Posted by: sharonlis768 | December 20, 2007

Top Ten Reasons Why I’m Glad I Took LIS 768

As a final post on our blogs, we have been asked to reflect on LIS 768.  In a more formal evaluation of the class, I have darkened ovals on a scantron and eloquently answered questions on a survey (which I signed my name to because at my age you tend to be brave about those kinds of things).  So, in the spirit of celebration for having completed one more class toward my MLIS, and considering that Michael says Library 2.0 is about being human and that we should take opportunities to play with web 2.0 tools, this blog post covers what I’ve enjoyed during the Library 2.0 and Social Networking Class this past fall.  

Top Ten Reasons Why I’m Glad I Took LIS 768

10.  I finally had an excuse to play GAMES.  When you’re a boomer, there’s a certain sense of satisfaction in being able to tell your teenage nieces and nephews that they can see you on YouTube playing Guitar Hero.

9.  I learned how to use Flickr, which then got me to develop the pictures that have been stored on my memory card for over a year.  I like seeing how other people have photographed the same sights I have.  And I think librarians will be able to find numerous uses for Flickr both in promoting programs and in even in helping with reference questions.

8.  I perfected my Walnut-Date Pumpkin Bread recipe.  Okay, I threw this is to see if you were still reading, but honestly, when I get stressed out (and learning some of this new technology did stress me out) I go to my kitchen and bake.  Stressful or not, LIS 768 forced me to try web 2.0 tools that otherwise I might not have tried.

7.  I had Michael Stephens for a teacher.  From a librarian in Virginia that I was instant messaging, to the director at my library, it seems that lots of people have heard Michael speak on Library 2.0 and are interested in finding out more about LIS 768 at Dominican.

6.  I fell in love— with  This has proved to be such a useful web 2.0 tool for me.  I really like the tagging aspect of delicious, and think tagging in general has such potential for libraries.  I am really interested in watching how tagging is integrated into online catalogs.

5.  I set up a LibraryThing account.  I’m look forward to using it in doing readers’ advisory work and for my book club.

4.  LIS 768 gave me opportunities to connect with younger staff members in my department at work.  Technology is so second-nature to twenty-somethings while some of us boomers have to work much harder at it.  I’m grateful for their expertise and all the patience they show me.

3.  I learned about blogs and blogging.  Before LIS 768 I rarely read blogs.  Now I can’t imagine not reading blogs, especially by some of the librarian bloggers.  Blogs can be very helpful in staying current in the profession.  They’re also often fun.  The applications for blogging in libraries is wide spread.  Beyond external blogging, I think internal blogging would be a great system for communication amongst staff members.   

2.  Although I am not an expert, I feel like I have my head above water—-I’m no longer drowning in web 2.0 technology that I don’t understand.

1.  This class made me think more about the many ways libraries can change in order to provide improved services for all users.

Posted by: sharonlis768 | December 20, 2007

Readers’ Advisory Service Meets Library 2.0

Abstract for Final Paper

The readers’ advisory function is about connecting leisure readers to books.  Most of the traditional services provided by readers’ advisory librarians in public libraries are the types of services that exemplify Library 2.0 best practices.  One-on-one conversations, formal and informal booktalking, and library-sponsored or serviced book discussion groups are traditional ways librarians have met readers’ needs.  But now, with the explosion of Web 2.0 technologies, readers’ advisory librarians have opportunities to incorporate many new Web 2.0 tools into their readers’ advisory services.  They are able to expand their connections with library patrons, both in traditional settings and the digital world.  RA librarians are producing blogs and podcasts; answering questions through Instant Message; organizing collections with LibraryThing and Shelfari; and commanding a presence in social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.  Librarians have used blogs to establish online book clubs for patrons of all ages.  Librarians sponsor book discussions for teens on MySpace.  Both tools are useful for book reviews and author Q&As.  Podcasts are being used for booktalks and author interviews.  Teens and young adults are producing RA content in blogs and podcasts for public library web sites.  Several factors may impact the success of implementing these new tools, including the enthusiasm with which the librarians and the libraries embrace them, and the demographics of the readers that the librarians are serving.

Posted by: sharonlis768 | December 20, 2007

Group Project

Nat, Andrew, and I did our group project on Folksonomies, Social Tagging & Pathfinders.  Our PowerPoint can be found at  Nat did a great job of summing up our group efforts toward learning more on this subject, including figuring out just where we were going with the subject.  I think using Chicago as the topic for our Subject Guide contributed to the success of our project as we each have special areas of interest when it comes to our fabulous city.  The wiki that we set up for group collaboration worked ok, but possibly, because of the nature of our project, it didn’t seem that important.  Because our project was developed within our account, it was easy to always see who was adding which web sites and how the overall project was progressing.  I was grateful for the various contributions from other members of the group in the development and presentation of this subject.  In the end, I found that I would have liked to have had more time to expand my exploration of tagging in relationship to cataloging and OPACs.  I think it will be interesting to watch future developments in the area of social tagging. 

Posted by: sharonlis768 | December 18, 2007

Second Helpings of

I’m glad I went back to take a second look at my account and to tidy up some of my tags.  Although I still think the name is goofy, I have loved using  My friends (outside of libraryland) and family are tired of hearing about its merits, but is one more thing that I’m glad I experienced this semester.  Using has been a great way to organize and retain the web pages that I want to return too.  That said, as I reviewed my delicious account I realized some things and made some goals.  First, I did not always tag things, and now I vow to improve.  It will be easier to add a few quick tags on an entry as it is being marked than to have to go back and add them later.  Secondly, I now realize I should have been more selective about the titles for my bookmarks.  The “description” of the bookmark is automatically set to the title of the web site page, but it can be changed.  In the future, I’m going to make sure that the titles being used are ones that will be meaningful to me.  Tag bundles are helpful for organization too.  It will be interesting to see what all gets tagged “LIS768”.  My account URL is

Posted by: sharonlis768 | November 14, 2007

Blogs in Obscurity

So as I continue to think about blogging, I caught an article in the Chicago Tribune today “Welcome to obscurity: Blogs and the real world” (11/13/07).  Seems a Tribune reporter had a Q&A e-mail exchange with an exec from Technorati.  This search engine is now keeping track of 109.2 million blogs which means there is “one blog for every 23 people with Internet access (based on the May 2007 estimate by eMarketer that more than 1 billion people use the Web).”  The Technorati vp said most blogs are “only marginally active (about one post a month)” and that “about 25 percent of active bloggers (…posting… at least once a week) actually maintain more than one blog.”  What surprises me about all this blogging is that according to Technorati over 99 percent of blogs get no hits over the course of the year.  “The vast majority of blogs exist in a state of total or near-total obscurity.”  It seems there are a lot of lonely bloggers out there.

Posted by: sharonlis768 | November 8, 2007

YouTube video

 A participant in our library’s TeenFlix Contest that was held this fall posted his entry on YouTube.  For the contest, the film had to include an outside shot of our library and our new library slogan, “Yours for Life.”  There were two age categories (grades 6-8 & grades 9-12).  The films that made it to the finals were shown on the “big screen” at the local (independently-owned) movie theater.  Gift certificates from Best Buy were also awarded to winners. 

Posted by: sharonlis768 | November 6, 2007

Thinking about Blogging

During this past week, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about blogging.  (Being mocked by the A.Librarian tends to make you do that.)  Since starting a blog for LIS 768, I increasingly find the blogosphere to be an interesting place.  I’ve been surprised by the number of people who enjoy writing blogs and also by the number of people who obviously have time to read blogs. (Most of my boomer friends outside of libraryland don’t read blogs, let alone write them.)  The A.Librarian is an anonymous blogger and she draws many anonymous comments.  That said, I have been wondering if I should have identified my employer in my initial post of my class blog.  I thought it could be helpful information for classmates, but should I have told my employer about this class project?  At my library, as I’m sure is the case with most, we have a policy outlining who can speak to the press about library issues.  What kind of policies do libraries have for staff and library users about blogging?  If libraries want patron participation on their websites and feedback about library services, what kind of guidelines are they setting regarding what gets published?  In a quick check I found an example of some blogging guidelines for a book review blog on the Memphis Public Library site.  I’m thinking that blogs are relatively easy to start in a library, but that librarians need to remember to factor in time to develop policies and guidelines regarding their use.

Posted by: sharonlis768 | October 27, 2007


How do you make your college-age son jealous?  Tell him you played Guitar Hero… in school…for a class…while the teacher was there.  Hey, I thought it was great fun at our Wednesday game night.  I’m not totally convinced of all the educational values of these games, but in terms of building community, gaming really show teens that libraries are willing to invest in their interests.  I love the idea that gaming allows teens to get to know their librarians on a more casual basis.  We might not seem so “scary” when they need us for informational purposes.  I’m undecided about the concept of making kids check out books before they can play games.  That might be a little like having to eat your lima beans before you can have your chocolate cake.  In the end, does anyone learn to like lima beans?    

On a similar note,  I attended my library’s Family Game Night tonight.  It’s once a month and this was our fourth one since the library acquired DDR and Wii.  There are board games too.  In the past, some parents have just dropped their kids off and left (which is ok, but defeats the idea of a “family” outting), but tonight there were equal number of kids and adults–about 20 people.  I played DDR (fun, but I’m strictly at the beginner level) and Wii baseball and tennis.  In the future I hope our library does more promotion for this night–signs in the lobby and maybe even a tent sign on the curb.   Refreshments could be nice.  There is some thought about inviting seniors for an afternoon of Wii bowling.  Has anyone tried that yet?  

Posted by: sharonlis768 | October 23, 2007

Lasting Impact of McCusker Lecture

Although we were able to come up with plenty of criticisms of Stephanie Mills lecture last week, what the McCusker Lecture did for me was to make me think…and care.  Because I am a clipper (I read my newspaper with a pair of scissors in my hand), I had saved an article from the Wall Street Journal (1/29/07) about companies using social networking sites to promote their products and connections with customers.  On the backside of this page, were several articles about companies working to reduce computer-operating expenses including the reduction of power consumption through building more efficient computers and better cooling of servers.  (According to a vp of Hewlett-Packard, on average, for every dollar of electricity spent to power a server in most facilities, $1.50 is spent to cool that same machine.)  In class it was brought up about how many libraries leave their computers on all night.  One of these articles acknowledges vendors who are building computers that use power-management settings to power down components when not in use. (Of course, libraries can’t afford to replace their computers as often as most companies can, but if and when we have input into buying new equipment for our libraries, energy options are important to think about.)  Anyway, as I ramble on, the point I’m trying to make is that before last Wednesday, I probably wouldn’t have even read the articles on the backside of my saved clipping, much less read with interest and concern.     

Posted by: sharonlis768 | October 22, 2007


Establishing a catalog for my library on LibraryThing was surprisingly easy. (I say that from the viewpoint of one who typically struggles with most social software, including this blog.)  Anyway, I like LibraryThing!  I have an extensive collection of cookbooks that I may just organize.  For work, I can see using it to help me remember titles to recommend to patrons who ask at the readers’ advisory desk.  I read a lot of books, and belong to a book club, and am forever trying to remember a specific title for a specific request.  This might be an easily accessible place to organize my personal reading list.

This last summer our young adult librarian at BAL established a blog for the young adults participating in our reading program.  Once participants blogged about books they had read, their selections were entered into an account in Shelfari, a website similar to LibraryThing.  It was pretty neat.

Another similar website I’ve heard about is GoodReads.  I guess there are more.  As a start point in sorting out these sites, I listened to a pretty good podcast from Sarah Long, director at North Suburban Library System.  It’s #61—Web tools for the Reader

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