I’m a fan. We set up a delicious account for the branch right before the move from IN to TW. It was a way for us to access our favorites while we were during the time we were closed and traveling about the county helping out at other branches. We’ve kept the account ‘fairly’ active although I don’t update it as much as I’d like. We try to keep it small and link to portals instead of specific pages within a site. The thought is: “We’re librarians, we can find the information, just give us the search screen.” It seems to work.
We experimented with the bundeling option but decided we liked the tag cloud better than a more organized list. For us it just works better. The reason is because our tags are broad descriptors and we don’t use that many of them.
I think using a site like delicious would be a great way to create pathfinders/annotated bibliographies of websites for our patrons. It could be used in addition to the list of sites we post on our main site. It’s flexible and can be kept up-to-date by staff at each branch. Each branch can make their delicious account relevant to their community. I know that some people may say, “Why put my favorites on line? I can access them on the computer at work.” That’s fair. But I don’t think reference has to stop at the door of the library. If we do a good job of creating an online locally themed delicious account it will be something the community will use often. It could be one of the first places people go for an organized roster of local information. The library is the perfect for this. We know our community, we know good sources, we can organize.
For collaboration it doesn’t get much easier. We’ve been using a wiki at work for a while. We have used it to post all of the lesson plans and accompanying files for all of our computer classes. (I actually added some filesand updated some others this morning…woohoo!) There are many other things we are dong with our internal wiki. It’s a great way to share stuff.
After working with our staff wiki and pbwiki I am really impressed by how easy pbwiki is.
The uses for a wiki in library land are many and it really depends on what you need to do.
I wish wikis were around when I was in school.
This week was the first ‘catch up’ week of our library training. A colleague and I have been available in the lab at my library yesterday and today to assist anyone. We also had the lab at two of our other libraries open during the week. While we haven’t had an abundance of people looking for help the people we did were very appreciative and I have really enjoyed helping them.
The things we are covering are no’t terribly difficult but sometimes you need a person next to you explaining how something works to really get it. I know I have benefited greatly from the advice and assistance people have given me when I’ve been confused. So it’s been nice to help other members of my library system with their questions. I just hope they don’t think that the ‘catch up’ weeks are the only time they can ask questions. I am always available to answer questions.
The second week of traing at the library is blogs. We have done what so many other library systems have done and are using blogs as a way to track the progress of our staff during the 2.0 training. It seems to be working. I’ve enjoyed reading all of the blogs everyone at my library has done so far. There are some good ones and some that I’m not-so-sure about but they all reflect the personality of the person writing them. So I hope everyone will continue to be as enthusiastic in week 12 as they are now.
Blogs are one of the really interesting aspects of the whole ‘2.0 thing’ for me. They enable just about anyone to publish just about anything to the web. This can be good and it can be bad. It is good because some people who may not otherwise be able to express their views and opinions now have the opportunity to do so for little or no cost. Some of these people do a very good job of it and have created very good blogs that they should be proud of. This can be bad for the same reason. If anyone can create a blog to express their views and opinions there are going to be a lot of blogs out there that are crass and less than noteworthy. This is the price we pay. The better blogs will gain traction and followers and the poorer ones will not stick around too long.
For anyone who wants to take this seriously and produce a good blog here is a list of people to read, get some ideas and learn some of the best blogging practices:
- Chris Brogan: www.chrisbrogan.com
- Brogan is one of a handful of social network gurus around that has built a solid reputation as someone who takes this stuff seriously and is using his skills to advise “businesses, organizations, and individuals on how to use social media and social networks to build relationships and deliver value.”
- David Lee King: www.davidleeking.com
- King is the Digital Branch & Services Manager for the Topeka and Shawnee Public Library in Kansas. His blog covers loads of library and technology related stuff. If you are interested in reading a good writer write about libraries you can’t go wrong here.
- R. David Lankes: http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/blog/
- Lankes is an associate professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. He has some very interesting ideas about the future of libraries and is worth spending some time with.
- Michael Stephens: http://www.tametheweb.com
- No list of blogs and librarians would be complete without mentioning Michael Stephens. This guy is everywhere! He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. He is very informed about libraries and has lots of good ideas about how they should function.
- Brian Herzog: www.swissarmylibrarian.net
- Herzog is one of my favorite librarian bloggers because he is a reference librarian working at a public library in MA. I feel that I can relate to his stuff a little more than the others…but that’s just me.
Well, I hope this helps someone.
This is week one of my library’s staff development program. I’m very excited and more than a little curious to see what everyone will do. It is going to be interesting to see how the diverse staff will embrace the tools we are introducing to them. Some people are quite savy while others are a little less so. I’m looking forward to helping the less so and seeing what the more savy cook up.
The theme for week one is Lifelong Learning. It’s a great way to start this learning experience! Because of this I’ve been thinking about what the concept of lifelong learning means to me. I think I can sum it up in one word: curiosity. Curiosity can lead you to learn new things that you may not have thought interesting before.
Curiosity is one of the reasons I love my job. Being a librarian gives me the opportunity to learn new things everyday. If I don’t know something…I look it up! I can explore different ideas, search for facts, and read up on the latest and greatest while still being available to help people.
I learn so much just by helping the people who visit the library. The questions they ask and the answers I help them find are consistently expanding my knowledge and skills.
So I hope the people in my library will be curious about the training, we keep techinical glitches to a minimum, and everyone is able to take something positive away from the experience.
Just Twelve More Weeks!