A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

10 Random Things

Super Fun Challenge "Thing" from Helene Blowers! 10 random things you may not otherwise know about me...
  1. I'm vegan and I absolutely LOVE food and cooking!
  2. I've spent time in more foreign countries (15) than I have states outside of Ohio (12).
  3. I have two awesome cats: Chino and Zoey (who is 18 and I swear is going to live forever!)
  4. I've been with my amazing significant other for 6 years and we're getting married in late 2010.
  5. I love martial arts, and I train in muay thai.
  6. Though I enjoy a variety of music, it's definitely metal above all for me.
  7. I spend my Sundays watching NFL and have been a Dallas Cowboys fan all my life.
  8. Once upon a time in Northern Laos I ate a bat wing and it tasted like a chili flavored latex glove! Catch me in person for the full details on that one...
  9. I did not have a cell phone until this year when I finally gave in and got an iPhone, and the tech geek living inside of me finally started to blossom.
  10. I am beyond excited for the release of Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland, my all time favorite story! I cannot wait to see what imagery his mind comes up with!

There you go, 10 random things!

L & P #23

The final thing...

I have really enjoyed participating in Learn and Play @ CML for a variety of reasons. First, it gives staff a shared vocabulary. I can talk with my colleagues about the idea of using Twitter or a wiki to streamline our workflow without having to wonder if they know what I am talking about. Second, it lets me as an employee know that my library supports the use of emerging technologies in my job. I don't have to wonder if it is OK for me to set up a wiki or blog about programming because it is clear this is something supported within the culture at CML. Third, through the use of many of these tools I have deepened my connections with co-workers. Whether learning more about their work or personal lives or just having another way to say hello, it has been great to reconnect with fellow co-workers and to meet new ones! Fourth, I have learned more about some new technologies that will be very useful for me in this position, in my involvement with professional organizations, and for my own professional development.

Thanks for extending the time; doing so kept this fun and informative without adding the stressful burden of a looming, impossible-to-reach deadline! All in all, this has been a very cool experience and a model of training it could be cool to see us replicate in the future. I hope the blog remains up so future staff can participate as well!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Educator for a Day

Today I had the opportunity along with my colleague Gabriela to visit the Columbus Bilingual Academy as part of their Educator for a Day program. We were able to visit two of Mr. Holdren's Spanish as a Second Language classes to talk with them about the library, our Homework Help Centers, and to share some bilingual stories. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that nearly all the students already had library cards! We all had an opportunity to practice reading together and drawing and sharing some things from our worlds.

The Columbus Bilingual Academy opened this year on the west side of Columbus for students in grades 4-7. The school is tuition-free and supports a full curriculum in both English and Spanish, complete with after-school activities and clubs! It was wonderful to meet the teachers, staff, and students today. I look forward to visiting and partnering with the school more in the future!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

L & P #21

I am pretty much obsessed with NPR. I seriously listen to it all the time. So I have been into Podcasts for a while now, because as much as I would like to listen to NPR all day while I am working, it's simply not feasible. So, I can subscribe to Podcasts of my favorite shows and listen when it is convenient. They get fed right into my iTunes on my home computer. My favorite NPR shows, by they way, are Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!, This American Life, and Talk of the Nation.

How can libraries make use of Podcasting and webcasting? Check out how New York Public Library is doing it! I think there is real potential for webcasting for libraries. We could be webcasting our author visits so those who can't make the time can still participate, webcasting video for each of the Ready to Read pre-literacy skills modeling ways parents can practice at home, and even replace Dial-A-Story with Download-A-Story for storytime footage with our fabulous staff! Lots of library Teen Advisory Board groups are getting in to creating their own podcasts and distributing them through the library website. I definitely believe this is something we will see more of in the years to come.

L & P #20

Ooops! Somehow I managed to skip two Learn and Play exercises! Allow me to backtrack...thing #20 is on You Tube. You Tube is definitely rad. I use it a lot to find sweet kickboxing matches, especially female fighters as they are not usually on TV. I also like looking up concert footage and music videos.

However, I am going to embark on some shameless self-promotion here to demonstrate embedding video content into a blog. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

L & P #22

I have wanted to use MOLDI for a really long time. I have checked out audiobooks on my home computer before, but I never actually listened to them? Why, you ask? Because I have no desire to sit at home to listen to an audiobook! I like listening to audiobooks when I am on the go, but alas, they cannot be downloaded to my iPod.

But this is changing 11/10! Hooray!!!!!! I really think this (with the proper marketing) will result in much more use. I mean seriously, who uses an MP3 player that's not an iPod? I am curious if the movies will be compatible as well. That will rock.

You can bet I'll be playing around with MOLDI again and checking out everything I can after tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

L & P #19

First, a quick reminder of what this "Learn and Play" business is all about. Helene Blowers, the director of digital strategy here at CML, developed the 23 Things when she was at Charlotte-Mecklenburg County to get staff playing around, learning, and feeling comfortable with Web 2.0 tools. She has brought this program with her to CML as Learn and Play. Since September, staff who wish to participate in the program have been experimenting with various Web 2.0 tools and blogging about the experience. This is useful not only for thinking about ways libraries can incorporate such tools to extend their reach and improve customer service, but also because our customers are using many of these tools. Now when they have questions or want help, we don't have to feel intimidated or stupid because we don't know what they are talking about. Even if we're not experts, we are comfortable enough with the technology to give it a try!

For Thing #19 I took a look at the TechCruch blog, which is part of CML's Toolbox on our Power Tools page. I like it, and so have subscribed to the RSS feed in my Bloglines account. I feel that Web 2.0 technology will probably expand infinitely like the universe, so I want to at least keep my eye on the people who know much more about it than I do. If they start getting really excited about something, I should probably pay attention!

Monday, November 3, 2008

L & P #18

So, I have wanted to set up a Facebook account for a while for professional use. I already have a MySpace account and I have found it to be very useful for keeping in touch and sharing photos, stories, etc. with friends I have made all over the world. But that is definitely separate from my work world! Hence, the Facebook account. I tried to set one up before but I found Facebook to be much too busy for my liking. It looks cleaner now, so I don't know if it has recently changed or what. My greatest dilemma now, however, is that I have found tons of people I met while traveling on Facebook who are not on MySpace. Hmm...shall I set up a separate Facebook account for friends so this one can stay professional? It quickly becomes too much to keep up with!

Anyway, my Facebook profile is brand new, so there is nothing fancy on it, but if you want to be my friend you can find me here: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1179271236&ref=profile

L & P #17

So this month has been pretty crazy and Learn and Play has fallen way down on my list of priorities. Today, however, I am taking some time to try and catch up.

Online word processing tools are awesome! They allow people to collaborate on documents from distant lands, as well as making superb backup storage options because they do not take up any room on one's personal hard drives. I have used Google Docs for collaborative and personal endeavors and I find it to be one of the most practical and useful Web 2.0 tools out there. Additionally, this is a great option for staff who are working on documents on our computers and do not have floppy disks/flash drives to save them to.

The only complaint that I have regarding Google docs is its mobile platform. While I can view my docs on my iPhone, I cannot modify them. This is unfortunate. It would be extremely convenient for me to be able to save homework assignments and other things I am working on to Google docs and then be able to work on them whenever I have down time (such as in the passenger seat on long drives, at airports, etc.). Then my iPhone would almost completely substitute for a laptop. I am sure, however, that it will just be a matter of time before this changes. In the meantime, if anyone knows of another online word processing tool which DOES allow the user to modify documents with the mobile platform I would love to hear about it!