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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Thing 2: Thoughts on L2

Thoughts on Web 2.0 readings

Is Web 2.0 a “do or die” situation? No, I don’t think so. Will it ever replace the traditional library? I doubt it. But, is it in our best interest to familiarize ourselves with the new technologies that continually emerge? Absolutely yes! The one aspect of libraries for which technology has no replacement is the human element of service. But that element is only as good as their training.

I taught library & technology skills in a K-6 setting for nearly 16 years. I knew that I could never keep up with the ever-expanding field of technology, nor did I feel that it was necessary to do so. My goal was to teach my students how to learn on a computer, that it was merely a tool that they would use throughout their lives. They were taught to not fear mistakes, to deal with errors that would undoubtedly occur, and to work through problems & make the computer do what they wanted it to do.

Now it’s time for me to work through new advancements. And, what I find I really want is the human aspect of this learning experience. I’ve had trouble with maintaining my blog; it keeps getting blocked. Part of me wants to drop the 23 things project. Then my own voice plays back to me from my teaching days: “Don’t let that computer get the best of you – you are smarter than a machine!”

I found an interesting idea in one of the readings. Hennepin County Library runs virtual book talks via their Book Space. What a great way to get teens to dialogue about books they have read. I’m often asked to give them ideas about what to read, but what does an old fogey like me know about what they would like? However, if they could log in & find reviews written by their peers, they would find great ideas!

Rick Anderson, in “Away From the Icebergs” notes that he has seen a 55% drop in circulation over the past 12 years. I was astounded! Our circulation continues to increase every year. The computer use increases as well, but it is not replacing how much people rely on us for books, for reference questions, or for general information. What I have found is that people also want us to teach them how to use the computer & all that it has to offer. We don’t have time to teach these skills, but as I was reading this article, it occurred to me that perhaps we chould look at teens as teachers for us “older folks” and start a program that would match teens with adults in a shared learning experience.

Again, too many ideas, not enough hours in the day…

My second attempt at a blog is now unblocked, so I am now on a roll.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I truly think that one reason the circulation at our library continues to increase is because we continue to keep the library in the public's eye...and ear...and mind. I believe that many libraries no longer "advertise", and that is a mistake.

I really like the idea of matching up the tech-whiz kids with people who need the help. And not just computers -- I still can't figure out how to delete pictures from my new digital camera!

And what is the 23 Things project?