Monday, April 13, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Internet literacy, and beyond that, information literacy, is a reasonable thing to teach, but it should come second to teaching reading comprehension. Kids are DUMB these days folks and it's not because of the internet. My brief stint in the education profession showed me that the biggest barrier to learning basic skills like reading is behavior problems. Teachers are overwhelmed with teaching the proper way to behave that they can hardley fit in book learning. I put the blame on the parents, but what society can do about that I'm not sure. Contraceptives in the drinking water?
I've not had much luck with online reader's advisory tools, but I enjoy perusing award winner lists, book reviews, and author read alike services such as the one provided by Novelist. I'm pretty picky, but I've found that books that have positive reviews listed on the back cover are often good bets. KDL's what's next database is great for looking up books in a series. I will continue to browse the shelves at my library and take recommendations from people I know before turning to online Book 2.0 tools.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Although I don't do much online social netowrking in my personal life, I have decided to join the Flickr photo group for terrariums, one of my hobbies. I can't wait. Now I can let my friends choose which ones they want and I can share my experiences with other plants-in-glass obsessed freaks. Thank you social networking.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
A podcast about digital rights management and the changing publishing industry. It seems just about every industry is changing as a result of the internet these days. Today I read an article about how the video game industry is losing to free online "casual" games. I read another one about tv producers worrying that too much of their content is available for free online. Of course, this has been an issue for the music industry for some time now, and as this podcast shows, it's one for the book industry too. And I couldn't be happier. To me, a radical shift away from cut throat capitalism is just what we need. That may not be in fact where we're headed, but I am optimistic. I envision a world where money is given freely to causes you want to support. Not because you have to in exchange for their goods, but because you want to see them succeed, if you can afford it. A kind of donation system, or, "love offering" as many new agers put it. I know it seems far fetched now, but I already do this for my favorite music artists and many other music fans do as well. It's the same for listener supported radio and public television. Make it all free I say, and see where the money flows.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The subject pathfinder wiki was very well organized and useful, but perhaps not quite as suited to be a wiki, since only staff members can edit it. The coolest feature of wikis is their editability. I guess the idea is, the more people that contribute information to the subject, the better it will be - provided there is a reasonable filter to keep out the mal-intentioned. I think that's why wikipedia is so popular. The average person is more drawn to information supplied by folks just like them, rather than some private party that may have a hidden agenda.
Here at my library, we are working on a wiki for local information - formerly known as the rolodex. It will supply answers to questions that google just isn't good for, like where are public notaries, free yoga classes, or public art exhibits. This kind of information is best supplied by the community that houses it - and that's just what a wiki is for.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
And it sucks. It's like reading a tabloid online or something. I just don't care. I see no value in it for libraries.
You know, this thing brings to mind a book I once read by local history professor, C. John Sommerville: How the News Makes Us Dumb - The death of wisdom in an information society. He basically argues that daily news is not about wisdom, but about change - what publishers think they can get us interested in and get us to pay for, on a continual basis. And this was written 10 years ago. With the advent of social media, I think it's all the more relevent.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
I do think tagging might have value for the library. It can make the catalog more interactive and user friendly. Same for the library's recommended bookmarks. But does the library really need to be a part of Delicious? I decided to force myself to try it out and sign up for an account. Super easy. But now what? I tried tagging all my bookmarks. Neat - a little list of all the subjects that are important to me. Lists are fun. I wonder who else has Jeff Master's blog bookmarked, no wait, no I don't, on second thought, I'm actually VERY BORED.
I tried watching the webinar about Delicious http://www.opal-online.org/5weeksGriffey20070222.htm but unfortunately fell asleep 10 minutes into it. I read the article Seven Habits of successful Delicious users http://www.allbusiness.com/management/change-management/3875646-1.html and realized that Delicious is for serious web explorers. There may be potential there for finding some cool websites, but at this point, I don't really have the time or motivation to explore.
Has anyone found any interesting websites via Delicious? It doesn't seem that user intuitive or well organized. For example, did you know you had to add a plus sign between tags to find entries that contain both those tags?
For now I will congratulate my library on adding taging and reviewing capabilities to the new version of our much maligned aquabrowser catalog search tool. If the staff member here in charge of bookmarks wants to look into Delicious, I say more power to ya, let me know what you find out.
This is what I have to show for my Delicious adventure. I have shared with you. I have shivers down my spine.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Flickr is the best slide show website from what I can tell. Mostly because of the large size of the pictures. Slideshows are my favorite way to view groups of pictures on the web.
Friday, February 13, 2009
There really should be no debate about whether libraries should embrace these new forms of communication. They already are. Take email reference for example. The only reservation I have with proceeding into these new realms is to make sure that we have the old technologies and services working smoothly at the same time. At my library, the phone system sucks. There is no person that directs patrons when they initially call, no dedicated phone reference, silence when they are put on hold, no voicemail for many employees, and a complicated forwarding system that results in many dropped calls. Basically it's an outdated system that needs an overhaul. Can we make this a priority please?
Now branching out into social networking sites is another issue. We need to meet them on their own turf L2.0 proponents say. But there has to be a limit to where we will follow potential patrons. And that limit is where they stop seeking information and start socializing. Social network sites are not places for online library services. That's what the library website is for. Advertise our website all you want all over the web, including social networking sites, but quit trying to be hip and cool by having a social networking presence. That's just not what it's for.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
One note on my experience uploading my flickr picture. When I tried uploading it to my blog by copying and pasting the link, it did not work. It only worked when I saved it to my computer and browsed for the file. Go figure.
I browse several newspapers online, but I don't think I want to subscribe to them. Imagine all those news articles cluttering up my reader everyday. I like to be able to just browse. Maybe I'm not understanding this RSS thing. Or maybe I'm just not the prolific type of web surfer RSS feeds are supposed to cater to. Either way, I'm glad to be done with this thing.
Friday, January 30, 2009
It seems to me that a better way to find good blogs is just tooling around the internet, keeping an eye out for blogs on sites that you like to visit. That's how I found Jeff Master's weather blog (see link in Thing 1 post).
Monday, January 26, 2009
Basically, web 2.0 is a natural extension of the internet as a place for information exchange. This fits in with the library mission, somewhere, right? Sure it does. My library already has a blog and I was directing patrons to it before I ever created one myself.
But what about gaming? Does that fit in with the library's mission? How does that promote literacy or the free exchange of information, or even the checking out of any library materials? Are we adding another mission - recreation - and how is that going to be compatible with the other services we offer?
Here at my library, many of our patrons don't have the computer skills or literacy level to take advantage of what we already offer. Let's not forget library 1.0, as we move ahead with the fancy new 2.0 stuff.