into this Blog as the Compose window has lost its toolbar with the import images option. Will try for time at work tomorrow to have another go.
Then finally to Facebook, which I have been invited to join several times by others. I have joined up and found my son on the site, who is now my friend (at last), and someone from work. Thanks both!.
I have run out of time to explore further, which is a bit frustrating. Hope to get back to it tomorrow at work.

Twentyone today

Monday, October 6, 2008

All in a pickle was such a fascinating site. Together my helping hand (much needed at this stage) and I found a travel podcast and chose something interesting to listen to. With lots of help I managed to add the RSS feed to my Bloglines account. Phew. Going back to Bloglines was also really useful at this late stage, to remind myself what it is there for.
I think going back after the race-for-the-finish-line will be a key component of making this course work.
Thanks so much to my great helping hand for this one!!


Youtube is a revelation when using it on broadband as previous efforts have been on dial up and very, very slow. I chose a brief video about libraries to view, but found that what first appeared to be one minute plus was actually one hour plus. This enabled me to see that entire lectures and presentations could be viewed using YOutube, as well as brief clips for promotion and training.
Viewing a quality video in this way is almost like being there. The possibilities for library websites seem endless and would make for exciting viewing. Those who cannot attend an author presentation might find it very helpful to be able to see it later on line.

Exercise 20

Using I quickly found Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with 7 formats available for free downloading of the book. I was surprised to find the large number of listed books and papers written by Charles Dickens that I had not heard of, and a quick look at other authors revealed the extensive list of books available on this site. It's huge.



In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength, but through persistence.


In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.


You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.


Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows


There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart – pursue those.


Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you fail to focus on your goals.


Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

Exploring Google docs

I used Google docs for this exercise and found it easy to import a piece of writing into a new page. I will try importing it into this blog and see what happens - here goes, cross fingers xxx


This is the first blog written at home using dial-up, Firefox and precious evening time. There are notable differences as you can imagine - so slow! And no obvious way to format this blog. Never mind.
For exercise 17 I chose the award winning site,, and it has simple tools such as BMI and Daily calorie need calculators and another to estimate the money spent on smoking per year to further scare those who haven't given up yet. There are health tracker tools as well.
The site was full of news headlines and more solid articles, with specific health conditions linked to the home page. The learning centres are backed by respected health organisations such as the Mayo Clinic.
The tools I tried were simple and easy to use, and helped to thus speed me on my way.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rollyo-ur eyes upwards

This post has been difficult - success at first using the URL for my Rollyo site but then somehow I deleted everything when I made a mistake in transferring a link from one site to the other.

Can I see the value in Rollyo? Well, at present it is the cause of much grinding of teeth and rolling the eyes upwards, but yes it looks useful both in the library and at home to keep track of various interesting websites.

Here's the URL for my searchroll

Monday, September 29, 2008

Library Things

Enjoyed my brief look over LibraryThing website, but will need to go back for a closer look at how it categorises/catalogues the books. A shame that the first search engine doesnt bring up recent UK or New Zealand books but there are other ways to locate them. Seems a good tool for libraries.
Below is a link to they first few entries on my own library at LibraryThing

Image generator

This was fun once I found a website I could get around in, and I generated a gorgeous image with some text, daisies, glitter and flying snowflakes. I am not sure if it can be viewed but here goes - or try making something spectacular yourself at

This could be good for creating a Christmas card, or similar. And if it was slightly less creative, without moving objects etc, it could be useful for display purposes in the library.

Exercise 12

I enjoyed this exercise to add a blog to the North Shore wetpaint favourite blogs page but have had a long gap between doing the exploring and completing the exercise. Will have to review this exercise to gain the most benefit but time to move on now to the next one, so have to go!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wierd and wonderful wikis

This week I have looked at Wikis, and think they could be a marvellous tool for collectively-writting or editing articles, reviewing books and tackling joint projects. Libraries could use open wikis for gathering feedback from the community, or use wikis that are limited to approved users for internal use. In developing training or resources, they would be superb.

I can also see lots of benefits for people doing committee work - wikis seem a marvellous way of sharing the writing of articles, web content and publications, and for facilitating joint input to all sorts of documents.

As a chronically addicted committee person I look forward to exploring wikis further in that role and the library where I work. Exciting stuff!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Library 2.0

Web 2.0 is successfully dragging some of us into realms unknown - in spite of ourselves. It is already amazing to see how the use of the web has expanded to be central to many aspects of communication and of life, and I expect to stand even more in awe as the exercises progress.

In the library, I cant envisage the day when books disappear from the shelves, and cannot imagine that I would ever be pleased about that. But I see the increasing need for more facilities for patrons to interact with web information in libraries as well as from their homes, etc. It follows that librarians will need to be very familiar with what patrons are doing - we need to be doing the same things ourselves at work (and out of work) in order to be that step ahead. LIbrarians will be called on to teach others how to use the web capabilities that are continuing to develop, as there will always be plenty of patrons who get left a bit behind. We need to be part of the technological revolution, rather than just keeping up. (Help!)

This will change the type of training we do, and will most likely influence the sort of people who are selected to work in libraries.

Technorati and tags

Tags are absolutely necessary if you are to find something useful on a site such as Techorati. Even so, it's too easy to keep on opening up relevant tags and finding hundreds more blogs with each one. I wonder if I can limit the possibilities by using several tags at once - will try this next. It's good to be able to get around a site like this and read what other people think. When the need arises, tags would be a useful way of finding someone's blog on Technorati or similar sites, even Google. (That's something else to try.)

I am aiming to make a supreme effort this week and try to catch up a bit with these exercises.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Delicious Spring and the pox

It's now September and looking like Spring is here. It's wonderful to see! After a week off with chicken pox I am ready to tackle another exercise - here we go with Delicious tags and social bookmarks.

I really liked the Youtube video - it took ages to download but was very clear and helpful. And yes, I will join Delicious and start using tags and bookmarks for my own use - it is easier than the bookmarking folders I try to keep under control at the moment. I can also see the possibilities for libraries, and it's really interesting seeing what some libraries are offering.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

RSS Feeds

I found this exercise very interesting, but it does take a lot of time to look at the examples cited and others, and choose which feeds to add to my bloglines account. I'm not sure how useful I will find RSS feeds, but they certainly have possibilities for gathering data and especially opinions.

Some of the topics on attracted the sort of red-neck comments you hear on bad talk back sessions - the sooner I could get away from it (these were from New Zealand too) the better. On the other hand I liked the feeds that listed life stories in 6 words - they were clever and fun.

It will be good to look at my blogline site and see what marvellous tidbits it brings up in the next few weeks but for serious searching I will stick to other ways for now

Monday, August 18, 2008

Modern technology

I am not at all sure about technology - got to know the amazing abilities of the digital camera for example, and next thing it breaks down (after 3 years of use). Company explains that it only has a life of 3 years, so purchased another one. Ditto - same thing happens although it nearly made it to 4 years this time. Guess I should be grateful. My wonderful washing machine has an expected life of 8 years - I am living on borrowed time with it now. The last one endured more than 22 years of use with few grumbles.
Then there is the Internet - what wonders are out there, but how challenging to master it all! I guess I must try if I want to have any hope of keeping in touch with my children and grandchildren who speak the language- so here we are.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Flickrvision was intriguing - just guessing that the photos continually popping up on the spinning 3-D globe were new postings to the Flickrvision item, from all over the world.
These tools clearly open up new opportunities for brave people with lots of time to master them. In the meantime, if I can post another photo to this blog, I will be very happy.

Setting up this blog has been challenging - signing in to gmail, Yahoo, Flickr, Blogger and maybe more, noting all the small details needed for success. I hope it works - please, please...!

The image is by schnick,via Flickr. Thank you schnick for capturing on camera this wonderful NZ beach, which for me conveys the essence of many beach experiences in this country - the feelings of awe and isolation, the spectacular cloud formations that meet the horizon, wide spaces of clean sand and the roar of the surf.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Who am I?

I know my place in the family tree - above me generations of prolific folk spread their branches, my ancestors growing in number with every new step backwards in time, until I imagine their numbers could reach the proportions of the heavens themselves. Some of their genes flow through me, shaping my being. And below me just a couple of new entries keep this root of the tree clinging to its life.

But I am also daughter, sister, wife, mother, in-law, cousin, friend, work-mate and grandmother. These links each have their own strength and they enrich me.

Things I love come both from the genetic line and from life - gardening and growing edible plants for sharing, the beauty of trees and flowers, reading, trying to keep a small footprint on the earth, writing and learning - these are part of the person I am. I also like such homely things as knitting and cooking, having friends around, playing and learning with my small grandchildren, having a coffee in the sun - in those rare moments of winter sun that take you by surprise - and walking on Auckland's lovely beaches.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Treading water

Treading water is what I might do if I don't know what to do next. This exercise reminds me of treading water. At present I am looking with awe at the distance I am from the shore, and cant see any rocks to stand on nearby. So, I will take a deep breath and start swimming - hopefully you will see me at this site again.