Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Photo social bookmarks

I'm not 100% sure why Digg or another social bookmarking site can't do this but I found this on iLibrarian and had to post a link to it. Basically the New York Times had an article about some sites that do for images what Digg and the rest do for websites. It's worth checking out.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Dewey number

Helene Blowers posted this from the CML Learn and Play program.

My name gives this and it really seems to fit me.

Mary Kyle's Dewey Decimal Section:

858 Italian miscellaneous writings

Mary Kyle = 31851525 = 318+515+25 = 858

800 Literature

Literature, criticism, analysis of classic writing and mythology.

What it says about you:
You're a global, worldly person who wants to make a big impact with your actions. You have a lot to tell people and you're good at making unique observations about everyday experiences. You can notice and remember details that other people think aren't important.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

This is the results from my birthday and again not a bad description:

Mary Kyle's Dewey Decimal Section:

671 Metalworking & primary metal products

Mary Kyle's birthday: 7/18/1953 = 718+1953 = 2671

600 Technology

Health, agriculture, management, public relations, buildings.

What it says about you:
You are creative and inspired to make the world a better place. You can work hard on something when it catches your interest. Your friends have unique interests in common with you.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Lastly my 3 digit number choice:

Mary Kyle's Dewey Decimal Section:

927 (Optional number)

900 History & Geography

Travel, biographies, ancient history, and histories of continents.

What it says about you:
You're connected to your past and value the things that have happened to you. You've had some conflicted times in your life, but they've brought you to where you are today and you don't ignore it.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

I was truly surprised to find that all three seem to hit highlights that make up my personality, perhaps not all but some of the most obvious

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I need a new marketing strategy

Teens don't care about Open Source. I will be attempting my GIMP class again but am marketing it as just a photo editing class. Hopefully, that will draw in more people.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Avast me hearties!

Talk Like a pirate day is here again.
I've been checking my name for this year and came up with 2.

Mary, your pirate name is
Seaman Grainne O'Malley the Green
What is YOUR pirate name?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

PLCMC Tech Summit 2008

It seems we had a great day this year.

This year I did a presentation on Open Source Software that could be used in Libraries for working with youth of all ages.

The presentation was posted to Slideshare.

It seemed to go very well and I look forward to more similar programs.

I am hoping to do a public presentation for parents and teens on Software Freedom Day, September 20th, which I will also post.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What is a Librarian, anyway?

I have to say a few posts grabbed my attention recently. They began with comments by a fellow library staff member and member of ALA, who does not have an MLS, MLIS, or other library degree. Lori Reed wrote about Emerging Leaders in ALA. Lori is a Library Trainer at PLCMC and highly professional, however she lacks that critical MLIS or other library degree that the program requires.

I was pleased to see one of my favorite bloggers, LibrarianinBlack was supporting Lori and she pointed out other issues for people who are don't or can't travel. Neither however, mentioned the age factor. I realize ALA are assuming that to be an Emerging Leader you are just starting your career and recently out of Library school. But there are people who didn't go to library school until later in life. I once met a former State Librarian for Colorado who got his degree at 40, I think he was 60 or 70 when I met him. Despite his rapid rise through the ranks of Librarians he would not have qualified for ALA's Emerging Leaders Programs either since they also limit to under 35.

Lori has since added a second blog on the value to the organization of non-degreed staffers.
During our new employee orientation the following question is asked, “How many of you are librarians?” A handful of people will raise their hands. The rest will squirm in their seats waiting, wondering what’s coming next. “To our customers we are all librarians” is the next thing new staff hear.With that statement you see a smile emerge and tension melt away.

I definitely think she has a point. I've worked in libraries for 22 years and 20 of those years in one system in a variety of roles. In some cases I felt a definite segregation of "Professional" vs "Paraprofessional" staff. The thing is when you work in a small location with only one person with a library degree, there just isn't always a person on hand to be the librarian if you restrict the definition to only include people with the degree. Our customers don't in fact know the difference. 10 years of my work were at just such a location. I worked in every capacity, from periodicals clerk, storyteller, shelver, reference librarian, to Manager On Duty, and on occasion cleaning up vomit. I now work in a much larger facility with several degreed Librarians and am called on to serve as Manager On Duty about once a month. I am pleased to say I have seen much less of the attitude I saw when I began working in libraries. Now more are surprised to find I don't already have the degree.

I like what Liminal Librarian's has to say on this topic:
And yes, some will define "librarian" as simply someone who holds an MLS, but I think this is an oversimplification, given both the diversity of fields in which we work and the number of people who do the work and call themselves/have the title of librarian, without having earned the degree. Not to mention the fact that we lack standardization in library education and schools, so we come out with the same degree, having learned very different things.

My role in the Library has changed a lot over those years, due in part to the advancing role of technology in libraries. I am a bit of a geek and nerd at heart and embraced technology from an early age. I was playing with Fortran and Assembler languages in the early 70's, before the first desktop PC, so when our library system introduced public internet access stations in 1995, I soon found myself as the one who my coworkers came to for help with things computer. Later, when I felt it was time for a change, I moved entirely into technology and became a public technology trainer. I worked my way up from teaching Computer Basics and the occasional MS Office class until now teaching Animation, Image Editing (both Photoshop and GIMP), Dreamweaver, and was even called on as one of the first guest bloggers for Learning 2.1 by Helene Blowers. The point is at my age (currently 55 going on 30) I am in the unique position of being a technology resource to younger staff with Library degrees.

I probably won't bother getting a degree as I am nearing the end of my career but I'm proud of my 27 year old who will be starting at UNC-Ch this Fall working on a MSLS degree. I hope she has inherited my love of technology as she will be joining the ranks of Librarians in the digital age. I also hope she will value all staff she works with no matter what degrees they have or don't have.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Facebook and Facebook groups #60 and #61

Since there really wasn't much for me to discover here, I will take Kjersti's post and add to it. I've had my Facebook account for a couple years and really like it, though I shy away from a lot of the apps that just are for fun like Kharma, cupcakes, Vampires, etc.

Probably the first item to show I use Facebook for Library related use is my friends. If you look at my Friends list, I currently have 55 friends. Five are related to me directly, 2 daughters, 1 unborn grandson, and 2 nieces. One is my Son-in-Law. One other is an old high school buddy. All the rest are in some way library related, either current PLCMC employees, former PLCMC employees, Learning 2.0 and 2.1 contacts, one I found through Facebook Groups, three friends were guest speakers at the library's Tech Summits, who I friended to see what they are up to in the library technology world.

I use Facebook as a launch site for a lot of the Web 2.0 resources I use a lot, such as:
Zoho Office
Books iRead
Library Thing

I use these apps as a way to find new reads and sometimes for library purposes. I have to admit I keep up with Books iRead more than the others as I enjoy the Chuck this book capability. Jamie Christenbury and I chuck books we think the other might like and I've chucked a couple new titles at Kjersti by some of our mutual favorite authors, such as Mark Kurlansky and Robert Sullivan.

One use of Facebook was one brought to my attention by PLCMC's Chris Bates. He and I are both members of Metrolina Library Association and he used Facebook to ask me some questions for use in a presentation for Metrolina. I hadn't really thought of using it that way before. Since then I found an Irish Librarian looking for help with some research that our Carolina Room could provide and hooked her up with Jane Johnson. The original contact came from the Library 2.0 Interest Group in Facebook.

That leads me to the next use I've found for serious Library discussion on Facebook, Groups, here are the ones I've joined an found useful:

Library 2.0 Interest Group
Web 2.0 Tips and Hints
Libraries using Facebook Pages
Internet Librarian
Libraians and Facebook
Web 2.0
Second Life Librarians

I'm sure there are others but these I have found useful to me. Of course, I also joined a couple Apple Groups too. Anyone who has followed this blog for a while will know I am a hardcore Apple fan, especially in the last 2 years since I bought my MacBook (I still have iPod Touch Lust, maybe someday I can afford one).

Next I plan to share my favorite Google Reader Library related feeds.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

From LibrarianinBlack

I am rapidly becoming a fan of this person's blog. Today when catching up on posts I found two exciting posts.

Alice a programming software to teach kids programming basics from Carnegie Mellon. I'm looking at it for youth classes next fall.

The second OpenLearning is a product from Open University in the UK offering free online training in a variety of subjects. Registration is free and easy. I can't wait to begin learning!

I can easily see that she will remain in my Google Reader to follow on a regular basis.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tom Lehrer and Google

I was happy to see that Google paid tribute to Tom Lehrer in their Official Blog this week. His 80th birthday is just past and I realize that the old vinyl disk we raised our daughters with is long gone. I wonder if any of his tunes are on iTunes?

It pleases me that the company that brings me such helpful items as Docs and Blogger also shares an appreciation of the same wit and intellect that I do. Perhaps I'm not such an old fogey after all.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Image Editing Online

I've covered this topic before on another blog, Learning 2.1, but a new entry has joined the field of candidates and I think it deserves mention. I will also be giving an update to one I mentioned before.

First of all, I want to do the update. I mentioned Fauxto before as a great online image editor. They have changed names and can be found at Splashup This one is a really high-end image editor that gives Photoshop Elements a run for it's money, even offering layers and filters similar to Photoshop. Surprisingly they manage to offer a Photoshop like experience and look in a Flash based environment. I highly recommend checking it out.

In other news Adobe has finally launched Photoshop Express. It's offering for online image editing and storage of images. Express is no where near as powerful as Photoshop or even Photoshop Elements but it's a start. The biggest drawback however is the need to have the latest Flash player installed, not surprising from Adobe however. It has a clean interface that is easy to understand and use. Basic and some intermediate features are available but it is limited in scope.

I am glad to see this available but will stick with SplashUp and Picnik for online editing and GIMP for the serious stuff.

Monday, March 24, 2008


The library system I work for in undergoing a major re-organization. A former leader in our library, Helene Blowers now in Ohio, posted the following blog post over the weekend and it seemed to me as very profound and appropriate to consider as we move forward.

LibraryBytes: Growing the Org Chart

Helene really hit a chord with me. I like the idea of likening an organization to a garden, perhaps inspired by Spring getting going but it made total sense to me. In her description the leaders are the "dirt" that fertilizes and supports the organization. If you continue that analogy, I as a front-line worker might be like the worker bees who pollinate the garden and help it be fruitful. I am there to facilitate the customer experience and help them accomplish their goals. I doubt it will make any major difference as I feel I have always striven to provide the best possible service. However, it may give me a new way of looking at how I provide that service and as a gardener, I enjoy the analogy.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Recovery and Ravelry

it's been a while since I've posted. From November through January I spent most of my time learning Final Cut and preparing for foot surgery. On Jan 24th the surgery took place and I couldn't do anything for a couple weeks. During that time my oldest announced her impending wedding and, in anticipation of grandkids, I decided to check out Ravelry. I believe Jamie has already done something on this and this is my discovery posting on it.

Since she wrote about it Jamie and Lydia of IS at PLCMC, have set up a PLCMC group for our Stitch-Ins, Main, North County, and Mint Hill. We are still a small group of people but we can now see what books we all have, for sharing patterns, ideas, etc. You can see any user's projects and are able to set them to favorites easily to pick out your next project. Projects are tagged so you can search for a project type. They give you pretty good links to patterns and many free patterns with a place to save pdf's so you don't have to print them all out until you are ready to start the project. I really like the Queue where you can set up a set of projects you intend to start soon, I have 2 for yarns I found on sale recently. Moving to the projects is as easy as clicking "cast on". You can also keep up with your progress on the project. If you put it on the back burner set it to hibernating, and if you rip it out set it to frogged. You can also post photos of your work.

As a result I now know that the afghan, lovingly dubbed the "forever afghan," that I have been working on for 35 years was in hibernation, however, it is now finished thanks to 6 weeks of inactivity and the need for a wedding gift and no money.

Music downloading

Thanks for this one Jennifer! I can't think how often our patrons ask for just this.

What I liked was that there is only downloading the music so the only limits in the library would be getting the computer to recognize the player or have a CD burner available if that is their choice. Of course not all the most popular songs will show up and I noticed that the first song listed was rated as explicit, so parents still might want to be aware when allowing their teens there to download.