Site under beta and coding challenge

I’m currently working on tweaking this blog’s appearance and organization. 23 Things Kansas has definitely challenged me to work on developing my coding skills. That link was this week’s challenge: to find a way to quickly and easily deploy a list of links to all the participants’ blogs, a sortable, filterable, searchable solution. I think it worked! We’ll see.

In the process of tweaking this blog (in its perpetual beta), I’ve managed to briefly completely break it three or four times in the last 24 hours! Thankfully, due to great WordPress documentation and Google searching, I’ve resolved most of the issues each time. If things look weird, or bizarre, or nothing is displayed, please bear with me. Blogs are sometimes a work in progress.

One thing I’ve partially accomplished, but not completely yet, is I’ve removed my Twitter Digest posts from appearing on the homepage everyday.  I hope that helps clean this up. I set that up, so the people that are interested in what I have to say on Twitter each day, but aren’t Twitter users, might be able to follow the stream. You can still see those posts under the Twitter category. I hope that helps! More changes to come.

23 Things Kansas Week 1: Blogging

I’m Heather Braum, and I’m the Technology Librarian at the Northeast Kansas Library System. I’m one of the mentors for the 23 Things Kansas program, but I’m also going to be participating right alongside all of you and learning. The more I dig into the library technology world, the more I realize how little I know. You never can stop learning!

A little bit about me personally (read my professional bio at the 23 Things Kansas mentors page):

I’m a lifelong Kansan, and grew up near Holton in Jackson County on my family’s fourth-generation farm. Dad decided to change careers and became the Valley Falls funeral director as I entered high school, so our family moved to Valley Falls into the town funeral home. That experience always makes for interesting discussions as I meet people. 🙂 I have an adorable nephew and sweet niece, as well asWhite Sox and Storm two cats that are my kids. White Sox and Storm are lovable, and yet their first choice to sit when I’m home is right in my lap, whenever I’ve working on my laptop; it’s ever so convenient! Oh yes, and I’m a diehard KU basketball fan and loathe the colors black, yellow, and purple (you do the color sorting)! 🙂 Rock Chalk Jayhawks!

Mom (who’s participating in 23 Things Kansas (will link to her blog when she starts it)) is the Holton High School librarian, and she told me for years I’d be a librarian. I ignored her, studied political science in college, and started graduate school in political science. I quickly realized it was the wrong field, and returned back to librarianship. After my first semester of library school and focusing on law librarianship, I realized that technology+librarianship=Win! and applied/started at NEKLS, and the rest is history. I finished my MLS at Emporia State a year ago; was so glad to be done with Capstone!!

When it comes to technology, I’m a social media addict (especially Twitter — I’ll be the lead Mentor for the microblogging lesson). I love Macs, especially my iPhone, and enjoy teaching others about technology. It’s scary and frustrating, but it really can make lives easier!

I’m taking part in 23 Things, because the best way to learn is to learn from those around you. I also am excited to be learning alongside so many Kansas library colleagues. It’s a very diverse bunch, and I’m looking forward to “meeting” and “learning” from all of you.

I’ve had this blog for a long time, but it has been mainly serving as a place where I digest my Tweets each day. I hope to get back in the habit of blogging regularly thanks to the schedule of 23 Things Kansas. This weekends’ discussion in response to Seth Godin’s post about the future of libraries was enough to want to get back to writing. I hope to be able to respond to that here later tonight.

Update: I realized tonight, after an adventure of managing to break my blog for fifteen minutes, that I never did say what this blog runs on. I run this blog on the WordPress software. Many 23 Things Kansas participants are using, which also runs the WordPress software. The My Kansas Library on the Web project also uses the WordPress software. I set up a domain that hosts my blog, which gives me a greater ability to customize and gives control over my site. However, the domain hosting is not free, and like I found out tonight, sometimes too much freedom means you break stuff. I always learn from breaking things, though. It’s the way I’ve always learned about technology. You break it, and 99.9999999999999% of the time it can be fixed. So don’t be scared to try something new or be worried you might break something or do it “the wrong way.” There is typically no wrong way with technology. That’s the beauty and the frustration of it! 🙂

Who are my Technology Heroines?

Note: This post is for part of Ada Lovelace Day (See this list for all the Ada Lovelace Day heroine posts)

Who are my tech heroines? That’s easy. Liz Rea (creator and system admin), Brenda Hough (creator and former trainer), and Sharon Moreland (current trainer) of the My Kansas Libraries on the Web (KLOW) project, developed by the Northeast Kansas Library System.

Liz and Brenda Hough started the My Kansas Libraries on the Web (KLOW) project several years ago, with the goal of providing easy-to-update, yet professional looking websites, for public libraries in Kansas. This project has required Brenda, Liz, and now Sharon to customize an open source product (WordPress), write grants, continue to learn WordPress, provide on-going training to NEKLS librarians, provide training of other technology trainers from the other regional library systems in Kansas, and figure out the best version and upgrade time schedule to the WordPress software, while carrying out all their other technology duties at NEKLS.

KLOW has empowered Kansas libraries and it’s all because of a vision of two women, Liz and Brenda, for Kansas libraries to have fantastic websites. Now, Sharon and Liz utilize the KLOW website as not only a clearinghouse of information about upgrades, new features, and possible problems with the KLOW platform, but also as a portal for training of the librarians.

Liz, Brenda, and Sharon: You are my heroes on this Ada Lovelace Day. The impact of the KLOW project on the Kansas library community cannot begin to be measured!

One final note: If you wanted to see my entire list of technology heroines, all you need to do walk into any smaller public library and watch a public librarian support her technology. That’s also heroic!!

23 Things Summit

I attended the 23 Things Sumit through Webjunction this afternoon. Great discussion and information about the program!

You’ll be able to listen to an archive of the program as soon as it’s over at the main page for the summit.

I attempted to collect all the URLs discussed in the presentation and in the chat box (it was done through Wimba online) on Delicious.

The summit also became the #1 trend on Twitter!

I’ll be excited to watch the discussion continue on Webjunction’s site.