Library 2.0

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December 16, 2010

Goodbye Delicious, Hello Diigo?

If the uproar is true, Yahoo! will "sunset" its Delicious bookmarking tool sometime soon. Although Delicious is, by anecdotal accounts, a popular and well-loved tool, Yahoo's "organizational streamlining" seems not to leave room for it on the product shelf. From a Yahoo! press release, posted by Tech Crunch:

"Part of our organizational streamlining involves cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation in the next year and beyond.
We continuously evaluate and prioritize our portfolio of products and services, and do plan to shut down some products in the coming months such as Yahoo! Buzz, our Traffic APIs, and others. We will communicate specific plans when appropriate."

If those specific plans do indeed involve Delicious, you'll be happy to know that you can export Delicious bookmarks to other online bookmarking applications. Our friend @lovelyleann recommends Diigo.

September 23, 2010

Answer the Unanswerable

Give it a shot - try answering Ask.com's top 10 unanswerable questions. However, be forewarned many of those questions are going to be tough to answer - some of them are "What is the secret to happiness?" and "Who is the most famous person in the world?" You can find these questions at Jeeves' Unanswerables.

Don't forget! Minnesota has it's own 24/7 Q&A chat service staffed by librarians - ask your questions at AskMN!

September 13, 2010

Bloglines to no longer exist

According to Ask.com, owner of Bloglines, their RSS reader will no longer exist in a few weeks citing tough competition from Google Reader, increasing use of microblogging services such as Twitter, and refocusing their company on the Q&A service as reasons. Read more.

If you use Bloglines, check their homepage on instructions to export your RSS feeds to another reader.

July 8, 2010

Keeping Current with Technology: Things on a Stick News

It all started with 23 Things on a Stick. That self-paced online learning program, put on by the seven Minnesota Multitype Library Systems, walked participants through twenty three web-based 2.0 tools and websites. Each week a new tool was uncovered via individual exercises and small group discussions. It was so popular that the Multitypes developed a new program, More Things on a Stick. Both of these programs have been completed, but you can access archives and exercises indefinitely at each respective website.

So what's next? How can you continue to stay up to date on evolving technologies? By following the 2010 incarnation of Things on a Stick, Things on a Stick News. Every month, several new tools are considered and presented. The News has been streaming since January and continues to highlight relevant and engaging tools and technologies. Follow the blog or sign up to receive Things on a Stick News in your inbox once every month - you'll be the tech-savvier for it.

April 13, 2010

Technology Trends Teleconference Available for 30 Days

If you didn't get a chance to catch Marshall Breeding and Eric Lease Morgan's live online discussion of the future of finding, creating, and using information in libraries, presented by the College of DuPage, you can view it online for the next 30 days or so.

To get the link, drop a quick email to mtxref at umn.edu.

In "Technology Trends in Libraries: Tools, Skills, Staffing, Training" which was broadcast on April 9th, Breeding and Morgan discuss next generation discovery services and the semantic web; digital preservation; and open access publishing.

December 4, 2009

Real-Time Communication - Rising Trend for 2010

CNN released an article yesterday, 10 Web trends to watch in 2010, that lists the top trends for the coming year. First on the list was the importance of real-time communcations:

Real-time ramps up



Sparked by Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed, the real-time trend has been to the latter part of 2009 what "Web 2.0" was to 2007. The term represents the growing demand for immediacy in our interactions. Immediacy is compelling, engaging, highly addictive ... it's a sense of living in the now.

This is a perfect time for libraries with online reference services to promote the skills they have and how it is useful/helpful to users. Most useful and beneficial exposure to a library's online reference service may come from outside the library through partnerships with community organizations, news reports or articles, social networking and web 2.0 skills such as blogging, twittering, facebook and much more.

Other trends on the list from the article include "Content Curation" (I like this term. We librarians are Content Curators!):

The Web's biggest challenge of recent years is that content creation is outpacing our ability to consume it: "Information overload" has become an increasingly common complaint.

Another on the list, "Convergence conundrum". What devices will win out and what devices will be deemed unnecessary. Mobile technology will continue to drive the market and device that claim to do/be everything including a Pez dispenser will win out. Well, maybe not a Pez dispenser. Devices whose purpose is singular in nature such at the e-reader, GPS devices, and even hand-held video camera will be shed for multipurpose tools.

Another interesting trend talked about is "Augmented reality" where we will be able to overlay pictures with information. One product talked about was Layer which allows you to take a picture from your video camera and then it will take information from various other tools such as Wikipedia, Yelp and Twitter and overlay it with information about the images being viewed. I see so many opportunities for use with libraries for something like this from location tools, video maps of the library, to identifying a credible resource.

Library 2.0 has started to take foot in many libraries and librarians have found a lot of ways to connect and engage with users. I think this will continue through 2010 and there will more tools to allow us to connect and engage.

August 24, 2009

Social Media Revolution

This seems to be making the rounds. It's message is very effective. A lot of stats.

April 10, 2009

Twitter in the Classroom - New Era of Passing Notes

There's a short article in the Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Campus about a professor at Pennsylvania State University - University Park encouraging students to use Twitter to pass notes during class. His theory is "that the second layer of conversation will disrupt the old classroom model and allow new kinds of teaching in which students play a greater role and information is pulled in from outside the classroom walls." This stimulates a very active and interactive environment for learning and discussion and the learning process becomes more communal in nature.

I see this occurring in webinars as well. When presenters turn on and encourage the chat room mechanism of web presentations you start to see a flurry of activity coming from the sidelines. There are some great conversations and questions asked captured from that avenue. For some in the webinar environment, I see their interaction happening in the chat room where they would not, for whatever reason, also participate in the voice discussion. It's just another way of inviting in discussion that may be more comfortable for some.

This layered effect to the traditional classroom or webinar environment brings in a new richness to the learning process. It is multilearning!

January 27, 2009

Top Technology Trends to Watch in Education

Great article from Chronicle of Higher Ed reviewing the 2009 Horizon Report:

'Horizon Report' Names Top Technology Trends to Watch in Education

More services will be running on cellphones or handheld computers, and more devices will be able to broadcast their location to others, says a new report from Educause's Learning Initiative and the New Media Consortium.

The "2009 Horizon Report," the latest edition of the annual list of technology trends to watch in education, is compiled based on news reports, research studies, and interviews with experts.

Topping the list of hot technologies are smart phones and other mobile devices. The authors noted that smart phones can now run third-party applications, which could revolutionize how such devices are used in education by consolidating numerous teaching, learning, and administrative tools into devices that fit into the palms of students' hands.

Another top trend identified in the report is cloud computing, which refers to Web-based applications and services. Such services, many of which are free, will allow campus users to access more tools and information at a lower cost - although it may make users increasingly dependent on their hosts, the report says.

The prevalence of electronics that have "geo-locators" - that is, that are capable of knowing where they are - could have important applications for field research, specifically with regard to tracking the movement of animal populations or mapping data sets to study weather, migration, or urban development patterns, the report says. Similarly, "smart" objects - which are aware not only of their locations but of themselves and their environment - are already used in some libraries for tracking and tagging materials and may have analogous applications across a number of academic disciplines.

Though the Internet has proved to be a helpful resource for many students and professors, the sheer volume of its content can make finding relevant information a tedious chore at times. According to the report, the personal Web - i.e., widgets and services that help connect individual users to the Web-based information relevant to them - will allow students, professors, and administrators to use the Web more efficiently.

In a similar vein, semantic-aware applications will emerge to allow students to use one of the Internet's more popular features - Web search - more efficiently, the authors predict. Semantic-aware applications refer to technology designed to analyze the meaning of phrases typed into search boxes, rather than just the keywords. Beyond search technology, the report says that semantic-aware applications may eventually help researchers organize and present their findings in ways that more easily describe conceptual relationships among collected data. --Steve Kolowich

January 20, 2009

More Things On a Stick Program To Launch in January

More Things On a Stick Program To Launch in January

ST.PAUL, Minnesota (January 15, 2009) --Minnesota's seven multicounty, multitype library systems (multitypes) will launch the More Things On a Stick: A Library Learning 2.0 Program on January 20, 2009.. This program is the new version of the very popular 23 Things On a Stick Program sponsored the Minnesota Multitypes last year. Staff in academic, school, public and special libraries, as well as members of library Governing and Advisory Boards are invited to participate in this fun, self-paced program that encourages participants to experiment with various Web 2.0 tools. Mashups, more organizational and productivity tools, and deeper uses of RSS and Delicious are just a few of the new offerings in 2009.

All details about how to participate and suggestions for getting ready are now available online at http://morethingsonastick.pbwiki.com. Registration will begin on January 20th at this same address (as part of Thing 1). Those who complete all 23 Things plus the evaluation within 17 weeks will win a completion prize.

Continue reading "More Things On a Stick Program To Launch in January" »

December 22, 2008

Web 2.0 Success Story

From Virtual Library Notes: Web 2.0 Success Story.

This is such a great story about using user-generated tagging to find a book for a patron based only on what the book was about. It shows the ingenuity of a resourceful librarian and how social networking tools can be encorporated into daily reference work.

December 16, 2008

Sustainable Library 2.0 projects

Sarah Houghton-Jan, aka Librarian In Black, gave the keynote at Arizonia Library Association's Annual Conference. She's posted her presentation (pdf) on her site. She highlights the fabulous things that many libraries across the nation are doing right now to integrate 2.0 tools with their websites and services. Hennepin County Library's website is one of the library's profiled.

She tells us all the things libraries *should* be doing right now:





Instant Messaging
Blogs
Wikis
Skype
User Comments
Photo Sharing
Avatars
Video Reference
Podcasting
Videocasting
Media Listening Stations
Text Messaging Updates & Reference

Some 2.0 Services We Want in All
of Our Libraries...Right Now
2.0 worthy Catalogs
Social Bookmarking
Tagging
Social Networks
Better Library “Spaces”
RSS Feeds
Mash-Ups
Widgets
Marketplace Shelving
Twitter/Microblogging

Well, maybe not everything at once. But she does point out what to do: advocate to the higher up's, plan, why 2.0 services are important, and what makes a project successful. Very useful information.

October 19, 2008

Open Access Champion Brewster Kahle on the Future of Libraries and Panel Discussion on Library 2.0

Live webcast from University of Michigan:

Wed, Oct 22, 3:00 - 5:30 (EST)

Live Webcast - http://si.umich.edu/jsb
Submit your questions via e-mail.

A leading proponent of open access to all knowledge will consider the consequences of the connsolidation of information into the hands of a few private organizations when he delivers the keynote lecture at the fourth John Seely Brown Symposium on Technology and Society, sponsored by U-M's School of Information.

Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and director of the Open Content Alliance (OCA), has been a critic of proprietary services like the massive Google Books project, which does not make the books it scans available to other search services. The project recently scanned its
one-millionth volume from the University of Michigan libraries.

Following Kahle's talk, a panel of experts will comment on Kahle's ideas and discuss the possibilities of "Library 2.0" -- the next generation of libraries, which will capitalize on all that the digital age has to offer to benefit patrons, including social networking, 24-hour services,
and user-created content.

The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a public reception.

Please visit http://si.umich.edu/jsb to learn more about the event or to view the Webcast. During Brewster Kahle's keynote talk and the Q&A session that will follow it, submit your questions online to jsbsymposium@umich.edu.

February 18, 2008

User Skills Improving, But Only Slightly

From OCLC Abstracts - February 18, 2008 • Vol. 11, No. 7

According to the latest AlertBox research, users now do basic operations with confidence and perform with skill on sites they use often. But when users try new sites, well-known usability problems still cause failures. Almost all users:

• are better at physical operations, such as mouse movements and scrolling;
• are more confident at clicking, and less afraid that they'll break something; and
• know the basics of using search and use it more often than in the past.

When performing common tasks on sites they often use, most users are incredibly fast and competent. Nonetheless, they're stumped by the smallest usability problems when they visit new sites for the first time. People are very bad at coping with information architectures that deviate from their view of the problem space. Users are also overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information that many sites dump on them. First-time visitors to a site don't have the conceptual model needed to correctly interpret menu options and navigate to the appropriate place.

In addition, when it comes to search, users face three problems:

• Inability to retarget queries to a different search strategy
• Inability to understand search results and properly evaluate each destination site's likely usefulness
• Inability to sort through the search engine results page's mass of poor results, whether from blogs or from heavily SEO-optimized sites that are insufficiently specific to really address the user's problem

Given these difficulties, many users are at the search engine's mercy and mainly click the top links--a behavior we might call Google Gullibility. Sadly, while these top links are often not what they really need, users don't know how to do better.

View the complete report.

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, February 4, 2008

February 12, 2008

23 Things on a Stick Registration Deadline!

Please note that Friday, February 15th is the last day to register to participate in the 23 Things on a Stick: A Library Learning 2.0 program. If you are already one of our 600 registered participants, who are happily exploring the 23 web 2.0 tools (Things) in the program, good for you! Keep posting your progress, pleasant surprises, and "aha" moments in your 23 Things blog. Play and Learn to Fear Less!

Join us now at http://23thingsonastick.blogspot.com

Live & Learn with Web 2.0,

Minnesota's Multicounty, Multitype Library Systems

January 31, 2008

Facebook application now available at WorldCat.org

From OCLC Abstracts - January 21, 2008, Vol. 11, No. 3

"The new WorldCat Facebook application provides access to WorldCat searches and user-created lists from personalized pages within a Facebook account. The application includes a home screen with the WorldCat search box, as well as quick links to WorldCat searches based on topics listed in a Facebook profile as personal interests. The application also includes:

-- a built-in, advanced WorldCat search;

-- a panel that allows users to invite other Facebook friends to install WorldCat;

-- a "Something to Read" panel that displays books recently added to WorldCat lists; and

-- a "Favorite WorldCat Lists" panel where users track their own lists or those of other WorldCat users."

To read more click here.

January 7, 2008

23 Things On a Stick Program to Launch in January

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

23 Things On a Stick Program to Launch in January

St. Paul, Minnesota (January 7, 2008)--Minnesota's seven multicounty, multitype library systems (multitypes) will launch a twelve-week 23 Things on a Stick: A Library Learning 2.0 Program online on January 20, 2008. Staff in academic, school, public and special libraries, as well as members of library Governing and Advisory Boards are invited to participate in this fun, self-paced program that encourages participants to experiment with various Web 2.0 tools including photo editing, wikis, blogs, RSS, and more. Those who complete all 23 Things on a Stick within twelve weeks will win a completion prize.

This program will be the focus of breakout sessions on January 28th at the MEMO Midwinter Conference in Alexandria, MN. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the program and set up their blogs. It is not necessary to attend Midwinter to participate in 23 Things On a Stick. All details for participation and completion will be available online after January 20th at http://www.23thingsonastick.blogspot.com.

Continue reading "23 Things On a Stick Program to Launch in January" »

December 27, 2007

Get Ready for 23 Things on a Stick!

Sponsored by the 7 multitype library organizations in Minnesota, "23 Things on a Stick: A Library Learning 2.0 Program" will be launched on January 20, 2008. Staff, trustees, and Friends in all types of libraries across the entire state of Minnesota are invited to participate. This is a 12 week self-paced, self-directed program designed to get staff involved in learning and using web 2.0 tools such as Flickr, blogs, RSS, wikis, and other useful, interesting, and intriquing tools. Anyone that registers for the program by Feb. 15 and completes all 23 Things by April 13 will receive a gift for completion and be eligible to win other cool prizes.

If you want to read more about this learning program check out the news post on SELCO/SELS website and look for a more indepth article in the January issue of MINITEX Reference Notes.

December 18, 2007

XO Laptop and Digital Divide

More interesting MN blogging discussion about the XO laptop and the Digital Divide. This time from Erica M at Metroblogging Minneapolis:

While reading MNspeak response to the MPR story on the University of Minnesota Institute on Race & Poverty's report "Digital Justice: Progress towards Digital Inclusion in Minnesota," I had this thought:

Isn't it as much about access to the hardware as it is about access to the internet connection? Is $30/month for your broadband connection really more difficult to come by than a chunk of change on the order of $400-$1200 for a computer?


(read full post here)

December 17, 2007

One Laptop per Child

Minnesota blogger, Aaron Landry, just got an XO Laptop from the One Laptop per Child program and gives an excellent write-up about his experience on his personal blog.

December 12, 2007

Open Invite from MN SLA Division

To all MLA Members:
MN SLA Library 2.0

After hearing Michael Stephen's lecture on Library 2.0: Trends and Technologies, several SLA members and I decided it was something we wanted to explore. We decided to use the 9 Week Learning 2.0 plan developed by Helene Blowers of PLCMC as a tool to explore the technologies in an informal group. Every week, starting in January and concluding in March, we will learn about a new technology/tool. Every couple of weeks we'll get together to brainstorm these technologies and how they could be used in Special Libraries. I've created a blog that discusses this program in more detail: http://mnslalibrary20.blogspot.com

Please fill out my 3 question survey after viewing the blog: http://tinyurl.com/2uvsuw

Thanks! Feel free to email me at kathy.degenhardt@target.com with any questions or comments about this program.

Kathy Degenhardt

December 11, 2007

ALA Midwinter anyone?

If you will be at ALA Midwinter in January there is a session on Saturday, Jan. 12 I highly encourage you to rearrange your schedules to attend. The speaker, Aaron Swartz, is leading the Open Library project, which is something I wrote about in a previous post (see July 17) and in Reference Notes. From what I've read about Swartz his presentation at Midwinter should be a notable highlight.

Evaluating Emerging Technologies
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Philadelphia Convention Center (PCC), Room 108A
1:30-3:30 p.m.

As librarians, we need to keep pace with the innovations that are transforming how we reach and serve our customers. But with the vast number of competing technologies, how can you be confident that you are selecting the best solution for your customers? How are you certain that you are not squandering your limited finances and resources on fads and faulty solutions?

Aaron Swartz, co-author of RSS, co-creator of the Open Library project, co-founder of Reddit, and former adviser to Creative Commons, will be sharing his strategies on how to analyze competing technologies. His insights will help us invest in the resources that will best meet our customers' needs.

This is an opportunity to listen to a leader in the field and to engage in a dialog with him. Come explore this discussion on emerging technologies. You can't afford to miss it!

December 3, 2007

Social Bookmarking Demographics

Very interesting post from E-Strategy.com: Social Bookmarking Demographics. This is extremely interesting and may find useful to see who is using the different types of bookmarking sites and what can be promoted to different audience groups.

In an article about social bookmarking in the Winter 07/08 issue of Search Marketing Standard, Joe Whyte cites Quantcast demographic data for some of the top bookmarking sites. This data is hard to come by, so it is valuable in helping to understand the respective services' audiences.

November 28, 2007

Top Social Media and Networking Sites

VirtualHosting.com just released its Top 100 Social Media and Social Networking Blogs list for 2007. Yes, we are already seeing the "best of 07" lists coming out and there is still a month to go!

Interesting sites on the list:
#2 SMogger Social Media Blog: SMogger addresses the "ethical use of social media for business and regular folks."
#6 Social Media Club - the go-to blog for anyone interested in developing or learning about social media standards, trends, and communities.
#15 SociableBlog - a great site for librians interested in learning how to best leverage use of sites such as FaceBook, MySpace, YouTube and other social sites to reach out to and connect to people.
#34 Everything 2.0 - researches social media and Web 2.0 trends and posts helpful reviews of the latest products and downloads.
#65 SocialNetworkingNews - get all the latest information about online communities and tools. Great place to go for new ideas to connect with users!

Collaborative Work: Tips for Better Wikis

There's a great slideshow posted by eWeek.com about wikis that I highly suggest reviewing if you work with or involved with wiki in anyway: 25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment. Setting the right tone administering wikis allows for better interaction and and group knowledge. Very useful and straightforward information.

November 1, 2007

Faculty Blogoverse

A must read!

In College & Research Libraries News - October 2007:

Murray, David and Steven Bell. "Exploring the Faculty Blogoverse: Where to Start and What's in it for Academic Librarians." p. 576-579.

"A successful strategic keeping-up regimen requires more than a steady diet of content from within one's own profession.  To invigorate inspiration and ideation, it's of great value to go beyond the borders of one's own professional literature.  That is why every academic librarian's keeping-up strategy should include, for example, feeds from standard higher education sources (The Chronicle's Daily News, Inside Higher Ed, Wired Campus Blog, and other academia-related blogs from organizations, such as EDUCAUSE).  This article seeks to take academic librarians into a lesser explored territory, where vast potential lies for those willing to explore.  Too few of us have yet to discover the value of faculty blogs" (p. 576).

Murray and Bell succintly address what has drawn faculty and librarians alike to blogs and blogging, where to begin one's hunt to locate faculty blogs, the benefits of reading faculty blogs, and how to get started (e.g., a disciplinary focus to reading blogs).

Murray and Bell argue that two key values of reading faculty blogs point to an academic librarian's collection development and outreach/liaison responsibilities.

"Despite protests that keeping up already takes too much time, and that what time is available is hardly enough for adequate reading of the library literature, we argue that ignoring faculty blogs is something we do at our own professional risk" (p. 579).

Read the complete article here.

October 26, 2007

Podcasting Presentation and Recording

Hi everyone, we're here at MLA and I'm posting my podcast from the session. Here you go: Download file, click here to listen.

October 25, 2007

Library 2.0 Presentation

I will be at MLA tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 26 giving a presentation on Library 2.0 and all the fun tools we can use to connect with our patrons and staff. I'll be talking about blog, vlogs, wikis, podcasts, and resources for libraries and librarians. Join me if you can! I'll even do a podcast of part of the presentation. I'll post it here tomorrow!

October 22, 2007

iLibrarian blog

If you haven't checked this blog out already, give it a look. It's kept by Ellyssa Kroski, Reference Librarian at Columbia University's Butler Library. A recent post of hers is definitely worth your time to read, entitled "A Librarian's Guide to Creating 2.0 Subject Guides." She discusses some new 2.0 technologies that librarians can use to create subject guides online. Read her post here!

October 17, 2007

High Speed MN Bill

This was circulated via a listserv at the U of M that I thought you all might find interesting:

What could be more important to librarians than increased access to
information? That's exactly what the High Speed MN bill proposes to do by
calling for 1GigB to each Minnesota home by 2015. More info at www.gigggroup.org

The Minnesota House of Representatives Telecomm Division of the Commerce
Committee is going to hold an important field hearing at Eagan City Hall on
Wednesday, October 17, from 4-6 p.m.

The topic is high speed broadband, and the committee particularly wants to
hear from businesses and any Minnesota residents who do not feel they have
sufficient Internet speeds or competitive choices. A High Speed MN bill
urges the state to have a formal broadband policy and speed goal. It is
open to the public. Any resident of Minnesota is invited to participate.

HIGH SPEED Minnesota Bill

One GigaBit. That's the speed called for in a policy that the State of
Minnesota should adopt. In order for Minnesota to maintain and enhance its
leadership position in high technology business growth, we'll need the
speed. The goal is by 2015. Studies show that economic development is
greatly enhanced by having a high speed infrastrucutre in place. This
public policy has gone forward on two fonts: First, Rep Sandy Masin (DFL-
Eagan) has introduced legislation to create a statewide broadband policy and
to set a goal (1GBit to each home by 2015). She will be holding field
hearings in Eagan on Oct 17. Second, proponents of the bill are working
with the Commerce Department, the agency charged by the Governor's Office to
support not only the broadband policy but to create some pilot projects.

There is way too much to say about this in a short post. Go to the web site
www.giggroup.org to learn more about the benefits of such a policy to all of
us. This is an important issue for libraries & information centers and each
of us as citizens. Come out and support the creation of the statewide policy.

October 10, 2007

UC Berkeley Posts Lectures on YouTube

Full story: http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9790452-7.html
UC Berkeley lectures are now being posted and archived on YouTube. They have over 300 hours of video they are making available to the public on their YouTube site, http://youtube.com/ucberkeley with plans of adding more and expanding their content. This the first major offering of podcast lectures being made available to the public by any university. It will be interesting to see the usage and how it will be received as this grows.

September 26, 2007

Blogosphere Survey Results

I can't believe this eluded me until now but Meredith Farkas has published her findings on a survey she conducted earlier this summer about the blogoshpere: 2007 Survey of the Biblioblogosphere: Blog Demographics.

It's quite interesting to see how many librarians are blogging, what they're blogging about and why they use blogging as a means of communication. It was also really exciting to see that the number of blogs being created has not slowed down. Yes! Keep it growing. I don't think there is such a thing as "deluge" on the web. Everyone chooses what they do and don't want to read on the web and there is infinite amount of room for everyone to have a voice, especially if that voice is directed at a specific community and not just to the whole of the internet.

One interesting point that Meredith points out in the survey is that while you may not tell people at work that you have a personal blog that doesn't mean they don't know about it. She was surprised to find people commenting on her blog from work that she didn't realize knew about it. Also, 45% of bloggers responded that they have never published anything, blogging was their only "formal" form of writing to a public. I think that this is a great example of how blogs can be used to strengthen writing and communication skills of librarians as well as being used for outreach and connection. Also, it can lead to more opportunities to blog, write, present...

Check out the survey and start batting around the idea of how you and your community can benefit from blogging.

September 17, 2007

Tagging and Libraries

Latest article in Library Journal talks about tagging and social bookmarking and how they relate to libraries: Tags Help Make Libraries Del.icio.us by Melissa Rethlefsen.

August 28, 2007

Webology Online and First Monday

There's a few good articles floating around in the ether that have been getting some discussion. I found them to be fairly good and informative for online research and models for outreach:

The latest edition of Webology, an OPEN ACCESS journal, Vol. 4, No. 2, is
available ONLINE now.
Webology: Volume 4, Number 2, 2007 TOC: http://www.webology.ir/2007/v4n2/toc.html
A couple articles that I found of particular interest were Web 2.0 as a Social Movement by William F. Birdsall, http://www.webology.ir/2007/v4n2/a40.html and Folksonomies: Why do we need controlled vocabulary? by Alireza Noruzi, http://www.webology.ir/2007/v4n2/editorial12.html.

From First Monday, I also suggest Beyond Google: How do students conduct academic research? by Alison J. Head, http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_8/head/index.html

August 23, 2007

Jessamyn West gets into WebJunction

Over at Librarian.net, site's author Jessamyn West talks about WebJunction. I would suggest any use of WebJunction read her comments. They are very well thought out and give a realistic overview of what the site has to offer. Also, if you have taken any Webinars from the MINITEX staff in the past 3 months you may have noticed that we are using new webinar software for some of them, Live Classroom which is supported by WebJunction. West likes the webinar software because it works well on the Mac. (Hint, also works best on Firefox, but not required browser).

July 2, 2007

Wikis Explained

Here's a great video that talks about what a wiki is and how it can be used by a group from David Erickson with e-strategyblog.com:

June 24, 2007

Harnessing the Hive: Social Networks and Libraries

3 speakers:
Matthew Bejune, Purdue University Libraries
url: LibraryWikis
-examples of library wikis are here
-librarians are encouraged to contribute library wikis they know of that aren't listed here (password: LWcontrib)

Meredith Farkas, Queen of Wikis, maintains Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki, blogs at Information Wants to be Free
url: meredithfarkas.wetpaint.com - presentation slides and resources can be found here

Tim Spalding web developer and publisher, founder of LibraryThing

This conversation about this presentation will continue at the Talking Reference &... - RUSA blog - look under the category of Social Networking

Matthew B.:
Libraries & Wikis
Collected examples - 35 total - research from 1-2 yrs ago - many more blogs since then

Identified 4 types of library wikis:
1.) Collaboration between libraries - 45.7%
-ex. ALA wiki where librarians from anywhere can contribute
2.) Collaboration between staff - 31.4%
-internal communications
3.) Collaboration between library staff & patrons - 14.3%
-ex. St. Joseph County PL
4.) Collaboration between patrons - 8.6%

Questions to ponder (he doesn't have the answers):
-where are the wikis used in categories 3 & 4?
-how might we allow users to build/modify library info? - control factor - open the door to let patrons add info/contribute
-in what ways will libraries next utilize wikis & other social networking technologies?
-how long before your library implements some form of a wiki?

Meredith F:
She's all about Knowledge Management (KM)
-all orgs. Want to make the best use of institutional knowledge
-all libs. Have different areas of interest & expertise
-our patrons have lots of knowledge that would be useful to other patrons
-we usually are pretty terrible at collecting this knowledge

Info Sharing is great but how do we capture/keep all that info?
-one-on-one conversations
-staff meetings
-IM, Twitter, etc...
-scraps of paper at the ref. desk
-email
-blogs

Blogs are great - for short term info

How are we collecting out knowledge for the long term?
ex. Aadl.org (get link)
-allowing patrons to tag things in the catalog
-"users who checked out this book also checked out" - taken straight from amazon - don't be afraid of this - technology is good enough to strip away private info so we can capture and use this info - don't have to hide this
ex. HCL's bookspage (get link)
-best reader's advisory site (in the whole wide world!)
-letting our user's doing their reader's advisory for us
-allowing comments in the catalog and is being heavily used
ex. RocWiki (get link) Rochester Wiki
-guide to Rochester community - anyone can contribute
-people can ask questions and other members answer
-very similar to a community board
-good ex. For a library to base off of - team up w community
ex. BizWiki (get link)
-guides to different types of research
-grt site because of the collaborative nature - having faculty and students add to the resources
-search option
-assign catefories to each page to make it easier to browse
ex. PennTags (get link)
-social bookmarking site for campus community
-create tags
-organize your own research
-see what others have done
-results show up in catalog
-letting your users do your work for you (in a sense - we get to learn from them too!)

Wiki as Intranet
-share procedures & policies
-share basic info
-share knowledge about ref. resources - assignments students are coming to desk about - ref. sources in subject expertise (that you may have little knowledge of)

*it can take time to build KM behavior into the organizational workflow
-takes formal training
-working it into the daily workflow

Tim S:
Founder of LibraryThing
-it's like MySpace for books & book lovers
-sharing books w people and groups
-connected to people thru this site
-get to use high quality metadata and tags
-they call it "social cataloging" (room laughs)
-knowledge is a conversation - don't just say what you know - how to thesis
-libraries very much like the web
-catalog as conversation
-users add info/images/pieces to pages in LT

isbnThing - connecting isbn's, relating books and editions and formats

"it shouldn't work, like wikipedia shouldn't work but it does" - people keep it going
-chick lit tag used as an ex. - not in LCSH (later corrected by someone in the audience that it was added to LCSH in 2006 - he points back that LCSH doesn't back add so a lot of the books, the critical books that made that term, are not even associated with it)
-people use cooking as a tag, LCSH uses cookery
-cyberpunk - related to... subjects - tag neuromancer - largest tag cyberpunk has, this is what it means to people

book: Tales of the city
-compares the LC online catalog to the LT tags
-tags get at the identity and what it means - LCSH can't do this

Problems of tagging:
-too many for one book - ex. Diary of Anne Frank - some tags: historyish, in Belgium
-bad tags wash out statistically - not used by that many people
-complexity/hierarchy better in LCSH that's harder to get in tags
ex. Leather - mismatch of tag meanings
-problems w who's makikng tags up

New/Coming to LT:
TagMash
-combining tags together
ex. France, wwii, non-fiction
ex. Magic, -fiction (minus fiction)
ex. Chick lit, Greece

LT starting to offer in library catalogs - read more at librarything.com/forlibraries
-works in any opac
-brings up things only in that libs. Catalog

LT doesn't handle non-book formats very well but they're working on this.

June 23, 2007

Reinventing Refernece | ALA Conference | Panel Discussion

Ok, final post for the day/workshop. btw, you can see more posts about this workshop at librarianlikeme.wordpress.com.
Panel Discussion:

KC: bring value to what your doing - is it of value to your users

DK: don't think, "I don't have enough time to blog", think " Where does my library want to be in 2 years? Does it involve having an active online community?" Then figure out how your going to get there.

MS: look at what you're doing and what little things can you change

KC: they're organization is currently going through a "Flush Campaign" - see what needs to go and have admin say that will go away.

DK: on commenting on blogs - if no one is commenting then it's just a talking head. Ask your audience a question and invite them to comment. Respond quickly. Other ways of inviting participation - market - i.e. toddler time: post info about it at the day care center - leave the bldg to market/advertise your library/events

KC: make it meaningful or it's not worth the reader's time

DF: I'm not a techy, I'm a reference/instruction librarian. If I can do the things I need to do w blogs and podcasts so can everyone in this room!

June 22, 2007

Reinventing Refernece | ALA Conference | Karen Coombs

Library Web Chic, Karen Coombs gave the final presentation of today's all-day workshop (whew!).

Coombs talked about Social Software for Reference Services (mainly blogs).
Why use blogs:
-easy to edit
-can allow many staff and users to contribute
-space for feedback from users
-can create content for all parts of library info

Ways to use blogs:
-Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) has great blog webstie - good job of integrating blog into homepage - posts are tagged
-news & info - keep users up to date w what's going on
-internal communications - communicate news/announcements to staff - record latest questions being asked - highlight new resources
-University of Houston Libraries has staff/internal blog - any staff member who works the ref desk can add info - helps to distribute info
-reader's advisory - timeliness - ability of multiple comments
-Lansing Library (IL)'s Reader's Reviews links to books in the catalog - can see if the librarian is online - link back to the library website - ability to search for other materials
-another idea - link books to open worldcat - servicing your users & beyond - anyone coming on your site will be able to find the books you're talking about in a library near them
-subject oriented blogs - include contact info & (personal) desk hours - highlight digital collection - incorporate media
-promote library events - let people know what is going on - allow users to subscribe to specific content (pick and choose) - create categories for different events

Do's & Dont's (not very new, but...)
-do have an rss or atom feed
-do update your blog regularly
-do allow your readers to comment
-do use tags and/or categories to organize your posts
-don't hide your rss feed (use the orange button - it's recognizable)
-don't post frivilous content - have rich, purposeful content
-don't forget to moderate comments
-don't separate your lirbary blog from the library website - this one (I think) is "iffy" because if libraries are struggling to get the support for a blog in the first place, I say go ahead and create one on one of those free sites like blogger, typepad, or wordpress.com (personal fav.) just to get it started (as a prototype) so you can show your folks in charge "Hey! Look what I can do!" (personal editorial)
-if your library wants to go gung-ho and establish institution-wide blogs for all staff (and beyond) it's best to go with a "install it yourself" software such as moveable type or wordpress.org.

Reinventing Refernece | ALA Conference | David King

David King gave the second half of the afternoon presentation with David Free (hey, they're blogging about the conference too!).

King's presentation talked about vlogging/videoblogging/vlog/video podcast/vodcast/videocast....
Vlog (I'll use this term) is, plane and simple, a video on a blog. The point is to have content - purposeful, rich content.
Examples of vlogs:
-SteveGarfield.com
-MichaelVerdi.com
-Jay Dedman
-Rocketboom.com
-mnstories.com -ok, King didn't have this in his presentation, but it's my favorite and I'm slipping it in.

Where to look for vlogs?
-search engines - bloglines, google, blinkx
-vlog directories - vlogdir, mefeedia, and iTunes - one site he didn't mention which is one I use regularly is Technorati (personal fav.)
-search some video sites - YouTube is outrageously popular and it's only 2 years old - also, it's not a vlog. It's a social networking website that houses other people's videos. and blip.tv
-new site - clipblast.com - it spider's the web for videos.

Creating a vlog:
-to create - script, make, edit
-need a computer - firewire, external hard drive
-need a video camera - mini-DV camcorders, cheapie web cam and mic, mobile phone
-need video editing software - some free stuff: Apple's iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Avid Free DV, Quicktime Pro - Pricey & Powerful: Adobe's Video Suite, Final Cut Pro
-need a blog - best to have enclosures for rss 2.0 feed like feedburner

Storage
-can be an issue - store yourself but make sure you have the bandwidth to handle
-plenty of free sites to store - Ourmedia.org, blip.tv, Internet Archive, Google Video, YouTube

What can libraries do??
King's library, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library's vlog: PaperCuts bringing library news, reviews and events in vlog format.
-try to come up with interesting ideas that will capture people's attention
Traditional ideas:
-book talk
-bibliographic instruction (any academic libraries out there? try this?)
-pr for the library
-showing off exhibits
-interviews (with anyone, celebs, pominent local citizens, politicians...)
-film your events
-tutorials
More interesting ideas:
-cultural memory project - video history rather than oral history
-local news - happy news from around your branch
-collaborative - PLCMC's ImaginOn - kids making videos
-environmental - discuss environmental issues and nature
-behind the scenes - what goes on at the library?
and on and on and on...

June 20, 2007

Wikis in plain English

Check out this YouTube video on creating wikis!

June 18, 2007

Social Networking as a Marketing Tool for Libraries

There's a great article from madison.com: Libraries woo patrons on the web. Yes, I think most librarians understand the concept of using social networking sites as a marketing tool to reach your patrons and community outside of the walls of your library and the walls of your library's website. But this article talks about the successes UW Madison is having with a librarian specifically devoted to marketing. Amanda Werhane, liaison librarian and marketing coordinator and Bonnie Shucha, head of reference for the UW Law Library explain that the online tools they use to communicate with their patrons are free and allow the libraries to be proactive - the patron doesn't have to come to them, they're already there, "It's like being in the neighborhood." Having someone devoted specifically to maintaining their social networking sites such as MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, and blogs allows the libraries to have continuously updated information on all aspects of library events, schedules, resources, and other information. Patrons may not comment on the sites but have commented or asked questions about the information posted on the site.

June 7, 2007

LibraryThing

As I mentioned in a previous post. I was going to talk about LibraryThing. LibraryThing is a (another) social site designed to let people share information about the books they love! You can add books to your list that your reading, read, want to read, look for suggestions and upcoming publications. You can make any and every part of your list public and view by anyone or just a select list of people. You can create book groups to meet and talk about books and view other talks to find out more information about specific books and authors.

Also, you can write your own reviews and make the accessible only on LibraryThing, allow LibraryThing to give your review to non-commercial entities (mosty libraries) or to both non-commercial and commercial entities (such as booksellers, publishers, authors, street gangs).

Who doesn't keep their own book list? I do and it has gotten a bit unwieldy as of late. So now I've just loaded it up on LibraryThing and manage it from there. Another neat factor: you can choose from 78 different sources to search from, most of which being libraries. I just searched the University of Chicago's catalog on LibraryThing for Charles Bukowski and found a new book published in Germany about him I had never heard of before, "The Germans love me for some reason - " : Charles Bukowski und Deutschland by Horst Schmidt. What a find!

June 6, 2007

TagsAhoy!

Do you tag "stuff"? Do you have tags in many different places such as Del.icio.us, Flickr, Gmail, Squirl, LibraryThing and Connotea? Who doesn't! Which reminds me, I haven't written about LibraryThing yet. I'll have to do a little write up on that next.

Anyway, TagsAhoy! "lets you search all your tags, across different sites, from one location". Sweet! They plan to add more sites to the list soon as well.

Everything is Miscellaneous Author to Speak with Librarians Today

David Weinberger will be speaking with librarians online today at 1 pm (cdt). Don't miss this opportunity to find out what this author has to say about the future of libraries and express your own opinions!

June 5, 2007

The Next Step in Social Bookmarking

Social Poster is the latest evolution in social bookmarking. It's very easy to use also. Go to the Social Poster website and add the Social Poster button to your bookmarks toolbar by clicking and dragging, there's nothing to download. Then visit any site you wish to bookmark. Highlight some text and click on the Social Poster button. You'll come to a new page with your highlighted text, URL, and title of the page you were just at in the top right. All information there can be edited before posting. Social Poster will even create tags based on the content of the page.
sp.jpg

Also, on the page are 34 social sites including, Digg, Del.icio.us, Stumbleupon, and Technorati. You can submit the site to all or any of these sites by clicking the Post button. However, you do need to have an account with each of these social sites to post. For those that are sending lots of links of sites to friends and social sites this will definitely save you a lot of time and some wear and tear on your clicking finger!
sp2.jpg

May 30, 2007

Weinberger Gives Google Tech Talk

I mentioned David Weinberger's book Everything is Miscellaneous before. Librarians may find Weinberger's ideas complete ANARCHY. To think content on the web is growing and being organized in a miscellaneous manner with no authority may make you think that librarianship and library science is destined for the abyss like strawberry phosphates and candy cigarettes. That's not what Weinberger gets at in a recent Google Tech Talk he gave May 10th.

On the web, we now develop and own the tools to organize content on the web. It is no longer controled by an authoritative voice. We are not viewing this content in terms of Melvel Dewey but is terms of clusters of information and how they relate to us on a personal level. He talked about faceted classification Which allows you to browse in a tree-like fashion except you get to pick what's the root and what's the branch. For example, you can start out a search for 20th Century, then author's country of birth, then by gender, then change it all. In other words, you get to construct the tree. He also talked about how tagging has taken off. It's popular because we get to create our own categories. The reader decides what the content is about, what is means to them, how it relates to them.

Another concept he talked about was in comparing old world categories and new web categories. With old world categories information was excluded based on physical space. There was just not enough room to include everything. In the new web world, you can include everything because there is no space requirement. If something is not needed right now, postpone taxonomy until the user uses it. You can't know what people's interests are or will be so include everything.

Wikipedia: Something I found interesting is the statement that because Wikipedia is willing to admit their lack of credibility makes them more credible. Wikipedia is a good example of how we are building a rich layer of meaning that we can draw upon. We're doing this for ourselves and will be doing it for generations to come.

Very interesting talk. If you have the time (57 minutes) I would suggest taking a look at it. If anything, it will spark your interest in how librarians will grow and work with the web in the years to come.

May 24, 2007

Digg this, Tag that!

Have you ever dugg an article, blog or profile before? Digg is a social networking site that allows users (you, me and everyone we know) to submit and "digg" a story - vote on it's popularity or bury it based on a yay/nay, like/dislike attitude. If a story gets enough diggs it get promoted to the front page showing the number of diggs (votes) next to the title. Stories can also be posted to a user's blog as soon as they digg it. If you blog or write stories online (for your library or for personal enjoyment or necessity) posting your story to Digg will help give your site and writing more exposure and bring more traffic to your site.

Why do I care? You may ask. Well, as one librarian, the Connecting Librarian states,

For [stories] to get a lot of diggs, either the people posting the stories have to know a lot of people who they encourage to digg their entry, or it is an entry of great interest to a wide variety of people. Either way, its something that's of interest to a lot of people and therefore I think that I, as a public librarian, should be aware of.

Digg is not the only site out there that does this kind of thing. Another site that works on the same concept, stumbleupon actually has more registered users than (the popular) Digg. However, stumbleupon not only uses categories (mediated source) to separate and organize stories, like Digg, they also use tags (social networking) to organize stories. This form of filtering actually gives stumbleupon a leg up on Digg as far as user contributed content control.

Again, you may say, what do I care? You should, because as librarians, as organizers of content, we need to be looking at how users of the world wide web are not only categorizing and organizing content on the web, but also, how they perceive the information - important/not important. That's what these types of user-driven social content ranking sites are doing. They are letting us know what information people deem important and popular. Our role as filter for finding/suggesting best sources comes into play here as well as a good scrutinizing eye.

btw, if you would like more info about these sites and others like them, TechCrunch has a good article with summaries of major players.

May 14, 2007

Join Me in Library 2.0 Land

A couple of months ago I joined the social networking group Library 2.0 which was created by Bill Drew. It's kind of like MySpace except it's only for librarians. I've have some finding looking at librarian profiles, playing with my own page, and creating my friend's list. I even was able to connect with a classmate from library school. It's been fun seeing what other librarians are up to having this other space to socialize in. If you decide to create a profile I would be happy to be your friend!

May 10, 2007

Learning 2.0

Recently on the ILI-listerv (ACRL's Instruction Section Information Literacy Instruction Discussion List) a discussion thread has been started on ways to deliver staff training for libraries on topics such as Web 2.0.

One of the members responded by pointing to an online resource called "Learning 2.0." It is a resource that can be customized and tailored to your own institution. The right-hand column provides links to other libraries doing the Learning 2.0 program.

May 9, 2007

Ubuntu?

Wow! This is a terrific video "starring" Vermont librarian, Jessamyn West. It shows her installing "Ubuntu" to two computers that were donated to The Calef Library in Washington, Vermont. Ubuntu comes bundled with Open Source software such as OpenOffice, Gimp (like Photoshop), Firefox, and Gaim (Instant Messenger). This is a great work-around for those who do not want to or cannot purchase various software programs. Check it out!

May 1, 2007

3 New Online Tutorials

Now available on the MINITEX Webinars Training page are 3 new online tutorials relating to Web 2.0. These are quick and easy tutorials designed to introduce librarians to social networking tools, how to get started with them and apply them to your library setting and services.

The 3 new tutorials include Blogs, Wikis, and Del.icio.us. They run about 10-20 minutes in length and nothing is needed to download to view them.

Look for other new tutorials coming soon!

April 24, 2007

Teens and Internet Safety

Pew Internet & American Life Project have released a new study called "Teens, Privacy and Online Social Networks: How teens manage their online identities and personal information in the age of MySpace". It gives an eye-openning look at how teens use and view the internet. Most teens limit and alter the information they post about themselves to retain privacy. First name and a photo are common but beyond that is limited, false, or restricted. When possible, they also shield personal information to invited persons only. Teens also have a realization that although they may withhold information or post false information about themselves if someone what's to track them down via the internet they probably will be able to. Another finding was that parents have more restrictions on the use of the internet than other media in the household.

It's an interesting read and gives a good look at teen behavior on the internet as well as the difference between boys and girls and the information they provide. Libraries will want to offer classes on Internet Safety or provide some type of guidelines for teen use and the internet and this report will help immensely in understanding teen behavior.

April 18, 2007

Library MySpace Project

I found this from the Walking Paper blog. Two LIS students have set up a Library MySpace Study site on MySpace to study libraries and the site. They have also begun a bibliography of libraries that have a MySpace account and resource page for online outreach and marketing.

April 17, 2007

Book Burro

Book Burro is a very simple and easy to install tool that will sense when you are viewing or searching for a book. A "Book Burro" tab will appear and when you click on it, it will queary for lowest book prices on other sites. It is synced up with WorldCat.org so it can also indicate library locations nearest your IP address. Very cool.

April 16, 2007

Web 2.0 and What It Means to Libraries

Here's an interesting blog entry from Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian. She gives a good run down of the latest stats of how many people are on the internet and who they are, what they're doing out there and the issues facing libraries today in this new ever-evolving webby world.

April 9, 2007

2006 Minnesota Internet Study shows broadband has become mainstream

The Center's latest annual telecommunications report, "The 2006 Minnesota Internet Study," estimates that home broadband adoption accelerated significantly across the state in 2006, even while home computer ownership and Internet connectivity inched up only slightly. The report estimates that at the end of 2006 68.7 percent of all Minnesota households owned at least one working computer (compared to 68% in 2005) and 63.5 percent of households maintained a home Internet connection (59.6% in 2005), but broadband adoption increased to 49 percent of all households, compared to 37 percent in 2005.
http://www.mnsu.edu/ruralmn/newsnotes.php

April 4, 2007

Social Software Checklist

There's a great article from ComputerWeekly.com: Social Software is Improving Collaboration. It's not focused on libraries but it does have some good ideas about what an organization should look at if they plan on implementing any social software. At the end of the article they give a succinct checklist for implementation:

  • Governance is critical. If your organisation is not ready for informal, community-centric practices to improve communication, information sharing and collaboration, social software will likely fail in a general sense (it may still succeed if applied around specific applications)

  • Include groups involved in organisational development and human capital management

  • Expect a short lifecycle for any investment

  • Continue to monitor the market and the maturity of the technology

  • Do not standardise too quickly on a single supplier

  • Investigate and document both project success and failure

  • Source: Burton Group

While, again, it is not aimed specifically at libraries there is some good information that can be used for the library organization such as if you're going to move forward with social software of any kind it needs to be governed, or coordinated. Also, those involved need to monitor the morket for shifts in technology and to document, document, document (!) the project's successes and failures.

April 3, 2007

23 Things

I have been talking about this in my Library 2.0 webinar but have not yet mentioned it here. 23 Things is part of the Learning 2.0 project headed by The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and is open to any and all librarians and library staff interested in expanding their knowledge and skills with new technologies.

I like this site because they encourage the exploration and curiosity of discovering what new technologies are out there, playing around with them on your own or with your staff, and seeing how they can be applied to your library. They do this through the 23 Things and they reward those for going through this process and completing all the exercises. Many libraries have participated and gone through all 23 Things exercises and have even blogged about it. There are more links to other libraries from the Learning 2.0 site you can read up on as well. It helps to read about other librarians and libraries experiences going through something like this to know that technology isn't all that scary and you can enhance your library's website and outreach to your community easily and on the cheap!

March 13, 2007

Promoting Your Digital Reference Service

Lately, I've been looking at the sites LibX.org and Conduit.com. They offer FREE! tools that allow you to create an ever-present toolbar for your digital reference service. You can also use it for other services such as your catalog. Patrons can download the toolbar onto their own browser (I've found that it works best with Firefox) and connect to a librarian (when the service is available) at any given whim. Ask a question without even going to the library's website. What a great way to promote your service!

February 28, 2007

Hennepin County Library Launches New Online Community

Bookspace.org is a new site created by Hennepin County Library, launched on Valentine's Day, that is breaking new ground on the (social) web by creating a virtual book club for HCL patrons and those of bookish nature. You do not need an HCL library card to sign up or participate.

From Library Journal:


Bookspace.org [is a place where] book heads can "create and connect with an online reading community by posting your own book lists and reading books lists submitted by staff and other readers." Users can post comments on what they're reading, sign up for email alerts on new books by their favorite authors, and receive daily excerpts from books via email. HCL said it is celebrating the launch in conjunction with February's I Love To Read month, and is inviting users "to contribute a book list to post on the new website—your favorite books or what you're currently reading. Email a photo of yourself reading in a favorite place, too." Residents of Hennepin County who contribute will be entered into a drawing for prizes including an MP3 player, book lights, tickets to the Library Foundation of HCL's "Pen Pals" author lecture series, and coupons for a free rental of a Bestseller Express title. Free BookSpace.org buttons and bookmarks will be available at all 26 Hennepin County libraries.

February 26, 2007

Del.icio.us

Have you heard of Del.icio.us? When I was going through the Library 2.0 webinar recently, I asked people if they had used that site. I hadn't included the information about it in the webinar thinking that it was an external source that really isn't something libraries can use or promote to patrons. I changed my mind. Actually, it's a great way to get librarians and library staff involved in social networking.

If you have ever bookmarked a website then you want to know about this great resource. Del.icio.us is a site that allows users (you, me, anyone on the internet) to create an account and start bookmarking any and all pages you use or come across that you want to retain. It is like the bookmark function on your browser but it is web-based and there is more to it than just that.

When you create a Del.icio.us account you are able to begin bookmarking webpages that you commonly use and visit as well as other pages you may run across and want to refer to later. Not only have those pages been bookmarked but they accessible from any location. When you use a browser to bookmark pages, they are specific to that computer. With Del.icio.us bookmarks, you can log in from any computer to access your bookmarks. You may have a computer at work with a set of bookmarks and a computer at home with another set of bookmarks. Del.icio.us can combine them in one account. Also, by adding the Del.icio.us button and TAG button to your browser window you are automatically logged into your account and bookmarking pages becomes a one click process.

If you would like to know more about Del.icio.us you can read the full article in February's issue of MINITEX Reference Notes. When you start a free account with Del.icio.us you have the option of downloading the toolbar on your browser. My suggestion would be to download the toolbar so that you can add pages as easily as bookmarking them and have quick access to all your tagged pages.

February 12, 2007

YouTube Video: Web 2.0 as Explained by an Anthropologist

This is really cool. Something we've been passing around here at MINITEX and I thought I would pass on to you:

December 12, 2006

New Library 2.0 Webinar

MINITEX Reference has added a new webinar to its portfolio looking at Library 2.0. This new webinar will focus on what Library 2.0 is about, aspects of social networking, social networking services and how they relate to libraries, and tools you can use to create a more interactive atmosphere with your patrons and extending the online reach of your library. We will also go online and take a look at what some libraries are currently doing and talk about some of the legal issue that are taking fold around social networking sites and minors.

Webinars currently available are:
Wednesday, December 13, 2006 from 12:00pm - 12:45pm
Thursday, December 21, 2006 from 12:15pm - 1:00pm

Sessions currently full but have wait lists are:
Thursday, December 14, 2006 from 12:15pm - 1:00pm
Monday, December 18, 2006 from 12:45pm - 1:30pm
Wednesday, December 20, 2006 from 1:45pm - 2:30pm

More sessions will be added in January. You can look for those here: http://www.minitex.umn.edu/train-conf/webinars/upcoming.asp#140