Tuesday, February 14, 2012

LOVE Post 5: Love LM_NET

Since today is Valentine's Day, I feel like I should blog about something I really, REALLY love. That brought LM_NET to mind. I  have such a great fondness for this group. I went looking for history of the group and found an interview with co-founder Peter Milbury in School Library Journal back in 2007: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6498080.html
Here's a trenchant quotation: "LM_NET is probably the most successful electronic educational network in the history of the Internet." I believe it!

The last time I saw a membership count for the group, it was 16,000. The number is likely more today. This community for library media specialists is a combination support group, fount of information, social network, and occasionally debate arena. It has brought me more benefits than any other resource I can bring to mind. Because of LM_NET, I have been able to complete dozens of valuable surveys that have helped me with writing and presentations. It has made me laugh on  gloomy days. One memorable year it led me to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for two weeks of Internet training in the company of an amazing librarians from across the United States. It has answered questions little and big. And fast! I am always amazed at how quickly I get responses when I ask a question of the group. 

LM_NET is not colorful and enticing with Web 2.0 features. There are no profile pictures or, for that matter, any images at all. It is just old school black and white text.  And that text brings me common sense, ideas, tips, resources, answers, and collegiality every sing day. Right to my mailbox. Thanks LM_NET, you are my Valentine!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

LOVE Post 4: Love Shortcuts!

I love finding nifty new tools that are time/worksavers. Here is one shared via LM_NET, thanks to Gwen Lehman of Larned KS. I am just pasting in her description:

"I've been seeing some info showing up on apps and looking for free ones. Here is a little tip I learned that has helped narrow my searches. Type the following in your browser URL box:  linktoapp.com/
After the backslash, type in what you are searching.  For example, dictionary or math.  You can then add a + and type in free or a grade.  Hit return and it will take you to iTunes with your search results.

I just gave it a try. In the window I added "+photo+free" and presto, I got a ton of free photo editing apps to use on my iPhone. These will be so much fun for using with my current favorite pastime, Instagram! Next I tried "+library" and got a mix since many apps use the word "library" in their names, such as "fitness library." But I did get a bunch of libraries, including LOC.

Next I tried Gwen's blog:
Tech Tidbits blog <http://techtidbits01.blogspot.com/>
Great stuff there! I feel like I have found two great new resources, the blog and the search tool. They are too good to keep to myself!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

LOVE Post 3: I love my iPhone CAMERA

Am I cheating? Maybe a little. I just posted a couple of days ago that I LOVE my iPhone. Now I am going back to that theme to say I LOVE my iPhone camera. I am increasingly impressed with the 8 MP camera that I carry around everywhere I go now that it resides in my iPhone. Because of it, and because of social photography which is in my case Instagram, I find myself always on the lookout for a new shot. This causes me to view the world in new and different ways. I used to love my digital camera, but it bit the dust about a year ago. I no longer feel a need to replace it. There are some tempting peripherals that you can get to increase your camera's capabilities, including some reasonably priced lenses. These can be found with a simple Google search. I think there may be one or more of these in my future. Also, there are many cool apps with which you can play around with images. I am adding a picture I took recently and just today edited it using Tiny Planet, an iPhone app which I just downloaded today. The original shot is a picture of the waterfall below Spring Lake in San Marcos, Tx.  All this has me wondering if I may want a high end digital camera at some point to develop my growing interest in photography. Even if I do, it will not diminish my love for my iPhone camera.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 2 of LOVE Month: I love Pinterest

I recently polled colleagues about online communications that they liked/disliked--listservs, Facebook, Twitter, and Nings. What I discovered from the poll was that every venue had its fans and also its detractors. People complain that listservs clutter up their inboxes, that Facebook and Twitter are trivial, and Nings are just to busy with too much stuff. So far I have encountered NO ONE who dislikes Pinterest. As far as I can tell there are two kinds of people: those who like and use Pinterest and those who don't know about it. No detractors. Correct me if I am wrong. It is a great way to share sites on the topic designated for a particular board. The premise is that users "pin" sites they like, as one might post them to a board. There is also a social element where users follow one another and "like" their postings and possibly comment. It is masterfully designed and the more that is added, the more fun any board becomes. I maintain two boards that I add to almost daily:
The first one was started to help me cheer myself and others up during hard times with humorous sites. As time went by I added ANY site that just made me feel good. It feels good to add to it too. The second site grew out of my ongoing interest in digital visualization. I post infographics, diagrams, charts, and other cool digital visuals that resonate with me.

The only possible downside I have heard about Pinterest is that it is possible to like it TOO much. I have to admit that it can be very time consuming. If anybody dislikes Pinterest, I would love to hear from you and also know the reason.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


This month I will focus on technology/library things that I LOVE, to keep the Valentine Spirit flowing throughout. I am not going to try to rank favorites, but rather mention things as they occur to me. But I will start with my all time favorite, my trusty iPhone. Yes, she has a name...Idella. Idella is with me wherever I go. I am one of those people who will turn around and retrieve my phone if I leave it behind at home or in office. It is my lifeline. I will talk this month about favorite apps, and of course without my phone many/most of them would not be there for me. There are two things I could not go without and have my personal and work needs addressed: iPhone and laptop. Frankly I CAN go without iPad, Kindle, or other attractive devices. Which ones top YOUR list?