Exercise 5: Database- Learning Express

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LearningExpressLibrary

 

LearningExpress Library

Have you ever had to struggle to find the most recent copy of a GED or ASVAB book for a patron? Do they often walk away disappointed because the only solution is to end up on a waiting list for the item? Have no fear, LearningExpress Library is here!

LEL

Turn that frown upside down by showing the patron the wonderful world of LearningExpress Library! There are tutorials for GED preparation, ASVAB practice, and many other tutorials for a variety of subjects. It is as simple as creating an account, selecting the module, and getting to work. There are multiple centers available for patrons:

  • Adult Learning Center
  • College Preparation Center
  • Career Center
  • Computer Skills Center
  • School Center
  • College Center
  • Recursos Para Hispanohablantes
  • Jobs & Career Accelerator – assists with resume writing and cover letter building
  • High School equivalency Center

Challenge

 

 

 

Create an account and take a tutorial. We all have the space to learn more, so why not take this time and learn about something? Write about your experience using this site.

Please name this blog entry: Lesson 5 Challenge

"STOP"- Please complete this challenge.

“STOP”- Please complete this challenge.

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Exercise 6: Readers Advisory

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Reader’s Advisory

Novelist:
A patron walks up to you and says, “I loved Gone Girl. What should I read next?” After a brief moment of panic, what do you reach for? While you could turn to Google, you’ll probably end up with books the library doesn’t own and no idea why a specific book would be a good suggestion. You could go to our catalog, look up the book, and check under the similar tab. But what happens when the patron has already tried those suggestions? We suggest you reach for the Novelist database. You can find a link to Novelist from the SAPL Databases page.

novelist

On first glance, NoveList can seem a bit overwhelming, with all the different options it offers. (You can search for retellings of Folktales from Asia, stories featuring strong females, or something to make you cry.) But we’ll focus on our patron’s quest for more like Gone Girl. Enter the title of the item –in this case Gone Girl– in the keyword search box and click on Search (or Press Enter).

ggsearch

Select Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Then scroll down and next to the Reviews there is a tab called “More About this Book”. If you click on this tab, you will see the Appeal Factors related to this particular book. All these characteristics are hyperlinked for easy searching. Appeal Factors are elements of the book that appeal to—or sometimes repel—readers. In this case the reader might have enjoyed that Gone Girl presents an intricately plotted story. Or maybe the reader enjoyed the challenge of having an unreliable narrator.

ggappeal factors
A little bit further down on the page are again all the appeal factors but with check boxes to the left of each factor. Select the checkboxes to find similar books. Choose the appeal factor(s) most important to your reader. Be careful about selecting too many of the boxes as you might just end up with the book you started off with as your only search result.

ggsearch factors

Challenge

 

 

 

Please name this blog entry: Lesson 6 Challenge

Think of a book you have read, or pick a title that you have been recently asked about, and see what similar books you are able to find using the Appeal Factors.
We hope you enjoyed our mini-lesson on NoveList, but please remember that SAPL also offers RA assistance through LibGuides. (For example, The Dystopian Novels LibGuide can help you suggest a new apocalypse for your readers.) If you’re interested in learning more about tools to help in RA—or in getting a refresher training on basic RA—please contact Cristine Mitchamore or Tricia Masterson at Central.

 

 

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Exercise 7: How does the Internet work?

Whoa, done with Lesson 6 already? Excellent!  Claim your Novelist Badge HERE.


 

Okay, ready to get started on Lesson 7? Here we go…

There and Back Again: A Packet’s Tale – How does the Internet work? –

http://www.wimp.com/internetworks/

Okay, it’s a little more complicated than that, but even just the basics are good to know. If you want a little more detail when it comes to IP addresses check out this article for “extra credit.”

So why do you need to know all this?

When it works, which it does most of the time, you really don’t need to know how it works. Just enjoy the magic that is the internet. But when it doesn’t work, well that’s a different story and that’s where knowing how the internet is put together can help you figure out what might be going wrong.


TroubleshootTrouble-shooting Internet Problems: or what do you do when you click on a link and things go awry.

When trying to trouble-shoot any problem that involves a complex process, the key is in figuring out where things start to fall apart. Trouble-shooting online is no different – you need to figure out where the roadblock lies (after all, this is the information highway) and see if there is a way to remove it or work around it.

Let’s go through some common errors you might run into. In some of these examples there will be a link you can try so you can see what that particular error might look like. To make life easier, try right clicking the link and opening it in a new tab. For even more fun, try the links in different browsers; the error messages are often similar, but sometimes they can vary quite a bit.


Server not found or similar errors (http://www.gooble.com/ for information about “Dinner Kits” for fast meals)

First, make sure you can get to other sites. The easiest thing is to try going to a site you know should be working, like http://google.com. If you can get there then the problem isn’t your connection to the internet, but something else.

If you can get to Google.com, you can also try searching for the site you were trying to get to originally. This will ensure you’ve got the right URL. You can search for the URL itself or try searching for the name of the site or words that describe the site.

If the URL checks out, see if the site itself is having problems by using a service like Down for Everyone Or Just Me. These sites will attempt to navigate to the page in question from multiple locations to help determine if it’s your connection that isn’t working properly or the if site you were trying to visit is itself having problems.

What if the site is fine, but the exact page you want isn’t?

Another common error you will come across is the 404: Page Not Found Error.  Try going to http://mysapl.org/11.5cosas.aspx In this case, the server is real (mysapl.org) but the actual web page you’re looking for (11.5cosas.aspx) has either been incorrectly linked or no longer exists on the server.

Capture404
The easiest work around for this type of problem is to try going to the main page of the web site and then navigating your way to the page you want; or if the site offers a search function, you can search the site for the correct page.

To find the main page it helps to understand how a URL is constructed. Each part of a URL helps inform the computers that route internet traffic just where and what you are looking for. Here’s a URL that points to the location page for Collins Garden: http://www.mysapl.org/location.aspx?id=col

The first part of the URL specifies the type of protocol that is used in accessing the resource you’re looking for, so in this case it is – HTTP:// (which stands for hyper-text transfer protocol). What that really means is that you’re asking for the internet to take you to a web page. You’ll often see a variation on this, HTTPS://.  The only different here is that the connection is “secure” – your requests and the web server’s responses are all being encrypted to protect them from being read by other people or computers.

The next part is what appears between the “://” and the next “/”. In the example above, that would be “www.mysapl.org.” This is the part of the URL that the internet routers use to find the correct web server, which is in turn made up of several parts itself. In most cases (in the US at least) the parts on either side of the last period (mysapl.org) define the top level “domain” which is the part that gets translated into an IP address by the Domain Name System (DNS) as shown in the video. You can actually bypass DNS servers if you know the IP address of a web site. You can actually get to mysapl.org this way: http://161.226.170.21/ – but who really wants to remember a bunch of numbers. The part that comes before the top level domain (in our example, the “www”) is sometimes called a sub-domain. It is used for a variety purposes, but primarily it serves to redirect or further refine the location where the request will end up.

EXTRA KNOWLEDGE (may be skipped by the faint of heart). Here’s a snarky little video that actually does a pretty good job describing how DNS works:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72snZctFFtA

The last part of a URL is everything after the domain name. For our example, that would be “location.aspx?id=col”  Again, there are couple of parts here. Everything up to the “?” is the name of the page you’re requesting from the server. In our example, we are asking for the page named location.aspx. The stuff on the other side of the “?” are further instructions to the server, and determine what ends up on the page the server is returning. Location.aspx is what is often referred to as a dynamic page – it’s a template that gets filled in by the server based on the information you give it. In this case we’re giving it id=col which tells the server to fill in the page with the information for Collins Garden. Information passed this way is done in what are called key pairs. The “id” part is the key and the value for that key is “col.” If you change the “col” to “cod” (and hit return) you’ll now see the information for Cody instead. You can have multiple key pairs in a URL, and those pairs will always be separated by the “&” symbol (for example http://www.intranet.sat.lib.tx.us/announce/news/staffnotes.asp?linkid=16&notetype=1 has two key pairs: linkid=16 and notetype=1).

If you’ve ever clicked on a link in an email and it didn’t work, it’s often because the link has been “broken” (to the computer it appears as two or more lines instead of one single line), and that often means that the key pairs needed are missing or incomplete. While servers try to account for these errors, they are not always successful. Our example above does try to account for the more common errors: try http://www.mysapl.org/location.aspx and pay very close attention to the name of the page in the URL.

To return our original problem, that annoying 404 Page Not Found error, we can try and work around the problem by removing everything after the first “slash.” Instead of using the whole URL, we can just type http://mysapl.org and then try and find our way from there. Bad links happen all the time no matter how hard web masters try and keep them up to date. The internet is in constant flux – so don’t be surprised if what worked a month ago doesn’t work today.


Pages not loading properly or behaving oddly.

This is a good time to talk about web pages and how they work. At the most basic level web pages are comprised of two elements: structure and style. Structure defines how the page is displayed: what goes in the header, body and footer of the page (and a whole bunch of other pieces as well). Style defines how it looks: how big is the font, what is the background color, how bold is bold, does it flash annoyingly, etc. Most of this stuff is pretty basic and doesn’t often cause many problems (and what problems do arise are often the result of non-standard browser features).

There is a third element of web design, however, one that really opens up what you can do online, but which can also cause headaches. That third element is Behavior. The simplest level of behavior has been around since the beginning of the web: the links themselves and web forms. Both cause something to happen in the browser. Modern web sites can now offer a whole lot more – audio, video, response design; just to name a few. When it comes to problem solving, it’s easier to lump Behavior into two categories: Server side behavior and Browser side behavior.

Server side behavior is anything that happens before the page arrives at your browser. As mentioned above, the parts of the URL following the “?” can trigger server side behavior. Other common examples are a web site including date and time information or your log-in name, or other important information. The thing to remember is that the content is added to the page before it’s even sent to your browser. There isn’t much you can do about server side behavior if it misbehaves.

Browser side behavior is anything that occurs after the page arrives in your browser. Usually this involves something behind the scenes be it a browser extension or plugin – the best known of which is probably Flash – or it can be the result of a computer language that is built into most modern browsers called, Javascript.  An example of Javascript in action can be found on the mysapl.org home page. The event images that appear as a slideshow is accomplished through Javascript.  The Javascript code tells the browser to only display one image at a time, even though all the images are already on the page (see Bonus Scary Activity below). Browser side behavior is becoming much more common these days but unfortunately not all browsers work the same way and that can cause some weird problems.

Bonus Scary Activity: Try turning off Javascript in your browser and see how some of your favorite pages look (including mysapl.org)

Trouble-shooting browser side behavior is kind of tricky, but there are several things you can try that might help determine where the problem lies:

  • Clear your browser cache
  • Try a different browser
  • Try compatibility mode if the browser supports it (I’m looking at you Internet Explorer)
  • If you’re comfortable doing it – momentarily turn off JavaScript

If you are not sure how to clear the cache in your browser, remember: the web is your friend – just do a web search. Also remember, when doing a search like that, the more information you provide the better the results. Do searches like, “how do I clear the cache in Internet Explorer 11,” rather than just just “clear cache.”

Trying each of these things will at least give you a better idea of the problem. If none of them help, then the problem probably lies with the page itself and there is little you can to fix that. Bad pages happen (all too often) and it’s not always entirely the web designers fault either. The web is a dynamic, ever changing, ever evolving, conglomeration of millions of different networks. When you really think about everything that goes on in the background in order for you to read this blog post, it’s pretty amazing how well it works.


 

Optional Challenge: Please name this blog entry: Lesson 7  Challenge

How many times have you come across a 404 page? Have any favorites? Visit Creative Bloq to see some creative 404 designs.

Done already? Claim Lesson 7 Badge HERE!

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Exercise 8: Part 1 – Modern Communication

We live in a world that’s in constant communication. Think about how many conversations you’ve had today—with family, friends, co-workers, patrons, vendors… No matter where you work in our library system, you’ve surely talked to someone at some point about something! Now, think about how you had that conversation. Was it in person? Did they send you an e-mail? Maybe it was a phone call or text.

We live in a world that’s in constant communication, and the ways in which we communicate are constantly changing as well. Many of us are aware of new telecommunication abilities, such as a webcam on a computer or a camera phone. We can use technologies such as Skype (a computer program available for various operating systems) or FaceTime (an Apple-specific technology used on iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, etc.) to connect with people within seconds regardless of where they are located!

4image designed by freepik.com

These developments all have their own advantages and disadvantages, but in the end, they allow us (and our patrons) to communicate easily, effectively, and efficiently. The only problem is…we need to know how to use these various technologies so that:

  • we (SAPL staff) can use them internally to communicate with one another
  • patrons can ask us for help when using them

Now, of course, we don’t need to be complete experts on every telecommunication device that’s available. It’d be impossible to always be on top of every single new software or update that comes out because, hey, we’ve all have other duties too, right? And often, these technologies “fail” for reasons beyond our control—maybe the recipient of the call isn’t online at the time, maybe the WiFi signal isn’t strong enough to make a good and clear connection, maybe the patron hasn’t even made an account yet…… If our car doesn’t start on the first try, we’ve learned to just try again’-

Sometimes we can easily fix these issues, but sometimes they simply extend beyond the scope of services. Luckily, we’re all pretty smart (that’s why we work at SAPL!) and we can at least be aware of common and potential setbacks so that we can prepare ourselves to assist patrons with questions and troubleshoot errors—or at the very least, lead patrons towards a solution.

Next

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Exercise 8: Part 2 – Virtual Communication

For this exercise, we will be focusing on three different telecommunication products: SkypeGoogle Hangouts, and the InFocus Mondopad. Let’s start with a brief overview of each product.

A Brief Overview of Skype

skype-logo-3966BB87B0-seeklogo.com

Skype is known today as one of the most popular communication applications used for calls over the Internet. Chances are that you’ve used it, or at least have heard about it enough to know what it does. Skype’s main draw comes from its relatively easy-to-use interface that allows you to call another Skype user via voice calls or video calls. Founded in 2003, Skype was quickly acquired by eBay in 2005 for approximately $2.5 billion (and eBay stock); by 2006, Skype had reached 100 million users total and there was no doubt that it was impacting the way people communicated across the globe.

Shortly after, eBay began to think it had overvalued Skype’s worth, and in 2009 eBay sold about 70% of Skype to various investors. Although a company like eBay losing faith in Skype could have been detrimental for Skype’s value, Skype continued to push ahead and develop its product across various platforms. That turned out to be a great mindset—just two years later, Microsoft acquired Skype for a whopping $8.5 billion!

Microsoft has been quick to integrate Skype into many of its products and platforms as possible and continues to develop Skype to meet the needs of the users. With features such as Skype-to-Skype calls and video calls, calls to home and cell phones, group video calls, instant messaging, file sharing, and more, it’s no wonder that Skype retains its status as one of the most powerful communication tools in the industry.

A Brief Overview of Google Hangouts

Hangouts_Icon

Google Hangouts is a communication platform that emerged when Google decided to combine three of its own products (Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and Hangouts) into one. Instant messaging, video chat, SMS (Short Message Service), and VOIP (Voice to IP) features are the main components of Google Hangouts, and if you own an up-to-date Android phone, Google Hangouts is the default application you’ve been using for your text messages!

 

Google’s non-unified suite of messaging services—while all very effective in their efforts—made for a very disjointed experience when trying to communicate with other users. One application was used for messaging while simultaneously another was used for videoconferencing. This gave competitors like Facebook Messenger an advantage. Determined to keep their brand name relevant within the communication industry, Google used multiple development teams to create a new messaging product that would provide these services in one easy-to-use package.

In May of 2013, Google Hangouts launched—but its reception was not as amazing as expected. Many have criticized Google Hangouts for the way it is severely integrated into Google+ (Google’s social media platform), the fact that it has many potential security flaws, and that its code is not open to independent review and does not allow for multi-chat clients to support Google Hangouts. Regardless, Google Hangouts—especially with its integration into Android devices—is still a main contender in the communication industry and will most likely remain a contender for years to come.

 

 

A Brief Overview of the InFocus Mondopad

infocus

 

 

The first thing you might be wondering is…what in the world is a Mondopad? You may have heard this word being used throughout SAPL (or you may have seen one in action), as there are currently five branches that have at least one Mondopad: Carver, Cortez, Bazan, Encino, and Westfall. The Teen Library at Central recently received a Mondopad as well. At first glance, a Mondopad might look like a really big TV monitor—but it is so much more than that…

The Mondopad debuted in early 2012 to much wonder. In a world where devices are getting thinner and smaller every year, the large Mondopad (which can range from 55 inches to a whopping 80 inches in screen size) seemed like an odd direction to go. But when you look at the details, you can see the reasoning behind its conception: Mondopads replace the need for a separate PC, projector, webcam, videoconferencing unit, and smart board because a Mondopad incorporates all of these elements into one device. People can present, annotate, communicate, and collaborate with other people in the same room or in a different country.

While the Mondopad is not necessarily marketed for home-use, it has made an impact in the education and business sectors because of the degrees of interactivity it provides. The possibilities are endless: groups of students from two different countries can work together on school projects; from the Mondopad at their local library, a community can watch and participate in a city hall meeting downtown; Colleagues can have a videoconference while drafting a business proposal and surfing the web for additional resources–Now that’s collaboration. Although the Mondopad hasn’t avoided criticism—such as its steep price (around $6,000 for its base product)—its innovative approach to combining the key elements of telecommunication into one seamless unit makes it a product to watch.

 

SKYPE, HANGOUTS, & MONDOPADS @ SAPL

So how can we use something like these three products at SAPL—both for ourselves internally, as well as with our patrons? Let’s find out.

 

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Exercise 8: Part 3 – Practice Communication

Challenge

 

 

 

To complete your challenge for Exercise 8, you have two options:

Please name this blog entry: Lesson 8 Challenge

OPTION 1 (where you get to be imaginative!):

Imagine two situations where you are interacting with someone via Skype, Google Hangouts, or a Mondopad.

  • Situation 1:  You are having a virtual meeting with a colleague at a nearby branch; discussing a potential collaborative program between the two branches.
  • Situation 2: You are conducting a virtual reference interview with a patron; this is your first time meeting this patron, so you have no background information about their interests or likes.
  • Use your imagination and write a brief paragraph explaining the details of both situations. (Explain the collaborative program and specify what the patron is searching for, etc.)

Then write about …

  1. The benefits of having the meeting online rather than in person
  2. Any challenges, inconveniences, or issues you encountered
  3.  If you would meet online with this person again
  4.  If you would meet with anyone else online, and who might that be
  5. Would a traditional in person meeting have been better? Why?

 

5
image designed by freepik.com

 

  • OPTION 2 (where you get to play with technology!): Depending on the limitations of your branch—such as whether or not you have access to a staff laptop or tablet, a Mondopad, or any other functioning SAPL technology—you may need to complete option 1.

 

  • Kindly ask your branch’s Tech Liaison for assistance in setting up a telecommunication tool that currently works at your branch.

 

  • When you’re ready, contact a staff member from another branch who is capable of telecommunicating with you and your chosen tool. Decide who will call who—and then chat for a few minutes using one of these (Google Hangouts or Skype) platforms. Talk about anything work-related, such as an upcoming program at your branch that you are excited about or maybe a city-wide event. Or you could even chat about a recent book you’ve read or movie you’ve seen! Afterwards, type up a summary of your conversation as well as what you noticed during the call.Post it on your blog.

 

  • Here are some key things to consider explaining: What did you talk about? Was it an easy conversation to have digitally, and why or why not? Was the quality of the video good or bad? How was the sound? Was it easy to initiate the call and/or answer the call, or did it take a few tries?After your summary, think about other ways we could use these technologies for SAPL, as well as with our patrons. Write a paragraph explaining your thoughts.

Hopefully these exercises give you a better idea of the changing world of telecommunication. With so many communication options available, we can best help our patrons understanding the general capabilities of these technologies—and we can also help ourselves by opening up new ways of collaboration with our peers!

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Exercise 9: Coding

Why is code important? Why should we know anything about it?

We work with computers every day, both using them to do our jobs, and helping our patrons use them. We might not write programs ourselves, but it can be useful to know how applications work and what lies behind web pages.

Even if you don’t have a desire to learn to code, you may encounter a patron who does, and having knowledge of these resources can help you help them.

First, a note about types of languages. Computer languages are not classified like animals, neatly into clearly defined groups. Many languages belong to more than one group and can be used in more than one way. HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is used on the web to structure the content of webpages. JavaScript is also used on the web, for interactive or animated elements. It can also be used in game development and the creation of desktop applications.

Some languages are used only for specific platforms. For example, C# is used to develop software for Microsoft and Windows, whereas Objective-C is used by Apple, running OS X and iOS, as well as mobile applications. Both of these languages are related to C, a language written in the ‘70s.

There are a number of free, online coding resources that can be useful for those interested in learning to code. Read on for descriptions of some of these resources, as well as mentions of who might find each resource most useful.

7.1img1

Google’s Made With Code (marketed towards girls) and Code.org’s beginner lessons are some of the simplest available. Both use web-based block-style programming languages with step-by-step instructions to walk even the most reluctant beginner through learning the structure of computer code. Made With Code uses Blockly, whereas Code.org utilizes Scratch, but the principles are the same. Code.org also offers more advanced activities – beginner lessons in Python and Javascript, among others.

7.1img2

Mozilla Webmaker is another useful online resource. It focuses more on HTML and CSS – ways to modify the appearance of a webpage. It offers beginner projects, like modifying the image or text of a meme, with instructions most often located in a sidebar or in comments within the code. After creating your modified project, you may save it as a “remix” so that you can show it off or just keep it for your archives. The Webmaker tools are not quite as easy to grasp as the previous tools, but for more advanced or older learners, they are definitely acheivable. One drawback to Mozilla’s Webmaker tools is the sheer number of projects hosted on their site. It can be difficult to find the original Mozilla-made “Meme Maker” in a sea of “remixes.”

7.1img3

Finally, no introduction to web-based coding education is complete without at least a mention of Codecademy. Codecademy is a website that provides lessons for self-directed learners. It has content supporting the learning of many coding languages, including HTML & CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and more. It also has lessons on how to use the APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) of popular websites, like Twitter and YouTube, to make your own applications. The lessons found on Codecademy begin simply, with step-by-step instructions and clear explanations, and are most suitable for older learners (young adults and adults).

Challenge

 

 

 

Please name this blog entry: Lesson 9 Challenge

Complete a lesson or a challenge using one of the resources described above. Take a screenshot of your finished product to include in your blog post about the experience. Explain how you might use this resource personally or professionally.

For further reading (if you’re interested):

http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-paul-ford-what-is-code/

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Exercise 10: Online Mapping:

Do you remember family summer car trips?  Unfolding the map in the backseat, finding landmarks or hotel exits, helping your family navigate and explore unknown places.  Just like a print map, online maps allow you to explore by location, proximity, scale, orientation, route and a whole host of other mapping tools.

Please go to Google Maps to play with these concepts.

map

 

Location:  most people who look at a map have a destination.

First, type in the name or address of a branch you have always wanted to go to but never had a chance to visit.

Scale: use the + and – symbols on the map to zoom in or out to an area you would feel comfortable walking or biking.

 

joh

Proximity: Use the “Search nearby” function of Google Maps to find a nearby restaurant.  Could you get to the nearest restaurant on your lunch hour?

 

joh2

Route Street View: Use the directions arrow symbol in Google Maps and choose the walking man or bicycle symbol, to see how far you would have to go to eat.  You can also click on the Street View to enter.

Now, let’s learn a little about orientation.  Drop the little man onto the red marker, and you should now be in “Street View.”  Now you can use the little arrows on the street to go the direction and see what buildings and houses you pass.   This can be very handy when someone says “It’s the bright red building next to the subway restaurant at 2221 Culebra.”

 

joh3

 

 

 

Challenge

 

 

Please name this blog entry: Lesson 10 Challenge

A patron visits your branch library and they only have $1.50 in their pocket.  They are trying to figure out if they can take the bus from your branch to the nearest McDonalds later today because they have an interview.  Practice using Google Maps directions and write in your blog about how easy/hard it would be to get to their interview by bus and about how much time it would take.

 

"STOP"- Please complete this challenge.

“STOP”- Please complete this challenge.

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Exercise 11: Personal Learning Networks

What is a Personal Learning Network (PLN)?

A PLN is a group or list of people or websites that you interact with, learn from, and even contribute to. Popular with educators, PLNs can be helpful for library professionals as well. You can read some more on the concept here.

While you should always start with SAPL resources (internal link) first for work related projects, sometimes you have to go outside of SAPL to find ideas, examples, or instructions for trying out new projects or programs.

Creating your PLN

How do you find these online resources? Doing a quick Google search for a particular topic will give you a range of sites to check out. Try “teen librarians” or “librarians serving seniors” or “children’s librarians” and scan through your results. Modify your search to suit your needs; try “senior book club” or “holiday book display” or “storytime crafts” and see what you find. Use library jargon or lay person terms (i.e., “young adult book reviews” v “books for teens”) and see how your results differ.

You’re likely to find results from professional associations (ALA, YALSA, etc) as well as book publishers, personal blogs, even Pinterest boards. Take some time to explore these sites.

Once you find a site that has information you can use, visit it often. Read the archives. Follow links to find new sources. Check the author’s Twitter feed and see who they follow. Give back by commenting and giving the creators feedback.

Do you have ideas for programming that you’d like to share? Have you considered creating a blog (or continuing this one) for sharing your ideas? Maybe you could post your storytime or your teen craft or your last book club discussion. Your ideas and experiences could easily help someone else out there in libraryland!

Challenge

 

 

 

What does your PLN look like? You may already have a PLN, just didn’t realize your handful of favorite websites had a name. Share on your blog some of your online resources and what you have gained from them.

 

"STOP"- Please complete this challenge.

“STOP”- Please complete this challenge.

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Lesson 1, Part 1: Welcome to 11.5 COSAS

Objective: Learn about what the 11.5 COSAS are all about

The San Antonio Public Library is now offering an expanded set of services which give our library users the ability to use their personal mobile devices to read ebooks, listen to audio books, watch movies, enjoy music, and access their library accounts anytime. Our community looks to us to help them bridge the gaps in their knowledge. 11.5 Cosas is your toolbox through which you will become more familiar with not only the services being offered by SAPL, but with some of the most useful advances readily available via the Internet for anyone. Our goal is to make your technology skills more muscular, and we want to do that in a way that is both informative and engaging… perhaps even a bit fun. So let’s get started.

Here is a worksheet to track your progress: blog worksheet

***Use only free blogging features. Do not pay for any blog service(s) for these exercises. 

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