Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ok, so it's been a while......

I got a bit blogged out during the Learning 2.0 program last summer, and I've never been a particularly prolific (or consistent) blogger in the first place, so I have been on quite the hiatus. Apologies to the person (if there is one) who may actually be following my blog.

Lots of life changes since my last "Thing #23" post!

My husband took a job at the University of Michigan in June, and I was incredibly fortunate to follow him to Ann Arbor in October. Not only did I get a job, I got my own personal dream job! That's right, I'm now working in the Taubman Medical Library at U of M as a Liaison Services Librarian. Outside of the preponderance of maize and blue (I'll always be a Spartan at heart......), things couldn't be better.

Of course, the 2.0 stuff (starting to hate that term with the passion of the Annoyed Librarian) is still keeping me very busy here in A2. I'm getting more and more enamored of Google and its various applications, and have started exploring the plethora of 3rd party PubMed tools in hopes of convincing our medical students, faculty, and researchers that Google itself is not really an appropriate source of medical information (unless you really know what you're doing).

I hope to begin posting more regularly, since we spent a good part of our 2.0 subcontract meeting this morning talking about what bad bloggers we all are. Future topics to look forward to: attempting to put a railing up on our deck, adventures in fence installation, more rants from the library, and the occasional State of the Townsend Union address (depending on how mad/happy/upset I am with Brian at the moment).

Friday, September 14, 2007

#23 Is This the End????

Absolutely not! As evidenced by the Web 2.0 Awards, this program was truly only the beginning. I hope that I can continue to learn about new technologies and how to use them. One of the main reasons that I wanted to start this program at Ohio U is because most of the tools were things I hadn't used much, but wanted to. It was good to "force" myself to take time out of my day to think about how libraries can effectively use Web 2.0 in reach our patrons and fulfill our respective missions.

I can't thank all of the participants enough; it was extremely gratifying to see the level of enthusiasm and participation from our staff! I really appreciate your willingness to try something new.

Remember, the Learning 2.0 Wrap Party is on Thursday, September 20th! We will have food, fun, and will draw the winner for the laptop!! Mark will also be unveiling the new Staff Information Wiki, Char will share the dynamic new FAQ tool, and this will be your last chance to see me before I hit the road for Ann Arbor for good.

I have had an amazing time working at Alden Library, and helping to run this program was definitely the icing on the cake!! Thank you everyone, for your friendship and collegiality. I will miss Athens immensely, and all of you the most!!

#22 Face-to-Face Space

I was pretty skeptical about the usefulness of social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace before this exercise; to me, they were things that kept the attention of my students in instruction classes.

But I took the plunge and joined Facebook.

I've added a few applications (LibraryThing and Librarian) that are library-specific, and a few that are completely fun (LOLcats, HHDane cause, etc). Surprisingly, I've found myself on it a lot. The most fun has been reconnecting with old high school friends, and other Ohio U library folks. I anticipate that it will be very useful when I make the move to UM.

What I find most fascinating is all of the research that is now being done on social networking sites: demographic makeup of Facebook vs. Myspace, virtual friends vs. real friends, expanding virtual networking and shrinking actual socializion.....interesting stuff.

#21 Podcasts, Schmodcasts!

I haven't jumped on the podcast bandwagon yet personally, though I know they are vital to a lot of people. My Brian is one of those people; he is set up to receive podcasts of the shows that he never has time to listen to. While he's been up in Ann Arbor, he listens to them at night to go to sleep (since I'm not there to bore him to sleep with my rambling nighttime converstations).

A number of our medical students that I talk to at Irvine Hall also subscribe to relevant podcasts. I'm just not cool enough yet I guess, but I imagine I will be getting involved quickly once I head to Ann Arbor.

As far as the podcast directories go....I found them similar to some of the feedfinding tools out there in that I didn't find much useful stuff "searching" for it; I tend to go with things I find on my "usual sites" or things that others have shared with me. Perhaps not the most proactive approach, but saves me a lot of time!

#20 You Too can YouTube

As you can tell by the sidebar of my blog, I love YouTube. Although I find it virtually impossible to "search" on YouTube and find anything meaningful or useful, it makes it very easy to share the hilarious videos that I see other places online or get from my friends. Check out Terry Tate from my sidebar; laughed so hard I cried. And Chad Vader is also a favorite (Darth's younger brother; day manager at Empire Grocery Stores).

On a more somber, serious, and scholarly note, YouTube can be a great way to connect with our audience. A lot of libraries are already creating videos and uploading them to YouTube, and easily embedding them on their sites to share will all. Our very own library has created a great "Intro to the Library" video based on the Creative Commons videos:

I generally have to tweak the height/width settings a bit in my blog posts to make everything fit nicely, but that's pretty easy to do.

#19 Discovering Web 2.0 Tools

I'm going to say the same thing everyone else is saying: Wow! Though we've covered a number of "Web 2.0" topics and tools in this program, the Web 2.0 Awards page makes it very clear that there is much, much more out there! A bit daunting, to be honest. We'll never get a chance to try everything, and just when we do, more things are added! Exciting, but also kind of depressing in a "when will it ever stop?!?" way.

I checked out Yelp, ad city-guide type of social site. I was interested to see what it had to say about my hometown area, Minneapolis/St. Paul. The site deafulted to San Francisco, which was kind of annoying (instead of letting me choose my city off the bat).

I entered in Minneapolis, MN and off I went to check out the "local flavor" section. At first glance, nothing about the Minneapolis page seemed as robust as the San Fran page, but I guess that shouldn't surprise me :). I didn't find much, to be honest (I know there's more flavor in Minneapolis than 4 entries!!). It offers the option to add a business, but to me, most local flavor isn't a "business" per se. For example, the Minnesota State Fair is definitely local flavor!

All in all I wasn't that impressed with Yelp (at least for my uses), but I'll give it a chance again. I checked out lots of the other "winners" as well, and there's definitely some cool stuff out there! I plan to check this site the next time they do their "awards", as its a nice compact place to find some of these Web 2.0 tools.