Web 2.0 Communication Tools

I like IMing and I think it’s a really great way to contact patrons, especially if there’s a widget in the library catalog or on the library webpage.  If a person has a question about something, they can just use the IM widget and contact the librarian then and there rather than getting their thoughts together for a formal e-mail or calling and getting a busy signal.  An IM message can pop up and a librarian can use an automated response if they’re busy and let it sit for a minute, rather than a phone call that has dead air time or cheesy phone music.  It’s also the perfect device for very simple questions.  I think the people who use IM on a regular basis know that it’s a tool for quick conversation and not a complicated reference question.  I’ve used AIM since I was about 12 or so and find it completely intuitive and easy to use.  Text messaging has similarities, but I don’t know if the library needs to respond via texting on a phone.  You can text message (in some instances) from phone to computer, so perhaps let your patrons aware they can do that.

Web conferencing is a really great (and economical) way for libraries to see parts of conferences or presentation without attending physically.  If one is watching a pre-recorded conference, one also has the ability to pause, fast-foward through boring or irrelavent sections and get up for a drink of water without feeling rude.  We watch them sometimes at work or in class and parts of them are quite useful.  Always, ALWAYS try setting up before the designated time, though.

 

 

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Jazzing up my page with an image generator

Slappy and Friends

My page is kind of ugly.  I figured some more pictures would help jazz it up a bit.  These are pictures of myself and some of my friends.  I used the Mosaic Maker from Big Huge Labs suggested in Thing 6.  Lots of fun.  I’m not a huge fan of photo tools that look tacky, but the mosaic maker was nice.  These are my own Flickr photos.  I considered making a mosaic entirely of cheese pizza photos (I’m hungry) but I wanted to use my own photos.  A library could use the mosaic maker to feature book titles, staff members, or patrons engaged in library activities. 

 

 

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Back to Thing 2

Gar, Thing 2 is the bane of my existance.  It’s not that I have any issues with reading articles, but I’m in school right now, and I read a lot of articles.  In fact, I’ve read many of these articles before.  I’d really rather not read them again, but I will reflect on Library 2.0 and why it matters in this posting anyway.  However, I won’t really be referencing the articles.

Why is it important?  Lots of people, specifically the younguns, use Web 2.0 tools on a daily basis.  Facebook, Flickr, the act/art of texting, reading/writing blogs, creating lists online, linking through tag clouds, all that fun stuff.  Since many libraries have a web presence already, taking advantage of Web 2.0 tools can make them more accessible to a wider audience.  This is especially important because numerous articles I’ve read have stated that library usage among many groups, teens especially, is declining.  Being relatively new to the library world, I can’t really confirm or deny this claim, but it is troubling.  So using Web 2.0 tools helps libraries speak the language of a certain type of user.

I feel that many of the Library 2.0 tools are an excellent way to get information out there.  Some are not useful for certain types of libraries, but that is no reason to dismiss them all together.  I think it’s exciting that so many libraries in the Twin Cities area are involved in trying out the 23 Things.  However, I don’t think that the 23 Things should be the only new tools introduced into the library.  We as librarians need to keep an eye on other trends and see if they, too, will encourage people to visit and utilize the many services of various libraries in the area.

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I Heart Library 2.0

ImageChef.com Flower Text

Aww, messages with flowers. This is pretty fun and somewhat addicting. Though I don’t think I would use this feature in a library necessarily. Perhaps as something fun for people to play around with. Maybe for adults just learning how to blog or something, but not as something to promote the library itself. I think a lot of the Library 2.0 applications would actually be better to use in a class. Flickr is a great one for all libraries. If you are teaching, say a genealogy class, you could teach patrons how to use Flickr to post images of family members to go with a family tree. This would be really nice for older photos. But as far as the image generator….I don’t know how that would be used in a more specialized setting. Still fun, though.

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My name in Flickr Spellr

S L A P P Y m c p

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Fun with Flickr

I already have a Flickr account and use it somewhat regularly.  I’m too cheap to by a Pro account, so I am limited to what I can post each month.  Still, it’s a wonderfuly way to share photos.  My friends like it because they can see my pictures without having to visit me or my computer (well, my digital pictures that is…I also have a film camera that I LOVE and haven’t scanned any of those in yet).  My family likes it because I postes some pictures from our family vacation this year.  And I like it, because I love to travel and view others’ photos of where I’ve been and where I want to go.  I managed to post my Flickr account to the sidebar here so all of  you can see my page if you like.

Flickr can be good for libraries, too, however I guess I see it used more in a public setting.  For instance, taking photos of programs held at the library so patrons can view them later.  Posting new or interesting book covers up there is another good use, especially if you and others comment on them.  If no one comments, it’s pretty useless.  All libraries could use photos of their interiors, but again, people should comment on them, not just post them.  “This is the circulation desk where you can check out your materials.”  “Here is the information desk where you can ask librarians questions.”  “Here is Shelf X with these types of resources available.”  Just some thoughts…

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RSS Feeds

I actually already use Google Reader and I love it.  It puts all my blogs in one place and in the order from newest to oldest.  If you get behind in your reading, you can mark everything as read so you don’t feel bad if you’ve been gone for awhile.  They also pre-select some blogs if you have areas you’re interested in, but aren’t familiar with any blogs in that area.  I use the technology feed provided by Google Reader, though I admit, I get more postings for that than I can keep up with.  Some interesting library blogs are “Tame the Web” which is Michael Stephens’ blog and the “Librarian’s Rant.”  Sadly, I am also a sucker for Perez Hilton, so as I look through my postings, I get the latest trashy celebrity gossip as well.  If you read a lot of blogs, or are trying to get in the habit to, Google Reader makes it easy with a simply interface and intuitive instructions.

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