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Archive for December, 2007

It’s time for me to reflect on LIS768… I can’t believe the end is here! This class has been a lot of things to me.

I feel linked to everyone by wordpress, and enjoyed that aspect of becoming, in essence, our own social network. (Of course, that makes sense considering the name of the course is Library 2.0: Social Networks.)

The most important thing I learned was also my biggest Ahhah! Library 2.0 isn’t just about new technologies, but is really about customer service. I can honestly say I never thought of it that way until our first day of class. That was an eye opener.

I am glad we had an in person class for a course mostly about things that happen online. It’s hard for me to be really engaged in classes online. I tend to jump around and just do what I like, which is great for self-education, but not necessarily so great for a class.

The most amazing thing this class has done for me – Well, I’m writing a blog again, and writing regularly instead of once in a blue moon. Although, my MySpace blog has fallen wayyy behind, and I keep meaning to put a link to this blog on my profile… Okay, I need to do that. I do still find it hard to keep up with everything – but graduation should help that!

And I can’t top without mentioning the group projects. I’m not usually a big fan of group things, but I had a great time and learned a lot. I wish I could have done more to help Chris with editing the film we did, but now that I’m graduating I’m going to start learning how to do that myself. (Maybe even teach the teens at the library for Teen Tech Week!)

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The goal of my research this semester was to somehow bring together teens, libraries, and the arts with a proposal of how the principles of Library 2.0 could play a part in that.

Multiple studies have found the same evidence time and time again – an education in the arts undoubtedly increases the learning capacity and literacy of students. Every library’s mission statement includes some level of dedication to improving literacy and encouraging the pursuit of lifelong learning. I found several non profit arts for literacy type groups working toward community partnerships with schools, but I was hoping to find a great number of libraries involved with these efforts or creating their own. I didn’t find what I was hoping for, and I’d like to see that change.

Libraries are now faced with a great challenge when it comes to bringing young adults in. Teens often don’t think of libraries as that ‘third space’ that they’re looking for. So, how can the arts help with this? Studies show that the arts help create that ‘third space’ type atmosphere that often alludes schools and libraries.

Take a look at Imaginon in North Carolina and you’ll get an idea of what is possible if we really want it. Granted they had the money to do a lot, but even small libraries can create similar environments with programming and community partnerships.

What can you do to help?

Here are a few links to organizations online with information about the arts and literacy.

ArtsLiteracy Project 

National Arts and Music Education Initiative 

Americans for the Arts 

Arts Education Partnership 

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I’ve been doing the del.icio.us thing for quite a while now and I love it. It’s a great way to keep track of all the zillions of new things I find on the Net everyday. And I love the social aspect of it – nothing better than checking my ‘Links Saved For You’ page and finding a really cool new site. I do need to take some time to organize it better though… New Year’s resolution? Nah, but now that I’m graduating, (Yayayay!) I’ll have more time for things like that. 🙂

Anyway, there’s a widget in the sidebar of this blog from my del.icio.us page listing the most current items I’ve marked LIS768, and if you want to see more of my random tagging craziness you can visit my del.icio.us.

It’s so del.icio.us!

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For a class project classmate Chris Breitenbach and I decided to create a short video documentary exploring the ups and downs of the space at The Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago. This video is the outcome of our work.

Looking at the space through Library 2.0 goggles we found several issues with signage and physical barriers from the moment we walked in the several different doors.

In short, it’s a sprawling library, almost overwhelming, and it’s very hard to find what you need unless you’ve been there a few times with the patience to explore. The signs are confusing, the many entrances make it seem maze-like, and the popular library is hidden away near one of the entrances.

One thing I noticed was the plethora of guards roving the stacks instead of librarians who could be found behind desks. However, when we asked a librarian for help, she was very nice and helpful, and she gave us maps! If only, I’d had one of those ages ago.

I find the library in general difficult to navigate – and I’ve had an official tour…

It is a beautiful library, especially the Winter Garden, and I know a major redesign is out of the question, but maybe some new signage and a deep review of library policies are in order.

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This is an amazing program that I have been meaning to post on my blog for a couple of weeks now. Essentially, Nicholas Negroponte from MIT devoted himself to developing a laptop that was tough enough and affordable enough to essentially give away so that children in developing countries could have one. He did it, and now everyone else can help too.  When you buy one, the organization will give one to a child in a developing country.  Anyone looking for meaningful holiday gifts??

This is the website with all the details about the program.

And who else can tell you about it as well as Mr. Negroponte himself?

Here’s the long of it from the TED talks:

And here’s the short of it from the OLPCFoundation:

Libraries should be involved in this program!! Talk about increasing access…

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new czech library design

The new design for the Czech National Library. Read more here.

I’ll be visiting this place when it’s done , just gotta see it for myself.

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