Saturday, November 8, 2008

Week 6---Tagging &c

I took a look at Delicious, and that is cool how you can share bookmarks :D At first I thought, "Another complicated site to replace something that works just fine?" Reminded me of a bumper sticker I once saw. "Government's Motto: If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is." It seemed like to me a lot of the "amazing websites!" that claim to facilitate the flow of information a lot easier than the old way don't live up to their claim. But Delicious bookmarking seems to do just that. I liked reading through others' bookmarks, and I found a cool website full of English resources that way.

I was disappointed, however, finding out that Delicious was about bookmarking and not about Delicious Library. Which I hope to buy one of these days to go with my new Macbook :) (Or Christmas present from my parents? Hmm...)

Technorati is pretty cool too, being able to search blogs specifically. It's like searching for interesting diaries to read...for those of us who are channeling Gladys Kravitz ;) I took a look at some of the tags, and I was surprised to see one of the popular searches was "Jennifer Garner". I mean, seriously, people want to see what other people wrote about a movie star they've probably never met? Wanting to get to the bottom of that mystery, I clicked on that tag to see what kind of posts were being made about her. Apparently she picked up her daughter from preschool a few days ago. Uhhh....that's "not news"...Also, she has a "baby bump." That phrase bugs the heck out of me. Why not say "pregnant?" Heck, even "with child" works better! But "baby bump" makes it sound rather...cosmetic and easily gotten rid of...I'm getting off track now ;)

Next post I'll share some thoughts on Library 2.0.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Week 5 fun

Made this with Wordle--oh so much fun :) This one really appeals to me, a textual-visual person.
Whenever I read something, I can get a abstract sensation in my mind--whether the text is "round" or "angular" or like scribbles; I can feel in my mouth whether it's smooth or rough, taste whether it's sweet or bitter or neutral, see the color scheme of shades of blue, red, white, silver, grey, green, or a multitude of all of these and more. So, to see the words arranged in a visual pattern with colors, this really appeals to my literary senses. I'm addicted already--the challenge for building an image like this is to find a decent section of text to copy/paste. Very very easy to use.

LibraryThing is also pretty cool, too. Here's my very basic library so far:

Of course, Harry Potter was the first thing I added--just off the top of my head; since I dressed up as Hermione yesterday it was fresh on my mind. I really like how it's free, and I can't believe how easy it was to add books! So....when I get a chunk of time (maybe Christmas break) I will try to put my entire library in the catalog. I have a bunch of older books, though, that wouldn't show up in the search...hmmm.....I'll cross that bridge when I get to it :)

Rollyo is pretty cool, too--if I really want to search only a few specific sites. But, call me old-school, it probably won't replace a good old-fashioned Google search. It's all about the search terms you enter--you can find anything with Google with the right search terms. I can see how it would be useful if you have a blog or a website, though. That's when I would use it, so people can search my sites--within time they will be huge :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My websites!

I'm making a website of my own :)

Here's what I'm doing for my web development class:

And here's my permanent site for when class is over:

Very much still under construction--not all the links are working yet, and I need to fix the external CSS files a little bit more because some of the pages aren't looking quite right.

Also, I found out that Internet Exploder 7 messes my CSS programming. It always seems to do that to websites, makes them look nasty. (Besides all the security flaws in it...) So, please view in either Safari or Firefox. They treat all the CSS programmers' work with respect.

Here's My Idea: Download Firefox onto all the computers at the library. More and more are preferring Firefox nowadays.

Here's Another Idea: As our computers grow old, let's replace them with Macs. It's cheaper in the long run, because they last much longer. Heck, you can even run Windows on Mac hardware, so that we can keep on using our Horizon, Cassie, Tess, and other programs like usual. I'll bet you that Apple will give libraries discounts.

Week 4--RSS feeds

Setting up RSS feeds is pretty easy, though I must admit...I'm more the sort who just remembers which sites I like to look up, and visit them throughout the day. I'm up to 8 feeds now, and am looking around at other sites for more feeds. I also subscribed to some blogs, too :) You may notice the preponderance of deaf-related blogs including--because it is so wonderful knowing that I'm not the "only one" who is deaf. I like to read about others' experiences, because it is often just like mine, with all of the joys and embarassments and fears included. I have also included some library blogs--and yes, deaf librarians :D

If RSS feeds is the hardest thing in the program, it's not so hard at all, actually. :) All in all, though, this program is still very informational, making me make accounts with web resources that I wouldn't otherwise be prompted to. So now, I have that knowledge! As to making yet another account to best friends are those "forgot your username?" links.

A great tip, though any web security advisor would cringe, would be to reuse the same usernames and passwords all the time. I have a set number of usernames, and a set number of passwords. So I know I will go through my mental list before I accidentally lock out my account. Another theory as to my ability to remember usernames and passwords is that I'm young...people my age are so used to having to keep a mental storehouse of usernames/passwords that it's second nature to us now.

In other news,

The best site I found so far is Boy, was I so happy to see that a priest put his vlog homilies online! I've always had difficulty hearing the homilies at Mass. When I was little I would doze off during that part, because it was not printed in the missalettes. As a teenager I would stare at the priest, hoping to catch a few words, before daydreaming. For a couple of reasons, I joined a different Catholic church near my university during Lent this spring, that is traditionally more traditional. I have no complaints...except that I still don't always hear everything in a homily. It is a significant improvement, but still....I resigned myself to the fact that I may never be able to know what the priest is teaching that Sunday.

Then I stumbled across Fr. MD's site, and he has signed homilies! I shall have to make this a habit to check his site every Sunday :) Yay!

I love technology--Thing 7

I really do enjoy technology--it helps so much with disabilities! It was amazing when the first electronic hearing aid was invented--even though it was bulky and boxy, it sure does help to amplify the sounds so I can hear. I used to have one of those big square processors that you had to clip onto your belt, with wires running up to your ears, so it could transmit sound through the earmolds. But I was about 2 years old then, and didn't have much of I carried it around in a special harness.

They did have smaller hearing aids, but because I am so profoundly deaf I needed more processing power. Boy was I glad when technology improved and Phonak figured out how to include more processing power into a smaller hearing aid. It was still huge for me, and made my ears stick out funny. And more and more, companies are figuring out how to make it still smaller. I still need a traditionally sized hearing aid so I have enough processing power, but it is amazing how they even have "in the canal" hearing aids now.

I love the cochlear implant, too. That is a remarkable invention--amazing how Graeme Clark figured out how to "replace" the hearing hair cells in the ear. I got the implant in my left ear because even the strongest hearing aid was not strong enough to let me hear more than loudest, deepest vowel sounds. "Holly, please let the dogs in" would sound approximately like, "--AH-ee, --ee-- -eh- -- --AH-- ∂h--". (For comparison, my right and better ear, that sentence woud sound like, --olly, plea-e le- the dog- in" )

Now, with the cochlear implant in one ear, the hearing aid in the other, that sentence sounds more like, "Holly, please let the dogs in".

I love laptops, too. I had a Dell Inspiron, and now I have a Macbook, to help me at school. I still rely a lot on lipreading, so by using my laptop to take notes (and by knowing home row keys), I can focus on reading the lips while I type away.

In some classes, though, I've needed a CART, which is basically a real time captioning machine, so I can hear all that's going on in class. That's helped greatly, too. Perhaps some day I will be able to have automatic captioning linked to my glasses, so I can see the words while others talk to me--like at the library.

I'll be Holly the Deaf Librarian, the only one who will tell people to "Speak up!" in the library :D
Seriously, though, some people seem to think we have to whisper in libraries. I remember when I first started working at the library, a patron came up to me. Here's the conversation:

A lady came up to me. *indistinct whispering*
"Hi!, How may I help you?"
*indistinct whispering*
"I'm sorry, I'm hard of hearing. Can you repeat that please?"
She spoke just a tiny bit louder. I still had no clue what she was saying--sounded something like a "death broom" or "breast zoom" or "vesture".
Usually when I have to ask people to repeat more than once, they grow irate, so I decided on a generic answer.
"I'm sorry, I don't know where it is, I'm just a page. I'm sure if you ask the librarians, just over there by the Circ Desk, they will be able to find it for you."
She gave me a funny look, then went over to ask the librarian.

When a librarian finished helping the woman, I went over there and asked quietly, "What was it that she wanted?" The librarian informed me that she was looking for the rest room. No wonder the lady gave me a funny look. I wonder what she thought of me--most people think I'm stupid when I don't know what they're saying.

Hearing aids, for being wonderful technology, aren't perfect, let me tell you. There have been plenty of instances that if it weren't for a having a slight sense of humor, would mortify me horribly.

The restrooms are in the lobby, by the way.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Week 3, #5 &6--Flickr Goodies

I'm still working on the "23 Things" program, and am up to Flickr (things #5 and #6).

I hadn't fiddled with Flickr yet, and didn't see any reason why I should, since I had Facebook. But it's an useful program for those of my family who does not have a Facebook account (which is very nearly everyone--excepting one of my brothers). I may try to upload more stuff to share with relatives. Only problem is--they will have to create an account to see it, too...(since I will have private settings on most of them, obviously)

I think I will stick with Facebook since I can share my albums by way of a permanent public URL. Even so, I am glad I created a Flickr account, just to play with the fun apps and mashups on there. I played around with the LOLcat creator :D . It is a picture I took back in October (2007) when my family got two kittens from the Humane Society (buy one get one free). Tiger is "Red Cat" and Cheetah is "Blue Cat". (you can tell because of the color of their collars). And they loved exploring my little siblings' bookcase :) (note the well-worn covers...)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

#4 of the 23 things

Yay! Made it through to #4 in the program so far! I'm taking it step by step through this "23 Things" program to help us librarians keep on learning.

1) I read about the program--seemed simple enough
2) I went through the Life-long Learning PowerPoint slides, and that was straightforward, too--it is basically what we "professional students" do all the time unconsciously. :) (Big thanks for putting it into Slide Show format! It helped me so much, because obviously to a deaf person like me listening to podcasts is out of the question if not nearly impossible.)
3) I wrote two blog posts so far--this is my third one. Blogging is addictive, especially to a writer like me.
4) I'm mailing the URL of my blog to the O! What a Geek team, so it will be on their blog roll soon.

This is fun, and oh so addictive....
(by the way, the link to O! What a Geek is )