Thing #23 - The Summary

Many of my friends who have started blogs have done so because of a need for self-expression. For some their blogs are personal journals that they want to share with a select group of people. I think using the blog as a learning journal, such as with this program, is an excellent idea. Many of us have been asked to write learning journals when we were younger; and often getting our thoughts out on paper help us to solidify what we have learned. A journal is also something we can look back at as a record of our learning experience. Writing about learning experiences in a blog format adds the element of sharing and collaboration. Now others can read and benefit from our learning experiences. Readers can also add comments and perhaps provide more insight into a mentioned topic. In this way I think I have learned a lot from 23Things. I hope to continue expanding upon my 23 Things entries. There is still so much learn!

Favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey:
I loved exploring the award-winning mashups. Before 23Things, I assumed mashups were exactly like they sounded: haphazard combinations of different web applications resulting in horrible sites with little usability. Again, I recommend Mashup Awards

Thing #22 - Learn about Audiobooks

I have this fantasy that every book will one day be available online. Not that I don't like physical books... I love physical books! But the idea that I can sit at home, be in the mood for a specific title and be able to immediately pull it up... Maybe I'm just lazy! The offering of eBooks and eAudioboooks may not be as great as I'd like, but it's improving. See screenshots below of several titles I'd like to read from NetLibrary (click on screenshot to enlarge):

Thing #21 - Podcasts

Some people are visual learners while others are auditory learners... Podcasts are a perfect option for the latter. I think that the secret to a successful podcast has to do partially with the content provided, but also with the personality/ties involved and the creativity of the podcast. Below are some of my favorite library and reading related podcasts (Note: Click on the title to go to the podcast site and click on the screenshots to enlarge them):

1. Just One More Book
Discussion of great children's books over a cup of coffee. Features interviews as well. Fun, fun, fun (At least for a children's librarian :)

2. STUN!
A podcast featuring interviews with comic book creators. What works about STUN is that it is very polished, mainly due to the fact that it is a side project of a professional on-air personality: James VanOsdol

3. Behind the Desk: Podcasts from Alden Library (Ohio University Libraries)
Librarians can use podcasts to introduce themselves to their patrons, as demonstrated here by the academic librarians at the Alden Library. There are also library tours in Malay and Portuguese.

4. DiMenna-Nyselius Library Podcasts (Fairfield University)
At DiMenna-Nyselius University, you can find out more about different topics that student have reports about from professors. What I find most fun, however, are their "Meet the Databases" podcasts. You can listen to the databases tell you about themselves.

Thing #16 - About Wikis

I may have previously mentioned my internship at National Geographic promoting the use of Web 2.0. Well, one of the things I especially pushed was the use of wikis for collaborating and sharing information. Often, when thinking of wikis, the first thing that comes to mind is Wikipedia. But at National Geographic, librarians as well as staff used wikis as forums to discuss future events and to record meeting minutes as well as creative ideas.

Libraries also use wikis for reader's advisory. I started such a wiki called Children's Lit Love (You can also see a link for this wiki at the top of this blog). Here is a screenshot:

Another example of a reader's advisory wiki is the Book Lover's Wiki. The great thing about a wiki is that it makes collaborating and publishing information in an online medium simple. Collaborators often add information in a format very similar to typing into a word processing window. Depending on the wiki engine (i.e., WetPaint, MediaWiki, etc.), collaborators will have to learn certain types of coding. However, it is extremely easy and publishing information on the web is as simple as clicking on a button. Also, information is organized by different web pages and not restricted to reverse chronological order as with a blog.

So you no longer have to know HTML and Dreamweaver to create your very own website about something that interests you!

Thing #19 - Explore a Site from the Web 2.0 Awards List

Did I ever mention that I boycott MySpace? I boycott MySpace due to how "ugly" it looks. I've seen a few well-designed MySpace pages, but for the most part, I think that MySpace pages break every rule there is in regards to good design. As I've previously mentioned, my preferred "social networking" site is also a blog site: LiveJournal

The other week, however, I gave in and started a Facebook account. And now, I've noticed that Facebook is the first place winner for SEOmoz's Web 2.0 Awards in the Social Networking category; and I wholeheartedly agree. It has a very clean layout. You can also add different applications, such as iLike, which allows you to share clips of songs you like, as well as indicating whether artists you mark as your favorites are currently on tour. You can post messages on your friends' walls. There is an application that allows you to give your friends gifts. You can post a short statement about what you are currently doing or what your current state is. What I really like is that the photo application allows you to tag people in photos. If a photo is tagged with your name, even by another Facebook user, it shows up in an album of "Photos of You." You can also subscribe to Facebook groups. Currently I am a member of the following Facebook groups: The Hollywood Librarian, 1,000,000 Strong for Stephen T. Colbert and American Library Association Members. See below for an edited version of my Facebook page. This way you can at least see the layout and aesthetics of it.

Thing #15 - Perspectives of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0

...commodity to product to service to experience: e.g., from selling coffee beans to selling Maxwell House to serving coffee at Dunkin Donuts to providing an exotic Starbucks’ coffee permutation in its chattering, WiFi, jazz cafĂ© atmosphere. --Dr. Wendy Schultz, To a Temporary Place in Time...

What value can a librarian add when so much information is now available on the web? This was a constant question that was asked during my library science studies at CLIS from 2005-2007. One answer was what was termed the "Starbucks Model." The library becomes more than just a place to find information. It becomes, as Dr. Wendy Schultz suggests, a community. More than ever before, the library becomes a place where dialogue can take place. Just as people want the convenience of finding information from their home computers, people also want a place where they can meet with others and exchange ideas, share thoughts, and bond over similar situations and experiences.

The physical library must become this "third place" (after a person's home and work) in order to adapt to the proliferation of information on the web. Additionally, the library must meet users at their place of convenience (as mentioned by Rick Anderson in Away from the "Icebergs"). This is where Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 come in. If users prefer to get their information from the web, librarians need to meet this need. Examples include offering live chat reference services and forming reader's advisory blogs (And that is just what librarians are doing!).

As I learned in grad school, now that we as a society are inundated with information, the role of the librarian becomes increasingly important in sifting through this information for quality. Librarians must add value by creating community, and providing convenient, timely, and accurate information to the user.

Thing #17 - Learning 2.0 Sandbox Wiki

Check out Favorite Blogs on the Learning 2.0 Sandbox Wiki! (and see if you can find my link to this blog :)