Thursday, 26 August 2010

The End of All Things

That was the most electronic holiday I have ever had! I had not planned anything special for this summer so it was an interesting substitute for Caribbean holidays in tropical sun or tiring mountain climbing.
Thanks to 23 Things Cambridge I was however able to travel far, very far (with Flickr), I was kept well informed about all that had been going on in the world, weather included (by iGoogle and RSS-s), I remembered about important events (GoogleCalendar), met friends (Doodle), met more friends (Facebook), discovered what is in my home library (LibraryThing), regreated that I was not born later to have my previous life at the university easier (Zotero), hoped to tidy up my computer desktops (Delicious), got rid of too many emails with attachments (GoogleDocs), and finally did not feel guilty about using Wikipedia (Wikis). I did not however turn into a nightingale (no Twitter - thank you), will not advertise myself on LinkedIn site and probably will not produce any podcast (Roman Polanski does not need competition).

On balance however the course brought more positive results with just a few which I am still not sure about or which need more investigating.

From a professional point of view the course opened my eyes to what is happening in a library virtual environment, what challenges we might be faced with and what might be applied in our work to make it easier and to make the libraries more interesting for our users.

I will definitely be recommending the LibraryThing if someone asks about an easy and cheap way of cataloguing online (and questions like this were asked in the past). I will certainly remember about "Maestro Zotero" as a great tool, which anyone who is preparing any sort of dissertation or creative writing should know about. Available online library related podcasts, slide shows, photographs might also be used when needed, so it is great to know about such possibilities. Other forms of social networking - Twitter, Facebook, Wikis have definitely lots of potential of improving the flow of information between librarians or librarians and users. Running services like this will however require lots of time (which we don't have) or an extra post (which does not exist at the moment where I work) and of course the users must be online too and able to retrieve any potential information ( in case of a very specific category of our users, is not always that simple). Our existing intranet, with the library site kept up to date and containing lots of useful links (including those to e-resources), is fulfilling the present needs in our libraries.

As much as I enjoyed most of the activities involved in the programme of 23 Things, there were a few which I was not convinced about (LinkedIn, Wikis) or did not like them too much (Twitter) and I do not see much use for those in our libraries.

Writing a blog text was a great challenge to me - English is not my first language. First blogs were rather short, then they started growing in number of words, perhaps not always strictly on the subject, but I suppose I have grown to enjoy doing this after the first couple of compulsory entries. The most enjoyable part of blogging was looking for photo illustrations to the texts. Sometimes I was finding the picture first and it was becoming an inspiration to what I wrote then, sometimes things worked in just the opposite order. In any case Flickr was absolutely indispensable and thank you Flickr creators and contributors for its existence. I am sure I will be using it in future for both personal and professional purposes. The same goes to iGoogle, GoogleCalendar, GoogleDocs, Delicious.

I enjoyed very much reading other people's blogs. So many thoughts, comments, advice! I wish I had time to read more. Having partly hidden identities we were probably braver to say more than we would in other ways. I wonder if these blog texts will become somebody's research subject or someone will get a PhD from it one day!

Facebook - I am glad I have learned how it works and I understand now why my daughters spend such long hours reading, writing and chatting there. However I am not sure how long I will stay there (privately) or if there will be an official library account created. The latter - perhaps in future, time and workforce permitting. Twitter - that is a definite NO. I just do not like it. Neither does my boss, so there is no conflict there. Thank you, Boss.

As for the Blogger this is my last post now, but if nobody listens to me anymore (at home or at work) I might start writing again (that's a warning not a promise). However it will not be a revelation to me anymore so for today - it is a definite goodbye to REVELATION23 and to All the (23) Things!

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