Archive for Library 2.0

Halo and Clever Kids

I don’t mind the game. Honestly, I don’t. I’m a science fiction and fantasy fan, so really, the basic premise is fine. And of course, who doesn’t want to be an amazing “fighter/warrior/marine,” the underdog, who takes on the Covenant, one mission at a time, one day of reckoning after another? Looks like some kind of fun.

That is, until last week when suddenly, out of fourteen computers on our main floor in the library, there were 12 kids who were playing Halo on our computers. . . . against each other.

How did they do that? That kind of game would normally bring our bandwidth to its knees.

So here were all these middle and high school boys (ok, there was one girl) on our computers and the place was quiet, too quiet? apparently, they were either using headsets or they simply played without the sound. That’s a lot of shooting; I thought the gun sounds were part of the fun.

Anywayyyyy, as much as I enjoyed having the kids, I had to find out how they were accomplishing this feat. It turned out that one (or more of them) had figured out how to get the game on a thumb drive, download it temporarily onto a computer and then the rest of the kids would access the game through our local LAN. I didn’t even know such a thing was possible.

I called our computer department to give them a heads up and sure enough, a few days later I got the verdict: although the kids hadn’t done any damage to our network yet, the chance for a virus to piggyback onto an illegal bootleg copy of the game was high. The kids had to cease and desist.

In a way, I felt bad. They were having a blast. I even heard kids saying, with shocked voices, “Wow, man, we were playing Halo at the library!” Yes, for those few days, the buzz was big, and the library was a cool place to go.

Gotta figure out how to capture that excitement legally. Sigh.


PLA: The Cutting Edge: The Latest Info on Web 2.0

Speakers: Jen Maney, Virtual Library Manager, Pima County Public Library; Michael Stephens, Instructor, Graduate School of Library & Information Science at Dominican University, and John Blyberg, Head, Technology & Digital Initiatives, Darien Library, CT.

Jen Maney started out with the “required” definition of Web 2.0, using Webopedia.

She then encouraged us all to remember, that “It’s Your library… so think about it: which tools will help you reach your library’s goals and how do we get to become part of the lives of the individuals who come to our library!” [This theme of becoming a part of the customers’ life was repeated throughout their program and is a big step for all the Web 2.0 gurus… everyone is starting to “make meaning” of all the technology!”

Experiment! This was another key word… and if you’re not comfortable experimenting with the Web 2.0 technologies?… “get over it!” 2.0 technologies are NOT going away. It’s just like Current Events… they just keep on coming.

At her system, they are desiging for “uncertainty” because things are changing faster than anyone can keep up. Our job is to “watch for trends,” “try something and if it works, great, if not, then stop doing it,” and remember, “there’s no pressure to be ‘right,’ there’s only change!”

PLAY! Technologies cannot be understood by talking about them… it’s important to touch them and try them.

Some examples from her system was a contest they ran with teens who were asked to create “trailers” like the movies… but for books! (very cool idea!)

It’s all about making it relevant to the customers (and to ourselves). But remember, we can’t do it all.

Some primary spaces where all libraries should have a presence: Facebook, FlickR, LibraryThing, MySpace & YouTube.

We should begin asking, whenever we plan an event, would any kind of web-based participation enhance the program or event? For instance, if an author visits, wouldn’t it be great to have a Q & A afterward as a podcast? Even something as simple as a comprehensive list of RSS feeds can direct specific information to the public.

Michael Stephens comments.

The evolving web is open and social. Is you library on Wikipedia? (The answer is yes, but it’s out of date. Gotta fix that!!!)

There are lots of new sites that are aggregating content together to make things easier. One of them is called PageFlakes. We need to move ahead and all libraries should be doing IM by now … and the aggregator for that is Meebo. An example of Meebo being used by a library is the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (right on the home page!)

The library needs to appear “transparent” and speak with a human voice (not vendor speak). And like Jen, repeats that the it’s important to say, “yes” to play and experimentation, particularly with one’s surroundings. “Throw out the culture of perfect!” He gave general examples of libraries worth viewing that have tried a variety of 2.0 technologies: Brooklyn Public Library, Darien Library, and Hennepin Copunty Public Library.

Ideas that have worked in other libraries: Storypalooza, interview the director, flickR profiles of the library, send in a photo of yourself reading, video tours, teen avatars – guess who we are.

Think of the library website as a sandbox! How does your library feel? What is the coolest library you have every visited in person and why? (His is Salt Lake City Public Library.) Think of “library as place.” Is there a way to translate the physical appeal to the web?

Stephens believes that staff need to “bring your hearts to work.” (See 2cents blog… not sure which link is the correct one on this… may need to do some extra looking.)

We are in the age of “continuous computing!” Also, consider, we need more “evidence based librarianship.”

More examples? See Moraine Valley Community College Virtual Tours.

Stephens final quote: “Learn to Learn, Adapt to Change, Scan the Horizon.”

John Blyberg’s comments.

Blyberg tried a different take on things by “responding” point by point to the case being made against web 2.0 by Andrew Keen who wrote Cult of the Amateur. Some of Keen’s observations include: “bad” stuff will be published if we allow “just anyone” to publish content, many people don’t have “good taste” and should be monitored, big media (aka Hollywood) is better at creating movies, an author may be taken seriously and actually “influence” others, the web 2.0 lexicon is problematic, and artists are too opinionated. I think this list is enough alone and not worth additional comments. Blyberg and most Web 2.0 adherents think Keen is way off base. So do I.

Week 9: Thing 23 – Final Thoughts

While actually doing 23 Things, my favorite discovery was Library Thing. I am very excited about this project. While working on the 2.0 project initially, I had a great time with Wiki’s and YouTube. I also got better at using all of these tools. It has been very gratifying to listen and watch and know that others in the library are experimenting with these tools.

I love new things and I’m looking forward to discovering the tools that come out in the near future that will improve on the technology of the ones we know today. I’m curious if the leap to these new tools will more difficult… will it come before we really feel we have these tools “under our belts?” I don’t know. I have dabbled in most everything that is Library 2.0 related, but I have not mastered many… except for blogging. I am several blogs and although they are not as active as I would like them to be, I have enjoyed the process.

The surprises from this program have not been for me personally, but for the staff I know who have participated. I have personally received so many comments … and even “new” people to the technology are finding themselves as “mentors” to others in their departments. Just love that!!!

I’m not sure about improvements. I think, in its core, it is really good. I think the sign up process could be smoother. I’m not that fond of the software the state used. It’s pretty clunky. I also think that people weren’t reading enough of the entries… I think we should have periodically “highlighted” some of the posts… either locally or statewide.

I would definitely like to be in another discovery process. I hope it comes up by next spring so that people can keep the momentum going. I am curious how many people will continue to blog… either the blog they started or a new one. How would we be able to know that?

Learning 2.0 is the most non-threatening, easy to understand introduction to Web 2.0 technologies for the end user that I have ever seen. Kudos to PLCMC for creating it. Kudos to DLDS for promoting in Maryland. Kudos to Harford County staff who have embraced it!

Week 9: Thing #22

In some ways, the book thing is similar to the podcast thing… I mean I have downloaded a number of Overdrive and NetLibrary titles because I needed, as a test, to make sure they were working. But, again, I haven’t liked using the MP3 player in the car to listen to my books because I have to “fiddle” with the hardware too much. I’m looking forward to the MP3 format to be incorporated into the car stereo system… then, I’ll be good!

Obviously, I have accounts already with both NetLibrary and Overdrive. In case you’re wondering, audio books outstrip “e-books” by at least 2 to 1 if not higher. People love audio books!!!

Week 9: Thing 20 & 21

YouTube… well, what can I say about YouTube… even MySpace has one of my favorite Tube entries, the blond who places a fast food order at a library info desk. But there are others… the panda who sneezes which we used at the Tech Fair. Let’s see what I can find right now…
OK… how about Nora the Cat, the Sequel… pretty funny if you like piano music.

OK… podcasts… although I have not done that many podcasts personally, I do understand the concept and presented this cocept at the Tech Fair. I have to confess, however, that I don’t really listen to podcasts. I’m not sure why… that is, except in specific learning situations. But I don’t subscribe to any. I think I haven’t not figured out when to listen. My car time is really my “book” time and I don’t like doing anything else. And if I do have time to listen, I’d rather listen to fiction than nonfiction … into which category, in general, I would say podcasts fall. So, it’s funny to know and appreciate them but not really use them.
Actually, as part of creating this exercise, I did create some feeds to podcasts, but again, I have enough trouble reading my feeds, much less listening.

I’ll make a podcast tomorrow and add it here… just to show I can. But tonight, I’m just going to fly through the rest of this. 🙂

Week 8: things 18 & 19

I’ve been doing some Google docs… mostly the calendar… in a situation like ours here at the library, I don’t see as much need for this online tool, but I have passed this information to others … it is nice to know that everyone doesn’t need to purchase expensive software to have access to a full-range of tools.

Now that I am on Second Life, it appears that most of the SL librarians are using the full-range of these Google applications, from Calendars to spreadsheets to docs. It’s very cool to have a shared area where others can add their comments. It’s a bit more controlled than a wiki and certainly, is so similar to Word, that’s it’s hard to really “mess it up.”

Well, I just did a complete Google doc… shared it with Gia and now I’m “publishing” it… I’m going to give it this blog entry as a destination to see what it does…. let’s experiment… I do think it would be interesting to possibly use these online docs for some of our library collaborations … may be better than a wiki.

Look, it appeared BELOW this one. Very cool. What an easy way to post as a group!!!!!!

Web 2.0 awards:
Hey! WetPaint… the wiki I chose for the Technology Plan is NUMBER ONE. how cool is that???

I forgot how much I like the 43 Things site and it’s still #1… I spent a few minutes adding a couple of things. The first time I went there … last year! … I only added 4 things, but it’s pretty amazing that I have completed one and I’m about to complete another. Is that great or what?

I could play all night with all the wonderful sites on the awards… but it is pretty amazing to me is the large number of sites I already know and have visited at least once or visit pretty regularly: Technorati, Bloglines, Library Thing, Squidoo, Craigslist, Google Docs & Calendars, Meebo, Feedburner, Cocktail Builder (first time today), WetPaint, PBwiki, 43 Things, Google Maps, iContact, Ning, Twitter, Pandora, Google Apps, Zoho, FlickR, Picassa, Odeo, Podshow, LinkedIn, Zillow, Rollyo, Facebook, Digg, Reddit,, & YouTube. Not bad… but I should add to my 43 things that I will visit all of the top 3 sites on this list award list. 🙂

This is a test document. I’m wonderin…

This is a test document. I’m wondering what would happen if we put work out here. Would that make it safer or NOT?? What kinds of things would benefit from being out here on the web instead of the L drive???

Pretty amazing stuff… maybe this would be better than a WIKI for the Technology Plan? No sure who can view… Let me see what Publish does…

Week 7: Things 16 & 17 (wikis)

OK… I don’t been to be rude… but since I wrote this one and have about 5 wiki’s out on the web right now… I think I’m good on these “things.” I did take a look at some of the library wiki’s….

Oregon Instruction Librarian – Library 2.0 in 15 minutes a day: I hate the way this looks (sort of a “raw” wikipedia) but just a casual glance shows that it still has a lot of relevancy … there are a number of 2.0 items that I would like to investigate, so I’ll be bookmarking this site and going back to it.

Princeton Public Library: Love the idea of a Summer Reading Club for adults that is a wiki… hmmm… this could be very cool for our very popular Winter Reading Program…

Best Practices for Library Success Wiki: this is really a great resource… but it’s overwhelming in how much is there… at this point, I just want to remember that it’s there and worth reading further.

Needless to say I’m on the Maryland Libraries sandbox wiki… I’ll confess, this collaborative thing does have its downside as people are not always as careful as they should be…. we have had a some errors and lost content. sigh.

Week 6: Thing #15 – Web/Library 2.0 Thoughts

The machine is Us… I love this YouTube entry. We used this as an intro to the entire Library 2.0 process and for good reason… it really captures where we are heading.

First of all, as a huge fan of Library 2.0 and Web 2.0… it’s like these authors are “preaching” to the choir. I have long felt that we are not moving fast enough (like the rowboat idea) to address the expectations of our patrons. Not all of them, of course, and not in all communities… but it’s coming up faster than we think. Just look at the percentages of households who now have computers … and yes, in Harford County, it’s a little scarey that a large number are still on a phone line….. but it’s changing and I predict, within 3 years, the percentages will start tipping the other way. Will we be ready to meet the need?

For me, the problem is more complex since I am in the tech group that is supposedly providing the 2.0 experience… in other words, it’s one thing to go out and be a “user” of web 2.0 technology, but it’s a whole other experience to be expected to create it. I’m shaking in my boots. I’m good, but I’m not that good. The technology is moving fasther than I can learn it. That’s the bottom line. So, the writing on the wall, as I see it, is to do whatever it takes to build a model that is less and less dependent on me and more able to be blended into the “workday” of my colleagues. We already have a number of librarians who are uploading and adding content directly to the web. That will become more and more the norm.

I also believe that RSS is going to become more and more popular with the general public and will become one of the ways that the library and go to the public directly with the content they are interested in receiving. Just with the development of AquaBrowser and its embedded RSS module, this is an awesome service.

Some other things I’m hoping will be on our horizon shortly:

  • Instant Messaging and Txt at the Ref Desk
  • More staff-initiated wiki’s … for public use
  • Enhance our MySpace presence
  • Build our Second Life presence

I also so grateful for this Learning 2.0 project as I think it has been a real eye-opener for many staff… but in relatively painless and fun way. It’s exciting to me that every single participant… no matter how far along he/she is, has experienced Web 2.0!

And lastly, I love the Wendy Schultz article who takes the ideas beyond Library 2.0 … through 3.0 (Second Life and other virtual realities) … to 4.0: the library as “mind gym” or “idea lab” — the aesthetic experience…the knowledge spa. I can’t wait!!!

Week 6: Things 13 & 14 (Tagging & Technorati)

Well, as with many of the Library 2.0 project, I have been tagging for awhile. I have had a acct for awhile… but also, it is totally UNDER-used. I have moved my bookmarks from I.E. several times, but I have not had the energy to go through all the bookmarks and get them usable. The best laid plans and all that… OK… I tried, I edited about 5 pages of 51 … that’s all I can do right now. But I will finish! I think I can… I think I can. I did add the buttons to my browser.

As for Technorati… I have claimed not only my own blogs, but the library blogs as well. Unfortunately, none of mine in that “middle level” and have much popularity, but it’s nice to know that are accessible to anyone who searches. I always forget how much fun it is to prowl around Technorati. I’m actually amazed that so few blogs come up under the Learning 2.0 search. I’m curious about that. Ok… so lots of posts about Learning 2.0 but much fewer blogs noted as being solely about 2.0. Ok. I get it. I see there are number of videocasts of the winners of 2.0 programs being posted… we need to do that at Staff Day too I think.
I took off that a mouse trail to check out WTF … Where’s the Fire? These are very similar to DIGG. Is it worth it? I don’t know, but apparently, if you are a newbie blogger and want to get some extra traffic, this is the way to do it. I did run into Revellian who has a very busy quirky site with lots of 2.0 links… worth checking out, I think…. his little icons for bookmarking are worth exploring.

« Previous entries