Posts Tagged ‘there’s an app for that’

#CPD23 Thing 23: The Librarian in the Mirror

October 17, 2011

So, on to the final Thing in CPD23, and time to reflect on what I’ve learned and look ahead to where I want to go.

What I’ve learned can be summed up in my 6 word story: new apps + cool colleagues = better librarian.

I was familiar with most of the apps we Thinged. (Yes, that is a word. Even if verbing weirds nouns.) A minority I didn’t know, but I knew and used equivalents. As in library school, the CIT portion was my secret super-power. But the colleagues I met while using the applications were, for me, the real benefit of the program. My RSS feed and Twitter lists are now bulging with good sources of information whose links I follow up on as a sort of every-day CPD mini-program, and that’s a habit I plan to maintain. (Thankfully, it’s easier to stick to than my post-holiday lose 3 kilo plan.)

My biggest change in the wake of CPD23 is that I realized that though my library school has no formal mentoring program I could create my own by getting my lecturers enthused about my career potential. Over the summer I did this and will soon be starting my internship a year early. My goals for the coming year (along with trying to keep up my GPA as well as I can) are to learn the Aleph catalog system and how to work with patrons and by the end of the year to have landed a part-time library job , preferably in an academic library.

And now, off to my two weeks of summer vacation!

#cpd23 Thing 17: Present Tense

September 19, 2011

I’m lucky at my job: I don’t need to make presentations. I often have to create the graphics, write half the text, and edit the other half, but I don’t have to get up and make the presentation. Of course, that also means I have no say in the format of the presentation.

Which means, of course, that all we ever do is Powerpoint.

In school, the only presentation I’ve had to make so far I managed to do as a 13 minute video, which meant I didn’t have to stand in front of the class or open my mouth. I like control, so that worked perfectly fine for me — no last minute surprises. (Yes, I did have the videos on my laptop, the school’s Moodle account, YouTube and Vimeo, and on two thumb drives just in case. Forget belt and suspenders, I’m a belt, suspenders, staples, duct tape, and sewing thread kind of woman.)

I’m always happy to find new ways of doing presentation that do not require the sound of my voice, and what I’ve seen of Prezi interests me; I plan to play around with Ned Potter’s recommendations over the holidays so I’m ready and waiting if a presentation need should arise next semester.

I’ve used slideshare in the past, mainly to look at other people’s presentations as our work presentations are all covered by NDAs and not open to public viewing. But if I need to do a presentation for school, it will be one of the equivalents of YouTube/Vimeo from the above example.

#cpd23 Thing 13: In quest of love

August 23, 2011

First let’s get Wikis out of the way, because least said and all that. We were supposed to learn wikis in school, never did. I was hoping we’d learn their use in my Internet Information class, mainly because there is no W in Hebrew (we use a V instead) and the instructor’s name is Viki. Yes, I’m easily amused. I’ve used wikis extensively, particularly in my fandom-oriented life, but also for projects such as Library Routes and Library Day in the Life. I can see the usefulness of wikis, particularly for collaboration when there is little chance of real-life interaction, but I’ve not had much chance to practice what I’m preaching.

And now on the tools of my everyday trade.

My love for Google Docs and for Dropbox — knows bounds.

I started using Google Docs for work. We had a project manager who had come to us from very corporate, very organized firms, and it was clear he longed for that security in place of our free-form, free-wheeling, free-application-using amorphousness. (He’s since gone back to corporate life, leaving the world of start-ups behind.) He tried to organize us while bearing in mind that we had no budget for a real enterprise system and that we were a staff of 5, with a few more freelance consultants; we could make do. For a month we tried Salesforce, but he’d misread the TOS and at the end of the trial, we lost access to everything we’d had on there.

In any case, Salesforce was rubbish when it came to storing documents, and understandably so. It was meant for customer relations management, not project management. So we turned to that citadel of freebie-ism, the G Machine, and uploaded our documents to Google Docs. Free, access for everyone on the team, available everywhere — what’s not to love?

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

Part, I have to admit from the start, was not Google’s fault. Our project manager tried to route our mail through Google’s APIs and messed things up so badly that there are still accounts — the accounts tied to Google Docs — that we can’t access, as it seems that there never were passwords associated with these accounts. Sharing ownership of files and folders became impossible, and the application balked every time we asked to share a file with a non-GMail address.

Part was Google’s fault. One of the things we liked, in theory, was the possibility of working collaboratively. We’d long been using TeamViewer for collaboration, alternating who had control of the cursor and keyboard, but Google Docs seemed to promise that we could all work on the same document at the same time without fighting for control. Yeah, right. It worked, as long as you didn’t mind lags long enough to go and make a coffee and sandwich.

Another problem is supposedly a feature — documents you open in GMail are saved in your Google Docs file list. For us, that way lay madness, with our file lists quickly becoming cluttered with junk we’d pruned from our email but had to spend time deleting from Google Docs as well.

The main thing I do love about Google Docs is that, since it’s so ubiquitous, there’s a tutorial out there which will teach you how to do just about anything with the service. (When I find the tut which will teach me how to get Google Docs to clean my house, I’ll be sure to share.) It’s been immensely helpful when I’ve been limited to using Google services to complete school assignments because of my program’s increasing Googlization.


There are vows that must be made
There are terms that can’t expire
There are words that must be said
And there are qualifiers
I’ll love you but I’ll count the ways
The things that I admire

–Tracy Chapman, “Conditional”

I had already been using Dropbox constantly. I work on two computers and my smartphone, and I don’t always have internet access. (My library school was notoriously bad about WiFi in the classrooms last year; they say it’ll be better this year. I’ll believe it when I see it.) I appreciate the convenience of having my work in the Cloud, but I appreciate more having it available to me on my local computer.

I know Dropbox has had its issues. There are questions about how secure it is. There are questions about whether Dropbox employees can decrypt files in your Dropbox and read them. And then there was the morning this summer when all you needed to access someone’s Dropbox contents was their email address, no password required. There’s the Dropbox TOS that allows them to publicly display your files to an extent “reasonably necessary to the Service.”

I recommended Dropbox to my colleagues, and they enthusiastically adopted it — too enthusiastically. I keep reminding them not to post confidential material using the service and they keep forgetting, so I have to keep harping at them. They forget that when you store files on Dropbox and then remove them, they’ll be removed permanently. (Yes, I know there’s 30 days grace. But that only helps if someone decides, within 30 days, to retrieve the files.) I do try to backup the work Dropbox folder to local storage every once in a while because if I know my workgroup, someday they’ll frantically search for some file they erased.

Would I change some things about Dropbox? Certainly. Is it my only on-line storage location? No. Is it my primary storage option? Until something better comes along, yes. I love Dropbox — conditionally.

#cpd23 Thing 9:They say it’s good for you

August 2, 2011

Oh, Evernote. I want to like you, I really do. You seem to have everything I could want — you’ve got a desktop and an Android app, you can handle to do lists, pictures, voice notes, and annotation of webpages, all in one place.

But I have a feeling you’re like cantorial music, exercise, and dark chocolate: something which is supposed to be good for me but which I just don’t like.

My try-out of Evernote was far from smooth : it took most of a week to get the Firefox add-on to properly install. It kept downloading, but the icon never showed on my browser and when I tried to configure the add-on it crashed Firefox so spectacularly that I had to reboot my computer. But since the Android app and the desktop versions worked well, I soldiered on.

I do like the way Evernote handles my to-do list. I’m a ticky!box fangirl. But my-oh-my, what a mess it makes of webpages I have it save for me! The text gets all scrunched up, one column of a table piled onto the other like a heap of wriggling puppies.

Part of the problem may be that Evernote doesn’t have support for Hebrew. I know never to expect such support, but for me that’s a huge consideration.

I’ve only been using Evernote for a week now, so I’ll give it another week or two as a fair trial, but I’ll do use the belt-and-suspenders approach. Aside from my to-do list I’ll keep doing what I’ve always done to keep notes on websites: print the page to a pdf using primopdf, annotate the pdf using foxit, and then make the pdf available to all my devices by putting it in my dropbox.

ETA: OK, the Hebrew was not the problem. Take a look at this hot mess:

Those of you who do like Evernote, what am I doing wrong? WHy are you swearing by it while I’m swearing at it?


#cpd23 Thing 8: In which I date Google Calendar

July 28, 2011

You think I’m gorgeous
You want to date me
Love me & marry me

–Agent Gracie Hart, Miss Congeniality


To those who know me off-line, it’s no surprise that I’m in love with my phone. It’s the first thing I handle in the morning, the last thing I handle at night. I might lose my glasses, my keys, and my mind, but never my phone.

It carries my library. It carries my phone book. It carries my sketchpad. It carries my social life. And it carries my calendar.

I had tried Google Calendar a while ago and was not impressed. I still had to copy events into my feature-phone or onto a paper calendar. It was fine, as far as it went, but I wasn’t always in front of a computer.

Once I bought an Android, though, everything changed. Suddenly the Google Calendar was relevant. Suddenly it was convenient. Appointments I had scattered between three calendars (work, personal, religious) could be all in one place. Google Calendar can even switch bewteen secular and Jewish dates.

I do wish I could attach pictures to appointments, though. It would be wonderful to be able to add a photo of the map included in an invitation, or attach a photo of an event to its date on the calendar.


Now if Google could only explain to me how I, who never have any appointments, suddenly have one nearly everyday, I could go to sleep happy.






טוויטר שאלה 2

July 6, 2011

2. חפשו  מתוך טוויטר בתיבת החיפוש שבראש המסך נושא שמעניין אתכם. הגבילו את התוצאות לתוצאות עם קישורים בלבד. דווחו על כך בבלוג

מתיבת החיפוש חיפשתי library school, ומהטאב הימני הגבלתי את התוצאות לאלו עם קישוריות.

אישית, אני מעדיפה לעקוב אחרי נושאים. פעם זה היה יותר קל מהאתר של טוויטר, אבל עכשיו או שחייבים לעשות חיפוש ולשמור אותו, ואז לזכור להיכנס לחיפוש השמור, או להשתמש באפליקציה כמו טוייטדק.

ETA: מאז שכתבתי את הפוסט, טוייטר שוב שינו את האתר. עכשיו קל לעקוב אחרי חיפושי קודמים (טאב “חיפושים” מדף הבית). אבל עכשיו יותר קשה להעלות תמונות ולקצר קישורים בציוץ. צעד 1 קדימה וצעד 1 אחורה. (11.07.11)

כדי לעקוב אחרי נושא אני בודקת אותו או באתר של טוייטר או בהאשטגס. אם אני בטוחה שאכן ארצה לקרוא את ההאשטג, אני מוסיפה אותו כטור בטוויטדק.

מהעיקוב שלי אחרי הטג libraryschool קבלתי רוב אלו שעוקבים אחרי, מספר נכבד של רי-טוויטס, וגם הזמנה לכתוב לבלוג של Hack Library School.

טוויטר שאלה 7

July 6, 2011

7.      קראו את ההודעות של האנשים שבחרתם לעקוב אחריהם. סמנו מספר הודעות כמועדפות.favorites (לצרכים מסוימים לקריאה מאוחרת וכו’)  מתוך ה- profile   צפו בכל ההודעות שבחרתם להיות מועדפות. משם גם תוכלו למחוק הודעות שסימנתם כמועדפות.

בדרך כלל אני מסמנת טוויטים כמעודפים עם אני רוצה לשלוח @תשובה, אבל אין לי כרגע זמן. לצורך קיראה מאוחרת אני משתמשת בinstapaper על המחשבים ובinstafetch על הסמארטפון. לפעמים, אם אני יודעת שארצה לקרוא את הטוויט או את הקישור שיש בטוויט במחשב (במיוחד עם אח”כ ארצה לעבוד עם המידע ולא רק לקרוא) אני שולחת את הקישור לעמצי כהערה בgoogle reader.

אני קוראת את הסטריים שלי או במחשבים או דרך tweetdeck. בשתיהם תהליך שמירת מעודפים די פשוטה.

במחשב: נכנסים לחשבון דרך twitter. מרחפים מעל טוויט מסיום ונפתחת 3 אשפריות — לענות, להעביר הלאה, ולהוסיף למעודפים.

בטוויטדק לוחתים על הטוויט וכשהטוויט נפתח במסך משל עצמו, לוחצים על הכוכב.

טוויטר שאלה 9

July 6, 2011

9.      אתם רוצים לשנות את הסיסמה שלכם בטוויטר. כיצד תעשו זאת?

בדף שלי בטוייטר.קום אני לוחצת על החץ ליד שם המשתמש שלי, יורדת לsettings ומשם לטאב של password. שם אלי להקליד את הסיסמה הישנה ואת החדשה, ולאשר את החדשה שוב. אי אפשר לשנות את הסיסמה דרך טוויטדק (האפליקציה שזה עתה נרכשה ע”י טוויטר), ואם משתמשים באפליקציה ומשנים את הסיסמה בטוויטר.קום, חייבים לעשות לוג-אאוט טוויטדק, ושוב להפעיל את האפ כדי להגיע למסך שיאפשר הזנה של סיסמה חדשה.

טוויטר שאלה 10

July 6, 2011

10. צפו ברשימת כול הנעקבים על ידכם ובחרו לקרוא רק את ההודעות של אחד מהם.

באתר טוויטר, נכנסים לרשימת הנעקבים, ואז לטאב אנשים:

כשלוחצים על הנעקב, אפשר לראות בצד ימין 3 ציוצים האחרונים שלהם. ליותר, לוחצים על מספר הטוויטים או בסוף העמודה בקישור “עוד טוויטים מ…”

בטוויטדק, או שלוחצים על טוויט מנעקב או שמחפשים אותו במסך חיפוש.

משם לוחצים על Tweets לראות מסך מלא בטוויטים האחרונים.

השפעת רשתות חברתיות על הרעיון של “פרטיות” בספריות

May 22, 2011

המחבר טוען שהגיע הזמן לעבור בספריות מקריאה בפעילות של היחיד לקריאה של פעילות ציבורית, בעקבות השינויים בהגדרה של פרטיות בעדן רשתות חברתיות.

Individual library behaviors will continue to be strictly off-limits to governments, and to any other organization that the user has not explicitly authorized.

Individuals will have access to information about their own library behaviors, and libraries will preserve this information by default, unless the individual requests that it not be saved.

The library will permit a user’s social network to access that user’s information to the extent to which the individual authorizes it, while informing the user of the risks.