When I entered this class two months ago at St. Kate’s, I already had the foundation of knowing what blogs are, how to use RSS feeds, and who uses social networking. In my day job, I’ve been in lunch bag and brainstorming sessions with our Interactive Director when we’ve discussed how we could use interactive technologies (like blogging, wikis, social networking) to give us a competitive edge to draw in more clients and show to our clients just how trendy we are. In no way am I suggesting that I am an expert. I’m just an amateur dabbler; I’m not even an early adopter. But I am so drawn into these new things and I love watching how others come up with great ideas on how to use them.
I wanted to bring my Web 2.0 thinking out of the “for-profit” mentality, because I have been so ingrained with the importance of using these growing technologies to grow business, to gain the attention of our clients, to bring more sales in. I was excited for the opportunity to dedicate an entire semester exploring, learning, and expanding my landscape of how and where these tools could be used in libraries. When I put my “librarian-in-training” hat on, ‘clients’ turn into patrons, ‘sales’ turn into information literacy, and ‘business’ turns into library services.
Our professor introduced us to many libraries and individuals in the library landscape who explore and critique these emerging tools. We’ve discussed how Library 2.0 is being used, how and why it’s been critized in the field. I’ve been taught early on in my professional career that it is important to be engaged, to know what is out there competing for your client’s – oops, I mean, patrons’ – attention. It was extremely valuable that I was introduced to library professionals who bring new thoughts about how to use these Library 2.0 tools in libraries. And these individuals are not just those who are supporters of using Web 2.0 tools in libraries. They are also individuals that have good criticisms toward the idea, so we can have an honest discussions about all sides to implementing these new technologies.
The group projects were an excellent way just to see how easy using Library 2.0 tools really are! I had a lot of fun writing a script for the library podcasts, using GarageBand to bring it all together, and adding a little personality to it. After hearing the group presentations, I was amazed at what I could do that doesn’t require me to take a night class at the community college.
I’ve completed the course and I can honestly say that I wish I were a librarian right now, because it would be so fun to actually plan to implement some of these tools in a real library. I know what you’re thinking – I PROMISE I will not be a newbie librarian fresh out of grad school intending to change everything in the library! But, maybe we could have a lunch bag session to at least talk about Library 2.0 tools??