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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

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

Pew Internet quiz: what’s your type?

I’m still catching up on my email from vacation. One of the goodies I found was the Pew Internet report, A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users, and an accompanying quiz to help me figure out my technology type. I’m an omnivore! According to Pew, omnivores make up 8 percent of the American public and “use their extensive suite of technology tools to do an enormous range of things online, on the go, and with their cell phones.” We’re “highly engaged with video online and digital content” and creative participants in cyberspace.

Go ahead… take the quiz and tell us your type!

15 May 2007 Posted by | internet, research | 17 Comments