vivkraus’s Weblog

Blogpost on Web Design Assignment
December 2, 2007, 3:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Let me just say that I thought that I knew a thing or two about technology, however I feel like a complete novice after completing this assignment.  There are so many things about the Internet that I take for granted.  For example,  now I know how much goes into making and designing a single web page.  Wow!  I am decently happy with my creation, but I know that there is so much more that I could have done.  I think that I spent too much time editing my photos with  I have to say, I absolutely love this website, it is so extremely helpful with editing photos and I know that I will continue to use it for many of my projects in work, school and social life. 

Here it is…..

When I began this assignment, I wanted to be able to use my webpage on the school website where I am a school librarian.  Speaking to the technology coordinator at my school, he wants the entire site of our school to be unified.  He has decided to look into using WordPress for our website because it’s something that teachers, administrators, parents and staff can modify without sending everything to him.  I think it’s a fabulous idea.


Post #5 DOK- Erik, Jaap and Geert, thank you for visiting my Dominican class and sharing your innovative ideas!
October 21, 2007, 4:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I was very inspired by the gentlemen from Delft. It was really interesting and exciting to see a functioning library that was actively using some modern day technologies, such as sonic chairs and wii gaming systems. I believe the whole idea of flexible spacing is extremely important, after all, the library is supposed to be a commons area. Why not, make that commons area be for music or art exhibits? I love the idea of bringing the library together with technology and music. Being in education, the future library could also have a recording lab, where there are turn tables for mixing music or even a set up where people put together play lists for downloading. In addition, what about a design studio, where classes on Adobe photoshop or Adobe illustrator are held, or even just making that product available to the public?  How about a movie making lab, where people could check out a digital video recorder and have a place where they could work and practice with a movie making software, such as imovie. All of these products are very pricey and people would then come to use the library to create.

Post # 4 – Meebo (IM on your blog)
October 20, 2007, 8:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Check it out, you  can instant message  me on my blog, with  It’s kind of fun, if I’m logged in, we can chat, if I’m not, then you can leave me a message.  Here’s how if you would like to have your own meebo for your blog or website.  Let me know if you figure out how to code for a website. 

Ok, here are the steps for our Word Press blogs, just go to Presentation on the toolbar and click on widgets,  then in widgets, pull the meebo option to the sidebar.  Next, when meebo is in your sidebar, click on the configure box and it will take your through the rest. Then… all you have to do is create a meebo account and there you have it, you are ready meebo.  Many libraies are already using this for a help option.  For example, Rebeccea Crown is using meebo to provide their users with a place where you can ask a librarian for help. Check it out…



Web Page Review
October 20, 2007, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dear Director,

I have been researching other academic library homepages to search for ways that our Rebecca Crown Library homepage can be improved to better support the students, faculty, and staff who use it.  The important aspects of a good academic library homepage are already included in our homepage: a library blog, policy information, a chat reference librarian, inter-library loan access, access to databases, phone numbers, history, events and much more.

First, I would like to talk about what is most important for the user in an academic library homepage.  I believe the most important aspect is to make research available to the user as easy and quickly as possible.  The users in an academic setting are: undergraduates, graduates, faculty and/or staff.  All of these users would use the library homepage to conduct research of some sort.  Examples being; using databases, searching the catalog or using Ref Works.  To make research easier, the user-friendliness of a academic library homepage is important.   It is of my opinion that our RC library homepage is not as user friendly as it could possibly be.  The homepage does not provide any direct search boxes for the library catalog or databases, but does provide information about the library.  Information about the library, such as renovation is important, but not more important than providing students, faculty and staff with direct access to information that they might be looking for.  The Dominican user has to click on the small icons to access any search boxes.

As an example, the Columbia Library homepage has the important information needed to immediately start a user with the ability to  search for information, making research or obtaining information quicker and easier.  This particular library homepage has a very simple layout,  is user friendly, aesthetically pleasing, not cluttered and definately uses user-oriented words, thus making it very user friendly.  I find it so simple and helpful to the user because all a user has to do is click on those direct links provided, to find books, find articles, find movies, etc. and a search box will appear.   Check it out for yourself,

Another example of a library homepage that is also very user friendly and uses user friendly-oriented vernacular   is the Walter E. Helmke library at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne.  This library homepage makes accessing information even easier for the user.   Search boxes are provided for books, articles, websites, etc. directly on the homepage making it user friendly and allowing the patrons to access their needed information even more  quickly than on the Columbia homepage.   The issue I see with this particular homepage is that I find the colors to be too monotone and the homepage is not as aesthetically pleasing to the eye than our RC Library homepage and also has no human element.

All in all, the improvement that I find that our RC Library homepage that is most important is to provide search boxes directly on the homepage, making obtaining information quicker and easier.

Post # 3: Make your own Voki!
October 18, 2007, 1:41 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I stumbled upon something fun and potentially useful as a Library 2.0 tool.  It is called Voki, which “enables users to express themselves on the web in their own voice using a talking character. You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters… animals, monsters, animals etc. Your Voki can speak with your own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or phone. Voki lives on your blog, social network profile and will soon be integrated in various instant messaging platforms. You will also be able to download it to most video supported phones.”  Doesn’t that sound cool?  Think about all the possibilities…here’s one possibility that I would love to use…a school librarian could leave a personal message on the library website reminding them to use the databases for their Science Fair research.  If you want to read more info and background about Voki, click on this link.

I made my own Voki with my own voice and I wanted to post it on the blog, but I couldn’t quite figure it out.  There are options to send the code to Word Press, but I am a novice with this blog and I can’t quite figure out how to get this done.  I’ve tried working in code, not visual and it still didn’t work.  Please if anyone has managed to do this or would like to take a look at how, please help me, I’ve spent too much time trying to figure it out.  If you want to play around or help me solve my problem, here is the link:

Get a Voki now!

Web 2.0 Tool Review Blogger vs. Word Press
October 12, 2007, 1:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

It is easy to imagine myself working in a school library because I currently am. I am a previous classroom teacher working in the library on a waiver until I earn my degree in LIS. 

The Web 2.0 tool that I have chosen to review is the other blogging website,

This blogging site is very similar to Word Press,  it could be a diary, a collaborative space, a collection of links or even memos to the world. The options are very similar, but I think that Word Press is the more sophisticated tool. I found an interesting article here, and it mentioned, “The main advantage of Word Press is that it provides flexibility and it allows you to be far more creative because its an open source script meaning it can be freely distributed and manipulated by anyone. So if you want the script to do a specific task you can either find an existing plugin or hire a programmer to create one for you.”  Also, Akers states, “if you want to start your own blog and generate free traffic over a long period of time without any problems you should definitely use Word Press on your own website. Its far safer and more reliable than Blogger and will give you the flexibility and creativity you need.” 

I just happened to start the school library’s blog in Blogger because it’s the only one that I knew of when I started this blog and now my students are familiar with it and I don’t want to make things more complicated….yet.  At my school library I have started using this blog as a place for students to interact with each other and myself about what they are reading.  Check it out:  The purpose of this blog is to be able to discuss a book from the comfort of their own homes or wherever that they might be with myself and their peers. Another purpose is  to have a place where students can go for a book suggestion or to access websites that I have chosen that might be helpful to the students.  For the future, I hope for this blog to be a growing organism.  I would love to see student pod cast book or author talks, author interviews, video clips of the students acting out their favorite scenes and/or audio clips of the reading of their favorite parts.  I would also love to see the rest of the teachers at my school using blogs regularly.  I think that whichever blogging tool one uses doesn’t really matter, it is just a matter of preferance or familiarity.   It would be great for the teachers to post assignments or have a pod cast on the lesson for that day.  Think about how wonderful it would be for a student to be able to go to their Math teacher’s blog and re-watch how to find the area of a triangle or simply have a place where students  can help each other with homework. 

Here is an interesting article from USA today that comments that blogs a great way to get quieter students more involved in the class and gives them a chance to voice their opinion, even if they’re not a kid who raises their hand a lot.  Also, Cathy Greenwald, technology specialist at Willowdale Elementary School in Omaha, says her first-graders take the writing process more seriously when it is going to be posted on a blog.

While doing a bit of research, I came across an interesting blogging site, powered by Word Press.  “Edublogs is made by educators for educators we know a lot about how you can effectively use blogs in teaching and learning at all levels. We’re here to provide resources, discussion and suggestions for how you can use Edublogs for education and we’re always adding to them and working on our methods. Thinking of eportfolios, collaborative classwork, online journaling, discussion or problem-based learning or good old social constructivism? So are we!”  Wow, what a great tool for teachers and/or librarians.  If you get any free time, take a look at what some teachers are doing with this.  Check out Alice Barr’s blog who is an assistive technology consultant in K-12 schools on Vancouver Island:

Or check out the ICT teacher at Notre Dame High School, Norwich, UK who includes student’s audio book reviews:

Post # 2
October 3, 2007, 1:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


Here is my trading card…I really enjoyed making one.  I am currently in a K-8 school library and I think that my students would really enjoy making one.