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Archive for the ‘library 2.0’ Category

A colleague of mine at work forwarded information about this to our reference librarians, but I just read about it on Jenny Levine’s blog: the idea of using Meebo’s IM widget in the library catalog to create a user-librarian interaction at the point of need. Our library has gone back and forth about using IM at the reference desk for years, without actually doing anything. We have a student population of mostly residential students, with no distance learning component at all. Never seemed like IM would be necessary in our library.

However, I can see the benefits of using IM or chat in the library catalog, even on a residential campus. Questions about using our library catalog are probably the second most frequent interaction at the reference desk, behind searching for journal articles. If students could chat with a reference librarian while they were having difficulties in the catalog, we could help the students at the point of need, rather than interrupting their research and having them come down to the main floor or over to the reference desk to ask a question. The Meebo widget could be a great solution.

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Good post on Infoblog about best Web 2.0 practices and the library catalog.  The idea of cross-promotion within the library by way of library catalog is a good use of Web 2.0 technologies to manufacture interest in the library and what we are doing.

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Today I am at RRLC, at a presentation by Sara Greenleaf of Hobart & William Smith Colleges.  Sara’s presentation is available on SlideShare and is chock full of good resources on 2.0 technology. 

This makes me think some more about trying to develop some staff and faculty training on 2.0 technologies; maybe with an Information Management twist. 

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The LIS Wiki is a great encyclopedia by librarians, for librarians and it has an entry on Library 2.0 which is always being updated and serves as a good primer for those new to the term Library 2.0 and all its various meanings.

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Today I have been thinking a lot about book discussions and libraries, particularly academic libraries.  My library is sponsoring a faculty book discussion next week, around the book The View From the Center of the Universe, and it got me thinking about why my library doesn’t do more book discussion projects.  Time is, of course, the first reason which comes to mind.  But it shouldn’t be that hard considering we are an academic library and have access to great material and a faculty who are generally fond of the library and the programming we provide.   Laura Cohen writes about adding value to the library; not just through marketing our collections, but also through engaging users in social and participatory websites that discuss books.  One example she uses is the creation of discussion blogs revolving around campus reading programs or visiting writers.  A library website or blog is the perfect place to start these virtual discussions.  People recognize the word “library” and may have an old-fashioned idea about our mission or may see us as just dusty warehouses of books.  Since people are going to the web for book discussions, shouldn’t we be there when go looking?

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Kathryn Greenhill writes about the shifting of libraries’ power and Library 2.0 on her blog, Librarians Matter.   Kathryn makes some valid points about this shift in power:  users creating their own idea of a library and the power of libraries to take risks.  I think for years we were so bound by tradition and the idea of libraries as gatekeepers that it is exciting and liberating to be out there risking change to these traditions.  I know many libraries are still struggling with this fearsome idea of change and risk-taking — I mean, come on, many of us did not become librarians because we are in it for the adventure!  Taking on social networking tools and risking the house on letting users add tags to your catalog can be scary stuff for those who have done business the same way for forty years or more.

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Meredith Farkas writes about successful blogging over at Information Wants to Be Free:

What makes your blog a success depends on what your goals for it are. Why do you blog? Looking at the responses I saw in the Survey of the Biblioblogosphere, I didn’t see anything about having the most subscribers, having the highest Google Page Rank, or being the most well-known blogger. I saw people who wanted to share information with others, who want to keep current, who want to become part of a community and who want to process their own ideas about professional issues. So, if you want to share information with others, it’s probably important to have an audience, but it probably doesn’t matter as much how many comments you get or how many people link to you. If your goal in blogging is to keep yourself current or to process your own ideas about professional issues, popularity shouldn’t matter at all. If your goal is to be part of a community, it shouldn’t matter how big or small that community is, but you may care about things like “conversational intensity” because you want to be a part of the community conversation. So, think about why you blog and let that guide your vision of success.

I emphasize “share information with others” because I think this is what makes librarians so important. So much of what we do is intended to create access to information: we collect, organize and disseminate information to users and I think this why so many librarians have taken naturally to blogging. Its a perfect fit for so many of us.

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