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Summer Technology and Relaxation

July 1, 2010

Hi, all. Well, after a couple of breaks and diversions from the regularly scheduled programming, we are back to library and technology fun with a summer twist. I love summer, don’t you? (And I really love summer in the Bay Area because it isn’t super hot and humid, but instead it is blessed with perfect warm days and usually lovely nights.) So in celebration of summer, I have some resources for relaxation as well as some for improving your use of technology.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Best of 2009-2010 Scout Report. The Scout Report is one of my favorite digests of good stuff on the Internet. I always learn about something new reading the weekly reports and the “Best of” list is fantastic. (Though I might be slightly biased because the first resource listed is Xeno-Canto: Bird Sounds from the Americas.)

Speaking of lists of helpful stuff, check out 7 Things You Should Know About Open Educational Resources. EDUCAUSE creates great, short handouts; they are perfect for sharing with the instructors you know and hopefully you can get more people excited about OER (Open Educational Resources). At my library, we highlight various open educational resources in our presentations to faculty and encourage their use. Plus, lots of OER databases are also social networks where faculty members can come together and share their work, plus pick up new tips to use in the classroom.

Speaking of online resources, all my fellow bloggers out there should check out the Social Media Today article, Bloggers: 7 questions to ask before hitting “Publish”. Most of the advice is common sense, but it is still very worthwhile to give the article a quick review. Then stop putting it off, and update your blog already.

You knew I couldn’t possibly have a post without mentioning Lifehacker, right? Here is a great article on the Top 10 Clever Google Voice Tricks. As anyone can now get a Google Voice account, this article is particularly timely and has the usual great Lifehacker advice and tips.

For all my fellow West Coasters who are interested in technology, you’ll be pleased to note that registration is open for Internet Librarian 2010 to be held October 25-27 in Monterey, California. I’m hoping to make it this year (I missed last year’s conference). I was excited to see an entire track dedicated to mobile services in the advanced program. And come on people, it’s Monterey, in October and that’s as close to perfection on the coast as you’re ever going to get. (But I’m of course hoping to go for the professional development.)

Productivity tips of the day: How to Stay Organized when Life Throws You a Curveball. Great piece on organization that I think everyone will find handy–either now or in the future.

Now on to the summer relaxation fun! I love this article on Low or No Heat Meals Ideas for Easy Summer Cooking. Now in the Bay Area we can’t really complain about cooking in the summer because the weather is pretty mild, but I know for everyone living in the Central Valley, on the East Coast, and just about everywhere else, doesn’t want to cook and these ideas are perfect. (I can say from experience that I hardly touched the oven for cooking in the summer when I lived in Boston.) If you need more ideas and recipes, take a jump over to Joy the Baker who has tons of fabulous recipes (some not requiring an oven, but a lot do because, come on people, she’s a baker) including this recipe for frozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls. All I can say is “yum!”

I love vacations, don’t you? I love unplugging, unwinding, and generally relaxing (and contrary to popular belief, I don’t feel guilty about taking vacations). If you need some convincing to take your allotted vacation time, read this Psychology Today article on the Importance of Vacations. Seriously, take your vacation and not only will your body and mind thank you, all your colleagues will too.

So go forth and relax! I on the other hand need to get back to work scheduling the fall term’s information literacy classes, writing up some papers for a meeting in August, and finishing a grant proposal. Enjoy the holiday weekend for those of you in the United States, read a lot, relax outside (with sunblock and a nice floppy hat on, naturally), and the Waki Librarian will be back soon with more technology and library fun.

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