November 30, 2008

Week 13 & 14: Thanksgiving

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:04 pm by ngtjill

With Thanksgiving break and all, you’d think I’d have plenty of time to catch up on everything, but no, I had to get sick.  I have slowly been catching up though.  There’s not really too much new things to report.  The main thing I have been doing for CLIP is working on getting those images approved that I mentioned last time.  For some reason most of them are already online, so I end up approving them and then deleting them.  I really want to get through them so there’s no confusion for anyone next semester.  Last week I also attended the Drupal session that Jane put together.  I thought it went very well.  There were a lot of people there.  Since I’ve worked with Drupal before, I knew some of the things mentioned in the session, but I did get a few good things out of it as well.  I’m planning on going to the next session on designing in Drupal, which should be helpful in thinking about how information on the CLIP site can be altered to better suit users.

Amber and I did more podcast recording last week and have enough for two episodes.  We’re each editing one, and they should both be up for downloading soon.  That will make four, which beats our goal of implementing the process and recording three episodes before the end of the semester!

November 16, 2008

Week 12: Continuing On

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:55 pm by ngtjill

I fell a little behind this week on fellowship work thanks to preparing for the poster session on Friday (which went very well and means that as long as I pass my classes, I’ll graduate in about a month).  I’m hoping to catch up this week.  I went to a workshop on Drupal on Wednesday, and although it wasn’t as helpful as I was hoping, I did pick up a few things.  Thursday there is a beginners class on Drupal, and I think that one will be very informative.

The work I did for CLIP this week included playing around with how to add images to each library page.  We want to have a thumbnail of each library that shows up on its page and will link to the CLIP collection on IDL.  I figured out how to do it, but the placement isn’t quite right.  We’re hoping Matt A. can add a textbox in the template, so we can have the picture appear at the top.  After playing around with that on the CLIP website, I moved on to fixing metadata on the IDL site.  Last week I mentioned that in the sample searches, 7 libraries appear in results for Floor Plans and 15 for Postcards.  I went through each of the monographs for the libraries and checked to see if all of the postcard and floor plan images were titled appropriately.  Some were not, so I fixed them.  Now in the sample searches, 11 libraries appear in the results for Floor Plans and 18 appear for Postcards, and, for now, these are all that are currently online of each of these features.  I also have been cleaning up the images that are waiting in CONTENTdm approval.  At some point last semester, a lot of images from Shana’s visits to Carnegie libraries were uploaded.  Unfortunately they have random titles.  Shana and I went through a lot of them and identified the town, but as I approved them I realized that some of them are duplicates of images that are currently in CONTENTdm.  Now my process consists of approving a small group, checking to see if they are duplicates of currently existing images, and if not, adding metadata and inserting the images into the monographs for that library.  It’s a little bit of a slow process, but as I continue working through them, it gets faster.  I have a goal of getting through them all by the end of the semester, but there are around 300, and I’m starting to realize I’m running out of time.  We’ll see…

Not too much happened this week in terms of podcasting.  I did learn another good lesson this week though:  Make sure you save the mp3s of recorded segments in multiple places in case you try to open one and realize it did not save correctly or malfunctioned and you end up losing about 17 minutes of a good book discussion.  :(  We’ll be re-recording on Tuesday, and as “punishment” I’m making myself read John Green’s Abundance of Katherines, so I’ll be able to contribute more to the book discussion.  This week Amber and I will also be finishing up the YALSA submission for teen programming that’s due by Thursday.

November 10, 2008

Week 11: YALSA Symposium!

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:25 pm by ngtjill

This weekend was the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Symposium in Nashville, TN.  Amber and I attended several interesting sessions, picked up a few free YA books (and one audiobook), and learned about many exciting new websites.
These are some of the websites that librarians are frequently using:
** twitter – a microblogging site where you can communicate quickly and frequently with others
** Tumblr – another microblogging site where you post short blogs, sort of like creating a mini-scrapbook — this site could be good for compiling research or good websites, images, or text found while working on a project
** wordia – a site where people upload videos they’ve recorded defining specific words
** Wordle – a site that creates word clouds based on text you provide — this could be used for fun or to help you see main themes of a text because the word clouds display the words used most often by showing them the largest.

Both the podcast and CLIP are going well, although I’m behind now in work and homework because of the conference.  Thursday before we left town, we recorded a few segments for the third(!) episode of the podcast.  The second episode went up last week.  In case you’ve forgotten, here’s where you can go to listen to it:

For CLIP, I finished fixing metadata (hooray!).  I do need to go back through them and check/change a few things.  For example, on the IDL homepage, which was recently updated (thanks to Mark A.!), there are sample searches at the bottom.  There are currently 7 results in the Floor Plans search and 15 in the Postcards search.  I suspect there may be more, but since the searches appear to come from the titles of each image, I have to go back and make sure the floorplans and postcards are all accurately named and include “floorplan” or “postcard”.  I have a list of little things like this to check on.  In our last meeting, we decided that rather than uploading many more images of libraries that are waiting patiently on discs, we will instead try to see if/how we can incorporate one thumbnail of each library on the CLIP site that will then link users to IDL to see more.  I haven’t had a chance to attempt that yet, but it doesn’t seem too difficult in theory.

This week will be very busy with little tasks like these for CLIP, a possible podcast recording session(? — our schedule has gotten all out of whack lately with the teens being busy or us being busy.  Hopefully we’ll get back on track just in time for Thanksgiving to mess us up again.  But an important lesson has been learned:  Scheduling teen programming is not easy), homework, and preparing for Friday’s poster session for graduation.  A busy week, but I’m used to them by now.

November 2, 2008

Week 10: Cruisin’

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:43 am by ngtjill

Things are going pretty smoothly right now on both fellowship-project fronts.  Amber and I met with the TAG group Tuesday night and finished recording the second episode.  After we edit, it should be available next week.  So make sure you’ve subscribed, and it will download itself when it’s online!  Next weekend, Amber and I will be traveling down to Nashville for the YALSA Symposium.  This year it’s about “How We Read Now,” and there are a few sessions about making things digital (like podcasting), so it should be really good.  This week I found a publishing opportunity for us:  The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) had a blog post about a professional resource on cool teen programs that is being put together by a member of the Young Adult Library Service Association (YALSA).  The book will feature different ideas for teen programming, and I want to submit information about our podcast.  The deadline for submissions is November 20th, which seems like plenty of time, but when you factor in our trip to Nashville, getting things ready for our graduation poster sessions on the 14th, continuing our fellowship work, and the regular (giant) load of homework, I’m already starting to worry it won’t get done.  We’ll see though…maybe it won’t take long.

CLIP has also been going well.  We are at around 85 calendars sold now, I believe.  We’re starting to think about reprinting some, but it’s kind of tricky since we do still have around 15, and we don’t want to be stuck with a lot left over.  If you’d still like to order though, head over to the CLIP Calendar page and download the flier.  This past week I have been working on cleaning up the metadata on IDL.  I am now on the 3rd page (of 6), which I think is actually pretty good.  The metadata is kind of inconsistent because many different people have worked on CLIP over the years.  There is somewhat of a standard, but certain fields (like theme, for example) are no longer used, so I have just been ignoring those, although some older records still have them.  I’ve also been going through images that have been uploaded but are waiting to be approved.  They weren’t named, so I needed to go through them with Shana, since she took them, so we know which libraries they are of.  We go through about half after our meeting on Wednesday and should be able to finish up the other half this week.  Then those can be added in to the collection, which will held add some modern images to libraries.

October 25, 2008

Week 9: Podcast’s up!

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:39 pm by ngtjill

The big news for this week is that the first episode of Amber’s and my podcast is up!  Here is the link to go listen to it.  It’s on the new Iowa City Public Library Teen blog, which you should also check out.  Amber and I will be writing occasional blog entries for that as well.  If you don’t want to keep checking the blog for new podcasts, you can also subscribe to them through iTunes!  Just open your iTunes, click Advanced, then Subscribe to Podcast, and enter this URL:  New episodes will download into your iTunes when they are ready and you can listen to them anytime you want!  Also, within the next few days, you should be able to browse for the podcast in the iTunes store and subscribe that way, which is pretty cool, so watch out for that too.

In other news, I have been doing some cleanup for CLIP.  Amy added in more information that I hadn’t been able to find, and I filled in most of the final holes using a few books I have checked out.  The CLIP website has recently been slightly redesigned by Matt, the web developer in the graduate college who designed the CLIP website.  Unfortunately Amy and I do not have the knowledge to do those advanced things in Drupal.  However, if you go to the website, click Public Libraries in the sidebar and then on any of the libraries, you will see lots of information that Amy and I filled in for each library.  Now I am working on cleaning up the IDL collection.  When we put the photos into monographs, we didn’t fix any metadata.  A lot of the titles of the photos, for example, can be much shorter.  We have also added a few new photographs and postcards into the collection, and those currently do not have much metadata.  I’m glad to finally have this on the top of my CLIP to-do list because it’s been bothering me for awhile that the metadata isn’t very user-friendly.

October 18, 2008

Week 8: Midterm

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:34 pm by ngtjill

The Iowa Library Association conference was held in Dubuque this week.  Amber and I went, attended a few sessions, and helped Shana sell the CLIP calendar.  Unfortunately, Amy was pretty busy this week with classes, so she didn’t get to go, but Amber worked on CLIP last semester so she has an invested interest as well.  Shana calculated that we would need to sell 33 calendars to break even.  So far we have sold 67!  :)  We are making quite a profit.  The money goes to LISSO, our student organization, specifically to be used for reimbursing students who may travel to Carnegie libraries around the state to take more pictures for the project.  Several people picked up fliers with order forms instead of buying, so we’re hoping to get more orders later.

Amy and I devoted a lot of time this week to getting the CLIP website ready with more information.  Many of the libraries needed information and several cities needed population statistics.  Now there are only a few holes to fill in.  Next week we will meet with Shana and decide where to go from here.  There are several things we could do next.  The CLIP website could have some more features added, including the architectural firm and design for each library.  The IDL collection needs to be cleaned up and metadata needs to be added to some photos.  We would like to start contacting libraries to see if they have any interesting documents we could scan in, such as the letter from the Carnegie Corporation informing them of their grant or a program from when the library was dedicated.  One woman who bought a calendar has postcards of every library and said we could borrow them, so hopefully soon this semester, we can scan them.  That would be a good project as well.

In other fellowship project news, the ICPL teen blog is now live.  The first episode of our podcast should be up early next week.  I believe we just need to get it to the tech people who will put it on the library server.  In the meantime, next week we will finish up the second episode when we record Tuesday afternoon.  We’ll be doing two segments: Beyond the Book where we will talk about author readings, if there are teens there who have attended any; and our book discussion of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah, which is the “One Community, One Book: All Johnson County Reads” book.  Then we’ll edit together the second episode and start planning the third!  Now that the new blog is up, we should get to start posting on it as well.  We’re also hoping to host an editing workshop for the teens, so they’ll have a better handle on editing together the podcast on their own…but I should really stick to taking things one day at a time.  After all, it is midterm.

October 11, 2008

Week 7: Crunch Time

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:21 pm by ngtjill

It’s only Week 7, how can it be crunch time?  That’s what it feels like, though, with an assignment or presentation in every class and LOTS to do in fellowship work right now.  Amy and I fixed errors for the CLIP calendar Monday, double-checked it with Shana, and made a few more changes before Amy took it to the printer.  I’ve heard that it’s done and the calendars are sitting in the SLIS office waiting for us to take to ILA next week.  Once the calendars were done I made a flier to send out on the SLIS and ILA listservs.  I’ve already heard from a few people who are interested, which is great.  Even though we’ve been working really hard the past few weeks with getting the calendar ready, Amy and I are still working hard.  Now we’re trying to get information about the libraries and cities into the CLIP website because the website is advertised on the back of the calendar (along with the photo collection on IDL).  The information for the website comes from a variety of places:

1. websites (a listing of public libraries in Iowa, a listing of Carnegie libraries in Iowa — which only told me if they are still used as libraries, each library’s homepage — if it has one)

2. books (Carnegie Libraries by George Bobinski, Carnegie Libraries Across America by Theodore Jones, The Carnegie Libraries of Iowa by John Witt)

3.  handouts from Shana (appendices from Carnegie Grants for Library Buildings by Durand Miller and 1900 population statistics compiled from several censuses)

With all of these resources from which to get metadata, it has taken awhile to compile a spreadsheet.  (I decided to create a spreadsheet instead of directly dropping in the info since I’m pulling from multiple sources and as a backup in case anything happens to the website.)  I kind of enjoy the searching and compiling, so I haven’t minded.  I have most of it filled in now, and this weekend and early next week I will finish updating my half of the libraries for the website.  Since the ILA conference is Wednesday through Friday of next week, we want to have it filled with metadata by Wednesday.

Amber and I are at a really exciting point with the podcasting right now.  The first episode is edited and ready to go!  We’re just waiting for the new teen blog to go live, which Jason says should be next week.  When it does we will be able to write blog posts as well as post podcast episodes.  Tuesday was another podcasting session.  This time SEVEN teens joined in.  It was after their Teen Advisory Group meeting, and all of them stuck around to podcast.  It went really well.  We recorded our opening, general chat; two short segments of Don’t Read This Book; and In the Library.  Our next scheduled time to meet is Thursday evening, but Amber and I will both be in Dubuque for the ILA conference, so we’ve rescheduled for next Tuesday.  We’ll finish up the episode by recording our book discussion on A Long Way Gone as well as our Beyond the Book segment, and then episode 2 will be ready to go as well!

October 4, 2008

Week 6: CLIP Calendar & Podcasting! (Part II)

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:35 pm by ngtjill

Amy and I did a lot of work finishing up the calendar last weekend and still more Monday afternoon when we tried to finish quickly.  It was somewhat stressful since we had had lots of problems with trying to access InDesign over the weekend.  I was a little concerned with how we would be able to convert the Publisher file to a PDF, since that’s the format we were supposed to submit it to Zephyrs in, but Amy is a genius and suggested “printing” it to the PDF printer.  It worked!  We finally finished (we were both very relieved and very tired of looking at it) and got it off to Zephyrs, so we could show a proof to Shana on Friday.  She thumbed through it during our Friday meeting and approved of the layout and design.  This weekend we are each proofing it to find errors.  Amy and I will fix the errors Monday.  (Hopefully InDesign, Illustrator, and Publisher will work perfectly!)  It will be another busy, somewhat stressful week.  During a meeting Tuesday, we’ll look through it again before sending it off for a full print.  The ILA Conference is coming up very soon, and since the printer needs 4 days to guarantee it will be done and next Monday is Columbus Day and they are potentially closed then, we need to have it submitted to them by Wednesday at the absolute latest.  I don’t have a problem with deadlines, but these so close to one another it’s making me very glad I am an organized person.

Next week besides finishing up the calendar, we’ll also be focusing on the CLIP website.  The calendar advertises the site, and we’d like to fix several things before a large public views it.

This week Amber and I had the second portion of our first podcast episode.  It went VERY well.  We had 4 teens show up to discuss “Breaking Dawn” by Stephenie Meyer.  We talked a lot about what the girls thought of the book and the rest of the series and got a lot of different opinions, which I think makes for some great listening.  I am compiling and editing the podcast this weekend while Amber figures out how we can create the RSS code so teens can subscribe to it on iTunes or listen to each episode on the IC Teen Blog (which should go live next week – ICPL Librarian Jason has been working on that. When it goes live we will probably start writing some posts for it as well).

Next week the episode should be available to the public.  I’ll post more info when it’s ready.  On Tuesday the Teen Advisory Group (TAG) meets again, so we’ll be podcasting near the end of their meeting.  We’ll do some of our shorter segments, and save the book discussion for another time.  The next book we’ll be discussing is “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah, the community-reads book.

October 1, 2008

Week 5: CLIP Calendar & Podcasting!

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:36 pm by ngtjill

So I’m a little behind on blogging again — this is for last week.  I’m being a stickler for keeping the weeks separate to keep track of what I’ve been doing, but you can read about fellowship activities for this week soon (since it’s already Wednesday).

Pretty much the week for CLIP was devoted to the calendar.  It has been taking longer than we thought, particularly because InDesign wasn’t working very well late last week or for most of the weekend.  We met with Shana and made decisions about holidays — we decided to add major Christian, Jewish, and Islamic holidays, as well as a few holidays that could be used by librarians for programming events, such as Banned Books Week.  Thanks to a discount, we’ve gotten an even better deal for printing them.  Making them black and white really makes it cheaper, and I think makes it look pretty classy.  Hopefully people interested in buying them will think so too.  Next week (this week) we’ll finish designing it and take it in for a preview printing.

Amy and I also headed over to DLS briefly so Mark A. could show us how to scan images.  Unfortunately since we’re not technically part of DLS this semester, we don’t have access to the network on which the scans were sent.  To get around this technicality, Mark accessed the images using his account and burned them to a disc.  Amy then took the disc and cropped and converted the tiff files to jpegs, and next week we will meet with Mark to learn how to upload the images using CONTENTdm’s Web Administration.  This process is not ideal, but it could take awhile for us to get permission to access the server.  Plus DLS is already crammed with other fellows, and we don’t have any time scheduled for the computers.  Mark thinks this may work as a decent substitute, at least until we need to scan lots of photos at once, which may or may not happen this semester.

On to podcasting…Amber and I, along with teen intern Brian and teen reader Kim, met Tuesday for our first podcasting session.  We recorded 4 segments (a general opening segment, including a discussion of what we’re currently reading; Don’t Read This Book!; Beyond the Book; and In the Library).  Next week (this week) we’re meeting with teens to record the biggest portion of the episode where we’ll discuss (actually probably debate) Stephenie Meyer’s latest book in the Twilight Saga “Breaking Dawn.”  We already know that one of the teens did NOT like it, but Amber and I did, so it should be a pretty exciting discussion!

September 21, 2008

Week 4: Being productive

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:21 pm by ngtjill

We now have a podcasting schedule!  We’ll meet with teens on alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays to record and edit episodes.  The first one is this Tuesday, followed by next Thursday, with the goal of getting a podcast done every two weeks.  We’re not sure how many teens will show up.  It’s kind of rough finding the days and times that work for us AND them, which I can definitely understand since I remember how busy I was in high school, but we’ll see how it goes.

Amy and I met with Shana again last week, mostly to discuss the CLIP calendar.  Shana is going to start publicizing and making sure that we can sell them at the ILA conference next month.  Amy called around to some local printing places and found us a GREAT deal.  Since we’re going to print the calendars in black and white, it will be much cheaper, and we hope to knock down the price a little.  I started putting together images for the calendar, using Adobe InDesign CS3 and a little bit of Adobe Illustrator CS3.  Amy and I will be finishing up the images by Wednesday, hopefully.  Since we decided to divide the months into library service area, we’ll use one photo of each library in the area and work them all in until they look good.  Shana also thinks it would be good to include the city names with each image so people will know which libraries are included, especially since in a lot of cases, the libraries have changed drastically or no longer exist.  Here’s an example of the first one I did.

This week I also created a template for the calendar using Microsoft Word.  We can copy and paste the jpgs of each month onto the appropriate pages and alter holidays and other things on each month.  When we’re ready, we should be able to create a pdf and send it off to the printer.  I’m hoping we’ll be ready for that by the end of this week!

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