People have been sending me some great links which I’ve been consolidating for a “best of inbox” post here today. This is a rainy Vermont weekend coming up which means indoor projects and I’m waiting for the kitchen floor to dry.
The above image is from the Royalton Library up the road from here. I went there on Wednesday after recording the MetaFilter podcast. The librarian had a patron who had gotten a “free” computer (actually two) and needed help setting it up. I went over with Ubuntu CDs and a cheery frame of mind. That outlook soured somewhat when I learned more about the computers. They were given to this family by the VT Department of Children and Families. They were, I think, donated to them. Neither one worked right — one had no operating system (and a possibly broken CD drive) and one froze intermittently. DCF had given these computers to this family, this family already needing a bit of help, as a way of helping them out. All they wound up doing was giving them a project, a somewhat futile project. The mom and daughter were good natured about it, but I felt totally on the spot — if I fixed the computers, the family would have a computer. I took them home to mess with and I’ll probably just replace them with a working computer from my attic. What a pickle.
On to the links I’ve assembled.
That’s the short list for now, I have a few that are begging for more explication which I’ll be getting to shortly.
I’m wrapping up the end of “talk season” here at librarian.net. I’ll be speaking at the Rhode Island Library Conference on June 6th and the Connecticut Library Consortium on June 9th. Then I’m done except for ALA. Yes, I’ll be going to ALA, giving a presentation with the incredibly talented Louise Alcorn for the MaintainIT people. It will be the first time I’ve been funded to go to a library conference… ever. Exciting times afoot at the Disneyland Hotel.
This afternoon I finished giving a talk online for the Education Institute. It was called Collaborative Information Systems & Reference Service and I’ve put a lot of notes and links online. Basically I talk about the changing nature of how people look for information and “Ask A” type services like Yahoo Answers and, of course, Ask MetaFilter. I have some statistics there that I think are sort of nifty. It’s very strange giving a talk online. I basically sent people to tmy website and then did a talk over the telephone. Except for the convenor, Liz Kerr, I wasn’t really aware of other people being present and it was unnerving. I know that continuing education is important and especially so for people who are too remote to go to standard talks or conferences, but I still feel like we’re trying to find a good delivery mechanism for this sort of content.
Hi. I’m back from a quick trip to Lacrosse Wisconsin. I got to do a five-hour training for members of the Winding Rivers Library System on digital divide and library 2.0 topics and then got to finish up by showing off a lot of the sweet stuff that Firefox can do. It was a really good day. I’ve never done a training that went that long before and I think I managed to mostly keep the energy level up — though my screenshots didn’t always display well, I may have to redo them with more close-ups — even in a basement room with flourescent lighting. Many thanks to Kristen Anderson for inviting and hosting me and everyone else for being engaged, asking questions and taking the time to learn more.
Here is the jumping off point for all my talks, including the handouts and more links. Like Nicole, I’ve really agonized over how much I want to provide in terms of handouts. Many presentations have an evaluation point about how useful people found the handouts and I’ve frequently gotten negative feedback when I only have my handouts online, even if they’re offered in printable and HTML-ized versions. In a situation where people don’t have laptops — i.e. most of my library presentations — it’s good for people to have something in front of them, and yet I feel ridiculous giving people a piece of paper with mostly URLs on it. So far, I compromise. This talk consisted of
- An HTML version of the Firefox talk, same thing
- My library 2.0 talk in Keynote and PDF versions. PDF version has links in it.
- A bookmark with the URL to the main page of my talk
- Printed Firefox handout with links, also online in HTML (and printable HTML just in case)
- Four additional handouts (get it in one doc here)
- anatomy of a “social”-ite – where to find me online if you want to explore social software but don’t have a readymade group of friends online already
- Tools vs. Brands – what is the difference between a wiki, mediawiki and wikipedia
- Free and Simple – testing the waters – how to get started with 2/0/social software with a few simple projects
- One Link Per Question – some quickie resources that everyone should know about.
I talk a little bit in the digital divide talk about whether we in smaller libraries need to just be reacting to patron demands and desires or whether we should consider sort of leading the way in, for example, encouraging patrons to get email addresses. I feel sort of the same way about handouts. As much as I think having something to give people at a presentation is a good idea, I feel less good about the idea that I’m making 100 copies of something that could be more easily used and interacted with online and will likely just be tossed out or recycled. I’d like to see a good way to turn this around somehow.
In any case, the talks went well and then I got Tim Keneipp to take me down to the basement where they keep the gamers and I learned to play Guitar Hero! I feel like I must be the last librarian on earth to play this game and I did predictably poorly at first but it was fun to try and sort of nifty to see a whole bunch of teen library activity. Tim also showed me some hot stuff they’re doing with the Lacrosse Public Library intranet that I hope he shows off to a wider audience. I also got to tag in with Rochelle and see how things were going and swap stories about other librarians we knew, standing around outside the library in the sweet-smelling Spring air.
I’m back home now, heading to a MetaFilter meetup this evening and no more outside-New-England travel with the exception of ALA for the forseeable future. See you, perhaps, in Disneyland.
I’ve been watching WorldCat grow, but I’m a little confused. When I fist looked, the “title” I saw was Americana, cinema and dramatic arts, cookbooks, erotica, fine, decorative and graphic arts, illustrated books, literary first editions, metaphysics and the occult, science fiction, juvenalia, investment rarities. Now it just says List #2. These are not book titles. What am I watching?
The Next Page: Thirty Tables of Contents. "Often overlooked by serious bibliophiles, the humble TOC is our portal into a world of knowledge. In the realm of the printed word, it heralds what comes next, a verbal proscenium with its own peculiar prose and typographic conventions. In this book, we have gathered together thirty Table of Contents pages from our personal collections." Add your own to the Flickr group