Friday, October 9, 2009


I recently attended a workshop presented by OCLC. Some of the talk was promotion of the various WorldCat entities, not relevant to me. What was relevant was a talk by Michael Edson, Director, Web and New Media Strategy, Smithsonian Institution, Office of the CIO entitled Relevance, Existence, and the Smithsonian Commons.

The Smithsonian is the world largest museum and research complex. And yet on an issue they have spent much effort - the oceans, a 2 person website called gets many times more hits. What is wrong with their site? Why do people not start their research there?

So the Smithsonian has been working through issues like how their task should be to:
Empower citizen-scholars!
Solve big complex problems!
Interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships!
Create innovative informal education
Use their resources for the public good in the midst of unceasing change

It seems to me this is the role of libraries too, and I would like to think, of Whilbr. Ok - Whilbr doesn't solve big complex problems but could empower citizen scholars, assist in interdiscplinary collaboration (as in C&O Canal project) and be part of innovative informal education.

Micheal used this image for the new model - collaboration and innovation

And I started thinking of the need for Whilbr in particular and libraries in general to move from the left image to the right. Hard to do, control is lost, possibly quality is lost but a common space where ideas are more freely exchanged seems relevant. Can we foster learning and collaborative knowledge creation? For Whilbr,
what can I do with this content once I find it? How can I interact with my fellow-visitors to the website?

More from Michael's talk can be found at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Introduction to Photoshop CS2-Online Class

Course Name: Introduction to Photoshop CS2-Online Class offered by Hagerstown Community College Center for Continuing Education

Course Description: The Introduction to Adobe Photoshop CS2 online class provided hands on, project-oriented lessons filled with detailed step-by-step instructions. In the introduction to the Photoshop environment I discovered tools that I had not used as of yet. Specifically, I learned two more ways to straighten and crop pictures. The lessons revealed how to edit photographs to remove red-eye, to get rid of dust and scratches, and correct image exposure. I’m amazed by the variety in the Photoshop’s brush engine and I’m overwhelmed by all the choices provided by Photoshop’s tools and procedures.

Course Mechanics: Two lessons became available every week for six weeks. After all twelve lessons were released there was a two week grace period to complete the lessons and take the final exam. This gave me an extra two weeks-a total of eight weeks to complete the course. I was able to print all the lessons and assignments-a very helpful reference. I will use these again to strengthen my skills in Photoshop and to better comprehend the procedures and options that Photoshop has to offer. After each lesson I took a brief multiple-choice quiz. Each lesson was accompanied by an assignment. The assignments helped me to better comprehend the steps and tools utilized.

Course Benefits: You do not have to be present when each lesson is released. This is very convenient. You can get online and do the lessons, assignments, quizzes, and test -24/7. The Continuing Education course is worth 24 hours. However, I worked an average of 3 ½ to 4 hours per lesson (not 2). I still need to go back and review all the tools and steps in order to grasp all the techniques. Having a printed copy is an excellent resource.