Thursday, September 21, 2006

Librarian 1.5

As this learning exercise continues, I am slowly gaining confidence both in my abilities using these programs, and in the purpose of what I am doing. For a while I thought that while a lot of this stuff was fun, it had minimal practical value.

I've started to change my mind.

Blogs are a great way of keeping teams in touch. I just started one for my Systemwide Strategic Priorities team, and I think it will be a great way of exchanging ideas and information.

Wikis have the potential to be wonderful storehouses of information. A best practices wiki on programming would be a fantastic place to share not just ideas for programs but tips about how to improve existing programs.

A tool like Writely is invaluable as a way of working on consensus documents. If the drafts of your document are dynamic, changes can happen as quickly as conversation. This is a good way of stopping documents stalling in committee.

And that's just the backstage stuff.

Once we start to recognize that we are living in the information age, we can make all the library's resources part of a wider conversation. A socially networked catalog, where users can record opinions on a book as easily as they can request it, would make patrons feel like this is their library. A teen library website like myowncafe is more than just a list of links to library resources; it's a place for kids to hang out and talk about whatever they want in a safe and fun environment. Library 2.0 means that being part of the library doesn't mean sterile and monolithic. The website should be part of the library in the way that the staff and the patrons are part of the library, as active, enthusiastic participants.


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