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Weeks 10-12: Semester 1

Applause, applause!

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!

Wrapping Up

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.

bottom shelf:

“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.”

Librarians Just Want to Have Fun:

“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!”

Not your mama’s Librarian:

“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.”

Alias Muskrat Hurl:

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!

Tiny Tips for Library Fun:

“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”

Project Play SCLS:

“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.”

Jaime’s Playing with 2.0:

“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”

Jim Learns:

“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!”

Maria en espiral:

“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”

The Bookrat:

“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.

Fun Extras

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!”

I can has cheezburger
A blog of LOLcats (or, basically a bunch of pictures of cats with funny captions)

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.

Tags: lolcats, relaytor, Thomas Ford Memorial Library, Western Springs History, wrapup

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18 Responses to “Weeks 10-12: Semester 1”

  1. Hi,
    I’ve tried and tried to get my Library Thing library to show random books in the sidebar of my blog. I can add it to a post, but the post gets archived, and the random books no longer show up on the front page. Can anybody give me instructions for this? I’ve tried adding an element in the sidebar of my blog. I just can’t make it take the HTML that I copy and paste from the Library Thing widget. I know someone knows how to do this.

  2. Hi Project Play-ors (I am a Project Play-er)
    Thanks for a very interesting few weeks. It was hard to keep up but the last three weeks as catch-up time is a great idea. Now I can go back and review those things that were really interesting and try out some things personnally and professionally. I am really looking forward to Semester 2!

  3. I was really looking forward to project play. I feldt that I was not keeping up with the new technology. A staff shortage left me short handed and I was not able to take the time I feldt I needed to really enjoy the class. I love flickr, and will continue to use it. is interesting and I think I would use it. I am looking foward to the Second Semester.

  4. Thanks Project Play for making us take the time, to find out about the things we should know about, but never have/or take, the time to do it. I can see where several of the things we have learned could be applied to our library and website (which drastically needs updating). I too, am looking forward to the next semester of lessons.

  5. Thanks for mentioning the Western Springs History site. I have been trying to remember this site to mention it because I think it is so neat. I have shown it to our local Historical Society. They are currently featuring some homes in the community in their newsletter but that does not allow other people to comment on the information presented. With the blog you provide a place for people with other memories of the home to add their comments. Different people have different memories and this provides an opportunity for them all. An obituary index with a blog is another interesting idea.

  6. I may need to repeat the semester; I can’t even remember the blog website we’ve used, blogger or Bloglines! I don’t know….I’ll look it all over again in succession and perhaps it will come together for me. NO criticism of Web 2.0 or the instructors, etc. I’m just of the “old school” and need a bit more time understand and appreciating the new technology…right now it just seems very time-consuming and self-indulging? Thanks for listening.

  7. Jill Elzinga Says:

    I will be posting my responses to week 10 in my blog, but I just wanted to thank all the folks who worked as facilitators for the Project Play. I appreciate all the thought and effort you put into making these assigments relevant AND fun. I also appreciated all your comments and assistance when I felt a tad overwhelmed by all the new technology. I’ve learned a lot, played a little, and I’m getting over a few fears :). Thanks!

  8. Thank you for Project Play. I do have a background in computers, but at the start of the semester fell into the “connected but hassled” group. My love for the Internet and technology in general was waning with all the pop-up ads and viruses and ‘too much information to dredge through’. In short, the honeymoon was over (no more free mp3s), and I didn’t stay current with new trends. This class opened my eyes to how Web 2.0 is putting the fun back into the Internet and harnessing its usefulness. You all did a great job, very clear, very informative.

  9. Thanks for making Project Play possible.
    It’s been a great sample of the online trends
    that are available and a demonstration of how
    libraries can claim them. I love my new bloglines account and use it several times a week, and also
    see a lot of applications for library wikis.
    Looking forward to seeing what Semester Two
    will be about!

  10. Tracy Herold Says:

    Really liked this format, especially the fact that I could review past sessions and catch up quickly if I missed anything. We are exploring the use of blogs and wikis for staff use, and have launched a teen blog.

    Looking forward to semester 2!

  11. This was great! Overwhelmed was the term that came to mind when I heard terms like Web 2.0, blogging, wikis, RSS feeds, tags and things. It’s like all those library acronyms we are surrounded by. I friend once told me he thought we all had carpel tunnel syndrome of the tongue.
    SPEAK ENGLISH! Well, at least I can speak “Web 2.0″ with a lot more confidence. I will be utilizing the tools presented in this semester and look forward to the second semester. Thanks for your outstanding work.

  12. Having fallen into the “better late than never” category, I found that this was a very exciting journey into the world on new technology. Learning about blogs and all that was related to it was eye-opening. I have to admit this was a little scary at the start, but, now having finished all the assignments, I feel so “with it” - thank you!

  13. I’ve learned a lot of things because of Project Play. I’ve read about some of the tools before but actually using the tools has made a world of difference. On Friday, at the WLA Leadership conference they suggested that units could do wikis and I thought, wow!, I could be the one to do the wiki if our unit wants one.

    I also have a fussy webpage on our library website that needs updating twice a year, I’m thinking about a wiki for that - a way to arrange the information better, update easily, and let FVTC students who use it add other resources and websites they find.

    Thanks a lot for creating this experience for us and making it easy and fun.

  14. I found this whole experience fun and adventuresome. I would do it all over again in a heart beat, I may go back and do that with some parts, anyway. I am doing Semester 2 and am looking forward to it. A big thank you to the team who put this all together. I think they did a great job and I am looking forward to next year.

  15. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!

    I had fun, played more, learned more and I fear a lot less now. I’m looking forward to the 2nd semester and I will make more of an effort to use what I’ve learned. I wouldn’t have done it without you! I’m inspired!

  16. It was overwhelming at times but at the same time fun and very educational. I had no idea all these things were out there and available to us. I will continue to look back at the things we did and learn more as I do.

  17. How about a YouTube video on using infosoup!!

  18. Funny you should mention that, Ellen, because I have plans for that in 2008! :)

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