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Posts Tagged ‘LIS 768’

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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I have a new favorite thing…

I’m not sure why I haven’t played it before gaming night for class last week – we own the game at my library, and the teens love it. Granted they tend to want it all for themselves, but when I said to one of them, “How come y’all have never asked me to play?” She reminded me that she had, and I was too busy… Well, that’s about to change.

After I got home from our lively gaming class, I dragged my guitars (on loan from my fantastic boss at Brookfield Public Library), plugged them in to my PS2 and started playing. Needless to say, I went to bed way too late that night… My boyfriend is now hooked as well, and we have both played every night since. I started a band, LIBRARYSTORR, and I’m getting pretty good – whittling down the high scores now, and I find myself humming Kansas songs all day that I never even liked before.

How does this apply to libraries? I know the teens love to come here and play, because they do. My library has two different monthly events where we have gaming, and they are very well attended. Our last Late Night at the Library saw 54 teens in the building for 3 hours!

How does me knowing how to play the games figure in? I can relate to them. When they see me jumping around on the DDR mats, a little of that authority figure intimidation is gone. It brings some humanity to the library, and to me as the librarian. And, of course, there’s nothing more illuminating than having a casual conversation with a 16-year-old about how hard Freebird is on Medium.

As I continue to hone my new, if a little obsessive, skills on Guitar Hero I keep in the back of my head the practice of a fellow teen librarian that I’ve been impressed with ever since I first read about it on Jenny Levine’s blog, The Shifted Librarian. Maybe some day soon I’ll be good enough that teens in Brookfield can challenge me to release fines or get cool prizes.

Here’s a video of my first-ever Guitar Hero performance with my classmate and friend Marlene on bass (I’m the curly headed one on guitar), recorded by another classmate and friend, Ruth – The Utopian Library. (I swear I’m much better at this now!) 🙂 If you haven’t already, give it a try and enjoy!

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I’ve been struggling with Ning all day trying to figure out why when I log in to Ning it tells me I have no networks, but I can log in individually to each of the three networks I’ve joined. (all using the same email)  To top it all off I’ve just figured out that I have to create separate profiles for each group I’m in – so in essence I have to upload the songs to my player on three different profiles, and the songs I uploaded last night are not currently showing up on any of my profiles!

Argh!  Could someone over there fix this!!

Okay, I feel a little better now.

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A game that trains you to stop stressing!!  I love it – it’s brilliant!  I want it now….  Please??

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I’ll admit it, sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with all my sites, not to mention my emails and rss feeds. I’m on MySpace, Flickr, del.icio.us, Library Thing, Second Life, recently started a page on Facebook, yesterday signed up on Ning, and I’ve signed up so many other places that I’ve even yet to try out – like pbwiki, good reads, and bibliophil (the jury is still out on which book site is best)! Still try to check my RSS feeds every so often, and there are five different email accounts between me, work, and school. Plus there are all these great sites out there that I like to check for all the best news and cool trends like Reddit.

However, I love all these things! I especially like Ning so far. I find it to be a great avenue for community discussions, and it’s really pretty easy to use. I’m still maneuvering and finding my way around, but after being a part of a discussion in our new Ning network for class I’m ready to suggest it to my co-workers for various projects we’re working on. As discussed on the blog I think it would be a great forum for book/film discussion groups. I’d like to see uses for teens like homework groups, gaming hints, and of course book and film groups. The possibilities are endless!

Although, I’ve been trying to provide links to my facebook and ning pages – I’m new to these sites, and I can’t seem to figure out the urls. Anyone?  And now my Ning profile thinks I don’t belong to any networks…  sigh…

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