Sunday, June 01, 2008


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This webinar was given by Michelle Jacobs, emerging technology librarian at UCLA. She discussed the fact that technology is everywhere and more people are taking items that are like tiny computers (cell phones, ipods, flash drives) with them wherever they go. In a recent poll, 26% of cell phone users would rather lose their wallet than their cell phone. Libraries need to be where the patrons are so that they become more of need than a want.

For adding new technologies, a key concept is "RITE USE":

R -- take risks
I -- innovate
T -- technology
E -- education (of both staff and public, so staff can answer any question about the technology)
U-- user centered
S-- shared
E --excitement (staff have to be excited about the technology, and it must be marketed so the public knows about it).

Podcasting is cheap -- it just requires a microphone, a computer and the internet. Podcasts can be used for neighborhood tours, oral history, a "how to" for library resources, book reviews, and library events. Remember to put podcasts in places like iTunes where patrons will find them, not just on the library web site.
Here is more info on podcasts.

The library can put videos on YouTube instead of hosting them on their own web site, using a cheap digicam or cell phone. This way, they have a chance to be more widely seen. It could be a video contest for teens or online tutorials on the library. Here are some examples:

Text Message a Librarian

Using the VPN

Sort of a tribute to students in the library

Wikipedia may not be good for citing in a college paper, but the library can use it to its advantage. Staff can edit a page on the library, adding links to special collections and photos that the public may not know about. Citations for non-digital items can also be added.

How do you keep up with all these trends? Jacobs recommends using
Google Blog Search to search for certain tags (user-generated keywords) that you are interested in, then setting up an alert for whenever that tag comes up using RSS feeds. That way, you can just get the info you want

Google Calendar is a good resource for planning meetings and can even be used for library events. Patrons can subscribe to the calendar and view it on their cell phone.

The important things to take away from this webinar are: Do what you're comfortable with, partner, involve users, don't get involved in time sinks, and feel free to walk away if something doesn't work.


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