Friday, February 14, 2014

23 Mobile Things: Thing 1

I did not get too far with 23 Things on a Stick, but am hoping to have more time and inclination to get through this new round.  I recently got an iPhone and am eager to get more use out of it, and I need to broaden my understanding of mobile devices in general and the apps that go with them.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thing #3: RSS

I set up accounts in both Bloglines and Google Reader. I am not sure how much I will use these feeds, since I already have enough to read as it is. But at least now when I came upon a blog or website that I do want to keep up with I won't loose track of it in my bloated Favorites file which needs serious weeding. Also it will be an easy way to keep up with some of the 23 Things on a Stick blogs.

We expect to use RSS technology in our library to help our faculty stay in touch with what's going on in the library and to keep up with new materials coming in. We also plan to have a sort of RSS teach-in day when we will be available to help anyone interested in learning about feeds and how they can set them up. We are partnering with our IT department this fall to have monthly technology teach-ins (with refreshments)which will highlight some of the Library 2.0 features that we think will be of most benefit to our faculty and students. We look forward to the participation of IT folks and the chance to build stronger ties with that department.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Thing #2

As a student from a bygone linear era, I dutifully studied the "assigned readings" set out for Thing #2. Surprisingly, I found myself in agreement with much of the "library 2.0" conversation. It seems apparent that librarians who wish to remain viable must position themselves to respond to the rapidly changing online culture. And certainly I want to take advantage of the newest advances in technology, if these advances can be truly harnessed to the benefit of the students and faculty with whom I work. So I am eager to begin experimenting with Meebo, RSS feeds, wikis, etc.

However, I do have some reservations. One of them has to do with this participatory thing. As an academic librarian I am not sure that my customers want or have time to read what fellow students think about a book or a movie, etc. They are being told look for the authority, look for information that is credible. We repeat this mantra when we get a chance to interact with them, and I think it is a big part of our job. A catalog review by one of their professors might be of interest to them, but it is not beach reading that they are doing here; they don't need to be bogged down by the rants of amateur reviewers. Much of my concern has been articulated by Andrew Keen in the Cult of the Amateur. His thesis is that the participatory Web 2.0 poses a grave threat to our culture, our values, and our economy. The current and frightening devastation of newspapers is just one example of what happens when professional journalists are no longer looked to for information on world events--people can get blogs instead or, if they do read news online, they can tailor the coverage they receive so that they never hear anything that might cause them to question their beliefs/prejudices. Keen asks, when all the cultural gate keepers are gone, what will we have? "What happens when ignorance meets egoism meets bad taste meets mob rule?" Aarg!

I am all for students having access to tools that will allow them to develop their creativity, but a kid with a video camera is not Bergman or Goddard. It takes more than access to Flickr to become the next Dorothea Lange. In our efforts to meet our students where they "live," we can not afford to throw away academic values that stress critical thinking, attention to the thinkers and artists who have built our civilization, and true disciplinary skill building. So I think we need to sift and winnow through Library 2.0 to find what works for academic librarians, being mindful that our students probably don't want to see us on Facebook; that they would rather be sure that when they have a research assignment they need help with, we will be there with the best tools that technology can offer, as well as the professional skills that we have honed over a lifetime/career of using information systems to build real knowledge.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Thing #1

Putting a blog together was rather easy, but I was not too excited about creating an avatar--seemed a bit frivolous with so much else to do in a day. I started feeling guilty looking at seemingly endless costumes and backgrounds while at work, and I certainly didn't want to sit at my home computer all evening.

I like blogs for newsletters or forums, but I am not that interested in keeping up a personal blog; being a somewhat private person, it was a strain just to put up personal profile. I am not sure I am comfortable with putting too much information about myself on the net.