Friday, September 11, 2009

Rio Children's Area

Rio Children's Area
Originally uploaded by mjtlib

We've been making a lot of changes at Rio Linda. We have new standing shelves with slat wall sides, as well as a spiffy puppet stage fro programs and for children to entertain themselves.

Up later, our new teen area. Currently in progress, waiting for some new additions and equipment.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rio Self Check

Rio Self Check
Originally uploaded by mjtlib

Its been a while, however when I was reviewing photos today I ran across the shots I took the day our self check was installed. Its seen a good amount of use since then, especially amongst our teen and children patrons. Even some of our senior patrons have fallen in love with this cool little machine.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

La Dernière Chose!

I've enjoyed participating in 27 Things at SPL. I've learned a lot of new tools and ideas about social interactions using the internet. I think the biggest change to my Internet Life (IL) is the inclusion of Google Reader. The blogs and tweets I follow have become quite addicting. I really have a need to check on them multiple times a day.

After completing the program, I feel that there are some things that weren't much fun as others and that after the first couple of weeks the excitement sort of wore off. If anything I might consider making it more like 20 things and try and cram it into 4 or 5 weeks. While it would make a lot of work for those weeks, the excitement won't have time to wear off. When learning at your own pace in a busy life, it is easy to drop the learning to focus on the actual doing of your everyday tasks and ativities.

Overall, the program was a success. Thank you for letting us all participate.

P.S. La Dernière Chose! = (The Final Thing!)

Thingfo is invite only...

I popped over to to try and monkey with that widget. They are not available now. Thingfo appears interesting, but for my blogging, tweeting, and other social media presence, I think I'd prefer it to be about me. If I was maintaining a non personal site, such as a informational or marketing type site, I'd strongly consider a Thingfo widget to gather up "posts" about the topic of my site.

24 Mangos? Or is it, that Thing 24 is a Mango.

Well, I intended to sneak this in before the auto post about twitter. That didn't happen for 2 reasons, first the database portion of the site was down the last time I had time to Mango, and secondly I'm easily distracted.

Mango is really cool. I really liked it when it was sent out for the whole staff to review when we were selecting some new databases. I just don't have time right now to do 3 lessons, as they seem to take well over an hour each to complete. I chose to do Japanese, since I took it in high school, I still understand the structure of the language but pretty much lost all the vocabulary. After about 50 slides the first 4 or 5 slides are repeated several times so that by the end of the lesson the whole thing is fairly well drilled into your head. I skipped ahead to the later lessons, and discovered that the whole system is built on the previous lessons as well. Each lesson builds on the prior.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Twittering My Thumbs

So as part of 27 things, I signed up for Twitter in the first week or so. I've been on the Twitter now for almost 3 months. I found at the beginning it was new and fun and posted a bit. Though after a while, I've found myself very very interested in reading tweets from friends, coworkers, and various "celebrities", but not so much in posting myself. I do noticed that the prolific tweeters tend to have a mobile device that allows them to tweet as if they were sending text messages.

Some of my favorite people to follow are: Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion, Brandon Sanderson, and Chris Freeman

You can follow me at or click on my twitter badge over in the right hand column.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Scavenger Hunt #23

Just finished the scavenger hunt successfully. Our new site is pretty if somewhat tough to navigate. Especially if you were use to the big list of stuff the old site was. The only problem I had is the link to the Health database was broken when I tried it. Also Encore wouldn't place my holds until I logged in, then it worked flawlessly.

You really do have to hunt around to find stuff.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Well, it took me a while to find anything I was interested in. The browsing functions need a lot of improvement. Finally had to use Advanced Search to find a good MP3, IPod compatible, available, Sci-Fi novel. Finding books is sorta tricky, but the downloading and transferring of the audio was super simple and quick. 14 hours downloaded in about 4-5 minutes and transferring to ITunes was speedy.

Overall, if you know exactly what you want and its available, Overdrive is great.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

PodPeople, Unite!

So podcasts are the hot thing these days. Even my wife can't leave them alone. Podcasts are a great source of news, and much like blogs lets you pick and choose who you want to listen to. I subscribe to a few podcasts but forget to listen to them very regularly. I really like the interface of Itunes, and since we are already pod people this works best for us.
After investigating library podcasts with both sites listed I couldn't find anything newer than December 2008. So I used ITunes, and found a cast, of someone reading "great" literature. - Currently on Chapter 2 of Ulysses.
I subscribe to several electronic music podcasts from the BBC. These shows are weekly with some of the best trance/house music out that week.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tubing on the web. Thing 20!

So Youtube has been around forever. It has everything. I like to watch game previews, anime episodes, television shows I might have missed, music videos, and occasionaly all the stupid or crazy stuff people post. The new HD option helps on the more commercially produced films or shots, but a lot of the cell phone vid and cheap web cam footage is tough on the eyes.

One of the most amusing ones I remember, and it popped into my head almost as soon as I typed in the youtube address was the Coke+ Mentos Experiments. Where two dorky looking "scientists" preloaded hundreds of Coke bottles with mentos and did a sort of show set to a real thumpy drum and bass number. Included here for everyone's enjoyment

There is also a short segment by the Mythbusters about why the reaction is so explosive. Seen here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

19th thing! I might not be done, but this is Last. Last FM.

Web 2.0, a confusing pack of strange websites with interesting behaviors. A lot appear to be specialized you tube sites. While thats 2.0 its not very exciting. I did however explore the which is a form of web radio, that develops stations by picking an artist or group that you already like and it finds similar things. Itunes has a feature like this, but it only works for music you have, this lets you explore lots of new stuff without buying.

By creating an account, you can combine 3 artists into a multiple artist station thus expanding your listening pleasure. The site is smooth and the streaming music is fast with little to no delay. So far I've enjoyed everything I've listened to. The other nice feature is it keeps a history of what you listened too and allows you to jump back to it. Also, I suppose if you really liked it, a lot of songs have a link to a site to purchase it.

This would be very useful for patrons wanting to listen to music while surfing, since we cannot install itunes and other software that may allow copyright infringements. This also doubles as a useful listerners advisory.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


This Zoho thing is even better than Google Docs. I've been using Google docs for almost a year and half now. I don't believe in printers for my home computer. However some of these pesky college instructors demand printed out papers. Heck for a while I didn't even have an "Office" suite installed on my PC. Well i wrote all my papers in Google, then published to the web so that i could access it anywhere. The problem is that the formatting and printing wasn't to great, so I'd have to copy and paste into a PC based word processor, then edit it before printing. This Zoho actually shows me live page view without having to hint the preview button.

Another thing about those PC based processor programs is that it is very difficulty to navigate the new "ribbon" toolbar screens. Zoho is much more straightforward.

My only disappointment is that Zoho is not supported in Chrome. This really bums me out, as I really prefer chrome for browsing purposes. I did post this from Zoho, in Chrome to the blog.

Sandbox: The outdoor critter's, you know what...

I've been familiar with wiki editing for a while now. I just can't think of anything interesting to add at the moment. However, this little exercise has given the idea to plan our big Southwest road trip in a wiki. Hopefully, this upcoming spring my wife and I are planning to visit a large portion of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah landmarks.

A wiki in conjunction with a shared Google map, is the best way to plan for where, what and when to see all these amazing landscapes.

I did have a little trouble at first adding the to the staff blog page cause I kept trying to "paste" the link to my blog directly into the table. I then realized that I needed to use the insert link button at the top and problem fixed. Also, just for fun I recolored Notbyitscover's text to her favorite color, much to her dismay when she snuck up behind me and caught me in the act...


Wiki's are cool. Generally I find that when doing reader's advisory on an author's other books, doing a quick google search for the authors name with wiki at the end, will find a fantastic site, much faster and easier to read than the author's website. Author websites are a marketing tool and are notoriously difficult to navigate. The people who write the wikis are so passionate about the subject matter that they generally have much more detail about the materials.

During the beginning phases of the PC Reservation committee we used a wiki, to discuss and develop our RFP requirements. This saved a lot of time driving to different locations and let us spend our time on this project, when it was good for us.

Also the new SPL Circulation manual being on a wiki, has made it so much easier to work with.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thing 15 - Library 2.0

What is this 2.0 thing? Well our 27things program that we are all part of is starting the discussion and a move in the right direction to get us all thinking about it. But as individual library public services employees how does this all really effect us? In short, not much. Will this change, should it?

Don't get me wrong, I love technology and its uses. I even believe it belongs in a library setting. I also believe that it is something to continue striving for. However most of the changes and technologies in these articles have little to do with individual branches or staff members, and really focus on a system wide approach to materials and access. Our move to Encore is a key example of a great 2.0 tool. Our circulation manual turned into a wiki is fantastic.

So what can us branch staffers do to be part of Library 2.0? Blogging? Tagging? Developing wiki content? How is all this compatible with the Model of Service program?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Illumin... er... Technorati

Either Learning 2.0 is not really a good search term, or Technorati is currently broken. They have a notice about maintainence issues. What I really liked about exploring this site, was the channels on the home page. It appears that these bloggers seem to have the same or better access to information that our local news and even other web news sources have. You can also find a blog that has the slant you prefer, and they are unapolegitic about there bias, unlike traditional media sources which have a lot of bias but claim they don't.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Delicious, or how I learned to stop picking "Favorites"

So, its been a while since I've posted. Mostly because the branch has been busy, and my free time at home has been eaten up with a rediscovered hobby. Also, I was working quite a bit ahead. Getting on track again, I've decided to explore delicious with emphasis on my hobby, Gunpla (japanese term for Gundam Plastic Modelling).

First off.  Delicious appears to still be heavily used by a certain type and group of people and not a very "pop culture" or everybody site.  The most popular stuff day in and day out tend towards the extreme technical end of graphic design and web production, with cute animal pictures thrown in.

Even though it appears the average user is a highly technical person, the site has some very cool and exciting features, specifically user defined tagging and social bookmarking.  I think that there are some really interesting oppurtunities for an organization to share tagging guidelines and then go tag the web.  If an organization does this type of joint production we can help to create a unified pressence on the web and a useful resource.  An example is that we have all the SPL Teen librarians tag a bunch of sites as SPL Teen Interest, those people who are not with the latest teen trends could quickly find resources to get them up to speed...

Enough about thoughts and impressions, lets take a look when I search for the tags : gunpla

Several of my favorite sites on how to, how to get better, and what new models are coming soon are listed in the first page.  Also by seeing these sites and the tags, others use to describe them, I can find new sites, with maybe more specific information about specific models I'm working on, or different and cheaper ways to come up with the same effects.

The only problem is that the modelling I'm interested in doesn't involve flouncing down a catwalk, but there is definately posing involved in each area.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fun with Rollyo

For those of you who don't know, I have a lot of pet turtles.  Several different species.  They are all over the house in there tanks!  I'll probably talk about them more later and share more pictures too.  Well since, I'm a turtle person I decided to use Rollyo to search sites about turtles and tortoises that I'm familiar with and trust.  Unfortunately I spent more time reading about turtles than playing with rollyo options...

Here are a few turtle pics - 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Library - Thing - 11

As I am taking the cataloging course at Sac City right now, I am really starting to understand and enjoy cataloging.  Library Thing is more a social library catalog, though. The options available to uploading your books are impressive.  I wish I had a barcode scanner.  The adding books and finding them seems real sluggish though.  The layout is very busy when editing your books.

When it comes to making lists of my collection and rating and reviewing and sharing with others, I prefer  However I do like the widget from Library Thing to include cover flow of books on my list directly to my blog.

@Chris - AACR2 is a great book, it has all the rules and some very pecuilar wording. Probably cause Anglo comes before American in this title.  So i must share a strange rule from the book.

My favorite rules from AACR2 - 
21.26A - Enter a communication presented as having been received from a spirit under the heading for the spirit (see 22.14).  Make an added entry under the heading for the medium or other person recording the communication.

22.14A - Add (Spirit) to a heading established for a spirit communication (see 21.26).
Parker, Theodore (Spirit)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fun with image editors

I think of myself as a relatively private person on the internet.  I play several types of online games, and the people I play with don't know my real name (I've played with some of these people for more than 4 years).  I also do not care to have my picture posted around either.  However, these days almost every website, social networking or otherwise, wants a picture of you and a detailed profile.  I have the solution.  Its even fun.  I spent a couple of hours messing around with it. Let me share with you now.  

The Rio Linda Public Library Staff!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Feeds and how to find them

Well now that I have reader up and running, its time to load it up with interesting stuff.

First, I already had several feeds there since I had started to follow other people off the 27 Things start page.   I added a couple of more blogs, such as the Sci Fi and Teen book feed from SPL.  I added my own blog feed.

Then I noticed I had my feed setup incorrect, so i fixed it like it says in bright red on the week 2 instructions on 27 Things.  And it finally updated into reader with the new stuff.  

I really don't want to be overwhelmed with feeds, so other than Unshelved comic strip, I'm going to leave the rest of the feeds off til I run accross something I want to follow.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bloglines? No! Google Reader? Yes!

I really didn't want to setup another new account.  Everyone I know who follows blogs and tweets said use Google Reader.  So I clicked on Google Reader and i already had a couple of subscriptions. When I had clicked to follow certain blogs associated with 27 Things, they were already added to the Google Reader which was already active, since I created a google blog account.  After watching and reading through the tutorials, I've pretty much determined there really isn't that much of a difference between the two programs.

I definately prefer the Google Reader, since it is pretty much logged in and ready to go whenever I access any of my related blogging activities.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Technology - Thing 7

I love my Ipod.  So much so, that I went out last weekend and bought a new one.  Though I was sorely tempted by the coolness factor of the Touch, i really have way to much music I want to hear. Introducing the IPod Classic - 120GB of spacious, roomy goodness.  I spent all weekend uploading the rest of my CDs into Itunes, and now have a no repeat run time of 83.4 days.  Even better, the Ipod is not even half full.

Just prior to this momentous occasion, I had a complete hard drive failure and lost everything.  I was devestated about the amount of work loading 30 + GB of music into my Itunes took origanlly. Since Apple in its infinite wisdom decided to prevent music sharing via ipod by not allowing you to upload to computer from pod, I needed another way.  Then this amazing web site appeared: ILounge.  There are hundreds of articles about all things Pod.  I even found a tutorial on how to transfer the music on your Ipod back to your computer.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

Raisin Warhol or how to mash!

Raisin Warhol
Originally uploaded by mjtlib

After exploring the wonderful world of mashups, and making a trading card out of my wife, I decided to use the Warholizer toy at fd's Flickr Toys to make a picture of the world's largest raisin box into ART!

Also reviewed a site called Internet Inferno, which took the tags from photos and then linked them to the levels of purgatory and hell in the order that Dante wrote them. Some pictures were just weird, a lot were spot on, and some were extremely funny. Apparently each time you load the page it creates new images too.

Front Desk with Bobby

Front Desk with Bob
Originally uploaded by mjtlib

Well getting back to our 27 Things project here. I decided to take a picture with our branch digital camera to showcase some new flyers, I worked up, to help market upcoming titles. However, Bobby couldn't resist getting into the picture.

Normally I would host the pictures using my own domain, but as this is the week about Flickr, I made myself a flickr account. The only problem (or should I say challenge) I had was needing to get another new email account , this time on yahoo. I really wish I could have signed up with my existing mail account or used the one i made for gmail and the blog.

Using flickr is very intuitive and following the instructions from the 27things blog links, I'm up and running.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rio Linda Library's New Drive Through

On April 2, 2009 a patron accidentally drove their large van through the exterior wall and in to our Science Fiction Collection. Thankfully no one was hurt, and now we get some good stories and some humorous sayings. Such as:

Someone took umbrage at our Science Fiction collection.
We didn't really mean that the library was van accessable.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

7 1/2 Lifelong Learning Habits

After watching the presentation on 7 and 1/2 Lifelong Learning Habits, we were asked to write up which habit we personally found easiest and most difficult.

From my strong background in computer engineering and support, using technology to my advantage is definately easy for me. I understand how computers and networks work. Also i can generally navigate myself around most technologies by quick trial and error. Also reading the manuals and help files.

I tend to view problems as a crisis, instead of as a challenge. I generally am able to handle the problems but usually have a negative response. I'd much prefer to be preventative then reactive. When a problem presents itself, I handle it but generally make it a bigger issue than it needs to be

Welcome to the Blog

I'm writing this blog as part of the 27 Things program at the Sacramento Public Library. We are learning to use and interact with many of the new Web 2.0 technologies. While I'm a very technical person and highly internet savvy this is my first ever blog post. I've always been interested in blogging, but until now have never had a strong enough urge to actually do it.