Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I've Done It! (almost)

Thing 22 - Keep On Keepin' On

I'm not sure yet how I will keep up. I feel like I have been introduced to so many new things and have a lot more confidence about exploring the webbed world. I added rss feed from Information Wants to Be Free to my blog, as well as a link for Web2. The resource list for this exercise was quite impressive, and I hope if will be available in perpetuity. I will go back periodically to some of the things I've learned about and use them in my personal life and maybe in my work life.
I will occasionally go back and look at my blog, at least for awhile. I will definitely be more attuned in general to web 2.0 issues. If another phase of this program is offered I would be interested in participating.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thing 21 - Gather-Ning

I found this exercise quite interesting. Gather, WebJunction, and Ning are all neat places to visit. I like the literary links on Gather such as the MPR groups, and I added an RSS feed for one of these. I had heard of WebJunction but had no idea what a resource it is for library staff. I emailed an article to myself about sustainability issues within the library setting. Ning was my least favorite, but I did go ahead and post a photo and put a badge on my blog. My concept of social networking has expanded, and I feel more encouraged now that I realize there's a lot more going on than just Facebook and photos of pas (people acting stupid). I thought Steve Campion's writing articulated well how these ideas can be used in a library setting, so I pasted the text below.

"Let's say, for instance, the library hosts an author visit. We already have a book blog, so we can review the author's latest book. We have podcasting abilities, so perhaps we can arrange a short telephone interview in advance. The same publicity that advertises the program can now mention the review and the podcast. That magnifies the vitality of the library: not only have we arranged for the author to visit, but we’re showcasing his work, linking to the catalog, and providing avenues for his readers to talk back, share their thoughts, and get excited about the upcoming program. The event host should mention the blog and podcast and announce that photographs from the evening will be available on the library's Flickr page. Patrons visiting those photos later in the week might leave their thoughts, discover pictures from other library programs, and partner with the site or subscribe to the blog so they don't miss the next event. Coordination helps every social web tool reinforce what we already do, and the tools themselves add an online interactive dynamic we've never had before."
Steve Campion - "Building a Social Networking Environment at the Library"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Where's My Slide Show?

My little slideshow has disappeared, and I don't know why. It's been gone for days now. It was nice while it lasted.

Thing 20 - About Face

Famous last words, "never say never". I now have a facebook presence, and really my world doesn't feel much different. I did the basics such as creating a profile, posting on the wall, and joining three groups, one called "banned books" that looks interesting. I liked the common craft video, which has been the case with all of their videos that I've viewed.
I tried to set up a friends link to the 23 Things using my email, but I get the message "unsupported email", which I think must mean that my internet provider for some reason doesn't allow me access to facebook. Seems weird to me, but I'm not invested in actually pursuing any more with this so will let it go.
I don't know what to say that hasn't been said countless times already about the virtues vs. the problems with these sites. I lean heavily toward thinking that there's something wrong with all of this. I was just reading an essay this morning which talks about private vs. public space. A statement was made that all of this online social networking is so individualistic and fabricated in the sense that a virtual "relationship" can be aborted immediately if a person is dissatisfied and lacks the real world messiness of human to human contact.
I think we all deal with levels of loneliness in various ways, and I can't help but feel sadness when I think about how much we are all just trying to look for and express love, and how we all fumble, fail, and occasionally get it right.
Now for an about face. I do think we library people need to meet people where they're at, though I don't think we need to dumb down or let go of our ideals. Especially with kids, facebook and myspace are very much their world, so I think it's important for a library to have an interesting online presence and to show youth that they really matter to us. The Hennepin and Denver myspace sites seem teen friendly, though I have no idea if they are actively used. I know it takes staff time and creativity to not only make a cool site but keep it current, which is a constant challenge for all of us.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thing 19 - Pod People

I've heard lots about podcasts, especially since I am an MPR listener, but haven't ever listened to one until this assignment. I have an old computer at home, with dial-up, so at least for now am not able to do much. I enjoyed learning about this Thing and set up an RSS feed to NPR's Science Friday near the bottom of my blog.
I was able to access several podcasts on my computer at work, except for a couple from MPR which seemed to require software we don't have.
I think this would be a useful addition to a library's website. Any presentations, meetings, classes, etc. could be recorded and podcast, though I don't know if my library has the software yet to do so. Duluth's new mayor, Don Ness, is using this technology to broadcast his city addresses. It should be interesting to see how people respond to this 21st century adaptation.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thing 18 - Totally Tubular

Oh my, this is fun stuff. I can't believe I spent over an hour looking at these videos. Everyone and everything is out there. I think this is a neat way to share with friends, document important events, and express one's artistic inclinations. Of course there is tons of garbage too, but like all of these new media sites there are some standouts. I saw an interesting clip of a librarian who was forced to leave a McCain rally just because her sign said McCain=Bush. The two videos I posted are both funny library ones, and I hope that if there is anyone out there who is actually reading my blog he or she will enjoy them too.

Thing 17 - Ulmus americana

I knew that our library has the ELM database, but I haven't taken the time to look at it. I was impressed with how much info is available, especially that it is provided at no extra charge to any library card holder in Minnesota. I wish more patrons knew of this service.
For anyone doing scholarly research this is the cat's meow. I didn't try and set up a search alert but will remember that this is an option. The Academic Search Premier and ProQuest Newstand offer endless resources. The Net Library is OK, but many of the titles I wanted to view were not available at my library, and I wonder why this is the case.
I plan on taking more time with ELM, as I would like to be able to help patrons use it. For sure if I start library school I'll be becoming much more acquainted with this resource.
THIS is how I like to see our tax dollars being used!