Wednesday

Welcome to 23 Things @ NEFLIN

The original "23 Things @ NEFLIN" program ran from January 15 - April 15, 2009. If you are interested in doing the program be our guest.

On the right hand side at the top you will see a few links. Read these before beginning!

The FAQ link explained the original program, but is helpful to understand how you would do this yourself.

The 23 Things link is your list of doing the 23 Things, one by one.

Participating members will take you to blogs of those who participated in the original program. Take a look at some of these to see what other library staff did.

Please do not contact NEFLIN with questions about the program, or links that have gone bad, etc. We have just left this up to allow others to do the program on their own time and schedule.

Most importantly, have fun!

Thursday

Thing 23: Thank you!

An online survey was the final Thing (#23) to let us know what you thought of the program.

Feel free to leave a comment on the blog.

Thank you for your participation!

Monday

You Can Do It!

This is a catch up week. The end is in sight. You can do it!
Then all that will be left is the 23rd Thing which is short and sweet.
You are almost there. Keep going!

Wednesday

Thing 22: Staying Current

We hope you have learned many new things during 23 Things. And one thing you have learned is that Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 are anything but static. Changing, challenging, and exciting are hallmarks of Web 2.0.


Here are some other things we hope you have learned:
It really doesn’t take that much time. You have some new tools—Bloglines, del.icio.us, Digg/Reddit/Newsvine, calendars, to-do lists, and others that make finding news about new tools and ways to use them. You know how to use them to make keeping up easier. Of course, you can spend hours (and hours) playing around with Flickr or YouTube or other tools, but that counts as "improving your skills."


You know you can do it. Sure, there were trials and tribulations as you learned the new tools or struggled with glitches in the products, but you did finish and you did get the tools to work. That means the next time you see a new tool, you will be ready to figure it out and make it work for you. No fear!


It's fun to know and use these tools. Admit it, YouTube can be entertaining--and you can even see some uses for it in your library. Some of the tools have more toy-like features than others which have a more obvious use. It is amazing what people will think of and more amazing what they create to enhance Flickr, Google, or whatever.


We need to keep informed. It is easy to get so involved in the day-to-day of story time, library instruction, troubleshooting, programming, reference work, summer reading programs, collection development, faculty meetings, system meetings, meetings and more meetings, and the on and on of the day in the life of a library. In spite of all that work, we do need to stay up on what our patrons are using, talking about, and asking us for help with. As libraries continue to evolve, we need to be informed to evolve with them and guide the evolution.


We need the support of each other and our administrators and supervisors so we have the time and help we need to learn and stay informed. We hope the communities that have developed around 23 Things will continue—whether in a building or a region. Stay in touch through your blogs, IM, and texting!


For this Thing
1. Take a moment and look back at the first Thing you posted to your blog. Reflect on how far you've come since then.
2.Make a resolution to maintain your blog, use the tools you now know, keep up with new tools, and apply them in your library. Give yourself the gift of time—15 minutes a day, a Webinar now and then, conversations with colleagues about Library 2.0, whatever—but don't quit now! Put your resolution writing in your blog!
3. Every day, ask yourself, "What did I learn today?" Record your responses in your blog.

So here are some Web sites and blogs to add to your RSS aggregator. There are dozens more—choose ones that speak to you.

Mostly News
ALA TechSource
LibraryBytes
Librarian in Black
LISNews
Library Stuff


News and Commentary
Tame the Web
Shifted Librarian
Information Wants To Be Free
Blue Skunk Blog
Dangeroulsy Irrelevant
NeverEnding Search


General Web 2.0
Lifehacker
43Folders


Web 2.0 Directories
Web2
Go2Web
Web2List


Other Ways to Keep Up
WebJunction offers newsletters, online courses, and other content.
OPAL has many online opportunities both live and in its archives to learn about library-related things—Library 2.0, technology, and more.
Webinars through NEFLIN
Podcasts on Web 2.0 and library topics—find a few you like and add them to your RSS aggregator.


That’s enough. Glance through these, add the ones you like to your RSS aggregator, use others as needed. And remember, you can delete entries from your aggregator, too.


Blog Prompts
Blog about how you plan to keep up with the Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 tools.
Recommend a way to keep up that you have found useful.

Monday

Thing 21: Student 2.0 Tools

The Assignment Calculator is a tool created by the University of Minnesota Libraries for undergraduate students. Students put in dates for the beginning and end dates of an assignment and its subject area and this Web 2.0 tool generates a 12-step research guide and timeline for the project and recommends resources and strategies. The Assignment Calculator is widely used and adapted by academic libraries across the country. It is available as Open Source Code.

The Research Project Calculator (RPC) is based on the Assignment Calculator and was created to help secondary students plan for and navigate the research process in an ethical manner, using reliable resources. This five step process includes deadlines and (optional) email reminders. The tool also offers hints, worksheets, and guides for various types of projects. While the RPC and Assignment Calculator are aimed at schools and universities, it is appropriate for public libraries, too. Link to it on a teen or student page, use the bookmarks to inform students and parents about their existence, and encourage students to use it as part of their research planning.

The Teacher Guide to the Research Project Calculator (on the RPC site) assists teachers in planning, managing, and teaching the often daunting research process by providing them with resources and step-by-step instructions, based on the five-step process outlined in the RPC. The site begins with an About the RPC section that provides an overview of the calculator, describes the role of the teacher in detail, and explains the resources included in the tool. There is even a streamlined version called "No Time?" for busy teachers. (Are there any other kind?) Public librarians and media specialists, as well as academic librarians, can use this feature to instruct teachers about the RPC.

For this Thing,

1. Look at the RPC and the Assignment Calculator. Don’t try to cover every aspect of the tools, but rather browse the steps and consider how you could encourage students to use this product.

2. Look at the supporting materials in the Teacher Guide. Are any appropriate for library handouts or can you find other resources to supplement what you do for students?

Blog Prompts

How might the RPC and the Teacher Guide help you help students plan and manage research projects?

Can you think of any uses for library projects—could you use it to help manage a timeline for a project of your own?

Friday

Friday Fun


Great cartoon created by one of your fellow 23 Thing'ers.

See the original post on eLynn's 23 Things Blog.

Wednesday

Thing 20: Books 2.0

With all the emphasis on online tools for learning and socializing in the library, what has happened to the book? This Thing looks at online sites that encourage reading and interacting books.

We know there has been much debate and worry about when and how people read, the future of the printed book, and our role in libraries in both of those debates. If you work in a public library--or use one--you know that people are still coming in for books and reading. While some say the Internet is making us stupid, other think it is not.

Even as the "book" has started to evolve into handheld devices like Kindle or Sony Reader, we know that there are still strong communities that develop around the love of books and reading. Based the number and type of Book 2.0 tools out there, the desire to read and share is strong among the technology users. The Internet and Web 2.0 have made it easier for readers to connect.

This Thing introduces tools and sites that make reading and books the center of their service.

Do
1. Where do you come in on the future of the book and reading? Check out some of these articles or sites for some food for thought:

Future of the Book

Literacy Debate: Online R U Really Reading?

Fiction Reading Increases for Adults

NEA Report Reading on the Rise (press release)

How Libraries Can Survive in the New Media Ecosystem (PowerPoint)

Watch the video about Kindle 2

Kindle in Libraries


2. Explore one tool/site from each category in the Learn section. You don't have to go deep into the tool--look at the intro, FAQs, review the features, and try a few out. The starred ones are those we like.

3. If you already have a Facebook account, explore the book apps and add one to your Facebook page.

Books On Your Phone
Take a book along in your purse or pocket! These services let you read books on your cell phone.

*BooksinMyPhone formats and packages books so that you can read them on a java enabled phone. Most phones sold today are java enabled. The available books are out-of-copyright or Creative Commons-licensed.

txt2ph requires an Internet-enabled phone. You can download from their book collection or upload your own books. You can also read and discuss the books online.

*DailyLit lets you read entire books in short, customized installments sent to you by email or RSS. You can read on your computer or any mobile device. Has books for free and for purchase.

*Twitterlit "serves up literary teasers twice daily. At 9:00 AM and 9:00PM Eastern Time I post the first line of a book, without the author's name or book title, but with a link to Amazon so readers can see what book the line is from. Why? Because it's fun!"

Readers' Advisory
These sites help answer the questions, "What do I read next?"

*ReadingTrails lets you "discover trails of books linked by any possible theme, topic or whim, from guides to bread baking to classics of Brazilian poetry. At trail intersections, wander from trail to trail to find unexpected reading pleasures."

*BookLamp "matches readers to books through an analysis of writing styles, similar to the way that Pandora.com matches music lovers to new music."

*What Should I Read Next? Enter the title of a book or author you like and get a recommendation for something else you might like.

What's Next? Find the next book in a series.

Which Book? makes recommendations based on your descriptor choices. Borrow link goes to UK libraries.

*BookStumpers lets people ask about books they are trying to find based on vague memories. Other people make suggestions. It costs $2 to post a Stumper, but you can answer and browse others' answers free.

Book Calendar sends a book a day to your email or RSS.


Online Book Communities
Like to discuss books or recommend books to others? Find forums, blogs, and more all around books at these different sites.

*Overbooked is a "web site for ravenous & omnivorous readers. Overbooked provides information about fiction and readable nonfiction"

*Overbooked has a Ning--join the conversation about books.

Readerville has lots of book information, including a discussion forum.

Reader2 lets you put your reading list online and find other books to read. *BookGlutton and the

Unbound Reader offer a new way to read and discuss books online. Watch this video to learn more--it is hard to describe!

BookTalk is an online book group/form.

Bookmarked is Target's (yes, that Target) online book club with tools to organize, schedule meetings, & discuss online.

Living Social is a book organization and discovery tool.

Book Group Resources
Resources and discussion groups for traditional and online book clubs.

LitLovers started as an online course and grown into a public literature community. "The site is about WHAT we read, HOW we read, and how we THINK about our reading."

Reading Group Choices has lots of info to share with your book groups: author interviews, music
for book groups, reading guides--not exactly 2.0, but useful.

Reading Group Guides is similar to RGC above, but includes a message forum.

*Booksprouts is a way to start an online reading group.
Two sources for author interviews:

Wired for Books offers Mp3 downloads of interviews of authors.

BooksVideos.tv has video interviews (in case you couldn't tell by the title). "The social media video site offers the back story about the lives, personalities and the inspirations of these engaging writers."

Audio Books
We know you have audio books, downloadable and/or other at your library, but these Web 2.0 services offer something slightly different.

*Librivox aims to record and release all books in the public domain. It relies on a volunteer community to read and record.

Podiobooks distributes serialized audiobooks via RSS, much like a podcast. Listeners can choose to receive the episodes of books via their RSS feed or by listening to episodes by directly downloading episodes from the site. Includes mostly unpublished authors and a lot of science fiction.

Open Culture offers many free bookcasts as well as other recorded material like university courses.

Book Reviews
Metacritic summarizes the information on the Internet about entertainment, including books. Stopped updating, but still has many reviews available.

The Complete Review offers reviews of old and new books.

*BookBrowse seeks out and recommends only the most interesting and well-written books and provides you with everything you need to decide which are right for you - so you can browse the best and ignore the rest!

One Minute Critic is exactly that; quick reviews of all kinds of books. You can do this!

Book Rental

These services are the "Netflix of books" offering various paid account levels for book borrowing.

BookSwim lends paperbacks, hardcovers and, college textbooks.

BooksFree lends paperbacks and audio books.

Facebook

Many 23ers liked Facebook best of all the Things they learned. Now take time to explore some of Facebook's book and reading apps.

Visual Bookshelf

WorldCat

WeRead (Books iRead)

*A list of book-related apps on Facebook


Book Swaps (Optional)

Got too many books or need more? These online book exchanges can help.

BookMooch lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want. Works on a point system.

Paperback Swap is more than paperbacks--hardbacks, textbooks, audio books, and more. Credit system.

*SwapTree has an algorithm to match your needs with others offers and vice versa. Includes books, music, games, and movies. SwapTree will even calculate the postage and let you print out a mailing label from your computer.

*BookCrossing Not exactly a swap, but interesting nevertheless. "Release" your book into the wild and track its journey via the Internet. Set up an account. Here is Bookcrossing in four easy steps:

1.Pick one of your books-one you have read or one you haven't read.

2.Log-in to Bookcrossing and click on "register book" under the "My Shelf" tab. Follow the prompts to register the book and generate a BCID (BookCrossing ID).

3.Write the BCID (BookCrossing ID) in ink inside the cover. Add a label or write the BookCrossing info. You can add some additional markings, stickers, notes, etc to make the book noticeable, if you wish.

4.Release the Book. There is much more information on how this all works at Bookcrossing.com. See how many books in the wild there are in Florida. Start hunting! And release a few of your own.

Children's Books (Optional)
Here are some innovative ways to share children's books using Web 2.0 tools.

*Lookybook let's you read entire children's picture books online. Register and build your own bookshelf to save and share favorites.

Storyline is part of the Screen Actors' Guild Foundation. Famous people read well-known books. Al Gore reads Brave Irene by William Steig, for example. Warning--opens with sound.

International Children's Digital Library has entire books online to read in multiple languages. Register to save books, choose preferred language, and more.

*Just One More Book "is a thrice-weekly podcast which promotes and celebrates literacy and great children’s books." Recorded in an Ottawa coffee shop.

Tonight's Bedtime Story offers free pdfs of classic fairy tales, many with illustrations. Wallpaper for your computer of various classic illustrations, too.

Vintage Children's Books is a Flickr pool of scanned images. Over 2500 members add to the pool.

Old Children's Books is another Flickr set of mid-century children's book illustrations.

Sillybooks "is an animated world of free reading, writing and learning fun for kids." Illustrated books read aloud and a place for kids to get their stories published.

*Recommended to try.

Blog Prompts
What are you observing in your library about books and reading?
Do you think these Book 2.0 tools hamper or enhance one's reading experience?
Which of the sites/tools did you visit? What are they appealing features? Any features seem unnecessary or just there "because"?
Do you know of other tools around books and reading we should know about? You can add them in the Comments below and blog about them.

Challenge (Optional)
1. Choose at least one of the sites/tools you explored and go deeper--set up an account and get started or go farther into the site.
2. Try out BookCrossing--let's see if we can release and hunt for books among the More Things Community.

Tuesday

Thing 19: Other Social Networks

MySpace and Facebook may grab the headlines in social networking, but there are many other social networks. Social networks are online communities created around interests with people-to-people recommendations and communication. These specialized social networks allow like-minded users to find and interact with one another, whether around crafts or cars or any other shared interest. In this Thing, we'll take a look at some of these networks.

The first three have broad appeal:

WebJunction is an online community and portal that supports library staff with technology and library development materials; provides courses for online learning and professional development; and brings the library community together in online discussions and programs.

Ning is an alternative social network that is meant for a higher level of customization by users. The networks are created around special interests, and any user can easily create a network. You can visit a Library 2.0 group or any of the other library groups created in Ning.

Gather describes itself as the “leading social networking and media site for adults, with some of the highest quality user-generated content on the internet.” Most of the discussion on Gather is in a debate format, focused around a single issue, book, or theme to appeal to busy professionals. American Public Media is heavily invested in this site as an outlet for National Public Radio listeners.

Other social networks provide recommendations and reviews, focus on various politicians, promote career development, or revolve around an interest like music, pets, or food. Even AARP has gotten into the social network sphere.

For this Thing

1. Read these articles:
How Gather hopes to be the MySpace for Books in Publisher's Weekly
WebJunction article: Building a Social Networking Environment at the Library
2. Find a social network that might interest you. Explore the ones mentioned already or try one of theses:

Education
Classroom 2.0 Ning
College 2.0
Teacher Librarian Ning

Music
last.fm
Project Playlist

Food
Bake Space
Open Source Food

Movies
Flixster
Film Crave

Books
Whats On My Bookshelf
Shelfari
GoodReads

Hobbies
Fuzzster(pets)
Yelp (local reviews/recommendations)
Crafts

You get the idea; there is a social network for everyone. And, on the chance you can't find a social network that matches your interests, start one of your own.

Resources
Wikipedia list of social network sites
Nine Ways to Build Your Own Social Network, TechCrunch July 24, 2007 Tips and tools to help your nonprofit get the most out of online networks, TechSoup, May 5, 2006
My Guide to Social Networks, a satirical article on social networks in PC Magazine

Blog Prompts
Are you a member of any online communities?
Are any of these social networks appealing to you?
What did you find that was interesting and that you might use later?

Monday

Thing 18: Facebook and MySpace

Facebook and MySpace probably get more mainstream press than any other tool on this list—besides blogging. And, as we all know, not all the press is positive. However, social networks are one of the main ways that young adults communicate with each other—55% of all teenagers use social networking sites. Use of these sites has even surpassed landline telephones for a certain percentage of teenagers according to a study (pdf) by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

It is worth noting that these networks incorporate many of the tools we’ve already covered in other Things—blogging, photo and video sharing, internal e-mail, message boards, and IM. One stop shopping is part of their appeal--one user name, one password, all the info in one spot.

Another part of the appeal is the need to “belong to a group” that is a milestone of adolescent development. Young people create their own groups, “friend” people, and more, often without the watchful eye of parent or other authority figure. This is one reasons many teenagers like MySpace and Facebook. Facebook began as a college-focused social network—it originally required a .edu address to join. When it opened up to all comers, many Facebook users were not happy. The exclusivity for young adults seemed lost.

Of course, the lack of the watchful eye is, to some parents, teachers, and librarians, the reason social networks are suspect and can be prone to abuse. Many parents and organizations opt for blocking access to these sites. Others look to education on Internet safety, privacy, appropriate use of technology, and other issues as a way to allow use of these networks that are so important to teens and young adults.

So, what does it all mean to libraries? Whether or not you become a convert to MySpace and/or Facebook, it is important to understand how they work. If our young users are communicating through these networks, we need to be able to be there, too.

In this Thing, you are going to explore a social network. MySpace is the most used social network, but Facebook is currently the fastest growing social network. Facebook is more secure in that it is more difficult to see a user's profile until that person has accepted your friend request.

1. Watch “Social Networking in Plain English” by Common Craft for an explanation.

http://www.commoncraft.com/video-social-networking



You have the choice of visiting either Facebook or MySpace--or for the ambitious, both.


A. Facebook

Facebook requires registration in order to view any profiles of members.
1. Register for the site and add 2-3 friends. If you have any difficulty, you can visit this tutorial. There are many other Facebook tutorials on this page that are useful as you find a friend. Be sure to let us know when you join, so we can "friend" you.

2. Complete a profile, write on at least one wall and join at least one group. Here are some possible Facebook Groups to join: (Groups are only visible when logged in to Facebook.)

American Library Association Members
Library 2.0 Interest Group
Libraries Using Facebook Pages
Librarians and Facebook

Or see this list of the Hottest Facebook Groups for Librarians - http://oedb.org/blogs/ilibrarian/2007/hottest-facebook-groups-for-librarians/

3. Check your Facebook Profile at least once in the next week.


B. MySpace

1. Visit MySpace and visit some library MySpace pages and examine their content. Here are some library MySpace pages. You can search for others:

Alachua County Library District MySpace Page
Jacksonville Public Library MySpace Page
Pasco Libraries MySpace Page
Ask a Librarian MySpace Page

2. If you are feeling ambitious, create your own MySpace Page. Add the info to your blog.

Resources
Information Wants to be Free blog post that describes some of the pros and cons about venturing into social networks
MySpace Sign Up Step-by Step Instructions from the University of California- Santa Cruz's 23 Things project.
12 Ways to Use Facebook Professionally
7 Things You Should Know About Facebook (pdf)

Blog Prompts
Facebook
Which groups did you join and why? Reflect on why Facebook may be the fastest growing social network. Is that reputation deserved?

MySpace
How are libraries using MySpace?
Did you find anything on a library's MySpace page that would be useful for your library?
If you created your own MySpace page, how do you plan to use it?

Challenge (optional)
1. Compare and contrast Facebook and MySpace.

Back by Popular Demand

This week will be a catch up week. Please use this time to get your blogs up to date, to go back and fill in any Things you didn't complete and to post comments on each others blogs.
Enjoy your week!
Jennifer

Wednesday

Thing 17: Podcasts

The word podcast refers to a non-musical audio or video broadcast available over the Internet. Web sites may offer download or streaming of their content. A podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, using feed formats such as RSS. Podcasts take many forms. They can be short 1-10 minutes commentaries to much longer in person interviews or panel group discussions--sort of "radio on demand." There is a podcast out there for just about every interest area.

Although a portable device is handy, you don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to listen to podcasts. Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, a popular compressed format for audio files, you only need a PC with headphones or a speaker (and the ability/permission to download; check with your tech support).

There are many ways to find podcasts. This Thing introduces you to some popular podcast directory tools. Do some exploring on your own and locate a podcast that is of interest to you. Once found, you can easily pull the RSS feed into your blog reader (i.e., Bloglines or Google Reader) account, so that when new podcasts become available you’ll be automatically notified of their existence.

1. Watch “Podcasting in Plain English” from the Common Craft Show for an explanation. http://www.commoncraft.com/podcasting



2. Take a look at one or two of the podcast directories listed in the Resources section to find a podcast that interests you or listen to a local podcast in the list. Find some interesting library-related podcasts like book reviews or library news or a podcast on anything else that interests you.

3. Listen to one more of the podcasts. Link to it in your blog if you would recommend it to others.

4. Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your blog reader account.

5. Try Gcast, a simple, telephone-based tool that lets you "phone in" your podcast recording. Gcast says it's so easy your grandma could do it.

Resources
There are many, many podcast directories and finding tools out there. Here are just some of the more popular ones that don’t require a software download:

Directories
Podcast.com
Podcastalley.com
Yahoo Podcasts
Educational Podcast Directory
iTunes added iTunes U. Students can search, download and play course content that has been posted by faculty. Download iTunes (free) here for either Mac or Windows.

Blog Prompts
1. Which podcast(s) did you listen to?
2. Which of the directories did you find easiest to use?
3. Has this Thing inspired you to do any podcasting yourself or to subscribe to a podcast to listen to it regularly?

Challenge (optional)
Got something you want to share? Look at these sites for free software and hints on creating podcasts. As always, add any podcasts you create to your blog.

How to Podcast
Create Your Own Podcast
Audacity is free cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds--podcasting!

1. Create a podcast on a topic of interest to you. Post it on your blog.
2. Blog about your experience with the software and the podcasting experience.

Monday

Thing 16: YouTube

The world knows YouTube as the source of all things video on the Internet. And we do mean “all things.” The good, the bad, and the ugly are there for all to see—one reason many school districts and libraries block YouTube. Another reason is bandwidth—like music, video is a bandwidth hog. We recommend you complete this exercise during light Internet usage times.

YouTube revolutionized the way video is shared on the Internet by making it easy to upload and share videos. Other video sites have popped up, including Google Video. YouTube is owned by Google and a search of either service returns results from both sites.

There are dozens of other video sites, but among the Web 2.0 players in this area, YouTube is currently serving up over 100 million video views a day.

In this Thing, you will do some searching around YouTube or Google Video yourself and see what the site has to offer. You'll find everything from 1970s TV commercials and music videos. Plus lots of cool library stuff: library dominos, library tours, library ads, and library jokes. There's also the cult classic Conan the Librarian.

See also:
Library Musical
IT vs Librarian

Here's an entertaining Library 2.0 video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFAWR6hzZek




Of course, you’ll also find a lot stuff not worth watching. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore and see for yourself what the site has to offer.

1. Explore YouTube or Google Video and find a video worth adding as an entry in your blog. Enter a keyword or words and see what videos have that tag. Like what you find? Click on more in the About This Video box to see a list of other videos with that tag.

2. Place a YouTube video inside your blog by following these instructions. These instructions show how to place other video in a Blogger post.

3. Blog about why you chose this video, any issues you had using the sites, and other thoughts.

Resources
Other popular video hosting sites:
Yahoo Videos
Others - top video site list

Blog Prompts
What did you like or dislike about the sites you explored?
Why did you choose the video that you did?
Can you see any ways to use video--YouTube or other sites--on your library Web site?

Challenge (optional)
1. Feeling brave? Make your own video and upload it to YouTube or Google Video. Promote a program or introduce your library to the community or something else. If you do, be sure to embed it in your blog. We all want to see it!

2. Jumpcut is a Yahoo! product that lets you upload video or photos, re-mix and edit them, and produce a video. It is all online, easy to use, and with many other features, including slide shows and clips to add to yours as you build your movie. And, like most Web 2.0 tools, it offers a community of like-minded participants who want to watch your videos and share theirs with you. So jump right in and make a video to share with us. Post it to your blog and let us know just how easy it is to be creative!

Wednesday

Thing 15: Rollyo

Do you have a group of websites that are your favorites? Or a set of online resources that are similar that you frequently use to answer homework or reference questions? Well Rollyo may be the tool for you. Rollyo allows you to create your own search tool for the websites you know and trust.

Take a look at some of these search rolls that have already been created:

Public Domain e-Books Search
Rare Book Library Search
Quick Quotes
Explore other rolls here.

Try a search for broad terms like "homework” or “history” to see results listed from multiple sites.
  1. Explore Rollyo and create an account for yourself.
  2. Create a search roll for any subject you like.
  3. Add a link to your search roll in your blog.
Resources
Your Search, Your Way

Blog Prompts
Can you see a potential use for Rollyo in your library?

CHALLENGE (optional):
Add your searchroll to your blog using the "Create a Searchbox" tool.

Monday

Thing 14: Online Productivity Tools

While it may seem that the Internet is populated by people with endless time on their hands who are out to torpedo our productivity, there really are Web-based applications that can improve productivity--or at least make some things easier.

These applications fall into a variety of categories including online office tools like spreadsheets and word processing, calendars, start pages, project management tools, to-do lists, personal organizers, sticky notes, online collaboration tools, and much, much more. A search on “online productivity tools” turns up many lists of these tools.

We have already introduced you to some productivity tools—RSS aggregators like Bloglines do save time as you keep up with the news and information you need. Del.icio.us is a tool that makes bookmarking more efficient.

In this Thing, we have selected several productivity tools for you to try. Here are some tools we think have use in libraries and media centers, as well as at home.

1. Having a customized home—or “start” page—that lets you collect and organize information of importance to you all on one page can be a productivity help. iGoogle, PageFlakes, and My Yahoo! are three places to start. Each lets you choose headlines, weather reports, links to your email and RSS feeds, and dozens of other widgets (or gadgets, in Google) to manage information—or your life. Note that many widgets require a download. So, look at the intro pages for all three of these and choose one to create a customized start page. Add features, delete features, re-arrange the features on your new homepage. Each site will have widgets/gadgets to add and you can find many, many more on the Web.

Here's a Countdown widget.
Now you can calculate how much time you have to complete 23 Things @ NEFLIN!

2. Calendar: These calendars all offer similar features—add events, get reminders, search, repeat events, coding, etc. and of course, the hallmark of Web 2.0, the ability to share your calendar online. Google and Yahoo! Calendars integrate with their other services and features. Choose a calendar from this article and try it out.

3. Just about everyone makes lists. Try one of these online list tools to manage your activities. Ta da list or Remember the Milk

4. Some tools roll multiple features—calendars, lists, reminders, etc--into one service. Take a look at Backpack features.

But wait, there’s more! Here are some other tools you can explore on your own:

Online Calendars
30 Boxes
Scrybe

Sticky Notes (requires download)
StickyNotes.net
MyStickies

PDF Converters
CutePDF (requires download)
PDFConverter
Zamzar - This program will covert one file type to another. Especially handy in libraries that may not be able to open a student or patron file because it doesn’t have the right software.

Resources
Really interested in improving your productivity? Here are some lists of tools to explore. Although searching these lists and trying the tools might drain your productivity, at least until you find the tools you need.



Blog Prompts

  • Which start page did you choose?
  • Why did that one appeal to you?
  • Did you find a tool that has some uses for you at the library or at home?
  • How can the online calendars be useful to you?
  • What about the to-do lists—helpful, too much work…?
  • Did you try any of the other tools in the list?
  • Any good ones we should all try?

Challenge (optional)
1. Have a big project that you need to complete? Online productivity tools can help with complicated tasks involving multiple people, deadlines, and activities. Compare and contrast these project management services.
Let us know what you think.

Project Management Services
Basecamp
Zoho Projects

2. Explore more tools from any of the lists above. Share any you find especially useful.

Wednesday

Thing 13: Library Thing

We know you are probably a book lover, but are you cataloger at heart? Do you enjoy knowing what others are reading? Then LibraryThing may be just the tool for you. Developed for book lovers, this online tool not only allows you to easily create an online catalog of your own book collections, it also connects you to other people who have similar libraries and reading tastes.

There are lots of ways to use LibraryThing. Add a book to your catalog by just entering the title (it’s so easy that you don’t even need to know MARC format) or connect with other users through your similar reading tastes. You can view your books on a virtual shelf, add a widget on your Web site or blog to display titles that are in your catalog, or install a LibraryThing Search box on your blog. There is a lot of other interesting info, too.

Libraries have started using LibraryThing, too. Small libraries are using LibraryThing to catalog their collections. Libraries are using the LibraryThing widget on their web pages to recommend books and list new titles. Being a non-commercial site makes LibraryThing a good option for libraries. According to their website, LibraryThing "is exploring relationships with libraries, to offer non-commercially motivated recommendations and other social data."

Florida libraries and librarians are using LibraryThing for a variety of things. Explore these links:

This Broward County YA librarian used LibraryThing to track book reviews written by teens

Other groups with Florida tag in LibraryThing

So why not join the ranks of the many librarians who have added their personal collections to LibraryThing and create your own library online. With over 550,000 registered users and 33.5 million books cataloged, you’re bound to discover something new.

LibraryThing Local is a listing of book related venues and events. It includes bookstores, libraries, and festivals. Events include all type of library programs, author signings, readings, you name it. Entering a place name or zip code in the Find Venues box retrieves a list of nearby book related venues as well as upcoming events.

1. Take the LibraryThing tour and learn more.

2. Create an account--it takes seconds and will eliminate the "highload" error message you may get when trying to browse without an account.

3. Add a least 5 books to your library.

4. Blog about your use of LibraryThing. Be sure to link to your LibraryThing catalog on your blog. How popular were your books? Did you find any discussions about your favorites?

5. Try finding local events in LibraryThing Local.

Resources
About LibraryThing
Keep up with LibraryThing blog
Thingology blog “LibraryThing's ideas blog, on the philosophy and methods of tags, libraries and such not.”
How libraries are using LibraryThing
LibraryThing also has group forum for librarians

Blog Prompts
How can you use LibraryThing for your library?
How else do you share booklists, etc. with library patrons?
Would LibraryThing offer an alternative?
How can your library use LibraryThing Local?
Could you use LibraryThing to organize your home book collection?

Challenge (optional)
Do more with LibraryThing:

1. Add a LibraryThing widget to your blog or another enhancement from the Things You Can Do list.

2. Explore GoodReads, another social network site built around books and reading. With a big mission "to improve the process of reading and learning throughout the world," it connects friends who read and recommend their reading. Might be good for book clubs or other reading groups. What do you think?

3. ExploreLibraryThing for Libraries, a commercial service that enhances your library catalog with the power of Library 2.0. What do you think? Which features are available on your existing library catalog? Which features would benefit your patrons?

Monday

Thing 12: Wikis

A wiki is a collaborative Web site and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and likely the most well known of these knowledge-sharing tools. Wikis have many benefits, are easy to use, and have many applications.


Some of the benefits of wikis:

• Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.

• Tracking tools allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.

• Earlier versions of a page can be rolled back and viewed when needed.

• Users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content.


Libraries all over the country have begun to wikis to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, ALA conference wikis, staff handbook wikis, and library best practices wikis. As you will see when you view the wikis in the list below, the content of a wiki depends on the knowledge and commitment of participants.


1. Watch this Common Craft video on Wikis. It is a quick and easy intro to wikis.




2. Take a look at some library wikis and blog about your findings. Here are a few examples to get you started:


3. Add or edit an entry in the NEFLIN 23 Things Wiki or any other wiki you choose. (Note: When you create your wiki account and sign in, be sure you uncheck the box asking to receive an update every time this wiki is updated. If you don't, you will receive an email every time anyone edits the wiki.)


If you don't want to "mess up" a wiki (not really possible) practice in the Wiki Sandbox. Let us know in your blog which wiki and entry you edited.


Resources

Use these resources to learn more about wikis:
Using Wikis to Create Online Communities – a good overview of what a wiki is and how it can be used in libraries.
This 2007 presentation by Joyce Yukawa, MLIS Program, College of St. Catherine at Minnesota Library Association is a great resource on how libraries can use wikis as their Web presence.
Wiki, wiki, wiki - from the Core Competency blog of the Public Library of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County.
Wikis: A Beginner’s Look – an excellent short slide presentation that offers a short introduction and examples.
What is a Wiki? – Library Success wiki presentation.


Blog Prompts

What did you find interesting about the wiki concept?
What types of applications within libraries and schools might work well with a wiki?
Many teachers/faculty "ban" Wikipedia as a source for student research. What do you think of the practice of limiting information by format?
Which wiki did you edit?


Challenge (optional)

1. Want to create your own wiki? These sites provide free wiki hosting. http://neflins23things.pbwiki.com/ uses PB Wiki ("easy as making a peanut butter sandwich").


2. Choose a topic, create the wiki, add entries, and let us know what you are doing.

Sunday

Note

We have no plans to take down the 23 Things Blog after April 15th so if you know anyone who wanted to be part of the program, but did not register before the deadline they can still do the Things on their own time.
They will not be eligible for prizes, but they will still learn a lot.
Jennifer

Wednesday

Thing 11: Social Media

In the “olden days,” reference and information staff would scan the headlines in local and national news sources for the latest in breaking news, government reports, or celebrity scandals in an effort to be one jump ahead of library users trying to find behind the headlines information. Now there are thousands of “new” news sources—not only mainstream media online, but Internet-only news/scandal sources, blogs, chats and more—to keep up with. What’s a person to do?

One way to see what people are interested in is to check out what's popular on social media sites that allow users to nominate and then “vote” for news and other items they find interesting. There are many of these sites—and everyone from mainstream media (for example, The New York Times, slate.com, and the Washington Post) to blogs and Web sites includes links so readers can recommend content from these sites to other readers. Look for boxes labeled “Share” or “Article Tools” on news sites, blogs, and Web pages to find links for sharing the article.

These are examples: Here are some of the popular sites:

Digg “is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web...You won’t find editors at [Digg]… provide[s] a place where people can collectively determine the value of content and we’re changing the way people consume information online.”

Reddit is a “source for what's new and popular on the web…We want to democratize the traditional model by giving editorial control to the people who use the site, not those who run it.”

Newsvine lets “you...read stories from established media organizations…as well as individual contributors ... Placement of stories is determined by a multitude of factors including freshness, popularity, and reputation... editorial judgement (sic) is in the hands of the community.”

Mixx “is your link to the web content that really matters. There's a lot of information out there… And who knows better than you what informs you, what makes you think, what makes you laugh? So why should some faceless editor get to decide what's important?”

See a theme here? No editors to decide what information is important, user-generated content, reader recommendations/sharing, and you and others get to vote on what makes the top lists—the very definition of Web 2.0. And it can affect libraries—top stories/recommendations will drive reference questions and resource requests. Love it or hate, it pays to be in the know.In this Thing, learn more about the four social media sites mentioned. Then read an article and recommend it to others via the site you choose to use.

1. Watch “Social Media in Plain English” from the Common Craft Show.


2. Explore the sites above to see how each is organized and operates.
Mixx Home Page
Mixx Tour

Digg Home Page
Digg Tour

Newsvine Home Page
Newsvine Welcome

Reddit Home Page
Reddit Intro

3. Read one or more stories on a news/information site (for example, New York Times, Washington Post, BBC News, or another site) and then recommend it via the Share tools.There are other sites like these, too, including StumbleUpon, which focuses on Web sites. Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Del.ic.ious offer this sort of news/site recommendation, too.

Blog Prompts
How do you think you can use these tools in your library or at home?
Do these tools seem to be a productivity enhancer or a productivity detractor?
Have you ever read a story/item as a result of seeing it on one of these sites?

Challenge (optional)
Dig deeper into these social media sites by creating an account in one or more of them. Each site offers suites of tools that allow you to comment, chat, create your own news column, and more. Having an account lets you be a participatory member of that community.
1. Create the account(s) and explore the tools.
2. Blog about the various tools and any uses you see for your library or media center. Let us know what you do!

Monday

Thing 10: Tagging and Delicious

Tagging is a way to categorize items, like your bookmarks, Web pages, pictures, and posts. More flexible than folders, you make up tags when you need them and you can use as many as you like. The result is a way to organize your bookmarks or blog posts or other things you want to label.

Unlike traditional library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (e.g., Library of Congress subject headings), tagging is completely unstructured and free form, allowing users to create connections between data in any way they want.

In the past few weeks, we’ve already explored one site--Flickr--that allows users to take advantage of tagging. You may have tagged some of your own photos as part of that Thing. Searching tags in Flickr or another site that allows tagging lets you find other items with those same tags.

Do some tagging:
1. You can tag (Blogger calls them labels) your Blogger posts with keywords or phrases. From the Dashboard, go to Manage Posts and choose the post you want to add tags to. Enter the words in the “Labels for this post:” box in the lower right. Type in your tags (commas between each word or phase). Click Publish Post to re-publish the post with its labels (tags) to your blog.

In addition to tagging, this Thing looks at the popular social bookmarking site Delicious. Delicious is a social bookmarking manager that allows you to bookmark a Web page and add tags to categorize your bookmarks. Tags can be used in Delicious to organize your bookmarks--and let others know what you have bookmarked. Learn about tagging on Delicious.

Delicious lets you access your bookmarks from any computer--just log into your account and there they are. This is a great timesaver if you need to find a site, but can't remember its name. If you tag your Delicious bookmarks, you can search on the tags. For students, Delicious helps them use bookmarks in their research. The bookmarks are available at any computer they use in the library, the lab, or at home.

Many users find that the real power of Delicious is its social networking piece. You can see how other users have tagged similar links. Following their links lets you discover other Web sites that may be of interest to you. You can think of it as peering into another users’ file folders, but with this powerful bookmarking tool each user's folders helps to build an expansive knowledge network.

For this Thing, take a look at Delicious and learn more about this popular bookmarking tool. Continue with these activities:

2. Watch “Social Bookmarking in Plain English” from the Common Craft Show.



3. Take a look around Delicious using the NEFLIN23things account that has the resources used to create 23 Things @ NEFLIN. Here you will find links to the resources that have been highlighted or used throughout the 23 Things @ NEFLIN program. You can keep up-to-date with what’s added by subscribing to the RSS feed.

4. Explore the site options and try clicking on a bookmark that has also been bookmarked by a lot of other users. Can you see the comments they added about this bookmark or the tags they used to categorize this reference?

5. Create a Delicious account for yourself and discover how this useful bookmarking tool can replace your traditional browser bookmark list. You might even want to explore Delicious’ latest addition, a network badge.

Note: A quick word about the Delicious Buttons. On PCs that have the toolbars locked down, these will install as options in your browser bookmarks. Use the “Post to my Delicious” link to add the current webpage to your account (you may need to log in). Use the “My Delicious” link to view your online account.

Resources
Blog Prompts
  • Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about this tool.
  • Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere?
  • How can your library or media center take advantage of tagging and delicious? Look at the sites in the Resource list above to see how libraries are using Delicious.
Challenge (optional)
  1. Explore Furl, another social bookmarking site that lets you organize your bookmarks. Compare its features with Delicious.
  2. Pagekeeper is a similar service aimed at teachers--it is an ad-free site that lets you create a list of Web sites for student access. Try the bookmarking features of Pagekeeper and compare them to delicious and/or Furl. Pagekeeper is maintained by Teaching Matters, a non-profit that promotes technology integration in education.

Instant Message (IM) With Us - OPTIONAL

We have added something new to the 23 Things Blog. You now see a Meebo chat box on the right side of the page.

If you want to try Instant Messaging (Thing 8) in a safe environment...you can try it out with us. Jennifer and I will be monitoring the Meebo account and would love to practice Instant Messaging with you! If you see that one of us is "online" then just type something in the chat box and press Enter.

Sunday

CATCH UP WEEK

We've rearranged the schedule to allow people this week to catch up on their blogs. We will not post a new Thing until next Monday (February 16).

There will be one more catch up week down the line and then two weeks at the end of the program to allow you to finish up. We really do want you to be successful and complete the 23 Things.

If you are up to date PLEASE spend this time looking at the blogs others have put together for this project and commenting on them. People can always use a word of praise or a word of encouragement. This is a learning community. What you have to say is important and can inspire others to continue the journey. Please lend others a hand if you can.

I've been absolutely amazed at the wit, creativity, analysis, and positive feedback on some of these blogs. On others it is the willingness to try, to struggle, to step outside of the comfort zone that encourages me. What a beautiful spectacle the librarians of Florida make. I guess I always knew this, but when our work is displayed in one place is remarkable.

Wednesday

Thing 9: Sharing - slides, photos, databases

A hallmark of Web 2.0 is sharing--your thoughts, ideas, plans, photos, videos, and more. Many Web 2.0 tools we have or will look at are sharing tools—Flickr, YouTube, wikis, blogs, and more all let you share images, videos, and/or information. Del.ic.ious lets you share your bookmarks and the social media sites let you share your likes and dislikes on things you’ve read online.

The tools in this Thing let you share many different kinds of creations via the Web. No need for the computer to have the right software installed to open a presentation, no attachments to open, no remembering your flash drive--you just need an account (usually) and a computer with Internet access. Handy as a backup for your presentations at conferences, your vacation photos, or your book preferences. Web2.0 = Sharing!

For this Thing, explore each of the tools listed and then:

1. Choose one of the tools listed under Slideshows, Photos, or Databases and create a slideshow, photo montage, or database. Add photos or information and then link it to your blog.

Create and Share Slideshows
You can use a service like these as the primary delivery method for a presentation or you can use it to share your presentation after you have delivered it. You can share a slide deck on your library Web site to highlight a program, book displays, or anything else you can think to do. Here is an example of a shared slide show Web 2.0 Tools in Your Classroom.

Each service offers different features. Explore these tools:
Share Your Photos
Flickr and other photo hosting sites are an obvious way to share photos. The sites in this Thing offer "fancier" presentations of your photos. While these are “slide shows,” too, they don’t have the narrative flow of a formal presentation. These tools work best for vacation or library program photo sharing on a blog or Web site.

Picture Trail offers many different ways to organize and display your photos. Called Flicks, they can add pizzazz to your Web page or blog. Upload your photos to Picture Trail, arrange them into albums, choose your Flick slideshow format, and then save. Just copy the automatically-generated code and paste it into your blog where you want the Flick to appear.

Flickr badge creates a set of photos that displays horizontally or vertically. You can use your photos or everyone’s to add photo interest to your blog. (after you sign into Flicker, go to http://www.flickr.com/badge.gne).

Big Huge Labs offers many tools for using your photos to illustrate different things—billboards, name badges, motivational posters, and more. It also has a cool feature called Mosaic Maker. Upload your photos (account required) and arrange them in a grid.

All of the photos in these examples are from the NEFLIN Flickr account

Remember, "free" has a price. In the case of many Web 2.0 tools, it is advertising or "special offers." So click through the ad pages, and use the tools. In Picture Trail, once you have viewed the offers, they won't (usually) appear again.

Databases
You can create and share databases of information, too. Create a “want to read” or recommendations database and put a link on your blog or Web page.

Lazybase lets you create databases that only you can edit or allows edits from others. (Note: Some 23 Thing'ers have had difficulty accessing this site. We have updated this link, so please try again. If you still have problems let us know.)


Here is an example of a non-editable database: Award Winning Fiction

Need more or want to explore? 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story is a huge list of tools you can use to create and share online. There are tools for storytelling, scrapbooking, video, audio, remixing, cartooning, and much, much more.

Blog Prompts
  • What uses do these tools have for library or personal use?
  • Was the tool you used easy to navigate and understand?
  • Would you recommend it to others?
  • Do you use other sharing tools for photos, documents, or other creations that you would recommend?
Challenge (optional)
  1. Create one of each of the sharing types—slide show, photo montage, database, and then link the results and blog about your experience.

Monday

Thing 8: Communication - Web 2.0 Style

Many Web 2.0 tools can be tagged as communication tools. Blogs, Wikis, Flickr, podcasts, & videos all are ways to communicate and share information. Social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are communications tools for much of the (sometimes younger) population, too. The communication tools in this Thing—email, IM, and text messaging, Web Conferencing—make person-to-person or group-to-group communication easier.

Many libraries have added these communication tools as part of their online reference suite to offer users more ways to reach them. The argument for IM, email, text messaging, or a social network presence via services such as Facebook, is to reach users where they are in their preferred means of communication. We may like telephones or walk-in users, but users want to communicate with us in their preferred ways. Libraries once debated telephone reference—but that was before libraries and librarians were early adopters of new technology!

In this Thing, you will read, listen, and watch intros to these tools and how they work in libraries. There are some activities (the numbered items) to try associated with each one. Be sure to do each of the numbered items and then blog about your experiences.


1) Instant Messaging
Instant messaging (IM) is a real time communication tool that allows users to type into a chat box and send the info to one or more other IM users. It, too, can be a productivity tool or a time user. It is a popular communication among teens, as well as business people because of the instant response possible. Here is how it works.

1a. Watch this video that shows an Instant Message chat with a librarian at the University of Buffalo (Warning: music!).



There are many IM services—popular ones include AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) and Yahoo! Messenger. Both require downloads to work. Google offers two. Google Talk bundles various services including file sharing if you download the software. Web-based Google Talk does not require a download. Google Chat is built into Gmail.
1b. Read about Instant Messaging and libraries in this Library Journal article.

1c. Set up an IM account with others in your building who are participating in 23 Things @ NEFLIN. Practice IMing each other.


2) Text Messaging (SMS—Short Message Service)
Short Message Service (SMS), commonly called text messaging, lets users send short messages of up to 160 characters via cell phone or other communication device. There is a basic cost involved depending on your provider for those who send and receive text messages. With 500 billion text messages being sent per year, it seems that text messaging is permeating our culture. Are you part of the revolution?

Read this article about libraries and text messaging in Smart Libraries Newsletter.


3) Web Conferencing
Web conferencing is used to conduct live meetings or presentations over the Internet. In a web conference, each participant sits at his or her own computer and is connected to other participants via the Internet. This can be either a downloaded application on each of the attendees' computers or a web-based application where the attendees will simply enter a URL to enter the live meeting. These web-based applications are used either with Flash or Java technology.

A webinar is a type of web conference. A webinar can be one-way, with the speaker giving a presentation or it can be collaborative including question and answer or discussion sessions to allow full participation between the audience and the presenter.

NEFLIN has purchased a subscription to OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries), a low-cost Web conferencing service that offers public online programs including book discussions, interviews, special events, library training, writing workshops, and virtual tours of special digital library collections, as well as many library continuing education presentations. NEFLIN member libraries can use OPAL to offer their own online meetings and programs.

Everyone is welcome to participate in OPAL programs. Usually there is no need to register. Nearly all OPAL programs are offered free of charge to participants.

3a. Read this WebJunction Quick Guide to Web Conferencing (pdf)

3b. Look at the OPAL Archive. Find an interesting program. You don’t have to watch the whole thing if you don’t have time; watch enough to get a feel for the format.


Blog Prompts

  • Communicate your thoughts on these tools in this communication tool--your blog!
  • Describe how your library uses email. Has it improved productivity?
  • Share your thoughts on online reference using some of the other Web 2.0 communication tools.
  • Are you an active user of text messaging, IM, or other communication tools?
  • Which web conference (Webinar) did you attend? How was it? What do you think of this communication tool?

Challenge (optional)

  1. Meebo is an IM aggregator; it lets you view/chat with all of your IM accounts from one window. Nebraska Library Commission has posted a neat video showing one of their training sessions on Meebo for their staff. It's about 18 minutes long but interesting if you are considering Meebo for your library. This provides good information about working with the program and how to set up a MeeboMe widget. If you use Meebo now, or decide to try it, blog about the experience.
  2. Twitter has had a lot of play in library literature. Described as “…a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” These presentations from BIGWIG Social Software Showcase 2007 give explanations of Twitter and its expansion features:
    • Set up a Twitter account and “Tweet” with some of your co-workers or other 23 Thing participants. How can you use this in libraries?

Wednesday

Thing 7: Online Image Generators

Most of us don’t have the time or the artistic talent to create specialized graphics or logos for projects. Enter the Online Image Generator! These fun tools let you create many types of images – framed pictures, slide shows, comic-style captions, trading cards, calendars, and much more.

This exercise is all about FUN!

Why use this tool? Create trading cards of authors, scientists, historical figures, or even concepts you’re trying to teach or promote. Media specialists can support teachers by helping students create images around astronomy, algebraic equations, historical figures (“I’ll trade you two Ben Franklins for an Eleanor Roosevelt!”). Students and staff can create trading cards of themselves to help them get to know each other. Other possibilities include creating a calendar with an image related to what you’re promoting that month, or a mosaic with multiple images related to your books, videos, or other resources.

Use the images generators in summer reading programs, book clubs, training, and more. Librarians at Carleton College are using trading cards as a way to reach their students.

Graphics are a great way to convey information and can add some fun and creativity to your Web sites. Create customized images for your PowerPoint presentations, Web pages, and other projects. This is also an opportunity to think about copyright and licensing issues–some image generators use characters from popular TV shows (The Simpsons, South Park–is this legal or part of the Internet free-for-all?

The possibilities are endless! As is the time you can spend playing around with these sites—beware!

1. Play around with some of the image or text generators and find one that you like.
2. Create an image that illustrates your 23 Things @ NEFLIN activities.
3. Upload the image to your blog to share with others (be sure to include a link to the image generator itself so other participants can discover it too.) Adding the image you mocked up to your blog may be as simple as copying and pasting code that the page provides. If not, you may just need to right click on the image and then save it to your hard drive before using Blogger’s image button to add it to your post. If you’re having difficulty getting your image added to a post in your blog, ask a co-worker for help.

Resources
Tag made by tiny tags found on the Generator Blog.

Blog Prompt

  • Consider how you can use these tools in your library or media center.