Thing 5: Exploring Flickr (and some of my favorite blogging tools)

Since I've been a Flickr user for at least three years now, I've had the chance to excplore and discover all sorts neat little applications that have grown out of Flickr's api's and devloper community.

For this blog post for L&P@CML I thought I'd share some of the neat little Flickr gadgets and widgets that I've discovered over the years that let you embed some of your Flickr images into your blog.

  • Flckr Slidr- by far this is my favorite tool for creating and embedding slideshows from Flickr into your blog. Just enter your user name, set, or tag, select the pixels for your size and the tool does the rest and even supplies the code for you to copy and paste into your blog. It's really that easy. :)

  • Bubblr is a great little tool for adding conversation bubbles to your photos. Simply specify your Flickr user name and tag and it pulls up your Flickr images so you can drag and drop conversation bubbles and then save the images.

  • Cover Flow Although I must admit I haven't played this one yet, the tool looks as easy to use as the Slidr, but the rotating display is tens time more awesome. Definitely noting this new find here, so I have easy access to it in the future.

  • Finally Flickr badge (see my badge on my side bar)... this is one Flickr gem that I always seem to have a difficult locating on Flickr itself whenever I need it. For some reason it's buried pretty good in the Flickr site itself, so for those who are wondering, I thought I take the next 10 minutes to search for it again... [time lapse 3.5 minutes] Ok, I'm back. that took less time than normal. I remembered I had to search the Flickr Help Forum to find it last time... so I could provide you with the link. Here it is.

Enjoy Flickr!

Thing 3: Lifelong Learning – a little bit of back story

Ok, So I’m a little delayed in keeping up with my Learn & Play blogging. But after being gone for a week and half (sans all wireless and laptop I might add) I’m still swamped a bit in trying to catch up. For thing # 3 I’m suppose to blog about my Life long learning habits and since I was actually there at the beginning when Lori Reed was searching to come up with the original idea for the tutorial, I thought I’d blog about this as my “thing.”

The funny thing was that when I developed the Learning 2.0 program approach in the first place, I intentionally left the first few exercises open to cover a series of “lifelong learning” posts. I can still remember the day when Lori walked into my office and asked is I had any suggestions for an online tutorial that might be good for her to develop to help fulfill an online learning course that she was participating in. We brainstormed a bit about options and talked about the L2.0 project I was working on and then Lori came up with this amazing idea to cover Lifelong learning habits in the form of an online tutorial. It was brilliant... nuff said!

7 habits of highly “effective” lifelong learners was the first working title for her creation as I remember, but since Stephen Covey’s empire disapproved of her request -- some copyright thing, you know :) -- she did the next best thing and altered the title to reflect 7.5 habits that highlighted 'successfula' -- who needs effective, when you can be successful? :) --lifelong learning.

Lori Reed’s tutorial
is incredible and really sets the foundation for the entire online discovery adventure and I’ve been privileged to watch Lori rise from a branch technology trainer to a featured presenter at Web Junction... and to think it started with a small idea sbout learning.

Anyway, for those that might be curious about my own struggles/successes with lifelong learning habits, the easiest habit for me has always been 7.5 – Play! The most difficult one? That’s hard, but if I had to chose one it would probably to have to be to “view problems as challenges.” It’s not a natural inclination, but rather one that I’ve worked hard to develop. Once I can view problems as opportunities, my brain seems to open up more to creative problem solving - which of course, means stretching myself to learn and grow more. :)

PS: If you're interested in learning & libraries, I highly recommend Lori's blog, Library Trainer, as well.


A library case study on designing for “experience.”

Before I left for vacation (yup, that explains my nearly two week long absence for those who were wondering) I discovered this presentation from Marc Rettig and Adrahana Goel on Designing for Experience. Adrahana is currently the Service Design Strategist* for IDEO. She is also a featured speaker at the Idea Conference coming up – which BTW is also being held at the Chicago Public Library - which is how I discovered this...

Anyway, what caught my attention initial interest was the subject of the presentation, designing for “experiences” but I was moved forward through the slides I became more intrigued by the primary case study that they used … the Carnegie Public Library.

Follow the presentation completely. The slides on “walk(ing) a mile in the customers shoes” really tell a lot. The story that the case study demonstrates is that you can gain a lot through the information architecture process, rapid prototyping and user testing.

View the full presentation, but pay close attention to slides 1-88

* Note: Doesn’t this sound like a great job title for a new position in public service. I mean Service Design Strategist … I luv it, don't you?


Indexed says it best ...

Leave it to Jessica at Indexed to simplify it best. :)

Learn & Play @ CML

I’m really excited about CML’s Learn & Play discovery program because…

  1. I know from my experience in leading the original program how much it generated knowledge sharing and a greater sense of community.

  2. I’m eager to see how my new colleagues embrace this type of peer-to-peer learning environment and to discover what new opportunities it will open up for our library.

    and …

  3. This time around, thanks to the L&P@CML team, I don't have to lead the effort. [insert huge smile here] Hats off to Gerald, Joy, Sam, Tonya, Jon & Tammy for not only improving the program, but kicking it off in style!!

Since active participation in the program is really the best way that any manager or administrator can support this system-wide learning effort, I’ve been a little bit torn about how best to actively support it. Being the creator of the original program and concept, it seems artificial for me to blog each of “things” along with all the participants. So instead, to lend my support, I’ve decided that I will follow along and use my blog to actively comment on what I’m noticing and share with you what I’ve learned in the last two years from other libraries who have launched Learning 2.0 programs of their own.

So be on the lookout for a new series of 23 Things posts... but this time around instead of commenting on things, I'll try and just focus on observations and lessons learned.

Oh... and btw, my advice for those participating is still the same...

1. Give yourself and others permission to PLAY
2. Make time for DISCOVERY
3. And have FUN!

To all those at CML starting this journey - E.N.J.O.Y!


A great day ...

Yesterday was a good day. Not only did Michael Stephens do two amazing talks for CML staff and guests, but the CML team kicked-off Learn & Play @ CML. I didn’t bring my laptop for either of his talks to capture my thoughts. But I did use my blackberry to twitter some of them ...

As you can see my fingers type just as bad on bb keyboard as they do on a laptop. Some things just are inevitable ...

Congrats CML for a successful launch. "I say Learn ..."


Join in this great MaintainIT webinar

One of the most worthy projects that I’ve had the fortune to be associated with these past two years is the Maintain IT project, a 3 year grant funded aimed to assist libraries in building sustainable technology practices. This year a WebJunction series has been added that really is top notch and this month’s subject is an area I have floated around in for the last dozen years.

I say tomayto, you say tomahto: Communicating with techies and non-techies--can't we all just get along?

“Join Ross Callender from the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) as he shares tips and suggestions for improving communication between techies and non-techies. Bridge the gap by trying a few simple techniques. Take 30 minutes out of your day to learn from his experiences helping hundreds of librarians use, troubleshoot, and make the most of technology.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2008, 1 Time PM Central

Be sure to also check out the archive for other great 30-minute informative webinars.


Yay ALA!

Seeing these new READ posters pop up all over the web in the last 24 hours got me curious…

...and then I discovered it was being fueled by a new image generator from ALA – Yay!

I can’t tell you how glad I am to see this. Well done ALA!

Make your own here.

Or better yet, encourage your customers to make their own and join in the fun. :)

PS: Jenny, your *sheparding* rocks!


Learning 2.0 Survey: Calling all program coodinators ...

It’s hard to believe that two years I launched Learning 2.0 for PLCMC staff and in two short years this simple program has grown it’s own set of arms and legs and literally walked itself all over the globe.

To celebrate this date – and to also gain a bit perspective – I’ve decided to conduct a little survey to see how this program has impacted libraries and pull together lessons learned.

Over the last two weeks I’ve already gathered input from coordinators of over 50 different individual learning 2.0 program adaptations. But I hoping that through this posting I can gather several more program responses to get a wider sampling of the program’s impact and lessons learned.

If you or your library has completed your own Learning 2.0 program or adaptation, I’d loved to get your survey input. Just email me at helene.blowers(-at-) or leave a comment. I’ll be happy to forward to the survey link to you and would be grateful for your input.

BTW: The survey is short. Only ten questions and should take no more then 5 minutes.

Note: for those that are interested, I’m also planning to share the results here. And if the early results are any indication, there is some good stuff to share.

Great design … also makes it easy to ask for help.

Seth Godin’s post today really rings home with me.

“Great design is intuitive. Great design eliminates confusion. But not for everyone, not all the time. The words and interactions you use often have a sophistication that will confuse some portion of your audience.

Why not consider making it easy for the confused to ask for help? And treat them with respect when they do. If you don't create a little confusion, it's unlikely you've built something remarkable”.

Seth’s thoughts remind me a little about our catalog upgrade this past winter. Although its new design didn't initially please everyone 100% ( to Seth's point, pleasing everyone is unrealistic) I think we did make easy to for online customers to ask for help. :)


Create A Culture of Learning

It never fails ... everytime Lori times this program -- actually she has only done it twice, I think -- I'm unable to attend. Pah!

But if you have time tomorrow afternoon to join in this free WebJunction webinar, I'm sure it will be worth your time.

Cultivate a Culture of Learning at your Library

August 5, 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern

Lori Reed will show how to create a culture of learning in your library. This is an encore presentation. Join us for a free hour-long webinar focused on helping library managers, trainers and front-line staff succeed with online learning. Please register for the webinar and you will be sent instructions for joining and preparing your computer.

PS: This is a repeat program. It was that popular the first time around.


Don't hold back...

In just over a week, CML is going to launch it's own version of 23 Things called Learn & Play @ CML. This video made its debut yesterday at the managers meeting. As you might guess, it was hit. :)

Hat's off to the awesome team leading this effort. Gerald, Joy, Sam, Tonya, John & Tammy (hope I haven't forgot anyone) You guys rawk!

PS: If you're interested in following along with us on this journey, by all means don't hold back. :)