Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crocheted Wedding Dress

My friend sent me a link to 100 Layer Cake where they describe the beautiful wedding dress that the bride crocheted for herself out of doilies! It is gorgeous. The photo below is from 100 Layer Cake as well and is a close up of dress.

Read their blog for more details! It was quite an achievement.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I heard about Prezi last year at the AISL conference but I had a problem importing figures and didn't get to use it. This year I was upgraded to Vista and either that fixed the problem or Prezi upgraded and fixed the issue because I am importing figures just fine now.

Prezi ( is a super cool way to present data, information, graphics, video, statistics, art, you name it and be able to zoom in and move around in a way that powerpoint can't. It make presentations exciting and interesting. Here is a Prezi presentation that Technology for Learners and Teachers put together about it.

Even more interestingly, I think, is the ability it has to make children engaged and the way it may foster collaboration between departments. Rob Newberry, a Canadian teacher working at the Ramrudee International School in Bangkok uses Prezi with his students. He recently presented his findings at TEDIndia. But what was fascinating was the presentations he had his 5th graders do in Prezi. If you click on the link, you will be able to see one on landslides. It is fascinating and it shows how research (the library!), science, and art can collaborate to create a great Prezi.

It is a great tool and it is a cool tool. One that the kids will love. That may make the selling of it to teachers easier. Especially if librarians become Prezi experts and help in the training of the class. If there is a way to get teachers to link research, their curriculum and collaborate with another department as well, why not go for it? At the very least, you will be the hero for introducing them to a tool that will jazz up their presentations.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Crossing!

Well, I finally took the plunge. I've known about Book Crossing ( for a while, and I sort of half-assed did it when I had a book that I was through with. But I finally signed up yesterday and made it official.

Here's the scoop. From their website, this is what they have to say on how they got the idea for their website: "We've always liked sites like Where's George? (which tracks U.S. currency by serial number) and (which releases disposable cameras then tracks their whereabouts and displays the pictures taken along the way) and (where you can stash and search for items with GPS technology), and so we thought to ourselves, "okay, what's something else that people would have fun releasing and then tracking?" And we thought of books, which made perfect sense, since everyone (well, almost everyone) loves books. Twenty-eight mostly sleepless nights later, on April 17, 2001, was launched."

Essentially, you register a book (which means you get a unique number for it). Then you log it into the bookcrossing database and tell where you have released it. Then you wait for someone to find it and go to and register that they have found it. Pretty cool!

My summer plan was to go through all my bookshelves and get rid of all the books I have read and no longer have room for. Those books that I can part with and those books that I feel would get picked up and read by someone else. I did it all in ONE AFTERNOON! Yea me! So I have plenty to start releasing into the wild.

Join me on this bookcrossing journey. If you do, please say that I referred you. My bookcrossing name is CDMCLEAN. I would like to follow you and see what you are releasing as well.

Happy summer!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

iPad Makes Some Changes

Our new reference librarian is also a rabid Mac devotee. She was recently watching the Jobs keynote address and noticed that he mentioned the iPad had added notetaking in its software upgrade. That is something we were waiting for in order to consider it as an ereader for textbooks. Essentially, Christina said:

Here is the link to the most recent keynote address from Apple:

Here are some of the more interesting parts of the speech concerning the iPad:

2:15 – start of iPad presentation

6:30 – interesting little tidbit about magazines and an app called Elements ($13.99)

7:30 – iBooks (this is the most relevant part to Berkeley)

10:20 – end of iPad presentation

Highlights of the presentation:

- 5 of the biggest publishers of e-books report that 22% of their total e-book sales are occurring on the iPad.

- There is a new software update (free but won’t be available until later this month) that adds the ability to highlight, make notes, bookmark multiple pages, and view pdf files.

- Links to your highlighted portions and bookmarks are available on the book’s table of contents.

So there you have it. First, kindles in the high schools. Now with iPads adding annotations and notetaking are iPads far behind? They certainly are sexier and flashier and more user friendly. Apple does have a history of letting you share tunes (ten times),so perhaps you can share books as well? Too soon to tell, but my pen is itching to write that check.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kindles in the High School

My local public high school, Clearwater High, will be getting rid of all of their print textbooks and going to an ereader next year. They will be purchasing an ereader for all their faculty and students the St. Pete Times reported yesterday. It appeared that Kindle had the lead, but the story did mention that they had to go to bid and had not settled on a vendor yet.

The story only makes a vague reference to the independent school that got rid of the books in its library, saying only: "A Massachusetts boarding school recently made waves by completely digitizing its library."

I think that moving to etextbooks is where ereaders are appropriate technology. However, I'm not sure that we're at the point where we can completely support etextbooks on an ereader and I hope that the principal has researched whether Amazon has all the textbooks he uses available on the Kindle. There have been problems with highlighting and notetaking with the Kindles, so this will be an interesting experiment to follow. It is a bit worrisome that they are taking a one-size fits all approach to this problem though. [Additional info: The Tampa Tribune has a more informative article and explains that they are doing the texts in stages with Math and English first.]

As one commenter wrote: "Kindles, Nooks, and the like are great tools, but I am not sure they are 504 compliant which could be a problem for visually or hearing impaired students. One e-reader that is about to launch is a free software download called Blio ( ). It will work across platforms and on most devices; it is also 504 compliant. For the cost of a Kindle, a school could outfit each student with a netbook that has the Blio software on it (it is FREE). The netbooks would be much more useful for many other assignments as well. Why not try to get the most bang for your buck?????"

I'll be following this story closely.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Doubleblind (Sirantha Jax, #3) Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ah, now we are talking. A series that retains its spark and character development and has interesting things happen through all three books. While there were no heart breakingly poignant moments, like there were in the other two books, there were some great moments of political intrigue.

It's a solid entry into a great sci-fi thriller with some romance thrown in for good measure. The characters are all fully developed and continue to grow in every book.

I love this series and this writer!

View all my reviews >>