Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

no more bloglines

I was somewhat distressed to see the above announcement regarding my Bloglines account last week. Sure I posted about downtime on more than one occasion, but I like using Bloglines and still find RSS feeds useful for following sites and other blogs. I had the account for four years, a lifetime on the web, and liked the simplicity of the layout and functionality. A statement from Bloglines was available on the Blog post Bloglines Update (9-10-10).

With trepidation and annoyance and because I already have a Gmail account, I moved my feeds to Google Reader. I've been using Google Reader for a week; I am not particularly impressed. This is partly due to having to make the change - and a feeling that big brother is taking over the world.

It's only been a week.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2010

Each year this anniversary arrives and each year it is as difficult to fathom as it was that day. As I scroll through TV channels on this bright fall-like morning, stations are marking events taking place in and around NY, the Pentagon, and PA. For me, the most difficult to watch is MSNBCs archived telecast from that day running in real-time. I'm listening to former First Lady Laura Bush's remarks at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville,PA and will pause today to pray and remember.

Friday, September 03, 2010

What happened to summer?

Today we finished week two of the new academic school year. The ease with which everyone settled back into a familiar routine of homework, meetings, and finding a favorite library work spot, makes it is almost like summer never happened. I'm once again working as an adjunct for our COE teaching sections of an online technology course, always a great opportunity for me personally and professionally.

One of the course assignments is working with emerging technology, I'm able to explore new resources and adapt them into the library online presence. In the last few weeks I've had fun working with Animoto and Screencast-O-Matic, great resources for instructional videos. There are free versions of both that are web-based, no download necessary (yeah). Though both have advertising (embedded logos) and time limits in the free version, however neither is detrimental to the finished product. Both also offer reasonable pricing for additional functions and the removal of the advertising. I've created projects and embedded them in Angel, LibGuides, and blogs (oh, my).

Week three, here we come ...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blogger comments

After consistently deleting (and deleting and deleting) more spam comments today I was thrilled to see this news announcement on my blog dashboard yesterday; "We have enabled automatic spam detection for comments on some blogs. You should occasionally check the comments in your spam in-box." - Blogger Help

I am not sure how wide-spread the spam detection is, but this blog and several library profession blogs I author had the option available to use. On one blog the comment spamming was bad enough I set it to moderate, so this is a welcome update. For more information, read the Blogger Buzz post, New Comments System on Blogger (8-10-10).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Veil of Night

In Linda Howard's,Veil of Night, wedding and event planner Jaclyn Wilde is deftly juggling a series of six weddings in five days for Premier. When Carrie Edwards, a particularly difficult and demanding bride (one who puts the 'zilla" in Bridezilla, bless her heart) becomes unmanageable, Jaclyn is able to salvage her reputation and the bill - at least until the bride-to-be is murdered. One of the last people to see Carrie alive, Jaclyn becomes one of many viable suspects investigated by Detective Eric Wilde. Complicating matters, Eric and Jaclyn shared a passionate encounter the night before Carrie was murdered. As the investigation widens, Eric learns few mourn the bride's death and now the killer is focused on one potential witness - Jaclyn. Brimming with intrigue, passion, suspense and seasoned with characters who have humor and wit, this is one eventful night.

Veil of Night is what I consider vintage Linda Howard; Mr. Perfect, Open Season, Dream Man, and Killing Time, feature strong characters, humor, great dialogue, mystery and plenty of sizzle. Jaclyn's father was left a bit adrift towards the end (easy for me to say) and I was not particularly surprised by the killer's identity, but the characters make this title well worth the time and a second read is imminent.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Random thoughts ...

My netbook got a bit cranky this evening, taking a good fifteen minutes to run various updates and a bit longer to fully re-charge.  Guess that's the penalty for letting it sit inert for over ten days.

I waffle between using blogger in draft and regular blogger. I like blogger in draft for it's realistic preview option, especially in conjunction with the new templates, the stats because I just love that stuff and can compare them with feedburner, statcounter, and I especially like the 'undo' button. I like traditional blogger because I can drag image size to suit me instead of having to choose a preset size, the simpler link options are easier to use, and it loads quicker.  Guess I'll just keep alternating to suit my moods.

A new season of Project Runway premiered last week! It will take time for a favorite to emerge, at least for me, but I already question the judges decision to keep some of the bottom players last week.

I am really disappointed in the 'apprentice-like' look to the new season of Design Star.  I have seen two episodes and miss Clive and the overall kitchiness previous seasons featured.  It's too slick for my taste and I don't care about the designers.

Warehouse 13 and Eureka are off to great starts this season.  Last night's cross-over event was well done.  But I have to wonder, if the Eureka characters to go back in time again then return to their old reality, where does that leave the cross-over events?  The Warehouse 13 episodes happened in their new reality - Fargo even said he was running GD.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Personalizing Firefox

I spent a happy twenty minutes or so this evening fiddling with the header of my Firefox browser using their new persona option. After the automatic download of the latest version of Firefox, 3.6.8, loaded a second tab opened tempting me to personalize the look of my browser. There are a significant number of options available, including film and television, music, nature, and sports.

I quickly narrowed my search to film and tv - Despicable Me minions, Toy Story 3, and Harry Potter - and sports - most notably Pittsburgh Steelers. After applying several personas, I went with the HP book cover for Deathly Hallows. Why? I liked the colors, so many options were dark and made it difficult to locate and use browser options. This option is significantly better than the recent Google personalization because it covers only the browser header as opposed to the entire open window. Additionally, there is no lag time when Firefox opens for use. All and all, I like their persona and will probably change my mind more than once.

Monday, July 19, 2010

ALA 2010: ARCs from the Stacks

My bag of books from last year's ALA Annual in Chicago remains unread (and I promise this photo is new). This year my plan was the same, take no more than a one bag of books I would read. I was lucky enough to get two titles autographed and stuck to my plan. Of course, traveling by car made it a bit simpler as there was a serious lack of room in the trunk for our return trip home.

The autographed titles? I happened to be walking past a booth where Nikki Grimes was signing ARCs of her latest, A Girl Named Mister. and in the next aisle was Janet Mullany and her ARC Jane and the Damned. Both authors were extremely gracious with a smile and friendly word for each person in line.

Other ARC's included:

It remains to be seen how many I read, but the list is definitely more varied than ARCs from past conferences. There is one title missing, a book I read waiting for a session to begin ... if only I could remember the title.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

ALA 2010: Book Cart Drill Team

A trip to ALA Annual is not complete until the Book Cart Drill Team competition! View the rest of the videos, including the opening and closing "ceremonies," on the Demco YouTube Channel.

ALA 2010: The Hotel

ALA Annual 2010, Washington DC, is here and gone; I'm still unpacking my small bag of goodies and uploading pictures. For the first time, I was able to not only stay at an official ALA hotel, but also reserve said hotel through the ALA web site.

As is often the case when preparing to attend ALA annual, my blog narrative begins with procrastination; I waited to register until I knew funds may be available from work.  I waited to find a hotel until I knew family traveling with me to the conference could finagle time off work. The chain of events worked well for registration, I got in the final day for advance registration, but not so well with my initial hotel search.

Several evenings of searching usual travel sites (Travelocity, Orbitz,, AAA, and Expedia) returned single hotel rooms starting at $250 and I needed two rooms for four days.  I checked the ALA conference site for available hotels on a whim and half an hour later had reservations - two rooms, plural, at the Holiday Inn Capitol at a significantly lower conference rate. Not as grand as my hotel accommodations while at ALA Annual in 2007, this hotel was one block from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, an open air pool on the roof (pictured above), and free Internet access. Even better, the Gale shuttle bus picked up right outside the lobby doors throughout my conference stay.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Out of Beta

Both Blogger Buzz and the Official Google Blog announced the Blogger Design Template is now out of draft format: Blogger Buzz: Blogger Template Designer Now Available to Everyone and Official Google Blog: Blogger Template Designer Now Available to Everyone

"Since the launch, we fixed many bugs and added even more themes and background images. But the Blogger Template Designer has only been available on Blogger in Draft, which is why we’re excited to announce that the Blogger Template Designer is now available to everyone." -- Blogger Buzz, 6/10/2010

The change is immediately noticeable upon (first) log in as a pop-up details the design options update for users. I am a bit concerned with how videos appear after embedding, sometimes they disappear, but maybe that is one of the bugs will fix in the near future. I've spent time adjusting my blog layout using the new design template (see here, here, here, here, and here) and have to admit I am a bit tantalized by the claim they have "added even more themes and background images."

What would it hurt to just take a look?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Side-step for next fall

Moving in to the second week of our first summer session, the juvenile "new book" shelf is empty and awaits titles ordered via my final spending spree. Though a temporary sad sight, it is also fraught with hope since new books are coming soon. I liberated a few picture books that caught my attention to use for next fall's Mock Caldecott session. I suffered a momentary pang of guilt checking these out through September, but it's better than hoarding them in my office while patrons search the stacks in vane.

Two caught my attention immediately; Chalk is an eye-catching wordless picture book and Palazzo Inverso is an extremely clever offering that reads beginning to end and back again. Here are the five titles I pulled:

Friday, April 23, 2010

A step in the right direction

I have not read a new children's book in some time, and this afternoon had the dreaded question put forth by one of the resource center frequent patrons. "What's the best new book you've read that would be appropriate for sixth graders?" We talked for a few minutes, I copped to my reading transgressions, and I sent her to the collection blog to peruse new titles. Neither of us fully satisfied, but understanding that was the best option available.

Chagrined, this afternoon I quickly and quietly pilfered four titles from the cart of children's books awaiting delivery to the new book shelf; two graphic novels and two general fiction:
  • Bird House, by Vernon White
    The King has grown old and lonely and is ferociously hated in his Kingdom. When a servant attempts to poison him, an all-out search begins for those who resist his rule. Meanwhile, the King's only daughter despises her life in the castle. She dreams of returning to a town she once visited, but is forbidden to take one step outside of the castle walls. Her plans to escape strain her relationship with her fiance who has sworn to protect the King. Her only hope falls on an absent-minded servant hired within the castle to do construction. With his help, she hopes to recapture the freedom she so briefly felt. With a fairy-tale-like setting, combined with modern themes of isolation, obligation, and longing, Birdhouse is a magical debut graphic novel from new talent Vernon White. -- Amazon product description

  • Booth, by C.C. Colbert
    In a time when brother was pitted against brother, no family was more divided than the Booths.The United States has become violently polarized. Political fanaticism divides an embittered populace. A recently elected President—an energizing symbol of change for some, and a harbinger of the downfall of America for others—stands at the center of the turmoil. It is 1865, and John Wilkes Booth is about to assassinate the President of the United States. From the pen of American historian C.C. Colbert and the brush of French comics master Tanitoc comes a thought-provoking perspective on one of the greatest villains of U.S. History: a killer who was also an actor, a lover, a doubter, and, in his own mind, a patriot. -- Amazon product description

  • Once, by Morris Gleitzman
    Felix, a Jewish boy in Poland in 1942, is hiding from the Nazis in a Catholic orphanage. The only problem is that he doesn't know anything about the war, and thinks he's only in the orphanage while his parents travel and try to salvage their bookselling business. And when he thinks his parents are in danger, Felix sets off to warn them--straight into the heart of Nazi-occupied Poland. To Felix, everything is a story: Why did he get a whole carrot in his soup? It must be sign that his parents are coming to get him. Why are the Nazis burning books? They must be foreign librarians sent to clean out the orphanage's outdated library. But as Felix's journey gets increasingly dangerous, he begins to see horrors that not even stories can explain. -- Amazon product description

  • Alchemy and Meggy Swann, by Karen Cushman
    "Fans of Karen Cushman's witty, satisfying novels will welcome Meggy Swann,newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy's mother was glad to be rid of her; her father, who sent for her, doesn't want her after all. Meggy is appalled by London,dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in--not that getting around is ever easy for someone who walks with the help of two sticks.Just as her alchemist father pursues his Great Work of transforming base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation. Earthy and colorful, Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has gifts in store for Meggy Swann." - Amazon product description

Out of curiosity I checked; I haven't posted a juvenile book review here since early October, Angry Management. I hope one of these four books changes that sad, sorry, state of affairs.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

But, my blogs ...

Sure, this is pretty ... but I miss the goofy looking plumber who appears when the "pipes" are down. Now I am challenged to exercise patience and not check Bloglines every five minutes throughout the morning.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blogging year four

Today is the four-year anniversary of my blog. I should have something thoughtful, clever, or unique to post commemorating the date, but am at a loss.

Here's a look at previous anniversary posts: Three year anniversary, Two year anniversary (date) & missed milestone, and the year one post.

This post is number 750; I like to think my writing has improved and admit I have fallen into the bad habit of posting videos if at a loss. I plan to return to book review posts in the near future and to that point have been perusing the new book shelf and preparing book orders this week. Blog on.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More Pens ...

I love the Post-Gazette's sport blogs. I'm not the only youtube junkie.

I think these should have been Pens only highlights ...

The Pens are behind in the second period this evening, but it's never too late in hockey. Maybe Sid will get that elusive 50th goal tonight.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Pens last game @ the igloo

From the Pittsburgh Penguins web site: More Than 50 Former Pittsburgh Penguins Help Celebrate Final Regular-Season Game at Mellon Arena.

"The game marked the 1,667th and final regular season game played at the Arena before the Penguins move across the street to the sparkling new Consol Energy Center next season."

They won this evening with a good old-fashioned barn-burner against the Islanders; Crosby hits 50 as Penguins rout Islanders. Years ago that 7-3 score in favor of the home team would have been a "chili goal."

Let's see if they can get through round one of the playoffs and send the igloo out in style.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

More mini blogging

Today's netbook accessory purchase was a lime green laptop sleeve. I spent a great deal of time debating on a sleeve verses a traditional computer case; the sleeve will let me put the netbook into an already existing travel bag. Buying the 11 inch netbook instead of the 10.2 inch version meant having to move up a size for the sleeve. It's not much of an issue since now there may be room for my mouse and the plug.

On another topic, a new episode of NCIS meant I missed who got booted off of Dancing with the Stars! What happened to the results show being in the 9 pm time slot? Looks like it was Buzz.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Mini blogging

A quick stop after work garnered a logitech usb mouse and several 2 liter bottles of diet Pepsi, both on sale (thank you very much). The Pepsi was a nice compliment to dinner, and the mouse a necessary component for my HP mini. I've begun the process of adding bookmarks, what needs to be loaded and/or downloaded to this machine (without getting carried away), and considering other purchasers (case and maybe a cheap microphone). 

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Harry Potter & Celebrity Apprentice

Not a big fan of Celebrity Apprentice, I was oddly intrigued this evening when I happened upon the episode featuring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter scheduled to open at Universal Studios this summer. The task required players to create and present a 3-d exhibit to studio execs and HP fans. I thought teams both were a bit condescending when presenting to the fans and wonder how much they really knew, or even researched, the HP experience.

They are blathering in the boardroom as we await the "winner" and subsequent backstabbing and firing. I'm going to search YouTube for new HP movie trailers.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

It's here, it's here

Waiting for me when I arrived in the library this morning, after a two hour technology committee meeting, was a lovely box from HP! I had a few concerns when the box inside the box rattled, but a quick peek inside assured me all was well. I gleefully inserted the battery and connected to the jumping through set up hoops; registration, running system updates, anti-virus updates, and downloading Mozilla took more time than anticipated.

My initial impressions? After getting beyond the sheer fun of a new toy, I am having a few issues with the keyboard. I did not realize how heavy handed I have been, it's taking some time to adjust. I am happy with the various ports including USB, HDMI, and SD (allowing me access to upload this photo without problem). The true test will be it's first conference trip in a week or so.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It shipped

My netbook shipped on Monday. In five to seven days I will have my new toy (er, computer).

I've spent a bit of time pondering one of the reasons the netbook is significantly lighter than my laptop - excepting the obvious 17 inches verses 11 inches - is the lack of an optical drive. Since I have no plans to burn cd's or watch movies, it was not much of an issue. I can always watch television on hulu (Stargate SG-1, Bones, Warehouse 13, and Eureka). Something I did not consider was loading software on said netbook.

Luckily, my laptop has Sync Center and the netbook is compatible. I should not have a problem with my wireless connection.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Netbook ordered!

I placed the order for my netbook this evening. I have a little over two weeks until my next conference and should have the computer in my hot little hands prior to departure. Even better, there will be opportunity to load my ISP and play for a while. It will be much simpler to present, attend, and teach online while attending conferences - and not drag my work computer or personal laptop along for the ride.

Yes, yes, yes, I did change the blog template again. I like the book shelves, but am not thrilled with how long it takes to load or the fact that IE seems to hate the image.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dithering over netbooks

I have had my wonderful HP Pavilion dv7 Entertainment laptop for ten months now, as was the case with my ten year old HP dinosaur, it has been problem free. I love my laptop. But ... I find myself a bit greedy. I have several conferences on my schedule for spring and would like to take a computer; a computer that is significantly lighter in weight and considerably less in price than my laptop.

My price point would ideally be under $400. I've looked in brick and mortar stores, online at QVC and HP, and kept a close eye on advertisements in the Sunday papers. At this point, I like the selection direct from HP. However, since I have dithered so long choosing the components to meet my personal specifications and having it arrive before the first conference, is not an option any longer. To be honest, I'm not sure is a bad thing. Enter the HP Mini 311 pictured here, it has an 11 inch screen, runs Windows XP (I'm not sold on so many of the net books with Windows 7 Starter), has a built-in web cam, and weighs under four pounds.

HP says it's ready to ship within 24 hours. I can at least wait until payday to decide.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another day, another template

I think, maybe, I am having a bit too much fun playing with the new templates in Blogger Draft. I have been investigating the photo background options and some are a bit less blog friendly than I imagined. There is a library stack full of books just begging to be used for a background image. Unfortunately the image does not lend itself to readability of text once it's applied. I tried messing with colors, the transparency factor, and even choosing different color palettes.

Today it's polka dots. They are cheerful on a rainy day and make me happy. At least for now, I can be fickle.

Cranky Bloglines

Several times this afternoon, at work and now at home, I logged in to view my bloglines. At first, I was unable to open displayed blogs as my account kept timing out. I figured the network was slow due to planned maintenance and moved on to other tasks. This evening the blogs are not displaying in the feed pane. Guess I'll try again later and continue to remind myself patience is a virtue. Right now I'm just annoyed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunny day book purchases

Happy first day of spring! I don't think I'll be burning any socks.

I did a bit of book shopping this morning, enjoying the sunshine, spring, and the relative settling of vitreous floater in my right eye (it is like looking through wax paper). I have missed enjoying reading books of all sorts, recreational reading and juvenile alike; hence the six week moratorium on book related blog posts. I managed to read the new J.D. Robb and Jayne Ann Krentz titles, Fantasy in Death and Fired Up, but it was a challenge. However, since I re-read my favorites numerous times, the second and third time through these titles will be like the first time.

But, I digress.

My morning travels included shopping for chocolate treats (worth the distance) and three books, Wild Ride, by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer, Split Image, by Robert B. Parker, and Calvin and Hobbes Sunday Pages 1985-1995 from the bargain table. I love Calvin and Hobbes.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Imagine that ...

I have no idea why, but replacing the Yahoo videos with identical YouTube videos fixed the sidebar problem. Now I'm satisfied and will relax this evening watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on ABC family.  It's another Harry Potter weekend and there are to be clips from the Deathly Hallows throughout the evening.  Even though I am fairly certain they will be the same clips on the Half-Blood Prince DVD set, it is enjoyable watching and amazing to see how they have grown.

Once more with feeling

I spent time this evening again re-arranging blog elements, tweaking colors and sidebar placement, even adjusting the size of videos within the last few posts. Pleased with with the overall look of things, especially since the text blog is a bit larger over all, the sidebar oddity still confounds me and I spent a bit of time trouble-shooting posts currently displayed on my main blog page.

When looking at the blog in its entirety, the sidebar remains at the bottom of the page. When looking at individual entries, the sidebar displays normally on all with one glaring exception, the Super Bowl ad post. It contains a bit of blathering and two embedded videos. The only thing different about the videos in that particular post is they originated on Yahoo as opposed to YouTube.

I'm tempted to switch out the existing videos with the same content found on YouTube instead.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Trying Something New

Forty five minutes later I have a new blog layout, courtesy of new templates in Blogger Draft. Oddly enough, the sidebar works fine in Mozilla Firefox, but still displays in an annoying manner in Internet Explorer 8.

For now I will just be annoyed.

So, why?

For the last few days, my blog sidebar has been displaying below the posts instead of in it's usual position on the side regardless of the computer or browser used for viewing. Why?

If I choose individual posts for viewing, the sidebar is in it's correct place. When I click on the header to return home, the sidebar moves again. Why?

I've also noticed the template arrows next to the date at the top of each post are displaying mashed together. Why? It's certainly not attractive.

Since changing templates no longer strips all sidebar information, it might be time to log into blogger beta and take a look at newly available templates and make a few changes.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blogger Templates

Blogger Buzz posted yesterday about a new template designer available to users; Express yourself with the Blogger template designer. The post had key things to draw my interest, a way to reinvent my blog layout (toys to play with) as well as a video explaining how things work. Remember, it's a Beta, aka Blogger Draft, option.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fantasy in Death

I was thrilled to learn a new J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) In Death title was due out today; Fantasy in Death is the 30th novel in the series! I remember doing inventory in a store in West Virginia, bored and desparate for something to read I found Naked in Death in the mall's Walden Books (now Borders) store. The next day, I was back for another in the series and I have each of them in my personal collection.

An excerpt of Fantasy in Death is available on Nora's web site. I got my copy after work today ...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Super Bowl Ads

The Steeler's are not in the Super Bowl (don't get me started), but there is no denying one of the best commercials ever features "Mean Joe Green."

This evening I found this one on Yahoo's Super Bowl Ads page! The Yahoo videos were ruining the sidebar (for some odd reason) so both videos were replaced with YouTube videos.

Punxsatawney Polamalu? Oh, my ...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's pink

Working with graduate assistants and student workers I have opportunity to form relationships and grow with a dedicated group of people. After all, it takes dedication to go to school, manage your extra-curricular activities, and give quality time to a campus job. The intrinsic make-up of higher education institutions mean students move on after three of four years (once they're hired, they generally stay), but the ebb and flow mean as they graduate, others are hired. Even after the requisite letters of reference are written, there are always a few you stay in touch with over the years.

Last week I got an unexpected gift in the mail from a former GA; a pink snuggie, complete with free book light. It made me smile, but not as much as the phone call on Thursday and the opportunity to learn a bit about the new job.

(And yes, this really is an "at lunch" post. It's my Sunday evening on reference duty!)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's baaaack

It was back in my spam folder on Friday afternoon, even after blocking the email from delivery. This time, the 2010 edition of the Global Directory of Who's Who is at stake. I suppose my invitation to the 2009 directory, though ignored, was worth repeating.

You were recently chosen as a potential candidate to represent your professional community in the 2010 Edition of Global Who's Who.

We are please to inform you that your candidacy was formally approved January 4th, 2010. Congratulations.

The Publishing Committee selected you as a potential candidate based not only upon your current standing, but focusing as well on criteria from executive and professional directories, associations, and trade journals. Given your background, the Director believes your profile makes a fitting addition to our publication.

There is no fee nor obligation to be listed. As we are working off of secondary sources, we must receive verification from you that your profile is accurate. After receiving verification, we will validate your registry listing within seven business days.

Once finalized, your listing will share prominent registry space with thousands of fellow accomplished individuals across the globe, each representing accomplishment within their own geographical area.

To verify your profile and accept the candidacy, please visit here. Our registration deadline for this year's candidates is January 31st, 2010. To ensure you are included, we must receive your verification on or before this date. On behalf of our Committee I salute your achievement and welcome you to our association.

John Franklin
Vice President, Research Division

The Global Directory of Who's Who
4250 Veterans Highway, Suite 2050
Holbrook, NY 11741, USA
Phone: (631)588-8600

Once again it notes in a blase manner there is no cost associated with being listed and neglects to mention the exorbitant charges and hard sales for the book and online access. It's worth posting new and old(*) links to this particular offer.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Books, beautiful books

They're here! I was able to preview the cart of new books before lunch today. Even though the bulk of the cart, both picture book and juvenile fiction, were not titles I ordered, I was able cherry pick eight for the Mock Caldecott panel scheduled for later this month. My perusal was not "deep" by any way, shape, or form. But, I have to admit one made me laugh out loud. The Middle Child Blues, by David Catrow, is full of wit and Catrow's signature artwork. Angst filled middle child Lee looks wonderfully like a 50's rock star, complete with requisite attitude.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In my mailbox

Today must have been mail day for library journals; in my mailbox were the most recent editions of College & Research Library News (January 2010), American Libraries (February 2010), and ALA Graphics (Spring 2010). I've only briefly perused the titles, but there were a few things that caught my attention.

ACRL Insider provides a great overview of the journal and includes full text where available. I was particularly interested in Professional Development on a Dime and Social Media: A Guide for College and University Libraries. The Fast Facts section included interesting statistics on Missing Web References:

"According to a new case study, “the number of [W]eb citations (in research papers) has increased from 41.60 percent of all citations in 1998 to 53.32 percent in 2002. But a substantial quantity of [W]eb citations (32.09 percent) was found to be missing.”" -- Gary Pattillo

American Libraries (the February edition no less) is often geared more to public librarians, but there are always one or two things that are adaptable to the academic venue. Faces of Circulation is a particularly timely to discussions I had with our head of circulation earlier this week and the often prevailing feeling of many non-librarian professionals.

"The main point is that every position in the library is necessary to help all workers perform their job efficiently. Circulation staff are valuable to the service of a library and should be treated that way." -- Toccara Porter

The author is honest, and blunt, about reasons for penning the article and I do not disagree with her description of events at the circulation desk as I have witnessed the same. But, I have to wonder.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Coming soon

Hurray! I learned today 95 children's books will be arriving this week in our Baker & Taylor shipment. The naked book shelves will once again feature new books, I'll have opportunity to choose several more "new to us" titles for the Mock Caldecott sessions scheduled for later this month, and there will be something new to read!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Decision Made: MP3

I spent time working with my computers generic sound recording program to create the audio file for overviews. It worked, but saves the file in wav format that were huge and when opened in Angel defaulted to Windows Media Player. Since I need to have files that are dual platform compatible, I bit the bullet and downloaded Audacity to my laptop at home so I could create MP3 files. Here's what I used:

The Audacity download was quick and easy and took up very little space on my computer. The LAME MP3 Encoder was a short update, but it took me longer than necessary to connect the two products. If I had only read the directions.

After rehearsing the text, I recorded my spiel three times until I was satisfied with the audio file in it's entirety. It was simple to export as MP3 and I checked it in Quick time and Windows Media Player with success. The upload to Angel was quick and easy and I "announced" the file at noon today. I'm please and plan to move forward with the project. Time will tell if the students find it useful.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Browser humor

A morning message from my computer, is it harbinger of things to come?

Not the best way to start the morning, even my browser is tired. It certainly made me chuckle, I'm not sure my browser ever told me it was embarrassed before.

Maybe I'll finish the laundry and shop before messing with the IT course error that loaded 235 students into the class replacing the registered 52.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Still updating

A final link and spell check within the course yielded few necessary changes. Oddly enough, the spell check was more "productive" since many of the links were still active from late summer. In addition to new and/or updated assignments (spreadsheets and information portals), I was able to add a bit more on maintaining and building an online identity thanks to a new Common Craft video: Protecting Reputations Online in Plain English.

I have to admit, Statler and Waldorf paint a more succinct version of Internet content, but maybe not so educationally appropriate ...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Podcast or audio file

My new Netvibe videos are finished and posted in the content management system. I am definitely pleased to be able to offer students a choice for the assignment. All annoyances aside, I am relieved that Pageflakes hiccupped earlier this week prompting me to expand and adapt the assignment. The same thing happened this summer, the site went down for two days, and I was forced to delay the assignment due date; it put us behind for the entire term. Though the situation was a shining example of the imperfections of technology and allowed me to demonstrate the drop back and punt theory necessary when anything thing breaks during a lesson, a first assignment for an instructional technology class should provide success for the students.

I am still dithering about adding audio overviews for each assignment; something that would highlight important aspects in the rubric as well as provide a more human (though digital) touch to announcements for each project. To that point, I checked out three books on Thursday to do quick research on the topic.
Each title recommends using Audacity for audio editing and provides resources to upload and create rss feeds for a podcast. There appears to be an intrinsic difference between podcasts and simple audio files. Podcasts, to be podcasts, are posted on the web with rss feeds. Audio files are the backbone of podcasts, but standing alone they remain audio files. For my purposes, the audio entity is only for my students and it does not need to be posted online.

I am going to read and dither a bit more over the weekend before deciding to create the files or drop the idea completely.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Library practicum flashback

Random channel surfing this evening I spotted Gloria Gaynor performing I Will Survive on an award show. As soon as she came on the stage the audience went crazy singing along. All I could think of was the video I'd seen while student teaching - doing my library practicum - at a senior high school in the Pittsburgh area. Someone's husband sent the video via email and we watched it in a computer classroom. It still makes me laugh. Just as she starts enjoying herself ...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Pageflakes & Netvibes

This afternoon I was putting the "finishing touches" on an assignment that requires students to create an information portal for their classroom using Pageflakes Teachers Edition; at least I was until the site went down for over three hours. I thought at first I simply typed in the wrong address to my Delicious account, then I tried using Firefox instead of IE, finally I started getting flashbacks to summer when the site went down for three days right before the due date of the assignment. Naturally, this is the introductory assignment for the course.

Well, fine.

Since I cannot with good conscience require students to use a technology with such a propensity to be unavailable, I determined they needed to have a choice, especially since many of the results for Pageflakes down time mentioned the reliability of Netvibes. I registered for an account this afternoon and duplicated the Pageflakes information portal resources on my Netvibes page.

Now I have two portals.

I did not want to completely abandon the Pageflakes option, I found it simpler to navigate and students last term enjoyed using the site. I did not want to lose the opportunity to provide the more reliable Netvibes for students this term. So ...

My students now have the option to use the 2.0 Internet portal of their choosing. I revised the assignment, added another page of information about the second site, updated the rubric to indicate either would receive full credit, and will create two short video tutorials tomorrow. I am once again ready for the term to begin.

While working between the two sites this evening I noticed a distinct change in Pageflakes Teachers Edition; when you log in to work on your site there is now an advertisement prominently placed on your page.

Well, fine.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Spring Term Countdown

Spring semester begins on Monday, which leaves the remainder of this week for opportunity to make progress on my continuous to-do list. Prior to the holiday break I placed orders for the juvenile collection and did a quick inventory on other collections and supplies. While I still have to create the physical orders, I know what needs to be purchased and will have time this week. Opportunity to teach an online technology course this spring meant a big part in today's list was updating materials in the content management system.

What to do, what to do? Links and syllabus updated, due dates changed, instructional videos uploaded to YouTube and then embedded within assignments (it's simpler than worrying about real player, quick time and windows media player options), and a bit of verbiage "tweaking" took most of the morning. I've been considering using Google Docs Spreadsheets for an Excel assignment, and after lunch I decided to move forward with the change.

The university uses Gmail as the student email provider, so general access to necessary apps is simple. I started my quest with a paper handout, complete with screen shots, but determined a series of short video tutorials would be a better option. Luckily the handouts were easily interpreted as a story board and I was able to produce a set of videos using Camtasia and subsequently post and embed them with the assignment; the most challenging aspect was getting audio in place without interruption (phone, questions, and patrons).

I am considering developing a set of short overview podcasts to introduce each assignment. Since they don't all have to be done prior to the start of the course ...

Monday, January 04, 2010

A new toy

This evening I am waiting for my Christmas toy, a Garmin nĂ¼vi® 255W, to finish it's discussion with my computer and download the free map upgrade attached to my registration. I tried yesterday, but after four hours the process stalled (yes really, four hours). I logged in again after work this afternoon and it is telling me there are still three hours left on the download. This better be a seriously fabulous free map upgrade.

I have several presentation's pending this spring, so the navigation will be useful going to the airport and locating hotels and conference centers in-state. It was amusing listening to it "recalculate" several times on the way back from holiday break as I did not go where it thought I should; a few back roads and short cuts made her a bit snarky.

Update: 1/5/10

I've had to restart the map upload process again and am not pleased. Here's hoping third time is indeed the charm, it is currently under one hour of download remaining for the first time.