Category Archives: TTW Contributor: Lee Leblanc

Who’s working in your library?

Backchannel

…Backchannel is the product of countless hours of research conducted by Kokernak, some of which came from starting up and running a small media-buying operation … and some from long stretches buried in the stacks of the Harvard University library. (He once took a low-paying job there, Kokernak says, to gain unfettered access.)…

Tying together two ideas:
-cultivating talent by staying fresh and open,
-recognizing the reasons people come to libraries varies everyday and the reasons for working in libraries is wide ranging.

TTW Contributor: Lee LeBlanc

Rapidly disseminating information you find interesting?

you too could share

Note: we also get the results from the social media survey. Open all the links at once: http://linkbun.ch/52i -thanks infodoodads.com


Sharing PDFs

At times, I want to share parts of an article (like with you.) So I tested an online tool to extract an abstract from the article I just read. Here’s that abstract:

…The main hypothesis we examine is whether heavier users of IT are more productive, and if heavier users of IT are indeed more productive, how does this increase in productivity manifest itself? Our results suggest that, controlling for other factors, the size of an individual’s internal email network is more highly correlated with revenues generated by that individual than age, experience or education. … Additionally, even after accounting for the individual’s number of unique contacts within the firm, the social network measure of “betweenness” is also highly correlated with revenues. We attribute the strength of these results to the fine grain detail of the data on this form of task-based white collar work.”
–From http://spirit.tau.ac.il/public/gandal/Information.pdf

and rather than force you to load Adobe Acrobat Reader I can re-direct you to another tool. pdfmenot.com allows me to quickly let you load a presentation on the paper above. If you ever sent anyone a large PDF they will thank you for using this. Here’s that presentation.
http://pdfmenot.com/view/http://www.idei.fr/doc/conf/sic/papers_2005/gandal_slidesl.pdf

Another way I collect information is to save the slides or pages I specifically want. In a 78-page PDF it’s doubtful I want all 78-pages. Sometimes I actually like to hand colleagues a hard copy of a specific section. Trolling through the PDF to print only the pages I want is time consuming. Nor do I want my colleagues to have to find the pages I want them to see if I email it. I just hack the PDF down. Using this app you can modify your PDF for sharing. Takes seconds. Saves time.

The folks over at infodoodads turn you on to some pretty cool stuff too. Laurie did this presentation. Then put it online. Pretty slick. Here’s the link to Issuu and the presentation:
http://tinyurl.com/2mu9db

A lot of my tricks I’ve picked up from other bloggers but most recently I’m thankful to http://www.friedbeef.com/about/ (I would have called it friedveggies since I’m one of those veg-heads.)

Delicious
I also bookmark like mad. Do you get regular links via your delicious account? “What’s that!?! Not another thing to check,” you say. Settle down now; it’s just links. If you’re in my network I can add you every time I bookmark something I think you would like. You can practice reciprocity by sharing with me. Here’s how to do it:

|links for you| –look for this up near the top of your delicious page.

then add me formally to your delicious network by searching for iblee or simply typing the tag:
for:laurenpressley
(I chose Lauren as an example because she shared a cool article on Buddhism with me.)

Social Media
A few weeks back we looked at the question, “How many Social Media Sites do you use online?” Of course, right away I was asked to define it. I’m not big on giving definitive definitions for things I didn’t create. (Not that I’ve created anything worth talking about or defining!) So, yeah, I googled it. I liked Robert Scoble’s take: Social Media. A large part of this media revolves around participation. Yes, participation is in decline in some ways. Read Bowling Alone yet? Even if the author’s premise and research is sloppy (as some have called it) it’s still worth thinking about. When was the last time you got together for dinner with friends? How regularly is it? Do you schedule this time? How social are you offline?

“How many Social Media Sites do you use online?” results:
1-3 sites 40.0%
4-7 sites 51.0%
8+ sites 9.0%

Some responses:
Primary interplay revolves around my typepad blog (justcrim.typepad.com), facebook account, del.icio.us/brianrwuci sites, and google reader feeds/sharing

Although I’m an Early Adopter (MOOS since 1995, LiveJournal since 2000, my offline life is too full for too much time spent online

I have my own blog, I blog for the library, I have a facebook account, a flickr account, i occasional login to Askville.com, I belong to three wikis including the Peace Corps Wiki

LJ, diaryland, flickr, twitter, ravelry, librarything, facebook, myspace, last.fm

Don’t Forget

oh! and don’t forget to share your feeds :) http://www.google.com/reader/shared/00291156310638200102
Feel free to share where you go for info and how you share it with your friends (those online ones too.) You will most likely expose someone to a tool, trick or source they didn’t know about.

Hmm, maybe I should have titled this post: “Sharing is caring?”

TTW Contributor: Lee LeBlanc

Why are you …?

Torii gates 1


You answered, Why am I a librarian (or insert your favorite information professional title here)? Thank you for a set of fun responses. Why I did I open the question to all information professionals? There are a lot of unique roles in libraries. There are a bunch of names for those roles within libraries. Some people remind us to not take titles too seriously. Some are for reals. Still need more proof?

Next, I adhere to the be nice rule. Yes, I do not think we need people who are bullies -in their professional or personal lives. We need less sardonic, mendacious, apathetic, dejected and mean-spirited people in our profession. I still included those comments though.

Which reminds me of the time I got stabbed by a pen knife standing up to a bully. I stood there staring him in the eyes, unflinching. Then, he ran off scared. You are only as weak as you believe you are. Don’t let those comments dissuade. Fight the good fight. Say fair, good things about people you know; ignore the rest. They’re not worth your time. Snarky is so web.0.

“to be nobody but yourself in a world doing its best to make you everybody else is the hardest battle any human can ever fight and never stop fighting.”
-e.e. cummings

———————–

 

Your responses below

 

———————–


1. I prefer to call myself an “Information manager” because that’s what I do all the time: manage information and because I do not work in a Library. I like helping other people find what they’re looking for and design new ways of makes things more findable.

2. It’s an easy job

3. It combines my love of people with my love of the hunt (for information!)

4. I needed a job with a salary.

5. It seemed like a career in librarianship would give me a lot of options. At the time, I didn’t know where I wanted to live….My first job was as “Acquisitions Specialist” for a federal government contractor. About 2 years later, I was an “Internet Librarian.” Then I was a “Internet Terminology Librarian.”

6. I wanted a career with no stress. Being a librarian is totally stress-free. I’m a career-changer. I came from the corporate world. The library world <i>really is</i> stress-free compared to the “real world.”

7. I Need

8. See #2. [Respondent means the second question I asked. Post coming soon.]

9. I like the work, I find people’s questions interesting, and it’s different every day, which suits my attention span.

10. I wanted to be a professor but I liked too many subjects to pick just one. As a librarian you can study whatever you want.

11. Don’t know why you are a librarian. Let’s speculate: – you’re a huddled mass yearning to breathe free! – you lost a round of beer pong and the loser had to go to library school! – you won your library degree as a Publishers Clearing House.consolation prize!

12. I am an information wonk and I like to help people find all sorts of information.

13. I like to help people. My Dad is a Social Worker for the blind and my Mom is a retired Registered Nurse.

14. I am a librarian because I er ah … darn it I don’t know. It seemed like a good job at the time and I don’t think I’d like anything else quite as much. I feel like I help bring order to the universe.

15. Because I love the job. I love helping people find information, I love books, knowledge and libraries in general. I adore the fact that I can spend hundred’s of dollars on books for the library that people will enjoy reading. I enjoy working with children, sharing books, doing programs, helping with homework and thus chose to become a children’s librarian.

16. Schooling harms children by forcing them to deny their life’s passions, teaching them that learning has discrete end-points (final exams, graduations, etc.), and — worst of all making them intellectually dependent on expert teachers. I became a librarian to help children become more intellectually independent, to foster a love of self-directed learning.

17. Computers and books are fun. Getting paid decently is good. Sucky pay rules out chain book stores, but allows for librarian jobs.

18. In the end I had to give in to genetics. I’m third generation.

19. Gives me a chance to help people, make a little ey, and keep learning stuff too.

20. I love research. I like teaching people and I like books. What else was I going to do?

21. Because I like the work, parts of it anyway, and the pay is good. There are times I actually don’t mind helping people. Since I work in a college library I feel a little bit like I’m “doing some good” as well.

22. It’s an honorable career that suits my skills and talents and it pays decently. Plus I get to work with books.

23. I am a librarian because I am a people-person and a dilettante. I’m a smart person who couldn’t settle into one discipline.

24. I have my MLS and need to recoup my investment so I can become something else. I entered the field as an idealist.

25. The thrill of the hunt.

26. It presented itself as the best way to earn a living at the point that I finished an MA in my chosen field and needed to help support my student husband.

27. – couldn’t think of a better fit for my skills, interests, and previous work experience – wanted a job with continuous challenges (ie: you never know when the person approaching the desk is going to ask you a tough reference question), and variety of duties – I like people, and I like helping them – it’s not physically demanding.

28. I got the degree so what else am I going to do, huh?

29. I like to read, to learn and to discover. I like helping people.

30. I believe access to information is one of the most important things nowadays. And I think there’s no other professional who cares more about how the user will access and use this information than librarians.

31. I enjoy helping people, organizing things, and being able to use my liberal arts background. I don’t have to work with food or business people; I enjoy being at an academic institution.

32. Good question.

33. I like helping people and some of the other traditional roles (doctor, lawyer, accountant) didn’t seem as good a fit.

34. This is a “straight” answer. I wanted to teach (and coach sports) outside the context of the classroom, and a high school library seemed like the best way to do that. After early experiences in high school libraries, I was fortunate that the public library job opened in the low population rural area where I wanted to live. Getting to share with people of all ages and interests over the last 33+ years has been exceptionally rewarding … except for the pay and benefits.

35. I am a librarian for a lot of reasons. Mainly, I enjoy helping people. But I also like earning my living doing something that that helps further knowledge, that supports education and openness and equality, and that doesn’t exist solely to make rich people or corporations richer. I am a librarian in an academic library because I believe that access to higher education can change a person’s life for the better and because I enjoy being part of a collegial and inquisitive environment. I am a library manager because I want to inspire at least one person as I have been inspired and create opportunities for growth and learning for my staff as opportunities have been created for me, and because I want to prove that a woman can excel in leadership positions traditionally dominated by men.

36. So I can participate in useless pseudo-academic nonsense like this survey.

37. Because some mean, public “librarian” would not help me find information when I really needed help.

38. I am a librarian because I have this unquenchable thirst for finding information. Also, I like to work with books and other reading materials. Indeed, my intent was to stay in academics for a lifetime by working as an academic librarian. After earning other post-secondary degrees that could never guarantee any job whatsoever, I decided to earn a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree for practical work skills. As for my career prospects, they are rather slim because I compete with other librarians for a limited number of librarian jobs. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as a “librarian shortage” whatsoever!

39. because I get to tell stories to 4 year-olds, 84 year-olds and everyone in between……… and get paid for it!

40. I went to the careers office at my undergrad school less than 2 years in. I talked with someone there about what I could do and what I wanted to do, and she suggested the possibility of being a librarian. I had never thought about it before, but it really seemed like the obvious thing for me to do. Throughout most of my life I’ve been better and using libraries than other people my age and I also love using them.

41. Librarianship was just a perfect fit for me. I was told by several teachers and professors that I should go into teaching, but I didn’t have a passion for it like I did for libraries. Now I work in a college library and get to collaborate with the professors and teach the odd online research skills course.

42. Because it pays slightly better than my other job options, and has better hours.

43. It allows me to work with information and also help people access and understand information. In my case, the information is local history and preserving history.

44. i love books and reading.

45. Because I ENJOY interacting with library staff (I’m in a consortia that offers services to libraries. Have been in consortia work for 24+ years). [Email me.]

46. Because there is no one other field where u can be a book lover, gamer, techie, geek, and love your job.

47. I am a librarian because I get to help people (I am an academic/instruction librarian), play with technology, work with very nice people AND, best of all, I do not have to sell one thing to make a living…

48. The usual — loves books & libraries.

49. Public librarianship manages to link up all the things I like to do with the things I believe I ought to do. It allows me to combine my feeling of responsibility for my community and/or craving for social justice with my liking of books and technology.

50. I’ve always been a Librarian – it was my favorite game as a kid; better than school or store or house.

51. Because no other profession would have me. Also, I am obsessive and picky.

52. For the money.

53. At first it was a job at a college, now it is part of my life mission to help others get a college education.

54. I seem to have an affinity for finding things, although I am not very organized….

55. To make sure people find the information they need.

56. Because I wanted to be one, I like the work.

57. I like solving problems and thought I could do so at the reference desk.

58. I love finding answers, people and books!

59. I got an undergraduate degree that would have required a Ph.D. to do anything with. I picked librarianship because it was a “safe” choice (short, easy degree program; could complete via distance education), and I didn’t know what else to do.

60. I enjoy working with people, I like to read, and I love discovering new information.

61. I love books, and I love working with kids. It’s perfect.

62. What other job offers such variety of work?

63. Because I really believe in libraries. I believe libraries are about the last institutions in the world to offer free education for anyone who wants to learn.

64. It was was that or a career as an archaeologist. And when I discovered that being an archaeologist wouldn’t include searching for treasures like Indiana Jones (yes I was very young) I decided searching for information would be the best choice. The proximity to all the books was an added bonus.

65. Because I love connections. I connect people with information, people with people, people with answers, people with books.

66. I enjoy helping people, but can’t stand blood, so I couldn’t be a doctor or nurse. After working in some bookstores, I discovered that I like helping people find information (I am a confirmed bibliophile), so I went to library school.

67. When I was in high school, the librarians were amongst the most influential staff when it come to fostering a love of reading, and appreciating literature. Once I graduated from my undergraduate humanities degree, it seemed like the obvious choice, where I’d be able to share this knowledge with other people who are just as passionate about books and reading.

68. Because I matter (make a significant positive difference) to the people who ask me for help or who accept my freely offered help.

69. I like the ability to work independently, and I like the diversity of projects I can undertake. I also like to help people.

70. because I love to get people to information, organize everything, and break barriers at any given opportunity.

71. Because I have learned one of my best strengths is as an intermediary and facilitator of information and people.

72. For the variety of questions I am able to answer at the reference desk and the variety of things I get to work on (collection development, programming, etc.,).

73. It provides an intersection of thinking and using my intuition that I find satisfying. It’s about the intersection of people and systems, and you really have to become familiar with both to do the job.

74. I chose to become a librarian, because I wanted to help others engage with information and encourage a passion it. I also had a love of knowledge and research and wanted to find an occupation that allowed me to pursue this daily.

75. h.

76. I’m very nosy and want to know it all. And want to know what others want to know.

77. it’s a combination of a love for learning and helping people…and fate..haha!

78. It is the best job in the world. I get to learn something new every day and help others to find the information they are looking for. I like meeting new people and doing different things. I love that everyday there are always new things happening at work.

79. I really like helping people find information.

80. I am a librarian because I love research and learning, and as such I love helping other people find interesting and useful information on a daily basis. That and of course I am a self-professed bibliophile.

81. I like to handle data and help people find data.

82. Because I love what I do and I love going to work every day (and I’m pretty good at it). I find new challenges & opportunities each day, giving me the variety I want from my work environment (never a dull moment).

83. Because it allows me to do three things I love: help people, explore new things, find solutions to problems.

84. Because I recognized that libraries were in a time of exciting change. I wanted to be a part of it – especially the technological change.

85. i thought i would be an academic and then realized i would be miserable. i slouched around in lame jobs for a couple of years and then decided that librarianship would keep me close to academia. I was right!

86. I love helping people and I love knowledge– I have to wonder if I would like this profession as much as I do know if I’d been been 20 in 1950, before we had such instant access to information. I am really not a fan of those old green books.

87. Because I don’t always deal with huge amounts of stress very well, and the audition to audition life of a musical theatre performer would have obviously not been a good fit. So – I needed to get a degree in something that would actually get me a steady income at my day job (vocal performance degrees aren’t really good for anything) Music librarianship sounded interesting, and librarianship in general was surprisingly appealing to my personality.

88. I like finding things and helping people.

89. I like libraries. I have OCD, so I like things to be in order. I like helping people. It seems like a stress-free job, and pays fairly well. It is something I can do as a second career, and I can probably choose my location.

90. I love books and I wanted to help people.

91. Because it paid 3 times what I was making before I went to library school.

92. I worked for ten years in the admissions office of a psychiatric hospital. I decided I wanted to work someplace that people WANTED to be.

93. Because those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Because I do love a cracking good story and like to make sure others like me can find them. Because I like helping people without needing to know their history or their business.

94. Because I think making information available to all, no matter who you are, what you look like, how much money you make (if any), is important and a good thing to do.

95. Essentially I am a librarian because I have a strong love of books. But that’s not all. I am a librarian because I like finding things and helping people find things. That’s my favorite part of the job. The books are an added bonus. I love finding difficult information for patrons and helping them figure out where to find information.

96. I like helping people.

97. I have nearly insatiable curiosity about almost all things. This really lends itself to reference work and reader’s advisory.

98. Helping myself and others make a clearer sense of information in the world.

99. After all this time…mainly inertia.

100. h.

TTW Contributor: Lee LeBlanc

What is today’s mystery word?

andLinux and Windows XP

We’re not going to geek out here but we need to talk about:
–Documents,
–Virtualizing XP,
–Restorable/Disposable Computing,
–andLinux
Read on and discover today’s mystery word. Spolier alert: this is a choose-your-own mystery word adventure.

–Documents
Here we beg the document engineering question. Do most people need all the features that Microsoft Word offers? Most users think they need to “buy” software to be able to effectively design their documents. This is highly unlikely. We know most patrons do not know about free or open source software. Most people would be fine typing their paper in something as simple as Notepad or a free Word Processor like AbiWord. AbiWord has most of the features you need. If our patrons truly need to do advance document engineering, Word may or may not be the best candidate.

As for writing the paper, could we suggest to our users that 2-steps make a better writing process? First: pure, simple, hacking, away at the keyboard to produce their work of literary greatness. In Microsoft Word, there are far too many distractions to take you away from the task of writing. I’m sure you’ve played the Font Game, (Hmmmm, Times New Roman is starting to look dated…What about Verdana? Oh too modern). Possibly you have tweaked and re-tweaked your headers, footers and page numbering too? I usually do this when my forehead starts bleeding from trying to think of that elusive word while re-writing and re-writing and re-writing. Or maybe that’s just me.

Next, the intrepid writer can port their new literary work to a piece of software that will allow them to create a document with formal page margins, headers and footers, a cover page, image, sections, and tables. (Most email systems can be thought of as the first step in document creation too. Unless you’re constantly checking your email.) Users also seem to not know that you don’t need MS Office. Those patrons, unless doing very serious document formatting, can use a free word processing software to engineer the final copy.

Here’s the “converting a MS Office 2007 document” part for our user who gets home and can’t open the latest greatest file from Microsoft. For 2007, Microsoft changed file formats. Documents get an x tacked on now -actually it’s Microsoft’s version of XML. You get a strange look when you tell people they don’t need to buy the newest edition of Microsoft Office 2007 to open any of the new Office file formats. If they have a version of Office from 97-2003, there are no worries. They usually don’t believe me so I give them the quote below and this link in an email:

By installing the Compatibility Pack in addition to Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003, you will be able to open, edit, and save files using the file formats new to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007…

Also, it’s not a bad idea to inform your users to keep a copy of, say, their resume as a plain text file. Again, locking your most precious documents up in proprietary formats is not the wisest move.
What if you can’t afford to buy the newest software that will open those MS file formats? That’s speaking from experience. I’m sure you don’t do that. Also, it’s far less likely over time and multiple saves, that a simple text file will become corrupted. Again, the idea is to separate content from presentation while not getting crazy with it. Obviously your PowerPoint presentation should not be separated into images and a text file. Or should it? As long as you have an internet connection you’d have your presentation with Slidy. Some folks also use flickr.com.

–Virtualize XP
Getting used to playing with Microsoft Virtual PC will do two things for you. (Sorry, I know I am ignoring Macs here; forgive me.)
1. If you learn how to do a Microsoft Windows XP installation you will feel more empowered over your technology and will help yourself demystify some of what IT actually does. How so you say? The great thing about working on a virtual machine, as opposed to your own actual PC, is that you can break it with no care -recklessly. You just delete the virtual drive and start over.
2. Having a Virtual Machine on your own PC allows you to:
a.) test software you think you may need,
b.) test software patrons want you to install
c.) keep your PC “clean and secure” by not accelerating rot on windows. There are few others you can use like VMware but you have to use their virtual machine player and are limited to the VM builds they offer -unless you have the workstation edition to create your own virtual machines.

–Restorable/Disposable Computing
Imagine having disposable XP computing instances? Each time you reboot you have a new Windows installation. There are several programs you can use to secure your personal computer or the work computers you oversee. Microsoft SteadyState is not bad. Returnnil gives you controls to return your system to a pristine state. There are others and it can get quite costly. The free stuff holds its own though. Why would you do this? Public computers should be for public use. These kinds of controls give a user complete access to their PC. Maybe they need to install some software to do their taxes. Let them. Then reboot the computer and it’s back to your baseline image.

–andLinux
Finally, you’ve heard of Linux but don’t want to go through the trouble of installing it. With andLinux you can explore Linux and use thousands of Linux applications -from within Windows XP. Get a taste of Linux without getting all geeked out.

I guess we did just geek out. I’m choosing stenographic as my mystery word for today.

TTW Contributor: Lee LeBlanc

Do you face Resistance?

resistance

Have you ever walked into a door you thought was open? I can’t tell you how many screen doors I’ve walked through living in Florida. Ever wonder what the heck you are running into where you work? Ever thought about what Resistance is? Ever felt like there was a force preventing you from moving in a direction you want to go? Do libraries have a special kind of Resistance?

Creativity can be described as the right kind of Resistance: a tensioned state that doesn’t suppress your ability to think or act and on the other end isn’t vapidly easy. Creative tension is a state where you re-mix tools, abilities, skills, and solutions in new ways. Resistance fears this state. It doesn’t want you to know this. Knowing what kind of Resistance you face, naming the nameless, allows you to re-claim energy and re-direct it.

I also feel talking openly about failures will create a culture of (knowledgeable) risk takers. Success and failure are far more intimate friends than they let on. Sure: out on the playground they look like enemies. Always one Winner and one Loser right? Yet for how long do successes last? How fast have you recovered from some failure? Some say contentment is the highest goal. That’s awfully philosophical for a Monday -but I am a closet existentialist.

Check the book out: http://tinyurl.com/2n7fe

TTW Contributor- Lee LeBlanc

Care to tell us why you’re a librarian?

why

Take the short answer survey. It’s merely three questions.

Also, do you as new librarian, (or new information professional), care to say why you got into the profession when parts of the world see libraries and librarians as relics from an era-gone-by?

You probably have meme-fatigued. That “geez, this question is turning up everywhere!” It’s a good one though. We can strengthen our resolve on what we believe by answering questions like this. How so? 1) Sharpen our own minds about what is important to us. 2) Strengthen solid ideas about our chosen profession by sharing our best thoughts. Mr. Shaw said this quite succinctly.

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.—George Bernard Shaw

If you can’t wait a few weeks for the responses to collect, feel free to comment here or put yours up on your blog. Jump to the survey now. We accept all forms of entry: Haiku, riddle, 140-character entry and so on…

TTW Contributor- Lee LeBlanc

Ever had to buy ridiculously priced text books?

CK12 Text Books


Assuming they acquire attractive data sources, CK-12′s next challenge will be spreading the word. The education system is not quick to adopt new technologies. I think that finding teachers able to use Internet-born text books will be their biggest challenge. They will have to communicate outside the tech channels that will give them initial buzz.

While the focus is K-12, I have firsthand experience at the beginning of every semester helping college students find their text books. We rarely have them. Way too expensive. Of course there are students who are just trying to avoid paying for those text books but there is another type of student. I’ve known students who struggle to pay for their text books. College text book costs are rising ever higher. Could there be a more cost effective way?

Maybe publishers are slow to offer electronic texts because they think students will just beat any DRM the publisher can install. I know students know who scan their entire text books. One student buys one of the Xnumber of required books and then they all trade scans. (Yes, I know what your thinking about the legality of that action). But, what if publishers offered electronic versions at lower costs than the outrageous prices on the 52nd edition of Introduction to Human Sexuality? Research in other areas like MP3 sales and pay-per-articles prove that people will pay a fair amount for reasonably priced products. But is twice the rate of inflation fair? (Here’s the report via pdfmenot.com). I wonder about the hidden cost this drive for profit Capitalism extracts from all of us -mostly unknowingly.

It’s like going to Canada for prescription drugs: go overseas and you can get your text books for half the cost. Boo that. If there are any (LIS) students/Professors out there want to share thoughts on text book costs -feel free. Just be careful for a backlash if you feel those prices are justified.

TTW Contributor- Lee LeBlanc

Why bother with Twitter?

twitter.com/iblee

Michael, who teams blogs over at, http://infodoodads.com/ turned in a blazing time of 14 seconds for finding that reference article. (There was also a respectable 20 seconding showing which was faster than me). I then “cyber stalked” Mike over on Flickr :) Next we had a few exchanges that led to the conversation on microblogging. I hear a lot of: “….[groans]…not another 2.0 thingy!’ Michael didn’t do that mind you. Yet, what could that reaction be about?

Lee: ive found microblogging is best, at least 2 me, when im txting out doing somthin. i txt an update 2 my friends. i txt my brother regularly. &i kno my brother txts with his wife all the time -she’s in the Philippines right now. add my disjointed twitter vignettes to this & then I also interact with those folks. but twitter could work for library microblogging too. how? make the jump here or read on.

Mike: Hmmmm. Definitely worth thinking about. I suppose I do a version of microblogging–I e-mail myself reminders from my cell phone, everything from grocery list items to book authors/titles to movies someone tells me about. It could all very well be twittered.

“How do I experiment with new stuff’?
And yes, I wrote that like I would on my cell phone for the most part. I take certain liberties when I text. Using Twitter is a way of thinking about technology -for me. “How do I experiment with new stuff’?” Experimenting with new technologies to see how I can connect to more people in my life -rather than looking at what it will do for me alone helps me move my mind in directions it would not normally go. It’s funny how many of my friends microblog (SMS-ing me all the time) and don’t realize it. So, a lot of times you’ll see a question turn up in Twitter that I asked my friends. Feel free to answer. I try to be somewhat inspiration like, “So, wut up RockStar! Tell me how you did/how ya do this weekend.” Friends who don’t really email me, or maintain an online presence of any kind, or generally don’t email that much, text me back! alot!

So, I use txting to stay in touch with certain friends and family (and patrons?) who text AND then share a bit of my txting with the Twitter community -shall the two ever meet? Maybe. Maybe not. So, I’ve connected two different sets of folks through Twitter. What’s the lesson? Different strokes, different folks. Like Lauren, I also see Twitter as bridging the Internet & phone (not everyone has an 16gb iPhone :). Lauren goes on to list bunches of other great reasons about what Twitter can become for you if you let it.

“How does your library experiment with new stuff’?”
What makes the new technologies, social apps, and whatever else seem pointless really lies in how we view those tools. What if we evaluate things not for ourselves but for others? (I’m planting a seed here for my future post on what we need in the library to be personally successful & it has very little to do with technology). Unless I’m meditating, I don’t like to stare at a blank wall -even then I sometimes debate myself over this wall gazing. Yet if we turn around from what were used to looking at, there could entire field of opportunities worth checking out. Maybe we need to think about how patrons use Twitter to really find the gold? Do you know any of your patrons using Twitter? Above all else, play. I’m going back to my corner to stare at my wall for a bit but I’ll meet you on playground for a game of Tag.

TTW Contributor- Lee LeBlanc

Can you find this article?

More than a desk

Actually, it’s just a tease while I hammer out the rest of the multimedia portion for the Reference Desk post. Pulling all this multimedia together takes time. There’s even an article about it here. “In spite of the time, frustration, and lack of support, creating the screencast was a good idea. I’m glad I did it. But in the future, I’ll also be more cautious about judging others’ use of media—because it is harder than it looks.” But, can you find the article the screenshot above comes from? We should probably measure your attempt in seconds. Honor system here. Ready…Set…Answer.

TTW Contributor- Lee LeBlanc