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Archive for the ‘services’ Category

I have to admit, reading this story was a bit depressing, considering the investment of time we are putting into podcasting here at my library.  Yahoo! is closing down its podcast directory and rumors are it is because of low interest and the closing of their entertainment divisioin…

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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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Library Journal‘s September 15th issue features an interesting article about what libraries are doing with tagging and social bookmarking tools.  Some exciting examples are Ann Arbor District Public Library’s experiment with a “social library catalog“.  Scroll to the bottom of the screen to find their tag cloud, a wonderful tool to browse subject headings which works conceptually once you get past the error code at the top of the screen.  Another library, Nashville Public, includes tag clouds right on their homepage, in their case on the front page of their teen web services.  Tags and social bookmarking tools seem a natural segue from traditional, subject-expert dependent catalogs.  Web 2.0’s very unique nature is “user-centered” and libraries need to find a way to incorporate this into their websites in order to stay relevant to their users.

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Many campuses of higher education are dealing with budget and staffing issues, as well as a lack of time.  Thus, Second Life has enormous appeal for all academic and student life departments, not just the academic library.  collegewebeditor.com is a web, PR, and marketing blog for higher ed institutions, aimed primarily to admissions and marketing folks, but has lots of posts about web 2.0 and marketing higher ed institutions, probably including the library.  I say probably, because, their aim is the overall institution and attracting students, not marketing to current students.  They do have some interesting posts about SL, such as using SL for emergency drills and disaster preparation for campuses that really can’t afford to do this in the “real” world.

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Great compilation of 2.0 tools for students.  The tools are aimed at mostly college students, but I suppose the list could be adapted for elementary and secondary ed students.  Tools like Zoho Office Suite which has a whole cadre of free word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications.  JotCloud and ShortText for taking notes, Facebook and Stikipad for collaboration on documents, plus many more…

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I found this piece while googling library elites for a podcasting talk I gave today.  David King wrote about Mary Madden’s recent blog post on the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s website: “This is Library 2.0“.  Mary gave a presentation in  King’s Kansas “neighborhood” and made a delightful observation:

While books are still obviously the main attraction, TSCPL embraces a “more than books” attitude and atmosphere. There’s a café, an art gallery, a conference center, a bookstore, a genealogy center and so much more. There are lectures, performances, classes and tours, and just an overall feeling that there’s more happening at the library than anywhere else in town.

Yep, this pretty much sums up what we ALL need to be doing at our libraries.  Now, if we only had the money to do so…

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Thanks to George Siemens’ eLearning Resources and News email newsletter:  a recent TechCrunch article on virtual worlds and the different services they provide and a discussion on the Freakonomics blog about the popularity and economic questions sparked by virtual services such as Second Life.  This last one really started an interesting discussion about the supposed “real-world” gains to be made from a virtual world economy.

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