Friday, September 30, 2011

We're Off to See the Wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of WIKI.

Because, because, because, because, because.... Because of the wonderful things it does. Okay, blog world, by way of explanation for the above, it is late, I am caffeinated, and I like (self proclaimed) witty titles. Here are some one of a kind things that you can find in wiki land. The following information was posted on the wiki for the Bull Run Library

Cemetery Symbolism: What Can You Learn About Your Ancestors From Their Tombstones? Presented by Diane Nesmeyer, Tuesday, September 27, 7:00 p.m. Unravel the mysteries of cemetery symbols from a genealogy instructor. How cool is this?  This comes from a library patron, maintaining a wiki about their library's events. How fantastic is that? I also looked at the Archivopedia for a while, because that is one of my interest areas. I was hoping to find a bit more information from this site, but it was not up to date; however, it linked to some other useful sites. It also gave me an idea for how wikis could be used by professionals in any given field of Library or Information Science. A Wiki could allow for networking and sharing across continents an d outside of the typical range of communication. So much could be shared. What if School Librarians had a wiki, academic, specials, etc? I think that wiki's could help people in smaller disciplines and fields as well as larger ones stay connected and feel a part of a learning community. I know that In several of my classes this semester I have used a class wiki for the first time, and I was pleasantly pleased with how we could try to share and collaborate on a project. Also, unlike Wikipedia or more mainstream wiki's I feel as though library related wiki's might not be the target for some of the more challenging elements of public editing.

I also enjoyed the book review wikis that I came across in my explorations. This could be a great tool for schools, and for library programs such as summer reading. A public library wiki could also be a fantastic way for patrons of libraries who may not know each other or feel connected in a community, to share interests and reading insights, and perhaps try new books based on others recommendations. There is so much information out there, and why not employ the readers in the process of sharing it with one another?

On a side note wiki's are also great tools for random interests that are not very mainstream. For example, I can waste a whole lot of time looking up character biographies written by fellow fans of Star Wars novels on Wikipedia.

On a fianl side note,

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This video takes one into the Manuscript Collection of the Library of Congress. I chose this video because I am interested in manuscripts, archives, and historic artifacts, and as such, I enjoyed this video immensely. It gives a great deal of valuable information and is presented in a way that enables the excitement of the librarians to come through. I must say that You Tube and video sharing sites were one of the only web 2.0 technologies which I was familiar with before starting this class. The ability to search in a site like you tube for videos of interest is easy and typically fruitful. The side bars created from similarly tagged items also enables one to explore for hours on topics of interest. The video sharing technology also enables the transmission of excitement and information about learning I can see a video like the one above being shown in classrooms across the country to introduce students to the wonders of the library systems and the importance of historical preservation.  Videos have a special place in the learning structure and the exploration of interests. As we all know, learning  comes in different forms. It can be acquired though auditory, visual, and textual methods, and we would be missing opportunities to learn if we did not pursue all avenues.

Tagging and associative searching are useful tools that I believe library technology could adopt. One of the beautiful things about the tagging system is the depth and variety which can come from a simple search entitled libraries.  You can go from a tour of the Library of Congress to information on illuminated manuscripts of the middle ages in the span of two clicks. One of the downsides of video sharing site is the propensity for copyright infringement, lack of "filtering", and the lack of permanency in videos.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Podcasts and beyond

Okay, so I looked up podcast directories and found a few. I was not too thrilled with most of them. The information about specific types and topics was not easy to find on most of the sites. I found one, however, that enabled me to search under interests of mine, and this led me to two hours of podcast listening. "What was this podcast" you may ask? I listened to several interviews they conducted with trek actors, directors, and so on. As a special features fan, I enjoyed this look behind the scenes of the shows. I was thrilled that these podcasts were able to download onto my computer through windows media player and that I didn't have to find and i tunes or related application.Then I went on the hunt for some library related podcasts and found one  on the home page of When I went to listen then a few didn't work. This was a bit of a let down. The ones that did work were interesting though. I listened to the daily almanac. I was surprised that they only offered a few days though. Then I moved on to look at other library related podcasts and found a plethora on the site of the Seattle Public Library. These were very in depth interviews and book discussions.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Citadel of Knowledge! Gateway to Learning!


"Stand by the gray stone as the thrush knocks, and the last light of the setting sun will shine upon the keyhole" A quote from the Animated version of The Hobbit. I felt that it was appropriate for the content of today's blog.

The picture above, was taken a few months ago during a trip to New York City. It is a picture of me in front of the New York Public Library Building. Let me just say that it was quite the experience being able to stand beneath the arches of such a monumental building (alas that was all I could do seeing as the library was closed that day). I know that I am being remarkably transcendentalist in saying this, but as Michael Gorman stresses, idealistic notions are not new to those in the Library and Information Fields. The library is truly an entryway or a "keyhole" into untold treasures.

On a side note this picture is from a set in my Flickr account which I just created today. I will also admit to getting carried away with the fun of creating tags and sets, and titles, and descriptions. I don't tend to do things halfway. I spent nearly all of Saturday morning exploring the options offered in Flickr and in uploading and editing pictures. It is a nice way to share beauty with the rest of the world, and I appreciated that by tagging my pictures I could maybe help others on the internet find pictures of something they were looking for. Maybe a picture that I took of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden would come up in somebody's internet image search and inspire them to visit a place that I found amazing.

On the subject of Libraries and photographs and sharing things, I can see how a photo sharing element could be a wonderful addition to a library's community presence. It could be a place where the library is personalized for patrons. It is essential in this day and age for us to be activists for the library. If by creating and advertizing a Flickr (or other similar presence) the library can show how it serves people then I think it would be very helpful. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Here is the address to my Flickr space.