Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thing 23

Well I went through all 23 Things and had a good time doing it.  I had some limitations using my Kindle Fire but all my kids have phones or tablets that I could use.  I learned a lot, found some new things, and I'll continue to use some of the apps I found and I'll dump some of the others that didn't perform as well as I hoped.

I think it is important to stay up-to-date on the new technology. I want to know what people are talking about.  I hate sounding like a dummy.  I want to find common ground with our patrons, especially the kids who can't imagine common ground with someone my age.  I think they are sometimes surprised that to find that old people play video games and text and know about the newest YouTube sensations, but then again, we find common ground comparing hand-made rubber band bracelets too.  I think the library has to keep up with technology and use it to serve our patrons but we cannot abandon tradition either.  So I can teach a traditional craft while explaining how to find information and help about said craft on the internet.  In small towns like mine, the library is a community center.  We pass out information, but we also provide opportunities for our patrons to get to know their neighbors, be entertained, and just have a warm and welcoming place to go.  Technology alone can isolate people.  It's fun to have Facebook friends from around the world but it's also good to know the people who live next door.

I think the creators of this program did a good job putting it all together considering how many different devices and formats there are in use today. I can see potential library uses for some of the apps.  I downloaded several free books while doing one of the Things and I will probably read some of them but I still prefer to real an old-fashioned book.  I didn't like using the small screen and while I have a stylus to help me, I don't like typing on the Kindle.  I prefer a regular keyboard.  Touch typing is becoming obsolete.  It will soon be one more thing to teach the neighborhood children, like rotary phone dialing, and line drying laundry.  I want to use technology (I have to use it) but I don't want it to take over my life.  I was semi-serious about being a Luddite.  I did the other two 23 Things on library computers because we didn't have one at home but I have to have some computer skills for my job and for simply dealing with the changing world.

This is the third 23 Things program I have done and I have recommended them to my co-workers.  I would gladly do more.  I like being able to work at my own pace.  It was more play than work.  This was a program even a Luddite would love.  I guess that's the one sentence to describe my 23 Mobile Things experience.  I doubt that will be a good promotional sentence.

Thing 14

I am not able to make videos on my Kindle.  I can transfer them from my computer but I haven't tried that yet. I will try to play with one of my kids' devices to see if I can edit videos.  I have some in my computer of the grandkids.  I have seen some videos that have been posted on YouTube and  almost everyone of them could use some editing, mostly condensing them.  I can imagine using video clips on a library site or Facebook page to highlight programming.  How about a short video tour of the different things the library has to offer?  I had a patron once who got a new card and then began to browse the library.  He was amazed at what we had to offer.  He didn't know we had music, videos, computers, and other items.  He had thought the library just had books.

I have a video that I edited with my daughter.  It's my granddaughter performing a song from her school program. My daughter filmed it for me because I couldn't make it to the school performance.  As it turned out, nobody made it because it was postponed for weather reasons--SNOW!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thing 21

I think my favorite app right now is Pinterest.  I have been using it to search for library programming ideas.  A friend and I have been doing three-part theme programs consisting of making a card, a craft, and a treat.  I have been using Pinterest to get craft and treat ideas and then I save them.  I look for projects that can be done in about 30 minutes and at a low cost.  I want things that can easily be duplicated by the patrons at home as well as in the program.  These programs have been well attended and the participants seem to have a good time with the crafts and the other participants as they move from one project table to the next  I have checked the library related pins but did not find anything that met our needs.

I also use this app for saving knitting and other craft patterns and ideas for my personal use,  Because I pinned a knitted fox stole, I now have to make three of them for my granddaughters.  One of  their mothers follows my pins and the girls are really into foxes since they discovered the "What Does the Fox Say" video.  I also save recipes and I when I find a pin that I like, I often follow those accounts.

I have discovered another app called Pocket that I can use for saving Web pages that I can read off-line so I can save my knitting patterns and recipes.  I plan to explore that one further.

Thing 22

This was a great Thing.  I researched the suggested apps and found that there were some wonderful apps available only not for my Kindle.  It is a little overwhelming to find out how many apps are out there and it is hard to pick and choose from them all.  I have already downloaded apps that didn't live up to my expectations and have already dumped them.  I googled "best Kindle Fire apps" and found a list on the PC Magazine site of 30 app (so I didn't have to sort through hundreds), many of which I plan to use.  And  many of them were free.  Even better.

I found antivirus apps, apps that clean out the cache and unused files automatically, more games apps (like I need more of those), several of the apps that we've already covered in this program, and several that I have already discovered on my own.  Kindle offers a free app of the day and I can't resist a bargain so I've tried a lot of those.  Some have been usable, some not.  Some are for me, some for my grandkids.  I check out the freebie almost every day and I plan to check out PC Mag's lists again and also look for some others.  I have found some other lists and I now have started a family tree on my device and I watch PBS.  And just so you know I am also using my Kindle for its original purpose. I have actually read three books on it.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thing 15

I was unable to to get an app that worked for this thing for my Kindle.  I'll try one of my kids' devices when I get the chance.  I did explore the topic through the links you provided.  I loved the "Librarians in the Digital Age" infograhic.  It gave me a lot of information bits.  I wanted more information and will do some research starting with the data given.  It was eye-catching and informative, nicely done.  The others that I looked were good as well.  I could make a library display out of the "Most Famous Book Set In Every State."  It would be fun to make a similar one with movies for every state.  These are digital bulletin boards, which I love to do.  This app would be useful on a library site to give some interesting facts about the library, encourage people to think about our collections or services in a new light, maybe try something new, like an audio book or a classic instead of a current bestseller, a CD, anything that they haven't tried before.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Thing 13

This one looked like fun but on my Kindle I found a similar app and I have been playing with it a bit.  I made a basic slideshow with my photos but a lot of the effects and transitions were not available without an upgrade which, of course, was not free.  I would consider the upgrade if I think of a good use for this.   I can see potential more for advertising than programming.  It would be nice for introducing the library and its services.  It would work at an expo perhaps. When I do programs (I do craft and food programs) it would be useful to advertise upcoming events.  I always push our other programs to my program participants.  Maybe I'll eventually upgrade and send slideshows to my relatives instead of Christmas newsletters.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thing 20

I have a confession to make.  I love playing games on my Kindle.  I play Scrabble (I actually paid for that app but it was on sale) and Words With Friends and a couple of ant squishing games that my daughters play.  I have a bunch more that were the free app of the day so I tried them out, including a mah jongg themed game.  I do not play Candy Crush any more.  I used to and decided it was wasting too much of my time so I promised myself if I passed the level I was on I would quit and I did. One of my knitting help apps from Thing 19 even has a game included, needlework themed of course.  I prefer the word games however because I can justify the time I spend playing as improving my mind and vocabulary.  Yeah right!