Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Brief note on SirsiDynix Conversation on 2.0 Meme

A SirsiDynix Institute Conversation: The 2.0 Meme - Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Librarian 2.0.

Find the link here, which will take you to the archive.

I just did this today. Once I managed to get the Microsoft Meeting going (it took a bit more work, in spite of the fact I had it installed once before), it worked ok. While I found the conversation interesting overall, it seemed to fall into what I often see in the 2.0 Meme dialogues, which is the assumption all libraries will somehow get a robust and substantial IT department and that we will all become coders. I am not against coders, but I personally am not about to become one. It is not because I have an opposition, but it is simply because it is not within my interests. The other assumption I observed is that the presenters seem to assume a lot of prior knowledge from the audience. I would not have thought of this were it not for the moderator constantly telling them to define this or that term for the audience. Of course, it seems to be a given we can give patrons the latest computers with all the toys so they can create their content. A great idea, if you can find the money to do it somehow, which is something that never really seems to get addressed. I am sure the well-funded metropolitan system or Research I University can do this, but I often wonder about the underfunded rural library and the smaller college.

I did find somewhat encouraging when the presenters advocated the need for librarians to be trendspotters. In order to do this, librarians do need to have institutional support to do this, so they can think about what they spot, so they can think about how best to use what they find. The librarians need the time to "play" with various tools in order to understand them so they can use them in their libraries and provide better services to the patrons. This is easier said than done, and I am just saying it from my own experience. I read a broad range of items through Bloglines subscriptions. I have two blogs (a professional one and a personal one), and I have played around with del.icio.us. It takes work and time to keep up, work that I am more than glad to do. And yet, I have to admit that I feel somewhat guilty if I need to do some of the playing while I am at work between teaching classes, working the reference desk, and the other things that I am actually supposed to do. I certainly don't think my director would disapprove, but it is not something other colleagues are doing (if they are, they aren't telling me). I guess I am saying it can get a bit lonely at times. But what may irk me at times, and the reason I tend to prefer not to address the 2.0 Meme is that even with all my efforts to keep up, with all my drive to learn new things, with all my love for experimenting, it may never be good enough for the gurus and the powers that be.

My personal concerns aside (I probably sounded a bit more negative than other people), I do believe these type of experiences to be valuable. I have done a couple of the OPAL online seminars, and if SirsiDynix offers another topic, I would certainly attend. These are very easy ways to keep up, to learn a new thing or two, and other than the time you invest, they are free. And very often, you get a few things to think about.

2 comments:

Laura said...

Thanks for the report--I attempted to attend this presentation, but I was beset with various technical difficulties, most notably a spotty internet connection.

I was wondering how the presenters would strike a balance between educating about and advocating for technology. I feel like these presentations ought to be more for people who aren't playing around with new technology (as many bloggers are), but they end up being directed at the already techno-savvy. I may just need to go listen to the archive myself.

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Laura: Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I often wonder why some of these presentations are not more geared to the people still trying to learn. After all, they are supposedly preaching the "gospel" to get more people to follow their paths. Yet they often do preach to the choir. I do think it worth it to listen to the archive if you missed it. Best, and keep on blogging.