Monday, 28 June 2010

Thing 12 - Explore Delicious

Welcome to Thing 12!
A Wordle cloud of my Delicious tags (

After completing Thing 12 you will have ...

... learned about an easy and convenient way to bookmark interesting websites, tag them, and share them with others.

What is Delicious?
Delicious is one of the most well-known social bookmarking services. It allows you to save interesting websites and organise them with tags. Because the bookmarked sites are saved on the web, they can be accessed them from any computer simply by going to the Delicious website and logging in. (Compare this with saving your bookmarks via the browser menu command, where you can only access them from the computer you saved them on.)

Even without creating an account, however, Delicious can be fun and enlightening to explore ...

What's in it for libraries and librarians?
Save it - Delicious is a great way to keep tabs on websites that your library or your students might find useful, and it's also excellent for seeing what sites others find valuable. Everything on Delicious is there because someone has thought it's worth saving: it can be nice having a human filter for the endless stream of web information!

Sort it: Know how when you save a bookmark in the 'Bookmarks' menu of your browser, you have to choose a folder to put it in? And it can only go into one folder (unless you want hideous duplication)? Irritating, isn't it ... With social bookmarking services you can attach as many tags as you like to each website you save, so that you have as many access points as you want.

When you save a website Delicious will tell you how many other users have saved it already - that's what the numbers on the right of each record above show. You'll also see what tags those other users have chosen, so you can use them or not as you wish - and that's how folksonomies are born.

Share it - you can visit other libraries' pages and see what they're saving. Have a look at some of the following:

The Judge Business School Library and the Casimir Lewy (Philosophy) Library each have a page: check out the way the tags have been 'bundled' on the latter.

Outside Cambridge, Stanford's Green Library has a great page, while MIT's Virtual Reference page is powered by Delicious feeds.

Step-by-step instructions
Simply click through to my bookmarks at and start exploring.
Feel free to browse! Delicious offers the option to save links privately, so you won't get to see anything I don't want to share.

Further reading/watching:
Lisa Macmillan, ' in the library' [SlideShare presentation]
Melissa L. Rethlefsen, 'Tags help make libraries'

Optional extra:
If you like the look of Delicious, why not create your own account and start saving and tagging? You can even add a bookmarking widget to your blog that will display your recently added links and/or tags.

You can also choose to share bookmarks with specific tags - e.g. I've pulled in everything tagged with 'research skills' to my website.

Next time ...
Next week is reflection week with only one Thing - Thing 13 for which you'll be reflecting on the programme thus far.

Thing 11 - Explore Slideshare

Welcome to Week 6, Thing 11!

After completing Thing 11...
You will have explored Slideshare and discovered its potential use within libraries. You will also have found some interesting PowerPoint presentations and shared these with other Cam23 participants via your blog.

What is Slideshare and is it relevant to libraries?
Slideshare is a tool you can use to share (publicly with the world or privately with colleagues) PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and PDFs. You can also add audio to your presentations to turn them into screencasts. A lot of librarians and libraries already use Slideshare so it's a great source of ideas, information and existing presentations. You can save time and effort by downloading existing presentations (remembering to cite the original source of course!) or just use it to find some inspiration for your own.

Let's explore Slideshare!
Click on the following links to see some library-related presentations:

Heriot-Watt University Library
OCLC Research

Phil Bradley
Andy Priestner

Take some time to look for other presentations or documents. Use the basic search box or the advanced search screen to search by keyword(s) (e.g. libraries, cambridge, social media). You can also browse by category (e.g. books).

Blog about Thing 11
Questions to consider when writing your blog post include:
* What are your thoughts about the tool?
* What particular benefits to your Library are there from using Slideshare?
* Did you find any interesting presentations that you would like to share?
* Did you find any other users from a Cambridge University or College library?
* Will you use Slideshare in the future?

In order to embed a presentation into your blog post you'll need the 'embed HTML' code. If you're using Blogger you can simply copy the code which appears in the top right corner of the screen (highlighted below). If your blog is in WordPress, click on the Wordpress icon (also highlighted) to view the HTML code you need.

Further reading
1. 'Slideshare Quick Tour - Summary of features & capabilities'
2. JISC's Digital Media 'Using Slideshare to share presentations'

Optional extras
1. Sign up for a Slideshare account and upload your own presentations.
2. Explore other free screencasting software e.g. Screentoaster and Jing.

Next time...
In Thing 12, you'll be looking at a social bookmarking service called Delicious.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Drop-in session: Wednesday 30th June, 11-3

Image from LiminalMike on Flickr

The project team have arranged a second drop-in session for next Wednesday (30th June) between 11am and 3pm. The session will be taking place in Grads Cafe on the top floor of the University Centre.

Please feel free to pop in at any time between 11-3 to ask any questions you have or if you would like a member of the project team to help you with a problem you've come across. Please also call by if you just fancy a coffee and a chat!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

We are 100!

As Cam23 hurtles on like an unstoppable juggernaut we have reached a total of 100 bloggers!

It really is great that so many members of Cambridge library staff are giving this a go regardless of their stance on the value of social media and Web 2.0.

As we near the halfway point some of you may be flagging a bit. Fear not we do have a sort of breather week soon - Thing 13 - when we can sit back and reflect and/or catch up!

We will be announcing a second drop-in surgery soon, set to take place next week, but if you're having trouble before then do lean on your fellow Cam 23'ers. Collaboration and peer support is part and parcel of the social media phenomenon.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Who's been visiting YOUR blog?

Another awesome contribution from a Cam23 blogger - NPage has written a great step-by-step guide to adding Google Analytics to your blog. You can see who's been visiting, how long they stayed, and how they navigate around your site. Cheers NPage!

Thing 10 - Using images

Welcome to Thing 10!

Image by See-ming Lee on Flickr

After completing Thing 10 you will have ...
... learned how to download and reuse images for your library presentations, posters and website.

Flickr and Creative Commons licensing
What makes Flickr so useful for libraries is that many images are licensed for reuse under Creative Commons, a licensing scheme designed for the social web. Unlike professional photographers, many Flickr users don’t make a living out of their images and are happy for others to make use of them. Best of all, you don’t even need to sign up for an account to reuse images from Flickr: you can search for Creative Commons-licensed images and download them straight away.

Remember that unless an image is explicitly designated as reusable under Creative Commons or another licensing scheme, you should assume that it is copyrighted and not available for downloading, saving or reproducing.

Step-by-step instructions for Thing 10

1. Follow the search steps outlined in Thing 9 through to the Advanced Search screen.

2. Enter your keywords, then scroll right to the bottom and check the box that says 'Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content':

3. Run your search, find an image you like, and double-check the conditions under which the creator has licensed the work. You can find this under 'Additional Information' on the right-hand side (you'll need to scroll to the bottom of the right-hand menu).

Clicking on 'Some rights reserved' should allow you to see clearly whether and how you are allowed to reuse the image.

4. Right-click on the image and select ‘Save Image As ...’

5. Choose a location and filename for your image and click on Save. Since most creators ask that you attribute their work, a useful practice is to save the image with the creator's name as the filename, then you won't forget it!

6. Blog about Things 9 and 10!

Uses for images ...
... are boundless. Add them to your presentations (as watermarks or corner thumbnails if you prefer them subtle); grab students' attention by using them on posters and flyers; put them on your website, and of course, on your blog ...

What if I don't really 'think visually'?
Use a free photo editor to overlay text onto your images, or go for word art instead: Wordle and Tagxedo allow you to upload strings of text or tags and create tag clouds.

Optional extras:
If you like the look of Flickr, create an account by clicking on 'Sign Up' at the top of the page. NB: you'll need to create a Yahoo account, which is a totally separate login from your Google account.

As a registered user you can upload your own photos, or take the opportunity to contact users whose work is not licensed under CC to request special permission to use an image. (Asking never hurts!)

There are plenty of other image banks available, including FlickrCC, a search engine designed to find only Creative Commons-licensed material on Flickr. Why not explore a few more?

Next time...
In Thing 11, you'll be looking at Slideshare - like Flickr for powerpoints! - and another great source of inspiration for using images.

Thing 9 - Exploring Flickr

Welcome to Week 5, Thing 9!

Image gallery from FlickrCC

After completing Thing 9 you will have …

... explored Flickr, the world’s biggest image bank.

What is Flickr and how is it relevant to libraries?
Flickr is a photo sharing website that allows registered users to upload their pictures. Some are creative and beautiful works of art; others are, well, less so! But with around 5,000 images per minute being uploaded, through sheer mass of numbers you can find arresting and beautiful images, many of which are free for you to download, save, and reproduce with a creator attribution.

Step-by-step instructions for Thing 9

1. Go to and, without entering text into the search box, click on ‘Search’:

2. From here you can search for photographers or pictures, or click on ‘Advanced Search’ which offers even more search options.

If you do a 'photos' search Flickr searches the titles of photos and also the tags that have been added to them (see Thing 8 for more on tagging).

Try one or more of the following searches:
  • keyword 'books' or 'library'
  • one of your hobbies
  • a place you want to visit
  • your library
While you're there, have a look at the photostreams from local photographer Sir Cam, and from Idlethink, who has some lovely pictures of books in Cambridge libraries (don't let the title 'bookporn' put you off: there's no adult content!).

Libraries using Flickr

Many libraries, museums and archives have Flickr accounts through which they publicise aspects of their collections. Plymouth Libraries have been really creative in their use of Flickr to promote library events, while the National Library of Scotland has uploaded lots of images from its collections, many of which can be saved under Creative Commons (more about this in Thing 10). The Library of Congress even uploaded a set of 'mystery pictures' and asked Flickr users to help identify them - with amazing success!

Finally, a question to muse upon: Idlethink's pictures of the UL violated Library Syndicate rules, which forbid photography, but the resulting pictures are beautiful records of the building and its treasures. How would you feel if you came across similar pictures of your library?

Further reading:
Why should librarians care about Flickr? (Librarian in Black)
How to make Flickr work for your library (

Optional extra:
Try adding an RSS feed from a photographer or photostream you like to your iGoogle page or Google Reader. Just click on the orange RSS button and choose where you’d like to receive the photostream. You can see how this looks on my iGoogle page:

Next time ...
... you'll be doing more with images and looking at ways in which they can help promote your library service.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

23 x 96

Fame at last! Check out this montage of all 96 Cam23 blogs created by The Passion and the Fury (@EarthLib on Twitter):

A reminder about blogging...

It's great that so many enthusiastic bloggers have materialised as a result of the Cam23 programme and now that the programme is well underway, the Project Team thought that a gentle reminder about blogging would be appropriate.

As specified in the Frequently Asked Questions, every participant is expected to blog about EACH Thing (although separate posts are not necessarily required - it's fine to blog about more than one Thing in one post). These blog posts should include your evaluation of the Thing and screenshots or images where appropriate. N.B. posts along the lines of "Thing 3 = done" are not entering into the spirit of the programme!

We therefore ask that you look back at your blog posts so far to check:

a) Whether you need to expand on your evaluation so that others can share your knowledge.
b) You've added screenshots or images where necessary.
c) You've included a tag for EACH Thing.

Keep up the good work!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Thing 8 - Tagging

Image by cambodia4kidsorg from Flickr

Welcome to Thing 8!

After completing Thing 8 you will have...

... had a chance to take a breath (figuratively), look back over the Things you've achieved so far, and learn more about tagging and organising your blog posts.

What is tagging and how is it relevant to libraries?
Tagging is how the social web organises its information. As library staff, we know that retrieving information can be a pretty complex task, and that the more access points a record offers, the more chance there is that a reader will find it. Tags are the access points of Web 2.0: they work in the same way as good ol' Library of Congress Subject Headings. The difference is that they're generated on the fly by users, not imposed by library taxonomies.

Tagging is designed to be both personal - you choose which tags you want to use - and collaborative - others can see the tags you've assigned, and can choose to follow you in using them. Of course this doesn't always happen! One person's "cat" may be another's "feline quadruped" (or even "lolkitteh"): unlike LCSH, there are no right and wrong ways of tagging.

Some people find this idea inspiring; to others, it's opening the door to anarchy. Yet tagging is perhaps the defining element of web 2.0's user-generated content, and it's not going to go away. This in turn is going to have a profound effect on our readers' expectations of how information is described and retrieved.

Should libraries be looking at ways of incorporating tags in the OPAC? Ann Arbor District Library already does, right alongside the traditional access points. What do you think of this?

Step-by-step instructions for Thing 8

Part 1: Read Clay Shirky's essay, 'Ontology is Overrated', where he argues that "many of the ways we're attempting to apply categorization to the electronic world are ... a bad fit, because we've adopted habits of mind that are left over from earlier strategies". What do you think?

Part 2: Look back on your blog posts and organise them by adding more tags. We've been suggesting basic tags to use for each of your posts (e.g. "Thing 1"); now try enhancing this by adding tags that describe your content. This can be as formal or as fun, as workmanlike or as personal, as you like - you decide how you want to present your information! For example, one Oxford participant chose to give an approval rating to Things by using the tags 'yay', 'nay', and 'meh' as appropriate.

Finally, blog about Thing 8.

You'll be doing more with tags in some later Things, particularly Flickr (Thing 9) and Delicious (Thing 12).

Image from

Further reading/watching:
Tagging 'takes off for web users' (BBC, 1 Feb 2007)
The machine is us/ing us - YouTube video by anthropologist and digital ethnographer Prof. Michael Wesch (4m 32)

Next time...
In Thing 9 you will be exploring Flickr and discovering how to find and use Creative Commons-licensed pictures to enhance your library teaching, marketing and promotional materials.

Thing 7 - Create a Twitter account and interact with other Cam23 ‘tweeple’

Welcome to Week 4 and Thing 7!

After completing Thing 7...
After completing Thing 7 you should be aware of why many librarians are now using Twitter and be interacting with other Cam23 people via this platform.

What is Twitter, and is it relevant to libraries?
Twitter is a microblogging service that allows you to publish brief updates about what you are doing. By following other users, and being “followed” yourself, “Tweeple” (ie people using Twitter) can communicate very quickly with a wider world. Although the question posed by Twitter is "What's happening?" in reality most Tweeple ask questions and share ideas, news and information. How you use Twitter is up to you; it can be useful for your own personal development and/or to promote your library’s services.

Step-by-step instructions
[If you are already have an account and are familiar with the service you don’t need to follow the steps below. Instead we suggest that you check your account regularly during this week and wherever possible add Tweets to support those who are embarking on it for the first time, using the #cam23 hashtag. You should, of course, blog about how and why you use Twitter.]

1. Go to Click the 'Sign Up Now' button and follow the steps to create an account. (If you think you might want to use your work email address later on to create a library Twitter ID it is probably wise to use a different email address this time.)

2. Once you have created your account you will be taken to your Twitter homepage where you can update your profile to include a short biography, a link to your blog and a profile picture. We recommend that you leave the Twitter Privacy box unchecked because this means other Cam23 participants can read your tweets. You can always deactivate your account at any time. Additional help:

3. Now post your first update. Click in the status box at the top of the screen where you see the question "What's happening?" Write a comment, maybe something about your participation in the 23 Things programme. You are restricted to 140 characters, and as you type you will see the number at the top right of the box decrease. Leave enough characters to add the hash symbol '#' and the text 'cam23' (#cam23). This is known as a hashtag and allows Twitter users to group tweets by subject. By adding #cam23 to your tweet your comment will be picked up by other Thingers.

4. When you have typed your post click Update - you will see your tweet appear in the space below the status box, this is the start of your timeline of tweets. It also means that anyone who “follows” you will be able to read your tweet.

5. Now find some other Twitter users to follow:
Cam23 participants
Cambridge librarians
Cambridge libraries: Edfaclib, JudgeLibrary, LewyLib, MarshallLibrary, theUL
British librarians ebooksCambridge
Professional bodies: CILIP, UKEIG, UKSG

For any user that looks interesting you can choose to follow their tweets (go into their profile and click on 'follow'.) Very soon you will see that tweets from the users you follow are aggregated in to one timeline that appears on your Home page.

6. Interact!

a) Reply
When you hover over anyone's tweet in your timeline you will see options to either reply or retweet. Twitter becomes more useful when you use these two features to start a conversation with someone. When you click the reply button their username, preceded by the @ symbol, is automatically placed at the start of your tweet. Any conversation using the @reply feature will be seen by anyone who follows both users.

b) Retweet
When you click the retweet button the whole tweet preceded by RT will be copied in to your next tweet. If there are enough characters left you can add a comment about why you find it interesting. You can see any replies to, and retweets of, your tweets by clicking @yourusername in the navigation bar on the right of your timeline.

7. To participate in the conversation about a particular topic you can include a hashtag that will group all tweets on the subject together. To view all tweets that include the #cam23 hashtag, enter #cam23 in the search box.

8. Call back a few times during the week to check your timeline. Why not use it to ask other participants how they're using Twitter?

9. Blog about Thing 7.

Further reading
What is Twitter? Twitter for Librarians
Twitter for Libraries
Making the Most of Twitter

Optional extras
Using the Twitter website isn't the only way to view your timeline and post to Twitter; there are a number of Twitter clients available on the web, to download to your PC or to use on your smart phone. Here are just a few you might like to try:

Desktop clients

Web clients
Seesmic Web

Mobile applications (download from your phone)
Twibble (Nokia)
TwitterBerry (Blackberry)
Twitter [was Tweetie 2] (iPhone/iTouch)
Echofon (iPhone/iTouch)

There are a growing number of sites which offer ways to enhance your use of Twitter by sharing multimedia content:

Share photos

Share audio/video

Publish RSS feeds

Next time...
You'll be reviewing your blog tags.

Posted by Sarah Stamford, with thanks to Laura J. Wilkinson who wrote the Twitter piece for 23 Things Oxford.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

All the Cam23 blog posts in 1 place...

You may recall an earlier post about gathering RSS feeds in Google Reader, well 'Girl in the Moon' has now done the hard work for us. Go here to access the feed of all the Cam23 blogs in one place. We're a productive bunch!

Monday, 7 June 2010

23 Things Cambridge : Facebook group

We will be looking at Facebook in Week 9, but in the meantime if you have an account you are welcome to join the group and use it for sharing comments and information.

Thing 6 - Sign up for Google Calendar and add it to your iGoogle page

Welcome to Thing 6!

After completing Thing 6 you will have..
Created a Google Calendar, added some events to it, and added it to your iGoogle page.

What is Google Calendar & is it relevant to libraries?
Google Calendar is a free web-based calendar which can be shared with other people and accessed from anywhere with Internet connection. Events can be added quickly and viewed by day, week or month. It can also be integrated with other Google services, such as iGoogle, and imbedded in web pages & blogs.
A lot of universities already have Google Calender on their web pages to keep their staff and students up to date with events. Libraries, such as the
UL, are using Google Calendar to publicise opening hours & events, and the University of Bristol Information Services are piloting library branch times.
Other less local examples can be found at Griffith University Library, South East Queensland, Australia and the Ikeda Library at the Soka University of America, California.

Creating a Google Calendar
Step-by-step instructions

1. To create a Google Calendar, go to
2. Log in with your Google ID.
3. Your new Google Calendar will look like this.

3. Before you add any events to your calendar,
go to the top of the screen & select Settings - Calendar settings. In the General section you can change the Time & date formats, plus have a mini icon of your local weather displayed, for those of you obsessed with the daily forecast!
4. Click on Save.

Adding events to your Google Calendar
Step-by-step instructions

1. To add an event, click on Create event (you can also select Quick add or highlight a date on the calendar).

2. Fill in the boxes for your event:

What it is (e.g. staff meeting).
When it is (click on the boxes to specify a date & time).
Where it will take place.
Use the Description box to add details.
You can also choose to have a Reminder sent to you minutes, hours, days or weeks before the the event is due to take place (the system defaults to a 10 minute reminder). If you don't want a reminder, click on the cross next to the box.
3. Click on Save & you will be taken back to the calendar with your new event visible!

4. Take a minute or two now to add other events.

Adding your calendar to your iGoogle page
Step-by-step instructions

1. Go to your iGoogle page.
2. Click on Add Stuff.

3. In the Search for gadgets box on the right of the screen, type in Google Calendar
4. You want the first on the list - click on Add it now

5. When you go back to your iGoogle home page, your calendar will be displayed!

Further reading
A blog on how libraries are using Google Calendar:
Using Google calendar to manage library web site hours:
A totally non-library, but very topical, use of Google Calendar!

Optional extra
Share your calendar with a colleague or another Cam23 participant.

Step-by-step instructions
1. Under the My calendars section on the left side of your calendar home page, click on the drop down menu next to your e-mail address & select Share this calendar.
2. You will be taken to the Share this calendar section.
3. Type in the e-mail address of the person you would like to share your calendar with & their details will appear automatically underneath (note: this person must also have a Google Calendar too otherwise you won't be able to share it!).
4. Set the Permission settings you would like this person to have.
5. Click on Save.

The following video on YouTube gives a very quick demo on how to share your calendar:

Next time...

In Thing 7
(due to be posted Monday 14th June), you will be shown how to create a Twitter account and encouraged to interact with other Cam23 participants through that platform.

Thing 5 - Use Doodle to schedule a peer support meeting

Welcome to Week 3 and Thing 5!

After completing Thing 5
You will be able to use Doodle to schedule a peer support meeting with other Cam23 participants.

What is Doodle and is it relevant to libraries?
Doodle is a great way to schedule any event which includes several people – whether it’s a work meeting or a personal social engagement. You don’t need to register to use Doodle and it’s simple to use.

Step-by-step instructions
1. Just go to
2. Click on the Schedule Event button.
3. Follow instructions for Steps 1-4 each time clicking ‘next’ to get to the next page. Decide on the dates that you are free and the time slots within each date that you are free and add them in the chart.
4. At Step 4 you need to decide whether you want to send an email to your colleagues yourself or whether you want Doodle to do this. I normally select to send it myself but it’s up to you!
5. When you’ve completed your poll you should see something like this (click to enlarge):

6. If you have chosen to send the poll out yourself then check your emails from Doodle and follow the clear instructions in them.
7. Send the link out and wait for responses……..and enjoy your peer support meeting – and the coffee! Save one for me.......

8. And, of course, blog about Thing 5.

Further Reading
Blog - 'Scheduling meetings' -
Musings about Librarianship

Optional extras
1. Explore some other ways of scheduling meetings

2. Add Doodle to other Web 2.0 tools
Add Doodle to your iGoogle page, or to Facebook or, after the next Thing (setting up a Google Calendar), you might like to try and connect Doodle to your Calendar (though you’ll need to register for an account to do this).

3. Think about time management
Using Doodle or other scheduling devices is really all about helping with time management. If you’re feeling really keen have a look at
JISC’s infokit on time management.

Next time...
You’ll be signing up for a Google Calendar...

Friday, 4 June 2010

Wanna banner?

Thanks to the nifty work of @angefitzpatrick we now have a lovely Cam23 banner and/or badge which you can use to adorn your blog.
For instructions on how to add them, visit her blog: beauty_school_dropout

RSS (Really Smart Skiddie2)

There's been a bit of a discussion on your blogs and on Twitter as to whether its possible to gather all the RSS feeds of the participating Cam23 blogs in Google Reader so you don't have to add them all individually.

The very brilliant @skiddie2 (Twitter username) has come up with a solution which he has blogged about here.

Go see!

Edit: See the comment below to see how this has been achieved on NetVibes.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Drop-in session: Friday 4th June, 11-4

The Cam23 programme is now in its second week and the project team are wondering how you're all getting along. A lot of you have already registered your blogs, but for those of you who may be finding this a bit difficult fear not for help is at hand!

The first drop-in support session will be taking place this Friday (4th) in the Morrison Room at the University Library between 11am and 4pm. If you have any questions on the Things covered so far or would like some assistance setting up your blog, please feel free to turn up at any point and a member of the project team will be available to help you. N.B. There's no need to book.

We look forward to seeing lots of you there.