Box o' Rocks

Box o' Rocks
found beside book drop

Friday, February 22, 2008

Found In A Library Book

The book came from the jail.

Random Library Pictures

Dr. Seuss' birthday, celebrated by kindergarten kids at Miller Library last March. The "hats" let you know they are Thing 1 or Thing 2.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More Untechnology Moments

A recent Sunday afternoon power outage found some of the young guys who frequent our library to play video games sitting in the dark. It did not slow them down for long. They broke out a board game and quietly played on. Who says today's youth are incapable of living without their electronic devices?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More from Library Tech Land

Just when I thought I'd never add another post to this blog again because 23 Things is long over, I read an article on Tinfoil + Raccoon that kind of says what I've been feeling as I watch my branch get remodeled (the info desk was removed) and my info buddies walk around wired up to radios like cyborgs. If anyone stumbles on this blog, read this:

Most of my customers are expecting what they have had for a long time now, a place to go to order their reserves and holds, a place to ask questions, and a place to check out and pay fines or argue over those fines. Many still don't have computers at home, part of why they are in the library using ours. Many still want to call us up and renew their books. And many, many are still interested in BOOKS! I love those folks more and more.

I got an ipod touch for Christmas and have had a wonderful time with it, I have finally gotten mostly comfortable with a cell phone. Yes, I did program my VCR when I had a TV (that's gone now thanks to a storm this summer. We haven't gotten around to replacing it, and only miss it once in a while. It wasn't plasma or flat.) I like some technology, but how much time can you spend with it?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thing #24

While I'm home recovering from eye surgery I took the time to watch "OS Revolution." The subtitle could have been "The history of computing from the viewpoint of Open Source legends". While anyone alive today in the US over about the age of 30 and a computer user would have at least a passing knowledge of the events in the video, it was great to see the interviews of the people who lived the history . There was not too much Microsoft bashing, with a whole lot of Linux is wonderful. Here we are at Howard County Library, adding our own piece of history with our decision to embrace more and more Open Source. It leaves one with a sense that we are experimenting within a grand tradition as old as computing itself, but endlessly expanding and variable and Open.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Thing #23 Thoughts

Favorite discoveries: Absolute favorite was LibraryThing, close second was a tie between and Zoho.

Lifelong learning/goals: I don't always want to take the time necessary to learn something new, especially with net technologies. Because I had a guide here and a goal I did take the time. There's tons and tons of stuff out there and it's difficult to sift out what to study and what is totally useless.

Take-aways or unexpected outcomes: it surprised me that most of this could be figured out on ones own, given some time and effort. Others here in my branch looked over my shoulder and gave me advise on something they ran across they liked, or what worked for them.

23 Things was something completely different to me in terms of self-training, but once I started digging in I found "Things" I already had exposure to or was actively using. The "Things" that were new and interesting gave me confidence to keep working and trying the "Things" that were new and not as interesting. When the realization hit me near the end that I've been around technology as it has been slowly evolving, remembering the late 70's and early 80's and what computers were like then it seemed like I was revisiting some old friends. Some things about technology are the same, they just work better now (I used a TRS-80!).

A phrase that kept being bandied about was "social networking". I'm not sure I understand that part even now. So...young people log on to LibraryThing and look over others collections and they post comments...and then... what? How does this online community thing really work?

One of the surprises was how much time was required to get something to work. It was good that I could just close things down, go do something else and come back another day. I have to wonder just how much time people really spend online? I like the tactile world, I'm happy to turn off the computer. And I'd still rather read a book than a book on computer.

Another surprise is how many people are saying, "there's not going to be any more books". I've heard for twenty years there wouldn't be any libraries, computers would take care of all that. Big changes have happened in our lives with technology, but libraries are still here.

Books started out as something for an elite, only a chosen population could read them, and perhaps that's where they'll go again, for only those few who choose to read them. Don't count books out yet though, just wait and see what happens. Changes in batteries, computers that are smaller, lighter and still readable and don't crash and lose everything would help. But keep looking for the unexpected...
Click here:

Thing #17 Learning 2.0 Sandbox Wiki

I had some trouble getting this to work as it wasn't intuitive. If you go into Maryland Libraries Sandbox Wiki I'm there with "Another Page". And I got my blog listed on the Favorite blogs page. It was one of the hardest for me to get through but eventually with much trial and error it is done. I'm happy.