Monday, January 27, 2014

Ready to start learning 23 Mobile Things!

I appreciate the incentive to continue to develop my technology skills.  Although I was an early adapter of mobile technology, I tend to use only the tools that I am comfortable with.  I look forward to learning some new ones.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Web 2 Readers Advisory tools

In the Feb. 15, 2008 edition of Library Journal (p.32-33) an on-line readers advisory service is highlighted.

I took a look at the site ;
and the web form looks very similar to a paper form for a readers recommend service that we provided a few years ago.

When we started readers advisory at RPL, staff had limited experience and training (this was many years ago), so this form that gave staff time to research recommendations and build skill was a good idea. However, as the staff improved their stills, they were better able to provide "point-of-need" service. Our public seemed to prefer getting an immediate recommendation rather than waiting for a recommended list. In addition, we have compiled over time a number of recommended reading lists around a variety of authors and reading interest.

However, in reviewing this article and looking at the on-line form, there may be reason to revisit this enhanced service. There is value in providing an in depth investigation based on a number of factors selected by the reader. It does encourage staff to dig a little deeper in developing recommendations -- skills that are also needed in other RA settings.

For now, I am adding the idea to this blog, to ponder further development of this idea. There are other web 2 readers advisory tools that I am eager to implement -- and want to accomplish those first!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thing 23. Final Thoughts

I can't believe I finished on time. Thank you for the carrot of the "stick".

I am grateful that this was not my first introduction to a significant portion of these tools. This tells me at least I am partially keeping up. However, without this push, I don't think I would have ever given so much thought as to how these tools can be incorporated into how we deliver services.

There are tools that I learned about that I wish I knew about earlier. is one of them! It even helped to speed me along in completing this project! I knew about tiny URL but now use it more frequently simply because this exercise gave me the practice to make it part of my work.

I use tabbed browsing and now have my blog as one of my 3 home pages on both my work and home computer. RSS feeds with the blog and the addition of them to other tools I use make them so much more useful than the way I was initial taught. One of my responsibilities as a supervisor is was to follow the progress of the staff in my division who were participating. The RSS feeds not only made it easy, but encouraged me to explore their ideas. It was nice to have a different way to communicate with staff. One that was more reflective and less responsive. I have learned a lot from them.

FaceBook, YouTube, and LibraryThing were my favorite "things". I have accounts for all 3 and use them daily and my poor family has been subjected to them as well. At least some of them have embraced these social networking sites and it allows me to connect with them in a new way.

Not overly fond of some of the communication and collaboration tools -- mainly because they were not as robust as the tools I already use. However, they have alerted me to new possibilities when working on committees where we do not share the same tools. How nice to have free and easy access to them.

I see the 23 Things as part of my journey. Completing the program is in no way the end of my learning process. Thank you though for giving me a needed kick in the butt to further expand my knowledge and see some potential where I didn't before.

Thing 22. What Did I Learn Today?

Staying current is definitely key. Yesterday I was thinking that in another year, we will need to have "another 23 things" project. Then it occurred to me, by then it is too late. We need to keep building upon and learning new tools.

I am not a bandwagon jumper and I distrust following flavor of the day type initiatives. New tools, and processes, etc. need to make sense to me before I can make sense of them to others. I do however, commit to investigating new ideas, tools, technology. To try them out. To effectively evaluate their usefulness for our services and in my life.

It took far more than 15 min. a day to complete this 23 thing project; however, 15 min a day is doable. I love the Tame the Web site and I think it gives a pretty comprehensive look as applying some of these technologies. I will keep up with this site and/or switch to another one if it resonates more, but will definitely have 2-3 resources that I check regularly.

Certainly it isn't enough to learn about the new 2.0 tools. We have to use them, to understand them, to then apply them as appropriate in our services.

I think we need to pay attention to all of the library's customers -- from the Luddites who still lament about the loss of the card catalog to the techno-savvy who demand the latest formats for the newest gadgets. I think as an administrator it is a continuous struggle to prioritize tasks to address the diverse needs of all of our users.

I have encouraged staff to spend a fair amount of work time to learn these tools and it has been interesting for me to read their blogs -- their perceptions and their progress. I now expect some application of those tools in how we deliver services. I have some idea, but more importantly, I want to receive ideas from staff and have us work together as a team to incorporate them. I plan on making this a regular agenda item for our monthly staff meetings.

I am going to revisit many of these tools frequently. Some are already fully integrated into my work life, some are getting there, some I may discard and move on.

As for staying current, I will be using RSS feeds more frequently and in the tools that are already part of my daily routine -- i.e. My Yahoo home page . Almost all of the tech tools I have learned, I have learned from other library staff -- both at my local library, at conference, and in networking with my colleagues across the country. I love that ours is a sharing profession and I appreciate that I can rely on that. I too need to contribute my sharing of what I have learned and I plan to do so.

As for blogging, I'm not very confident of my writing skills -- I would much rather talk. I have a web cam on new computer, perhaps I will give that a try. We'll see. However, it is totally unacceptable to NOT stay attuned to the technology and other trends affecting our profession.

Thing 21. Beyond MySpace: Other Social Networks

View my page on 23 Things on a Stick

It wasn't too long after I joined FaceBook that I was introduced to another social networking site -- One of the things I enjoy the most about going to football games is the camaraderie among the fans. Now, I can enjoy that year round on-line. A sub-group on this social network is creating all kinds of events to go along with the big draft party at Winter Park at the end of the month. I digress, this is supposed to be about library work....

Anyway, it is obvious from my Viking fan experience of the value of a hobby or interest social network in addition to a general one. I have used it with enthusiasm. I enjoyed being introduced to other such interest sites. I am also going to see that the gather site gets added to our Library's home page as a resource for book lovers. I am also going to further investigate the use of the video sites and evaluate their usefulness for collection development purposes.

In addition to Library Thing, I have experimented with a variety of book based applications on social networking sites. They all have value -- it just depends upon what you are most comfortable with and what the people that you want to interact with are using.

After unsuccessfully trying to maintain about 3 different types of book applications, I abandoned all but Library Thing and now add RSS feeds for my Library Thing account on my FaceBook.]

As librarians, we have to use these tools. There is so much potential her for marketing, sharing the rich resources and continued relevance of the library and to maintain technical credibility with our users.

P.S. I enjoyed Ning and liked how easy it was to create your one social networking site. I see opportunities for this in other areas of my life.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thing 20. Libraries and Social Networks

At MLA last fall, I attended a great session on library 2.0 for Readers Advisory and it introduced me to social networking. The line that hooked me was "old people email, young people social network". Well I didn't want to be left in the dust so I started trying it out and am not totally addicted (to FaceBook). After that conference, we took a look at several of the library pages and one staff member volunteered to create a MySpace Page for our library. Below is the result of those efforts. Our next step it to integrate the maintenance of this page in our services and evaluate its effectiveness.

Rochester Public Library MySpace Page *

The reason for creating the page, again is to be where our patrons are. To make it truly effective, I think we are going to need to make sure it is up to our standards, and incorporate more tool into it. I am most interested in focusing on some of the readers advisory applications -- especially for teens.

I do think that MySpace can be a bit "trashy", but not all of it is. I find the sites for various bands/artists to be very informative. I understand why youth are drawn to this network. I am saddened by attempts to block access to social networking sites for youth. This is the way they now communicate. Rather than block access, we need to more effectively train our children on how to navigate the dangers as they reap the benefits of this new virtual environment. To do that, we need to become a member of this community (even if just visiting) to understand it.

My FaceBook Profile*

When starting the whole social networking thing, I was drawn more to FaceBook than to MySpace. Essentially, more of my Friends are on FaceBook so it made sense for me to be there. Also, I think it better addresses my privacy concerns. What I really love about FaceBook is the way it helps me stay connected to people I don't see very often. Ironically, most of my friends are professional contacts (but the list is growing).

I like the ease of sharing photos, videos etc. on this page. I think my profile reflects both my professional and personal personality. One of the most delightful things resulting from FaceBook was a lunch date that would not have happened without this communication tool. I appreciated how it facilitated connecting with an old friend :-).

(*Note: using productivity tools from previous thing.)