Friday, August 14, 2009

Finished! Just in time for August 15th!

Woohoo! Just in time for August 15th! I had a lot of fun! Thanks again!

Thing 23: Reflections

The 23 Things session was excellent and a lot of fun. I learned quite a few things such as LibWorm and LibraryThing that I had no idea existed. My most favorite one to work with is Digg and Youtube as I use them both frequently already. The more social websites I do not use as I like my privacy more than broadcasting everything about myself. The most challenging thing was finding working podcasts and searching through LibraryThing for ThinkLang. LibraryThing can be very difficult to use. If I had a camera, I would be more tempted to use video and pictures but since I do not, the library will have to make due without it. Podcasts are probably the newest thing to me as I honestly never use them. I prefer to read something rather than listen to it since I feel I go much faster that way. I’ve given short shrift to podcasts but I believe in the future they will have more use and become more widespread as technology increases and becomes more available to the public at large.

Many librarians could benefit from more use of wikis though we already use one in the library to store all of our documents. I will most likely be using the image generators more as I simply did not know they really existed in this fashion. I will especially find a use for them for making signs and pamphlets. In all, I was quite familiar with many of these pages but I learned many new things so I was very pleased with the course.

Thing 22: Developing your own 23 Things for your Library

I have enjoyed the program very much since I began it and I think that many librarians can benefit from it. I would imagine that for my own library that 90% of the librarians should look over the 23 Things and get used to the websites and concepts. While all of these sites are excellent, I would at least adapt the librarians to the most commonly used websites on here like Flickr, Youtube, blogs, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and wikis. GoogleDocs would be excellent in getting working PDFs which we so badly need. While the more social aspects like Ning would be nice for them to know, I doubt that they would use it. Others such as LibraryThing, LibWorm, feeds and other items like that they will likely not use either, though it is good that they exist. The more creative/artistic items such as the image generators might see some use, so I would encourage that.

I feel that at least learning and having an understanding of these 23 Things is paramount for adapting to the future in libraries. I don’t necessarily see them all being studied by many of the librarians in my library however, I know that there are a few doing the 23 Things right now .

Thing 21: Podcasts

Podcasts work very well for audio focused people.

I randomly selected a podcast that was not a storytelling podcast. I found Stephen Bell’s podcast from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This was found from . Mr. Bell believes that part of the future of libraries will result from relationships with our patrons and an embrace of technology as a librarian entrepreneur (which is his term for being creative with new ideas and technologies.)

To have more of a meta intake, I selected a podcast from the Library at Mohawk College and their explanation of how they moved from video to dvd to now using Podcasts. This was found from the link on 23 Things. Unfortunately, it seems that many of the podcasts are now offline, which could say a few things about podcasting in general. First, while it is a new and exciting way to communicate with the public, a few of the libraries in the links no longer link their podcasts, which tells us that there is not much demand and use of them, or that it may be too hard and expensive to maintain them.

My take is that it is literally something that someone could use more as an MP3 or something on an IPod, which is literally what we are calling it. General internet use is unlikely though if you can maintain a steady supply of your local library patrons attention to it, it could be very helpful and informative. I think that the most helpful podcasts will be those tailored to the patrons of a particular library. It would not be often that someone had the urge to simply go to look at Denver Public Library’s podcasts unless they were very publicly well known. Podcasts would not be helpful to our patrons simply because many do not have access to a computer and have no need to listen to anything other than their music. If they were to listen to podcasts, it would have to be about videos they could watch in Youtube or games they could play on the computer. Job search podcasts could be of help, but usually people needing help with job search around us can barely use a computer much less know what a podcast is.

I generally think podcasts or something like it could be the wave of the distant future for us due to our patrons technological ability and attention span. Currently, it won’t be used, but in the future when our patrons have more access to computers and IPods and more, it could start being used especially if it gives a guided tour of the library and is automatically downloaded etc.

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Thing 20: Youtube

Youtube is one of the best Internet resources around right now. Just the sheer number of video and data is astounding and you can nearly find whatever you want on it. It is one of the most popular websites used by the public in libraries if not the most popular. Librarians should be apt to use Youtube and many are already creating great videos.

One of the most interesting is What are our future library leaders thinking? I thought this was a good take on people’s thoughts on the future of libraries and what their challenges are, specifically that mention around the 5 minute mark about how librarians need to get used to and accept new technologies such as texting, Youtube, Twitter and so on. It is especially informative about working with other co-workers and other staff in meetings and commissions when personalities are at play or when there needs to be a strategy to move forward with improving the library. These library oriented videos tend to focus on ideas of the future or detail fun events at local libraries that could be used in advertising the library such as gaming events, part of the new Library 2.0 meme. Other videos available include opening events and speeches at conferences.

I think the videos are effective according to the audience who wishes to view them. Kids and teenagers will want to see gaming events available at a library, which will encourage them to check their own library’s offerings on that subject and at least get them in there. Opening events and other meetings tend to be for posterity and as a way to record the history. If the event is something the public would attend, they could be drawn in if they see sizable numbers of people in the videos. But librarians would definitely get the most out of knowing about the future of the library and many videos detail that.

Due to more bugs that the blogger will not fix, it continues to paste code in instead of hyperlinking anything. Unfortunately I will have to paste each thing here.

What are our future library leaders thinking?

Gaming Events -

Thing 19: Google Docs

Google Docs is a very nice program! I had not realized the power of it until now. It is very crisp, clear and easy to read. It doesn’t have as much clutter as Office which is nice and it might lose out on some extraneous functions that Office has, but it is free and excellent for people who just need basic functions. I imagine this will cut into Microsoft’s profits eventually when more people see how excellent it is. Saving as a PDF is certainly the best part as now you would not need special programs to create a PDF file and that is probably one of the best parts for me! The sharing aspect is neat as it can help collaborations between people. Google Docs is certainly something I will be using more of in the future and it does solve the problem of editing PDF files to a degree.

Thing 18: Wikis

Wikis are something I like working with. Wikipedia is pretty easy for me to get around and I do believe that there is a lot of fact-checking despite what many people would say about the site. The discussions are lively, especially around the most active wikipages like President Obama’s. I wouldn’t worry about beginning a page on Wikipedia as there is likely someone who will eventually do it who will use more sources and have better knowledge of whatever it is. At any rate, I do use it for quick information as encyclopedias like MSN’s Encarta is disappearing offline.

As far as the Wetpaint blog goes, I like it but it is pretty buggy. I couldn’t get it to let me edit my front page until I clicked edit 2 or 3 times. By then, I had made an extra page to try to fill in for the front one I couldn’t edit. Something about the toolbar resizing itself over and over again. Though as far as free wiki’s go, its not too bad!

I do however value my privacy so I do not post too much personal information and that is the way I like it.