Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Library Instruction Symposium

Eastern Kentucky University Libraries hosted a fantastic Library Instruction Symposium in October, with Jeffrey Liles as the guest speaker.

What was really beneficial to me was not so much learning new tips (Dr. Liles kept emphasizing that he didn't bring "a bag of tricks."), but reminding myself of what I already knew about good instruction. Keeping the focus on task-based activities and letting the students work together. It made me think of so many things I used to do as an ESL teacher that I had somehow lost as a one- (or two-) shot instruction session librarian.

And the best part was that I got to meet so many fantastic EKU librarians, who were about to become my new colleagues. The week after the Symposium I began my new job as the Visiting Reference and Instruction Librarian at EKU. It's great to be here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Northside Public Library Branch

Academic libraries and public libraries can have a lot in common. The brand-new Northside Branch of the Lexington Public Library system is an example of a user-friendly space that reminded me in some ways of our Information Commons here at UK.

From the big, bright sprightly sign out front to the cafe inside to the long outside reading area, the whole space was inviting. Good job, LPL.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hong Kong Central Library

My husband and I had a fantastic week in Hong Kong for our honeymoon in September. It was a great time, and we both took tons of photos.

When I first spotted the Hong Kong Central Library from a distance, I wondered what that strange-looking building was. However, once we were inside I found it was a very nice space. (Photos were not allowed, so you will have to take my word for it.) The photo of the gold plaque is a braille sign. There were also raised tiles on the floor for sight-impaired guidance.

The central area was very open, which reminded me a little of the Central branch of the Lexington Public Library. I always find myself surprised at how much libraries are really quite similar, no matter where you are in the world.

Friday, September 12, 2008

American Libraries Direct

The Hub @ WT's got some national attention this week, appearing in the American Library Association's e-publication, American Libraries Direct.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A huge Hubbub

On August 25, we had our 2nd annual "Hubbub," a party in the Hub for our new freshmen students to introduce them to the library and the Info Commons. Although I'd thought our first Hubbub was pretty great, this year's seemed like a whole different league of fun. It was almost twice the size of our first Hubbub, with about 700 students and more activities for them to do.

One of our great new activities for this year was a photo booth. Beth Kraemer set up a green screen and Photoshopped students (and faculty/staff) wearing funny hats and holding props onto interesting backgrounds. We showed these on our flat-screen TVs and some of our Video Windows, as well as making a flickr set of them.

Our remaining Video Windows were used for video games. We also had balloon animals, makeovers, a caricature artist, palm reading (had to definitely have this again as it was our surprise last-minute hit from last year), and two tarot card readers. We had pizza and drinks. I think our surprise hit this year was the board games. Students sat on the floor and played Monopoly and other retro board games enthusiastically.

A small touch that I think went over well was putting leis over the heads of attendees as they walked in. Nothing says "party" like wearing a lei. The balloon hats that the balloon artist made also added to the festivities.

photo credit Alice Wasielewski

As for lessons learned for next year:

Ordering more pizza and drinks and having the cups poured ahead of time. Not only did we have many more students eating, but we switched vendors, and the quality of the food was better this year, so students were taking more.

Having a longer Hubbub. We had the prize drawing at 7:15, which seemed too early since all the activities were still going strong, but by the time it was over at 7:45 the library closing announcement was coming over the P.A. Maybe next year we could have a 3-hour Hubbub.

It's only September, but I already feel excited about our Hubbub 2009.

photo credit Kopana Terry

Friday, August 29, 2008

Got married.

August 9, 2008

photo credit Suzanne Fleming

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Still learning about patrons

Today at the reference desk a professor came up and said that an entire periodical series was missing from the shelves. Normally, when an undergraduate or community member says something like this, I immediately go to the shelves and double-check. Because this was a faculty member, I first tried several other avenues: scouring the catalog, making phone calls to circulation and off-site storage, etc., before going to the stacks. Long story short: even professors find the the library confusing and end up in the wrong place. Never assume - or you know what you make out of u and me both.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Then & Now

What we've lost:

What we've gained:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Fayette Alliance withdraws its support for CentrePointe!

I just received an email that the Fayette Alliance has withdrawn it's support for the CentrePointe project. This is excellent news, but I wish it had come sooner.

ALA: Notes for next year

What I could do differently at ALA Annual 2009:

Bring cable for downloading photos - I thought about doing this before I left, but decided I would just add photos to this blog and flickr when I got back. What a bad idea. It would have been so much nicer to add these as I posted and a tiny USB doesn't weigh very much or take up much room.

Bring extension cord? - This one I'm not so sure about. It might not be worth the extra weight. There was some amount of competition for outlets, but not too much.

Buy a better laptop? - I really can't can’t afford this, but it would be nice to have a lighter weight laptop with a battery that lasts long enough to get through a meeting.

Make sure committee members are coming to All Committee and/or schedule a time to meet them - This was one of my biggest regrets at this year's Annual. I had assumed (remember what they say about ass-u-me'ing?) that my Orientation Committee fellow members would automatically go to All-Committee. Nope, not a one.

Sign up for Dine Around every night that not otherwise busy - Dine Around, the scheduled dinner plans that anyone can sign up for, I left for the last night and it turned out to be one of the highlights of my conference. I might even sign up to be an Ambassador and lead a group next year.

Make sure hotel has free wireless - My second rate hotel turned out to have first-rate free wireless (I lucked out), but the Hilton where some of the meetings were held charged an exorbitant fee.

Check if friends are going to ALA - I just found out that a close friend who is now a librarian too went to 2007 Annual and I didn't even know it! I need to make sure I ask all the librarians I know and make sure they haven't changed plans.

Suggest that NMRT have ribbons - All kinds of groups had ribbons, including BIGWIG and Library Society of the World. Why in the world wouldn't NMRT have a ribbon? It would be a great way to promote the Round Table.

Suggest that RSS it clear that reviews are by appointment - The seven people who tried to drop-in at the Resume Review Service reminded me of how the promotional materials really should make it clear that appointments are needed.

If I present in the future it would be good to have a "barker" - The guy in the pirate costume really got a lot of people's attention. If I am part of a session, I think it would be great to have someone to stir up interest in the crowd. I think a lot of people create their schedules on the fly or decide to drop sessions that are too far away, so it would be a good idea to take advantage of this.

With all this in mind I think that ALA Annual 2009 will be the best conference yet!

ALA: Things done right

As the conference wrapped up on Tuesday, I began to evaluate how I felt about the conference.

Things done right:

Applied for and got funding! - I would never have been able to attend if it weren't for the EBSCO/ALA Conference Sponsorship. There were only 10 of these given out nationwide, so I didn't know if I had a chance when I applied, but obviously, it worked! I will definitely try again in the future for other scholarships.

Typed out a schedule before leaving Lexington – Last year (my first ALA Annual) I had notes about what I wanted to attend, and then tried to mark them in the conference guide, but the guide is HUGE. It is much easier to have a typed schedule and write in modifications then to flip around in the book.

Attended many New Members Round Table events - Last year people kept telling me to "get involved" without much specifics as to how to do that. I found that NMRT is a good way into the association. Even though I didn't always have a "reason" to be at a meeting (such as the Executive Committee meeting), it helped a lot to attend and learn how things worked and who the main players are.

Volunteered for many things - Sessions can be very informative, but I think the best way to use my time wisely is to work at the conference. I worked at the Orientation, NMRT booth, and Resume Review Service booth, and I found that very satisfying.

Brought laptop and made sure sat near outlets - It's great to have a laptop for notes. Later when I'm trying to remember a speaker's name or what happened at a session, I can refer back to my notes. That way I blogged, not exactly “live” but within a day or so.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fourth (And final?) Day at ALA: Monday

I began the day with the NMRT Executive Committee meeting. I didn't really have any reason to be at this meeting other than wanting to find out how NMRT works, but I'm glad I went. I learned a lot about NMRT and got to match some more names to faces.

After that, I served as a booth greeter for the NMRT Resume Review Service. I really enjoyed this. I felt very useful as I juggled the no-shows and the people showing up with no appointments with the reviewers who were volunteering to stay late or running over with the last reviewees. It was really wonderful to see how devoted the reviewers were. I hope they are receiving really wonderful thank yous. I'm planning to write to the coordinator of the RSS service to suggest that next year that they make it clearer in the promotional materials that the service is not drop-in. I remember trying to drop-in myself last year, and this year in less than 90 minutes I had seven people try to drop in. Seven! A few I could accommodate, but not all.

Next I attended the session: "Your Library, Your Space: Using Research to Make Libraries People Friendly." There were three speakers, but the one I was most interested in was Bob Fox of Georgia Tech who spoke about their Information Commons. Georgia Tech is really well known for its fabulous Commons, so this was really exciting. He talked about all the ways in which they got student input for their second and third phases of their Commons. One interesting thing they did was going around and taking photos of students studying around campus (not in the library) and asked them why they were there and why they weren't at the library. They also have an ongoing Student Advisory Board for continuing advice.

For my last ALA committment, I went to staff the NMRT Booth. This was much more difficult than being a Resume Review Service Booth greeter because this booth was right in the middle of the exhibits in front of a big official ALA sign and people were asking all kinds of questions. I had more than one person who was angry that I couldn't take their money for membership renewals. (I suggested either using the website on the handy computer provided or going up to registration to renew, but that answer wasn't good enough.) Luckily for me there was a very knowledgeable librarian at the next ALA booth who knew lots of answers and gave good advice.

At the end of the evening I went to "Dine Around" where I had signed up to have dinner with some librarians I didn't know. The four of us who had chosen Thai went out and had an amazingly fabulous time together. I'm looking forward to staying in touch with my new friends and (hopefully) seeing them again at ALA 2009!

Monday, June 30, 2008

3rd Day at ALA: Sunday

The day began with a very tasty breakfast for the EBSCO award winners. I got to meet the other winners, including some from NMRT. The organizers took a group photo which I was surprised to find the next day in Cognotes as I was flipping through.

My first session of the day was: "Energize your Instruction: Keep the Magic Alive for You and Your Audience." The speaker was very entertaining, but I was hoping for some more concrete tips, and the session was more about inspiration and avoiding burnout.

As I was waiting for my next session, a pirate came by and asked me to attend “Information Privacy: Should anyone care?” However, I had on my schedule “NMRT All Committee Meeting." I was hoping to talk to the people on the Orientation committee about my thoughts from yesterday, but none were in attendance. I did meet some other NMRT members, including the incoming president, and found out a little more about NMRT, so it was definitely worth my time.

Next I went to the LITA President’s Program – “Isn’t it Great to be in the Library . . . Wherever that is?” I have really enjoyed some of Joseph Janes' writing in the past, and he was very entertaining in person. He spoke about changing ideas about what a library is and a panel discussion afterward expanded on some of these ideas. One of my favorite parts was he showed a picture of a reference desk and asked what it was. He pointed out that the photo was taken in 1906 and not much has changed, but a 2008 photo of an operating room would look a lot different.

I also went to the President's Reception outside since the ALA Liaison to the EBSCO awards had suggested it, and I ended up having a great conversation with a librarian who is very involved in NMRT, which was great! She gave me lots of great advice. I was so happy.

The evening ended with the 3M/NMRT Social. It was the most fun I had had at the 2007 Conference, and it did not disappoint. An excellent time was had by all.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

2nd Day at ALA: Saturday

By the second day of ALA, I was very envious of those with Mac Airs. My laptop is three years old and not a brick, but a little too heavy to carry around all day. My laptop bag was also starting to fall apart, despite being a good brand. Convention center wireless was working great, but some meetings are held in hotels, and the Hilton, for one, makes you pay for the wireless. :-( Needless to say, I didn't. I also began to wish I had brought my cord for downloading and uploading my conference photos, which may have to be posted after I get home.

I forgot to mention that the first evening I found the display with the EBSCO award winners' photos. It was pretty exciting to see my name and picture along with everyone else's.

I began the day by working at the NMRT Conference Orientation. I helped set up and then handed out tote bags. Seeing the conference newbies and hearing their questions reminded me of how disoriented I was last year at my first conference. I feel much better this year. I'm on the NMRT Orientation committee, and I am trying to decide if I should re-join for this year or try another committee. If I work on Orientation next year I'm going to suggest that we signal the speakers when their time is going to be up and when it's over. I also thought it was great that the LITA rep brought a sign. This was so smart (later I realized that it was one of their fans that they were giving away at the booth). I think they should all bring signs or we should make some for them. I also think the door people should really be prepared to be friendly and answer all kinds of questions about where things are and how the speakers are going to be presented. New attendees are so stressed out that it's important to be both well-informed and encouraging to those who attend (or are even just passing by on their way to a different session).

I then went to my first session on NMRT Resume Review and Mentoring Programs. I remember last year I used the service and was very happy with the advice and encouragement of the academic librarian who looked at my resume. The one thing I wasn't happy with was that the promo for the service made it sound like it was drop-in rather than appointment only. I've noticed that it is the same this year, and since I'll be servicing as a booth greeter on Monday, I'm wondering if I will encounter reviewees who are also confused. The presenters at this session used the term "Conference Anxiety," which is a good one. They explained the history and organization of both these programs (both of which I've used), and said that in the future they are planning to have the resume service be completely web-based to eliminate the intermediary. That sounds excellent.

The first thing on my agenda was the NMRT President's Program/Membership Meeting. The first part of the session was "International Insights for New Librarians" and then the second part was the meeting. I took copious notes since I'll be writing about this for the NMRT newsletter, Footnotes, so I'll save my summary for that venue.

Next I went to a session on Extreme Customer Service. This was heavy on the humor/entertainment value and light on the specifics, but I enjoyed it. They used the term: "The Platinum Rule." Instead of the golden rule of treat others the way you want to be treated, it's treat others the way THEY want to be treated. This also came up again a session on Sunday.

In the evening I have to admit that I didn't do much of anything. I took a swim in the hotel (motel?) pool and caught up on some of that sleep I've been missing in the last few days.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

First day ALA Annual Conference 2008

I knew I was having a good time at the conference when I realized that I'd been awake for almost 21 hours and wasn't the least bit tired.

The day started by waking very early for a red-eye flight. A pain, but it meant with the time change that I still had plenty of time to enjoy the day. Anaheim, California seems like a combination of Singapore and Japan. Very topical, but also kind of scarily nice nice. The Disney influence is very evident. My Travelodge hotel is definitely budget, but it's very close to the convention center, and the wireless works great.

I got to the conference in time for the New Members Round Table Conference 101. I didn't want to attend, but I wanted to help out if they needed me. I helped with the tote bag handout and met some of the Conference Committee members I'd been working with over email. Very good to put some faces to the names.

I also went to the NMRT Meet and Greet. I was very happy to see they had food and drink this year. I didn't stay long, though, as it was a little awkward to socialize with people I don't know.

The last and most exciting activity of the evening was the Open Gaming Night. I'd never seen Rock and Roll Hero before. It's Guitar Hero on steriods. There was quite a crowd for that. I played a Wii driving game and DDR, which I love. I had to make myself go home and go to bed.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This Place Matters

After a candlelight vigil for the closing of Buster's pool hall in downtown Lexington, I submitted a photo (thanks to Brian, the photographer) and blurb about the block bordered by Main, Upper, Vine, and Limestone that is threatened with demolition, and it was published today on the This Place Matters website of the National Trust.

The demolition permit hearing for this block is this Wednesday, June 25 at 2pm (people are being asked to arrive at 1:30). Please attend if you can to Preserve Lexington. Let's do everything we can to keep Lexington's history and vibrancy intact.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Learning to Ride Something else in the Bluegrass

My old friend Chris Green was recently featured in an article in his local paper about bicycle commuting.

In the past, I have been known to do quite a bit of practical cycling, but not so much in recent years. Although I only live about two miles from the library, I am always making excuses about why I don't ride to work. During the fall and spring semesters my excuse was that I worked until well after dark and worried about visibility. Now, however, I'm working days, and with the price of gas ballooning, I found I'd run out of excuses.

Last week I rode my bicycle to campus twice, and I'm planning to do it again tomorrow to celebrate Car Free Day on May 28. I'd forgotten what a pleasure it is to travel quickly and quietly with the fresh air breezing by. Improving my health and saving non-renewable resources, all for absolutely free, is a wonderful feeling. Thanks, Chris, and all the other wonderful inspirational bicycling folks (including my dad) for reminding me of this.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Personal Touch

I was very surprised and happy to discover a handwritten note from the President of the American Library Association, Loriene Roy, in my mailbox this week.

She congratulated me on winning a 2008 EBSCO/ALA Conference Sponsorship.

She says in the note that she is looking forward to seeing me, so maybe she is planning to attend the breakfast for us at the ALA Annual Conference. That would be really great. I'll have to make sure I get my picture taken with her.

I wonder how many of these kinds of notes she must write. I'm sure it takes up a lot of time, but it certainly makes a big impression on the receiver. That's something to keep in mind for public service: a personal touch and extra effort might take up some time and energy, but people really do notice and appreciate it!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Looking Forward and Back

I had a presentation last week at the Kentucky Library Association Academic and Special Sections / Special Library Association Kentucky Chapter Joint Spring Conference. From Abstraction to Reality: The Opening of UK's Information Commons, presented with my supervisor, Stacey Greenwell, went well, and I think our audience was pleased. We even got a nice write-up on Citegeist. However, all I can now think of is all the things I wish I'd done differently.

Ending slide: I really wanted to avoid the ubiquitous and obvious "Any Questions?" slide, so we had a collage of photos from The Hub. However, in hindsight, I wish we'd had a slide with links. I think librarians would have made a note of The Hub's website, or Facebook page and visited later.

Better seen than heard: I'm now thinking of things I referred to in the presentation but didn't represent visually. I mentioned all the cool things that students write on the whiteboards, so why did I put a slide of a bare board? I could have had Chinese grammar, chemistry or math equations, or something equally cool. I could have also taken a screen capture of our LexGo page on instead of just mentioning that we have publicity there.

And speaking of visual images, why didn't I think to ask someone to take photos of us presenting? This was my first professional library conference presentation, and now I have no photos to post on this blog or elsewhere, unfortunately.

These are all good lessons learned, and next time (when I'll be brave enough to present by myself), I'll make sure I remember them.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What kind of bike do I have?

Now that Blue 2.0 is over, (Hey, don't I get a certificate or something?) I am returning to this blog's roots. Motorcycling!

A frequent question I've been getting from colleagues who have seen this blog is: What kind of bike do you have? Well, to clarify, *I* don't really have a bike. Yes, I passed a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, and yes, I have a license, but generally, I've been learning to ride as a passenger; it's harder than you might think.

Sitting on the back of a motorized vehicle might not seem like something that would make you tired, but it does, and quickly. Some of it is the mental stress of the danger of speeding along (relatively) unprotected on the roadway. Some of it is the physical stress of sitting up straight without moving for long periods of time.

There are some things you can do to help this, though. One is frequent breaks. I couple of minutes walking around will refresh you more than you might think. Another is having the proper equipment. I've been riding on the back of a bike with footpegs for my feet. Before starting to ride, I wouldn't have thought this would be a problem. After all, I'm not standing on the pegs. However, a peg digging into the sole of your unmoving boot for an hour is really uncomfortable. Now, thanks to Brian's recent purchase, we are both going to have floorboards. I am really, really looking forward to using them during this gorgeous Kentucky spring.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Hey Daddy-O. I just caught a righteous riff waxed my hip pal, Fifty. Dig if you will: The Fifty Mix Podcast is 18 karat, baby. You will flip your wig when you hear this smokin' ride laid down in the groove. Far out.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Social Networking

You can check out my MySpace profile. I'm not a huge fan of MySpace. I guess people like the fact that you can modify and personalize the pages, but I think that just makes them illegible most of the time.

I use my profile on Facebook much more often. I find the interface much more user-friendly, and some of the applications are fun. I also find that most of the librarians I know use Facebook much more often than any of the other social networking sites, so it's better for staying in touch with colleagues. I've also founds some great groups on Facebook like Congress for the New Urbanism.

My Friendster profile was actually the first one I ever used. I hardly ever look at it anymore because most of my friends and acquaintances are on Facebook instead.

One of my thoughts in general about social networking sites is that people should be careful about privacy issues. I try to make sure my privacy settings are fairly high, and I try not to post anything that I might someday find embarrassing.

Monday, March 31, 2008

flickr and YouTube

I've been using flickr for my photos, both work and personal, for a while now. The free accounts are a bit limited in size, which is a big drawback. Tags are great, though. Here are The Hub @ WT's photos if you'd like to look at some Information Commons photos (most taken by me).

There are a lot of YouTube videos that I think are pretty great. My favorite library-related one is Saving Student Brian.

Some of our great UK Librarians made this video to replace our boring old PowerPoint presentation for our Freshmen Orientation. I taught several sessions of the orientation last fall, and I thought it was a big hit.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Come to The Kentucky to save Lexington

On Saturday, March 29, there is going to be a meeting. Wake Up Lexington: An event to save our block will be held at the Kentucky Theatre. Come out to have some refreshments, listen to music, look at film and photos, and organize to keep Lexington's downtown a place where you'd like to be.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Most Modern Library in the World

We've been having some discussion about the future of our service points at our library. I think the most important thing is that we make sure we make a real plan with concrete objectives that lead us toward well-thought-out goals.

The Shifted Librarian's Visiting the Most Modern Library in the World is an example of an innovated library that keeps user's needs foremost, as all libraries should. This is a public library, so it is different from ours, but it might inspire some innovative user-centered ideas.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why are old habits so hard to break?

One thing we've been talking about in the Going Green Library Committee is encouraging employees to use their own cups at library functions rather than disposable ones. A few days after we first talked about this I went to a Blue 2.0 function, and as soon as I got there poured myself a drink in a disposable cup, even though my travel mug was downstairs. Today I went to the Hospitality Committee's hot dog lunch, and, again, poured myself a drink in a disposable cup. I didn't even think about my travel mug until it was time to go out on the desk.

I feel like stapling the mug to my sleeve to get me to remember to use it. I always take it with me to the library cafeteria, because that habit is firmly ingrained. How to I learn to make it a habit elsewhere?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Second Life and Twitter

I created my Second Life account about a year ago. I always advise anyone who is trying SL for the first time to take the time to go through Orientation Island throughly. I rushed through, and I missed some fun activities that I couldn't go back to once I'd left.

Second Life is definitely interesting, and I think in some ways it's the wave of the future. I predict that the Internet will eventually become a 3D universe like this one, but I don't think it will be SL itself, just something similar. My main problem with SL is that it's private. Linden Labs is a private company in San Fransisco and SL resides entirely on its servers. I've heard that SL will eventually become open source, and that will make me feel better about it.

For this assignment, I also signed up for Twitter. I was very familiar with the concept of micro-blogging, but I just hadn't tried it myself. I had been getting Twitter updates from some individuals for a while, since you can post your Twitter feed through Facebook.

Micro-blogging reminds me a lot of text messaging or status updates on Facebook. It's a way of sending a very quick message to people you're connected with. I think it would work best in a situation where time mattered. It seems like it would be useful at a conference or a political rally, for example. One thing I fear is being overwhelmed (or overwhelming others) with trivial posts. So far, my only two posts have been "I'm signing up for Twitter" and "wondering if the weather will be as bad as predicted." Too many posts like these, and maybe people will stop "following" me.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I love downtown Lexington!

It says in the title of this blog that of the things I write about is about is good places to visit in Kentucky. One very good place is downtown Lexington. This city has lost a whole lot of beautiful old buildings in the 30+ years that I've been connected with Lexington, but there are still a few left.

Preserve Lexington is a great site about a small area of downtown Lexington that is well-preserved and historically significant, but that is in grave danger of being razed. It's flabbergasting to me that the Fayette-Urban County government might allow this destruction to happen, but the rumor is that developers want to level this entire block and replace it with a huge luxury hotel. I'm not inherently opposed to the idea of a luxury hotel or new buildings per se, but I say put them on the sites that have already been destroyed, and keep what little of Lexington's history we have left.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tagging, folksonomies, and online applications

This blog post comes from Google Docs, which I had used for the first time very recently in the spreadsheet format, which is a bit more difficult to manipulate than the word processor I'm using here. "Publish to Blog" worked fine too.

Using was a new experience for me. I'd actually signed up for a account when I'd first heard of it last year, but I'd never tagged any sites because I wasn't entirely sure what it was all about. I think the process of tagging is a little cumbersome if you don't use the "post to delicious button," which I didn't install because I'm on a work computer, and I didn't know if I'd have the correct permissions to install it. You can check out my bookmarks. (I've just realized one problem with this, which is that I have been trying to keep my last name off my blog, but it appears in this link.)

Does anyone else find typing "" with all the periods to be very tedious?

I have been using LibraryThing for about a year now. I don't tag the books I own, but the books I read so that I can remember what I've read recently. However, the librarian in me likes to keep my reading list private. I notice that the Blue 2.0 assignment makes LibraryThing optional, so luckily, you can just take my word for it.

Friday, February 1, 2008

RSS and wikis

I still haven't managed to get my road trip pictures uploaded, so a post on that will have to wait.

To meet my Blue 2.0 requirements, I need to make a post about my rss and wiki learning experience. I'd been doing Bloglines for almost a year now, so I didn't need to do anything new for that. I'd even already added Blue 2.o as one of my feeds.

My favorite non-library feed is boingboing, which is a website of strange and wonderful things. My favorite library feeds are The Uncommon Commons (written by my supervisor, so I am sometimes mentioned :-) ) and The Ubiquitous Librarian, also an Information Commons blog. I read a lot of others too.

Creating a wiki, however, was a new experience for me. Like pretty much everyone, I was familiar with reading wikis from looking at pop culture on Wikipedia, but I had never worked on one at all. My wiki is for my department: The Hub @ WT's Wiki.

Creating the basic wiki was easy. Just sign up for an account and you are given a framework of example templates attached to your new wiki. The only trouble with that was that I had to choose whether or not I wanted a "business" wiki. I chose this option since it is a wiki for my job, and now I am occasionally finding that I'm prompted for upgrades, that I bet I wouldn't get as an individual. Another small issue is that the default notifications seem to be to notify you every time someone makes a modification to the wiki, so at first I was getting an email every time I made a change to the wiki, which was really annoying before I changed it.

I am still having a little trouble navigating around my wiki. I've looked at the wiki several times now, and I just today discovered some pages that I didn't even realize were there. I've tried a few times to do the PB Wiki Tour, but the page had been down every time and just now I found it takes me to an internal "page not found" on the PB Wiki site. I'll need to explore further to get the hang of it.

Of course, the most important part about a wiki is the collaboration, and I have not yet invited anyone to edit the wiki. I wanted to have it be a little more formed before I did that, but maybe I should go ahead and let my colleagues take part because maybe they will have a better vision of the wiki than I do.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

한국에서 온 친구들을 만날 거에요.

I had been wondering if Blogger would accept Korean fonts, and I am happy to discover it does.

This weekend I'm going on a little trip. It is with my boyfriend, who I've always ridden with, but it will not be on a motorcycle because it is a seven hour drive. The longest trip I've been on is what would have been a 1.5 hour trip in the car on the Interstate. That was done on back roads, with frequent breaks, so it took much longer. I've learned that riding a motorcycle, even as a passenger, is really exhausting even under perfect conditions. If you add heat or cold or wind or anything else that makes the ride less than perfect, you have to add much more downtime for rest.

So, I'm off. I'm looking forward to seeing four good friends, catching up and talking at great length about the good old days in the Land of the Morning Calm. 안녕!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What color is your motorcycle?

I spent some time yesterday meeting with a group of library employees on campus who are concerned about "green" issues. We spent some time discussing some things that we could push for to make the libraries more environmentally friendly. We settled on a very small suggestion to make to our fellow librarians. The idea being that it is easy for each one of us to make a small change. However, it made me think about how many BIG changes we really need and how little difference our suggestion is going to make, which was kind of depressing. Yet, maybe the important thing is just to get people thinking about how their actions affect the world and maybe if they think about this small thing they will think about some bigger ones.

Which brings me to the idea of riding a motorcycle as an environmentally friendly action. Is it? It uses gas and oil. It puts out exhaust, which increases our greenhouse emissions and carbon footprint. Why not ride a bicycle instead? Well, I wouldn't ride a motorcycle somewhere that I could ride a bicycle. I've been on the back of a motorcycle to places like Berea, Danville, and Florence, KY. Two people on a motorcycle versus an automobile for out of town trips is saving a lot of gas, which is better for the environment. I've also spent most of my time on the back of a bike out on small roads in the Kentucky countryside, appreciating the rural landscape. I think people who know what lies outside Kentucky's suburban sprawl from riding a motorcycle appreciate it more and want to preserve the nature around us. And that seems pretty green to me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Practice makes perfect

We are supposed to write about our experiences signing up for an IM service and creating a blog. Was it difficult or easy to create? Chatting I'd done for years, so it was no problem, and I was not surprised to discover that setting up a blog is very simple as well. What was hard was the 1.0 part: coming up with an idea and something to say about it.

Riding a motorcycle is much more challenging than that. I always imagined that actual riding, in traffic or on uneven pavement or around twisting, speedy roads was not easy, but I was shocked to learn how complicated the actual operation of the vehicle is. I'd been riding a bicycle since the age of five (learned without training wheels) and driving a standard shift car since the age of 16, but put those two things together and it is a whole different experience. Especially since I find I want to accelerate with my right foot (actually rear brake) and break with my left foot (gear shift) like a car and hit the breaks with both hands (left hand clutch) like a bicycle. Add to that the fact that I feel like easing off on the accelerator should mean pulling your hand back instead of forward, and I start to feel like I am not wired properly.

Like anything, I'm sure it just takes practice.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The journey begins with the first step

I'd been thinking about starting a blog for some time now, but my problem has been deciding what my focus should be. I'd been thinking about a blog about my work, but there are already so many good blogs on librarianship that I couldn't think of a good niche.

Luckily for me, I've been prodded into action by "Library 2.0" a workshop for University of Kentucky Librarians. I signed up and agreed to pursue proficiency in 2.0 web skills. Step 1: create a blog.

So. What IS the focus? I will keep things fast and loose. Think of this as my public diary. The framework, though, the lens through which this blog will (probably) focus, will be my experience with motorcycles. I started riding last June as a passenger, took a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course in October, and got my license in November. I still don't feel road worthy, but I am making it a goal for 2008.