Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thing 23 - Reflection

The single most important thing I wanted to do was to familiarize myself with 2.0 communication tools that our patrons use and that my library colleagues across the country use, so that I understand what they are talking about. The program has done a great job of supporting that, and my hat is off to those of you that have established it, coached us through, and tracked us as we experience everything. Well done! Next, I wanted to see if there is anything we can use in our own library. Because our institution limits access to many 2.0 tools, some things just aren't possible (yet). But understanding the uses and benefits can help us press for access as we demonstrate the value. Several of these are available, and I've already used them or shown them off! And then, I really hope to use some of these in my library organization & committee work - working with others across the country /world, when we all have separate platforms and servers and firewalls.
An extra: I found that participating in the 23 Things has impressed my nieces and nephew, and offered some ways to share & keep in touch with far-away family that could be really fun!

I come back to some thoughts from the beginning: libraries have been supporting curiosity, communication, education for years. Being relevant is important; using the language of our customers is important. Using these tools, understanding them - not just because we can, but because they are the tools of choice of those who we serve - is just as important. We'll find, surely, that some tools will become everyday parts of our service, and some will go by the wayside. But like using fax and scanner and computer, incorporating whatever we can into our service will place us in a much better position to reach people with exactly what they need from us.
I also find that I've already used digg and librarything and libworm for real tasks and questions in my own library - very cool. And I've also found (witness IM) that if I don't use these things, even in the short space of a few months, I forget how. I forget the user name or password or even which service I chose to sign up with. So I'm learning to keep things simple, use pieces of services I already use regularly (google, yahoo).
I'm surprised to find that I actually enjoy the blogging; and I use it to keep thoughts and links and ideas that I've tripped over during the program but want to remember to try at work or show someone in the library. Loved flickr, googledocs, image generators, and wikis. Less excited about digg, ning, facebook. Less excited about podcasts than I thought I would be, and more excited about Youtube potential (well, video on our in-house system as a teaching tool, anyway!).
I also find myself remembering something I learned from a fellow I worked for at Chemical Abstracts. Just because you can, doesn't mean it is the best thing to do/use. RSS feeds or twitter or instant messaging maybe absolutely super, but it may not be the best way to reach my customers, or teach about my library, or communicate with my Dad. It takes both knowing and understanding how things work, and then putting this in perspective and context with regards to what you need to do, who you need to reach, and what you have to work with.
All I can say now is that I'm better prepared to evaluation potential, and more excited about using these tools, and that its up to me not to lose what I just learned by letting them lapse. And to keep an eye open for the next Things coming down the line. Hope you guys will be there to coach us through!
Many, many thanks.

Thing 22 - 23 things in our library

Well. Since I am the only one of our three library staff who has participated in this program, I'd like to take even 5-10 minutes a week, (a month? however often my colleagues will entertain) to at least introduce and discuss each of the tools we've tried. Demonstrate when possible (perhaps slides from home when we can't access live), and talk through the possibilities for using them in our own environment. Would they be interested in learning by experiencing these things on their own? And because several Things have a kind of counterpart in our own software environment (using Sharepoint to share documents instead of Googledocs, and Outlook's IM feature for example), we can introduce these and brainstorm ways to make use of them to streamline our processes and reach our customers. If I'm excited about it, perhaps I can communicate that to my colleagues - even if they're snowed under and not too interested just yet. Just look at what great visuals we can create with those image generators!!

And as a committee member / officer of various societies, I'm planning to champion some of the 2.0 features to enhance our communication, by encouraging use of things like Googledocs, flickr, blogs and wikis, and to talk about tagging opportunities on our websites. There is already talk of turning procedure manuals into wikis, making websites more interactive. I'm a lot better prepared to help & support these activities now!

And you know what? I'm even looking forward to using these with family. Already Facebook has helped me keep in touch with my neices and nephew. My tech-savy dad can share pictures with us and vice versa more easily on Flickr than elsewhere. And my mom's recipes that I'd love comments on from family? googledocs would let us edit and correct them so easily between us! We may have to start a 23 things for the family, and let the younger ones coach some of the rest of us through Things they kn0w. What fun!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thing 21 - Podcasts

Podcasts have so far been a way to hear my favorite NPR news on my own time, when I miss the radio broadcast. So, again, a new perspective: at first, I couldn't get past all the cool stuff in the libsuccess.org wiki. Wow. There are so many resources to learn about! And I've enjoyed learning about the word "portmanteau" used in this way; certainly didn't remember it from Alice in Wonderland! On to podcasts. Found some other library-related podcasts at http://www.libraryspot.com/podcast/othercasts.htm. And I enjoyed the ability to use itunes on my mac to listen to these podcasts, since I already use it for other things! Some other thoughts:
  1. I really miss having some kind of visual content (video, powerpoint, something) for anything I'm being taught (how to, whether knitting, using google scholar or how to search a library catalog).
  2. This is like radio news: Good to listen to when I'm doing something else (cooking, knitting, cleaning) - can you tell I have a hard time sitting still?
  3. I can't find podcasts on some of the linked sites... sometimes searching linked website reveals some (LPI for example).
  4. OK, listening to children's stories being read from Denver Public Library could be something to use in our children's reading library, both for things we don't have, and when someone isn't available to read stories. Bu for the most part: when would our doctors or nurses or therapists or administrators ever find time to listen to these? Can't imagine them taking time to do it. Too boring.
  5. Most of these are short! Shorter can be better, pithy.
National Library of Medicine's podcasts turn out to be Director Lindberg's comments on things like swine flu or TB persistence, for consumer health. Emory University Woodruff Library : Library survival guide (copyrighted!!). Several libraries post these kids of guides for library patrons. Ohio State: best so far: short & pithy. IE: code game, (like scavenger hunt) to learn about the library. instructions to actually do something, with prize money! Something active! Can choose something i want to know about right now. Columbia University's Health Sciences Library provides a podcast on using PubMed to access full text - and it comes with visuals and transcripts!

A number of medical libraries provide information about podcasts, podcatchers, and links to useful podcasts for their patrons' benefit, including medical-related podcasts, like New England Journal of Medicine interviews, JAMA commentary, Johns Hopkins health news, Mayo Clinic interviews, FDA Patient Safety New,s and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thing 20 - Youtube

What a lot you can communicate in 10 minutes or less. I like the fact that there is a spot that tells when the clip was made. With more basic stuff than our 2.5 people can keep up with, how to find time to learn & produce this kind of stuff? Marketing staff... They must already know how, because there are several's videos about our hospital already here. And they did a good job!

Found Phoenix Children's Emily Center video, describing how this helps families find good medical information when their children are diagnosed with something... We do this in our family library too, so good way to see what and how our colleagues are doing... and an idea for showing off our services. Our families could watch this info from us! Very cool.

The Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center is championing partnerships between community health clinics and public libraries through the Utah Women's Health Information Network (UWIN). A thirty-second TV ad campaign shown statewide this fall is highlighting the message "Good Health Information @ Your Library." This ad is now also available on YouTube.

Medical Librarians celebrate National Medical Librarian (Library) month in October. We share ideas for celebrating (read: publicizing your services and very existence) with each other via meetings, listservs, newsletters; and now, we can see on Youtube! Statistics (we do this our our webpage). But look what an academic library has to offer; IM reference, Itouch, 60 computers, courses, on and on; their own physicians on READ posters. Ideas.

Do a "Library Orientation" video. We've talked about a CBT-kind of thing on the inhouse education system (tracks courses and tests)... but how many departments might watch a video instead? Of course we're so small, we'd rather go in person, and taylor the presentation to each audience; make a personal connection; answer real questions.
Is my 15-minute class this "staged" sounding a narration? I'd need a bigger screen to actually see what they are showing.

OK - there are a lot of options here - and using youtube reaches a wide audience. Most value would be for what we'd want to tell someone outside (families, referring physicians), because staff and physicians are more likely to look for this kind of information from us on our intranet. We already have weekly videos of the Grand Rounds physician education on the intranet for example, and these are trackable through the in-house education system (a plus because it helps with CME - can't do that on Youtube). So our courses would be more beneficial done that way.
Nice for sharing with other librarians, too though. Professional society stuff, celebrations..
Like have something professional here, not just "for fun stuff' - hadn't thought about that before, so thanks for again motivating me to look beyond the 2.0 label!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Thing 18 - Wikis

Wikipedia: enjoyed doing something I hadn't yet done: read "about..." stuff! and was glad to see things like "This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2009)" with a fairly timely date attached. Also enjoyed history; several are recently active, several not so much. I think that there could be a lot added, for example to the "history" section of paleomagnetism... I even know someone who could add it; will see if they are interested! Makes me wonder, though if some of the active scientists are taking an interest, or leaving this to those a bit removed. Interesting too to see that things like "wikiproject geology" exist. We steer families away from this to things like MedlinePlus for authoritative medical info...
I like the exercise of creating wiki pages! and the ability to add a link within the page! Thank you for that. The Hospital Library Section of the Medical Library Association has a wiki (http://mla-hls.wikispaces.com/) and I think I'll feel more comfortable really using it (rather than just knowing it is there) after this experience. Not that I feel I've much to offer re: contributions, but have much better understanding of how it's put together!
What fun!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thing 17 - LibWorm

I like the tag cloud! This cloud concept really appeals to me - one my favorite things to take away from the 23 things... Lots of technology related concepts/tags - 2.0 features, digital content, etc.(as one would expect). And copyright is still there! Look at how many ways one needs to look to find the open-access related feeds using tags.
Plenty of foreign language content (French, German, Dutch, Chinese).

The IM subject search returned a great piece on how to use Twitter in a library (feeding digital signage - a way to distribute vital information to studentson campus).
Enjoyed seeing the links for Pubget. Enjoyed seeing many of the new JMLA articles show up. Had a tough (actually unsucessful) time finding something on the best OPACS, or favorite OPACS. Actually, not very satisfying; had a tough time finding what I thought I was searching for on any topic, though interesting things did turn up in many searches. I will/would have to spend some time learning how to find what I really want before I would be able to latch onto a feed and really make use of this, as opposed, say, to watching my favorite list serv posts or searching a library-oriented database.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thing 15 - Digg

Notice: items from all over the map - science to National Enquirer in your neighborhood. Ads along side. Fascinating to see how quickly things change: new items appear, number of diggs going up.
Interesting way to see/learn about things:
  • Loved learning about the Live Science image gallery; something I've never heard of before!
  • Enjoyed finding links to a zillion items associated with Dr. Gawande's New Yorker article about health care costs (McAllen, TX)... including an interview on the NPR Fresh Air radio show.
  • Surprised at how few items there were about Walter Kronkite, how few diggs they had. Did I just miss them?
  • Lots of technology stuff, expected; so good place to find this material, or a perspective on it. (Like this: twitter.com is such a poor user experience, and here are 9 alternative web clients to tweet from instead.)
  • By the same token, poor grammar in the posts is just as distracting here as elsewhere. Can you really trust news from some site that doesn't know how to use grammar?
International content, broad & deep, as intro video states. But who are the people that contribute/digg, and who is not doing so? What kind of bias is inherent because of the participation?

Nice to know about, perhaps good for helping us to find things people ask about & we don't know where to find. But not something I would depend upon for all my news, or for doing research. Interesting to hear the video intro discuss using it for just that.