Friday Reads – Nothing Edition

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. We are finally going to offer eBooks to our public via OverDrive beginning next week. It only took 18 months from ‘Yes we want it’ to ‘It’s ready to go’. That took a little too long for my liking but it was above my pay grade and I wasn’t involved.

Now that a launch is imminent I have become intimately involved with the process. I have visited (or will visit soon) all of our libraries in an effort to raise the staff’s comfort level with OverDrive. It’s supplemental to the training they provided. I think/hope it has helped the people who have come to the sessions I’ve hosted.

I’ve learned a lot about how this service will work and hopefully will be ready to fulfill part of my new responsibility (support for staff and public for OD). I’m not really looking forward to this new aspect of my job but someone has to do it. I’m not the only person doing the support. We’ve got people at each library who should be able to handle easy questions so hopefully I will only get the tough ones. We will see. Wish us luck.

One thing I like about visiting all of our libraries is seeing everyone. I like just about everyone in my library system so getting out and visiting the branches is always fun. I get to hang out with people I rarely get to see and I enjoy that. I also get mileage reimbursement so that takes the edge off driving all over the county.

Do I have anything for you to read this week? Since I missed last week I should but honestly I’ve been so busy with OverDrive (and other stuff) that I haven’t had much chance to read and process anything. My Google Reader is overflowing and I know there have been lots of really interesting things going on. I just haven’t sat still for the last two weeks and I probably won’t for the next few weeks either. Plus I’m totally hooked on the Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin so when I do get a chance to relax I’m reading that. Maybe next week…

Week 10- Tags/Social Bookmarking


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.

Week 9 – Social Networking

For week 9 in our training we discussed Social Networking sites.  What is there really to add?  I’ve had a Facebook profile for a while now and at first I really enjoyed logging on and trying to find old friends that I’ve lost touch with.  Then I got swamped with requests from people I haven’t even thought about in 15 years!  I had no idea I was so popular.  

Seriously, I think Facebook and other networking sites are a good way to reconnect with people.  Once success I’ve had with Facebook is that I’ve gotten to know my cousin and his wife much better.  I rarely had a reason to keep in touch with them before and now I realize that we have much more in common than I thought.   

I don’t participate in it as much now because I just don’t feel like checking in.  I’ll post things every so often just so the people I’m ‘friends’ with don’t think I’ve fallen off the planet.

Social networks aren’t for everyone…you know who you are.  I think there is a certain level of effort you have to make to enjoy them.  You can’t just set up an account and leave it alone.  If you really want to enjoy the network you have to be willing to put in some time and try to connect with the people out there.  

Do I see a way libraries can use Facebook?  I think so but it isn’t an easy thing to do…well.  What would be the benefit of setting up a social network profile?  What could our users get from there that they can’t get from our website?  A good example of a library Facebook page is the Topeka & Shawnee County Libray.  (They haven’t updated it in a few weeks though)  Roanoke City library is doing a good job of using their Facebook page to advertise upcoming events and highlight them once they are done.  Hurray Roanoke!

Do I like social networking sites?  Yes.  Do I think my library should use them?  I don’t know.

Week 7 – Wikis

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.