Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thang #23 - Thank you!

I didn't post a comment on the 23 Things site; I'm placing it here instead. I've enjoyed this experience because it was engaging and "hands on." There was certainly a lot of information to absorb, but its presentation was well-planned and easy to navigate.

It was great to be able to explore 23 Things in the context of a class; I'm not sure I would've taken the time to explore it so thoroughly if left to do it in my own time-frame! This reinforces to me that my own staff needs to continue to be given work time to explore technologies and to improve their competencies in all pertinent areas of library work and customer service.

Thang #22 - Staying current

How am I going to keep up with Web 2.0 and Library 2.0?

I have noticed as I've moved through the "Things" that a number of the links are no longer active - additional proof, I suppose, that technology stands still for no one (not even for followers of the 23 Things tutorial)! As a librarian and a public library director, I need to listen to the patrons and staff, be aware of the needs they express in terms of technology, and admit that I have as much (or more) to learn from them than they may learn from me. I need to continue to encourage my staff to move forward in terms of continuing education and promote a climate where continuing ed opportunities are viewed as incentives for great performance. Success breeds success!

Thang #20 - Books

WHOA - this "Thing" was very involved and sort of overwhelming! Nevertheless, I plowed into it because it has tons of applications to my job.

I think the future of reading is very bright. I know our library's circulation has increased, due in part to the challenging financial climate. Perhaps I'm naive, but I don't feel threatened by the Book 2.0 technologies. I think anything that encourages reading is a good thing. Whatever the delivery method, the important thing is that readers are consuming the product. Libraries will continue to do what they've done all along; that is, evolve as much as possible to meet the needs of users.

Because I don't have an Internet-enabled phone, I signed up to have book excerpts delivered to my e-mail account from DailyLit. It was a fun site with an easy interface - tag clouds from which to select genres or interests and easy sign-up.

I spent less time on the Readers' Advisors sites because I am more familiar with this area. We have several of these sites bookmarked on the staff circ computers, and staffers do make frequent use of them to assist patrons.

I think the concept of online book groups is very compelling - joining genre groups of personal interest, having a couple months to interact with others about a book, reading/reacting at odd times that are convenient for the user. I might be interested in joining one of these communities myself after I finish this course work =)

I did like as an additional selection aid to add to my existing arsenal. I've bookmarked it and will make it a point to explore its value-added features.

In all honesty, I didn't investigate all the categories of info listed in Thing #20. As I mentioned in a previous "Thang" post, one can become consumed with some of these 2.0 tools. IMHO, it's all about balance (at least for me personally).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thang #17 - Podcasts

This was a pretty new "thang" for me as I hadn't previously accessed podcasts. I liked quite a bit, and I think it could be my directory of choice for now. I was quite impressed with the range of topics covered, and I really liked its streamlined, simple interface. I listened to some BBC and NPR podcasts - very enjoyable!

There were extensive "book buzz" podcasts ranging from Nancy Pearl to one called Books on the Nightstand, which I loved. Try it out:

I'm not sure if I'll be podcasting myself in the near future, but I can definitely see adding podcast listening/viewing to my leisure activities. Thanks, 23 Things!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thang #19 - Other social networks

I have partaken of (and still do) WebJunction and Goodreads, the first for professional reasons and the second for personal, guilty pleasure. Other than these two, I'm not too interested in "joining" any of the special interest social networks. As I explore the different 2.0 tools, I'm reminded about how the financial climate has exacerbated the digital divide. Those who have no/limited Internet access will have difficulty participating in what we're discovering and using. Let's not forget these users!

Thang #12 - Wikis

I must confess that I was formerly an anti-Wikipedia sort of gal! Now that I've "matured" and have done a little more investigating (thank you, 23 Things), I'm interested in implementing a wiki for at least one of the following purposes in my library:

1. Management meeting agendas, notes, as a place to "brainstorm"
2. Place for library procedures, updates
3. Pathfinders, reader's advisory information

Snap ... I just opened a PBworks account for our library's management team's activities. We have a meeting coming up in a couple weeks so I think I'll get this going, invite the 5 managers to the wiki, and see how this flies!

More details to come!

Thang #11 - Social Media

I explored the 4 news sharing sites, and I think I most preferred Newsvine.

Love it or hate, it pays to be in the know. I thought this was kind of a profound quote in the 23 Things tutorial.
I think Reddit, Mixx, and their counterparts have value in that they may encourage "news" reading. Anything that encourages reading is a good thing. The model of peers recommending to peers is both encouraging and, possibly, frightening. I'm not sure whether everyone is on the same page when using the word "news." Is it really news, or is it infotainment? Will the latter replace the former? Should news be reduced to little bites of information?

As you can tell, I have far more questions than I have answers. For me personally, these tools are not a productivity enhancer. I currently do not have a need to aggregate what I read and then disseminate it to others. Having said that, I am glad to have the opportunity to explore these tools since they're being used by a lot of others.