Getting ready for the New World

I am forever shouting the praises of Second Life in which I can learn, create, socialise and play. I joined a year ago today and my avatar took her first steps inworld when we studied a course in Virtual World Librarianship. This was so rewarding that I then went on to do the Intermediate course and have registered for Working with a Class in Second Life next month.

If you don't know what all the hype is about read Second Life - what is the hype? a new post in the makeuseof.com blog. The writer claims that Education is one of the most progressive fields in SL and while I am still hoping that one day my college will see the light, I am preparing to offer training to our lecturers to get them ready for the new wave.


Web2.0 in a nutshell

eLearn Magazine has this feature article Ten Web 2.0 Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes to Be a More Successful E-learning Professional. It could be valuable for all "23 Thingers" or anyone interested in learning about or maintaining their Web2.0 skills.


Social networking in the library

Jessamyn West on librarian.net has a thoughtful discussion about why libraries should be socially networking. She mentions popular tools such as flickr, facebook and twitter, with helpful links to the ways in which some libraries are using them and recommends that all libraries should be offering 23 Things to help their staff get up to speed with the technology.


Google or Syndetics?

Sarah Houghton-Jan, the Librarian in Black has posted about Google Book Search API: LibraryThing and libraries grab it right up.

Google has released a new API that allows easy linking into any of the books included in Google Book Search. It's called "the Books Viewability API" and lets you more easily embed links to books on your own website. As an example, Google pointed to the Deschutes Public Library that uses "preview this book at Google" links in their catalog (here's an example). Tim at LibraryThing used the API immediately to fold Google Book Search content into LibraryThing results and has also released code that lets you fold Google book covers into your catalog too. Ooooh, sweet open goodness.

Does this mean that our library can use this feature instead of subscribing to Syndetics?

Training Resources

I'm always on the lookout for resources to improve information literacy training and distance education. Here are some I found in Roddy MacLeod's latest Information Resources Newsletter:

  1. Alternate Reality Games for Orientation, Socialisation and Induction: ARGOSI http://www.playthinklearn.net/argosi.htm
  2. Create online training http://www.create-online-training.com/
  3. ELI Discovery Tool: Net Generation Workshop Guide http://www.educause.edu/NetGenTool
  4. Handbook for Information Literacy Teaching http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/insrv/educationandtraining/infolit/hilt/index.html



On Librarian in Black I found mention of a great way to use a wiki in a Library. If Central TAFE were to run with this idea we could call it Centipedia. See the original blog to understand my reason for this suggestion.


Business using Web 2.0

Libraries all over the world have adopted web 2.0 principles as a way of connecting with their users promoting their services. In my new role as Management & Business Librarian I am pleased to see that many businesses are also seeing the benefits of the new approach to knowledge management through openness and discussion in blogs, wikis and online chat. This may have been happening for some time but I have only recently become aware of it through scanning more business journals. An example is this report from FUMSI seen on FreePint.

"Web 2.0 + Intranet: Connected Users"
The buzz on Web 2.0 applications in the workplace is nearly deafening, but how are companies really putting all that user generated content to work? Helen Day gives a view of how BT uses discussion forums, blogs, RSS feeds and wikis of Web 2.0 on their corporate intranet.

Now if only I could persuade College management to read similar articles and become aware that Web 2.0 is not just another distraction ...


Marketing ourselves with widgets

One of the ideas proposed by Michael Stephens was that libraries should be making active use of web 2.0 applications. This holds the same for all businesses and is another way of looking at how we are advertising ourselves. BusinessWeek Talks Widgets, reported by ILibrarian, discusses several article about using some of these applications for social marketing campaigns.

We seem to be very inept in marketing ourselves and should take note of what can be achieved by making use of the available technology. If you can send me examples of how your library is doing it I'd be pleased to post them here.


Michael Stephens was here

Michael Stephens is taking his seminar The Hyperlinked Library around Australia and yesterday presented to about 40 people at the State Library of Western Australia in Perth. His presentations have been blogged by many people, notably Michelle McLean and Kathryn Greenhill.

Among the many ideas suggested my Michael here are I few I have taken to heart:

  • Information should be seamless, not in silos.
  • Don't try to replicate the physical library on a website.
  • Get rid of negative signs - be more welcoming and invite participation.
  • Say 'yes'.
  • Take risks.
  • Technology is a cultural shift - not a new toy.
A few of us had dinner in Fremantle with Michael that evening - a most enjoyable get-together and discussion.