Trying to get the Stumble Upon Icon

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 I have been futzing away on the computer all morning trying to get the Stumble Upon button at the bottom of my Libraries Live posts, just as I have it on my Painfullyaboutme.wordpress blog.

It is a handy icon because you can suggest your own article be posted on the massive Stumble Upon site and people will randomly come upon your writing.

It might be that the style and theme I  have chosen for the Libraries Live blog has a more difficult built in block to this path. I am not sure.

I have managed to add Stumble Upon to my Blogroll but that was not what I was looking to do, as a matter of fact.

I have, in my web wanderings, come across an interesting wiki site on libraries:  http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

which I will include for your reading pleasure.

Ultimately I should be able to set up a bookmark area where I can post interesting sites related to libraries that I can share with the other students.

I have also been working with De.licio.us because they seem to have the bookmark market.  But my Widgets have not turned up a convenient bookmark widget thingy.

The path of least resistance is to wait for the techy people to figure out how to offer these services to the non-techy people in our common lay person language, for example, with simple pick up and drag technology.

We are the people  who take our cars to the garage. Our eyes glaze over when the explanations get too layered. I can see the look of disdain, politely hidden with a patient smile, in the eyes of people who just seem to understand how everything works.

But I am still plugging away, and I do seem to achieve success at times. Although I am never really sure if I can repeat my success.

If you understand how to do what I am trying to do, please leave me a message.  Thanks in advance.

Back to the bloggin’.

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Really Simple, Peanut Butter, Spiders

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I imagine that my anxious attitude to learning new computer technology is pretty common. I know I am not alone, so what I describe may sound familiar to some of you.

As I approach the glowing new text, my behaviour is marked by fear, low self esteem and low expectations.

The very sight of an acronym  makes my eyes roll back a small bit and I have to frown in order to concentrate. If I can’t understand what the author is talking about I read the same sentence numerous times,  letting it flow by like a river in the hopes that some of it will catch on a twig in my mind.

Then in desperation I might read the sentence aloud and focus on what the words mean. And this is coming from a person who enjoys reading and writing.

Once I begin to understand the text I relax somewhat. I tell myself, this is information that I can understand! Phew!

I approached Angela Jowitt’s article on “Creating Comunities with Pod Casting”  this way, and have come out of it victorious. She is a clear and concise writer and now I know a bunch of things I did not know before.

For example, I thought Pod Casts were short video messages, and, in my mind, I always pictured a person sitting in a pod chair and swiveling about, as Number One does in the excellent old television show, The Prisoner.

Apparently Podcasts are simply learning tools that are can be audio, but obviously benefit from video technology. It is pretty straight forward, really.

Once I am over my fear and anxiety, I am charmed by the language that techies use. Pods sound cool, and podcatchers sound really cool ( although they are simply RSS aggregators).

And wait just one minute,  did Jowitt just say that RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication? Does PB wiki stand for Peanut Butter Wiki, because it is so easy to use?

I am sort of curious to see what Wiki stands for. But at least I know what WSYSWIG stands for now. ( although, to be literal, is that not, What See You See What I Get?)

I do feel empowered by my knowledge now, and I can see how a wiki’s form is different than a blog. A wiki would be beneficial for a library project in  which many different departments need to collaborate. Also, it has more of a flexible structure than a blog.

But, it is more complicated to set up, and may need more site support.

I just got to the section on’ metawiki searches’  and I need a tea. It is not that I don’t know what meta means, I get it, information about information. And spiders is just another really cool image for crawling about collecting information!

The information about blocking or directing searches with the XRobot sounds very useful and I need to really concentrate again. I am frowning with sheer mental power as I go off to boil water.

 

Library Blogs – A Great idea

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Our local library, the Port Elgin Public Library, is in the back room of an old building with a leaking roof, that also holds the village office and the volunteer fire department.

It is a small library but an active one. The librarian, Kate Grigg, is wonderful and manages the many requests from quite a large surrounding population.

I enjoy that library and have depended on it during home schooling years.  I have run the Hackmatack Reading Club and a Nancy Drew Reading Club, as well as sent my kids to any story time activity.

A blog for the tiny library would be an interesting project, although I am quite sure that if I suggest the idea, it will be handed back to me.

It would be a useful site where the librarian could not only list town and library activities, but she could also link RSS Feeds to book lists from reading clubs or top 10 books being sold at Amazon.ca.

With a smidgeon of enthusiasm a librarian could post a short weekly book review for different genres: Romance, Mystery or Young  Adult readers.

The library blog could include an up-to-date version of the ‘book talk’ that the librarian Margaret A. Edwards made an essential part of her training for young librarians.

In her delightful, and not at all dated book, “The Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts – The Library and the Young Adult” (reprinted in 1994),  Edwards (no relation to me) describes how she would send young librarians into the schools for ‘book talks’ in which a small section of a book would be read aloud in order to draw young readers in by giving only a tantalizing introduction to the book.

A library blog could target different readers through this approach.  It would get a lot of hits, and create a whole new community of readers.  A discussion group might even develop among the blog readers about their favorite books.

The best thing about the world of blogs is how easy they are to set up and use.

If I ever end up in the coveted position of an employed librarian, I will certainly create blogs and reach out to readers, particularly young adults, through social media.

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