Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More ways to lose myself online

At 11:00 last night, I logged into Netflix to catch the start of "Vanity Fair." Always a sucker for a good costume drama, I watched it through to the bitter end. Two and a half hours later, completely awake, I asked myself, "Self, are you perhaps spending too much time online? Maybe?" But with so many delightful new toys on the Internet, I just can't help myself.

In the last weeks, in the name of (library) science, I have gotten involved with three more 2.0 tools:

1. Podcasts through i-Tunes. No longer do I have to wait for the weekend to enjoy the comic delights of CarTalk. Now if only I could figure out why my brakes have been so squeaky...

2. Microblogging through Twitter as mcthill. No more Google stalking for me. Now I'll "follow" you on Twitter.

3. Video sharing as mcthill on YouTube. I'm not watching videos for my own entertainment. I'm conducting research for the library. Honest.

And with these tools, I complete the NEIU Library Learns 2.0 course. I'll offer some reflections on that in my next post.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Photo Sharing

Besides IM, I think my favorite Web 2.0 tool is online photo sharing. Of course, you wouldn't know if from visiting my Flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/people/mcthill, where I have just a few public pictures posted from the Bohemian National Cemetery, and not very good pictures, at that.

I often use the search function at Flickr when I'm looking for images with a Creative Commons License. It's amazing what beautiful shots you can find-- of almost anything--to use in teaching, websites, and handouts.

Since I've had my Flickr account for a few months now, I decided to begin experimenting with Picasa. I figure that Google owns me, so perhaps I should go with a Google product. I have found that editing images with Picasa software is fun and easy, and that Picasa does a great job of organizing all of the photographs I have stored in different nooks and crannies of the computer. I don't know that it will replace Flickr for me as a way to share photographs, though. I guess I need to play with the program some more before I decide.

Monday, June 9, 2008

LibGuides, del.icio.us, and the society for creative anachronisms

I've had a delicious account for a couple of months now: http://del.icio.us.com/mcthill.

When I was doing research for the NEIU LibGuides project, I saw LibGuides at other libraries that used tag clouds to organize librarian-vetted websites, courtesy of delicious. They looked so pretty that I just had to give del.icio.us a try. Now all of my public tags relate to English and American literature and/or the research process, and are posted straight to LibGuides.

I've been thinking about revising my tags to include more phrases, as in "16_century_poetry." I find the single-word tags very limiting. I generally ignore the pink bars, only because I don't think that the approval of many users means that the site will be better for my students. For medieval literature, for instance, some of the most popular sites address the interests of gamers and creative anachronists.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I'm the Circus Librarian here.

I'm the Righteous Librarian on pbwiki. (That's righteous as in dude, excellent.)

I'm myself on Google Pages and Facebook.

That covers it. I think I'm pretty much everywhere.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A New Beginning

Esteemed friends and colleagues:

Impelled by the RW Library's 2.0 project, I have reluctantly entered the 21st century and started a blog. Or rather, I have started a second blog. This one, I promise, will be more witty, informative, and famous than its short-lived predecessor. Thus, our plucky heroine begins again. A new beginning.

I'm excited about the 2.0 program at the RW Library, based on an InfoTech column on 2.0 initiatives, which requires librarians to experiment with a new social networking instrument each week. I expect the program can help Luddittes and tech geeks alike to expand their knowledge of online social networking. I, on the other hand, am hopeless.

Yet there is one issue consistently omitted from publications on blogging, an issue too vital for the novice to ignore. That issue, of course, is how one selects an appropriate nom de plume. We are familiar with the Twisted Librarian, the Shifted Librarian, the Modified Librarian, and my personal favorite, the Tattooed Librarian. Even the RW Library is home to Zenbrarian and RoboLibrarian.

This leads us to a host of other questions: Are all the good names taken? Does using one's own name on a blog mean that one aspires for notoriety in the library world? And what the heck does the Circus Librarian even mean? Visit me this Thursday at the reference desk to witness my death-defying feats.