Saturday, March 31, 2007


OK, I'm not positive that I completed each and every exercise - some time around my February trip to Florida I may have missed something. I could probably catch up if necessary. But I have been thinking - not just about Learning 2.0 or even Library 2.0, but about the broader Web 2.0 in general - and maybe addressing my thoughts via this post can substitute for any missed exercise(s).

Web 2.0, in all its permutations and social connectivity tools, has been discussed at great length for several years already. Amidst these discussions, many questions continue to be asked. The more I think about it, the more questions I have - some of which I'll ask here.

While Web 1.0 was a resource created largely by those with techonological knowledge and skills, Web 2.0 has been more of a grassroots revolution pairing technology with pop culture to provide a wide variety of computer users with what we want. This relates directly with the old argument in librarianship: Do we give the public what they NEED or what they WANT? At this moment, with huge interest in Library 2.0, we're trying to understand more of just what it is our patrons do want, how they choose to communicate, how they search for information resources, and how we can best provide such resources at their points of need.

One of my questions about all this is: How do we in librarianship know what Web 2.0 resources to embrace vs. those that might be current fads or whose future is greatly endangered? For example, the very popular YouTube has been a money-loser for Google. Can YouTube continue to thrive in its current manner or will limits to it cause user dissatisfaction? By the time libraries catch up, will the general public be on to the Next Big Web 2.0 Thing? How much of this stuff is best left for personal recreation and how much should be embraced by libraries? And which library staff members can drive such change, anyway - recent library school graduates on the front lines, support staff, management, or will it take a concerted cooperative effort at all levels?

The personal vs. professional use of Web 2.0 tools is particularly intriguing to me. When I first discovered the possibilities of live online reference service via the Internet Public Library MOO (Multi-User, Object-Oriented environment, via telnet) way back in mid-1995, the professional quickly blended with the personal. We "Early Adopters" of the technology became adept at balancing the two aspects of this amazing Internet (not Web) resource. However, library management at the time looked askance at what I was trying to do professionally, assuming that the recreational aspect of the technology was interfering my job and wasn't sufficiently useful to the library. All these years later, we're still advised by the City not to use City-owned property to browse the Web or "play," although in Learning 2.0 we did get to play, and it was, indeed, in the best interest of the employees as well as the employer.

OK, this is what happens when I'm granted a little time to think: I get long-winded. I need to wrap up this post very soon. Overall, it seems to me, one who earned an undergraduate degree in Sociology, that Web 2.0 is one great sociological phenomenon. It reflects the ever-changing ways that people relate to each other by means of Web resources and tools. It's absolutely amazing how people have become so much more socially interconnected by means of Web technology. In many ways this is a good thing, and yet there are also negatives that should be addressed. What about people whose lives are too hectic or are even just surviving day-to-day - do they find any value in, say, Rollyo? I wonder, too, about true introverts who don't want to be more socially connected but are practically forced to be so by new cellphone and Web 2.0 technology (although some tools do have Private settings). Introverts are already misunderstood by the extraverted majority - will Web 2.0 increase this dichotomy? Will it also increase the chasm between the current young and old segments of society, with older people being uninterested in or unable to grasp all the bells and whistles of the new technology?

I have many more questions but the library closes in 10 minutes. If you've read this entire post, you deserve one of the memory sticks given to those who successfully finish Learning 2.0.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Week 9, #23: Summarize thoughts about program

Hm, I have the feeling that I may have missed an exercise or two but will do this last exercise this week and go back next week to make sure I haven't missed anything.

Overall, I enjoyed this program. It was fortunate for me that it coincided with a reasonably busy rather than insanely hyper schedule. I may have resented it had I been forced to fit it in amongst way too many other responsibilities. It would be such a luxury if staff could have even just an hour a week donated specifically toward training and lifelong learning. That hour would certainly pass quickly, that's for sure!

I think the best outcome for me was Bloglines, which I now check on a daily basis. The trick to it all is to keep it simple by limiting the number of your subscribed sites. For me, this has been the ultimate challenge of all aspects of the Internet: to limit my precious time online as much as possible. With more and more valuable resources online all the time, this gets increasingly challenging! However, certain offline pursuits continue to prevail, such as reading the hard copy of the Sunday newspaper in its entirety, and curling up with a good book at home.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Week 9, #22: eBooks and Audio eBooks

I'm familiar with eBooks and Audio eBooks, to the point of helping provide eBook backup support via email to our library patrons. And I'm familiar with Project Gutenberg, mostly because its fearless leader, Michael Hart, has been an outspoken participant of the DIG_REF listserv to which I subscribe. Due to constant change in the realm of digital collections, I appreciated this chance to take another look at both our and Mr. Hart's eBook websites.

I think everyone should read Hart's essay on the history of the Gutenberg project - which goes back to 1971! Long before the Internet, and even before the use of personal computers, the Gutenberg project began at about the same time that I took a little class on computers - taught by my high school geometry teacher on a large computer with punch-card technology in a narrow custodial closet. I never cease to be amazed by the amazing changes in computing technology during the past 35 years. Amidst the changes, Project Gutenberg, with the help of its volunteer workforce, continues to grow and fluorish; its latest venture has been development of a wiki soon to appear on the website.

As for me, I spend so much of my work time at the computer, that if I manage to have some leisure time for reading, I'd rather curl up with a good old-fashioned hard copy book. Electronic format doesn't have to be a substitute for print format; it's good that the two are complementary.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Week9, #21: Podcasts

This was a frustrating exercise because when I finally found a podcast related to librarianship that was of interest to me, I couldn't access it. I went to and found "Virtual Dave's Podcast" by Dave Lankes, who used to lead the annual Virtual Reference Desk Conferences that I enjoyed attending. Upon trying to click on the podcast of the opening remarks to the very first VRD Conference in 1999, I got an error message telling me to "Click to run an ActiveX control on this webpage." I clicked, nothing happened. If I need someone from IT to fix this, maybe I'll eventually ask, and then maybe they'll eventually get to it... When I tried Podcast Alley I couldn't access any podcast at all, and when I tried Yahoo! Podcasts, I got an IE error and my browser exploded. wheee, are we having fun yet? ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Week 9, #20: Discover YouTube etc.

My 12-year-old daughter fully discovered YouTube before I did and has shared with me several of her finds of very funny and/or intriguing videos. Nevertheless, it was a friend who shared my current favorite on YouTube: an amateur production of "Fiddler on the Roof" by an all-Japanese cast, entirely in Japanese. It's great! One aspect of YouTube that I truly appreciate is its keyword searching; just type in Fiddler Roof Japanese to find it. Or, if you're lazy, here's the link.

Like nearly everything else online, YouTube can be highly addictive and time-consuming. Yet I definitely appreciated the opportunity to search it for videos related to librarians. I also appreciated the top video site list. YouTube alone is overwhelming; I can't even begin to think about checking out the others.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Week 8, #19: LibraryThing

So many books, so little time. Being given the opportunity to indulge in a little book selection, cataloging, and sharing at Library Thing is like being offered time to roam freely in a bookstore with a large group of friends/colleagues and/or shelve those books in my personal library. Like most of the other Learning 2.0 activities, this one could easily become downright addictive. And like most intriguing online endeavors, I must balance what's most effective and efficient with what's fun but potentially time-wasting. For now, at least, I'm limiting my Library Thing experience to work-related matters, but even that is a HUGE realm, since the public library is so much to so many people.

I was a little surprised to find that I'm the first to list Heart of the Community: The Libraries We Love. It will be interesting to see if others will be inspired to add this book soon.

NoMarian's Library Thing

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Week 8, #18: Online productivity tools

Since I consider myself to be both a writer and an editor, Zoho and other web-based word processing tools might come in handy. I wonder if knowledge of HTML (of which I have a little) is being phased out as its steeper learning curve can be increasingly bypassed by tools such as Zoho.

Ooh, the templates could be fun - I particularly like the recipe template. I'm not sure how to find Help to answer some of my questions, like What's an anchor? But for now I just want to learn how to share this entry via my blog. Here goes....

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