Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Podcasting, Take One!

Our library signed up to participate in OPAL - Online Programming for All Libraries. A subscription means that we can both listen to the real-time or archived podcasts, but also offer some of our own. Last Tuesday, with the help of my brave colleagues Jane and Jill, I recorded my Introduction to eBay program. The only hitch was when we realized that closing the door of the conference room blocks the wireless signal... but that was quickly, and easily, fixed once it dawned on us why the computer kept losing the connection. The program is in the OPAL archives. Our Reader's Services department will also be offering a booktalk program on OPAL in the near future.

OPAL will also be the host to the state-wide discussion of the Kite Runner. "The One State One Listen program of ListenIllinois brings together library patrons from across Illinois in an online, virtual, audio ebook discussion."

OPAL is a growing entity and a very easy way to offer programs to patrons who don't want to visit or can't make it to the library. The technology that it utilizes is very simple - all the library needs is a microphone ($10 at a retailer), computer and a couple of staff members who don't mind having their voices recorded. All the patron requires is a computer, speaker or headphones, and if they want to speak, a microphone.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Librarians in Leather

...riding leather, that is. I just fulfilled a life-long dream to obtain my M-class license. My father, a former competitive trials rider, taught me how to ride off-road motorcycles from the time I was eleven years old until I moved away from home at 24. A few weekends ago, my father-in-law and I completed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, which teaches you how to ride more safely on the road. It rained the entire weekend, so needless to say, none of us knew how to brake on dry pavement when the sun finally came out!

It seems that I am not alone in my love of both motorcycles and librarianship - check out the MotoFemina blog. One of the contributors, Laura, is a librarian at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Motorcycling is a controversial hobby. Many people think it's risky. Indeed it is, but I would rather take the risk and love life than to live it so safely as to miss out on the incredible experience of riding a motorcycle. Maybe I'll start my own Dewey's Angels riding group.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A+ in Penmanship

No wonder librarians were judged on their handwriting skills at one time... Thank God for automation.