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Posts Tagged ‘LIS768’

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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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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If you look down and over to the right there, you’ll see my Meebo widget – I think they’re great and wish I had more time to be ‘online’. (I like Chris B.’s ‘leave a message’ add-on.)

So, I decided to go in search of a library using Meebo. The library where I work uses Meebo, and after a lot of thought I decided it would be very beneficial for me to ‘anonymously’ ask about my library’s service. The IM service at my library, Brookfield Public Library, is managed by the Adult Services department (I work in Youth Services), and I have only rarely acted as a babysitter.

Since I already knew a bit about the service and its origins I started with some things I didn’t know. Like, how and when do they plan to evaluate it? The librarian on duty said there was no formal plan in place, but as long as people were using it they would continue to monitor it. She explained that they do keep statistics of how and when it’s used.

I noticed that she was typing with entirely correct grammar and punctuation so I asked her if more informal communication, like without caps, was permitted for staff answering im questions. She said that it was proper sentence structure was preferred. I had to ask that, because I never use caps in im… (Even at work!!) Now I know I probably should.

We also discussed the types of questions she gets (and I do know it was a female because there are no men on the reference desk…) as well as the types of users.  A lot of the questions are basic questions about library hours, or do you have this book – can you reserve it for me, but there are also in-depth, homework-oriented questions and she believes that those questions are usually coming from within the library.  So, our patrons using library computers are making use of the meebo widget on the website!

There was a lengthy discussion about whether or not new users are being reached this way and it actually continued in person when I revealed the next day what I’d done.  She isn’t sure how many new users we’re reaching, there have been a few, but we brainstormed for a while about where to put a widget to find those users out there.  There are lots of places and we decided we need to hire another person to go out and secure Meebo widget placement in the community. 🙂

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Lookee, lookee I’m on a trading card!

My creation, originally uploaded by ariafury.

I’ve been meaning to do one of these since some of my friends made them in Michaels 753 class last summer. Sometimes I don’t know where the time goes… Anyway, finally I’m trade-able!

Anybody wanna trade?

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