Friday, February 22, 2008

Things in Twos -- Web & Library 2.0

I will start out by saying that I am a bit "old fashioned." I prefer to read books instead of blogs, rattle open a print newspaper rather than watch CNN, my cell phone is SIX YEARS old and the only thing it does is make phone calls (okay, there are a few games on it I believe) and I like big screen movies rather than watching videos on a computer monitor or a tiny screen (though I am addicted to DVD extras). However, that being said, I am not a total Luddite when it comes to Things 2.0, as while I may prefer to do something one way, that doesn't mean that if the tool fits the need or does it better, I will not try out something different.

My cat Ernie likes to sleep inside boxes -- that is his comfort zone.The purpose of this exercise, the 23 Things on a Stick is to have us think outside our "boxes." Libraries and librarians, despite stereotypes, quite often are on the cutting edge of Things. I am fortunate in having colleagues around me who find Web 2.0 exciting and are always happy to share what new Thing they have discovered that day. Through them we have incorporated some Web 2.0 tools into our everyday use and web-pages -- such as IM, blogs and RSS feeds.

For myself, up to this point I had been content to be told about each new tool, gone maybe, if I had time, to check it out -- and if I didn't have an immediate need for such a tool, to be just aware it existed. One of my goals for participating in 23 Things on a Stick, to is take this just that much farther by actually using the tools that I have heard about, and consider how the library can take better advantage of these tools in interacting with our users.

I had attended a conference about two years ago in which David Weinberger was the keynote speaker. His talk was a extremely fascinating look into how the younger generation views information seeking and gathering. One is his visuals still stays with me -- he categorized the information seeking behavior as basically gathering all the fallen leaves (information) into one big pile and then working their way through the pile looking for the items/information they wanted. This type of behavior goes against many of the ways we have been teach looking for information -- teaching specific search strategies, honing of topics, etc. Another speaker worked with high school students, and for her presentation, she had asked them to take screen shots while they were in the middle of doing assignment -- the resulting screen shots looked like collages, with multiple windows open, from the assignment itself to games, to videos to IMing and emailing friends and so on. It's wild, its crazy and it leaves you breathless at the energy.

I am looking forward to my quest to try out 23 [Different] Things on a Stick.

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