Monday, September 18, 2006

Simmons Skill Share

Saturday, I went to the Simmons GLIS Skill Share, and had a great time. I met up with my friend Jessamyn, and we attended a couple of sessions together and the excellent keynote by the way cool Jenna Freedman and Eric Goldhagen from Radical Reference.

This was the first "skill share" event that I have attended, and I really had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a group of sessions presented by students (and teachers?) at Simmons, which in the case of the sessions I went to turned out to be very informative overviews of courses offered at the college. Now, this may not sound overly useful for someone who is not only not a Simmons GLIS student, but no longer a student at all (and I think Jessamyn is right that we were the only non-students in attendance), but I did come away with some new, and very useful, information.

I attended a session on Literacy and Services to Underserved Populations, which I was very interested in as this was my field before I became a librarian. I came away with some great info on the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) and Talking Books, and a huge list of great literacy links (which will be posted in a day or two over at libraryland).

The keynote was an absolutely inspiring talk on Free/Open Source Software, and I left feeling like I want to DO SOMETHING to get computers and such software into the hands of people who may not be able to afford full computer set-ups (and everyone else, for that matter). So, yeah, now I need to install Linux (I may start small with Open Office, etc, on the new machine), and figure out how I can parlay my real loves, librarianship and OUTREACH, into a job that supports me. I am so glad that I still get excited by other people's humanistic ideas; it makes me realize that it was not a mistake for me to leave the corporate world (and also makes me realize that I am most likely doomed to be destitute).

Kudos to the organizers! I hope to see more events like this in the future.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Banned Books Week

Hmmm, is Miss Zoot a closet librarian?

I, however, have had so much going on, that I dropped the ball on Banned Books Week, and I never ordered a poster for it, or anything else for that matter. Since we do not yet have the teen foot traffic that I would like to see, I am not overly concerned that I do not have the ALA "goodies" to pass out, and I will put together a display anyway. But, if anyone has a spare Banned Books poster (adult version) that they would like to donate to the cause, please let me know.

Friday, September 08, 2006

"Hacking" Blogger -Tagging

Because I know that several of you use Blogger for your blog(s), I figured I'd post this here as well as libraryland.

I love the ease of Blogger, and use it for all but one of my blogs (libraryland is done in WordPress). But, the one thing I have always wished that Blogger supported is tagging or "catagories" for posts. Well, the good news is that Blogger has added this functionality in its Beta version; the bad news is that Beta is not yet available to everyone (you can sign-up for a Beta Blogger blog if you have a gmail account - I have a few invites left, email if you'd like one).

However, if you'd like to add tags to your Blogger posts before the Beta becomes public, I have found two relatively easy ways to do that.

The first method is using the easy Zoom Clouds app (thanks, Geeky Artist Librarian!), which you can check out in my sidebar. In a few minutes you can have a nifty "tag cloud" added to the sidebar of any blog you own. It updates itself, and you can customize the look of the cloud, which is cool. However, the "tags" are chosen by the application, and are based on frequently occuring keywords in your posts. This is fine with me, but some of you may want more control of your tag words.

If so, welcome to Qumana, method number two. Qumana is a blog editing tool that you download and use in place of your Blogger (or other) editor. Qumana lets you add tags to your posts, and they show up after the post title. Nifty. This program is also useful if you host several blogs using several blogging tools - just sign into Qumana and edit all of your blogs from one place. Oh, yeah - if you are so inclined, you can use both Zoom Cloud and Qumana in tandem, and create tag clouds using the tags you specify in Qumana. Way cool.

This may all be a moot point once Blooger Beta becomes public, but both of these apps work with other blog editors as well. Tag away!