Posts Tagged ‘Librarians’

So long and thanks for all the fish

The final post! (well nearly – I’m saving my wordle for last). Time for a bit more reflection methinks:

In my first post I wrote that my hope for the outcome of the  Cam23 project was that “I will have marshalled some convincing arguments in support (or otherwise) of web 2.0”. And now we’re at the end I hear you ask? Mission accomplished 🙂 and I have to say (much to my surprise) that most of my arguments are Pro web 2.0, not against. Obviously not everything I’ve tried has been to my taste, but there has been nothing on the course that I would dismiss out-of-hand. To have tried the Things and come to a balanced conclusion about whether they’re useful to me now/in the future/not at all is very satisfying – and to have tried them thoroughly enought to be able to recommend them to others, regardless of my own opinion of them, is a win-win situation.

Here’s a brief run-down of what I’ve found useful:

  • iGoogle has made it into everyday life, along with Google Reader and RSS feeds
  • Facebook I already used in a personal capacity, but I’ve becom more aware of it as a tool for reaching out to users
  • Doodle I’ll use as and when I need it
  • Flickr has already proved very useful, and I may even set up a personal account on there one day
  • Creative Commons is a great idea
  • GoogleDocs for accessible-anywhere work

Here’s some Things I’ll keep in mind for the future:

  • Delicious I might revert to when my bookmarks dropdown menu becomes so large it obscures my screen
  • LibraryThing I might delve back into at some point, but it’s ended up as one of those gimmicks that I’m enthusiastic about for 5 minutes and then forget about
  • LinkedIn, for when I’m feeling a bit more professional!
  • Zotero, definitely for recommending to users and for my library course
  • Wikis for collaborative projects
  • Blogging, to keep users abreast of events, interesting snippets of information and generally to give our wonderful library a bit more of an online presence
  • Podcasts (but mainly for personal use)

and some Things I don’t think I’ll be using again (but you never know):

  • Twitter – I can see the point, it’s just not for me
  • Slideshare – I found this the least engaging of all the Things
  • YouTube – not in a professionalt capacity, and hardly ever personally


At the end of the programme I’m a lot less intimidated by web2.0, trying out new things, and making my own mind up about what’s useful and what isn’t. Whether we like it or not, social networking is here to stay and we should use it to our advantage as much as we can, but never to the detriment of the face-to-face service we provide for our users. All the resources we’ve discovered over the last 12 weeks should enrich the service we provide, not forgetting that librarians can often be the most useful resource of all.

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Eyes to the left, nose to the right…

Ok, so here’s the Doodle poll I threatened earlier in the week. Basically I’m interested in finding out if there’s a correlation between left-handedness and libraryness. I realise that this is a fairly limited poll to start off with, but if the results from you lot look interesting, I may be tempted to try reaching a wider set of people!

Thanks for voting!

W

… something beginning with…

Information overload.

This is something I suffer from quite a lot, mainly when having to deal with the enormous amount of  inanity on t’internet. Today however, I have had a minor epiphany: this is what Cam23, and Library and Information Science, is all about – the need to organise, filter and present information in a way useful to ourselves and our users. Obvious? It wasn’t to me.

But who are we to choose? The other day I read an interesting interview with Alice Young on the Calligraffia blog where she spoke about the ‘responsibility’ of blogging with particular reference to how you choose which blogs to link to. This came to my mind again today after trawling through many of the Cam23 blogs and feeling at the end like my brain had been microwaved on full for 10 minutes. There is just too much information out there. That’s not to say that I didn’t engage with any of them (the ones I did find particularly interesting/funny/engaging have been added to my blogroll), but just that after too much perusing I was feeling ill rather than enriched.

As librarians (or nearly librarians) we too have a responsibility to filter and present the ‘most useful’ information to our users in a way or ways that will engage them, and that hopefully they will find useful. But we must be aware that by doing so, in whatever form be it website, blog, or Twitter feed, we are imposing our own (or our institution’s) value-judgements on what is useful and important. We therefore ALSO have the responsibility to share with our users the other ways in which they can engage with this information, whether we personally find it useful or not, and that is what I think is going to make the Cam23 program a great experience. It’s going to push me to try lots of things that I would perhaps have dismissed out of hand, and even if I don’t end up using any of them, I’ll know that they’re there and, one day, someone just might find that useful.