These hands are clapping for YOU! Congratulations on making it to the final weeks of Project Play! While we have some closing thoughts included below, we’re going to take it easy on you for the next few weeks and give you some time to catch up and finish up your PP stuff.
Be sure to listen to our closing podcast (or read the Weeks 10-12 podcast transcript (PDF)) and take a look at the video and info below. If you have any questions about anything , be sure to contact us - we’re happy to help!
In Week 1 we started things off by having you watch a video about Web 2.0. The video’s creator, Michael Wesch, recently created another video entitled Information R/evolution. Play the video below to see his latest installment.
The world is changing! And it’s changing fast. We need to be willing to take a look at what we’re doing and re-frame things in light of what’s happening around us. Will every tool we’ve shared with you be something you want to use at your library? No. But we hope you’ll be more willing to play with new tools when you discover them and more open to how they might help your library solve a problem.
We also hope that you’ll use at least one new tool to invite your patrons to share their thoughts about your library. People expect to be able to participate when they visit online services. By providing opportunities for patrons to interact with our services, to let us know what they think, we show them that we value them and want to provide the best service possible. Take a look at David Lee King’s post, Valuing Users by Allowing Comments. He does a great job of talking about why inviting participation is so important.
Besides using these tools to communicate with your community, you might consider using them to find out what your community is saying about you. Your patrons might be blogging about their library experiences, and it is important for you to know what they’re saying. Do a Google or Technorati search once in a while to get a reading on what people think about what you’re offering and how your services are being received. And then take it a step further - if you find something, add a comment to the post! It shows that you’re out there and willing to start a conversation.
Our Favorite Blog Posts
We have enjoyed reading your blogs and appreciate the thought and time you put into creating your posts. We thought we’d share a few of our favorite posts from Semester 1 with you.
“Whew! I did it. I have created my blogline and have 12 newsfeeds. They are all related to libraries, news, word of the day and knitting. You now have a good idea of who I am. I am finding these assignments a little challenging, but that is good for all of us. Right? I am learning new things and taking some giant steps into a new world.”
“Okay, I figured out to connect with Flickr and it’s cool! I see lots of ways that it would be fun to utilize both a blog and Flickr for library promotion and interaction with patrons. I just got a call from the Green Bay Press Gazette and they are doing an article about our wine event. They wanted some pictures (which I eventually found on my computer) but wouldn’t it have been cool if I had an organized group of Friends’ pictures & their activities on Flickr? I think I see all the possibilities of getting better organized!”
“I’d like to have a feedback “thingy” on a library blog so that patrons can comment on what they read. It’s pretty poor customer service if you don’t know what your patron needs - and feedback is a good way of finding out what’s on their mind. It drives me absolutely NUTS when businesses pay no attention to what their client wants or needs - having more feedback on blogs would be a great way for libraries and companies to improve services. Just my not-so-humble two cents…”
“For libraries, the use of Flickr is less reminiscence than it is promotion and creating a sense of shared community, the idea that the library belongs to all of us and we want the user to feel part of it rather than a passive customer. We can let people know what’s going on at our library and try to put photos out there that make them feel excited about what they can do there.”
Blogging is as blogging does
It keeps us from our jobs because
Once started it is hard to stop;
Yet that’s not all that blogging does
It keeps our minds creative thus
Improves performance on the job!
“I think that tagging is the wave of the future and social bookmarking is part of the new way kids coming up are learning to work together. It can only get better. That’s part of why Project Play is so important. We need to understand younger customers so we can continue to serve them and remain relevant. I love the edgy gestalt going on right now in libraries …
I have one bottom line in my life - libraries are one of the most important social, literary and educational institutions in America and I want them to continue for years, and decades and centuries and millenia beyond my short career. If we stand still, we die. So onward”
“It’s exciting to me that in this web 2.0 world that we live in, anybody can make their opinions known and everybody can read them. Now I’m not suggesting that I have the most important things to say, but it’s exciting that I can say them at all.”
“LibraryThing, how I love thee…
Let me count the ways…
you are so easy to use
i add books in a snap
no more pen and paper
jotting titles on scraps
i can send out my list
at the end of the year
of books i enjoyed
to those i hold dear”
“Eureka! Wednesday a library customer asked if we “had a list” of volunteers to help catalogue a small collection. I was able to suggest LibraryThing to the customer. Knowledge is out most important product!”
“On a related personal connection…my doctor ordered a cardiac stress test for me, which I just found out is positive, so I’ll be seeing a cardiologist on Monday. I search online for a cardiac RSS and found one that looks very informative. I not only subscribed to it, but after I registered on the site, I started a journal on the site as well. Now see what y’all have started! Muchas gracias, Maria”
Now see what y’all have started! Muchas gracias, Maria”
“Wikis are like a lot of the other tools we’ve been exploring this semester in that they require a high degree of trust. You have to trust those who choose to interact with your wiki or blog or those who tag. Moving away from an authoritative model — where such things as “authority control” are considered good — to a wide-open, highly subjective model is frightening to some and exhilarating for others. And where you land on that continuum between fright and euphoria probably depends on how much you trust the public and how much you believe in the wisdom of the crowd.”
The Last Assignment
Your last assignment for Semester 1 of Project Play is to reflect on your experience with the Project so far. Have you started using any of the tools we shared, personally or at your library? What was your favorite week and why? Do you think you’ll continue with the 2nd semester? Let us know what you thought about the process and how it has (or hasn’t) affected you.
We couldn’t resist including additional tools that we like but didn’t have time to cover. Take a look when you have a minute or two and play at will!
“Email your messages, files and polls in seconds to query your friends and get the results and comments aggregated automatically for you!”
Western Springs History
Not a tool, but an interesting use of a blog from the Thomas Ford Memorial Library. They’ve posted historical pictures of houses to a blog and given people the ability to comment on the pictures. Thomas Ford Memorial Library also has created a newspaper obituary index with a blog.