Wow! I’m actually on Thing 23. I honestly cannot believe it. It has genuinely been a heck of a struggle to get to this point. I’ve enjoyed it but there is a part of me that wishes I had considered when I would actually have the time to do all of the Things without panicking about the deadline. As I do not have a desk or a computer at work, I have had to do many of the 23 Things at home. I started off not really minding all that much but at this point I’m quite looking forward to having my weekends back without having to think about which Thing I’ve forgotten to do!
But its not all bad! I have got a lot out of the programme. Most importantly I’ve realised that I don’t know as much about what is out there on the web as I thought I did. I’ve gone against my better judgment and tried out things that I wouldn’t normally have attempted. I still don’t like Twitter but I’m glad that I tested it out to make a truely informed assesment of it. However, I was wary of all the Google-based Things that we’ve covered, and I’ve found them to be very useful and they have a great deal of potential for future use.
To use the excellent scale of usefulness that Libgeek used on their blog Adventures in L-Space: the yay, meh, nay scale! (as originally used by an Oxford participant back in Thing 8) with lolcats for emphasis:
iGoogle- very handy with RSS feeds and the Google Calendar all rolled into one helpful homepage.
Blogging- a great chance to really get to grips with a continuous blogging project rather than posting abstract and one-off posts as I have done in the past.
Doodle- excellent for organisation and time management.
Flickr- lots of great photos and….ooh shiny!
Library Thing- Fun and an excellent way of sorting out your books whether they’re personal or work-based ones.
Google Documents- handy for projects and sharing info.
Facebook- I understand the appeal but I’m not convinced of its usefulness for a library.
Wikis- as I liked Google Documents a lot, wikis have to go in the meh pile.
Podcasts- if used properly, these could shoot up to the “yay” pile but as Podcasts are “officially” audio-based then I’m not in favour of them. YouTube videos are great though!
Marketing- see my post on the subject for more.
Zotero- its in the “meh” pile because I won’t necessarily use it that much, but at least I’ll be able to advise others on it.
Twitter- I just did not enjoy it at all. I found it frustrating and not as useful as it could have been.
LinkedIn- Another Facebook in my mind and not something I plan on using any time soon, but I am open to it becoming relevant to me later on down the line.
SlideShare- I can see its appeal but I can’t see any way in which I will use it at the moment.
Delicious- I like the idea of sharing and tagging but that was about it for me.
I have really tried with 23 Things and I have enjoyed a lot of it but some of it I found quite hard to get through. Topics such as SlideShare and Twitter took me quite a while to get my head around and even longer to think up what on earth to say about them in my blog posts. However, I did stick with it and as I said earlier, I’m glad I did. Even though I haven’t loved everything, at least I’ve given it a good go and have been able to assess from experience rather than from a misinformed fear judgment. Its good.
As for Web 2.0 and its shaping of library services…well anyone who has followed my blog probably knows where I stand on this. To summarise, I think the web is great and can be used as a very effective tool but my great fear is that as we are focusing on all the new stuff out there, we’re forgetting the human connection. The face-to-face interaction with our readers. Sure being online is essential these days but I’m unsure as to whether having an account for everything is really the way to go.
People aren’t using libraries as much these days because “its all online”. Should we be encouraging that mentality through the services that we offer or should we be encouraging people to come in and chat to us? Nothing can replace the warm-blooded librarian, armed with a date stamp and a head full of obscure but relevant knowledge. Google can never be an effective substitute for the amazing people who have made libraries their life and career. Let’s get out there and show our students how bloomin’ incredible we are and what an untapped resource we can all be! Don’t forget the web entirely, but also don’t forget yourselves either!
Librarians are cool, tweed is cool, cardies are cool. I never forget the amazed faces of all the prospective students that I have shown around the UL when I tell them of all the incredible things that our staff do on a day-to-day basis. Eyes wide, mouths gaping. A simple talk on how much work our closed departments do bring about such reactions. People should be excited about libraries because of what they hold on the inside and not because of what they have accomplished on cyberspace.
To finish, here is my Wordle.
Thanks to you all!