Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Online Productivity Tools

I spent some time this evening exploring online productivity tool - Zoho which sports some cool applications like wikis, spreadsheets, and word processing, Snipshot - a photo editor, and 30 Calendars. While these all offer a variety of bells and whistles, my question remains this: are these new 2.0 tools reinventing the wheel? I understand their draw - integrating with other web 2.0 tools, but does Snipshot do more than other photo editors? I utilize iGoogle for many of these functions, not to mention Outlook to sync my calendar - how many calendars does one need? Zoho meshes well with Google, and I tried using Google Docs for my blogging.

Again - while I think these tools are very useful, there are SO many to choose from! Instead of getting overwhelmed, I think I will choose a couple of these innovative applications and make them my own by utilizing them with my ongoing skill sets!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Remember when we used to keep a photo album on the coffee table to show off when we had family and friends over? Worse than that, my parents used to joke about being invited over to a friend's house to look at vacation slides... slides...??? And that photo album - the ones from back in the day are missing most of the little black photo corners, and on the more recent ones, the cellophane sheet protectors have yellowed and are all sticky...

I too have been guilty of storing pics in these archaic formats - ordering "doubles" of all, and keeping the negatives for posterity in case I needed to make more prints. Takes up lots of room, and guess what? We never go back to look at them... until recently when the grandparents were having parties to celebrate the golden years and we needed a way to look back.

Fast-forward to the present! Online photo sharing, editing, and organizing courtesy of Flickr! I have used Shutterfly and Picasa to create greeting cards and photo journals for the family! What a pleasure to select 50 fabulous pictures, edit them, pick borders and backgrounds, add labels and comments, and watch the joy in the eyes of the viewers!

I'm beginning to explore using Flickr and like the tag and group features. It really makes it easy to navigate through photos and see the diversity in the database. One of the photos that caught my eye is "Winter Sun at the Lake" http://www.flickr.com/photos/starlighthope/3143681571/. To my, this composition conveys ultimate peace, quiet, and tranquility. The flare of the sun illustrates the dawning of the day - the first signs that activity will once again begin.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Book clubs are great! I'm part of a small group of 7 very diverse women, ages ranging from early 40s to mid 50s, who get together every 4-6 weeks to discuss the title we have selected. A lot of people aren't sure what you do at a book club... I've had friends say "So what do you do, just sit around and talk about the book?" (Several of my librarian friends can't even figure out how to find the time to read the book so they are in awe of this current social trend.) Yes, we do sit around and discuss a book - the latest being Loving Frank - a fictional account of the affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mameh Borthwick Cheney. We do use some "book club" questions usually included at the back of the book, but what I like even more are the tangents that follow. Get 7 women together and start talking about the ethical issues of a woman leaving her family in the 1920s to take up with her lover in Germany!! A couple bottles of great wine, terrific food, and stimulating conversation makes for a very enjoyable evening! Next book selection is Faulkner's As I Lay Dying - stay tuned!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Operation Medical Libraries

Spent today literally buried under journals! West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is a proud participant in Operation Medical Libraries - a grassroots program started in 2007 by the UCLA Medical School Alumni Association in an effort to repopulate the medical school and hospital libraries in war-ravaged Iraq and Afghanistan. Originally called Books Without Borders, organizers partnered local hospital libraries with those many miles away, forming a bond between the librarians and their military contacts. Participants could either donate journals and/or textbooks (utilizing specific criteria- not outdated stuff!) or make a monetary donation to be used for shipping. There are now over 25 participating institutions across the US! I am really excited to be co-presenting a poster on our participation with Lisa Marks from Providence Saint Joseph Hospital in Burbank. (I finally dug myself out after packing up 20 USPS military boxes!) If you're interested, take a look at the blog: www.operationmedicallibraries.blogspot.com - it's been great to hear such positive feedback from our military contacts!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

rss feeds

I can see how RSS feeds can be fun... not just to stay current professionally but for hobbies and websites of interest. I'm a skier and hiker, so weather and terrain conditions are of interest to me (depending on the season!). I've subscribed to several feeds from my favorite locations and hope to remember to check my feeds on a daily basis! When I first logon now, I have so many sites to check! Hopefully this will be a good way to consolidate them.