Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Learn about something you never knew existed and make the invisible, visible

My particular area of interest in grad school was remote access, digitization and the potential of the citizen archivist.
The Smithsonian has a call out for just this kind of project. The Smithsonian Digital Volunteers transcription center is looking for help transcribing items in the collection. I am working on a journal from the 1860s written during an expedition across Alaska.

Help out if you can before those of us who can read cursive are gone. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Why would someone do that?

Can you believe this?!? Thankfully not our library, that would just be heartbreaking, but still... WHY?!? Let's get past thinking about the destruction of property and consider the burning of books. Yuck, just yuck.

Monday, July 7, 2014

up and running

We are, as suggested above, up and running, open for business, have hung out our shingle and are on the map. Well, soon to be on the map. We are registered and when the nice people at Little Free Library add us you will be able to find Little Free Library #15911 on the map. Stop by and...

"Take a book - Return a book"

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A new project

Having completed the 23 mobile things I am excited to announce that we are starting a new project by adding a Little Free Library to the front yard of our home. Custom built and installed by my generous parents we will be the first library on the block. If you are not familiar with the Little Free Library take a peek at the site and find a library near you. We will be up and running next week and will update with pictures and our official library number when we have them.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Thing 23 of the 23 mobile things


Go back to your thoughts/ideas about mobile devices and apps. Has anything changed as a result of this experience?

I have always been happy with the selection of apps that I have on my devices and have added a few things as I need them or as someone recommends them. This project has shown me how much more is available that I have never taken advantage of. I hope that I will continue to search for new apps and to discover more efficient uses of the devices I have.

What were your favorite Things and discoveries?

I liked the games and education things because they were fun discoveries, but I think I will get the most use out of note taking, sharing photos and audio. Many of the apps that I have tried will be discards once the project is done but I will be keeping more than I thought and look forward to spending more time with a few new favorites.

How did you connect with others doing the 23 Mobile Things?

I found that I really only discussed the project with co-workers in person. I never really connected with other participants which was a little disappointing. Most of my co-workers gave up after the first few things and I ended up loosing the ability to share the experience.

Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

I was surprised by the limits of the devices I was using. I never realized how much more an iPad has to offer in apps that other formats. It was a challenge to find alternatives for my Kindle and even sometimes for my Android phone. I feel like I developed better skills in searching for apps that fill my needs, but I think I also realized how little I need to do on my device other that check email, read, participate in common social media and stream video. While I don't think the Kindle has as much to offer as a stand alone tablet device as other platforms, for me what I can access is plenty.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or content?

I was satisfied with what the program offered with the exception of the lack of a social element. I never felt like there was a place to go to discuss what we discovered or a way to talk through challenges with other participants.

If we offered a another 23 Things program like this in the future would you participate?

Definitely. I like the chance to learn something new and to challenge myself to plow through the tough "things" where I couldn't easily explore the suggested apps. I also really appreciated the preview of the apps and tips on how to get started.

How would you describe your learning experience in one word or in one sentence, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities to others?

Thing 22 of the 23 mobile things

Amazon App store, Quixey

As a Kindle user I do most of my searches through the Amazon app store. I have discovered several I have really enjoyed on their free app of the day. It's pretty simple to find enough to keep me busy by looking at recommendations based on other apps I've purchased. If Amazon is known for one thing, either for good or evil, it is guessing what you want next even if you don't know yourself. I am learning that to discover apps beyond what Amazon thinks I want I really have to dig. I'm getting better.

quixey logoQuixey was easy to use and I was pleased to see several familiar titles as well as less well known options for my areas of interest. There seems to be a good selection which is compatible with Kindle even if I can't always download directly from the Quixey site. The interface is clean and easy to navigate and I felt that the search options were easy to use. I liked being able to browse topics and to sort by trending. I will make a point of using this site to research apps I am considering purchasing.

Thing 21 of the 23 mobile things

my pick (Goodreads)

I used to record every book I read in a excel document on my computer. This document was complete with date read, genre and a star rating. In an obvious rookie mistake, about a year ago I fried the hard drive on my computer Among the list of things I lost was this reading list with over three years of titles. Shame on me for not backing up. Finding Goodreads about a year before I lost my list has eased some of my regret and now I use the app regularly to keep track of my reading. I have shelves for a few things, ebook, audio, 5 stars and to remind me which titles in a series I have read, but I don't tag beyond that. It is really easy to add titles by scanning the ISBN barcode on a book so I've installed the app on my phone and Kindle as well as access the site from my laptop. Though I do value the reviews other readers contribute I rarely go beyond adding a star rating and the date completed. Other that the group created by the staff at my library for sharing staff picks I avoid groups and my list of friends is comfortably small. I enjoy seeing what others are reading and exploring titles or authors I'm curious about, but for me just storing the titles I've read is the most valuable element of this app. Clearly I can't be trusted to do it on my own.