Saturday, April 28, 2007

Web 2.0 tools (Week 6, #13-15)

I'm combining several task here because I've played with before and it hasn't really caught on with me. Right now I'm using Simpy to tag my sites and it seems to work just fine.
I'm still adding books from my home library to LibraryThing but haven't made it public yet. I was thinking that LibraryThing might be useful to post a new book list instead of typing out the new books by hand, especially since I've got bar code scanners at school which makes the job particularly easy. I had to get the district tech coordinator to open it up because it was blocked as social-networking.
On that note: I got the message through LM_NET about the Ning page which Joyce Valenza has set up and it was also blocked from school as well so I got it unblocked. I just love filters. Not!
Anyway, on to the most important discovery this week. I really enjoyed reading the OCLC newsletter issue about Web 2.0.
The very first article "Away from the 'icebergs,'" by the acquisitions librarian at UNR, struck a note because I got to get over the obsession (maybe a little strong but...?) with having everything. Of course, I don't have everything but I think you can all empathize with the feeling. I'm referring the section which talks about the "just in case" collection. In a very practical recent move I've decided to subscribe to Questia through a school-wide subscription. The cost for their premium service is $4700 annually which is a lot of money. It will mean that I won't be buying $4700 worth of printed books so I'll have to be more judicious in my book selection. But I think it's going to be worth it.
Now his second point about user education is also a challenge to those of us in schools because, of course, we see ourselves, hopefully, as teachers first and librarians second (I'll admit it's sometimes a close race for me). But his point is that "one-button" commands are the future. How do we make it as easy as possible for our patrons to get to the information they really need? It's a challenge and one which we struggle with every day.
The third point is something I pride myself on in my library. I've been managing a "cybrary" for a long time. On Monday I will submit my annual "Welcome to Redwood" article for our parent newsletter. This is the last issue of the year and will go to incoming 9th graders as well as parents of current students. I want them all to know that the library doesn't close during the summer and that they are more than welcome to use the library's online resources 24/7.
So that's my very superficial take on just the first article. Probably more later.


School Library Learning 2.0 Team said...

Glad you were able to "unblock" Joyce Valenza's Ning page. This course might cause lots of California schools to unblock a lot more.

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