Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thing #3 My foray into RSS feeds

I have spent way too much time learning about RSS feeds because I was assigned to present this new Web 2.o feature to the reference staff at our recent e-resource training session. Talk about the blind leading the blind! I am now glad that I was given this assignment, because I do feel that I now understand what it is and most importantly how the feeds work. The video presented by Common Craft (http://www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english
is an easily understood explanation of what RSS is and how it works.

I found an excellent tutorial on signing up for Bloglines at:
http://preetamrai.com/weblog/archives/2005/04/25/bloglines-how-to-keep-track-of-hundreds-of-blogs-and-some-news-and-some-podcasts-and-some-flickrs-photos-etc-etc/
This blog presents step by step instructions on registering for an account and then gives information on how to find and subscribe to RSS feeds.

I found two good sources of library info at:
http://www.libdex.com/weblogs.html

http://wikis.ala.org/readwriteconnect/index.php/ALA_RSS_feeds

After all of my extra work, I now feel much more confident in explaining this concept to our patrons.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

23 Things #2

As usual with anything new, there arises much conversation about the relevance or the need for whatever the new thing is. There seems to be very definite advocates and naysayers concerning the idea of Web or Library 2.0. I cannot imagine the concept of a library only existing in a cyberworld environment, but I would not want to go back to the days of card catalogs and having available only the books that one finds on the shelf. What would we do without the wonderful content available with our electronic resources? How could any adequate research be done without the use of interlibrary loans? On the other hand, I cannot imagine curling up with a blanket in front of the fire on a cold winter day with an ebook in my hands. Downloadable books are great if one is spending large amounts of time in a car or other means of transportation, but there is nothing more satisfying than actually reading the written word and holding that book.

As far as the relevance of libraries today, we do need to incorporate new technology. We need to reach out to patrons with sites like Facebook. We need to make available the content of the world of information online, but we as librarians need to be the guides. How can we do this without first learning as much of the new and various ways of presenting this information? A challenge lies ahead, but we must we face it with eagerness!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Things #1

Well, here goes! I admit that I am a little intimidated about this quest for knowledge, but I am also eager to venture forth into the world of computer speak. I am tired of being barely informed on so many topics concerning new technology and all of the new ways to use the computer to gather information. It took me longer than I had anticipated to complete thing #1, but I now feel a sense of accomplishment. It took me quite awhile to export the avatar, but finally figured it out. I am not pleased with the template for the blog, but at the time of creation decided it was better just to choose something so that I could move forward with the project. I plan to make changes to the blog setup and my avatar now that I feel somewhat more comfortable with the process. I am really looking forward to each of the things on the stick. This is such a wonderful tool for those of us who refuse to remain a luddite.