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Check this blog each week to find your new tasks.

Look under 23 Things Timeline at the top of the page or WEEK BY WEEK in the right sidebar.  When you are finished with each task, please check in using the link in the right sidebar.  If you have any comments or suggestions, please use the feedback form, also in the right sidebar.

Read About and FAQ to learn more about what you are getting in to!


Before you begin the 23 Things, please take a short survey.  Click for survey!

A note about comments.

Share thoughts, ideas, suggestions, questions, anything!  Just click the comment link at the bottom of a post.  You can comment on any blog post during this program, including those of your coworkers.

Having a problem with an exercise? Talk to your coworkers to see if two minds are better than one.  Or, ask for help in a comment. If you can answer someone else’s question, please do!

Practice by making a comment on this post!


Finishing Up!

Are you finished with all of the 23 Things?

Yes? Hooray! Make sure to take our postsurvey.

No? Don’t worry. You have until the end of the day on January 31st to finish up.

If you need some extra help or just some time with a computer with less distractions, we hope to see you at the computer lab at East on January 12 and/or January 13. Come any time between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

i iz blogginz / leef IÂ alonze
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Thing #23 – Keep Learning


Congratulations on reaching the end of the 23 Things SCPL!

Here are some things we hope you have learned through this experience:

  • Exploring new tools and technologies really doesn’t take that much time if you break your learning down into a manageable time frame. You have some new tools, like Google Reader and Delicious, that make finding news about new tools and ways to use them easier.
  • You know you can do it. Sure, there were trials and tribulations as you learned the new tools or struggled with glitches in the products, but you did finish and you did get the tools to work. That means the next time you see a new tool, you will be ready to figure it out and make it work for you. No fear!
  • It’s fun to know and use these tools. Admit it, YouTube can be entertaining–and you can even see some uses for it in your library. Some of the tools have more toy-like features than others, but others have obvious uses in a library setting.
  • We need to keep informed. It is easy to get so involved in the day-to-day tasks of storytime, library instruction, troubleshooting, developing programs, reference work, summer reading programs, collection development, and meetings. In spite of all that work, we do need to know what our patrons are using, talking about, and asking us for help with. As libraries continue to evolve, we need to be informed to evolve with them and guide the evolution.

We hope you have learned these plus many more new things during 23 Things SCPL!


It’s important to look back at the things we’ve done to see what we’ve learned from them and how we can continue learning.

23 Things SCPL introduced us to new tools that many of us may not have explored if it wasn’t for the program.

We need the support of each other so we have the time and help we need to learn and stay informed. We hope the communities that have developed around 23 Things SCPL will continue. Just think about how much we can continue to learn about each other if we keep updating our blogs!


Remember that presurvey that you took way back in Thing #1? We’d like for you to take another survey to see if anything has changed.

Also, for your last and final exercise for this program please reflect on your learning journey and post a few thoughts. This blog post (named Thing #23) will probably be a little longer than previous ones, but we really want to know what everyone thought about 23 Things SCPL and how we could make it better.

Here are some questions to help you with that. Please answer as many of the questions as you can in your final blog post!

  • What were your favorite Things and discoveries?
  • What were your least favorite?
  • What technologies do you think you’ll continue to use either personally or at work?
  • How could we use these tools to enhance our library services? Any specific tool come to mind?
  • Think back to Thing #2, Lifelong Learning. How has this program assisted or affected the lifelong learning goals that you came up with?
  • What other things would you like to learn more about that we didn’t cover?
  • How would you describe your 23 Things learning experience in one word or in one sentence?
  • If we offered another program like this in the future, would you participate?
  • What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
  • Any other parting thoughts to share with us?


For your final stretch activity, read your fellow participants’ final blog posts and comment on a few of them.

Thing #22 – Your Choice


It’s time for you to choose what you want to explore in more detail! Throughout the course of 23 Things SCPL, we’ve explored just a small sampling of Internet technologies and websites that are empowering users with the ability to create and share content. Given time, there are so many more we could explore. And although time will tell which of these tools will remain on top, one thing is for sure, they’re not going to completely go away (at least anytime soon).

For this task, you are asked to choose one of the Things that we’ve explored and explore some more! We know that we’ve shown you a lot of cool things over the course of 23 Things SCPL, and you may have not had a chance to learn about some of the Things as much as you would have liked.


Well, 23 Things SCPL is almost over, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop exploring!


Use this exercise as a chance to revisit a Thing that you think could help you in your daily life or work. Or, just revisit a Thing that you had a lot of fun with! Remember, you can view a list of all of the tools on the timeline.

Look for features that you may have missed the first time. Create something new. Had a problem with one of the Things? Get some helpful hints from someone who seemed to really like that Thing.


What tool did you choose to revisit? Make sure you add a link to it. Why did you want to explore it in more detail? Did you discover anything new about that tool now that you’ve explored it some more?

Comment on the blog of at least one other participant after you’ve read about what tool he or she revisited. Name this blog post Thing #22.


Select any site/tool from the list of Web 2.0 Awards. With so many to choose from, it might be handy to first select a category that interests you and then simply select a tool/site to explore. Be careful to select a tool that is free and that doesn’t require a plug-in or download. The majority of these are free, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Explore the site you selected.

You’ll probably see a few familiar sites on the list: Delicious, Google products, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

Let us know in your blog post if you discovered something really cool!


Photo by Paul-W. Found using

You are almost done!  Just a few more Things to go.

If you are behind a little, don’t worry. You’ll have some extra time to finish up after Thing #23.

Regular reminders: check in at the sidebar.  Comment on your coworkers’ blogs.  Keep sharing, keep learning!

Thing #21 – Document Sharing


Document sharing online.  We’ll also explore creative commons and attribution some more.

With Scribd and Slideshare you can upload, share, read, print and download documents of all kinds.  Word documents, pdf files, PowerPoint presentations and other documents may easily be shared with the click of a button.   Scribd and Slideshare are also social networking sites because you can connect with other users by “following” them and rating or commenting on their uploaded documents.

Sharing doesn’t always come for free, as we learned in Thing #20.  Creative Commons is an amazing evolution in copyright, but it does not magically erase the need for proper citation and ethical use.

In Thing #20 you learned a little about proper citation of Creative Commons works. Below are a couple of examples you can follow.  You would replace the underlined text with specific works and authors you are attributing.

If you’re reproducing the work:

Name of an Original Work by Author’s Name, licensed under Creative Commons License Type

If you’re modifying the work:

This Name of the Modified Work is based on Name of an Original Work by Author’s Name, licensed under Creative Commons License Type

At the very least, you should provide links to:

Also, the CC license type should be linked to the web page that describes the specific license type in the CC site, like we’ve done in the side bar. You can see that our formatting is a little different, and that is OK because all of the information is there!


Document sharing, like image sharing, is a perfect example of how the web can be used to create communities and encourage the creation of content.

Knowing how to attribute shared material is important if you create publications for the library, like presentations, flyers or any kind of promotional material.  Be sure to attribute shared material properly in your blogs, too!


Create a Slideshare presentation using Creative Commons images.

  1. Use one of these sites to find images.

  2. Put the images into a Word document OR a PowerPoint presentation.  Make sure you attribute the images appropriately.
  3. Upload the final product to Slideshare.
    You’ll have to get a Slideshare account to do this.  If you have a Facebook account, you can use that to sign in.  If not, you may sign up using your gmail or other email account.
  4. Embed your Slideshare presentation into your blog.


In your blog post, write about your discovery.  How do you feel about so many people sharing their pictures and documents so freely?   Do you see a way our library could make use of document sharing?

Name this blog post Thing #21.


Search for document sharing on Google and explore some of the other sites out there– there are many!


Check out some Creative Commons resources from the OER Commons, the CC Content Directories, or try out the CC Search tool and see what you find.

Extend your blog post to share about your findings.  Include a link to any resource you mention.




Thing #20 – Copyleft & Creative Commons

Photo by TilarX. Found with google image search "labeled for reuse with modification."


Copyright, Copyleft, and Creative Commons.  This is an easy but incredibly significant one.

Did you know that as soon as you finish creating something- anything– you instantly hold the copyright with all rights reserved? It’s true!  Read more to find out why this isn’t always so swell.


One of the hallmarks of Web 2.0 is the creation and sharing of content, and tools like Flickr, YouTube, Scribd, Slideshare (and hundreds of others) make this easy to do. But with the free exchange of content comes the responsibility of determining how it is shared, how it may be used, and how to properly credit the author or creator.


Read a little more and watch a video.


The first thing to remember is that material on someone’s website, Flickr photos, or even what you find through services like google image search, is generally going to be copyrighted, meaning you can’t use any of it without the owner’s permission.  Getting permission may be as easy as sending the owner an email, or it may be impossible if there is no contact information.


Copyleft, according to Wikipedia, “is a play on the word copyright to describe… a general method for making a program (or other work) free, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well.”  It can be seen as a response to copyright laws that tend to stifle the creation and exchange of ideas and art on the web.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a form of copyleft that provides free tools that allow folks to give advance permission for people to use what they’ve created in certain ways. If you follow the terms of the license, you are free to use the work in your blog or in your wiki – or anywhere else the license lets you.
Watch this video about Creative Commons.

Currently, there are millions of photos, books, songs, poems, artworks, videos and other media shared on the web under Creative Commons licenses, including this program. 23 Things SCPL is an example of how you can take a piece of information or a product (in this case, the original 23 Things program) and ‘remix’ it to make it fit your needs, giving attribution to the original author– which we’ve done in the sidebar!

How do I Attribute CC Material?

You must attribute the author in the way in which they specify – no ifs, ands or buts.  However, for a lot of cc-licensed material, the author doesn’t bother to tell you just how they want to be credited. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to credit – attribution is fundamental to Creative Commons licenses.

You should provide links to:

• The place where you found the work
• The exact license agreement

…But Be Warned

Just because someone posts a work online and says or implies that you can use it, doesn’t mean that they are actually able to give you permission in the first place.  In some cases, this is very obvious – think TV shows posted to YouTube.  In others, it’s less so.  Again, common sense rules the day, and, if you’re not certain, don’t use it.


Some ideas to write about:

Have you noticed the CC logo on any websites you visit? Did you wonder what it meant?
Do you ever share or use pictures, videos or written information on the web for work or personal life?
What are some potential negatives for using CC?

Name this blog post Thing #20.


If you want to read more about how to attribute Creative Commons works, there’s a good entry in WikiHow.

Thing #19 – Podcasting


A podcast is sort of like an online radio show, except the listeners get to decide when and where they want to listen. A podcast consists of an audio file (typically MP3 format) published to the web PLUS an RSS feed. The RSS feed allows listeners to subscribe to the podcast.

Some podcasts can contain audio and visual elements – these are called vodcasts.


For the same reasons you subscribe to RSS feeds; podcasting uses RSS, after all.  Many major broadcasters have gotten behind the idea and release their own shows in podcast form – advertising and all.


Watch another entertaining CommonCraft video! Copyright protection mans you have to watch it at another website.

Many libraries have started using podcasts to syndicate their programming or to share other info like book or movie reviews. Here are some examples:

•   Children’s Room Podcasts — Springfield Town Library, Vermont
•   Teen Webcasts — Boulder Public Library
•   Denver Public Library Podcasts
•   Programs to Go — Worthington Libraries
•   Podcast and RSS — Orange County Library System

Podcast directories:

•   iTunes, a free downloadable application from Apple, is the most widely known service associated with podcasts.


  1. Take a look at one or two of the podcast directories listed above and see if you can find a podcast that interests you; perhaps a library-related podcast such as a book review podcast, or library news.
  2. Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your Google Reader account.


Create a blog post about your discovery process.  Did you find any podcasts worth listening to?  What are some ways our library could use podcasting in our services or programs?

Name this blog post Thing #19.


Learn about creating podcasts.

•    Ipodder: Open Source podcast client
•    A Beginners guide to Podcasts and Creating Podcasts
•    How to Podcast
•    CNET’s Create Your Own Podcast tutorial



Thing #18 – YouTube


YouTube is a video hosting and sharing site – in other words, it’s a place where you can upload videos you’ve made for the world to see.  A social site like YouTube democratizes film making, the way that blogs democratize publishing.


YouTube (and other video sharing sites) is a quick and (relatively) painless way of getting your AV content out onto the web.  YouTube is often used as a discovery tool; it’s a great place to go to learn how to do anything from creating flash animation to fly fishing.

Without installing software or even setting up an account, you can view videos and embed them on your blog or website (they don’t have to be yours – you can embed any video you find on YouTube). For those who register for a free account, YouTube provides additional features turning it into a social networking service.

These features include the ability to…

• create a profile
• customize your profile with favorites, playlists, and subscriptions to channels & tags
• upload & tag your videos
• “friend” other YouTube users
• send messages, and even broadcast messages to all your YouTube friends
• rate and add comments to videos


Explore YouTube & find a video worth adding as an entry in your blog. You can do this by clicking   under the video window.
Depending on how your blog is set up, you’ll do different things with that embed code.

Instructions on how to embed video into a Blogger blog

Instructions for a WordPress blog


In addition to embedding a video into your blog, write a little about your experience.  How do you think our library could use YouTube for our services and programs?

Name this blog post Thing #18.


Look at some examples of creative ways libraries are using YouTube:

Calgary Public Library Story Time (no, it’s not the kind of storytime you’re thinking of!)
Tour the Harper College Library (this one is a hoot!)
iACPL 4.0 (Allen County Public Library’s homage to the “I’m a Mac; I’m a PC” commercials)
QandANJ: Now Your Library is Open Late Night Too! (this ad originally aired during the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards)
The Best of Library 2.0 Playlist on YouTube

Wikipedia’s list of video sharing websites.

Thing #17 – Check Your Facts


Remember back in Week 1, when we were doing Thing #4—setting up your blog? Remember how easy it was to do? All you had to do was fill out a form and you had a little piece of the Internet to call your very own. You can type whatever you want on your blog, and anyone who wants to read it can. No one is watching what you do and making sure you’re being completely honest and accurate. So when you’re reading other blogs and websites, how do you know if you’re reading something that’s not true? and are good, reputable websites to use to see if you’re reading the truth.

Snopes is a website that discusses urban legends, email forwards and other Internet stories that are of uncertain origin. Snopes lists the complete story in question and then gives verifiable facts on its validity. The New York Times recently wrote an article about Snopes.

FactCheck describes itself as “a nonpartisan, nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.”

FactCheck only focuses on political information while Snopes looks at uncertain stories in all subject areas.


Think about emails you get. No, not personal or work emails. Those other kinds of emails. The ones that have been forwarded to you from your friend. Who got it from another friend. Who got it from her husband. Who got it from his boss. You probably have to scroll down a bit to see the message, and the subject has a bunch of FW:FW:fw:fw:FW: in it.

Sound familiar? Do you ever wonder if the things that you’re reading online are true? Well, you should. No one is fact checking everything that is being put on the Internet or sent over email, which leads to simple statements being embellished and their original messages being turned around. Diane Henderson says it better than I can—read her article.

I’m sure that you don’t want to continue to spread these incorrect facts either, so just take an extra few minutes and check for yourself on or to see if they are true. Both sites have a search box to make this easy! Just type in a few keywords and see what comes up.


Take a look at the 25 Hottest Urban Legends compiled by Snopes. There is even an RSS feed if you want to stay up to date on the latest rumors. Choose one of the categories to look through or search to see if something you’ve read is discussed by Snopes. This can be addictive!

Browse the articles on FactCheck to see if they are discussing anything you’ve heard about recently or search to see if something you’ve heard is accurate.


Did you read anything that surprised you? Why do you think it’s so easy for rumors to spread so quickly online? Do you think it’s important to check if things you read online are true? Why or why not? Name this blog post Thing #17.


Do it yourself!  Learning how to evaluate websites and web pages is a critical skill for doing our own research and for helping patrons with theirs.  Look at these two web pages to learn more about how to do this on your own.

Evaluating Websites

Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages

Read more about Snopes from other media outlets. Read about the awards that FactCheck has won.

Thing #16 – Wikis


By now, pretty much everyone’s heard of Wikipedia. Wikipedia (though this is only the most prominent example of a wiki) is a type of website that allows users to easily add, remove, and otherwise collaboratively edit and change content that can be quickly published to the web. There are thousands of other wikis out there, both public and private.
Some of the benefits of wikis:

All participants can add, edit or delete content.

Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily follow what has been changed and by whom.

Earlier versions of a page can be viewed and restored if necessary.

Wikis are built on collaboration and trust – whoever contributes is expected to meet certain standards of quality and accuracy and should expect, should they not reach these standards, that another participant will edit their contributions. The goal is to use a wiki to create a collaborative piece of information, sharing the knowledge of all contributors.

Watch “Wikis in Plain English” another enjoyable video from Common Craft.


Wikis are easy to manage websites where you can work with others.  As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, libraries all over the country have begun to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, ALA conference wikis and even library best practices wikis. They’re great for training manuals or documentation, or drafting policy documents, or hosting links to resources on a given topic for quick reference on the circ/ref desks.


Two options.


  1. Go to Wikipedia and search for an entry on a topic you’re interested in, or know a lot about.  Read through it – is there anything that you could add to it?
  2. Check out the history of the entry (you’ll find the history and other buttons at the top of the page).  Has it been edited a lot or a little?
  3. Do the same few people edit it, or are there lots of ‘drive by’ editors? What was it like when it was first created?
  4. Read the discussion page for the entry – are there any controversies?

–OR– the more fun option


Two 23ThingsSCPL wikis have been created for you to play with– one at PBwiki and one at Wetpaint central.

  1. Look over both of our wikis and choose one–  PBwiki or Wetpaint.
  2. Create a new page on the Wiki.
    PBwiki requires a login. Username:, password: wiki23.
    Give the page a title and add some content: words, sentences, pictures, whatever you like.  Idea– write about your favorite things.
  3. Edit a page that another user has created.


Blog about your experiences.

What did you find interesting about the wiki concept?
How might a library use a wiki with staff and/or patrons?
Many teachers “ban” Wikipedia as a source for student research. What do you think of the practice of limiting information by format?

Name this blog post Thing #16.


Take a look at some other wikis.

Here are some library-related wikis to get you started.

Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust Wiki – a wiki based on the Book Lust books (OOPS! This wiki seems to be down right now. We’ll keep the link just in case it becomes active again!)
Book Lovers Wiki – developed by the Princeton Public Library
Library Success: A best practices wiki – a one-stop shop for great ideas and information for all types of librarians
Other library wiki examples

And some non-library examples:

Wiktionary (a wiki dictionary)
WikihowMusic Wiki
Grey’s Anatomy Wiki
WikiIndex – a wiki guide to wikis