Eric has a 35mm film camera. He also has a scanner. He takes awesome pictures, but he’s tired of having to email pictures to all of his friends around the world. What a pain. Eric is sad.

Margaret has a digital camera. She doesn’t take great pictures, but she wants the world to see them anyway. She can’t send the world an email, though. How can she let everyone see her pictures? Margaret is sad.

Ginger has lots of pictures of her kids, but her parents live several states away. They don’t even have a computer or email. How can she get new pictures to them without having to mail printed copies all the time? Ginger is sad.

Stuart has a camera phone and doesn’t want to share his pictures with anyone. But, he’d like to edit them and he doesn’t have any editing software. Stuart doesn’t want to shell out any money to buy it either. Stuart is sad.

Eric, Margaret, Ginger, and Stuart have reason to be happy, though. There are great web applications for photos that meet all sorts of needs!

Let’s start with Eric, he wants to share photos with a select group of friends. Eric doesn’t have to email all his photos to his friends anymore. He can sign up for an account at a photo-sharing website. He can choose to only share with his friends, so he can limit who can see his photos.

Eric should try: Flickr | Picasa | Photobucket | Snapfish

Margaret wants to share pictures with anyone in the world. Margaret can sign up for an account with an online photo sharing website too. But, instead of limiting who can see her pictures, she can let everyone see them. (The Nashville Public Library’s Teen Web uses flickr to share pictures of their programs.)

Margaret should try: Flickr | Picasa | Photobucket

Ginger wants to send her parents pictures of the grandkids. Ginger’s parents don’t have a computer, so can she still use a photo sharing website? Yes! When you register with photo-sharing web sites, like Snapfish or Kodak Gallery, you can store your photos there. When you want to send prints to someone, all you have to do is login and tell the site where to mail them. Now, Ginger can use an online photo sharing site to send the latest grandkid antics. Some photo processing centers also offer online photo albums. For instance, if Ginger used the Walgreens photo sharing site she could go to walgreens.com, order photos, and specify which store would print them. Her parents could pick up photos of their grandkids the same afternoon!

Ginger should try: Snapfish | Shutterfly | KodakGallery | Walgreens

Stuart wants to edit photos. He could install expensive photo editing software, or he could simply pull up a handy web app like Picnik! Picnik lets you do basic photo touch-ups in a snap. You don’t even have to register! Just upload a picture and start editing. When you’re done, save it to your computer.

Stuart should try: Picnik | Fotoflexer | Wiredness | Phixer

We’ve covered a lot of photo applications and we don’t expect you to use them all. But pick one and take it for a spin. Here are some pictures you can play with (center photo: the bear was added using Picnik!)

Photos Activity:

1. Pick ONE photo web app to try out. You may need to create an account.

2. You can use your own photo if you have one saved to your computer. Or, you can save one of our sample images (above) to your desktop.

3. Upload the picture to a photo sharing site where you can log in and see it. Or use a photo-editing site to adjust the picture (crop it, resize it, etc.), then save it to your computer.

4. Share the picture on Ning in the photos area!

Care to share your photos? Do you have any questions?

Discuss them in the Photos Forum.

Welcome to the Tenn-Share Learn and Discover community!

Over the next eight weeks, you will be learning and playing with cool tools on the Internet. If you can commit about 30 minutes a week to experimenting with our exercises, we can show you the best of the World Wide Web!

Maybe your friends talk about new web sites, but you cannot seem to navigate them. Or maybe you are excited about new technology, but are overwhelmed by the number of toys. Or maybe you are a techie at heart who fiddles with new Web tools every day, but you don’t know how to share what you learn with co-workers and friends.

Sound familiar? No reason to be scared, stressed, or sad. As library workers, we routinely depend upon each other as a community of knowledge to help each other through challenges. Sharing and learning together is what Tenn-Share Learn & Discover is all about. Today, you’re going to sign up for the Tenn-Share learning community – and you’re going to learn online social networking along the way!

What’s a social network?

Facebook and MySpace are two very popular social network sites. Many people are moving away from email in favor of social networking as a way to keep in touch. You can communicate with your friends quickly and easily using email, but it is hard to get to know people outside the circle of friends you already know. It’s also hard for a group of friends to share pictures and thoughts without piling up dozens and dozens of group emails! With social networking, you can share photos with your friends, send messages, write on their “wall” for everyone to see, and more. Unlike email, you can see who your friends are friends with and meet new people who share the same interests as you. Social networks help folks meet and talk with each other – they help build communities.

Tenn-Share Learn & Discover uses the social networking program Ning. Each week, a new post will appear front and center on the Tenn-Share Ning. Read the post, complete the activity, and use forums to learn about social networking by talking to other librarians in Tennessee.

What’s a Forum?

A forum (aka message board, discussion group) is more than merely a place for debating topics online. They are also used for tech support, sharing photos and videos, and connecting friends in social networks. In Tenn-Share Learn & Discover, you will use the forum to share your experience each week. Use the forum to ask and answer questions, add links, or share tips.

Welcome/Social Networking Activity:

1. Sign up for Ning – click the Sign Up link and fill out the form.

2. Sign in. (You’ve signed up, but you have to sign in to comment in the forums.)

3. Once you’re signed in, say hello to everyone in the Welcome Forum.

4. Explore the Tenn-Share Ning. Make new friends and connect with old friends and co-workers.

Contributed by James Staub

Staff in the Know is moving to its summer home in the Hamptons! Okay, not quite, but we will be relocating to another web site for the next two months. Come join us between June 23rd and September 1st for Tenn-Share Learn & Discover! Sign up, meet other librarians in the state, and win prizes!

What is Tenn-Share Learn & Discover?
Tenn-Share Learn & Discover is a state-wide learning program sponsored by Tenn-Share. Learn about fun online programs for music, photos, podcasts, and books, plus exciting new online programs from the State of Tennessee. You’ll meet up with librarians around the state using the online social network, Ning. There are 8 exercises to complete in 10 weeks.

So I hear there are prizes?
Yes, the first 100 participants who complete all eight Tenn-Share Learn & Discover missions are guaranteed an mp3 player. Prizes will be awarded to all who complete the program before September 1st, 2008. Don’t wait around because you’re competing with librarians all over the state!

Participation in Learn & Discover will count toward the Staff in the Know T-shirt and October drawing. So, if you have been holding off on the missions, now is the time to cash in.

Just in case you didn’t catch this: if you do the 8 Tenn-Share missions, you’ll be eligible for prizes from BOTH the Tenn-Share contest and Staff in the Know. That’s a big bang for your training time!

Your summer mission:

1. Go to the Tenn-Share Learn & Discover! website.

2. Save it to your favorites, save it to your desktop, Bookmark the page or put it on your calendar as a reminder.

3. On Monday, June 23rd, pop over to the site, register, and say hello!

4. For 8 weeks, participate, share, learn, and win stuff!

Well, if everyone has checked out an eBook from Overdrive, it means that there aren’t any for the public to check out! So, today we’re going to learn how to return eBooks before the due date.

Unlike audiobooks, Overdrive allows you to return eBooks early. We’ll show you how using Adobe Digital Editions.

Adobe Digital Editions doesn’t look like much when you open it – the bulk of it is a big black background. There are two menus to be aware of. The menu on the left allows you to view all of your books, books you’ve borrowed, books you’ve purchased, and books you’ve recently read. The menu on the right, lets you choose how you view those different lists. You can view the book covers or view the titles as a list. You can also sort how the list is arranged.

To return a book early, you need to display your list of borrowed books (that’s in the left menu). You want to view that list of borrowed books as a list. Right-click on the title to view a list of options for the book: Open Item, Delete Item, Return Borrowed Item. Click on Return Borrowed Item.

You will be asked if you want to return the item (see below). Click Return.

Once you’ve returned your book, it will disappear from Adobe Digital Editions.

You don’t have to have Adobe Digital Editions to use Overdrive eBooks. If you have an earlier edition of Adobe Reader (anything before version 8), eBooks will look like any other PDF file. You can check out, read, and return eBooks with earlier editions of Adobe Reader. You’ll know you have an earlier edition of Adobe Reader because there won’t be a black background and you’ll see the familiar red and white Adobe Reader icon.

To return a book in an older version of Adobe Reader (that’s any version before version 8), click on File then click Digital Editions and select My Digital Editions:

You’ll see the books you have checked out. Right-click on the cover of the book (or the title, if the cover isn’t shown). Right-clicking will bring up the menu shown below. Click on Return to Lender.

A new window will open asking showing the due date for the eBook. Click Return to Lender to complete the return process. Once the book has been returned, it will disappear from the list of books in your Adobe Reader.

You might not remember everything about eBooks, but please check one out and try to return it. If you don’t have Adobe Digital Editions, use the older version of Adobe Reader you already have and give eBooks a try. As always, if you have problems or questions, post them in the comments or email Kyle or Jenny.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Open Adobe Digital Editions on your computer – there should be a shortcut on the desktop.

2. Locate the book you checked out from Overdrive.

3. Return the book – just follow the instructions listed in the post.

4. Take the survey..

Overdrive eBooks (34)

June 2, 2008

It seems that June is “grab-bag” month here at Staff in the Know. The first item out of the bag is our new eBook selection from Overdrive!

No, these aren’t the tired, old, public domain eBooks you’ll find in NetLibrary. These are shiny, new, popular eBooks! But, as with anything shiny and new, we had to pay for them which means there are checkout rules.

Overdrive Audiobooks & eBooks:

  • 10 audiobooks/ebooks may be checked out at one time.
  • Check out period is 3 weeks. Titles do not count towards 25 item check out or holds limit.
  • Items may be renewed if there are no outstanding holds.
  • Books cannot be checked out by more than one person at a time.

Like I said before, these aren’t the public domain books we’ve seen in NetLibrary. These are new books – popular books – books people want. You’ll find fiction and nonfiction titles, from romance novels to law forms. There are less than 100 titles right now, but the number of eBooks will keep growing as we buy more.

The check out procedure is exactly the same as for Overdrive Audiobooks. Find the book you want in Overdrive, type in your card number and PIN, and click checkout. Once you’ve checked out your eBook, you can Download the file. When the “Save As” box appears, patrons will have the option to open the file or Save the file. They need to Save the file – preferably to their desktop.

When they look for the book on their desktop, they’ll see a file called ebx.edt. To open the eBook, you must right-click on that file and select Open with Adobe Digital Editions (or whatever Adobe Reader version they have installed on their PC).

Wait – did you read that last paragraph? It’s worth reading again:

When they look for the book on their desktop, they’ll see a file called ebx.edt. To open the eBook, you must right-click on that file and select Open with Adobe Digital Editions (or whatever Adobe Reader version they have installed on their PC).

From the feedback we’ve had, opening an eBook with Adobe Digital Editions causes the most problems. We anticipate that users who have earlier versions of Adobe Reader will be fine. Users with Adobe Digital Editions may need us to walk them through the “right-click” thing – that’s the info in the paragraph we made you read twice.

Please try to help patrons who have questions about eBooks. There is a lot of information available in Overdrive’s help files. But, if you need back up, contact Kyle or Jenny.

Pay close attention to the mission this week – only check out one eBook! If you would like more practice, you can check out free eBooks from Adobe.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Go to the Overdrive website – it is linked from the library website.

2. Find ONE eBook and check it out. Do not check out more than one eBook! Please. Thank you.

3. Download the eBook to your computer. We recommend downloading it to your desktop.

4. Open the eBook using Adobe Digital Editions. If you have any problems, note them in the comments or email Jenny or Kyle.

5. Take the survey..