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Archive for the ‘LIS 768’ Category

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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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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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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