T h e U t o p i a n L i b r a r y

w o r k ▪ p l a y ▪ l e a r n ▪ s h a r e

first steps

At her CiL2007 session on Accelerated Planning, Rebecca Jones defined a stakeholder as any person who can offer a “stake of support or a stake in the heart.” I like this definition. It’s visual, easy to remember, and keeps me mindful of who needs to be first on board our library’s L.2 dreamboat as we paddle toward success.

Jenn and I had a great meeting with a few of those stakeholders this week. They are supportive, enthusiastic, and they crack a few big smiles when we explain how our project plans will benefit the library and help meet its goals for the coming year. Some of this is new to them, so Jenn and I do our best to describe things like toolbar customization, portal pages, feeds, ‘casts and… Guitar Hero!

Speaking of toolbar customization and portal pages, we’re still working on that, testing features, integrating the design with our Web site, and getting the thing ready for internal playtime later this summer. Jenn and I have run into a couple of walls between what we want the toolbar to do and what the hosting company has it programmed to do. We’ve sustained only minor forehead bruises, but we’ll get through with a few good lunches and some chocolate. And the webmistress is now on board. She knows much more than I about some of the work we need to do to make the toolbar work the way we’d like it to.

But for now, it’s a lovely Saturday in Chicago. iGoogle tells me to expect a high of 89 and maybe rain, so I’d best get on my bike real soon if I want to beat the clouds!

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16 June 2007 Posted by | cil2007, computers in libraries, library 2.0, progress | Leave a comment

iTunes U podcasts

I was browsing the iTunes online store for free goodies and found the new iTunes U, a.k.a., “The Campus that Never Sleeps.” iTunes U is packed with free college- and university-authored audio and video podcasts from that can be played on any PC, Mac, or iPod. You get to iTunes U through the iTunes software, which is also free and PC friendly.

iTunes U currently lists 16 participating universities including ASU, Duke, MIT, Stanford, Texas A&M, and UC Berkeley. The storefront features ‘cast subscriptions for ASU’s Introduction to Exercise Science & Wellness, Stanford’s Geography of World Cultures, Penn State’s Research Unplugged, and Lit2Go: Audio Files for K-12 from USF’s College of Education. There’s even an audio/video course in Elementary Greek from Concordia University, complete with pronunciation help.

I downloaded one audio- and one videocast to check the file format. Audio is encoded in MP3. This is a good thing, as users don’t need an “iPod” to listen on the go… any MP3 player will do. The videocast is MPEG-4, which also plays well with other portable devices that support video.

iTunes U is definitely worth a look, a download, and a link at the reference desk (if your network manager is willing to install iTunes, of course).

I couldn’t find any shirts or mugs, though. Bummer… I’d really like a t-shirt!

4 June 2007 Posted by | innovation, internet, learning, web resources | Leave a comment

“here’s to the crazy ones”

iPod Hacks pointed me to a “modern adaptation of the classic John Dreyfus-narrated ‘Here’s to the crazy ones’ Think Different Apple ad.” The ad is for the machine, but it’s also a great tribute to L2.0 warriors everywhere. You know who you are… stand up, be counted, and take a look:

3 June 2007 Posted by | change, library 2.0, play, progress | Leave a comment

public library service responses and we

Our recent Strategic Planning meetings included talk of the Public Library Associations proposed Planning for Results Service Responses. How does our library meet (or not meet, dare say) the needs of our community with the resources, programs, and services we provide? Details aside, Jenn and I shook out our Web site to see how we fit into each of the proposed Service Responses. We’ve got some great staff-authored indexes, original content, and program information on our Web site and much of it serves one or more of the 18 Responses. It’s one long list, so grab a bottle, cup, or can of whatever keeps you going and take a look around our Web site. We’re open 24/7.

  1. Be Informed Citizens: Local, National, and World Affairs
  2. Build Successful Enterprises: Business and Non-Profit Support
  3. Celebrate Diversity: Cultural Awareness
  4. Connect to the Online World: Public Internet Access
  5. Create Young Readers: Early Literacy
  6. Discover Your Roots: Genealogy and Local History
  7. Express Creativity: Create and Share Content
  8. Get Facts Fast: Ready Reference
  9. Know Your Community: Community Resources and Services
  10. Learn to Read and Write: Adult, Teen, and Family Literacy
  11. Make Career Choices: Job and Career Development
  12. Make Informed Decisions: Health, Wealth, and Other Life Choices
  13. Satisfy Curiosity: Lifelong Learning
  14. Stimulate Imagination: Reading, Viewing and Listening for Pleasure
  15. Succeed in School: Homework Help
  16. Understand How to Find, Evaluate, and Use Information: Information Fluency
  17. Visit a Comfortable Place: Physical and Virtual Spaces
  18. Welcome to the United States: Services for New Immigrants

2 June 2007 Posted by | internet, libraries, web resources | 1 Comment