Sunday, February 27, 2011

My first prezi!

When it comes to emerging technology, I usually feel like I am late to the party. I just got a twitter account, I've just started to really embrace cloud computing and I don't have a smart phone yet. However, I have finally been converted to Prezi. I've seen it used for conference and class presentations, and the seamless navigation puts power point to shame.

Working on a group assignment, we were given the task of leading a class discussion focusing on how libraries can contribute to improving student experiences. My classmate Kirsten (check out her amazing food food blog) and I came up with a tight little presentation. Check it out:

We certainly didn't take full advantage of Prezi's potential. Because we were leading a discussion, we did not want to overwhelm our audience with information. We just wanted to highlight the relationship between enrollment, experience and retention. We are certainly happy with what we came up with.

This was a great assignment. It helped me think about how academic libraries can really contribute to their institution's wider community. Through collaboration, everyone benefits.

This assignment was based on Dr. Megan Oakleaf's ACRL report "The value of academic libraries," which is worth checking out if you are at all interested in academic librarianship, library marketing or communicating the value of your library to your community.

Friday, February 25, 2011


When preparing for a class presentation, the quintessential guybrarian-in-training is faced with a fundamental dilemma: Sweater Vest or Cardigan?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In defense of twitter...

So, I am one week in to my own twitter account, and I'm loving it.

On a superficial level it's a great way to pass the time during the quiet hours in the library when I am working the circulation desk.

On a deeper level I love the constant sharing of information. Maybe it's because I am such an extrovert, but I love microblogging. It's quick and dirty and gets the information out fast. I love seeing all of the different links that people share and I love having a place where I can unabashedly share my own links. Sometimes I am hesitant to post stories/videos/pictures/stuff to Facebook, because I'm afraid of over-sharing. But that's kind of the point of twitter, to over-share.

I have been getting interesting responses when I tell people that I have a twitter account. People who have an account seem supportive or amused. People who don't have an account seem skeptical (at best) or express their out right disdain for twitter (at worst). I'll admit that I stayed away from it for a while, but that was mostly because it seemed overwhelming to me (and I thought you had to have a smart phone to use it). I think with any form of social media, there are going to be people who don't see it's relevant use.

But I have been finding Twitter super useful. Whereas Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with people, Twitter is a great way to follow the informational people consume - especially when their interests align with yours.

Photo credit: dbarronoss

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tattooed Librarians, on the radio...

As I mentioned last month, it has been awesome seeing where the Tattooed Librarians of the Pacific Northwest Calendar has been popping up. Seeing it on a librarian's blog from the Netherlands was exciting, but today's discovery blew that out of the water:

Ziba Z, a distance-learning library student with University Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, stumbled across our calendar on the internet, she tracked down the cover girl, Amber, and finagled aninterview with her....

...and it's awesome.

They talk about Amber's journey into librarianship, the intersection of social justice and public libraries, Seattle, music, Amber's alternative identity as DJ Dewey Decimal and (of course) Tattoos.

Be sure to check out the other radio shows on Ziba's awesome blog.

And Ziba, if you're out there, the world would love to see a Tattooed Librarians of California Calendar (and I think a zebra tattoo would be rad, too) !!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Just 'cause they're digital natives...

"...even though young people may have been exposed to computers since they learned the alphabet and may be avid users of sites like MySpace and YouTube, college-aged students are no more likely to be natural-born researchers and scholars than anyone else." -Allison J. Head (2008), Co-Director of Project Information Literacy

photo credit: LSE Library via The Commons

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The future creeps closer

Six months ago, Amazon announced that the Kindle outsold hardbacks on their website. Now, not only have Kindles surpassed HP7 as the most sold product, they have outsold paperbacks, too.

This is not surprising. eBooks and eReaders are a way better business model than paper-and-glue books. It costs way less to store digital content (you don't have to rent warehouses) and it is way cheaper to deliver (no pesky shipping costs).

While I think book-selling as a form commerce is certainly dwindling, I still stand by my assertion that books - and more importantly, libraries - aren't going anywhere. Varying forms forms of information formats will be needed for different information wants and needs. And information professionals are still going to be needed to help people search for appropriate and effective information resources.

Although libraries are still going to be relevant, they are going to look much different in the near future. I'll let Abbey tell you why:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

tweet tweet

It seems the one social media trend that librarians are all over is twitter. I hate feeling left out. So...

...It's official. I've joined the revolution. Follow me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Good Question

"Why is it, they ask, that the librarian always finds a 'dirty' book to be better written than a 'wholesome' one?"
- Not Censorship But Selection, Lester Asheim, 1953

photo credit: National Media Museum via The Commons

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Visual data, so hot right now.

I love infographics. love. love. love infographics.

I've always been a visual learner, but in today's age of communication technology the amount of possible ways to present information visually seems infinite.

David McCandless, British writer and designer, seems to be a the forefront of the infographic movement:

If you enjoyed this video, check out McCandless' site: Information is Beautiful.