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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Beyond Method #12

I completed the "evaluation form" and immediately looked at the URL to see what survey was used; Surveygizmo is a good one.

My favorite discovery and exercise too was creating an online instructional video using ScreenCast. I hope to use this in the next fiscal year in our library. This program has opened my eyes to many technologies that I did not know were available. Online technologies are advancing so fast it is hard to keep up, so Beyond Two-Steppin' is a great way to become acquainted with what is available. The thing that surprised me the most about the exercises is that it is so easy to create and publish videos and digital stories without writing HTML. The world of computer generated published material has changed immensely in the last 10-15 years.

I am not sure you could improve on this program. As long as you stay on top of technological advancements and offer those in the next program, you cannot fail to create a great program. All that said, I am not sure if I would participate in another discovery program. My work responsibilities have increased and to complete this program I have done all the exercises at home on my own time. Great program!

Beyond Method #11

More organizations and people are using electronic surveys as a method of polling the public. Most of the early electronic surveys I participated in were Surveymonkey and Zoomerang, however I am starting to see other online surveys used. Recently I used Surveygizmo and thought it had more bells and whistles than Surveymonkey or Zoomerang. My preference is Surveygizmo over either Surveymonkey or Zoomerang.

Our library typically surveys the public with paper ballots. These are mostly used at on-site programming events and have proved very successful. However, the library has used an electronic survey in the past to determine what the public thought the library was worth to them.

Our library is venturing out with new electronic ventures everyday, so I would not be surprised if advanced methods of surveying the public is in the works. We have a communications team that works to promote our 16-branch library system everyday.

After watching the PollEverywhere video I was impressed with its versatility and would like to see this survey integrated into our library outreach. It is amazing how user friendly PollEverywhere is and the instant feedback is a great way to account for patron feedback. I think this might also be altered to assist with patron reference questions.

Beyond Method #10

Our library has participated in online webinars that other facilities have set up. However, we have not used online meeting and conferencing tools other than tele-conferences. These are effective in that several people across the nation can participate at once. We have used tele-conferences also to conduct interviews with people who live out of state and this works very well.

In the future, I can see our library utilizing online conferencing tools to conduct business. Economically, video conferencing is a sound business idea.

Personally, I use Skype often to visit with my children and grandchildren who live out of state. Other family members have used Skype to keep in contact with military spouses stationed out of the country. The flexibility and ease of using Skype makes it a very desirable communication tool.

Beyond Method #9

Here is the digital storytelling scrapbook I created (I hope it embeds):

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Free digital scrapbook generated with Smilebox

I am an archivist by profession and work also in genealogy. For the digital story assignment I decided to carry my genealogy forward by creating a digital scrapbook using photos of my grandson and Smilebox:

Smilebox was fairly easy to use even though there are no introductory instructions. I used the help tab to find out how to embed the photos into the scrapbook and after that the process was simple. I like the fact that you can add music and text to personalize your video scrapbook.

I think storytelling is a good idea for our library. Patrons would surely be interested in the versatility of storytelling for their own family histories. In our electronic age it would be simple to create a digital story and send it to family members as opposed to sending a multi-page lineage document.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beyond Method #8

Screencasts are a blast! I found this technology tool to be very helpful and instructive in the research area of the library where I work. I used Screencast-o-matic to create a video instructing patrons how to look for archive collections at Fort Worth Library (I could not tell if the O was an "O" or "0", so hope the link works). I got carried away making the video, so it is about three minutes long instead of the requested one minute. I got off to a rocky start, but the recording process was simple and I found the instructions easy to understand and not too techy. I would like to see my workplace use screencasts to assist patrons in their genealogy and archives searches. This would free up staff time to work on various projects instead of spending about 30 minutes with novices teaching them how to get started with their family genealogy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beyond Method #7

For Next Gen Presentations I chose Prezi as my preferred method of creating a presentation. I like the simplicity of it and the zoom factor. Adding images is easy and creating the presentation path is just a few clicks away.

In the past I had played around with Google Docs, but continued to fall back on PowerPoint to do presentations. Prezi may have won me over tonight with this Discovery Exercise. I feel that online presentation tools have made great strides. I like the idea of being able to save and retrieve presentations online. This takes some of the stress out of getting media equipment set up and hoping materials saved to a flash drive have not been lost.

I did like the suggestion of having a back up presentation ready in case your primary presentation could not be located. I think after doing this exercise I would be better qualified to help a patron with online presentation tools.

Beyond Method #6

While reading the intro to Method #6 I looked at Project Gutenberg and looked for one of my favorites books: "Jane Eyre", which I easily found. Then I started following the Discovery Exercise directions and located "Great Expectations". It was very easy to determine which download was for the Kindle. The HTML version is not too bad; however I would need to increase the font size for easier reading (old eyes tend to need larger print).

Here is a link to "Great Expectations" through the site Project Gutenberg for easy access: Yes, I do think the patrons at Fort Worth Library would be interested in a public domain service like Project Gutenberg. It is user friendly and extremely versatile. After doing a little more research I do think I could assist a patron with adding a public domain publication onto their eReader.