Thursday, November 13, 2008

2 posts in 1 More Learning 2.0

Thing 4:

Register your blog and join the party.

Ummm, well for Leraning 2.0 this is done, however as far as how does this help my patrons or co-workers. If they don't know where your blog is, how are they going to be able to go there and find all that useful information you keep learning and typing about? If you are going to use your blog for work, then the people who need to know what is in it need to know where to find it. Advertise yourself!

Thing 5:

Instant messaging

I IMed with Allana, and asked her about starting up on this whole program of Learning 2.0. The whole conversation went exactly as a reference question should go. She was right there; there was virtually no wait for answers. Afterwards I jumped in and started looking around the Learning 2.0 site and thinking about how all this can work in a library setting.

There is a lot of potential for keeping up with co-workers in a different part of the building, asking questions about how to get that invoice paid, or clarifying procedures. It also has some benefit for reference work, but if your reference desk is busy with face to face questions, the person handling IM for reference might be better placed away from the desk.

How can blogs be helpful in a work setting?

Thing 3:
Grab yourself a blog in 3 easy steps.

How can having a blog help our co-workers or patrons? A perfect example of this is the blog of one of my co-workers -- Criss Library Focus On Online.

Blogs can be used by the Library as a whole for things like informing the community of events, new materials, or anything else the library wishes to publish. It can let patrons and co-workers know about helpful websites, which is how I’ve used my internal blog where I work. Okay, so no really new ideas here, but Library Blogs have been around for a long time now.

Lifelong Learning

Thing 2:
Lifelong learning.

Thing 2 talks about lifelong learning. There is a brief video to watch with some handouts to help us tackle new learning projects.

Linking lifelong learning to working in a library and using it to help our patrons and co-workers. I’m going to be brief and flip here, and say that we all practice lifelong learning and it goes by the name of professional development. As stated in an earlier post, my goal for this is going to be to try to relate the individual ‘Things 1-23’ to helping patrons and co-workers.

Learning about Technology while working in a Library

Thing 1:

Discovery has never been so much fun.

Okay, linking discovery and learning to help library patrons and customers internal and external. This is an easy one. Our patrons/customers are becoming more and more tech savvy. Many of them can help themselves and learn the new technology on their own. But, do we have to provide that technology in our libraries. How do we know what to provide? Can we as library workers use the technology ourselves so that we can help our customers who are not tech savvy?

We find out or learn what technology is needed in many ways: talking to our patrons, reading professional journals, attending training courses, and going out on the web and looking around for it. I think we all know that Google is not just a noun. I google frequently to find things. So what if it isn’t a scholarly source, it does find scholarly papers that have been web-published. It finds vendors that want to sell you the technology you are looking for. Sometimes you even find freeware. We as librarians are in the business of evaluating resources to see if they are valid or not, we just use that evaluation skill to determine which sites are giving us the good information. I find Wikipedia to be an excellent source for answering many quick questions like what is (insert name of computer program you need information about here). For example go to wikipedia and type CAD in the search box. The main entry is about Computer Aided Design, but there is a disambiguation page on Cad that fits my introduction to the word (many many years ago): Cad (character), a man who seduces a young woman, often to her social or financial ruin. (My mom used it in reference to Ashley Wilkes and his dishonesty in dealing with Scarlett.)

I could go on and on about how we need to continue to learn and discover new things to help our patrons and co-workers but really I think it has all been said before and much better than I said it in the previous paragraph. I think the only thing left I want to mention here is, is this fun? Well, for me it is. Especially when I am not on a deadline, deadlines always take the fun out of things, don’t they?