Monday, February 18, 2008

Great email newsletter

One of the more interesting children's literature blogs in my Bloglines account is Read Roger, by Roger Sutton, editor in chief of the Horn Book. Friday's post, Notes from the Horn Book, introduces readers to a new monthly newsletter to be generated by Horn Book.

"Be the first on your block to sign up! Each free and non-spam-generating issue of our new monthly newsletter, debuting the first week of March, highlights a small stack of new children's books of particular interest to parents and other adults who just need a little Horn Book help at the library or bookstore. In the March issue I interview Jon Scieszka, review some books about nature, spot some sequels, and answer some totally made-up questions in the advice column. Pass it on." - Read Roger, Notes from the Horn Book, 2/15/08

After posting this on the IRC blog, it seemed prudent to pass along the opportunity here as well. When subscribing you will be asked to create an account by providing a valid email address, name (first and last), address, city, and zip code to complete the process. Check it out!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Internet Typology Test

The last two weeks I have been immersed in technology, working with another librarian to investigate providing IM/Chat project for the new library web site. As we wait for the final template to arrive from the University Web Master, she is personalizing the existing template it for library use, this project has taken on a life of its own. We are chatting amongst ourselves (and sometimes with other Library Cloud members), playing to learn, having conference chats, checking out the test widget, and overall simply becoming familiar with the technology before moving on towards such issues as IM/chat hours, availability, policy, and privacy for patrons (a reason we picked Meebo, but that is another post). That said, technology, and how it could be incorporated into the new library web site, has been on my mind and I was interested to learn a new typology quiz from Pew was available.

A post yesterday on Library Garden, Friday Fun: Test Your Technology Type, directs readers to a PEW Internet and American Life Project poll prompting interested browsers to find out "What kind of information technology user are you?" Take the Internet Typology Test to find out:

Where Do You Fit?
Do you cringe when your cell phone rings? Do you suffer from withdrawal when you can't check your Blackberry? Do you rush to post your vacation video to your Web site? The questions below allow you to place yourself in one of the categories in the Pew Internet Project's Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users. To identify the typology group to which you belong, please answer the questions below. When you press the 'Calculate My Results' button, a new page will tell you in which group you fit, along with a description of the general characteristics of that group. - Pew Internet
I was curious to see if my answers to this quiz had varied any from the last time I fell prey to it's siren's call. When? Walt at Random posted May 7, 2007, Lackluster veteran: Bias, much?, discussing the same typology quiz. Checking the comments on his post, I was able to note last year I was an Omnivore.

This year, I am a Connector (my dislike of cell phones an undoubted downfall). Seems I am part of a group that makes up 7% of the population with a median age of 38, have typically been online for 9 years, and is made up of mostly women (55%). Honestly, looking at the descriptions I am more comfortable being a connector than the previously noted omnivore. What are you?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Dissention in the ranks

I've been reading folks' library blogs and they are interesting, to say the least. The names of the people who post are very creative and often bordering on risque. The topics that are covered range from informative and instructional to ranting and raving about lack of training, preparation or nasty coworkers/patrons. I must say, I would be curious to see how my staff might decribe their working conditions in our library. True, we are small and we often have to take in stride our quirks, crises and plain bad days. But I often ask in evaluations what is needed to be able to do their job - more specialized training, learn something new to enhance their professional development, going to school to to earn a degree, etc. I also ask what I could do to make their job easier or better - better directions, more communication, more flexibility, clearer instructions, leave them alone, jump in the lake, etc. Regardless, I try to allow the opportunity for input, even if it is during an evaluation.

I was reading the Annoyed Librarian blog on courses that people wished they had offered in library school. I found some of the "descriptions" to be hilarious and often on the mark. I found myself saying "yeah, that would have been a good one to have learned about" or "man, the poster really has had some bad experiences, work environments, etc." The entry obviously struck a chord - there were about 66 replies as of this morning. I certainly didn't have all the answers or the experience when I was hired; I learned many aspects on the job. I learned how to respond to people both in writing and verbally in a way that didn't raise hackles or cause ill will. I learned that I didn't know everything and sometimes the old way is just not better.

I hope that all our new library professionals keep that in mind - even years of being in the trenches does not always make you the authority just as coming straight out of grad school does not give you the right to criticize mindlessly without first learning how it works in the first place.