November 7, 2007

Exercise 18

In an earlier blog, I think, Number 12, I talked about library 2.0 and what it may or may not mean to librarians. I guess in part, because I had already read the 5 brief essays that are part of this exercise. So I guess I'll continue on a bit.

How do I see the library in 5-10 years? I sincerely hope it is far more user friendly - both in person and however else we reach out to our patrons/users. For an academic library, much of this will be determined by outside forces - i.e. the faculty. If faculty are not concerned with scholarly resources, then we probably won't be needed
- except as a book storehouse. How many of our faculty, let that part of the student's work slide?

Now assuming faculty will demand scholarly material, it is up to us to figure out how to reach our users. Library 2.0 as one of the essays stated is past it's time. We need to be looking at places like the MIT Imaging labs and other "future" think labs. We really need to skip the intermediate steps and become cutting edge.

Because each discipline is different, different things will be required. For example, music. Scores and recordings are big issues. One of the vendors has come out with online scores as part of a subscription. Should libraries that have music programs get this. The answer is yes, assuming, the product is easy to use and the content appropriate. Should we get sound recordings access - not just streaming - but downloadable - the answer is of course, yes. The 2 C's, copyright and cost are big questions with this material. But by not figuring out to make it easy for music students to get this material, are we doing ourselves out of a job and not doing right by the students, the answer is a stark yes.

For engineering and the sciences, the publishers of databases are begiining to "get it". Scitopia.org is an example of societal publishers trying something new. They are also going in the opposite way - a good example is SAE's contract for their material. Not user friendly at all (to the patron or the library!)

What about the people? We will need to be ambassadors - each and every one of us - for the library (and really, by extention, our clientele). That means going out of way to help and frankly, let the patron know that we are. Good PR never hurts. We work with products that are unwieldly and frankly not user friendly (a good example is trying to put a book on "hold" or recall an item). It seems that the bigger the electronic system is the less responsive it is to our needs. Should we say the heck with aleph and go with something that really works better and is nimbler?

As time goes on our choices become fewer and fewer. What we do now will determine whether or not libraries will exist in 10-15 years.

part 12

Technology - I love it! I love playing with it! If I had more money, I'd have a lot more technie toys.

However, to make sense in the workplace, that is the real question. Many libraries (including ours) have heavily invested in Library 2.0 but the world has already passed us by.

For whatever reason (well, I know of a number of reasons - some librarians faults, others not), the library catalog systems and the database makers have not kept up with the information race. Google - the johnny come lately - caught the wave and is now shaping things. We've really lost between the various search engines (note, patrons use the phrase "which search engine should I use" meaning what database) and google scholar.

The question is can we make up the ground lost? On a really, really good day, I think we might - but realistically, I don't think we can. Can we still remain relevant? I had a faculty member say to me a couple of weeks ago, words to the effect that after the next accrediation visit the library won't be a factor in their accrediation - all the old guys who demanded it will have gone. The students get what they need off the "public" web. While I disagree that the students will get what they really need, they will find something. It will be up to the faculty to decide whether or not that "something" should be counted.

We need to educate the little kids coming up - I think we've lost the ones coming into college.

Sorry to be so negative but I guess that's how I feel. We have to be "in your face" to the students whether it's electronically or in person. But we need to figure out how to do that. Library 2.0 has only a very few answers, unfortunately.

November 6, 2007

technorati

Ok - it searches blogs. By tags or content and in using content - you can limit the "authority". Since, according to Technorati, authority is:

"On Fri. May 4th, we updated Technorati.com to include the Technorati Authority for blogs listed on the Blog page and in search results. This update changed the earlier references of "N blogs link here" and "X links from Y blogs" with the single Technorati Authority number. On the blog page, we also show the Technorati Rank.

Technorati Authority is the number of blogs linking to a website in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has."

This authority definition ruins the whole thing for me. Everybody knew the earth was flat but it isn't. So according to the Technorati Authority, the earth would be flat. This type of "mass" authority is very disturbing and can be, literally, a killer.

I would definitely NOT use technorati for their "authority".

delicious

It's an interesting program where you can save your bookmarks (and lists, it looks like) to a central place and always have them. You can allow others to see your bookmarks or lists, if you want, and then tags and cloud tags can be created.

There are apps that allow mobile devices to be used. I tried it out on my Treo and it works on the Treo.

Like many of these programs, privacy is an issue. Although there is a statement of privacy - I'm not sure about putting this much "personal" info on a website that could get hacked. That's just me, though

November 2, 2007

pt. 23 - other web apps

since my name is Pam - and I have a master's in geography - I looked at the mapping tools. I've used google maps and yahoo maps for a long time. So I looked a Wayfaring, not the winner but a runner up under the category mapping. I think there are some problems with using this. The interface is not that obvious but it truly has potential. I remember doing maps of the Congo for a friend's dissertationa nd it would have been a whole lot easier to use this. The hybrid maps are nice. But the satellite maps are really an important addition. It would be nice if there were maps taken over a time frame

pt. 22 - web based apps

I chose google doc. I played around with it and then saved a document and then brought up the doc on my treo. The word processing does simple things. I'm not sure that I would really want to use this - at least, right now - for a complicated document. Multiple columns, camera ready copy, etc.

But for free - wow!

October 27, 2007

Library Thing

I'd seen Library Thing demoed previously. Obviously it is designed for a social networking group. If you are a private person and don't want what you own up on the web, this is obviously not for you. The "how many have it" and the tag clouds that are created can be a plus.

The big negative is not being able to put up things that aren't books. There are a few scores that have been input but there is no way to say what kind of score something is. This is extremely important for musicians.

Sound recordings and videos are not really represented.

There are now ads on the pages and links to amazon, abebooks, etc. Again, not necessarily bad, but they are ads. I don't know if the ads would show up if you paid the $10.00 per year for adding more than, I think, 200 books.

One advantage is that this is webbased, so you can access stuff from anywhere and are not dependent on something like a spread sheet (I've got many of my books on an excel spreadsheet) that is loaded on some type of drive.

Image generators

I think that people like me who are graphically handicapped might find these useful. I can use Photoshop and so can manipulate stuff using that, some of these programs could do it faster. That means that someone interested in doing this type of thing, can do so with a minimum amount of work.

Since Web 2.0 is for the masses, this is a good idea.

As for which program is better than another - it's in the eye of the beholder and in the use that you want to put something to.

As with other products we are sampling, the use will boil down to personal interest and/or what might be useful in a work setting.

October 26, 2007

rollyo

I had experimented this summer with rollyo but have since lost what i.d. I was using. I think the "search engine" I created was elghund or elkhound.

Anyway, I think this would be a search engine where you want to limit the sites for various reasons. Child safe/friendly sites is the first the comes to mind.

In reference we have indexes and (selected) websites by subject. We use a software for that, but perhaps, using rollyo is an alternative. (I don't think so, but with a lot of hard work, rollyo could be a viable alternative).

#20 - wikis - various

Wiki software is kind of like word processing software. It will probably boil down to a matter of personal preference, what software you choose. You might prefer one software but another works better for your purpose - for example the ease of adding a widget - or even if a particular type of widget is available.

As I said in an earlier blog, I'm going to be working on a wiki for the sci-tech division of SLA. At this point, I haven't decided on the software. That will be a group decision.

October 25, 2007

flickr11

Picassa, Flickr mashups, etc., are great for people who love to mess with photos. But if you don't, the whole thing leaves you cold. I'm in the later category. Although I love maps (pam spelled backward is map) and think the mappr idea neat, I couldn't use it because it was down the day I was working on this project.

So while I appreciate the technology, I would not use it, unless it were for a specific work application. The software looks fairly straight forward but I am sure there are "goobles", that people run into that would require working through.

video casting

I think that has great potential for very, very short (certainly no more than 1 minutes or so) library tutorials.

The problem with Utube is quality. There is so much crap out there, that I don't have the time - or the inclination - to go through the stuff that comes up. Computers in Libraries gave their first library "tubies" awards last spring.

Here's a link to the links with the award winning videos.

http://arlib.org/pipermail/arklib-l_arlib.org/2007-May/000151.html

podcasting

I like listening to the Secret Chronicles by Mercedes Lackey, et al. It's a series of podcasts.

for library related, this has some appearl for very, very short tutorials.

I took a class, last spring, at Computers in Libraries 2007 that covered both podcasting and videocasting. It was a hands on class.

news feeds

If you really are zeroing in on a topic or topics the newsfeeds are great. However, if you have eclectic tastes, like I do, limiting yourself to one feed or even several feeds, you miss out on stuff.

For me, it's just simplier to type news.yahoo.com or cnn.com or abcnews.com, http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/

October 22, 2007

WIKIs

A lot of libraries and librarians have started wIki's. The big question I have is who is using them. Just librarians (nothing wrong with that, per se) or our patrons.

I'm going to be working with the SCI-TECH division of SLA, conference planning WIKI. So the audience for this is limited and this will be on target for the audience.