blogging banned in vermont, sort of

Just in time for my last week of work, the principal of a nearby high school has banned blogging from high school computers. Granted it’s not as simple as that, the banned site is more of a social software network than a blogging site. The principal also has one good point — that kids should be cautious about how much personal information they put on web sites, as should we all — but both his strong and misapplied reaction and the slanted news article turn “blogging” into an oogyboogy man when this same issue could be seen as an opportunity to do some good education about the Internet generally and blogs and social software in specific. From my public librarian perspective I’m just happy people know how to use the tools. Blocking one site does absolutely nothing to solve any real or perceived dangers of sharing information on the Internet, period. [thanks shannon]

tech for small libraries?

The Librarian in Black points to an article on WebJunction called “Technology Watch List for Small Libraries” and I have to say that I am also unimpressed. The difference between reading blogs and RSS feeds and creating blogs and RSS feeds is substantial, as is the difference between employing a thin-client solution to the centralized server problem and just learning how to do ghosting effectively. Ebooks are not a good solution for cash-poor libraries [which is what I hear when I hear “small libraries” though maybe this is geared towards small rich suburban libraries] and when I think “cost effective” for virtual reference, I think IM — which isn’t even mentioned — not joining a consortium. In short, this article seems to be more effectively titled “shopping tips for small libraries” because by and large it is much more geared towards things to buy than things to learn.

some rss reading for those who are interested

I’ve gotten at least one request — which means there are probably more silent readers wondering — if I could define my terms somewhat more, maybe give some more background reading on some of the stuff I talk about, specifically RSS. I’ll point you to a few pages that have been helpful to me: