Who Edits?

PaperTowns2009_6ATheTeen Book Club at our library (aka The Nerd Herd) read and discussed John Green’s PAPER TOWNS. In it, a character obsessively edits a fictional online resource very similar to Wikipedia. His complusiveness is a funny part of this book, but it seems that real life has taken a page from John Green.

Recently, at a presentation regarding Wikipedia and its users, employees were asked who actually edits this site?  If you’ve ever used Wikipedia, you’ll know that it is full of great information—some true and some not—most of which is contributed through user content alone. That means someone out there who knows a lot about a subject has taken the time to add his or her knowledge to the site regarding that topic. Is it always correct? No. Which is why many schools ban the use of Wikipedia when their students are doing research.

But for the most part, the content is probably pretty strong. However, the Wikipedia people set out after this presentation to find out exactly who was editing their site. And they came up with some very interesting facts. First, they conducted interviews with people who regularly contribute to or edit the site. They learned that a lot of these people were happy to work on a variety of subjects—whatever pleased them at the moment. Others were more specific and moved in one direction….like a user named Giraffedata, who had more than 15,000 edits to his credit…all for the same incorrect use of the term “comprised of” in articles. The Wiki people were VERY interested in Giraffedata, almost a God to some of them in the world of edits. So, they set out to find the person behind the screen name in hopes of honoring him with their own version of the Oscar in the Wiki editing world…a Barnstar.

And it turns out, Giraffedata is a 51-year-old software engineer names Bryan Henderson who has contributed more than 47,000 edits since 2007. And most of them are simply that one correction…..”comprised of”, which he replaces with “composed of” in proper form. He goes through articles systematically, week by week, and makes the change, determined to rid the world of his singular pet peeve. He even wrote a piece of software to help him find the newest additions to Wikipedia, and does his corrections each Sunday night. It won’t change the world, but in his own way, he’s making a mark in a unique way.

You can read more about Mr. Henderson and his quirky connection to Wikipedia right here. The article is full of pie charts, photos, and fascinating information not only about why Henderson does what he does, but how it impacts what you read. And if you are interested in making your own changes or additions to the information website, you can find out how to do it…well, on Wikipedia! It’s an arduous process, but once you learn how to do it, you’ve got a new skill. Give it a try!

Check Out a Skill!

20150320_161253We’re getting ready for something interesting in April. Not everyone is technologically-savvy, so we’ve decided to offer a “Check Out a Skill” week at the library. From April 13 -24, we’re offering half-hour sessions with one of our skill experts.  Learn to use Pinterest or Twitter, open up an email account, or finally get on Facebook and learn how to use it!

We’re taking registrations now, so give us a call. No “skill” is too simple to learn, and it’s the perfect time to learn how to use that new device (or that old one). Where else could you get this for free?  No where! Only at your library.

Check Out Our New Site!

ScreenshotsWe have a new online catalog!

Starting today, we have a fancy new online catalog that will allow you to do SO much more! It’s a fresh new layout, with many more options like accessing eBooks and Audiobooks directly from our catalog, viewing our program schedule, and now, you can even make a donation to the library!

Where can I find it?

You can now access the Carleton Place Public Library at  http://olco.canlib.ca/client/cp  ! Yes, it’s almost the same address as the old one, but don’t be fooled….the content is MUCH better! Drop by to see what you can do, and let us know if you have any problems.  We’re all learning at this point, but we think you’ll enjoy the new format.

What can I do?

Like before, you can log in using your library card and PIN, and access all of your user information.  You’ll see what books you have out, be able to place holds and renew books, and browse the catalog. But now, you’ll also have access to all of the eBooks and Audiobooks OverDrive has available….right through our catalog. And we’ve purchased a few great books for our patrons, available as eBooks, so expect to have access to some great titles without the long wait!

You can find out information about getting books for shut-ins, museum pass information, and you can now even read the minutes from the last Library Board Meeting online! If you have children, all of our programs for the younger set are listed in their own part of the site, and also for teens and adults. Stop by the Library News widget to see if we have anything exciting going on. There are so many great options now, you’ll be visiting the site more often than ever!

What are all those books scrolling across the top of the page?

Now you’ll be able to see the newest books available at the library. Whenever we add new purchases to the library, you’ll see the book cover appear near the top of the page. Just click on it to place a hold or download an eBook or audiobook version. It’s really easy!

Why make a donation to the library?

The Carleton Place Public Library is a registered charity, so we always accept donations to help purchase new books or materials to make our service even better for our patrons. Any donation over $10 will provide you with a tax receipt, so if you can’t decide where to donate this year, please consider the library.

What do all those funny symbols mean beside the titles?

For now, just ignore those. We’re working on making the searching experience even easier, but as with any new venture, there are a few wrinkles to be ironed out. In the meantime, please read the record carefully and look for things like  DVD or ePub or MP3 to distinguish the regular paper version of the books from audiobooks, eBooks or DVDs. We hope it won’t be too tricky, but we don’t want patrons placing holds on formats they aren’t expecting. Don’t worry, it’ll all come together soon enough!

Let us know what you think! Do you like the new site? Have you found any tricky spots that need clarification? Do you need help? Drop by the library, send us an email, or give us a call and we’ll try to sort everything out for you. Happy surfing!

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Hyperbole and a Half

If you’ve ever dropped by the blog called “Hyperbole and a Half”, you’ll know all about Allie Brosh’s hilarious take on the world. She uses simplistic drawings and wry humour to convey her views on the world. Drop by to read a few of her most recent posts and you’ll see what I mean. (You’ll probably also become addicted to visiting her site, so plan on a few wasted minutes each day!)

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And if you’re not the type to read blogs, you can always drop into the library to pick up her book, also titled, HYPERBOLE AND A HALF. It’s filled with many of per most popular posts, and I’m sure there will be a sequel at some point, so her fans can rejoice. It’s just one of the fun selections we offer up at the library. A little bit unexpected, but a lot of fun!

Illustrations Galore!

It’s Wednesday morning, and that means it’s Storytime at the library. One of my favourite things about picture books are the illustrations.  When they’re done right, they can elevate a wonderful story to become something superb!  And if you haven’t read a picture book since you were a kid, things have changed a lot. There are many wonderful illustrators out there doing sophisticated and creative work to go along with imaginative texts.

10518183_1464589700455123_726164712_nLauren Castillo’s  StudioCastillo on Instagram

I follow quite a few illustrators on Facebook and Instagram, so when I came across this great post at Sharpread about wonderful illustrators to follow on Instagram, I jumped right on it.  It’s the perfect medium for instant, small illustrations that can stand on their own.  And who wouldn’t want to see one of these adorable pictures in their feed? I’m kind of getting tired of super macro flower shots and selfies.

You can see the full list right here and get a feel for their work. I’m going to go and follow some of these right now. I hope you do, too!

 

Frivolous Friday Pinterest Book Deal!

Several months ago, I came across a funny story about a woman named Tiffany Beveridge, who only had two sons, but had created a wildly imaginative Pinterest Board for a daughter she didn’t have. In this board, she pinned wonderful, stylish and sometimes crazy photos of clothes for her little imaginary fashionista. She named her daughter Quinoa and wrote creative captions on many of the pins, creating a little story about the girl she imagined would wear all this stuff. It made me laugh, but I thought, how smart!

And after a lot of global attention (books, TV, online), she now has a book coming out called “HOW TO QUINOA : LIFE LESSONS FROM MY IMAGINARY WELL-DRESSED DAUGHTER”.

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She never set out to make a big splash on social media, but her humour and inventive creation caught on with so many people, she’s thrilled at the attention. Just a little something for you to think about as we head into the weekend. How about creating your own Pinterest Board!

Do you waste time?

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It’s that time again….Frivolous Friday! Just a little bit of fun to get you through the weekend. And what are we talking about this week? FACEBOOK!

We all spend too much time scrolling through our newsfeed to see what fun and exciting things our friends are doing. And don’t forget all that time it takes to post your own great status updates, photos and videos. Just to share a post on your own timeline can take about a minute, if you’re adding a comment. So, just how much time do you waste on Facebook? Time Magazine has come up with a way to find out.

Facebook has been around for 10 years now. Hard to believe, isn’t it?  And while many of us make claims that we don’t use it very much, you might not be as accurate as you think. While Facebook doesn’t post data about how often their users log on, Time has created an app that will calculate your time spent on the site based on the timestamps on every post in their feed.  Just log in, allow their app to scan your feed and they’ll give you some very interesting results. Don’t worry, this will not be posted on your Facebook page. (Just click on the TIME magazine link above to be taken to the page).

While it tells me the average person spends 17 minutes on Facebook, our library results were less than accurate, I think. Even though it shows we’ve been online since June 30, 2010, it only recorded 18 posts….and if you follow us on Facebook, we have plenty more than that. Plus, it said we waste ZERO time on the site!  While I’d like to brag about that (yes, all of the time we spend there is important and not wasted at all), I’m hoping your records might be a little closer to the truth. Try it and let us know!