Go for it!

Posted in Education,Information,Technology by millerlibrarian on September 14, 2009

Check this out!


In honor of the IPL’s upcoming 15th birthday at March 17, 2010, the IPL will be launching the IPL 15 Things – introducing 15 of our favorite online technologies, with background information, best practices, related readings, examples of how the IPL is using the technology, and hands-on exercises. Explore our first of 15 “Things,” Blogging, and take the 15 Things Challenge!


On being truly embedded

Posted in Education,Technology by millerlibrarian on August 6, 2009

Well, I’m on my way to gathering research on what it takes to best serve distance/online students in the virtual environment.  I’m very interested in discovering what programs provide this opportunity.  In my mind, this would be a truly embedded librarian, in the course delivery system and the courses themselves.  Many of the platforms and courses that I’ve seen or have taken do include a link to library resources and even the occasional link to Ask a Librarian.  Unfortunately, these links go directly to the main library web site and services.  As online participants, that is an already accessible avenue.  What I see is the need for specialized service – structured specifically for and with the needs of this wholly different environment in mind.  Specific resources picked and set up to address the unique needs of online students and instructors.

To go one step further, I think that services in general need to be re-thought in terms of online students.  Think about it – physical attendance often includes some sort of orientation; fin aid, admissions, library, student services, etc.  For distance ed, there does not seem to be any pathfinder for this information, and you certainly cannot drop in to check on something.   It can be a frustrating experience for many students.

Many of the opportunities for community are applicable to virtual learning – but they need to be supported and structured for a good fit.  Mentoring programs, study groups, alumni participation – all of these should be equally achievable for the online student.

So, how to make myself into a widget…What do you think?

User-centered change in my library system

Posted in Education,of interest by millerlibrarian on July 2, 2009

I recently finished presenting two sessions to Library Trustees and Directors of my library system on user centered change.  I am very happy to say that the presentations were well received.  I presented information on Web and Library 2.0 and tools/resources that could be used by system libraries to increase their reach to both users and non users.

The audiences were receptive and responsive, which was very exciting.  They listened with open minds and asked important, relevant questions.  I am writing about this because it gives me great hope and pride for my library system.  This a system of 40+,  mostly rural libraries, and I think that any adoption of new resources and social networks/media will greatly enhance communication, both between libraries and with patrons!

The Digital “Population”

Posted in Education,Technology by millerlibrarian on June 27, 2009

I’ve just been able to start reading Born Digital by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser and just the introduction has me thinking about so many different things.  This book seems like it is going to be really great and right on.  So, as I come across interesting points, I thought that I would share them and see what others think.

I usually cringe when people refer to the Net Generation and their technology use and/or skills.  I think that there is an assumption by some that this means that this group has advanced skills.  As a librarian, I immediately think of searching for information, databases, etc, and think – yeah, most don’t have these skills.

This book talks about those born after 1980 and instead of calling them a generation, they refer to them as a population, pointing to the fact that  “of the 6 billion people in the world only 1 billion even have access to digital technologies.”  The authors talk about the real issues and those that fear has turned into overreaction.

I look forward to sharing thoughts on this – have you read it?

What do you think?

Information Literacy and Social Literacy

Posted in Education,Information,of interest by millerlibrarian on June 24, 2009

As a librarian and someone who works with LIS students, I work to promote information literacy all the time.  Working with The Internet Public Library and our email reference service, Ask an IPL Librarian, this is one part of our mission and vision.  I believe that this is one of the fundamental roles of librarians.  However, a new role has emerged, and we now must also promote social literacy.

A great example of doing this is presented by Joe Murphy and Heather Mouliason.  Social Networking Literacy Competencies for Librarians presents a number of skill sets for librarians and social networking.  Another example, a blog post titled 10 ways library schools should be teaching social media, by Daniel Hooker, also supports social literacy with future librarians.

We are working on our own social presence and  literacy efforts at the IPL as well.  I look forward to working with students, instructors and patrons in this exciting area, while still holding true to the value and mission of enhancing information literacy.

What do you think?

CampusBuddy – a friend to students?

Posted in Education by millerlibrarian on March 26, 2009

There are a variety of platforms used to deliver course material and information – Blackboard, Elluminate, etc. Each has their strengths – Blackboard, an asynchronous platform, allows a number of features for students and instructors, including a discussion board with threaded interaction, group pages, and other forms of collaboration. Elluminate, a synchronous platform, offers the option for live class, where students and the instructor can have a lecture or group sessions, along with application sharing and other tools.

In addition to these, many college communities, instructors included, are using social networks to connect to and work with students; according to some, CampusBuddy aces the college social network test in its integration with Facebook. CampusBuddy is an academic-based social network linking students to classmates and others on campus. CampusBuddy is working on a number of tools and areas to more closely integrate the social and academic arena for colleges. It will be interesting to see how this plays out!


Web 2.0 and School Administrators – finally agreeing?

Posted in Education,Technology by millerlibrarian on March 24, 2009

There is so much talk about the “Net Generation” – about how kids today are so much more technologically savvy.  I have mixed feelings about this.  Do they use the tech tools and gadgets – yes;  they have and use cell phones, mp3s, ipods, etc., but more for pleasure/social purposes.  Maybe the medium is the message – they are adept in moving from one gadget to another, one network to another. Now transfer this to Web 2.0.  tools and the recession, which had school administrators and chief technology officers at the Consortium for School Networking’s annual conference acknowledging the changing times–and what they must do not only to keep up, but to help give students the 21st-century education they deserve.

Author of Grown Up Digital and keynote speaker, Don Tapscott says that “today’s educators need to catch up with the tools students are familiar with, without disregarding all of the teaching principles that make for a good education.”  He adds,If you’re a young person today, you don’t just watch television, you authenticate the information you’re receiving.”  Think of the implications that this has for sharing and teaching – let’s focus closely on the information that they receive, along with the technology used to receive it!