I joined Facebook maybe a year-and-a-half ago after one of my friends nagged me about it for several months. I created a profile and promptly forgot about it. That same friend then threatened to somehow log in as me and post a profile picture and really get it going. A few months later I finally came round to the genius that is Facebook. It was exciting to me that I could find friends that I had not talked to since high school, and we could then share pictures and news with each other. It also helped because I have a rather large family, and Facebook makes it easier to stay in touch. I am still not an avid Facebooker, especially compared to some of my friends. But I do find it so easy to keep in touch with people that you may not want to have long telephone conversations with but just want to keep up to date on the big events of their life. Also, my friends and I created a group for our book club, which has turned out to be a really convenient way to communicate about upcoming events and books we have discussed.
I did not know what R.S.S. was until my first semester of Library School when we had a unit on emerging Web 2.0 technology. But when I learned about it, it felt like such a revelation – so that’s what that little symbol means! However, even after the lecture and trying it out briefly by myself, I really did not start using it. I am not an avid blog reader, and I do not keep up with specific newspapers (sad, but true!). However, I like knowing that the technology is there if I need it, and for 23 Things, I did go ahead and add content from my hometown newspaper, The Oregonian. Maybe this will be the motivation I need to keep up with local, national, and international events!
Blog Readers June 8, 2009
The blog reader still seems a bit new to me. I think the format will take some getting used to – I need to figure out a folder system that works for me. I have just now started moving my emails into folders because I knew I would never take the time to browse or search through my thousands of emails to find the one containing that list of teen books on eating disorders. You would think that as a future librarian I would be quick to organize, but it turns out that sometimes it is the exact opposite.
I am the kind of person who forgets to check blogs, so it is nice having something do that for me, and I of course like that they are all compiled in one place. To me, a lot of this technology is really about saving time – I think we can be much more efficient when we use blog readers, share photos (that have already been cropped and labeled with captions), and use wikis to work on projects with distant colleagues. So, while I think that this technology can and should be used to entice patrons into the library, it can also be used to free up some of our time so we are more accessible to those patrons.
I had a lot of fun with this activity! I tried a new one called “Word Mosaic,” and I spent several minutes scrolling through all of the possible images to find one that I loved. I tried the Warholizer, but my image did not turn out well – only the edges of the picture showed up, which was actually okay with me because a picture of myself is always a scary prospect! I also tried the option where you can upload directly from their site to one’s blog. This is really nice because it does the work for you, but it just uploaded it in what looked like a separate post, so I had to edit it. These images would be a lot of fun to use in a library blog or Facebook page to add some color and variety. It could also be fun to teach a class on mashups and image generators and encourage people to bring pictures that they could manipulate.
I don’t know why, but I love the word “mashup” (and not just because everybody from Flickr to high schools are using it)! With a mashup, you really get to combine two or more cool things to create one ingenious product! I had a lot of fun with Spell with Flickr and found it hard to stop choosing letters. Here is what I finally ended up with.
I also tried the Jigsaw mashup, which was neat.
I am definitely a fan of Flickr. You can find a picture on just about any topic imaginable. I have used Creative Commons pictures for class projects (including a blog for my youth lit class) and the UNT library website.
I find it easy to search, and I appreciate that you can view other pictures by a user whose photos you like. Also, I think the map feature is way too cool! I find that I often search Flickr for photos of a certain place, so it is really nice to be able to choose a location on a map and see what pictures have been taken there. I also love the idea that libraries can upload and share photos from library events. I think these photos help the library to appear to be a more fun, vibrant place, where people can go to socialize, learn, and grow.
And just because I miss my Utah mountains… check out this beautiful pic.
I think I have a love-hate relationship with Library 2.0. I love the idea that libraries can embrace new technology, methods, and programs to make them more interactive and relevant for patrons. But I also think librarians need to be really savvy about how they adopt new technology. For a teen librarian to create a Myspace page, which is never used or updated, just because everyone else is doing it is a waste of time. Also, the Second Life craze (which I honestly find to be slightly creepy) is one that I hope few libraries embrace, except (as one of my colleagues suggested) to be used as a learning environment.
I also think that Library 2.0 technology should not completely usurp more traditional methods. If this happens, we as librarians run the risk of alienting our more traditional patrons. Some of them most likely prefer checking out a bulletin board rather than logging into Facebook to view the latest library announcements. Ultimately, I think we must embrace Web 2.0 technology because the millennials have, but that does not mean that we can’t pick and choose and plan carefully what we decide to adopt.