Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I just thought LibraryThing has a lot of value for both librarians and casual book lovers alike. RSS feeds, which I did not know a lot about and bloglines in particular was simple to use... either click on the RSS button or use the specified URL and through bloglines (and other sites) you create your own personalized database of web materials. You pick and choose the sites and place you want information from and weed out a lot of the extra content... to me that is almost the definition of usefulness.
Some of the other tools from Rollyo to Del.icio.us to Flickr were interesting from my perspective as I was not as familiar with some of their tools and capabilities. Thus, it provided with the chance to get familiarized with tools that will be useful now and in the future hopefully. Ultimately, that is what I got out of the 2.0 exercises was a chance to learn and play with a variety of tools (some that I knew about, some I did not) that help me as a professional and stay up to date with some of the growing technological trends. As everyone knows, in the 21st century it is extremely important for libraries and librarians to have knowledge and skill set that is far reaching so we can always be enabled to help our users find what they need.
(And if similar programs are offered in the future I would definitely participate.)
At least after this exercise I can see some of the reasons behind it, especially in terms of how its not just a site to meet friends and discover groups, it's way more than that. It is a true social networking site, it is a tool to not only meet people but to reach some of your target audience. As a librarian, I could see facebook as a useful tool to reach one target audience (academic students) in much the same fashion as ask-a-librarian chats and roving reference do now. Plus, since Facebook is set up with target networks and groups such as colleges like Nova, you can easily log into the Nova network and find other students and faculty who also have facebook pages. Plus, on a professional level it is another way to communicate with not only your co-workers, but at least find people or groups who have similiar interests and ideas (in my case: other librarians and literature and film lovers). I will say I'm still pretty new at navigating around in some of the web and library 2.0 tools, but if anything Facebook is a pretty good example of at least seeing the value in something that previously I had found more annoying than useful.
Monday, October 29, 2007
In terms of libraries, I think one of the things that podcasts offer is a way to communicate with other library professionals and offer training, tutorials and more both for colleagues and for our patrons as well potentially. Plus, since many of these podcasting sites offer search functions, it's pretty easy to find podcasts related to your subject area. For the purposes of the exercise discussed for us in TLC 2.0, I found the "Library Channel" by ASU was listed in several of the podcasting sites and listened to a couple of the podcasts (including one talking quite a bit about helping students with scholar articles) and added to the RSS to my account. The Library Channel RSS can be noticed here http://www.bloglines.com/public/mattb1980 (Also, for future reference I noticed on the Yahoo! podcasting site that starting on Oct. 31 it looks like Yahoo's podcasting site will not be running any more, at least according to message displayed on their site.)
I think reviewing and looking into podcasts for me anyway, was very helpful especially in terms of understanding not only what they can offer but in seeing the differences between webcasts, audio blogs, podcasts, and alike.
Friday, October 26, 2007
All that being said YouTube and similar sites are some of the better 2.0 type sites IMO. I've always been a film and video lover and places like YouTube allow everyone to at least be able to view and share all kinds of old and new videos and it allows for pretty easy keyword searching as well. In the age information sharing, YouTube is a valuable resource and tool. On this post I've included (the embeddable player of) one of my favorite videos on YouTube about librarians... it is a mock video called "March of the Librarians" posted by the user "nnnicck" on YouTube parodying librarians and the documentary March of the Penguins. I think its pretty funny.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Some small flaws aside, I definitely see the value in Lulu as a self-publishing tool for the 21st century and hopefully makes it possible for many more people of all backgrounds to be able to create a work or book if they really want to. A cynic might say it just allows people who may not be qualified to write about something a window to do it, but I believe the more open doors to allow people to try new things the better it is for people, libraries and the world of information.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I'm actually typing the text for this blog post up in Zoho Writer. It will be interesting to see as time goes on how "popular" Zoho Writer and similar web-based applications become. I don't really see a time and place in the immediate future where desktop applications become outdated, however I do think it gives people another option in which to do their work. Just as a sidebar, on computers like the ones behind the reference desk which actually don't have the MS Office suite this would be one type of solution and it certainly offers people a degree of flexibility because since its web-based you don't really have to worry about file extensions or anything like that and with email and HTML export it makes it fairly easy to transfer the document. That's just my two cents...
I'm also glad I did this assignment as in all honesty I was not that familiar with web-based applications like Zoho Writer even though I have heard about them. It was a least good to get a little bit of practice.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The problem with wikis (especially on a large scale like wikipedia) comes back to control and citations. When there are constant free-flowing changes to content and numerous people can edit or change the information, how do you know who wrote what and whether the "source" is credible? In a way wikis are helpful in showing the strengths and weaknesses of the online age of constant change and updates. Wikis make the most of allowing free-flowing information and access, yet the ability to cite and control the content becomes even more and more difficult.
First, the whole idea of Library 2.0. IMO anyway is not far removed from library fundamentals to begin with. Libraries especially over the last century or so have been ever evolving to meet the needs and wants of its users. Collections typically are geared to the community as are programs. Plus, technology has been used before to help meet user and staff needs, just look at how card catalogs have given way to OPACs and so forth over the last 30 years. So the concept of library service using technology to meet users wants and expectations is not necessarily a new idea. The tools being used and the terminology (ie. 2.0, etc.) being created are what is new.
Library 2.0 is the next logical step in the process of having library service fully geared to the user in the modern age of integrated computers, technology and communication. Clearly the online environment has and will continue to change how people use libraries and even how people view libraries. Blogs and places like Flickr, Bloglines, del.icio.us and LibraryThing have shown the capacity of the online world to help people share and organize online information to suit their needs and that is, I would argue the key roll a library has always had, which is to help people find and organize information so that they can use it. So it is a natural fit to take some of these online tools and programs and learn from them to help libraries meet their patron's needs. The tools and resources within libraries are changing away from physical materials to virtual. The advantage is that now people can create, sort and share personal information, photos, books, catalogs, blogs, you name it. Library 2.0 to me is just the verbalization of the furthering concept that now library collections, services, programs, catalogs and materials are meeting and adjusting to user needs in the online environment rather than in the physical library.
Having said all this... I personally believe the are several dangers lurking ahead that will have to be addressed related to Library 2.0 and technology in general. Rick Anderson addresses a few of these concerns in his piece called, "Away from the 'Iceburgs'." Here's the URL: http://www.oclc.org/nextspace/002/2.htm Ultimately, he points out how flawed it might be to have a "just in case" collection when many people will want their materials available online and they will probably find them online. Another point he brings out is, how are libraries going to keep up with user education of these new tools when there are so many potential users? I agree whole-heartedly that both of these are concerns and in fact, I'd take them a step further. One concern is that there will be a group of library users who may get left behind who are use to older ways of searching and using libraries who are not as technology savvy or computer literate. How will we be able to fit those people into the library as it changes so they don't get completely left behind?
Secondly, libraries have entered an age of print vs. electronic and in most cases electronic will win out, which is fine, except that I would question the long term health of having a mostly online collection only in the sense that how many people read a book cover to cover online? Or even to browse a book online and pick out quotes to use in a paper? I guess my concern is I would like to see more studies done to see what user preference is when it comes to print vs. online books. To me there is no doubt that online journals are better because of the ease of searching databases and the fact that articles can read and or printed off easier and quicker than a book and this of course is not even addressing the copyright issue.
Then finally, there's the whole library idea of owning vs. loaning or borrowing. Physical materials have a certain ownership to them, the library owns the item til it becomes of little value, whereas depending on the agreements at your library many online materials are not permanent, they are being rented if you will and what would happen if agreements or arrangements changed and all of sudden you no longer had a certain item. To me these are some of the top concerns I have in the Library 2.0 world. How well libraries adapt to all of these new technologies and concerns will help determine what the library of the future will look like...
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I also believed that sometimes you stumble upon the best discoveries, so I think that often you might find a feed you want just by browsing around the internet rather than specifically searching. It doesn't always work, but once and awhile you'll find a unique site.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
My lack of a digital camera right now prevents me from joining in the fun a bit more, but I browsed some of the images and looked up some photos of one of the places I've always wanted to go but never have... the Library of Congress (LOC). There actually were a good number of images on Flickr seaching by "Library of Congress". The image itself was tagged with library of congress along with several other words including America, USA and Washington DC. The one by Christopher Chan at http://www.flickr.com/photos/chanc/311882339/ is one of my favorites because it gives a good idea of the space and lighting inside of part of the main building.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Of the 7 and 1/2 steps, I believe "Viewing Problems as Challenges" is the one that actually felt easiest for me. Whether it is work, school or whatever life is always going to give you a world full of problems and it is how we handle the problems that hopefully makes us better people and learners. I think part of being a librarian is that desire to solve problems and it is that problem-solving ability that IMO connects problems and challenges together as one and for me at least feels like an easier step.
However, the first step on the list, "Begin with the end in mind" is the one that I think I might struggle with because sometimes we do not know what the end is and even though we may set a goal, sometimes goals get reset or change and so beginning a project with the end in mind, while a good idea is something that I believe could be difficult depending on the project.