Chuck's Blog

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Looking Back on L2

I have really enjoyed the L2 program. New technology and services appear so frequently now, it is very hard to keep up and know what to play around with next. This program helped a lot by recommending some new and popular services that I will keep using and will hopefully find applications for at the Library. It was super helpful to have a list to guide me along the journey.

One lesson I learned is that learning about new services and technologies is energizing, and that I just need to make it a part of my work day. I am going to try to turn off my email for the last hour of my workday and use that time to check my RSS feeds in Bloglines, look at some of my frequently watched tags, and keep checking out the latest trends.


I am looking forward to downloading audiobook titles on NetLibrary and Overdrive when it becomes available. Creating an account via the PLCMC online resources page was super simple. Just remember to close out of NetLibrary after creating your account and open NetLibrary again by typing in the URL ( That makes sure you are not having to use the Library proxy server to download titles, which can slow down the process a lot. Downloading is simple and I should be able to get through a title easily in a couple of weeks listening on my way in to work and on the way home. Netlibrary does not have current titles, but that is fine with me because I read a lot of older titles anyway.

Monday, October 30, 2006


I think that podcasting is a great way for libraries to reach out to people. Just browsing through the podcast directories, it seems that there is a real need for podcasts for learning and education. I think that libraries could get a lot out of podcasting short storytimes, book and movie reviews, and quick tutorials/promos about resources available in the library.

Out Web site for teens, LibraryLoft has podcasts with author interviews, scavenger hunts for local libraries, and more. The LibraryLoft podcast was already submitted to iTunes, but I made sure to submit it to Podcast Alley, and as well.


YouTubeYouTube is a video hosting site that allows members to post videos and tag them so others can find them. You can also browse videos by most popular, recently uploaded, or most viewed. This site is so easy to use that some amateur film-makers are using it to build up a following for their short films and parodies.

I found YouTube very useful for sharing videos with my family during a recent trip. Take a look at a short video of a sunset in Pacific Grove, California.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Web 2.0 Award Winner: Basecamp

Basecamp is an online project collaboration tool listed as one of the Web 2.0 award winners. I am trying it out now for one of our Web design projects. It allows you to set milestones, create to-do lists, and facilitates collabortion with message boards, "writeboards", and other tools. I think it is really designed to se with teams that are geographically separated, but I liked it because it was fun to use and actually helped me think through what I needed to do to get the project completed.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I created this document using Zoho Writer , an online word processing application. I plan to publish this straight to my blog, which would be very cool.

Online applications really make a lot of sense, eliminating the need for software installed on a PC, and really make it easy to collaborate.

The real benefit is being able to use a feature rich application to create a document that can be imported/exported into other applications, similar to desktop applications.

Here is some highlighted text. I am interested to see how this shows up in my blog post.

I have also insert a screen shot image below. I wonder if it will publish to Blogger?

Zoho Screen Shot

Oops, blogger seems to be having some issues right now and will not come up. Luckily I can save this now and try it later!
It worked! Cool!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Wonderful World of Wikis

Wikis have really helped a lot of libraries begin to empower staff to provide content for the Web. Wikis are so easy to use and allow anyone to add or update content on the Web.

We have been doing this for several years on several Web sites using custom designed Web-based maintenance interfaces for Web sites like Reader's Club, Bizlink, and The Bookhive to name a few.

Creating custom sites like these take a lot of time and expertise that a lot of libraries do not have, and wikis really fill this need. Now libraries can have their own Web presence with very little expertise, and they can look really great!

I love the idea of using wikis to empower staff and patrons to contribute content. I think a great application would be a local city guide for visitors with recommendations for what to see and do while you are here, straight from a local's point of view.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Web 2.0

Lots and lots of discussion about Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 in the last several months. This discussion has generated loads of ideas from library staff and from library vendors. Thinking about the future of library services in the rapidly changing world of technology can only be a good thing.

In an article To more powerful ways to cooperate Chip Nilges, OCLC Vice President New Services reinforces the idea that "users add value". I agree that libraries have a great opportunity to encourage and enable patrons to add their knowledge and experience to the library collection, making the library a much better community resource, and also a more collaborative entity. I think we can get a lot of "bang-for-the-buck" by focusing on making the library experience more collaborative and by leveraging our patron's expertise.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Technorati fills a very important need for the Web's social community. As the tag line says, "Who's saying what. Right now." This site provides a great service for searching blogs.

Technorati provides more than one searching option to help you find what you are looking for. The blog search gives you a ton of matches to wade through, the tag search gives you a more manageable set of results, and the blog directory search really narrows it down. I found that the tag search provided a good mix of what I was looking for and also what I might be interested in.

Technorati has provided some great features for those who are not sure what they want to read about. You can browse the most popular blogs, view the most popular search terms, and see the most popular blogs that the users are linking.

This is a great way to keep up with the latest buzz on topics all over the blogosphere. I will definitely be using Technorati again.