Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vladimir Nabokov on What Makes a Good Reader

If you look at this blog, you'll notice I haven't posted in years. That's because I originally created the blog through work because we were all told to learn how to create a blog. Now that I have a separate one for work, I'm resuming blogging here just for fun and for me (and for anyone who wants to follow me). I was recently sent this post that is Vladimir Nabokov's take on what makes a good reader. It certainly makes a lot of sense, especially the part about not just reading a book but rereading it. I've found that I missed a lot the first go around when I read a book, but get a lot more in the second or third reading. And, there are those books I reread annually like A Christmas Carol, Pride and Prejudice, and Jane Eyre.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Finish Line Is In Sight!

Now that I've completed all the 13 tools for Technology Tapas, I have to say I really enjoyed it. I wouldn't recommend doing it all in one big chunk like I did, though. I really enjoyed creating my blog. I'd forgotten how fun and liberating it is to just write down your thoughts. I like the idea that others can see what I've written - otherwise it would be a private diary and not a blog. I found that I'm not as scared to try new tools now that I've done this. It was very rewarding see the photos from Flickr on my blog and adding the video really made my blog more interesting. The music site Last was one of my favorite sites. I do wish I'd had time to space out the steps more. In trying to get them all done, I had to do the YouTube, Flickr and podcasting in the same day. I spent more time than I really had in looking and listening to things. It was fun though. I'd really like to learn how to do my own podcasts now. I used Zoho Writer to create a report that I presented today in a meeting. I also got rid of some of the professional journals that were piled on my desk because I was able to use the spreadsheet in Zoho Writer to keep track of some of the best new books that have been recently published. I really feel more confident that I can do Web 2.0 technologies now. I will continue posting on my blog.

I learned more about the other NJSL staff members as I did this. Although I didn't have much time to read their blogs, I did check to see who was following me. I intend to start following them too.

I really liked the format and the concept. Bob and Andrea, you did a great job! The only change I might make to this exercise is to give everyone a little more time to complete the 13 items. I know it seemed like we had enough time to do it and maybe a lot of people did, but I found that I didn't because of all my work commitments right now.

If you offered another discovery program like this in the future I would definitely do it.

There's a podcast for everything under the sun!

I have to admit that I haven't spent too much time listening to podcasts, except for Bob and Andrea's podcast for Technology Tapas. I know one teen librarian who is an avid podcaster (Ty Rousseau) and I've even been interviewed for a podcast at an ALA conference. I never did listen to it, though. I guess I just didn't want to try and find it online because I know there are zillions of podcasts on any topic you can think of. The technology tapas tutorial was helpful in telling me which directories to use to find postcasts. I used Podcastalley.com and was able to find some of Ty's postcasts. I also wanted to find podcasts about teen books. I found the great Library Loft teen link on the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's website (love NC, I got my undergraduate degree from UNC - Chapel Hill). Library Loft has great podcasts with teen authors Cynthia Leitich Smith, Pete Hautman,Brent Hartinger and others. I've read books by all of them so it was fun hearing what they had to say about their books in their own words. I think children and teens would get a kick out of hearing what their favorite authors have to say about their books. It was easier than I thought to find the podcasts. I'm definitely going to start listening to them more now.


There are so many videos on YouTube, it's a bit overwhelming. I love the fact that you can find almost anything on it. But, you can also feel overwhelmed by all the stuff that's there too. I definitely think it's much easier to focus on the things I'm interested in, like music or books or dog rescue videos (that one where the dog rescues the other dog hit by a car - heartbreaking and heartwarming!). Since I'm a huge reader, I like to look at book reviews on YouTube. Many don't really say what the book is about and I like that. The viewer sees the images and is compelled to want to know more about them and then has to go read the book. Sharing books this way by creating book reviews online is perfect for libraries. I know lots of libraries have teens create videos of their favorite books. It would be a fun way for adult or teen book discussion groups to advertise the books they are reading. One of my favorite teen authors is British author Kevin Brooks. My favorite book by him is Lucas. I was lucky enough to get to review it for School Library Journal when it first came out a few years ago. I found this nicely done book review video on YouTube about Lucas. It even had a quote from the School Library Journal review that I did! It is a really lyrical and hauntingly unforgettable book. Read it for yourself and see.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Venice - My Favorite City!

Originally uploaded by lalla2006

This is where I'm going on vacation! I love Italy and Venice is one of the most beautiful cities anywhere.

In looking for photos on Flickr, I found that there were a lot of photos to choose from, almost too many! I'd start looking in one tag and then see something else I wanted to check out. It's very easy to get distracted and spend hours instead of minutes looking at them - not a bad thing except when you don't really have the time.

I can't wait to upload some of my photos from my trips over the years in Flickr so my friends can finally see them. I've been promising since I first started traveling in 1995 but most are still in print form in shoe boxes or on my digital camera.

This beautiful photo of gondolas in Venice isn't my photo, it was originally uploaded by lalla2006. Thanks lalla2006. Great shot.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wiki Wiki (Didn't know it was Hawaiian)

I posted my blog on the Favorite Blogs page of the NJSL Technology Tapas wiki. It took me a few minutes because you do have to type in your URL and blog name exactly. It was fun "playing" by adding comments to other favorite pages.
Wikis don't seem to be that unique anymore but libraries still don't seem to be using them as much as they could be. Policies and procedures and strategic plans can be posted on wikis so they can be accessed by everyone in the library and easily updated as needed. I love the fact that Best Practices are being posted on wikis. Any programs that we want others to see and add their own ideas to should be available on a wiki. I would love to put the library winners of the Best Practices for Early Childhood Literacy programs on a wiki so libraries could add their own ideas to them. Everybody would benefit from the shared information. Booklists are also perfect for posting in wikis because titles can be deleted and added so easily. I also hope that the beautifully printed Guidelines for Young Adult Services in Public Libraries of New Jersey and the Guidelines for Children's Services in Public Libraries of New Jersey can be posted on a wiki. Since I'm having trouble converting them from a printed document to electronic text, it makes sense to retype them into a wiki so they can be easily revised as needed without costing so much to reprint them. I wouldn't have to do it all myself either, committee members could each do part of it at their leisure.

Yelp - love those great Web 2.0 site names

I've just been checking out the Web 2.0 sites that are 2008 award winners and nominees.
Although I knew a lot of them - Facebook, Yahoo! Answers, Monster, CareerBuilder, & have checked out others - Craigslist (love it), YouTube, Flickr and subscribe to Twitter (addicted) and Del.icio.us, there are so many I'd never heard of. I really liked the music site Last and Yelp was great in providing me with the names of some great local Indian restaurants.
The one that I looked at the longest was UPCOMING, an award winning Events site. I checked out all the music and performing arts events that are happening in the town and county where I live. This is a great site for any organization (including libraries) to post their events because it gets lots of hits and it's free. I noticed many libraries did list their events - from music performances to yard sales. I'll be sure to recommend it to my library colleagues.