Sunday, May 10, 2009


So here we are, about 24 hours before the start of our last class of the semester. I really enjoyed this course - I felt we almost always had healthy discussions IRL (in real life) and there were some absolutely terrific blog posts that popped up here and there. Librarian as educator should be a given - I'm not sure everyone in the profession would agree with that, but this class has convinced me. Considering new technologies as teaching tools was time well spent.

I appreciated the fact that we could actually apply the ideas/theories/questions that were floating around from discussions and readings into a real lesson plan. The project that Nicole, Jessie, Jess and I created is one that I'd actually like to use in my professional career! I wish we had begun the projects sooner - maybe even have the groups made at the beginning of the course. It was such a tangible way to drive concepts home. :)

I hope our presentation goes well tomorrow and I had a lot of fun listening to everyones reactions to the readings and discussions. Thanks for a great class everyone, I mean it! :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I remember the first thing I watched on youtube. My friend Dennis posted a link on facebook - Jay Leno talking to dumb people on the street. haha. I remember laughing and being impressed at the speed it loaded. That was only four years ago, and no one knew (maybe the creators hoped) how huge it would become.

I think it's interesting that the first video I saw was something from a major television network. Not being an aspiring actor or director, I didn't see the potential of this new medium. I pretty much figured itd be a neat way to watch tv and movies for free. It's true that youtube is a place to look for clips of moments from hollywood, but by and large, it's known now for user-generated content. From a little kid in the back of a car drugged out from a trip to the dentist to a comedic song about shoes you tube is all about the people (who have some kind of camera).

You could even be entertained for an hour simply reading the comments on popular videos, as they range from non sequiter to absolutely offensive. Youtube became an indispensable way to listen to a music video and find that funny clip from your favorite stand up - but it also became a place to post your political opinion, cute dog in an outfit dancing around, comedy sketch show, fox jumping on a trampoline, and any other event you want to audio-visually broadcast to the internet world.

I have to leave with one of my most watched youtubes, which I'm not even sure I think is funny anymore.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Creative Commons

A week or two ago, the monthly Knowledge Seminars at Brooklyn Public Library welcomed Fred Beneson, Outreach Manager of Creative Commons. Our presenter on Monday briefly showed us the Creative Commons website, a great resource to search for media that lends itself to be reused and/or remixed. Definitely check it out while looking for music to use on your podcasts.

"Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved."

It was pretty awesome to hear Fred speak about what it is Creative Commons actually does. This licensing is an alternative to the rigid copyright laws made in yesteryear. How do you know if you're allowed to post a photo online? Well, if it's under a Creative Commons license, with the only condition being attribution, you're free to post that picture up as long as you plop the persons name or username alongside it, giving credit. You might have seen this option to set your photos to if you use flickr.

A bit more on all the conditions, taken from the Creative Commons Website:

You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.
Share Alike
You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only.
No Derivative Works
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

Librarians need to understand the basics of copyright, and in doing so, we'll probably be looking for an alternative to it. Whether we're making content (blogs, websites, etc) or consulting someone else who is, these licenses are free and a fab way to share!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our lesson plan is coming along

The end of the semester is creeping up, and our lesson plan is slowly but surely developing. My group consists of Jessie G, Jess S, Nicole G, and myself. We've been using a wikispace as a forum to keep track of our ideas and submit feedback. It's a great tool, but only if you use it! Last week, we all agreed to post stuff up there..and none of us found the time to make good on that. Working face to face last night after class did bear fruit - perhaps another testimony to our reactions to certain mediums. :)

It might have been just Monday night brain freeze, but we were having some trouble sorting our goal and objectives. Our approach to this lesson is as a public librarian who is doing a series of outreach sessions to a middle school Social Studies class. The particular plan we're working on would probably follow a preliminary visit where an overview of the library is given and students are signed up for cards. The point of this lesson is to make students more aware of sponsored messages - using a lesson in messages in pop culture - to impart a skill and thought process that will hopefully be transferable to research.

What we have so far:

-Students will develop an eye towards sponsored messages and an understanding of library resources

-Students will be able to differentiate between authority and accuracy
-Students will gain familiarity with public library resources
-Refining research skills
-Use pop culture/real world application

Does that goal make sense? It is not a good idea to split it into two? After all though, the point of the outreach in general is to drum up foot traffic to the library and expose the students to the resources available to them. But the point of the specific lesson is to consider sponsorship of the information that one is confronted with in commercials and ads - and hopefully, beyond (transfer). Are we dancing around the right terminology? Are we making it to broad? Are objectives supposed to be specific and measurable? Let me know what you think about our idea so far! :-P

Sunday, April 5, 2009

blog skip


Thursday, March 26, 2009


My junior year of college, I found quite an amusing letter in the school newspaper -

( from Issue date: 3/29/06 Section: Editorial )

Don't believe Wikipedia's lies

I was very impressed with Shaina Basile's Opinion article in the last issue of The Signal, in which she called Cindy Sheehan "despicable" and "an insult to (her) son's memory."

I was particularly intrigued with the fact that Basile credits all of the facts in the article as having been retrieved at, an open-source encyclopedia which anyone can edit.

However, I came across something most perplexing while exploring this bastion of factual information known as Wikipedia.

Upon visiting the site, you'd be astonished to realize that according to one of the site's anonymous authors, Shaina Basile herself is "an influential member of the liberal anti-war feminist grassroots movement Code Pink" (

She also has a "deep admiration" for Cindy Sheehan, whom she frequently works beside at grassroots anti-war events.

I found this astonishing, considering Basile just recently penned an article attacking Sheehan. Perhaps an open-source encyclopedia that any pre-teen with Internet access can edit is not the most reliable source of information for articles that are to be published in newspapers.

Chris Zimbaldi

The article that Chris linked to has since been deleted. While that is a pretty shady(and hilarious) way of getting a point across - one can guess Shana approaches information found onwikipedia in a much different manner.

We all know that wikipedia gives us some quick answers, that it is sprinkled with good facts (and tampered ones), that it is NOT an option for a source on anything but a question that popped into our heads (or to familiarize ourselves on something)...but not everyone else does...not even college students!

I never forgot this, because I thought it was hilarious (and I ended up meeting Chris the next year). What a great example of the need for CRITICAL LITERACY! For the need of research skills! For school and public librarianship that steps up when technology like wikipedia steps in.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


skippin' this week.