Category Archives: 23ThingsKansas

23 Things Kansas Wrap-up: aka the longest post EVER

Oh boy!  What a fun and crazy time!  I really enjoyed reading everyone’s’ posts and keeping up.  Although, I didn’t exactly keep up, but I sure tried!  It seemed like most of the time I was good at doing my lesson, just not writing my blog post at the end of the lesson.  Not exactly the best course of action.  It would have been much easier to write my posts at the time.  You live and you learn right?

Here is what I learned:

1.  We have so many creative and technologically gifted librarians out there!

2.  Shelfari can be used for more than just book reviews.  You can use it to keep track of how much book cost, if you lent it out, etc.  Someone (Brenda I think?) even mentioned how they used it to keep track of the books her baby had so friends and family knew what books to purchase.  I am kind of sad that I couldn’t put a widget on my blog, though.  I am seriously considering hosting my own WordPress blog.  *shrug*

3.  You can do a lot more with WordPress pages on KLOW than on pages.  This one was a hard one for me to swallow.  😦  I was pretty sad for awhile, but worked around it.  WordPress has been good about having some good workarounds.  I was most worried about not having the ability to post videos.   Sharon from NEKLS was kind enough to point me and others in the right direction.

4.  I do not have as much discipline as I would like.  At the beginning I was so sure I would have the time to do the lessons every week and was sure I would stay on top of them.  Not so much…  I admire those that did their lessons and post every week.  Kudos to you!!

5.  Zoho is pretty darn cool.  I could see myself using their tools for several projects, both personal and professional.

6.  There are Templates in Google Docs. I have been using Google Docs for so long I didn’t even notice the templates were there!  They are so fun and so easy to use.  Some of what people have done is fab!

7.  You can do Presentations in Google Docs.  I need to be better about opening my eyes.  Heather Braum and I worked on our KLA presentation using Google Docs.  It was so easy.  It was an even better choice for us since she is a Mac User and I am a PC User. We could probably have our own commercials…

8.  I still don’t totally “get” Creative Commons.  Maybe… someday I will.

9.  Facebook changes way too often.

10.  I discovered The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond’s Blog.  I love, love, love it!  Although, her blog and cookbook aren’t a good thing to discover when you’re on a diet.   I had heard of her several times before, but never got the hype until 23 Things Kansas.

11.  Facebook changes way too often.  Oh yeah…  I already mentioned that.

12.  I love, love, love Animoto.  It is so very easy and the finished product looks so professional.   I discovered yesterday that they now have a Water theme, perfect for Summer Reading! Check out the video I did below this morning.

13.  I still love Twitter.

14.  Some blog platforms are a lot more user-friendly than others.  There were times I kind of wished I would have used Blogger, but I am pretty happy with WordPress.

15.  Sometimes blogging can make you feel all alone out in the world.  I have often wondered if people were reading my blog.  And come to find out… sometimes people really weren’t! lol

16.  I really need to take the time to keep up with my Google Reader.  It really has helped me keep up with my blog reading, but I am so bad about checking it.

17.  If I had the chance I would spend all day on Facebook, Twitter, and reading various blogs.  I suppose this explains why some weekends a lot of housework doesn’t get done.

18.   No matter how much time I spend on Facebook or Twitter, there are still things to learn.  I was the co-author of these lessons and still learned from Heather and from others.  I learned a lot about customizing your profile and privacy settings during these lessons.  Thanks to the great questions I received from participants.

19.  It’s ok not to know everything.  This is hard for me.  I need to learn that I don’t always know how everything works.  However, the good thing is you can usually find a resource online or a person to help you!  That’s why librarians are so fabulous – they love helping people!

20.  Most people outside of the library world have no idea what 23Things is… or… ILL for that matter.  Or… KLOW. I have tried to do better about not using library slang.

21.  You can use Jing to make screenshots!  I love, love this.  It is so simple and so easy.   I learned this from Liz Rea and also from Sharon Moreland’s Screencasting Lesson.   Liz in her infinite wisdom usually sends me a screenshot from Jing whenever I ask her a question.  That woman has some patience!

22.  I discovered Mashable. I had been to Mashable’s site before, but never totally understood how valuable they are.   Now when I have a social media question it’s the first place I go.  However, everytime I see the name it still makes me want Mashed Potatoes.

See now you want some, too.

23.  Yes, I am finally almost done.  I also rediscovered commoncraft and how great their videos are.  I am always so amazed at how simple these videos explain things.  Almost every lesson we had for 23ThingsKS had at least commoncraft video in it.  How cool is that?  It’s another of those tools, I couldn’t live without.  Why didn’t I come up with an idea like that?  In November of last year there was a free webinar from TechSoup called “Tech Training Made Simple” which included Lee LeFever.

All in all a good, but crazy experience.  I am so thankful that others in our office and in our system were doing the lessons at the same time.  I think we all really kept each other on our toes and also were a big help!  I look forward to more 23 Things and possibly even a SWKLS 23 Things.

Finish Line photo taken from:

Mashed Tater photo:




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Week 15 – Wikis

I have always thought that wikis were a great idea.  They are so easy to edit and give people freedom!  However, it seems like it’s always so hard to get people interested in editing them.  It usually happens in one of two ways.  Either people are scared to edit them or you have a few people who go overboard and are the only ones editing them.  There has to be a happy medium somewhere.  Several years ago we tried to have a FAQ wiki on our site.  It never really went over.  We were hoping that coworkers and libraries would collaborate on it and the wiki information would basically seed itself. It never really happened.  😦

For our assignment this week I went into Wikipedia and found the Dodge City, Kansas entry.  At first I was a little nervous and was worried I wouldn’t find anything.  It didn’t take long, though.  I saw a discrepancy immediately under the sports section which honestly is pretty funny.  I am not a sports person at all, but that’s a story for another time.  Anyway, they had listed that Dodge City had a minor league basketball team called the Legend.  The Legend is no longer playing basketball in Dodge City so I edited it.  However, right after my editing frenzy I instantly had editing regret.  I took out the whole paragraph about the team and I wish I would have left it in and put in some more details about why they left and when they left.  *sigh*

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Week 14 – Library Thing, Etc.

I have had a Shelfari account for probably about a year, but have been really bad about keeping it up to date.  I can see a lot of use for it.  Hearing about some other people’s ideas of how to use it have been so fun.  I remember one person mentioning they were going to get a barcode scanner at home and use it to help keep track of their book collection at home.  How fun!

I just hope I can stay on top of it.  However, before 23Things I didn’t have very many friends on Shelfari and now I do!  This should help.  Woo hoo!

I also discovered there is a Shelfari Facebook Application.  I added that it looks kind of fun.  It looks like it links into Shelfari from Facebook.  So I can add books, update them, and everything from inside Facebook.  That might make keeping up more doable.

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Week 13 – Slide Sharing

This week was so much fun.  I am actually kind of sad that this lesson happened to be during the same week of KLA.  That week was so busy and crazy that I missed most of the slideshows that people posted.  How fun!!  We have so many creative librarians in Kansas.  It is also amazing to me how many free tools are available and how quickly they can make a slideshow look so fancy and professional!

I created the slideshow to showcase the fun we had at KLA this year.  I used Animoto which is so much fun!  I have seen such fabulous slideshows created on this site and it only takes minutes!  I also like that the free videos are usually only 30 minutes long.  For someone like me who always has a bad habit  of making things too long it’s perfect!

I also like how you can export your video into YouTube from Animoto.  I could be wrong, but I think this is a new feature?  It made it so easy to post on my blog!

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Week 12 – Screencasting

I have to say screencasting is something that has changed my life!  I know that sounds silly, but it is so true.  As a trainer I have written out instructions several times and still feel like the people I am training are struggling.  A few times I have been able to create a screencast along with my instructions and it has helped tremendously!   Some of our librarians needed the extra visual of watching the screencast to help them along in their learning process.  I have also made a few screencasts to help some of my family members when they were having trouble figuring out something on their computer.  I have to admit at first I tried so hard to make my screencasts as perfect as possible.  However, I watched a few that Liz Rea and Sharon Moreland made from NEKLS and realized mine didn’t have to be perfect!  Theirs were fabulous and weren’t totally perfect.  They might cough in the middle, but they would just go on!   I also had to get over the sound of my voice.  No one likes to hear the way they sound! eeek!  However, my supervisor Charlene McGuire always creates a persona when she screencasts.  As soon as she says she is someone else her nerves go away.  That makes sense to me, but I can never come up with a name.  I always feel like people will know it’s me anyway?  lol.

I have used Jing, Screentoaster, and Screencast-o-matic.  I have to say my favorite is Screencast-o-matic.  It’s the easiest to use in my opinion.  I also like how you don’t have to install any software and it lets you pause in the middle of a cast.  I have used the pause feature several times to gather my thoughts or pause and rewind to record over a part where I messed up.  I like Jing, too but a lot of times my screencasts are longer than 5 minutes (the limit on Jing) and I have had some issues with the software on my computer.

Here is a screencast I made on downloading ebooks from Kansas Audiobooks, music and more and transferring them to a Sony Reader.

Also, here at our office we have been trying to figure out a way to store and share our screencasts.  Does anyone have suggestions for what has worked or not worked for you?  We have a blog for our automation system where we can share those screencasts, but aren’t sure about the others.

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Week 10 – Video on the Web

Video is always something I am very nervous about.  I am a horrible photographer and an even worse videographer!  Being on video myself scares the heck out of me.  So…  I decided to get other people to be on video for me!  hahaha!  Excellent, plan right?  Well, turns out they were just as scared as I was to be on camera, but they did great!!!  For a few of my KLA presentations I needed to take video to share experiences from other librarians that were not able to attend.  This worked great.  The librarians were also great sports and could have second careers in broadcasting if they truly wanted. 

Here is a video I did of Tami Irwin from Hamilton County Library (Syracuse, KS).  She is talking about why she loves Twitter and how she uses it at work. 

Here is also a video of Joan Weaver talking about how they created videos to promote their library. 

Thank you Week 10 for motivating me to do more with video.  I am embarassed to say I have taught a few classes on the subject, but am always nervous to do videos myself. 

Those who can do, those who can’t teach.

I also learned I tend to cut off people’s heads when I am videoing them.  Next time I will be a bit more careful with that!

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Week 9 – Instant Messaging

Ahhh… Instant Messaging one of my old and long-time friends.  I have used Instant Messaging since 1997.  I used to be a heavy icq user.  I also used AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo Messenger.  These days I pretty much stick to gtalk.  I don’t use instant messaging nearly as much as I used to.  However, I use it all of the time to talk to my husband throughout the day or while one of us is traveling.  I also use it quite a bit to communicate with Liz and Heather from NEKLS.

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