Monday, July 17, 2006

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.


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