Saturday, March 31, 2007

Library 2.0 - Staff Development Tools and More

This week's edition of Wired Magazine features an article on how libraries can ramp up their Web 2.0 skills via experimentation with free web tools. ">Public Library Geeks Take Web 2.0 to the Stacks discusses a program developed last year named 23 things which enables users to create blogs and podcasts, tryout Flickr, set up RSS feeds, learned about wikis, upload video to YouTube, and play with image generators and Rollyo, explore Technorati, tagging and folksonomies. Helen Blowers, developer of 23 things, believes that librarians need to know how to participate in the new media if libraries are to remain relevant in the 21st Century. Blowers is the IT director at North Carolina's Charlotte & Mecklenburg County Public Library where they are now in a pilot program exploring the creation of teen library services in a virtual world. They are asking for teen creators to help create a virtual library with Teen Second Life. As we develop our new Sirsi rooms, we need to be aware of how other libraries are meeting teens in the digital world.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cite This Item

Having time off this week is great! You know I'm a nerd when I start playing around with WorldCat. I discovered the Cite This Item feature today. When you pull up a book record, it is cited in five formats: e.g.
Citation Styles for

"The essay on man and other poems"


Pope, A. (1822). The essay on man and other poems. Chiswick: From the Press of C. Whittingham.


Pope, Alexander. 1822. The essay on man and other poems. Chiswick: From the Press of C. Whittingham.


POPE, A. (1822). The essay on man and other poems. Chiswick, From the Press of C. Whittingham.


Pope, Alexander. The Essay on Man and Other Poems. Chiswick: From the Press of C. Whittingham, 1822.


Pope, Alexander. The Essay on Man and Other Poems. Chiswick: From the Press of C. Whittingham, 1822.

Does anyone even use Turabian anymore? All formats of materials seem to have the citation feature. It's worth noting when showing students.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Blog Software Designed with Educators in Mind

With input from Will Richardson, this blog software makes it easy to register students and does not require email addresses. It's called 21 Classes, and has already been reviewed by Steve Dembo on his blog Teach42.

Steve is impressed with the options that allow you to arrange students into groups, create sets of authors, and change a few settings including policies and terms of use statements. Even though themes are limited, there are options for adding cool widgets.

Steve writes, "I do have to admit that this is probably the most well developed blog engine for educators." You may want start reading Teach42 which is a very active blog done by a fellow NICE member who has willingly shared his expertise.

Dembo commented that he is a New Trier Grad, class of '92.

Getting Started with RSS Feeds

You can actually create web pages using RSS (Real Simple Syndication) and watch your web page update automatically. Options for creating websites with RSS feeds include Netvibes ( and Pageflakes ( With both of these free tools you can make a columned page as include as many of your RSS feeds as you want. This software allows you to drag and drop boxes of feeds for customizing the look of your web page.

Creating a feed into a regular web page made with Dreamweaver requires a javascript feed program such as Feed2JS. I mentioned this free service in an earlier posting.

More RSS Resources worth mentioning:

The RSS Compendium Resources List --listings of RSS directories, feeds, aggregators --finding feeds

RSS Feed Factory from the BBC --good explanation of RSS

The Weather via RSS --plug in your zipcode and post this feed on your webpage

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Technology Shifts and Global Impact

Click the following to view the short video "Shift Happens". I can imagine using this video on the as an introduction to a presentation or to a group of students not only in academic subjects, but also in advisory.

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Keeping up with Technology

I agree with Jenny Levine's latest post Keeping Up When You Don't Have the Time about the value of reading blogs to stay abreast of all that's happening in the tech world even if you're not "a techie". Jenny Levine's presentation at ISLMA was terrific; she author of The Shifted Librarian blog, a site that helps librarians understand the impact of ubiquitous, always-on Internet on our the library profession. If you set up an account with Bloglines, you simply check it once a week or so to track all the blogs you subscribe to. I generally don't have time during the school day for this; I generally catch up on the weekends and then it's easier to concentrate and read at a leisurely pace. I like ResourceShelf and the reports found at the Pew Research Center which are not devoted exclusively to schools or librarian work. Levine also recommends The SirsiDynix Institute Blog. I checked out Word to the Wise, a list of library technology words to help you stay up to date on the latest technology buzzwords surrounding the library industry. Sign up to receive a new Word to the Wise in your e-mail inbox every week. You can also Subscribe to the SirsiDynix Institute podcast feed and receive automatic downloads of the audio portion of each Institute seminar (in mp3 format). The archives are also full of informational programs in pdf format and podcast which can educate you about web 2.0, mashups, social bookmarking, Firefox, gaming and more.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Podcasting Sessions at IL-TCE conference

There were a number of sessions on podcasting at the IL-TCE conference:
"We Want to Teach the World to Podcast" (Josh Butcher & Dawn Sweet) Website ;
"iPower! Becoming a Digital Educator or, 'iPods Are Not Just for Music!?' " Charlene Chausis Website; "Got Pod?" Bob Cox Handout ; and "PodCasting - From PowerPoint to iTunes - 'Show it again, Sam' " Ann Penstone & Carol Floros Website. We learned just enough to whet our appetites to try this in the classroom.

If you want to learning more about podcasting with students, come to the next NICE meeting.
Ann Penstone will present at Maple School in Northbrook, on March 14, 2007. March 14, 2007 (Wednesday) - Podcasting, Maple School, 2370 Shermer Road, Northbrook; registration, and light dinner ($5) at 4:30 P.M.; meeting at 5:00 P.M.

It's not too late to come up with a proposal for a Mini-grant integrating technology with something you want to do with a classroom teachers.