Thursday, February 26, 2009


Well, quite honestly, I could easily see a library wiki being exactly the type of thing I described in my last post. Take Princeton Public Libraries' wiki for instance. While it does seem a little bare around the edges, it does have an ongoing series of reviews of books, apparantly by customers who had taken part in their Summer Reading Program. This would be a great vehicle for people to peruse their libraries materials and see what is worthwhile reading. It would also give librarians the chance to see what is liked by customers. Another interesting wiki is that of St. Joseph County Public Library. Edited solely by librarians, it has an easily understandable format that provides pertinent information to customers. From the most current biographies, to genealogical data, to local scholarships, this wiki has a lot of information neatly organized for quick access.

In my opinion, TCCL could easily benefit from a wiki or two. While our current way of conveying information to public is pretty good, I must admit that the latter of the above wikis was a whole lot easier to understand and wade through than ours. While I suppose that is partially due to the fact that we have a whole lot more information, i.e., we are a larger system, I think is mostly due to the innate convenience of the "Wikipedia"-esque layout. Personally, I think it would be convenient, and a little cool, to take advantage of both of the above wiki designs. Having one wiki where librarians edit info about their library, its events, and other news and another where customers write reviews, recommend titles, and discuss ideas would be a major improvement on OPAC.

Library 2.0

Overall, the best and clearest definition of Library 2.0 that I found was located here. This article greatly raises the necessity of using the successes of certain user-centered Web technologies as a way to restructure libraries. Not only did it raise the possibility of a radical paradigm change, it also brought simple ideas to the table, such as renting ipods to people.

Among the several definitions tossed about, I think that the clearest would be that the concept Library 2.0 denotes a restructuring of libraries to take full advantage of current technologies and people's ideas. Using OPAC in ways similar to Amazon, where people can leave reviews, rate books, or constuct recommendations for others would be a prime example. Such a user-centered system would allow people to wade through the library catalog with a better idea of what they are looking at without forcing librarians to construct every tedious detail. It would also give librarians a good indication of what is truly popular without necessarily having to look at raw data, such as number of total checkouts of a particular item. Such two-way communication between users and librarians would facilitate better service. Most likely, such a system could also be adapted to provide better feedback on library events and classes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Although at first it was a little hard to wade through this site, once I found a few interesting subjects to search up, it was rather engrossing. Upon typing the word "evolution" into the website, I immediately found several sites with, shall we say, some interesting dialogue occurring. I also found the rss feed for a certain spaghetti creature. I hope I don't have to elaborate. Although I did not find much material that was all that interesting, I could easily see the potential in using this to find at least a few blogs worth reading.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Ok, I seemed to like this way of surfing the web a bit more. immediately upon registering and poking around, I discovered this. It's simply a site with explanatory notes on higher mathematics. The notes are simple enough for me to understand, yet still informative. I also discovered this. It seems to be a website that hosts free downloadable books online. Seems ordinary, huh? However, there are massive amount of mathematics and physics related books on the website. I have never seen that sort of thing. Usually one has to pay for that sort of thing, and usually it is rather pricy.

Overall, I could easily see myself using this as a way to keep track of websites. I tend to be a temperamental in my reading. I usually find a dozen sites on one subject, try to read it all, lose interest, and then get a different fixation. With this website, I could keep track of what I have discovered so that, when I do eventually get that particular craze back, I can get back to where i left off.

While I admit that at first I had my doubts as to the usefulness of this search engine, once I tried it I no longer had doubts. You can interpret that as you wish. However, I will say that I did manage to put together at least one decent search on philosophy. Since it concentrated on online philosophical encyclopedias, I get a lot of scholarly, well-reasoned information on the thing I searched on. Before, with an unspecific engine like google, I usually only found someone's personal, uneducated rantings.

library thing

Thankfully, I already have a Library Thing account. Unfortunately, the books I have listed on there are not books thatI have, but books that I have read. I'm going to have to go back and edit it.


Exploring the Blogosphere

Although I did find a few interesting blogs, most of the stuff I kept coming up with on my searches seemed to be nothing more than the rantings of an individual. Oh well. On the whole, Technorati was the most useful search engine. With it, I was able to find a few blogs on science and ethics that seemed interesting. For example, I discovered the RSS feed for the online stanford dictionary for philosophy. With that, I can now see every update and definition they post online. It has already been interesting to read said updates.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

RSS feeds

While I have often seen my father using a RSS feed, I have never really seen the potential there. Now that I have started actually perusing the web for suitable blogs to read, I have found a few interesting mathematical and physics related blogs with interesting information. Not only do they have some raw information about the subject, but they have news stories within their respective communities that I was vaguely but not quite aware of. I could easily use these sources as a guide in my personal studies in math, showing me what is actually relevant or will soon be relevant.



Ok, I'm taking the term "anything-related" a little loosely, but I love For those first visiting said website, one should start here. Its lead character is, ironically, not Homestarrunner, but Strong Bad. He is much like me in that he is a lying prankster who thinks that he is better than everyone else. Coupled with his trusty companion, the Cheat, they form a team that reaks havoc and hilarity across their small world. One usually sees their adventures and capers played out in the Strong Bad Emails. The following are some of my favorites: Dragon, Little Animal, Stunt Double, Caffeine, Dangeresque 3, Your Funeral, and More Armies.

In addition to Strong Bad and Homestarrunner, this site hosts a number of other characters who take part in a wide variety of toons, ranging from mysteries, to folk tales, to Halloween specials. Overall, the site presents a wide variety of comedy with seemingly endless cartoons. Enjoy.

Picasa's Pictures (Thing #6)

Well, I've discovered Picasa and I find it good. There are several pictures I found immediately upon exploring it that I liked.

Wow. While I knew events like the Aurora Borealis happened on other planets, I had no idea that they occurred on the moon.

A Nice Sunset.

I'm going to have to start getting what few pictures I have on there.

7½ Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners

Among the classes that I am taking right now, one includes a continuing education course at my place of employment. As such, I will be reporting some of my progress on this blog. For example, I have completed watching " 7½ Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners." The habit I find the easiest is taking responsibility for my learning. Being homeschooled as a child, self-study as been one of my best personality characteristics. However, that being the case, the habit I find the hardest to accomplish is that of teaching or mentoring others. Being one who studies on my own, I rarely work with someone else.


I have created this blog as a repository for my personal studies in math. My goal is to upload at least one demonstration of something I have learned in mathematics, but not in class. Hopefully, I will come up with some basic theorems on my own, but mostly it will be basic exercises in introductory subjects.