Archive for May, 2006
I am trying to learn all I can about using flickr for a class I plan to teach at this summer for our patrons. I have set up my first group and am trying to create a photo pool. Hope some of you wil help me out so that I can use this as an example for when I teach the class.
Below is the description of the Group. Please join in!
About Library Blog Signs
A photo pool for bibliobloggers to post a sign made using a sign generator. The sign should represent their blog or something about themselves. Be creative …
Go to a site such as http://www.customsigngenerator.com/ and create sign and then post it here to promote your blog.
Here is the direct link:
[Edited 5/22 ] I changed the description of the group this morning to include the following:
Or if your blog already has a logo or unique graphic of some sort, post that here so we can collect them all in one place. Be sure to include a link back to you blog in the description.
Your additions to the photo pool can be serious or funny… just hope to see that I am not the only, lonely member for much longer.
Thanks for helping me out!
We have received a few excellent entries for the Carnival, but are still looking for more submissions of what was great and/or really caught your attention this week. It is too late to submit early, but not too late to submit often. You have until this Sunday (May 22nd) at 6 pm to get your entries to us here at the Library Garden. Please send your submissions to janieh [at] gmail dot com for edition #38 of the Carnival of the Infosciences .
On an slightly related note, whenever I think of Carnivals I think of consuming sugar that has been spun into a sticky mess of melt-on-your-tongue goodness on stick. My husband and I have an ongoing debate about what this item is called. I have placed a photo to the left as a visual cue. Please help us settle this one and for all! What do you call it? I say it is Candy Floss and he claims it is Cotton Candy.
But I wasn’t the only one… Yesterday was MPOW‘s annual Spring Membership meeting (20th anniversary to boot), and we were delighted and honored to have OCLC VP for Member Services George Needham on hand to discuss OCLC’s must-read “Perceptions” report. I know it’s been out for awhile but if you haven’t read it yet, go read it. Or re-read it. Or read the 8 page conclusion. Or the respondent’s advice to libraries.
George’s talk was wonderful. Warm, reassuring and hopeful, while still being provocative and challenging. Here are some highlights:
- “It is not the customer’s job to understand us, it is our job to understand the customer.” (paraphrased from a comment made to OCLC Prez Jay Jordan, “It is not our job to understand OCLC, it is OCLC’s job to understand us.”
- “Convenience will always trump quality (so it is our job to make quality convenient.)”
- George summarized the points of Jennifer Rice, Omar Wasow, Antony Brewerton and Patricia Martin who spoke at OCLC’s mid-winter “Extreme Makever” symposium in San Antonio. The webcast and mp3s are available at: www.oclc.org/community. Of particular relevance to our audience was George quoting Jennifer Rice (Mantra Brand Consulting–great blog!) on the importance of libraries letting customers get a library card online. You can hear just that snippet of Jennifer’s talk here:(direct link or press the blue arrow.) This was particularly significant because we’re piloting a Get a Library Card Online project – aka GALCO– in New Jersey!
- What do customers tell us they want? More books, more copies, no fines, longer hours, more computers, friendlier staff, cleaner, better-lit, uncluttered facilities.
- George quoted Joan Frye Williams’ point that self-service isn’t synonymous with “no service” and would better be thought of as “self-directed” service. YES!!
Thanks Mr. Needham. Indeed, it was all good.
Kevin Kelly’s NY Times Magazine article, Scan This Book, blew my mind. I read it straight through on Sunday and have re-read selected snippets a few times trying to wrap my mind around the implications. Here are a few selections that really jumped out at me (with my comments if I rally the brain cells to assist me.)
The link and the tag may be two of the most important inventions of the last 50 years. They get their initial wave of power when we first code them into bits of text, but their real transformative energies fire up as ordinary users click on them in the course of everyday Web surfing, unaware that each humdrum click “votes” on a link, elevating its rank of relevance. You may think you are just browsing, casually inspecting this paragraph or that page, but in fact you are anonymously marking up the Web with bread crumbs of attention. These bits of interest are gathered and analyzed by search engines in order to strengthen the relationship between the end points of every link and the connections suggested by each tag. This is a type of intelligence common on the Web, but previously foreign to the world of books.
Mind blow the first: Simply by clicking on a link we are affecting the order the of the web. What seems to be a “read” action, turns out to be more of a “read/write” action. The more we click on something, the more likely it becomes that someone else will find it and click on it.
Once digitized, books can be unraveled into single pages or be reduced further, into snippets of a page. These snippets will be remixed into reordered books and virtual bookshelves. Just as the music audience now juggles and reorders songs into new albums (or “playlists,” as they are called in iTunes), the universal library will encourage the creation of virtual “bookshelves” — a collection of texts, some as short as a paragraph, others as long as entire books, that form a library shelf’s worth of specialized information. And as with music playlists, once created, these “bookshelves” will be published and swapped in the public commons. Once snippets, articles and pages of books become ubiquitous, shuffle-able and transferable, users will earn prestige and perhaps income for curating an excellent collection.
Mind blow the second: Individual enthusiasts writing, selecting, “curating”, mashing, may soon be on an equal footing with the “experts.” I can already see this happening with wikis and blogs. The truth is, I now get almost zero useful information from our professional literature (It takes me about 10 minutes to read American Libraries and/or LJ.) But I get an immense amount of useful and stimulating information –information that is helping me do my job better– from a number of library and marketing blogs that I read regularly with the the help of RSS. (So how long before we hear, “Dude, have you heard my mashup of Federalist #51 and the new Neil Young album? Publius rocks!!)
And there’s more. A lot more.
- The sorry state of our copyright law, and the black hole of out-of-print information it has created (sucking, sucking, sucking information away from the public domain.)
- The fact that a large % of out-of-print info can’t be put back into print because, well, because no one even knows who owns the copyrights.
- The possibility that Google can bring much of this “lost” information back into play by scanning and indexing it, thereby shifting the onus to copyright holders to exert claims (if they have them.)
- The filtering power of hyperlinks and tags to bring items that exist out on the long tail to peoples’ attention. (think: If you like Ryan Adams, you may like the Jayhawks, and if you like the Jayhawks you may like, Uncle Tupelo, and if like Uncle Tupelo, you may like Calexico, and if you like Calexico you may like Giant Sand, and if you like Giant Sand, you may like their album Glum (and that’s about as long tail as it gets.)
I’ll be re-reading this piece, and reading other blogger’s thoughts on it, trying to flesh out and extrapolate what it all means for libraries. It occurs to me that the Overdrive audiobooks platform already allows us to add our own pdf and audio content to the collection. Will librarians soon be performing more local collection development of digital formats?
The possibilities (and challenges) of adding exponentially more community created content (like Atlantic City’s teen poetry slam, or flickr photo sets, or autobiographies) as permanent additions to the collection is intriguing!
The carnival tent has been hoisted and is firmly staked in our lovely Library Garden awaiting for an amazing week. We have set up a ferris wheel for your those of you who feel the need to escape for just a little while and watch the world go by from up on high. Let us know what is going on in the biblioblogophere and join in the fun.
Please send your submissions to janieh [at] gmail dot com for edition #38 of the Carnival of the Infosciences .
I have just heard a cult classic in the making — Pete Bromberg’s Library Bootcamp Blues. Clever, catchy and certainly good for a few smiles. My favorite verse almost goes without saying ;-)
Gettin’ Blogger cred for my service creed
I got Library Garden and plenty of seed
My post’s been hosted, my feeds been fed,
Got something to say that ain’t been said
Web 2.0 is being targeted by Congress with legislation that is known as DOPA — the Deleting Online Predators Act. If DOPA gets passed it would ban students from accessing online communities from school or library computers because they receive federal funding. To me it seemed liked CIPA 2.o at first glance, then I did some more reading and realized it could be far more damaging than CIPA and that DOPA is far more insidious.
… what about all the educators and students who’ve used commercial tools like Flickr or Blogger? Have the nascent days of Web 2.0 been nipped in the bud as far as schools and libraries are concerned? Will the promise of online constructivist learning be wiped out with the swish of a presidential pen?
I certainly hope not Andy, but I fear that too many of our lawmakers may not yet have their ticket for the cluetrain. I see a long battle looming in our future.