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Archive for January, 2012

Great Sites to Check

I just lost an excruciatingly long comment on Caitlin’s blog in response to her cry for suggested “avenues” for new information. Perhaps it’s just as well, as I tend to get carried away.

So, here, instead, is one very short in a nutshell suggestion with a lot of content.

http://www.bachelorsdegreeonline.com/blog/2009/100-best-blogs-for-librarians-of-the-future/

There are some classic blogs here. A few may not appeal or be as relevant to Library 2.0 and Social media, but by and large the blogs are great starting points. So, Caitlin, take this as a response -cum-hope-it’s-interesting-for-the-rest-of-you!

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More YouTube

I just had a look around YouTube for the elusive “First” Social Media Revolution after reading Caitlin’s blog. “Social Media Revolution 2010” is, I believe, the predecessor clip to “Social Media Revolution 2”.

I wandered into some clips I saw last summer from Kansas State U. about “A Vision of Students Today” and a plethora of Web 2.0 clips. “Web 2.0 in education” or same “in research” gives considerably fewer (ca. 3,100 and 2,100 respectively instead of the 209,000 hits under Web 2.0) Library 2.0 gets 3,270 results. I guess it’s a stronger current focus!

So, is any of this relevant?  It may not count as research or review material, but there are a lot of You Tube entries to explore and a lot of examples of what Koltay decries as amateur!

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Dhiman and Sharma’s article, Blogging and Uses of Blogs in Libraries, gives an informative and clearly written overview of the development of blogs from a handful of sites created by web-savvy insiders to the 63 million blogs existent today. The authors review the evolution of blogging as a format for updating the web world to broadcasting news, personal interests, viewpoints and audience specific information. They list the advantages of using blogs in libraries for informing the general public or specific sectors of the library community about new acquisitions, information tools, programs and events on a local or broader basis and the blog as an advocacy tool, and they foresee library blogs as a means of sharing “cutting edge [reference] material, things that have not yet made it into the regular channels.” The authors also mention the benefits to the bloggers themselves in keeping abreast of current issues and exercising effective communication through the necessity of regular posting. They end with the observation that blogs are “ideal for disseminating all types of information chosen by the blogger, for commenting, expressing opinions and discussing implications.”

That leaves me with a few lingering thoughts and skeptical reservations, not about the article but the potential uses of blogs in libraries.

While I appreciate the book reviews, professional information and tips available on many library blogs, and I enjoy perusing blogs on all sorts of topics for their aesthetics and content, I wonder if blogging in a library setting needs to be more clearly defined than in some fields. If the library blog is being used to “identify new content”, “deliver information about library news, services and resources” or “provide information and links to Internet resources for library users”, this surely falls under the librarian’s code of professional duty. That brings up the question in my mind of ethics. Should I be channeling my opinions and viewpoints through the same conduit I use to disseminate information in a fair unrestricted way? Am I being fair and unrestricted in my selections of topics on which to write, or is selection judgmental and a form of censorship in itself?

Presumably, a library can offer a purely informative blog parallel to a librarian in said institute blogging opinions and observations separately. Is that common? I haven’t explored blogs thoroughly enough to know.

The second reading was tortuous. I’ve tried to comment on both Colleen and Kristin’s blogs about the article. (See my Sakai post under the Blogs forum.) I think much of the difficulty I experienced reading Koltay’s article (I made the effort twice!) can be attributed to his abysmal use of misleading commas. Who were his peer reviewers? Considering the topic of his essay, it would have been wise to have a better editor if he doesn’t want to be counted on the “amateur” versus professional side of information content!

The stance that Web 2.0 uses may be more appropriate for public or lay information activities than academic research might be valid. Certainly there may be a commercial taint or slant as implied by the author. However, the same has been said about scholarly and scientific research funded by corporations. Is there enough evidence yet when it comes to 2.0? Do some cultures use Web 2.0/Library 2.0 technology more effectively, perhaps because of educational focus on achieving higher student IL levels? Can some research data be more effectively gathered using 2.0 technology?

Just another bunch of thoughts for the grist mill!

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No Shelfari!

Alas, I am discovering some limitations to WordPress.com. They do not allow a widget for Shelfari because JavaScript (used for the Shelfari widget, I guess?) can potentially be used “maliciously”. I imagine this is one of those essential differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org. The latter allows individual design.

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I stumbled on this site while reading something on the PUBLIB listserve. I really like the explanations on choosing Blog services (Lesson 4) and copyright issues (Lesson 6). They provide good resource links for free images etc.

The whole series is fast and clear. What’s more, the entire website seems to be a goldmine for digital immigrants like me!

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Hi Everybody!

I am looking forward to playing around with more Web 2.0 tools and social media sites in this course!

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Top Blogs

I found the following site comparison quite helpful in choosing which free blog site to start with. Scroll down to the chart for an overview of what you can (and can’t!) do using various blog sites.

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