Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Method #4 Feed Your RSS, It's Hungry!

I would like it a lot better if my feeds could be fed into my email! I learned about RSS feeds when I took the North Texas 23 and I set up my reader at that time. Since then I have not taken much time to go back and read the feeds. It would be more beneficial to me if my feeds could "feed" into my email inbox which I check more often. When I went to add subscriptions and looked for the "discover" link, it was nowhere to be found so I just typed in a topic anyway. I typed in library politics but the results were not what I expected. I subscribed to feeds in the NT23 but like I said before, had not gotten back to them until now. I decided to look at the Top Recommendations. The four new feeds I have subscribed to include Designing Better Libraries (http://dbl.lishost.org/blog/feed) North Texas Regional Library System (http://blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default) Blog Junction (http://blog.webjunctionworks.org/index.php/feed) and M Word--Marketing Libraries (http://themwordblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default) I really liked the Designing Better Libraries and even sent the information to Laurie (a staff member) for us to keep in mind when planning for current and future library growth. I enjoyed another article from Blog Junction (Twitter Tips for Libraries) so much that I sent a Face Book friend request to the author of the article so I could keep up with other library articles he writes. I do like the idea of RSS feeds but I still would like them to get closer to me, which is my email inbox.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What's Happening @ the Little Elm Library

Little Elm Public Library newsletter

I like to fish, though I am not very good at it. One reason may be because if there is not much action, I get bored and start doing something else. I AM very good at catching snags and losing my line. Since my eyesight is not as good as it used to be, tying hooks and sinkers are a challenge. I am sure that the fish that I am not catching get quite a belly laugh watching me. Well, the joke is on them now! My husband and I have found a new place to fish and we caught four catfish! The place is called Catfish Corner and it is at 1702 Lawson Road in Mesquite. It only cost $2 per person to get in (we saved $2 on the entry fee by using the coupon in the Entertainment Coupon book the library sells) and then it cost $2 per pound for what you catch. They also will clean or fillet for so much per pound as well. We saw all ages fishing in the three ponds. There was a little girl maybe no more than 6 years old that was reeling in fish as much as the adults were. Now you may say that this way of fishing is cheating. I say it is our way of stimulating the economy and enjoying the great outdoors while experiencing the feel of a fish on the line. The homemade fish soup that we had that night was pretty good too. If you want the recipe, send me an email at thager@littleelm.org. For more information about Catfish Corner, call them at 972-222-2823.

Have you ever seen Texas Tornadoes? The opportunity is here! On Saturday, October 24th at 7pm, you can see the Texas Tornado Hockey team in action. The Little Elm Library is selling $15.00 tickets for this special library fundraiser. Not only does $5.00 of each ticket go to the library but you will receive a Limited Edition Texas Tornado hat and an entry in a raffle to win Tornado merchandise. You can pay by cash, check, or credit card.

Though sports events can be exciting, sitting down with a book can have its own rewards. New Christian fiction added includes Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman; The Missing by Beverly Lewis; and A Vote of Confidence by Robin Lee Hatcher. A new audio bestseller added includes Blindman’s Bluff by Faye Kellerman. New bestsellers added include The Eleventh Victim by Nancy Grace; Even Money by Dick Francis and Felix Francis; 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs; and Alex Cross’s Trial by James Patterson & Richard Dilallo. A book of possible interest added to the collection is called 101 Secrets a Good Dad Knows: How to skip a rock, how to photograph lightning, how to carve a whistle, and other tricks of the trade by Walter and Sue Ellin Browder.

The friendly lake library card sign up competition will be over at 5:30pm on Wednesday, September 30th. The Colony, Lake Cities, and Little Elm libraries are competing to see who can sign up the most new people for National Library Card Sign Up month. We need your help! The Colony is ahead so far. All you have to do is come to the library and sign up for a library card before the end of September. Cards are free and a library card is better than a credit card and the benefit of a library card is priceless! For more information about anything call the library at 214-975-0430 or email library@littleelm.org.

Method # 3 Up in the Clouds

This is one of the Web 2.0 tools that I think is information overload. Regarding Google Docs, I think it is a very good tool with lots and lots of capabilities but I would need to spend an entire day to fully experiment and understand. I did use it to obtain feedback from staff on a project. I plan on trying to learn it better but it will have to wait for now. In regards to ZoHo, I liked being able to sign in using my Google account. I had heard this name mentioned before, especially by academic librarians. It looks to be pretty cool as well. I think I might like to try the meeting function sometime. I plan on experimenting more with Google Docs and Zoho as time permits.
In regards to "cloud computing", I do think that it has its place but it does concern me the amount of "personal" information that people freely share over the internet. I am a fairly "open" person but there is a safety factor that should be considered as people share information about themselves. There are many ways that "cloud computing" can be beneficial for libraries. I have recently been reading about "virtual branch libraries" and I think cloud computing could easily be used when putting together a virtual branch or even a "hyperlinked" library but no matter what we do, the most important thing should always be to provide friendly customer service.

Dozen Ways To Texas Two Step method #1 & #2: On the road with web 2.0 again

I have been writing a library column for many years so that I can keep people informed of library events. What I have learned is that no matter how many people you are reaching, there are other people who are getting their information somewhere else. Trying to figure out how to reach the people who weren't being reached was pretty mind boggling. Then I learned about blogging. For a long time I wanted to turn my library column into a blog so that I could get feedback from people who read it. I like to be walked through new computer experiences but I was not able to find someone who could take the time and I did not have a lot of time to figure it out myself. And then along came the North Texas 23, the online web 2.0 experience. I made sure to sign up myself and staff in order to better serve our patrons. Many library users have been familiar with the web 2.0 tools for a long time so it was time for us to catch up. I have put many of the web 2.0 tools to use. As library 2.0 tools it has been a way to get library news and events out to a greater number of people and reach them where they are in order to keep them informed. Though the Dozen Ways to Two Step is going to be more of a refresher course, it will greater improve what I have already learned. By the way, "The Machine is us/ing us" is my favorite resource that explains Web 2.0.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's Happening @ the Little Elm Library?

Little Elm Public Library newsletter
Fall into reading with the fall reading club open to all ages including adults that runs from September 1st to October 31st. Read or listen to 7 items then return the form to receive reading rewards. Many thanks to business sponsors Premier Martial Arts and La Hacienda Ranch.

Need some ideas of books to read for the reading club? New bestsellers added this week include Even Money by Dick Francis and Felix Francis; 92 Pacific Boulevard by Debbie Macomber; 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs; Smash Cut by Sandra Brown; Intervention by Robin Cook; In the President’s Secret Service by Ronald Kessler; and Culture of Corruption by Michelle Malkin.

September is National Library card signup month and the Little Elm Public Library is in a friendly lake competition with Lake Cities Library and The Colony Library. If you or your family and friends have not gotten a library card yet, this month is a great time to get one. It will also give you an opportunity to see Libearian Bear, made especially for the Little Elm Library by Build-A-Bear Workshop (Stonebriar Centre).

There is still time to give your feedback on how you think the Little Elm library is doing. Visit http://tinyurl.com/lelibrarysurvey and tell us what you think.

It is exciting when people work together to benefit the community. Some community partnership fundraisers that are currently taking place include the Caw Coo Parrot Head Club selling raffle tickets for a cool Cruzin Cooler and/or a real wooden treasure chest filled with over $2,000 of merchandise and gift certificates. The tickets are $5.00 each or 5 for $20.00. Though both items are awesome, I have to admit I have never seen a cooler that you can ride. Pretty cool! Tickets can be purchased at the library or contact Caw Coo Parrot Head Starr Brewer at 940-368-2826. The drawing will take place at the Little Elm Autumn Fest, September 26th and the proceeds go to the Little Elm Library.

Another partnership fundraiser involves the Little Elm Food Bank and the Little Elm Library working together to sell one of a kind Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge race t-shirts. They are only $5.00 each. The shirts are cool because they marked a historical event in Little Elm history. T-shirts can be purchased from the library and the proceeds will benefit both the library and the Food Bank.

Speaking of community events, make sure to mark your calendar for the Patriots Day ceremony on Sept. 11th from 8:45am-10:45am at the Little Elm Athletic Complex. The event is hosted by Little Elm American Legion Post 182. Guest speaker will be U.S. Navy Captain Tracy D. Smyers. The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Hal Grant at 214-407-6010.

Little Elm Library events include free Spanish, French, and elementary math tutoring on Sept. 8th and 10th at 4:15-5:15; on Sept. 8th Intro to Jewelry Design Class $10 + supplies 6pm for ages 13 and up and Saturday, Sept. 12th at 11:30 (registration required for both classes); chess club is Sept. 10th at 5:30pm; Little Elm Epilepsy Support Group and the library is sponsoring a presentation by DARS Sept. 10th at 7pm and the Little Elm Friends of the Library will be meeting on Sept. 10th at 7pm. On Saturday, Sept. 12th, free tax return extension assistance will be available 10-1 and the Little Elm Crafters Guild will be meeting that same day at 1pm. For more information contact the library at 214-975-0430 or email library@littleelm.org.