Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Last Words - Jenny

Last words

Great speakers!

Interesting information, stories, ideas, help, commentary etc…

I’m taking home a barge of ideas for implementing new library technologies

I really appreciate all of the hard work that the Idaho Commission on Libraries put into this. Thank you!

Can we get a group together informally at ILA in Moscow to see where we are in our implementations? Anyone?

Email me at semejenn@isu.edu


P.S. Thanks Kris for letting me post to your blog and for encouraging me to do so!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Day 3 -- Jenny's two cents

Day 3 of the Digital Natives Conference…

How to offend a digital native? Ask them to put away their computers because it’s a barrier to communication. How about asking me to cut off my right arm? Maybe you could ask me to not take notes, think or otherwise process a conference.

I’m wondering how we can possibly reach digital natives when there is a preconceived idea that having a computer open is to create a barrier. I was completely blindsided when the facilitator for our discussion asked those of us with open notebook computers to put them away for this part of the conference. I immediately became defensive and offensive. The Russet Vixen blog has become an integral part of this conference experience not just for us, but for others at the conference. There was no way I was going to allow anyone to make Kris stop blogging. I conceded that I may not need mine. As already noted out, this IS a DIGITAL NATIVES conference. We’re supposed to be learning how to accommodate this type of experience/technology/learning/working style. I pointed this out and was told that basically “We’re not digital natives so you need to accommodate us.” I think the facilitator was the only one at the table who truly felt that way.

Eventually I had to reopen my computer and use it. I cannot take notes on paper as efficiently or effectively as I can on computer. My handwriting has deteriorated to inscrutability and my memory is like a leaky raft sometimes. Only when I have something integrated into my digital world does it "stick".

While considering all of the changes we need to make to services in the library to support and encourage use of the library by the “Digital Natives”. We need to work even harder, I suspect, on overcoming the attitude that technology is a barrier. Maybe it’s even an ‘us versus them’ point of view. I’m not certain what the real attitude is, nor why it exists, but we have to find ways of countering it. If I had been a library patron/customer and was told this, I would have packed up my computer and never gone back to the library. If we are going to proceed into the future we must embrace the technologies that are before us and recognize that barriers exist only where we put them. This is true with the differently abled, the technologically advanced and the technologically different.

I must restate that I thought this conference was wonderful and supportive of the ways we have learned to integrate technology into our lives. I am looking forward to working with a fraction of the material that was presented. I am also grateful for the comment "to put away your computers" because it made me really think about the difficulty some will have in accepting this new communication style. I am now thinking more about how educate and facilitate understanding while implementing these new technologies.


Synthesis and Heads up ISU Public Services Librarians -- Jenny two cents

I’ve heard many great ideas at this conference. Here are a few that won’t take that much work.
  • Blogging: Blogger will export/import to another blog system easily. This will be the first thing we will implement. Annie has been pulling content from our Relief mailing list to create a backlog of entries. My guess is that eventually the Blog will replace Relief in full. For those of you reading, Relief is the library’s internal mailing list/log for reference questions and problems. Once the internal blog is functioning the next blog should definitely be ‘What’s New at the Library.’ Maybe we can get both going this year…
  • Chat: We’ve talked about it, seen demonstrations and pricing. I’ve been really reluctant….But one of our speakers had a great suggestion: begin by putting chat on all of your reference librarians computers and have them use it between each other. This teaches everyone how to use it and shows off to great advantage the ability to get a quick answer or information bit without calling or walking. IT means we can be at the desk and quickly query each other for help. Or if we’re in our office we can us it to pass notes and queries back and forth. I for one will find it very useful. The step after this would be to create an identity for the reference department and begin reference chat through the free services to our student body. There are a lot of reasons to do this and a lot of stuff to go over. The problems with QuestionPoint or 24/7 include difficulty with the technology working on the home computers, not working very well with dial up access or Macs and creating another layer of complexity to the transaction. It’ll be better to talk to our students using a medium they already know.

  • Noise zone: Apparently the digital natives, next gens and the like are used to studying with noise. They find a quiet atmosphere a bit “Church like” to quote one of our panelists and even “spooky” to quote my digital native daughter. It would be great to implement a CNN feed into our student lounge, or a television in one of our study rooms. I’m not sure what else we can do, but we need to keep this difference in mind.
  • Myspace: It’s not going to be hard at all to create a MySpace identity for Eli M. Oboler. Perhaps he should also have a Facebook account. Certainly he needs an entry on Wikipedia as does our library.
  • Game night or movie night in library? Anyone?
  • Staff photos on web site
  • Sell flash drives
  • Free coffee during finals weekend?

These are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It will take weeks to digest and synthesize the contents of this conference. I’m looking forward to what we’ll be doing next.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wednesday Morning session - Jenny's two cents

Alane Wilson: "Perceptions of Library Users"

In 2003 OCLC published their big research project findings
2003 Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition

As a result of finding that libraries don't come up in Google when someone searches for books, they created the Open WorldCat project. We need to make sure we optimize library web pages for search engines.

Worth thinking about
Does the future of libraries depend on their ability to meet the needs of users?
1. How do we reach those who don't use our services.
2. How do we determine what will be useful/needed when the users don't know.

After the OCLC Environmental Scan was published people kept asking OCLC if they were going to provide more information. This gave rise to what she called "Son of Scan"
Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005)

Much of her talk was based on the information from this "son of scan" document. Kris has done an amazing job of transcribing the facts, and words of this presentation.

Comments from presentation that I thought were interesting:

* Service and physical environments can be done better

* Nostalgia element is important, strong visceral connection, but that doesn't trade into actual use.

* Librarians provide a good service, but users don’t want to leave their home.

Another OCLC document worth checking (it may be the smallest of the three)
2004 Information Format Trends

-- Jenny

Digital Natives Panel - Jenny's two cents

Digital Natives Panel

Kris' has already covered this, extremely well. I just wanted to add a few names and ages along with a few quotes... -- Jenny

Name - age, hobby
Brian –12, football
Kris – 16, music, gameboy
Sam – 17, sports, hanging out
Roy – 17, soccer
Jenna – 14, dancer
Morgan – 12, soccer
Ben – 15, skateboard
Katie – 17, softball
Becky – 16, draw

How do you mostly listen to music?
Ipod, Ipod, Ipod, radio, friend’s Ipod, radio, MP3 player I can’t afford an Ipod

Any of you text message
Ben: 1,000 texts per month anything over he has to pay for
Katie: has unlimited texting and she does it all the time
Becky: texts unlimited +1000 to other networks
Morgan: doesn’t have anything to text with
Jenna: 1,000 text possible and doesn’t do much
Roy: doesn’t have cell phone probably wouldn’t text
Sam: doesn’t text because he’d have to pay for it
Kris: doesn’t have cell phone because of parents
Brian: doesn’t have cell phone because of parents

Instant messaging?
Becky, AIM, and all the rest, uses myspace instead anymore.
Katie: has AOL but doesn’t get on it. In middle school always on. Parent’s limited time
Roy; yahoo, msn & aim, doesn’t have time to be on computer
Morgan; parents won’t allow it
Jenna; have msn & aim, gets on sometimes, till bored
Roy; msn & aim, yeah
Sam; yes
Kris; my parents are against it because of the same reasons as the no myspace
Brian; don’t have any instant messaging he thinks they’re weird, why not just call them. My
sister has it and she has it popping up all the same and 16 people are trying to talk to her when
he uses the computer. Really annoying

What would you change in the library?
· Really hard to work in a group when computer space is too narrow and restrictive
· Flat screen computers, cool looking, nice to tell the library you’re coming in and let them
know what you are researching so they can pull stuff
· Area so you can talk and make noise
· Area for bigger groups to work on projects, round tables
· Faster computers, way to find books easier in the physical library
· Finding a book easier, know subject you’re looking for and nothing comes up
· Easier to find books on your subject
· Internet access on computers, windows 98 is getting pretty slow… upgrade
· New fast computers, fast internet, easier to find books “in the D section”

I think we're going to have to have a true "noisy" area in the library. Something with a CNN feed or music or NPR or something... There's got to be a better way to help them find the books on the shelves. I wonder how/if RFID would interface with cell phones.... Then their cell phone could vibrate when they near the book. :)


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Conference blogging: At first glance....

Too few plugs, no tables... what kind of digital natives are these? I think one of the first changes to conferences should be the addition of tables to conference rooms.

Stephen Abrams will be the opening speaker this evening. His talk is titled: "The Information Tornado". There are a lot of librarians packed into this room. Too few have computers or other electronic devices open for business. I would love to have a raise of hands for who writes blogs, who reads blogs, who uses chat, who uses other social software, who's on facebook or something similar... I'd just love to know how prepared or unprepared this group is. When the conference was first being organized you had to fill out an "application" in order to get in. Allegedly they were being picky about who could come. At least that was the feeling I got from the whole "application" process. I'm not sure that this group is any more technologically literate or advanced than any other sample of librarians in Idaho. On the other hand, this group has shown a real interest just by showing up...

We're being welcomed by Anne Joslin who's going over what they've done before about visioning our future.

And then we're off with Stephen. I highly recommend this guy as a speaker!!! He's dynamic, funny, engaging... I'm delighted to listen to him. He's talking about the information tornado at the rate of speed of a tornado. It's a problem keeping up with the ideas, web sites and information being spewed at us. Check out his blog at: http://stephenslighthouse.sirsi.com

First, there is a real need for Librarian 2.0, those who are able to deal with the dynamic and changing information world. And it is going to happen and the whiny babyboomers who have to double click are going to have to get over it. (His way of putting this concept is much more funny, AND whiney is his word)

We are going to have to deal with just one little change... the Internet. He talks about the changes our predecessors had to deal with. Changes like electricity.

Stephen: The tornado that's coming through our marketplace is huge.

Stephen: We'll have to discard somethings:
There's no place like home
Catalog cards, microforms...
Click your heels together?.
Take our rosy glasses off and see how things have changed

Stephen: If you can't deal with the changes you can always grab that bottle of kaopectate and move to Montana...

Stephen: The question we should be asking is
What's the BEST future?

Stephen: Are we about search? or about content, community, learning.

Stephen: We do really well with How and Why questions.
S: Google does really well with What and When.

In a study on how various groups read or scan information:
S: Boomers eyes move in an A frame (perfect for newspapers)
S: Just younger generation move in an F
S: Digital Natives eyes move in a circle then look in the center

My favorite slide of the entire presentation is a photograph of a sign that he found in Britain:

Changed Priorities Ahead

Another little sign underneath reads:

No stopping at any time

He compared these two ideas to the coming technologically rich future. We have to change our priorities and there's no stopping.

S: Our problems are too complex to be solved alone which is why our social and work networks are so broad and interlaced.

Stephen says are the verb not the noun. I'm not certain I agree with this. Librarians historically are about organizing the jots and tittles of books and scrolls. We are the repositories where learning happens, usually self or school facilitated. Where is our territory? What is the role of a library and librarian versus the role of the professor or teacher? As we move futher into the role of professor and leave the role of organizer what does that mean. Is this really what we should be doing as a profession?

S: Facebook (80% of all college students have one of these accounts)

S: We need to embrace: Portals - personalization, RSS, High density web pages (graphics)...

S: Intuitive is a lie. Intuitive is a learned behavior. For instance you didn't intuit eating with a fork. That's why you start teaching babies to eat with spoons...

I'm beginning to be quite put out about his concentration on boys. Boys do this, boys do that, you get more boys reading this or that. I'm quite frustrated at his boy focus.

S: Searching is not effective with vast amounts of data.

And then he was off on all of the great things that Google is now doing. Not that he thought all of them were great, there are definite threats to the library and to the free information model with the Google Library digitization project. Kinda fun to listen to him talk about everything from Google Local to Google Scholar.

S: Visioning of the future:
Broadband wireless is going to be ubiquitous
Thinking, & problem solving, not factual knowledge will be key
How are we going to handle streaming media? No more dvd's or cd's...

S: As questions become more difficult where will you go for answers?

S: Librarians improve the quality of difficult questions...

S: 6 Specific Areas to Focus on:

  • Intense Cooperation
  • Radical Trust
  • Homework Support
  • Productivity
  • Supporting Edgelessness
  • Seamless Find (OpenURL)
  • Social Spin (data driven)
  • Get beyond lists - visual

Funny how his list of 6 is actually 8. *VBG*

S: When working towards an online project just get something up and functioning. Begin with parts and then add to it. Don't wait till it's perfectly obsolete.

(They're videotaping this speaker, I'm hoping that this will be availble via 'cast.)

Lots and lots of what's new, what's hot, what's out there in Internet land. :) I love this stuff. From the audience response, this is new territory for some. I'm very happy they've brought this guy in to speak. There are so many cool, interesting and great developments coming. I hope we're able to implement some of this in our day to day library world. The questions are how to implement some of this material.

Cool websites that he mentioned in his talk. I only got a fraction of those mentioned...

Podscope, a podcast search engine

Microsoft's Window's Live Search: Academic (has full Elsevier database set in it)

College life, powered by Google


Open content alliance

VBI Virtual Reference Central

INFOhio educational process...

"Normative Data Project for Libraries" website? Go take a look

Einstein chalkboard

43 things website

Singing Fish searches for audio and video file content

Blinkx tv


Second Life

Next Generation of Library 3.0 -- Croquet

rss, facebook, pandora, standpoint, flagr, zimbra, suprglu, nya, blogbeat, wink, gOFFICE, tagworld, tailrank zazzle...

Oh my!

I'm hoping the rest of the conference is as good as this speaker...