Sunday, August 3, 2008

New Score Shelving - Flickr lesson a

We finally got new shelving for our score collection! It has been a long time coming. It started with our previous Fine Arts librarian and what to do with the oversize scores. Here's a picture of the old shelving:

Old Score Shelving

Not so bad for most of the collection - at least it's adjustable (since the typical score is a little larger than the typical book) and it has a back, so the little ones don't fall off. But the shelves are way too shallow for the oversize materials and didn't really provide enough support. Here's what we ended up doing with them in the old shelving:

Old Score Shelving - Oversize Section

I actually have quite a few in the back I haven't cataloged yet, just because there was no place for them to go.

But now we have shiny new shelving that will accommodate our collection in a respectful manner.

Here's the wide shot:

New Score Shelving

See how it has those nice dividers? Many scores are very narrow and fall over easily, so these will help give them extra support. And there's a wall in the back to keep them from sliding off. Yea!

And here, you can see we go a set of shelving with wider shelves, to support the really large scores (I think we have at least one that's 60 cm high!):

New Score Shelving - Oversize Close-up

They haven't been moved up there yet, but we're very excited to see them in their new home. I'll have to take more pictures when they're all set up!

Too Good Not to Share

Okay, so I didn't find this video by searching YouTube, because technically, I haven't done the YouTube lesson yet. Hey, technically, I haven't finished the Flickr lessons yet (I really must get on that!). But I came across this video on one of the blogs I subscribe to, and it's just to funny not to share. (The blog is called Write Now Is Good, and you can find it here:, if you're interested.)

Here's the video:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Libraries - Cool Old Books, Cool New Tech

I could spend hours with Flickr's interestingness feature! I found this great picture uploaded by unfabulous_ena using interestingness. It seems to be part of some kind of postcard exchange program. How cool is that!

This photo reminds me of finding old leather bound reference books in the little volunteer library in my hometown. I've always thought old books were interesting, and finding them on some back shelf is a little bit like finding some kind of buried treasure. I hope that even though libraries keep working to be on the cutting edge, delivering information and services to our patrons with all this new technology, that we'll always have some old leather bound books hanging around waiting for people like me to discover them!

RSS feeds

When I first heard about RSS feeds, I thought "why would I want to do that? I already get my lists and things in my e-mail". Then I started reading several columns on this one website. Most of them didn't publish on a daily basis, but I never could remember when each one did publish so I checked every one of them every day - talk about a waste of time! Plus, I felt the need to read the other columns around them, even if I wasn't particularly interested, just because they were there, and I might miss something interesting if I didn't read them all (I know, I know, but I'm compulsive that way). Finding out that I could subscribe to them by RSS feed has been such a time-saver. Now I only subscribe read the ones I really like - the rest I didn't subscribe to, so they are out-of-sight, out-of-mind, and Google Reader tells me when each one has a new installment, so I don't have to check each one everyday. Now I'm all about the RSS feeder!

I use Google Reader, and I'm very happy with it - mostly because I love my iGoogle and my g-mail, so it's one stop shopping. However, in the interests of learning something new, I did sign up for a bloglines account, just to compare their features. I have to admit, bloglines is pretty snazzy. They have a lot of features - your own blog right with-in the system, forums and playlists (although I'm not actually sure what the "playlists" tab is for - there didn't seem to be an explanation in the tab itself, and no reference that I found in the FAQ. I didn't ask in the Forum). The clippings feature seems to be analogous to the starring feature in Google Reader, except that they'll actually let you categorize your clippings - my current annoyance in G-Reader is that I can't seem to sort my starred items in anyway, so I usually just save things I want to keep to, where I can tag them. I didn't spend a lot of time playing with Bloglines, and I could probably come to love it, given enough time. However, I don't think it will trump Google Reader just because of the sheer convenience of having all my toys (more or less) in one place.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cool Web Site!

I am so far behind in this class and I meant to try and catch up this weekend, but as usual didn't get as much done as I'd hoped (on anything).

Anyway, even though it's not one of the lessons, per se, I had to share this website with you all. It's It's a streaming radio website, but it lets you build your own radio stations. You enter the name of a song or artist you like, and they go to their database and find other similar songs - based on the musical qualities of the song or artist you picked! I think it's really cool that it actually matches based on things like harmonies and rhythms, and not just the traditional "other users who like this song also like..." formula (which is good, but given the eclecticness of human taste, not necessarily going to find similar items). Anyway, you should check it out!

Update: I added a little widget to my blog that shows what songs I've bookmarked on Pandora. Way cool!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Little Blog Frustration

So here's that whole viewing problems as challenges thing: when I signed up for the 2.0 challenge, I used a different e-mail address from my regular work and personal address. "This is sound advice," I thought. "Then all of my Montana Library 2.0 correspondence will be in one convenient location, and won't get mixed up with everything else. Plus, no new spam will be generated in my current accounts when I sign up for these new services. What a great idea!"

So I used my yahoo account - I automatically have one, because I've used some of yahoo's services (the Briefcase, before I go my AMAZING flash drive - death to the floppy disk!, Flickr, some groups, etc.), but I've never actually used it. All well and good.

Then, I went to set up my blog. Blogger, unfortunately, belongs to Google, so it wanted me to use my gmail account. No problem, they let you use a different account if you want to. Great! I sign up with my yahoo account, write my first post. All good.

And I went back to Google, where I have my iGoogle (which is really cool) set up with all these wonderful things I access on a regular basis. But, logging into a Google service (Blogger) with a different account logged me out of my iGoogle. Okkkaaay. Maybe I can change the address on my Blogger account. So I went back to Blogger. Nope. You can change everything but your login account. So I decided that my "problem" was actually a minor annoyance and that my solution would be to ignore it.

Yesterday, I decided to add all my classmates wonderful blogs to my Google Reader. And as I was doing that, I found a post I wanted to leave a comment on. But wait, to do that I have to log in with yahoo instead of gmail. Okay. I did that, left my comment and went back to adding blogs to Reader - except that I was still logged in under yahoo, so it saved them under that instead. Suddenly, my "minor annoyance" reverted back to "problem".

Anyway, long story - well, still long. I'm not sure I met it with the appropriate attitude of challenge versus problem, but I did find a solution. It involved inviting my gmail self to be a contributor on my yahoo self's blog, and then deleting my yahoo self as a contributor. There was much logging into this and out of that and vice versa, and much grumbling accompanied it, but I have now happily united all of my services under my gmail account, and no longer get logged out of my iGoogle.

What have I learned? Possibly that web 2.0 is meant to play together, and in attempting to separate things, I cause myself more trouble than anything else!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Life-Long Learning

I've always thought of myself as a life-long learner. When I was in high-school, I told my mother my goal was to learn everything in the world. She, being a very practical minded sort (but also a life-long learner), told me that was impossible. I replied, "I know, but at least if I keep trying to learn everything, I'll always be learning something." Fifteen years later, learning "everything" has become a little overwhelming, so I've revised my goal to "always learning something" of my original response. And yet, even with my constant drive to learn something, I found to my surprise that several of the habits of life-long learners were things I find very challenging.

Easiest for me, I think, is beginning with the end in mind. I almost always have a goal. But, I do sometimes (okay, frequently) get lost along the way, and sometimes the end looks nothing like I thought it would at the beginning.

Some of the others are a bit more challenging. As I'm preparing to go back to school and earn a Master's degree, I've chosen to focus on improving my ability to accept responsibility for my own learning and having confidence in myself as a competent learner. Perhaps as a holdover from my unrealistic goal of wanting to learn "everything", I sometimes find it difficult to give myself credit for the things I have learned, because I always look ahead to how much there is left to learn. And sometimes it seems that the more I learn, the more I don't know! Which on a good day can be an exciting prospect, but on a bad one tends to be rather discouraging. Also, while I love to read and use the internet on a regular basis because I've run across something I "have" to know more about, when I take classes, I find that I subconsciously expect them to give me all the information I need. I often have difficulty thinking of additional questions to ask, because the instructor (speaker, author, whatever) has given me so much information already, what else could I need to know? An example: when I graduated from college, I had all this new knowledge, and a shiny piece of paper to say I had a Bachelor of Arts, major in Fine Arts, option Music, and not a clue what to do with myself. Where was the class that taught me to craft a performance resume? How to look for auditions? What to do when I found one? Sure, I knew how to sing, and lots of music history and theory, but where did I even start to look for a job?

I eventually found my way to a library job where I catalog music. Hooray for combining using my degree with a place I've always loved to hang out! But I've finally realized that it wasn't the lack of a class or workshop that left me at a loss after graduation, but my own failure to accept responsibility for my own learning. So as I head off to grad school, I'm going to try my best to remedy that.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

First Post! or Why voyage?

Way back in the days when you had to do all the coding yourself, I wanted a website. My brother gave me 15 minute a crash course in html code and helped me set up an account at a free hosting service. Technically, they did have "easy web creation" templates, but then your site would look just like everyone else's and I wanted to have design control. I didn't really have any content, so I made a lot of graphics. And I had a lot of plans for sections of my website - all about my interests and so on, but design was so time consuming, I never really got that far.

Anyway, one of the sections I intended to have was to be called "Voyages on the Argo". Argo is the name of my truck, so my thought was that I would take little trips in my truck, take pictures, and then write about our adventures or "voyages" and I thought my mythological reference very clever. Of course, I never really went anywhere, and that was also before digital cameras were so prevalent, so I would have had to develop and scan all the pictures, and writing on the web wasn't nearly as easy as it is now with blogging. But I still like the whole idea of voyaging and new adventures, so here we go on Voyage 2.0! (Also, our library's ILS is Voyager - yea for double word plays!).