Friday, 23 July 2010

Maps are fun!

I think it's safe to say that the maps task has been a bit of a hit around here. From looking at the both google maps and open street map, I now know I live about 25.3 miles from work which is about a half hour car journey, a 7 hour walk or 2 loooong hours on public transport...that will be due to the age old '1 bus every fortnight' timetable that seems to have been operating around my village since I was about 10 years old then.


I've used google maps a lot before to help me navigate my way to places. I find it really useful that as well as the typical street names, google maps points out handy landmarks and restaurants so that when I'm walking along and suddenly spot something, I know I'm on the right track. Open Street maps also seemed to use this kind of feature well. Street View is brilliant and also mind boggling how it is actually even possible although it does have the potential to be a little bit creepy...I zoomed into my sisters bedroom window but you couldn't see anything so I think we're safe for now!

The Tim Berners Lee video was really interesting to watch and just goes to show that it really is brilliant what you can do with these map mash much potential for so many things!

Afterall, I can now calculate my imaginary cab fare in New York (it's going to cost me 39 dollars to get from JFK to New York Public Library), find the cheapest petrol in my area and even avoid a disease outbreak...thank you maps!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

LibraryThing, Facebook and Linkedin

Onwards and upwards and this week it's time to look at LibraryThing (catching up again!), Facebook and LinkedIn.

My thoughts on LibraryThing

The world's largest book club, social cataloguing for books. I can definately see the possibilities of LibraryThing and how it can showcase new acquisitions, but I think it's possibly got more uses for individual book lovers, book groups or small libraries and collections. It's a possibility students may go to LibraryThing and use it as a tool to view recent acquisitions or read a review of a particular book in the library, but I don't know how many would actually be bothered to do this. Seems like a fun site though. Who doesn't like books, or talking about them - it's a perfect place to do just that and get recommedations for further reading. In terms of ease of use, I had the opportunity to use LibraryThing on my job swap and found it quite easy to navigate. So all in all, a resource to come back to when I need to read a review of a book (if I don't go to the usual haunt Amazon first...) or if I suddenly feel the urge to be super organised and want to keep track of everything I read.

My thoughts on Facebook

I first became aware of Facebook at university about 4 years ago and have probably had a profile since about then. I don't use it as much as when the craze first kicked off, but I do use it quite a lot to keep in touch with friends scattered in various places in the U.K and other countries. It's also great for sharing photos (although I do really like the Flickr option since exploring it). Before facebook, I used to have a myspace, a sort of rubbish version of fb. I just tried to log on to it to make some comparisons but sadly couldn't remember my password (damn! was quite looking forward to reading some cringe worthy 17 year old exchanges between myself and my friends). The only thing that lets facebook down is the privacy issue, the 'I'm sacking you because you have put details about how much you hate your job online so that everyone can see' issue, or even worse, the divorces, the murders (!) triggered by something that has been read on facebook or a 'relationship status' change. Facebook certainly don't make it easy to make your profile private, or your photo albums, or your personal info (it takes a lot of hunting around to do!) but if you are worried about privacy issues, it is do-able. My profile is private and only those I choose, i.e. my actual friends I know in person (not all of those in my the networks I'm a part of) can see my photos/posts on my wall etc.

I've taken a look at the facebook groups (or 'pages') for the various libraries in Cambridge. I have to say, I do quite like them, although as LottieMSmith puts it so brilliantly in her blog post, there is a wariness when considering the "'dad at the disco syndrome' where we try to impress the Youff with our Kool FB pages." You're never going to get every student joining the group (obviously), but I think it's quite a personable, friendly way to get the message across to those who do decide to join up. Also from setting up groups and events on facebook before, it's really quick to do and easy to maintain.

My thoughts on Linkedin

From looking at the further reading, Linkedin has been around since the time of myspace. "LinkedIn is not your teenager’s MySpace. LinkedIn is not your great aunt’s Facebook. LinkedIn means business." My professional radar was pretty much non-existent at 17, so thats why my thoughts on Linkedin probably used to be "I don't really know all of its uses, but my dad has one, so it's probably a bit boooooring." However, it has caught my interest over the past year, and now from looking at a couple of the example profiles and seeing how it all works, it seems to me like it is the opposite of facebook and may prove to be useful for professional development, just like I found twitter to be. Facebook = for fun, for friends, for non work time. Linkedin and twitter = for professional purposes, networking, contacts, knowledge, etc.

Follow that reader answers

Very late handing in my homework. Here are my answers for our quick fire round newton follow that reader optional extra test! Phew!

1. WN 18.51.1
2. X Not held
3. X Not held
4. WS 18.115-1-2
5. X Not held. Held at UL AT c203.c.7121 (We do have a paediatrics version at WS. 18.65.1-2 but that's the closest we get)
6. WS 18.76
7. WS 18.92
8. WS 18.86
9. X Not held
10. WS 18.125.2

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

YouTube love

I confess. I'm a total YouTube addict and I know the reason why. It all hails back to the late nineties...say 1998. I'm 13 and my sister and I are absolutely obsessed with the top 40 chart on a Sunday. Not even the thought of double physics on a Monday morning could stop our complete and utter joy at this 'event of the week.' We were so obsessed with listening from start to finish that once we even refused to come downstairs for our Sunday dinner (oh there were tears that day!) Anyway the point is, we would sit there and obsessively record on our cassette player the singles each week from the chart. We'd then play this tape back, again and again, all week, until the next Sunday. Surviving on pocket money could only get you so far, one single from woolies and that was it, all gone! But with the beauty of the cassette tape and the sony walkman...the world of tragic 90's tunes was my oyster.

With YouTube it's like a shiny version of the sony's's online...and you don't have to wait 6 days to listen/watch anything new. Most of all though, you don't have to keep jabbing at the 'record' key really quickly and then rewinding it back a million times during the week (and it was at least a million). Before I knew things like Spotify existed, it was YouTube all the way. At uni when I was a poor student, it was great for watching music videos or random plays of songs I just really couldn't be bothered (or liked enough) to download properly. With YouTube I also get to watch dodgy recordings of performances I don't have the chance to go and see...look up a tutorial of how to...well do just about anything. YouTube can also save your sanity when somebody records over the season finale of your favourite tv series (I mention no names...)

But the number one reason why I love youtube:-

There are some completely crazy videos out there. So you definately have to use your own judgement and weed out what you want from what can be sometimes quite frankly, the utterly bizarre.

"This is a liiiiibrary." Well Cookie Monster, if you came to our library, you might not get any cookies but there is definately a chance you might get some cake!

I wonder what would happen if all the Cam 23ers vlogged, instead of blogged?

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Follow that reader...

This week we're having a little break from 'things' and doing a follow instead. This afternoon we have been following reader registration (that's an 0, not an O...and a 5 not an S) and then we got to pretend we were readers ourselves and test our basic skills out (and our memories!)

Can we remember how to do a double sided photocopy, add printer credit, scan a document and log onto the wireless network? 'Simple!' I hear you cry! Why are we all wasting our time bothering with that? Answer? It's a valuable refresher exercise. If you're working from the 'other side' of the desk, there's a chance you might forget how to do these tasks or not quite be up to scratch. And how embarassing would that be if a reader asked you how to do one of them and you didn't know...or possibly even worse, making an attempt and failing...(the binder and several 'Sheila, I'm getting in a right mess!' moments spring to mind)

So I've brushed up on my double sided photocopying and am now up to speed with enlarging and shrinking documents (hopefully I've got the knack!), logged onto the wireless network numerous times throughout the past two days whilst working away in the 'cage' on the far side of the library and scanned in a document as well (see above).

Finally...I took on my arch enemy...the binder. I'm really forgetful with this piece of equipment especially while readers are patiently waiting to bind their work and my brain turns into goo. However, I've now had a good practice with it so hopefully I should be able to wow anyone who comes in next with my fantastic binding skills! Watch this space!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Slideshare and Delicious (again!)

Slideshare. Well 23 Things just keeps throwing useful resources out there at me! I've had a good hunt around several presentations that have been shared by others on a few topics which we've already looked at over the past few weeks (Twitter etc) I like how you can browse by 'events' and 'categories' as well and I also found some slideshows from old lecturers. If you can't be there in person, sharing the slideshow is surely a good second option.

Now I'm going to have a try at embedding a slideshow...let's see if this works....


And as for a bit of 23 Things crossover that has worked in my favour...I'd like to lead your here to my post on Delicious which was my thing 10 for the Med Lib 23 things but can now also be my thing 12 for Cam 23 things :-)

Testing out wireless access on the library laptop

Dear reader,

After a long, hot and interesting day spent at the open day over at the UL, here I am back in the lovely Medical Library wirelessly writing to you from the library laptop. Logging on was simple as abc and it's always good to practice the things that readers will be asking you how to do! (I better get brushing up on my binding skills...) As an inquisitive young lady (I did get mistaken for an 18 year old many times over the past two days afterall...woohoo!) this is definately something I don't like to happen...the not knowing the answer to an enquiry I should know the answer to I mean. So brushing up on basic skills in a practical manner like this is always a plus. Also it's quite nice to be blogging away from the desk...although I think I'll be happy to get back to the air conditioned office in a minute :-)