Sunday, December 6, 2009

Learning 2.0

As much as I dreaded signing up for new accounts, I found this to be such a helpful exercise. As much as I like to think I'm completely up to date on technology, the RSS feeds and the image generators scared me a little bit. It was great to have a reason to jump in. Learning new forms of technology can tend to be pretty intimidating, but going through the steps was an empowering experience. I also like that I can still access this in the future through PLCMC's Web site and share it with others. (Cheesy alert: And Web 2.0 comes full circle.) I also found it important to hear the opinions of others in the field. Even though I was familiar with some of the sites we used, I now have a new set of tools that I can turn to and share with others.

Thoughts on Web 2.0 and libraries

Web 2.0 technology has definitely changed libraries because we have altered our lives to include it. This technology has empowered the public because now everyday people have a voice that can be viewed by anyone in the world. Rick Anderson states three major traps that he feels libraries need to be wary of: the "just in case" collection, reliance on user education, and the "come to us" model of library service. While I do agree that some reference collections are being whittled down, I don't feel that a print collection should be completely dismissed. Reference librarians who are familiar with their print collections frequently know directly where to look in a print collection for answers, and their expertise is valued. People also may be finding information on specific topics, but librarians can help in providing how to find quality information. I also have to disagree when Anderson says that we should be skeptical of a library collection. I think we need to learn and understand how are collections are changing. Familiarize yourself with your print and electronic materials. Know what you don't have, and attempt to create ways of finding information through online or other materials. The Internet has definitely changed how people get information, but I don't think the public is familiar with why an article in a database might be a preferable choice to an article using Google. I do think we have a lot to rethink. And while I agree that many librarians may be resistant to change, others are on the opposite side of that spectrum, implementing changes that are ahead of the game. We need to have an open mind, and we will continue to adjust to the changes prompted by technology. But that doesn't mean that all traditional modes need to be abandoned.

Dr. Wendy Schultz brings up a whole new list of ideas, some of which I hadn't thought about. I agree with her on most parts, especially in that all forms of technology, whether old or new, will be welcome within the library setting. And the library will always be there to provide that library atmosphere to those who seek it. I think she said it well in that people will always be in need of a tour guide, and I think that is a great way of putting it, considering that technology will constantly be changing.

audio books

I had a little difficulty with figuring out the downloadable audio book section on the Web site. I then attempted to download some from the South Central Library System here in Wisconsin, but again, I ran into some trouble. Even though a book can be played on an iPod, it does not necessarily mean it will work on a Mac. I called one of my fellow library friends because I thought I was just being incompetent, but she said there are very few that will play on Macs. So I felt a little bit better. I just found the Web site slightly confusing, and if I weren't going to library school, I probably would have just given up at that point. But my friend has inspired me to try, try again. I just looked again, and I can't find any downloadable books that will play on a Mac. I'm sad now. It'll be OK.