Archive for November, 2007

Well, of course you can – at the Utica, IL public library!

Earlier this week I was on a little vacation out near Starved Rock in Illinois. It just so happened that I had a major group project due in class during my vacation, and had only minor internet access where I was staying. Still there was the need to be able to check emails and updates to the project whenever, and however I could.

So, Monday we decided to go for a hike at Starved Rock State Park. It was great. Not too cold, and I think we were the only people on the trails. We saw a whole family of deer. Anyway, fantastic scenery and an overall nice way to spend an afternoon.

Where is this all going? Well, on the way through Utica I had noticed the library, so on the way back I decided to stop in and see if I could check my email there. I wasn’t even sure they’d be open. It’s a small town of 1000 population, and it was a Monday night.

Yay! It was open and I was able to check my email. They don’t have a website as of yet, and this is the only picture I could find of the building online. (I wish it hadn’t been too dark to take a photo myself!)

Utica Public Library

There were several people there using the library, and everyone was so nice and helpful. The computers were set up right in front of the door with easy access – no need for a special code or library card number to log on. Just sit right down and use it!

They had various software titles available on cd-rom to use at the computers and there was no maximum usage time.

While we were there I looked around and noticed how they are using bookstore-type signage to help patrons navigate the nonfiction section easier. It was so obvious where things were, it was a great thing to see! This goes to show, you don’t have to be a large and rich library to employ the benefits of Library 2.0.

Oh, and they were great about recommending the best food around town too!

And now, back to my Guitar Hero practice – I’ll be back tomorrow with more on youtube and signage.

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I’ve been a bit absent from my blog over the past couple of weeks. Between one thing and another life has kept me busy, or sleeping in bed trying to kill icky sick bug things… And then, most importantly, I have not been inspired. 😦 But this week that all changed. Okay, well not everything, but I have finally been visited by the inspiration bug again – along with a parasitic sinus bug, but beggars can’t be choosers right?

Okay, so I watched a lot of YouTube videos about libraries while I was in a feverish haze. I, of course, enjoyed the March of the Librarians, very clever. However, the one video that stuck with me the most was not made by a library, but by a patron, a young patron. Here it is:

Okay, so I’m a little unsure about what exactly happened with the coma thing, but I do understand about the frustration of fines. We’ve all been there. Sometimes, no matter how much you try things happen and you forget to return a book, and admittedly a $9 fine is quite steep, considering the book could very possibly be purchased for that amount. Why not offer solutions for this like volunteer hours to pay off fines, special days when patrons can pay $1 to release all of their fines, Guitar Hero challenges – beat the librarian and your fines are waived, etc? Do we really want to be unable to help patrons because of fines they can’t afford to pay? There are better solutions.

I must say though, he must really appreciate being able to use his library. Afterall, why else would he create a false identity to resume access?? That’s dedication.

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Last spring during Teen Tech Week I premiered the MySpace page I created for Brookfield Public Library’s young adults. I’m not sure how many hours I spent on seeking out my contacts, but I accumulated a good number in the three digits before MySpace shut it down. I have since restarted it (new myspace page here), but my contacts are still low as I haven’t had the time to dedicate to hunting down those contacts again. Soon… soon…

Anyway, I’ll never forget getting a friend request through my email over the summer from Lester Public Library in Two Rivers, WI. Coincidentally, that weekend I had booked a week of camping adventure at Point Beach State Forest just outside of Two Rivers. I wrote to them about how excited I was, and shared a brief message exchange with the director through MySpace. He told me how great Point Beach was, and I was not disappointed!

Of course, I did get to see the library while I was there for my camping trip, but I didn’t get to go inside as I was camping with my cat and I didn’t think she’d be able to go in. (Pictures from my Point Beach adventure with Skippy the camping cat at flickr.) I was really enthralled by all this, and had a chance to see all the engaging programs and progressive services they offer there via their website.

Now, where is this all going? Recently I started up a group on flickr for our class projects, Show us you Library 2.0!, and one of the first members to sign up was Lester Public Library. They have already contributed to our photo pool with several photos of the Library 2.0 changes going on in Two Rivers. I really feel like I know them now. Next time I go camping at Point Beach I think I’ll stop by and see if me and Skippy the camping cat can pop in for a visit!

Social networking online can be an amazing thing.

If you haven’t already, come join us on flickr now and Show us your Library 2.0!

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Ninja Bunny!

Ninja Bunny

Protecting the toddlers of Brookfield!!

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