Final Thoughts 2.0

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2008 by irichards

So I definitely think Web 2.0 outlines the future of developing information technologies.  Though these technologies might not appeal to all users, they are popular with large segments of the population and I believe these numbers will rise as the technology becomes more entrenched in our society.  I mean these aren’t really original thoughts, this is the kind of thing experts have been talking about for years.  Even many of these technologies die out in the next few years we will continue to see emerging technologies that are based upon them.

As a public service, libraries are responsible for appealing to a wide base of users, and that means that we have to try and offer services to a variety of people, with a variety of preferences.  This means we serve both technophobes and computer geniuses, endeavoring to to strike a balance where all user’s information needs are met.

Though I’m fairly new here I believe that Contra Costa County Library is achieving this balance and continually moving forward trying new technologies and services to meet patrons needs.  To remain relevant libraries must constantly evolve to meet the changing information needs of society.  This is why I think we continue to grow as a library while other libraries in the country are just struggling to survive.  Sorry to sound so rah-rah go team, but I do believe this.

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DONE!!!!!! Yahoo Answers, Minti, Wiki-How

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2008 by irichards

So I decided to explore the reference sites to see how they worked.  Minti was nice in that it was geared towards parents so it really was targeting a specific audience with specific concerns.  The one I liked best was Wiki-How, it did an excellent job laying out a variety of topics and it was for the most presented in a professional and easy to follow format.  I don’t know if I would ever recommend Yahoo Answers or Minti to patrons to use though for two reasons.  First for every interesting question and reason response there are about ten that are just really out there.  Second most of the responses are little more than opinionated posts, with little to no indication of where they got their answers from.  True some of the exceptional posts do a good job explaining their sources or directing others to information sites or organizations for additional information.  I’m not saying these sites (Yahoo Answers and Minti) aren’t valuable, it’s just they strike me more as social networking sites than places for concrete answers.  I do believe that we can take the concepts these sites explore though and modify them to meet patrons needs and provide them with credible information sources to their questions.

Pods and Vods

Posted in Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 by irichards

So podcasting and vodcasting.  While I don’t spend a lot of time listening to podcasts at home (I never was much of a talk radio/audio book kind of guy), I do watch vodcasts a lot.  Let’s face it Youtube is pretty cool and there is some pretty funny stuff out there.  And it definitely has impact on the world.  I mean how many news story’s have broke in recent years that started out as vodcasts on Youtube or simliar sights?

I think podcasts and vodcasts have a lot to offer the CCC library.  We already use podcasting for kids storytime.  And I now that the teen myspace page features videos from time to time (i.e the current tech support video, which I have to say is pretty good).  I really think it would be cool if we could set it up so patrons (teens, adults, kids, )  could post videos of books and library services they recommend and enjoy.  I also think it would be cool if we had vodcasts showing patrons how to do commonly asked questions (i.e. downloading audio ebooks), so they could see how to do something step by step 24 hours a day.

The more we incorporate this kind of technology in our website the easier we make it for people to become involved in the library community (not an orginal thought, but it is nonetheless true).

NING

Posted in Uncategorized on August 13, 2008 by irichards

So I looked at Ning and it really does have potential.  The only thing I found disappointing was that some of the networks that looked really interesting to me, weren’t up and running yet or hadn’t had any activity in quite a while.

One network that was still working and looked really interesting was :

Library Youth and Teen Services 2.0

New Media, New Libraries, New Services for Youth

It had some pretty interesting discussion threads and looks like a good place to go for advice on programming and tips on organizing library areas dedicated to teens and youth.

RSS and Bloglines.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 by irichards

So I set up my Bloglines account and signed up for the upcoming programs at the Orinda Library RSS Feed.  So it listed the upcoming Toddler Lapsit which I would hope is self explanatory.

The RSS Feed is pretty cool and I definitely see the value of signing up for them.  It also would explain why the holds list is so crazy as soon as an item becomes available.

I did have a few problems though.  As others mentioned in the posts for 10 things in 10 weeks, when I selected items to view in the catalog I got the error message.

Other than that though things went well.

And I even got this assignment done on time!

Meebo

Posted in Uncategorized on August 6, 2008 by irichards

So I set up my Meebo account.  My name is Ian_Not_Robbins_Son.  You have to work at Orinda to get the joke.  So I can see why Meebo would be a valuable tool for individuals working at a variety of different companies and organizations as it let’s you share a common product regardless of your company’s individual message service provider.

Here at our library I guess it would be a useful way for staff at the circ. or ref. desks to call for back up, particularly when their busy assisting patrons.  But for the that to work people would have to log on to meebo everyday, which might take a little effort.

Google Docs

Posted in Uncategorized on August 1, 2008 by irichards

So I can definitely see how this could be a useful tool. As I read on some other blogs it would be good for committee work and the like. I can also see how this would be a good way for individuals employed by different organizations that don’t share systems to easily collaborate with one another.

The one thing I found disappointing was that documents were limited to 500KB in size, which pretty much excludes anything with graphics. But I’m sure in the future they will adapt the system to handle larger documents and bigger variety of programs.