Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thing #5 Revisited

OK, Jeff wanted me to actually say something about Image Generators rather than just post a funny picture (spoilsport :P ).

As I mentioned in Thing #4 one of the problems I had with this assignment was that my campus IT department blocked almost all of the listed sites. Many librarians who have had similar problems have usually railed against the computer folks and have cried Censorship! However it's important to see their point of view as well.

Yes it is nice for the library and library patrons to be able to utilize the new technologies available to use. However it's also nice to have a computer network that doesn't constantly crash or not have a virus that eats your homework. The main job of the IT department is keep the patron computer user happy and secure and we, librarians, often forget that point.

In the long run it's about communication and comprise. Too often I see fellow librarian merely sit and stew over some computer policy that adversely effects them rather than ask for help. Often the IT departments CAN accommodate the libraries needs or at least illuminate on why such policies are in place. Also once the library staff is aware of the IT department's position, they can be more proactive and go out and find solutions themselves that will make all parties happy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thing #23 Judgement Day

Well, that's done with.

It might seem like I did a ton of work today. The truth is however that I actually looked at everything on the list weeks ago, I just never blocked out enough time to actually post about it.

Reflections -
What was your favorite Thing?
This part, where I finished everything.

What was your least favorite Thing?
Everything before this part.

What was challenging for you?
Getting to this part.

What did you learn?
That I need to schedule my time better in order to do the parts.

What new technologies will you use in your library? to come up with a different term besides "Part"

OK OK OK Serious answers this time.

What was your favorite Thing?
LibWorm was bookmarked almost immeadiately. It's a great resource for the kind of information I need. Setting up this Blog was also a great deal of fun.

What was your least favorite Thing?
Ning: I have little use for social networking especially on a network which didn't seem to have much on my hobbies and interests.

What was challenging for you?
Well I spent a hour trying to delete or move around my entries on Wetpaint or find FAQs tutorials or Help pages that would tell how to. Eventually I read the comments on the NT23 page and found out that only Jesse could delete or move entries. Not really the Wetpaint's fault but it was challenging. Also some of the setup and login pages were extremely frustrating for me.

What did you learn?
OK this one is the same. That I need to schedule my time better in order to do the parts. Some of these tools could actually help me in that regard.

What new technologies will you use in your library?
I pretty much listed these in my last post.

Thing #22 My Library

This is a list of Things that Midwestern State has implemented or will be implemented by the end of the year.
  1. Transferred the library newsletter to an online library blog
  2. A Facebook page for the Moffett Library
  3. An instant messaging service for reference questions
  4. Campus calendar RSS feed
  5. A Reference Desk wiki for professional staff
  6. Podcast tutorials for the general public
Not bad. I surprised myself with the number of things we've had in place for a while now.

Thing #20 Youtube and Thing #21 Podcast

I'm posting on these two topics at the same time since I think that they are closely related.

Youtube has it's uses (beyond the leaked footage of Ironman 2 from the San Diego Comic Con that showed up today... well I thought it was the most useful thing I've seen lately on youtube :) ). Youtube is a great resource of free and public use library tutorials that everyone can get a hold of.

That being said I think podcasts are the better way to go. Our library has just purchased Camtasia and will have a series of online tutorials in place by the end of the semester. Podcasts have the advantage in the fact that they can be individually costumized for the specific needs of your institution. Also even if you can't not aford to make your own podcasts there are numerous institions, companies and sites that provide free podcasts and often will allow others to link or even repost their work.

Thing #19 Google Docs

Well as a North Texas 23 Coordinator I've been using this since I began this project. (It's how the main coordinator keeps tabs on who has done what).

However I have seen a practical aplication used at out library this week. The reference desk has started suggesting google docs as an option for our students given that the libary computers don't have any word processiong and the campus lab computers (which do have word processing) are all closed this week.

I haven't seen anyone actually use it yet, but at least the professional staff here was impressed by it.

Thing #18 Wiki

Well I have put together a Reference Desk wiki by the end of this semester. So unfortunately what I really need to see is all the backdoor administrator options that the casual user doesn't have access to.

However my time with Wetpaint spawned this subtopic in my Wiki -

Stuff that frustrates me about Wetpaint

  • No free tutorials (or if they exist no easily found tutorials) on how to use this site
  • Can create but not move or delete (I sort of understand this one, but you should at least be able to delete or move content the is user created).

Thing #17 LibWorm

OK this was very useful.

AS I stated earlier I've been trying to put together a bunch of online tutorials before school starts. So I tried a search on "online tutorials". The first result was Blog post. The post reminded us librarians that just because we put up an online tutorial doesn't mean that everyone will know how to use it. The blogger recommend that one also have a tutorial on how to use online tutorials.

At first I thought it was one of stupidest things I've ever read. But then I realized it was absolute genius.