Monday, July 16, 2007

What is happening at the Almaden Library?

Harry Potter Magic Transforms Almaden Library and Community Center
San José Public Library will host a “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” Release Party from 10 p.m. to midnight on Friday, July 20 at Almaden Library and Community Center (6445 Camden Ave). To help local fans through the last couple of hours of nail-biting impatience before the release of the book, at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 21, the library has planned fun activities recalling the characters and world of Hogwarts to keep fans entertained until the stroke of midnight.
When the clock strikes twelve, library customers—who are among the first 400 to have both reserved the standard print edition of the seventh book AND designated Almaden Library as their pickup point—will be able to check out their copy and immediately begin uncovering the answers to all the burning questions that have tantalized them from the beginning; chief among them:
Who will live and who will die?
Does Harry kill Voldemort?
Do Ron and Hermione get together?

Participants are welcome and encouraged to come in costume, but it is not a requirement. Minors 15 years of age and under must be accompanied by an adult; drop-offs are not permitted. Those who are eligible to check out their reserve copy of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” must have addressed all potential blocks on their library card account by 11:30 p.m. Fine or fee payments will be accepted by credit card only. No other library services will be available that evening.

P&T Theatre Puppets at the Almaden Branch Library
On Thursday, July 26, 2:30 p.m., the ever-popular P&T Puppet Theatre presents “The Adventures of Spider and Fly!” Follow the adventures of this dynamic duo as they seek to rescue Little Miss Muffet and other popular literary figures. Will they figure out the clues in time? This program is Peter Brizzi’s newest show and is guaranteed to entertain young and old alike. We are grateful to the Friends of the Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Library who have generously provided the funds for this program.


■ Family Story Time will be held on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the library’s program room. There will be fun stories, songs, and finger plays geared for the whole family (no story time in August).
■ Preschool Story Times will be held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:15 a.m. in the library’s program room. “Mr. K” will be sharing stories, finger plays, songs and puppets, for children ages 3-5 and their caregivers (no story time in August).
■ Mother Goose Story Time is held on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. Barbara Gilbert, children’s librarian, will present nursery rhymes, finger plays, stories and songs for children (12 months to 2 years) and their caregivers (no story time in August).
■ Saturdays, July 21, 28 & August 4 from 4 to 5 p.m., get personalized instruction from a friendly and knowledgeable volunteer. Questions regarding Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Email, and all things Web or Internet related will be answered. This class is held in the library’s tech center and is limited to four participants; please register at the library’s information desk.
■ ‘Reading to Children’ volunteers will be available in the children’s area on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 12 to 1 p.m.
■ ESL Conversation Club is held Wednesdays from 12 to 1 p.m. in the library’s program room. Come practice your English speaking skills with our friendly conversation group.
■ Join us for a fun Adult Summer Reading Murder Mystery Party, Saturday, July 28 at 4 p.m. This murder mystery party will keep our adult summer reading sleuths on their collective toes.
■ On Thursday, August 2 at 3 p.m., Fratello Marionettes will present the delightful puppet play, Peter and the Wolf. Accompanied by the majestic music of Sergei Prokofiev, follow Peter on his remarkable journey of discovery. This program is guaranteed to entertain both young and old. This program is part of the Summer Reading Celebration and is made possible by the Friends of the Almaden Library.
■ On Friday, August 3 at 4 p.m., teens (ages 13-18) are invited to participate in our monthly Teens Reach meeting held in the library’s program room. Community service credits are given to participating students. Light refreshments are provided by the Friends of the Almaden Library.
■ Join our History Book Club Tuesday, August 7, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., to discuss Giles Milton’s “Nathaniel’s Nutmeg: or, the True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History.” Tea and cookies will be served. This event takes place in the library’s program room.
■ Summer Reading Celebration Talent Show - Join us Thursday, August 9 at 3 p.m. for Almaden Library’s 2nd annual Talent Show. Young people from ages 4 through 18 are invited to demonstrate their creative and musical skills at this fun-filled event. Pre-registration is required.

Monday, April 2, 2007

I See Light at the End of the Tunnel ... uh oh - it's a train

This journey through SJLibrary Web 2.0 has been an informative, fun and occasionally frustrating experience. At times the light at the end of the tunnel seems like a potential train wreck, but ultimately the light turns out to be the light of understanding. Thank you SJLibrary Web 2.o team. You've done a great service.
#19 The LibraryThing - What a great Web site. I have quite a few books at home that need some organizational TLC that the LibraryThing can provide. I think I'm going to order one of their t-shirts. The description they give for the site is excellent: "LibraryThing is a full-powered cataloging application, searching the Library of Congress, all five national Amazon sites, and more than 60 world libraries. You can edit your information, search and sort it, "tag" books with your own subjects, or use the Library of Congress and Dewey systems to organize your collection." They also mention the social connectivity aspect of this site when they state: "If you want it, LibraryThing is also an amazing social space, often described as "MySpace for books" or "Facebook for books." You can check out other people's libraries, see who has the most similar library to yours, swap reading suggestions and so forth. LibraryThing also makes book recommendations based on the collective intelligence of the other libraries." I have cataloged several of my books on my account. My account information is
#20 YouTube - Wow is this a wild site or what? I had quite a bit of fun getting to know YouTube. I'm not sure if all of the contributors to this site are playing with a full deck of cards but viewing their creations was certainly a blast! The site that I thought had some interesting library applications was creative production entitled: "Ray of Light" St. Joseph County Public Library Version. ! I could easily see how we could do something similar and put it our on main Web page to give our customers a sampling of what we do in a fun and entertaining manner. This type of “ice breaker” is definitely a cool tool that could inform and set a tone of welcome and fun especially for our younger cliental.
#21 - Podcasts - I checked the Wikipedia and they define podasts as: "a media file that is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on portable media players and personal computers.[1] Like 'radio', it can mean both the content and the method of syndication." I went through the Yahoo podcast tutorial and found it helpful. An interesting library application of the podcast technology is: Deschutes Public Library Foundation - A Novel Idea 2007 Episode 1 - Introduction - Excerpt This is the first in a series of podcasts for the Deschutes Public Library Foundation's A Novel Idea...Read Together program. In this episode, author Kenny Moore reads an excerpt from the introduction ... Podcast Date: Nov 28, 2006. - It would be interesting if all of our book discussion groups system-wide could be videotaped and put on as podcast series. I believe this would be a way to vastly increase our book discussion groups’ visibility and some of our discussions are very insightful and thought-provoking. If our performers and special guest speakers were willing to be videotaped, it would be great to podcast some of our special programming (P&T Puppet Theatre, Phil Ackerly, magician, etc. While some of this is dreaming ... it never hurts to "think out of the box."
#22 Explore EBooks and Audio Ebooks - The one question I get a lot regarding our Ebooks is: Can I use my iPod? The short answer is no. The long answer is: "The library would be thrilled to offer audio content playable on personal Apple products, including iPods. However, Apple's business practice prevents this from happening." On the bottom of the Frequently Asked Questions is a listing of additional helps: Ebrary Academic Complete - see Ebrary Help & Support Page or Contact Ebrary Help & Support netLibrary - see netLibrary Help & FAQs: (SJPL users, SJSU users) or netLibrary Contact Us OverDrive Digital Library - see Overdrive Help Page or Contact Library eBook Support Pimsleur Language - see netLibrary Help & FAQs: (SJPL users, SJSU users) or netLibrary Contact Us Safari Tech - see Safari Tech Help Page or Contact Safari Customer Support Still Stumped? - Contact Library eBook Support. Our very helpful "e-book Support" team has a contact us tab at the bottom of the page. They can provide specific technical help for our customers.
I also explored the Project Gutenberg site. They describe their organization as: "the oldest producer of free ebooks on the Internet. Our collection was produced by thousands of volunteers." I found the 100 top downloaded titles to be an interesting list to review. I also poked around the World eBook Library, and viewed the World eBook Fair titles.
#23 Summarize your thoughts about this program - I want to go on the record: the SJLibrary Web 2.0 is a remarkable and valuable tool for helping some of us librarians to get up to speed with the rapidly changing landscape of the newer Web technologies and conceptually ground-breaking modes of communication. At the heart of our profession is “communication.” For a very long time the primary mode of that communication has been the printed page, but things are a changing. We must keep up with the rapid pace of technology or otherwise we are dust. My hat is off the great job our San Jose Public and San Jose State University team has accomplished in putting this remarkable tutorial together. I will be going back and reviewing and getting deeper into many of the programs that I was only able to get a taste of. Some of the technologies that I particularly enjoyed were the Rollyo, Flickr, YouTube and Zoho Writer sites.
Again, thank you for your encouragement and support through the process.

The Library Web 2.0 Experience "Rocks My World"

#16 - Wikis and innovative ways that libraries are using them. Without a doubt, the Web 2.0 world of today and future Web innovations "Web 3.0, Web 4.0 etc.) are having and will have an increasing huge impact on the day-to-day work and duties of the librarians and library staff. Wiki's are one of the marvels of this new Internet horizon. The fact that a collective effort of thousands can create and maintain such a useful resource as the Wikipedia is truly astounding. The Information Technology Core Competencies' description of a wiki was illuminating and right on target: "a quick-to-build, easy-to-edit website on which all information can be edited, changed, or rewritten by the users or members of the site. It is an incredibly useful tool for collaborative writing, pooling knowledge or exchanging ideas, especially on a subject that changes or needs updating frequently." On the flip side of wikis are some disadvantages that were pointed out in the article: "Being written by its readers, and having little in the way of editorial control, a wiki is prone to being subjective, or strongly influenced by opinion." The very strength of wikis (collective input of data) is also its main disadvantage (possible bias and unreliability).
I throughly enjoyed the Web sites that delt with wikis (St. Joseph County Public Library system, Book Lovers Wiki, Library Success, The Bull Run Library wiki, and the Albany County Public Library Staff wiki) and it was a revelation it see the creative ways that wikis could be utilized. The part of the St. Joseph wiki that I found most interesting is the "local" pathfinder. Using the power of the wiki is a great way to provide local historical facts and resources to the general public. San Jose Public Library could no doubt do more along these lines. The Library Success site was remarkable. The portion on finding the best on-line tutorials was of particular interest. Why reinvent the wheel when someone has already done the leg work? What can I say ... wikis are wonderful. It was great to see that the San Jose Public/San Jose University Library 2.0 site was linked to the Bull Run Library wiki. It's nice that we are being noticed by the Library Web 2.0 world!
#17 - I've added entries to SJLibrary Learning 2.0 SandBox wiki (to the favorite blogs and movies sections). The experience with SJLibrary Learning 2.0 SandBox wiki was enjoyable.
#18 - Online Productivity tools - I really was impressed with Zoho Writer. I set up an account and I created a test document. I am sure I will using this great Web resource in the future. The other companion programs, Zoho Creator, Merge, Zoho Show, Zoho Wiki, Zoho Sheet, Zoho Planner, Zoho Chat are very intiquing. In particular, I think I will be getting to know the Zoho Sheet and Zoho Wiki sites much better in the coming days.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

S.J. Learning 2.0 is in Fun Over-drive

#13 - I had a blast with and have set up my list of favorite Web sites on my account. The fact that my favorites list is now web based and can be used on any computer with internet access is a great feature. The tagging aspect of is a valuable and important part of the usefulness of this site. I can see how this feature can be useful in organizing my favorites and a way to keep things uber-organized. The "social bookmarking" is another very interesting capability of this site in that you can use another person’s web expertise to help better utilize and navigate the Web.
#14 - Exploring Technorati has been a mind-boggling experience. There are many intriguing features regarding the various ways one can mine this huge treasure-trove of information. Interestingly, I noticed that uses Technorati as their main search engine tool for organizing their subject tabs and access to the viewer comments, suggestions and complaints (always fair and balanced no doubt). I found the SJLibrary's page to be very informative and helpful - Great Job!
#15 - Perspectives on Web 2.0 - Future of Libraries - The description of the characteristics of the Web 2.0 sites was aptly described in the introductory page when it stated "sites that embody Web 2.0 principles of simplicity, rich interactivity, user participation, collective intelligence, self-service, novel and remixed content—Flickr, MySpace, FaceBook,, YouTube, LibraryThing—to name a few." The Internet's penetration into everyday life for an increasingly larger portion of the population is growing at a staggering pace. Librarians, administrator and all staff have to take a sober look at the new realities we collectively face. We must adapt to the new information technology or perish! Rick Anderson's article "Away From the Icebergs" was thought-provoking ... the paragraph entitled "The 'come to us' model of library service" was dead on accurate. Libraries that think only in terms of collecting expensive printed resources are no longer in-sink with the dramatic trends that are sweeping our information-based digitized culture. Libraries have to rethink and reinvent themselves to be responsive to this massive and mind-boggling technological sea-change. His concluding paragraph is so germane to the new realities it should probably be committed to memory: "No profession can survive if it throws its core principles and values overboard in response to every shift in the zeitgeist. However, it can be equally disastrous when a profession fails to acknowledge and adapt to radical, fundamental change in the marketplace it serves. At this point in time, our profession is far closer to the latter type of disaster than it is to the former. We need to shift direction, and we can’t wait for the big ship of our profession to change course first. It’s going to have to happen one library—one little boat—at a time." Hopefully our first steps in better understanding the Library Web 2 will be the springboard of us becoming increasingly well-versed in the new technological realities. I appreciated Michael Stephens' article, "Into a New World of Librarianship" and especially his concluding thoughts on content: "Librarian 2.0 gets content. This librarian understands that the future of libraries will be guided by how users access, consume and create content. Content is a conversation as well and librarians should participate." I enjoyed Chip Nigles' and John Riemer's articles and particularly liked John's statement on broadening relevance rankings when he stated: "Relevance ranking techniques should be driven by much more than the mere prevalence of keywords in the bibliographic record and be fed by a wider range of metadata, such as circulation activity, placement of materials on class reserve lists, sales data, and clicks to download, print, and capture citations." The article by Dr. Wendy Schultz, "To a Temporary Place in Time" was amazing. I particularly liked it when she stated: "Libraries are not just collections of documents and books, they are conversations, they are convocations of people, ideas, and artifacts in dynamic exchange." Her description of the Library 3.0 and Library 4.0 world was eye-opening. George Bishop's article "Ripple Effect" was interesting. To me his most important suggestion was to: "Ingrain your services into your patrons’ world so that they cannot live without you." If libraries can successfully do this, we'll always have a role in the information delivery business.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The remarkable journey through S.J. Library Learning 2.0

#8 (Week 4) - This was quite an adventure ... the concept of the RSS feeds and the Bloglines site in particular is very powerful and potentially time-saving. I set it up so that I could keep tabs on the weather forecasts for my hometown (Capitola) and I am sending news feeds to my account (based on my zip code). The Feed Me tutorial was well structured and very helpful. This technology has many powerful tools and I'm looking forward to getting to know it better as I try out the various features of the site.
#9 - I checked out a number of the news feeds and I found particularly helpful and relevant to my library related inquiries. I did get some useful hits using Feedster, Technorati and Syndica8. It was interesting to see the various types of information and the breath of topics that can be found utilizing these sources. I haven’t quite determined how you evaluate the accuracy and validity of some of the sites posted, but I do see this as a valuable tool for information gathering.
#10 - The various image generators were pretty amazing. I really had fun with the Comic Strip Generator. The Fd Toys and Image Chef have both have useful features. So far I haven't been able to cut and paste any of my creations to my blog but I'll keep on trying (or better yet, get some help).
#11 - I checked out a few of the sites listed on the short list of Web 2.0 but the one I spent considerable time with was "" ... this is a very interesting site for a musician. My interest is mainly in classical music (oboe music of course) and they do have some interesting biographies on classical composers and selections of their best know works available for listening. A very interesting feature of this site is that you can check the listening records of those currently on the web and listen to what they have heard. This is a unique way one can expand his/her musical tastes and gain greater appreciation of music from diverse cultural traditions. There is a huge amount of very interesting ethnic, innovative, cutting edge music. There are many vocal and instrumental selections to choose from.
#12 - I really like Rollyo. This is a fascinating and very fun site to interact with. I set up two search rolls "News-Are-Us" and "REFERENCE IS MY GAME." With these two sites I can do pretty comprehensive current news and politics searching and then on the second one, general and some specific reference inquiries. To fashion these search rolls, I used some of the existing rolls as a guide and then I modified them with sites that I thought would give additional debth to my searches. This is a highly recommended tool.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ed Koetitz

Ed Koetitz
Originally uploaded by ekoetitz.
This was part of our staff photo display at the Almaden Branch Library, San Jose Public Library. The sheepdog's name is Shaggy. She's a crowd pleaser (especially the 3-5 year-olds).

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Reflections on the 71/2 habits

This is my post for exercises #1 & 2:
As I reflect on my lifelong learning skills, one area that I believe I have some strength is related to my interest in wide range of topics. As a reference librarian, I truly enjoy learning new facts, concepts and information. In short, I'm an information nut! Things related to cultures, the arts, and nature have a strong interest and they are topics that I have considerable motivation. The one area that I am not particulary strong in is setting aside dedicated segments of time and not being distracted and interupted. I hope to increase my lifelong learning abilities and I'm sure the new technologies will be a vital part of this process.

I have completed excercises #3-5 and I have established a account and have posted some photos. I am amazed at the range and quality of photos that are available through Flickr. I have used Google's Image finder for photos and images quite a bit for posters and handouts. Without a doubt, Flickr is going to be part of my future photo searching.

# 6 (Week 3) - I am very impressed with the variety and debth of the Flickr mashups and 3rd party sites. I particularily like Jim Bumgardner's remarkable Colr Pickr. It is a real work of art! I was also intrigued with the Flickr Grpah by Marcos Weskamp. This is a very intriguing techology although my PC start to make weird sounds as it was trying to keep of with the images that were being downloaded. They site is very dynamic and entertaining as the graphic patterns are displayed. I also enjoyed exploring the Trip Planner by Yahoo! Travel. This is a very useful site for any travel planning.
#7 - I would like to relate my experience as a part of the ALA's first annual Teen Tech week to be observed Mar. 4-10, 2007 in San Jose. Here at the Almaden Branch (part of the San Jose Public Library) we hosted the Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose for the system wide Teen Tech event. They have considerable experience in relating to teens and they have the resources to put together a stimulating and interactive tech program. They had several hands on experiemts and object lessons for the teens. We had 26 students attend (some were pre-teens) and the Tech Museum staff were impressed by the interest and enthusiasm of the attendees. On Friday, March 9th, we had 40 teens attend our Teen Tech Week GameFest. We had on-line games for 13 participants, Playstation 2's Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution and some traditional board games. It was a very successful and fun time for our teens. I'm sure we'll want to be part of Teen Tech Week in the coming years.