Monday, February 18, 2008

Thing 2 - OCLC NextSpace Newsletter

Fom Tom Storey's article, "Where Will the Next Generation Web take Libraries?" Mr. Storey writes, "The first traces of Web 2.0 are already appearing. Consider the roaring success of sites that embody Web 2.0 principles of simplicity, rich interactivity, user participation, collective intelligence, self-service, novel and remixed content—Flickr, MySpace, FaceBook,, YouTube, LibraryThing—to name a few."

I came across the fact that YouTube's birthday (born: 2-15-2005) was February 15th, and it turned 3 years old this year. It is hard to comprehend it's massive success in just a few short years. Time Magazine's 2006 person of the year was "You", in part due to YouTube. That's quite an accomplishment!

My daughter had a passion for MySpace in high school, but then entering college FaceBook became the "thing". Thanks to her I am somewhat familiar with those social networking websites.

Although I have limited knowledge and familiarity with Web 2.0 principles, I can visualize how incorporating some of these principles into our library will be beneficial to our students. Our Media Specialist already has a blog and an English teacher last year used "Moodle" in one of her classroom assignments. This year, we purchased a smart board for our library and also a goose-neck camera for demonstrations. We try very hard to provide what our students and teachers want and need. Our Media Specialist has just started pod-casting book reviews and is encouraging students to do a pod-cast review of their favorite book. I plan on trying this, too.

Even though Web 2.0 provides great opportunities, I think baby-steps that are appropriate for each individual library is the best way to proceed. This is why I'm so excited about the "23 Things". Each of us can take the knowledge we gain and incorporate new things at our own pace and what's best for our specific library.

From Rick Anderson’s “Away from the Icebergs” article, he states, "At a minimum, this means placing library services and content in the user’s preferred environment (i.e., the Web); even better, it means integrating our services into their daily patterns of work, study and play." He also writes, "No profession can survive if it throws its core principles and values overboard in response to every shift in the zeitgeist. However, it can be equally disastrous when a profession fails to acknowledge and adapt to radical, fundamental change in the marketplace it serves. At this point in time, our profession is far closer to the latter type of disaster than it is to the former. We need to shift direction, and we can’t wait for the big ship of our profession to change course first. It’s going to have to happen one library—one little boat—at a time."

Working with teenagers, I appreciate Mr. Anderson's ideas. I really believe in libraries and want this generation to love them as much as I do. This means we have to reach them where they are at (on-line) and not just in a homework (have to) situation. I want our students to want to hang out in the library and love to read for fun! The challenge is how to incorporate our already existing, awesome resources into a format that will excite our students.

Three statements that stuck out for me in the article, "Into a New World of Librarianship" by Michael Stephens are:

"User-centered libraries breakdown barriers and allow users access wherever they are: home, work, commuting, school, or at the library."

"Other librarians creating MySpace profiles and participating in other thriving communities build connections online where their users live."

"Librarian 2.0 also listens to staff and users when planning, tells the stories of successes and failures, learns from both, celebrates those successes, allows staff time to play and learn, and never stops dreaming about the best library services."

At ERHS, our students do have remote access to our on-line databases and library catalog. Unfortunately, the process of getting information from these sources is rather tedious. Having all of our resources streamlined for easier access would be great. I'm not sure our current programs/providers allow for full compatibility, but it is something we are striving for.

I'm still trying to visualize how some of these ideas will be beneficial. Creating a blog, MySpace account and such would be fun, but how would we incorporate these things into useful tools for our students? Obviously I'm in the right place (23 Things) to learn a few ideas!

Again, I have to thank the Media Specialist I work with. I really appreciate that he lets me share ideas and seems to value my opinion. Although I am in a support staff position, he makes me feel like a valuable part of the team. I hope the other Media Assistants in the CMLE region feel the same. I appreciate that my boss is allowing me to participate in this learning opportunity so that I can better help our students!

From John J. Reimer in his article, “To Better Bibliographic Services,” he sees the need to "interoperate local catalogs, union catalogs, e-resource management systems, etc. more effectively." He also writes, "Through RSS feeds, libraries can package and push their content to users’ preferred working places." And that "the features of Amazon and Google of interest to students and scholars ought to be incorporated into the services libraries make available. Libraries should welcome the submission of reviews, assignment of keywords (“tagging”), addition of scholarly commentary, and other forms of user participation." He also writes of the effectiveness of "user-initiated services like renewal, recalls, and interlibrary loan requests" and that this "should be complemented by views into options to purchase from an online bookseller, displays of availability in any geographically proximate library, etc. User convenience warrants the provision of a comprehensive menu of choices in a single place."

I again whole-heartedly agree with this, but funding and lack of the capability by our current service providers/vendors is a major factor for school libraries. Personally, I appreciate the ability to reserve books at my local public library on-line. We already use CMLE inter-library loan and encourage our students to use the public library if we don't have the resources they need. We have on-line databases and eBooks that can be accessed by our students remotely. We are in the process of setting up pod-casts for student book reviews. In other words, we have many great pieces to the Library 2.0 puzzle, we just need to start putting them together. Money and time our our main hurdles.

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