Books, babuskas and big huge labs

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Good Reads I like. I’m a voracious reader and I’m always on the look-out for what to read next, as well as what to recommend to others, so being able to find out what others have enjoyed in a new way is great. I’m also a very visual person, so the use of covers works well for me. I have an annoying tendency to sometimes forget the titles of books I’ve really enjoyed, so I like having a way to record this info, and similarly I think having a handy way to note down my to-read list will be handy. It would be fantastic if we could link from Good Reads directly into the library catalogue…

Big Huge Labs, on the other hand, leaves me cold. I find it clunky and most of the things it can produce I find visually unappealing. Perhaps I’m too fussy! Anyway, here is a picture of my library welcoming committee…

These 2 dolls were on my desk on my first day. Where they came from I don't know, but I like babushkas (or technically matryoshkas) so they made me feel at home. If they are yours, please let me know and I'll send them home.

Eek, audio books!

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I made the mistake of trying to download an e-audio book from Clipper on Friday the 13th. Aaargh, what a nightmare!!! The site was slow and very confusing, and although I tried to follow the instructions carefully it took several attempts to get the software successfully downloaded. I also found it very annoying that as a Mac user I had to enter my credit cards details to create an Apple-ID account so that I could download the appropriate free software (some might argue this is Apple’s fault, but is this software really necessary? Bolinda make their audio downloads work without it). Initially I found the process so frustrating that I gave up for the day, deciding to return when I’d had the chance to calm down and stopped muttering things like “One click!?! What do you mean one click? More like fifty clicks and a nervous breakdown…”

I was heartened today by my experience with Bolinda. Logging in was simple, and navigating the site was too. I discovered that using the Advanced Search function allowed me browse by genre, which helped me to quickly pick out Judith Lucy’s Lucy Family Alphabet from the comedy section. A few simple clicks later, and within five minutes or so, the whole book was downloaded and I was listening to the first chapter. Excellent!

So I decided to brave Clipper again. I clicked on the icon for One Click Digital which now appears on my desktop, ready to log in. “Select your user profile” it says above a box with a drop down menu which is entirely blank. “Hmmm, hopefully this is a minor glitch”, I thought. I typed in the username and password I set up last week, and it took me to the next screen: “Select the library”. Options included the State Library of Kansas and the Albuquerque Public Library, but MVLS was nowhere to be seen. Drat. Returning to the start, I tried entering my library card and pin combo, only to get this message: “Your username is incorrect or you are not affiliated with any libraries.” Once again, I’ve had my fill of Clipper for the day.

I will give Clipper’s One-Click-Digital another go. I actually do want to listen to the book I’ve picked out (Mike Gayle’s The To-Do List), and hopefully it will be third time lucky. But, if I didn’t work for a library I would have given up on Clipper long ago. I do like the Clipper range, but using the Bolinda e-audio books is so much easier.

Soaking up information

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At the moment I feel like I need to be an information sponge. There is so much I need to learn to do my new job: new spaces to navigate; new names and faces to learn; new policies and procedures to implement; new tools and resources to trial and explore; new networks to build; and new skills and knowledge to develop.

Any tool that might help me to improve my current awareness, discover new resources, or perhaps network with colleagues in the Information Services field also sounds pretty relevant right now.

Theoretically Twitter and RSS should be excellent tools for this, but I must admit I’m a little hesitant. I’ve played with these tools a little in the past without really taking to them. I think the issue is finding the right people/bloggers/channels to subscribe too, and perhaps the right number so as to keep enough info coming in to make it worthwhile, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming. I’ve just set up my new Twitter account and subscribed to a few different library feeds. I’ll try to use these tools for a while, and hopefully, I’ll find ways to employ them usefully… But there is so much new information for me to process right now that this process may take a little time, and a fair bit of tweaking.

In the immediate future I suspect that my new colleagues and the Q drive will remain my favoured sources of new information. But perhaps in a week or two, I’ll find a bit more brain space for the feeds and the tweets.

Introducing the Information Builder

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Hello colleagues! I’m starting this Web2.0 Refresher Course a little late because I’ve only just joined your library service. I want to join in though, because not only will it be a great way to refresh my Web2.0 skills, and learn about a few online tools that I probably haven’t stumbled across yet, I’m hoping that a little bit of reciprocal blog reading will help us to get acquainted.

As I’m an Information Services librarian I’m planning to blog about how the various tools can be applied to Info Services at a public library, and perhaps also about the process of building my knowledge of my new role. So Information Builder seemed like an appropriate title. Plus mentioning building gives me an excuse to reference and include images relating to one of my favourite hobbies… You can probably guess what that is!