Monday, August 3, 2009

Thing # 15: Perspectives on Library 2.0 and Web 2.0

I feel lucky to be taking this course. I didn't realize how far "behind" I was in skills and information related to 2.0. I found David Warwick's July 16, 2009 blog post in 2 Cents Worth to be fascinating. He informally surveyed 197 high school teachers, asking two questions: Can you be a good teacher without technology? and Is the teacher who is not using technology doing his/her job? Close to 69% answered "yes" to the first question. However, a majority (he did not give the percentage) answered "no" to the second question. David sticks his neck out and writes, "Today our students must become information artisans, able to learn, work, play, contribute and prosper in a new and constantly changing ...information environment...If you don't want to do technology, if you're not good at technology, then find another calling." I think most of my colleagues would agree with this. We owe it to students to provide the best materials and most up-to-date information available, and that means using technology.

I also found Rick Anderson's comments thought-provoking. He says that librarians face three "icebergs"(I wondered if they are Titanic-sized). We do things as we've done them in the past, even if they no longer make sense. He says that our first iceberg is our "just in case" print collection. We can give this up, at least the parts that grow outdated quickly. Secondly, rather than focus so much energy on user education with our shrinking staffs, we should simplify our database and software user-interfaces. Finally, Anderson says that expecting patrons to come to us doesn't work any more. Libraries must find new ways of bringing physical and virtual services to patrons. Another article I read says that libraries need to involve patrons in more two-way feedback and development of services. I agree that whether our profession becomes outdated or morphs is in our hands!

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Favorite Children's Books

Some Favorite Adult Books

  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (memoir)
  • The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch
  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri