December 2009

Winter has officially arrived, and the plummeting temperatures can make you just want to crawl under the covers and sleep until spring arrives.  But there is a cure for this condition:  go out for a brisk walk!  You’d be surprised how quickly your body warms up by walking briskly–even in very cold temperatures.  Walking is a wonderful form of exercise that you can continue to do well into your “golden years”, and it’s great for clearing your head and shaking off cabin fever.  Check out Dr. Weil’s advice about walking.

It’s ironic that an organization that is such a stickler for precision published its new 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual with a number of errors, but it did.  These errors have been corrected in the second printing, but if you purchased a first printing like I did, go to this URL to see the corrections.

Articles retrieved from databases are no longer configured the same way:  “When referencing material obtained from an online database (such as a database in the library), provide appropriate print citation information (formatted just like a “normal” print citation would be for that type of work). This will allow people to retrieve the print version if they do not have access to the database from which you retrieved the article. You can also include the item number or accession number in parentheses at the end, but the APA manual says that this is not required. For articles that are easily located, do not provide database information. If the article is difficult to locate, then you can provide database information. Only use retrieval dates if the source could change, such as Wikis. For more about citing articles retrieved from electronic databases, see pages 187-192 of the Publication Manual.” (

Howard Rheingold, a professor at UC Berkeley, ponders an interesting question in his recent blog posting about multitasking: “I wonder – I don’t yet claim to know – is something valuable to be found in the deep gulf between frenetic and hyperfocused?”  Librarians and educators are always complaining that there students are distracted and unfocused.  But perhaps this behavior is just an evolutionary result of being continuously connected.  In other words, it’s the appropriate evolutionary response to the way the modern world is set-up?  Learn to multitask or perish? Perhaps this “continuous partial attention” (Linda Stone) is just adaptive survival behavior?

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a video of Dr. Weil demonstrating the 4-7-8 yogic breathing technique.  Give it a try.  It’s a simple exercise that will bring about profound changes in your mind and body with regular practice.

Exercise 23 is “Summarize your thoughts about this program on your blog.”  I’m finally finished with the 23 Things!  It took me just over a month to complete, and was well worth it.  The program was designed by the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in North Carolina and allowed me to increase and expand my knowledge about the world of Web 2.0 at my own pace.  I would highly recommend the exercises to anyone–not just librarians.

Michael Stephens, a Librarian and Blogger, states that the progressive “librarian understands that the future of libraries will be guided by how users access, consume and create content.”  And, since I know the future of libraries will be driven by Web 2.0 technology, I need to continue to use and learn about these tools.  Libraries are becoming more “user-centric” and Web 2.0 technology fits perfectly into this new model.

There are many “things” that I discovered while doing these exercises, but one of my favorites is the Kept-Up Academic Librarian Blog.  It’s a great blog to help you “keep up” with trends and happenings in academic libraries.  Setting up a feed reader, like My Yahoo, with RSS Feeds to sites that are of interest to you is also a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of happenings–all from one place.  I would like to experiment with using YouTube and other free video hosting sites to create library tutorials as I have seen their great potential to reach Millennial students.  If you’re thinking about doing the 23 things, do not hesitate!

Exercise 22 is “Take a look at the titles available on NetLibrary and learn how to download audiobooks.” I have already downloaded and listened to many audiobooks, so I will consider this exercise complete.  Here’s a great Demo of how to use NetLibrary.

Exercise 21 is “Discover some useful search tools for locating podcasts.”  According to the exercise write-up,  “The word podcast is used to refer to a non-musical audio or video broadcast that is distributed over the Internet. What differentiates a podcast from regular streaming audio or video is that the delivery method for podcasts is often done automatically through RSS.”  I wondered how a podcast was different from regular streaming video and audio.
I just came across this podcast from California State University, Fullerton on how to use the CINAHL database.  Since it’s an audio-only podcast, I found it very difficult to follow.  Here’s the Vodcast (video and audio combined) version.  This is a great example of how teaching is much more effective when a teacher presents material utilizing both auditory and visual elements.  If this vodcast was followed up by having the students use the CINAHL database, then they would surely understand how to use if effectively:  “I hear and I forget.  I see and I remember.  I do and I understand.” –Confucius

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