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One New Thing
Thursday, July 27, 2006
One New Thing: A small triumph with a favicon.

I'm pleased with this because I tried it in the past and it didn't work; today it did. I made myself an image in .gif format and using the online tool FavIcon from Pics I converted it to an .ico file. Put in the two lines of HTML code that Wikipedia recommended for favicon standardisation, and now when you visit my webpages or bookmark them, you see the image beside the URL.

I forget why I wasn't able to do this before – I think I got stuck trying to create an .ico file.

Monday, July 24, 2006
One New Thing:Skills for the 21st Century Librarian, by Meredith Farkas (link via librarian.net)

I like this list – could be just the area that I work in now, but project management, technology and software evaluation, and evaluating user needs are skill requirements that tend to come up a lot. Every time a client says “Hey can I use *insert name of new technology or software* here?” you're on the road to evaluating user needs, evaulating and comparing available technology or software, and setting off on a project to implement something!

I decided today that my old trend of only posting amusing links on Fridays isn't going to work anymore...so I'll just be random and post them as I find them. :) Recently I've come across two very catchy songs which have both come into being due to the Net Neutrality issue (this guide was produced by Google). One of these song says it all...Broadband's God Save the Internet. The other...well if you haven't heard the whole story, it's great, chase it up! Senator Ted Stevens features in the techno track A Series of Tubes.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
One New Thing: Seven habits!

I've just finished reading Stephen Covey's “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. I realise it's not the sort of book you're supposed to read cover to cover in one sitting but I had to (because I have to take it back to the library!) and I actually found it quite easy to read and understand this way – lots of examples to make it easier to understand how the habits can actually be used in real life. I like the fact that it's not just about managing people in a workplace, that it also covers relating to friends and family- I should have read this book when I was working in childcare years ago, it might have made it easier to settle playground arguments!

I particularly like the Circle of Influence, which I've come across in other courses before; but right at this moment I'm still pondering on the bit at the very end of the book where the activites of a day are prioritised according to different management theories. I'll let you read it rather than go into detail, but (spoiler approaching) I'm still trying to determine if it's really possible or practical to organise a day so that none of the “urgent” stuff actually gets done as listed on the to-do list...? (I hope I'm right in assuming it gets harder to work this way when you have to do client support. Even in the midst of creating new was of streamlining workloads...I still have to answer my phone!)

If you're wondering why the sudden interest in reading books on management theory - I'm doing a course on Fundamentals of Leadership through work, and this was recommended reading.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
One New Thing: More advanced SQL.

I saw a colleague do something with an SQL query today that I didn't know you could do: return a count(*) column for every row in a query that returns several rows.
For example, if you had a table of data on books of varying topics, you could query the number of books in each topic by using SELECT topic, count(*) and making sure you GROUP BY topic.
I've only ever used count(*) to SELECT one total count for one column, so this is a very exciting discovery for me. :)

In trying to learn more I googled around (this depth of information isn't in the w3schools SQL tutorial) and discovered this Word doc of SQL Tips. I have no idea what the context of the document is, but it's from a university website and the structure of the queries looks vaguely PeopleSoft-ish to me. If you're interested in learning SQL (or more SQL than you know already) finding pages of queries like this is a cool way to pick up how it works.

Monday, July 10, 2006
One New Thing: Budgeting and finance calculations made easy....or at least easier!

Some wonderful tools for Australians to use to set up their personal budget and calcuate other financial information is availabe at FIDO, the Australian Securities and Investment Commision (ASIC) website for financial tips and safety checks. Look for Calculators – Other Calculators for the list. There's lots of other useful info on the site as well – if the financial books are always out on loan in your library, stick this URL to the shelf where the books ought to be!

Sunday, July 09, 2006
Some New Things: On Friday I went to two presentations sponsored by QUT's Information Use Research Group:
Blogs, wikis and reference services: Discovering the Australian library context by Kate Watson and Chelsea Harper. Kate and Chelsea are doing a study into the use of blogs and wikis in reference services in Australian libraries. The results of the finished study will be presented at conferences at a later date – so I can't reveal what they told us. :) They did invite us to play on the wiki for the project at http://www.seedwiki.com/wiki/libraryblogswikis.

Also Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber of the Information Literacy Weblog presented on their findings of UK academic conceptions and pedagogies of information literacy. Some of the points I found most interesting is that teaching info lit skills as well as the actual subject matter for a subject can be quite challenging; also, when it comes to using technology, the person teaching really needs to be comfortable with using the technology themselves before they can be critical about the way it is used.

How true this is for learning management systems. ;)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006
One New Thing: A brave new way of sharing teaching resources.

Found via KeptUp: a setup like eBay, but for teachers. Teachers who design and develop their own original teaching resources can register and sell these resources to other teachers via the site at teacherspayteachers.com

Anyone working in educational technology can tell you about the learning objects trade – e.g Blackboard's Course Cartridges – but this site is different in that there are all sorts of resources, designed for use in various ways in the classroom, so they aren't necessarily going to be electronic. I like the idea of current classroom teachers being able to share their everyday teaching tools with wider audiences.

Monday, July 03, 2006
Hello. Remember me? I used to blog here. :)

The initially unplanned hiatus was due to a combination of holidays over the Christmas period and then a truly spectacularly busy period at work until about April. Now I have a little bit more time, I'll see how I go with keeping things going blogwise.

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed my New Librarian's Resource Page going for a bit of a wander. The site is now back up at my ALIA webspace: http://www.alia.org.au/~lreville/nlrp

Hard to think of all the new things I might have learnt in six months – so maybe I'll stick to the things right in front of me tonight! My drafts of blog posts are now being written in Open Office – I reinstalled my computer and can't find my MS Office disk! - and I'm a convert. Particularly that one little button that instantly turns your file into a PDF. Very nice indeed – everything I write is going out as PDF these days.

In a completely unrelated topic, I've just stumbled upon and been reading the Second Life Library blog. I'm not a Second Life user yet, although this little project is interesting enough to make me consider visiting.
Does anyone know if there are libraries and info lit courses happening in World of Warcraft too? :)