Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Cruel (cruel) summer

Two weeks from this coming Monday, August 25th to be precise, is the first day of the fall 2008 semester. Like many teachers, I am helplessly looking back over the summer months wondering how it got away from me. My "to do" list is as long now as it was in May. Among other things, my regularly scheduled summer weeding projects of checking activity books, curriculum textbooks, materials kits, and adjusting the shelves on the back half of the juvenile collection, remains untouched. The one thing I had high hopes of completing, the thing I put everything else on the back burner for, is far from done. Yes, I am referring to the library web site -- still screaming "get me content" -- on the inside.

This afternoon the song Cruel Summer by Bananarama kept running through my head. It was one of those things, like the smurf song (la, la, la la la la, la, la la, la laaa), it just refused to go away.

Soooo, here's the video link to YouTube - Cruel Summer, Bananarama. At least I refrained from posting yet another embedded video here.

My summer has been a technology challenge of web site building, learning a new "2.0 content management and information sharing system designed specifically for library's" - LibGuides, and moving my course over to Angel Learning Management System recently adopted by the university. Don't get me wrong, these are great tools for the library and I am thrilled to be using them. But right now I'm 2.0 tired of my computer, hence the sparing posts through the summer months.

I have, with no exaggeration, spent entire eight-hour days that have rolled into weeks, and possibly months, building the new web site from scratch; learning how to use Dreamweaver templates, creating spry widget menus, and managing the web committee with sometimes less tact than I should have displayed. These have been great tools for me to learn and the end will be worthwhile. Progress has been made, but the site will not debut at the beginning of this fall term.

LibGuides is great; you should have seen the line of interested librarians for their booth at ALA. The system is pretty much idiot proof, it's a drop, drag, click environment, with a wonderfully professional end product. Currently, librarians are responsible for content in their liaison area. I took a short break, a breather really, from web site work and in the last several days have created several guides. Yep, it's fun. Check out a listing of libraries, public and academic, using LibGuides. As to Angel, I started that today. It is replacing our previous course management system WebCT / Blackboard. Seems straightforward, time will tell.

On that note, time to chill out with Project Runway ("make it work") and then Shear Genius (my attention is wandering with the same old hair each week). Yesterday was another new episode of Eureka! And the new cast for Dancing with the Stars is to be announced at the end of the month. Rumor has it that a few of the names have been leaked ... gasp!

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