Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bud #23: Evaluation

After major grad school burn out, I took a much needed break from researching and reading about technological advances. I'm thankful to the folks who put "23 things" together for bringing me back up to date. Now I'm no expert at any of the things, but I feel knowledgeable enough to carry on a conservation at a cocktail party about RSS feeds, Flickr, etc. Whether or not utilizing these things becomes part of my mainstream existence remains to be seen. I'm certainly more willing to explore the applications now that my feet are wet. I'd like to thank Katie for taking the 23 journey with me; it was great to have her emotional, spiritual and technological support through this whole process. Thanks also to the group who put this adventure together.

Please know that my more negative comments to a few of the "things" were not meant to offend. It's just that I tend to critically anaylze the information put before me and keep looking for the application over the "oh, cool!" element.

I am sincerely concerned about the future of a generation that can only communicate through some sort of plastic, technological device. Recently, a friend's cousin committed suicide over a vicious blog post -(Medical Examiner Rules Ad Exec Paul Tilley's Death a Suicide)..Now, perhaps more than ever, our role is to teach the critical analysis of these sorted technologies. Best of luck to us all!

Bud #22: Lifelong Learning

I resolve to maintain this blog, my library thing,
my igoogle page, my Second Life, my Facebook...seriously,
I can not at this time make such a promise. But I WILL resolve this:

I, Bridget Blogger, having maintained some sanity after completing the 23 things on a stick, do on this tax day (is it April 15th already?) firmly resolve
to review over the next few months each of the 23 things. I swear to shift and sort through them and seriously consider ways to implement these technologies into our library. This summer I hope to add several new features to our library webpage that
encourage more interaction from our users.

P.S. I did just sign up for a Webinar on 2.0 next month. Several months ago the
whole concept was rather vague, but today I feel confident in my understanding of the
changes that are underfoot...

Bud #21: Social Networks

Since I am so running out of time to finish, I went straight to
Gather, a clean site that impressed me with its simplicity, its
ads for non-profit organizations and its emphasis on books. I searched
for local people and found several with very similar interests. I
would ping them if I had more time to dedicate to meeting new friends.

(ping, ning and thing...oh, how my head does ring!)

Added my 23 ning thing. Will go back, customize and explore these
sites when I have more time.

Bud #20: Facebook & MySpace

Much to my young adult children's dismay, I now have a FaceBook page. I'm familiar with both MySpace and FaceBook because my children have shown me these sites since their development. I was a "Mom over shoulder" grounding my young teens for posting inappropriate messages and pictures. Many of the other parents never knew about all the juicy junk these middle-schoolers were generating.

Both children still maintain sites. My son is strictly a Facebook fan because he is in college. He did delete his account a few months back because he was tired of people creating false personas on the internet; he reinstated because friends were complaining they could no longer connect with him. We continue to have discussions about the inappropriate material that is posted on his site, mostly photos of underaged drinking. He insists a person can not attend an event these days without camera coverage.

My daughter prefers MySpace for the cool graphics and colors and frequently helps her friends improve their pages. She was disappointed I choose to do a Facebook for this reason.

As for my own page? I now have 2 friends and am fairly excited about that! I was
somewhat shocked to learn that 25% of Duluthians have Facebook accounts. I'd like to
add them all to my friends list. We will be exploring the possibility of a Facebook
page for the library. We are considering the pros and cons of each of these social networking sites and the discussions have been very interesting. I think it will boil down to which ones we feel most comfortable using and which ones will reach the most of our patrons. I admit we do need to move in this direction.

Bud #19: Podcasts

I listened to a few podcasts staring at a white screen on
my computer; reminded me of old time radio. Found an interview
from the director of my old library on Minitex site; wished there
was a clock so I could see my listening point. (I'm running short
of time to finish the 23 things and can only dedicate so much.)
I listened for awhile to an extremely monotone speaker I selected
under "humor" from one of the directory sites. It put me to sleep;
not at all funny or interesting. (If you're considering producing a podcast, I suggest a little background music.) Here again, I ask for quality
control over the hordes of items being posted in this new mediascape.
I quite honestly don't have the time or desire to sort through
thousands of podcasts to find a gem.

As far as work applications go, I know a voiceover would help
students in online classes.

Applications for our campus...lectures, library interviews. I wish we would have recorded recent authors' visits. I need to update our library homepage for April's Poetry Month; think I'll add a podcast if I can find a good one.

Check out Stanford's EdCorner Podcast page if you get a chance.

P.S. iTunes is everywhere.

Bud #18: ITube, YouTube

Thank you Katie for helping me to embed this YouTube video into my blog. I suppose I could just read the directions myself. I'll admit I love YouTube and have been looking for ways to
incorporate it the work environment. One of my current projects is to develop a library orientation for new students and I think videos are a great way to introduce our services and a little humor. The cell phone Ninja librarian would be perfect if it didn't contain the f-word. I'll continue to search for videos to incorporate in my classroom sessions. This video was selected to share with all my fellow 23 stickers as a tranquil escape from the 23 tasks. Enjoy....

Bud #17: ELM Tools

I worked for years in a small rural school library with no budget.
You can imagine how excited I was when I learned about the
ELM resource. It truly is a gift to Minnesotans that, in the age
of Google, gets too often overlooked.

Now I work daily to train students on advanced methods of
using these databases. They really appreciate the free
"My EbscoHost" account they can set up. This allows users
to save their searches and articles on Ebsco to retrieve later.
Check out the "Visual Search" with your terms for a more
visually appealing results list.

Thanks again to all the librarians and lawmakers who make
ELM funding possible.