I’ve always been interested in film and photography as art forms, but never before tried to make something of my own.  This was the most fun and thought-provoking project I’ve done in library school, allowing me to marry the intellectual content with indulging my love of tools.  I love gadgets and tools; I paid $100 at Williams-Sonoma for a classic chrome citrus juicer, I have a closet full of DIY hand and power tools and I spent many hours this semester playing with video and audio tools.  We did most of our collaboration on our wiki, but we did have one meeting to look at some rough cuts and storyboard the rest of narrative where Mary had to yell “Hey, we’re still here!” after I spent 45 minutes trying to get an photo mash-up to work the way I wanted it. As Mary mentioned, we here not able to pass the uncompiled video around for editing, so I happily did the editing and futzed around with the sound levels, trying to equalize them between the clips. 

 I think the collaborative process worked well for us and using various technologies and tools to create content led us to revise our thinking on the Deweyless library.  It was very enlightening to feel the pedagogical effects the process. At the beginning, we all expressed a degree of skepticism on the concept of the Deweyless library.  It was serendipity that Martha and I were able to attend the PLA session on our topic just as we were finishing the video and hear about the results in the 9 months the Perry branch has been open.  We hadn’t been able to find any followup published since the opening, so we were concerned.  The presentation was wonderful and Marshall Shore graciously let us interview him on film afterwards.

Thanks, Mary and Martha, for makng our last group project of library school such a high point!



in Wired 16.04

So you rented No Country for Old Men, were confused by the ending, and borrowed the novel from the library hoping to find answers. Now you’re no more enlightened and facing late fees from two places. Well, unlike No Country‘s Llewelyn, you have a way out. First, smuggle the contraband back into the place you got it and, when no one’s looking, return the offending item to the shelf. When the next person checks it out, the computer will see that it hasn’t been officially returned. Most systems automatically attribute this to employee error (someone forgot to scan it back in) and erase your late fee. It’s your only hope of getting away clean. Well, aside from ponying up the whopping five bucks you owe. — James Lee

I’ve been using del.icio.us to tag things for a couple of months now.  The immediate benefit is being able to see thing anywhere that you tagged on another computer, like moving between home and work, as opposed to traditional bookmarking which is saved to the computer that it was done on only. You can also see your tags at public computers like the LIBRARY. People can also share tags!

On the flip side, libraries need to add more icons for tagging to their website and catalogs to encourage the tagging of these items by our patrons.

 With the tidal wave of digital content challenging libraries traditional role as the prime physical repositories of information, many people have begun to look at what other functions the bricks and mortal library plays in our civic and educational lives. Most of the literature exploring the library as place are founded on one or both of two underlying theoretical platform: the “public sphere” as defined by Jurgen Habermas in political theory and from the field of sociology, Ray Oldenburg’s definition of “third places.”

A review of the literature will looks at how these theories are applied to libraries and what other usage and facilities trends mean for the future of libraries as more of their role as guardians of content are usurped by on-line resources and their patrons’ lives are increasing on-line as well.

 I would like to explore what libraries of the future will look like to best fulfill their changing roles and look at the concrete examples including the facility that is being planned for construction near my home. I would like to look at some of the implications laid out in Habemas’s later work on the corruption of the public sphere by consumerist forces and how that does or does not give libraries a uniqueness from other places that may fulfill some of the same social functions.

I was looking for some books for my Readers Advisory class today and I found this fun little online toy.

Try entering one of your favorite authors and see what you get!

I’ve used Open Office since I got my new laptop last summer (you think I’d buy MS Office with my money?) and it provides a good open source subsitiute for MS Office, although the database application is markedly different from MS Access and more like FoxPro.  I have use Google Docs in some classes and they work reasonably well, but we had issues in the ease and speed of editing. Also I had reservations about the inability to “save as” to create a new version before making major changes, something I often do in standalone spreadsheets and documents.

I played with Zoho for a while today, choosing the project management document because how entertaining can making one more spreadsheet be?  I use MS Project every day in my job and wanted to compare.  It is kind of a fun free tool for small projects, but the data entry is very cumbersome and the level of sophistication is suitable only for very small projects. It is nice that is will automatically email people when they are assigned new tasks. But the set up and structuring of milestones and tasks is not explained and is not very intuitive.  By the time you figure how you should have structured things, they only way you can do it is to delete all your tasks and reenter them, the application will not let you move the exisiting tasks. But it’s a good beginning for online project tools.

I also set up a wiki on Zoho. I wanted to see how it differed from PBwiki, the free wiki that I’ve used several time.  Here is the PBwiki I created for my neighborhood. Wikis are nice in that they let different people create any kind of content they want.  I would like to see more templates, but it is free.  The more peopleyou invite to join your wiki, the more storage space they give you.  We maxed out the one we created for our LIS768 group project because we were posting video files to share.

Here’s a little slideshow of my afternoon at the Providence Atheneum. Click on the “View All Images” button.  Once there click on “Original View” to see the slide show with music and effects! Slide.com lets you pull in pictures from your Flickr account.