Librarians atwitter over Web 2.0—January 23, 2009
As the World Wide Web produces new ways for people to communicate and search for information using Web 2.0 tools, so too must librarians experiment and learn about the new and emerging technologies. During the past four months, the Hastings Public Library staff has been taking an online learning program offered by the Nebraska Library Commission. The course, Nebraska Learns 2.0, offers librarians a way to learn together, interact and contribute to the new technologies.
Using Web 2.0 resources, librarians have created their own blog sites, used instant messaging and tapped into RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. They have enhanced their blog sites using Flickr (photos shared online), SlideShare, Image Generator (allows graphic and picture manipulation), and video and image hosting sites. Yes, librarians are twittering (think of broadcasters such as CNN inviting viewers to voice an opinion) and posting tweets too.
For years, libraries have collaborated with each other by borrowing books and sharing ideas. Blogging about how libraries can use wikis, podcasts, YouTube, etc. comes naturally. How can libraries use wikis? Other than the fact that many sites are free to use, libraries already organize subject terms, provide book reviews, etc. and the web is simply another resource.
A favorite website for librarians is “Library Thing.” This site allows creation of an online catalog of your own favorite books, tagging them, and attaching them to a saved list. Libraries have organized and provided shortcuts to patrons for many years. Oh yes, wasn’t there a man named “Dewey” that organized knowledge into ten categories?
Many Web 2.0 sites require learners to discover how to use the site by trial and error. The Hastings Public Library has resources available that may provide answers for many questions such as “What is the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0?” Read the book “Unleashing Web 2.0: From Concepts to Creativity” by Gottfried Vossen and Stephan Hagemann to find contrasts and potential new products and services in the future. “How to Do Everything with Your Web 2.0 Blog” by Todd Stauffer, “Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That’s Changing Your World” by Hugh Hewitt and “Who Let the Blogs Out?” by Biz Stone will give you a start about understanding blogging tools and using blogging etiquette. Be sure to ask for help from the library guides that know how to explore and may be able to lead you to the information you are seeking.
As you explore, be aware of sites that charge money and sites that may follow you back to your home base. Stay safe as you gain tips from the books “MySpace Unraveled: A Parent’s Guide to Teen Social Networking” by LarJanuary 25, 2010r Teens and Parents” by Kevin Farnham and Dale Farnham.
Libraries may not be on the “bleeding” edge of technology, but they have joined the creative edge by using web resources to improve library resources and to help those who use libraries. Take advantage of the human, online, and material resources available at the Hastings Public Library.