Tuesday, December 12, 2006

BrainMeld - Bridging The Gap Between Gaming and Education

BrainMeld - Bridging The Gap Between Gaming and Education

Here's a relatively new community that is experimenting with gaming in the classroom. Some very interesting things are being done with high quality games. Remember Edith Hamilton's Mythology? For some reason, my daughter hated it. My kids used the same book I had in high school.

One teacher is tackling this headon, using "The Age of Mythology" game in her 9th grade English class. Her teaching guide is available on the BrainMeld website, as are others. The students are engaged, and they begin to learn not just the mythology, but the logos of the time-- how the structure of society changed as their perceptions of the gods evolved.

This gaming and education is a fascinating concept....

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wireless Libraries: Wireless Libraries Blog Nominated

Wireless Libraries: Wireless Libraries Blog Nominated

Congratulations to Bill Drew! Bill's blog and his discussion list, LibWireless, are both great sources of information and assistance. If you use wireless anywhere in your library or bookmobile, this is the resource for you. Bill is even available through IM... and he's responsive.

Another FCC abuse

One of the services you support when you pay your monthly phone bill is the TTY service for the hearing disabled. A news report appearing on the Nov. 29 "Today Show" has exposed a terrible abuse of this much needed service (see the video).

This service for the deaf and hearing disabled is poorly regulated. Because it uses the Internet, anyone can type in a message. And the operators who receive those messages must, by law, repeat every word as it is written, to the indicated party. Lastly, it is against the law to retain records of any of these messages. Privacy issues.

Watch the video....

As a librarian who works with E-Rate, and deals with privacy issues, filtering, etc., etc., (you librarians know exactly what I'm saying), I am amazed at the absence of accountability by the FCC for the abuses of this service. And I pity the officials who will be getting phone calls.... Ha. No, I don't!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tasmin Archer - Sleeping Satellite

During a visit to Second Life, I was turned on to this song... This was my first succesful trip, and I met John Galland, with whom I had a wonderful conversation. Our conversation lasted several hours. I hope you enjoy this song/video... and be sure to listen closely to the words of the first verse... Here are the lyrics:
blame you for the moonlit sky
and the dream that died
with the eagles flight
blame you for the moonlit nights
when i wonder why
are the seas still dry?
don't blame this sleeping satellite
did we squander the chance
in the rush of the race
the reason we chase is lost in romance
and still we dry
to justify the waste
for a taste of man's greatest adventure
have we got what it takes to advance?
did we peak too soon?
if the world is so great
then why does it scream under a blue moon
we wonder why
the earth's sacrificed
for the price of it's greatest adventure
and when we shoot for stars
what a giant step
have we got what it takes
to carry the weight of this concept
or pass it by like a shot in the dark
miss the mark with a sense of adventure

I found them at this site:

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Great Kodo - With Vocals!

I've just become a fan of Oxhorn! Wonderful video that moons about the glorious Kodo beast.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I want a gaming librarian… « McMaster University Library

I want a gaming librarian… « McMaster University Library

I wonder how close I am to my "gaming librarian" degree? What will it take? Many more hours in WoW? (Gee... like I really need an excuse! "I'm working on a new degree, kids. Leave me alone.")

This is really an interesting tangent in the field... OT as some might think. But more and more there are thinkers who feel the game-like interface will improve learning on several different levels. (No pun intended.)

Thom Gillespie is teaching a gaming theory class: Interactive Storytelling and Game Design. "This course is about human-media interaction: interactive storytelling, computer game design and more. While many of the tools used in this class are technical this is not a technical course. The essence of this course is the most human of all, storytelling... Interactive digital storytelling is just the most recent upgrade so to speak."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Jenny Levine talked about Suprglu at SCSL's Tech Express Institute, and I haven't had time to give it a try until now. It grabs all the feeds you tell it to, and compiles them by date. All your blog posts, del.icio.us bookmarks, Flickr photos... and more. It also creates a tag cloud for you.

The FAQWE reminds us that "all those bits and pieces of you are readily available for world consumption". Look at all the "social networking" playgrounds out there... 43 Things, 43 Places, Digg, Last.FM (I can't seem to get to that site) are just a smattering of offerings.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Originally uploaded by WoW Librarian.
Level 60! At last! Who would have believed it? So Atzilut's now level 60. Next is Cresenc; just waiting for Blizzard to finish the transfer from Tib's account to mine. She's level 45 right now.

In the meantime, I need to work on my tier gear... And I need to get back into battlegrounds as well. Do some PVP. We're just getting started here!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Second Life Avatar

I finally had time to take a look at Second Life this weekend, after leveling to 57 in WoW, of course. It was a brief visit. I created my avatar, Cresenc Luna, and visited the library. I took a survey, left a note on the bulletin board, and then, Second Life crashed. I will visit again, though. I'm looking forward to attending some events.

Why would anyone want to explore something like Second Life? Let's narrow that... Why would a librarian want to visit Second Life? One more time... Why would I want to visit Second Life? I think the human/computer interface is fascinating. IRL (in real life), I find people's reactions to new technologies... well, fascinating. Some very bright and gifted people react with absolute horror when faced with different technology applications. Other people literally embrace it. I think the gap will be smaller with the next generations; interfacing with a computer will be second nature.

So back to Second Life. During my visit to the library, I explored some files-- as in drawers in cabinets containing paper. Many of these were teaching guides on humanities and science projects. It was a familiar experience-- as familiar as pulling open a file drawer at my physical desk (a little neater, perhaps). I would think this would provide a level of comfort for many people. So, this virtual reality isn't on the level of the simulator in Crichton's novel, Disclosure. The immediacy isn't there, of course.

I can easily imagine a virtual library, with virtual librarians and other patrons, all browsing for information, having conversations, and sharing an experience, all from the comfort of your home, or airport, or wherever. Or maybe I just read too much sci fi.

Visit Second Life... for the very best reason: it's just plain challenging and fun.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

WOOT!! Level 56

Yes! Level 56, level 56! I haven't been able to play for about two weeks, and only needed 1 and a bit bars to get to 56. It's been on my mind. Last night, after eating way too much Indian food, I settled into my chair and started taking out rock stalkers and stonelashers, amping up the xp. And then, WOMP. <-- sound effect

Now I have to admit I wasn't all that enamoured of the new skills. Guess they're saving the best for Level 60. It looks to be a quiet weekend, so I'm planning on spending some time pursuing my "hobby". (And looking at Wordpress, XAMPP, etc.)

By the way, WoW just put up an official site on MySpace. They only have 23043 friends so far!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Michael Stephens (www.tametheweb.com)

Michael was one of the guest speakers at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County's (NC) "Technology Summit on Library 2.0". He and Michael Casey (LibraryCrunch) of Georgia's Guinnett County Public Library addressed Library 2.0.

ImaginOn was a great venue-- a must visit if you're ever in the area. Special thanks to Helene Blowers for putting on a great show!

We can hardly wait for Michael Stephens (and Jenny Levine and Stephen Abram) to come to SC for the State Library's Technology Institute in September!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My First Podcast

Wow! Created my first podcast today, using of course, all open-source tools. Probably not going to be a dedicated podcaster... seeing as keeping up with blogging is enough of a challenge some days. Creating the podcast was relatively easy. Of course there are some excellent tutorials online... check out my Del.icio.us for some of them. The real reason for working with podcasting is to explore the outreach opportunities for public libraries. This clip took me about an hour to record and edit, including the background sounds.

Monday, July 17, 2006

At the Core: Professionalism

At the Core: Professionalism

Looking for a career as a librarian? Or just wondering why we do what we do? Check out this site at http://www.cla.ca/infonation/ This one was produced by Canada.

The American Library Association has also produced a site focussed on Library Careers: http://www.ala.org/ala/hrdr/librarycareerssite/home.htm

Friday, July 14, 2006

Libraries, teens and YouTube

Mecklenburg County Soul Calibur II Tournament

Wow! Now this is what I'm talking about. What a wonderful way to promote a library program for teens. Go ahead and check out their website as well: http://www.libraryloft.org/. An excellent site.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

WSJ.com - Social Networking for Bookworms

WSJ.com - Social Networking for Bookworms

I was checking out my LibraryThing to see exactly which books I owned by Mercedes Lackey, and stopped to peek at the LibraryThing blog. It seems in June two articles ran about LibraryThing, and as a result, the server was barraged with hits. How wonderful! Personally, LibraryThing is a dream come true for me; I'm thrilled for creator Tim Spaulding, and just wish I'd had the skills to do it first!

Monday, July 03, 2006

South Carolina Information Technology

South Carolina Information Technology

On Friday, I presented a session on blogging to our library staff. The session was one in a series of "Tech Express" introductions to various Web 2.0/Library 2.0 technology trends.

During the class, our network administrator created this page. The fruits of our labor....

During the session, another librarian blogger, Curtis Rogers, took a photo, uploaded it to his Flickr site and blogged it to his blog. The class was able to see how nearly "instantaneous" the web is these days...

Tech Express was conceived and produced by Kathy Sheppard in our Library Development Services department. The one-hour sessions are designed to introduce our staff to trends that are being used by libraries around the country. Last week, they learned about Flickr; in the coming weeks, they'll be introduced to social networking software, like MySpace; podcasting; LibraryThing; and more.

This week, Robby posted a blog; last week, two members of our Talking Book Services uploaded and tagged photos to our Flickr site. It's great to see people experimenting with technology!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

WoW Librarian

WoW Librarian
Originally uploaded by catbuck99.
Librarian trading cards... just another wave for us zany librarians, who are changing the way libraries and their keepers, the information gurus, the book geeks, interface with those unsuspecting seekers of knowledge...

Take a look at the Flickr group, and visit the blog that may have started it all.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Level 53

Last weekend Atzilut made Level 53... just moving right along. One of the things I love about WOW is the books... Yes, on all the maps, everywhere you go in Azeroth there are books. And libraries. Even in the inns, books rest on night stands.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Level 49

After 14 days, and 14 hours, Atzilut has achieved level 49. This is very exciting. The push is on more than ever to get to level 60... and then to start another avatar! I haven't been able to decide which one to do. However, there's still time to wonder. Atzilut has the moonkin form now, but I haven't explored it very much yet. I respec'ed her to be all balance. At 60 though, she'll be spec'ed for restore, as a healer.

In the meantime, I've discovered some podcasts about World of Warcraft. TavernCast is one, and here's another. I'm looking at "social tools" applications for libraries, and podcasting has some interesting possibilities. In the meantime, I just want to get a podcast off the Internet and onto my Zen Micro!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

World of Warcraft

Last summer I joined the mysterious and exciting world of MMORPG... I became a night elf druid, Cresenc. I rarely play Cresenc anymore, as she was created on my son's account. It soon became evident that my son and I needed our own accounts-- so Atzilut was created. Atzilut is another night elf druid.

I've learned a lot about myself during the past seven months. By December, Cresenc was level 45. Atzilut was created in November; today, she is level 34. I didn't expect to level so quickly, and I never suspected the skills I was learning (and retaining!).

I don't get to play Cresenc very often, and I miss that. She's my first-- and very special to me. Maybe one day WOW will let us transfer characters from one account to another. In the meantime, Atzilut is coming along fine. We've already purchased our mount, a riding striped nightsaber, although we can't ride it until level 40. (Cresenc has a striped frostsaber.)

You'll probably read more about Atzilut and Cresenc in the months to come. In the meantime, if you're ever on Zul'jin server, look us up. Be warned... I don't duel, unless it's for the altruistic purpose of providing comic relief... LOLROTF!