We’re showcasing a not-so-new group in the WJGroup (#WJGroup on Twitter) spotlight this week because WebJunction member Laura Crossett deserves some public gold stars for starting what’s become the fastest growing group on WebJunction: WordPress for Librarians.
If you are interested in taking charge of your own group on WebJunction, (like Laura has!), we can help you customize your group and grant you permission to design and moderate what goes on there. If you have an idea for a custom “supergroup” contact Jennifer Peterson on WebJunction.
Lately, I’ve been a bit bummed. Our stats show people have been reading (or at least visiting) the blog, but no one has been commenting. As the new guy around here I was starting to take it personally. How could my writing inspire absolutely no response? At least on my personal blog people tell me when they can’t stand my way of thinking.
Today, I think we found (at least part of) the problem. At some point, probably in the wake of one of our many spam attacks, BlogJunction was inadvertently configured to require readers to log-in before commenting. Anyone who even tried received a not-so-subtle go away message:
Hi! After the presentation, 10 Ways to Make Your Library Great in 2008, I’m sure you’re ready to make some New Year resolutions, right? 10 of them? Ten that by the end of 2008 will have made a significant positive impact on your library’s operations? Good!
Everyone probably agrees a resolution is always better supported with other people’s help and encouragement. If you made a New Year’s resolution to walk more, lose weight or anything, you’ve been told, I’m sure, to get a “buddy” to go along with you. Regarding Web 2.0, this is where Social Networking sites can really show how beneficial they can be.
This blog will offer you 24/7 access, although I may only post once a week myself, after the initial first 10. I’m submitting the 10 Ways to Make Your Library Great in 2008 blog over the course of 10 working days.I hope this will allow all of you to see your area of interest, or where you need help regarding your New Year’s resolutions, as soon as possible after our webinar session, that over 200 librarians attended!
Then you can practice what I call, the “4 Cornerstones of Social Networking”; you can comment, share your resources, respond to others thoughts, or “lurk”…just read and not participate…for now. It’s a Cornerstone just as important as the other three. Despite the fact we’re librarians, we still have a wide range of intelligences, what Dr. Mel Levine would call “All Kinds of Minds”. People get acclimated to different environments and different paces. Lurking can be as rewarding as commenting or any of the others. However we will all grow stronger professionally as the other three Cornerstones are used.
Try challenging yourself by using an RSS tool to keep in touch when new content is added.
When you see references to “Castles” those are quotes from the book I’ve written “Castles Against Ignorance: How to make libraries great educational Environments”.
-Ed Rossman, Interim Branch Manager for the Bertram Woods branch of the Shaker Heights Public Library and author of Castles Against Ignorance: How to Make Libraries Great Educational Environments
Resolution # 1.Use Technology
Any resolution needs some kind of logical starting point. If you resolve to use technology more, or to become an expert in your immediate circle, you need to know how to start and have some good role models emulate for practice, and then to spark your own creativity! The following addresses both areas.
Most registration for Web 2.0 sites are pretty standard, much like setting up a free email account through Yahoo or Hotmail. Setting up a del.icio.us account and creating links is very simple and I went through the relevant screens in the webinar. Librarything is just a bit more complicated. Here’s a document in Word format that explains the process that I used in teaching college students Information Literacy skills:
Here are 3 examples of Librarything in action:
1. The Shaker Heights Public Library (SHPL) Local History collection. The link will take you to an introduction page on our web site, and from there you can go to the Librarything collection page, or see an index of Tags used.
2. A listing of business books I put together for a special partnership arrangement we have between SHPL and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). Anyone coming into our library looking for books on business plans and the like, we inform about the SCORE program, and the fact that their counselors will meet with them at the library so they don’t have to go downtown. Based on the consultations, the counselor may direct them to some books or resources to help in their planning. This collection not only uses subject tags but tags that indicate the location within the library these resources can be found. Please note the first book is marked with a 1. and is not a real book, but actually an introduction to the catalog.
3. The Librarything account I use to catalog books I cited in Castles.
If you have a Librarything or del.icio.us account you’d like to share, please leave a comment! Likewise any other library technology oriented blogs, email lists or web sites that you like.
The strength of our profession will depend on how much knowledge and wisdom we can share. Web 2.0 has great, low cost tools for this.
In the next few days I’ll be uploading comments and resources for Training. Use the RSS feature to keep up to date with the updates!