Saturday, August 1, 2009

Chair yoga

The Technostress Workout is a flexible routine, flexible in the sense that I want everyone to feel comfortable participating. I'm learning how to teach chair yoga by watching youtube videos of instructors giving lessons. The Sit and be fit programs have great ideas for exercising at your desk.

Chair yoga is a fantastic way to get in a good stretch for those of us who are desk bound and can't always make it to the gym for a workout.

Our afternoon Technostress Workout will start to include the following chair yoga asanas:

  • Deep breathing
  • Arm stretch sequence/seated eagle pose
  • Seated forward bends/shoulder rolls
  • Twisting w/eye yoga
  • Feet rotation
  • Feet flexing
  • Lion pose
  • Seated cat/cow: clasp hands behind back, arch back (backbend), release hands to knees, seated forward bend
  • Knees to chest
  • Seated sun salutation: lean forward, elbows on thighs, roll to balls of feet, hold in the belly behind the belly, breathe while compressing stomach, five deep breaths
  • Standing tree pose using one hand on chair
  • Standing down dog: stand a few feet behind chair, bend at the waist, hands grab back of chair, stretch the back

Variations, new chair poses, hopefully this will keep the staff interested.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Thing 23: Reflection

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of North Texas 23: A roundup of Web 2.0 technology! You’ve worked hard to complete each of the 23 Things. For this final Thing, take a moment to think about what you’ve done. What was your favorite or least favorite Thing? What was challenging for you? What did you learn? What new technologies will you use in your library? Write a paragraph or more, reflecting upon your experiences.

My favorite Web 2.0 technology things are the visual programs: Flickr, Flickr mashups, adding images to Wikis, Image Generators. I will be spending more time exploring these in August before school starts. These things are important for my plans to become a visual resource librarian.

What was challenging? Breaking free from negative thinking while learning these things. For each thing, I would skim the instructions, try the program, get frustrated, wait a day, go back and really read the instructions, then figured it out.

I learned that online learning is pretty cool and fun when you don't have to worry about grades. I did not take classes this summer but I start back to the MLIS program in the fall.

The Wiki was the thing that most applied to school projects and my position at the University library. I need to spend more time on it and encourage the staff to voice their concerns through the Wiki.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thing 22: Developing 23 Things

Instructions for Thing 22: Think about your own library for a moment. Perhaps everyone from your library participated in this program. Perhaps you are the only one. Regardless, write a paragraph about how you could adapt this program to increase the technology skill level among the staff at your library. Even if all staff at your library has gone through this program, there is so much more to be learned.


How to use 23 Things
to Increase the Skill Level of Staff
At our Technical Services Department quarterly staff meeting, those of us who participated in the 23 Things can share our experiences. We can talk about the list, explain and demonstrate what can be useful to our work. For our department, this will be an exercise in how users are accessing materials. We are a University library so our users are majority students and faculty. Since our department's focus is primarily acquisitions, serials processing, and cataloging, we have little contact with patrons. We're even physically removed from campus, our building is a few miles away. However, we all like to know what is going on with our users and their accessing and retrieval habits.

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I've been thinking about Thing 22 for awhile. Before I got to it, I thought it meant that we should be creating a list of 23 Things for our Library and I interpreted that as to create a list for my future position as a librarian for a visual art collection. My list is created for undergraduates. So far, this is what I've come up with, things I'd teach at my art library:
Whitmer's 23 Visual Arts Library Things
  1. Word
  2. Graphics in Word
  3. Excel
  4. Graphics in Excel
  5. Image Generators
  6. RSS feeds
  7. Instant Messaging
  8. Blogging
  9. LibraryThing
  10. HTML Basics
  11. Basic Web Design
  12. Wikis
  13. Digital cameras
  14. Photoshop
  15. Flickr
  16. Flickr mashups
  17. Facebook
  18. Slideroom
  19. ARLIS
  20. ARTstor
  21. Art & Architecture Thesaurus
  22. Digital video
  23. Discussion group about future Things

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thing 21: Podcasts

I'm a huge fan of podcasts. I've been playing with podcasts for years, Yoga Journal and yogatoday.com offer free podcasts of yoga classes from great instructors. Podcasts, a great way to share audio information.

I consider myself a techno-challenged individual, however, even I got it on a conceptual level when I was first exposed to podcasting. Podcasting seems almost perfect, I've only experienced a few glitches which were corrected in a short time.

Instructions for Thing 21, Podcasts:

For Thing 21, listen to a few library podcasts, and write about them in your blog. How was the audio quality? Were they interesting enough to make you want to subscribe to them? What sorts of topics did they cover?

I'm looking at the National Library of Medicine podcast list, I'm seeing a few selections that look good, I'll try Acupuncture and Back Pain. The sound quality is excellent, clear, no static. NLM offers text versions of all its podcasts, very good. I'm going to snoop around this site and see if they list other Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) podcasts.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thing 20: Youtube

Instructions for Thing 20: Youtube

For Thing 20, spend some time watching library-produced videos on YouTube. Some good search terms to get you started are:
Texas library
public library
school library
academic library
library event

In your blog, talk about the videos you saw. What were they trying to accomplish? How effective were they? Can you think of other uses of videos to help promote libraries or serve the public?

I looked up a few libraries with the following results:

University of Texas Library - My intention was to tour a few of the 15 libraries at the UT Austin campus but I got a pleasant surprise entry: The Texas State University/San Marcos Special Collections Librarian giving a tour of the Molly Ivans'collection. Ivans donated her collection to TSU, the tour was insightful, I miss her columns.

Getty Library - My intention was to tour the Getty Art Center Library . . . the video hit is the UCLA Getty Conservation Program . . . very informative, instructional, I will investigate further.

Otis Art Institute - The best site so far for my specialty, art libraries. The site has everything: bibliographic instruction, artists talks, materials and techniques, etc.

Bibliotheque Nationale - Oh to be in Paris and work at this library.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thing 19: Google Docs

Could it be that after all my Wiki troubles, Google Docs seems easy and intuitive?

I've been exposed to the idea of cloud computing and, from what little I know, this seems to fall under that concept. This works for me, I'm a MLIS student with group projects similar to the Google Docs video. For sensitive work relating to my library job, projects that have security issues, I'm not so sure that Google Docs is appropriate.

Like Wikis, Google Docs is a practical Thing, something I can add to the skill list on my resume. This weekend I will master/play with this Thing so when I do add it to my skill list, I won't be lying.

I'm reading googledocs.blogspot, it's well written, I'm learning a lot. I'm putting it in the same category as another helpful blog, Pogue's Post, the blog written by the NYT technology writer, David Pogue, http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/tech-tips-for-the-basic-computer-user/

Google Docs is one of the 23 Things that I'll stay active with. The other 23 Things I plan to go deeper into: Flickr, Image Generators, IM, Delicious, Wikis, and Library Thing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thing 18: Wikis round two

I'm going to try the Wiki thing again. I'm going to start all over. What am I missing in the instructions?

Just thinking out loud . . . it seems to me that the 23 Things should be an entrance test for Library Information Science school . . . technology skills for library students . . . minimum competency . . . a little html maybe?

Great, I did it. I figured out my mistake, I was trying to add a page with the title Hobbies, the name was already taken so I called it Susan's interests. I had to take a very long bike ride after work today to not think about why I couldn't get that add a page to work.