Saturday, March 8, 2008

Thing 7 - And more tools

Email: Does it improve productivity at work? It depends. Sometimes, I get a lot accomplished working with email at work; at other times, email sucks up a lot of time, especially when slogging through library related listservs. I dropped high activity level listserv because the volume of email was overwhelming. Still, the use of email at work can be productive, especially when you know that someone you really need to contact responds best via email.

IM: I love IM! I use it at work everyday. In our building, we have staff offices on both sides of the main level. It saves a lot of time to be able to text a quick query to a colleague on the other side. One of my colleagues is working on the 23 Things. I used IM to see if she had signed up yet; she had not, but she did that a short while after I sent the message. Another colleague, who sits on the other side of my cube wall will tell me about a certain web site and then paste the URL into the IM window so I can see what he is trying to explain.

I have already blogged about Meebo in an earlier posting. If I could be granted one wish for our library, I would wish for Meebo!

I have used Google Talk with the family. It is easy to use, but I wish more people I know would use this tool.

Web Conferencing, OPAL, and MINITEX webinars: I am a member of a MnLINK committee that uses web conferencing software for meetings and I have attended MINITEX webinars. I've also enjoyed the convenience of listening to an archived webinar when I was unable to attend "in person". Until I worked on Thing 7, I had never heard of OPAL. After I listened to Tom Peters podcast, I looked at the OPAL schedule. I see a couple of OPAL sessions that interest me and I'm going to mark these on my calendar.

Thing 6 - Part 2 - 23 Things Image

Another image, another Thing finished! So far, playing with the first 6 tools has been quite an adventure. I can see where hours can be eaten up learning how to maneuver in the Land of 2.0.
So, now it is onward to Thing 7 and more time spent on 2.0 adventures!

Image Credit: Darwin Bell
Check out more of his photos on flickr. Amazing!

Creative Commons License:

Thing 6 - Part 1- Image Generator

Learning to use the image generator was a lot of fun. This is another 2.0 toy that can become addictive! This is a fun way for library staff to post their images to the staff library web page, although it may be hard to convince those who are camera shy.

Rather than just posting text to announce an upcoming event in the library, why not create a poster with an image of the author and his latest literary hit?

What about a magazine cover highlighting a library student worker alongside a feature story about his community volunteer experience or upcoming travel opportunity? If the library employs a large number of student assistants, this could be a regular feature on the library's web site and a great way to honor the contributions of the student staff.

I've created a fun trading card with Pooh as the star. The image credit goes to Heidi, a creative family member who has a keen eye for recognizing interesting subject for photos.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Thing 5 - Mash it up!

More Flickr Fun!

After a few times of trying to find this file on my computer, I finally got it uploaded. I love this mash-up. I think it would be fun to shoot some digital pictures of popular mystery books in a pubic library and then use the puzzle mash-up to create a display of each of the book covers in puzzle form (check copyright). It might be especially fun to choose a mystery series, such as Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum mystery novels, for a book club that focuses on reading one mystery novel per month from a series. Each month, another book cover, in puzzle form, could be added to the book club's Flickr site. Club members could leave comments as they finish each novel in the series, eagerly awaiting the appearance of the image announcing the date for the next book club's meeting.

Image source: This lovely, colorful picture was taken in Philadelphia by Heidi O.

Thing 4 - Flickr

Exploring Flickr was an interesting experience. I found a photo of one of my favorite places, Caribou Coffee! A link to the image is here:

The photo was taken by spcummings. Nice shot!

Permission to use the image is under Creative Commons at the link listed below.

I will most likely use Flickr for personal photos to share with family and friends, or as a storage and organizing tool for a digital photo album.

Flickr could be used in my library to capture photos of our new Learning Commons or to show our new, rotating browsing collection of student selected books and DVDs. It seems it would be easy to keep the library's collection of photos up-to-date in Flickr. It's a great way to market our libraries!

On to the next Thing!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thing 3 - RSS: This could go on forever!

I'm using Google Reader for my RSS feed. This was easy to do. I added subscriptions for three MINITEX blogs: Digital Reference, Reference Services, and MnLINK VDX. We use VDX for the staff side of MnLINK ILL at work, so it will be handy to see when the blog is updated with new information, which is always helpful in our daily work with the VDX system. I also added Gary Price's ResourceShelf, It's All Good (a blog, written by 5 OCLC staff members, about things that impact libraries), the new WorldCat Blog (yay, WorldCat!), and BlogJunction Minnesota.
I also added a few of the 23 Things blogs and some non-library related blogs and news resources.

It is so easy to subscribe to the feeds. In Google Reader, it is simply a matter of pasting a URL to the Add Subscription box; or, it is easy to simply click on the RSS icon on the chosen websites/blogs, choose Google Reader from a drop down menu, and add the site to the list in the Reader.

I could spend hours subscribing to additional blogs, news feeds, and more, but I think I had better move on to Thing 4!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Thing 2 - Some Comments on Readings

As I am wondering if I have time to work on the 23 Things, I launch Stephen Abrams video. He speaks of putting choice in our lives and of committing 15 minutes a day to engage in our passions. Library work is a passion for me; therefore, why am I worrying about finding the time to work on a project that will enhance my work in my chosen field and my studies in LIS? Most of us usually devote way beyond 15 minutes to our passion. So, what's my excuse?

Library 2.0 and Trust - We are a service profession. We are people dedicated to assisting others in their pursuit of information. But do we really listen to what our users want? In part, yes. But now that our users are deeply engaged in interaction and contribution in a web environment, we need to not only listen but allow our users to contribute their thoughts, knowledge, and their own information. This means TRUST. Do we impede our users by widening our eyes in horror when colleagues suggest that we allow our users to post their own book reviews or rate and comment on a particular work listed in our catalogs? They post everywhere else, yet we don't trust them enough to let them enhance our catalogs and maybe just make them a little less ho-hum.

Library 2.0 and Fast Decision Making - I think we're in trouble here. As a profession, I think we tend to over-analyze, worry, and cling to outmoded policies. We're falling behind fast. We have to form committees and sub-committees and talk everything to death before we can move on to making even a small change. Yet we love what we do and we know we have to take risks and jump on some things NOW, or risk becoming irrelevant (yeah, that word has been over used, but think about it....). Since Library 2.0 is going to be in constant beta, we know that we may not have to be wedded to a quick decision. Why not just jump in (especially if it won't impact the budget significantly)?

Library 2.0 and Virtual Reference - Again, this is something libraries are s-l-o-w to embrace. To me, this is exciting and I've had firsthand experience with being on the user end of VR. I was searching for a conference paper that one of our users wanted for his research. I looked in the usual places (WorldCat, Google search, etc), but could not find it anywhere. Then, I thought I should try to contact the institution in which the author/presenter teaches. When I got to the site, I decided to start with the library's catalog to see if it might have been cataloged, even though a holding did not show in WorldCat. And there it was.... Meebo! I quickly sent an IM, hoping that someone was on the other end, ready to assist. Yep, there it was. An instant response. Five minutes later, I had the information I needed. The paper was indeed available, but the title had been changed. I was able to get a copy for our user. Whoo Hoo!

When I complete my LIS program, I would very much like to do VR! It is exciting that some MN libraries are already doing this. If any VR librarians care to post about their experiences, I would love to hear about them!

Library 2.0 - Isn't it exciting?!