Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Method 4

Here is the "A Dozen Ways to Two-Step" discovery exercise for Method 4, followed by my response to it:

Discovery Exercise:
1. Watch the Youtube video: Google Reader in Plain English.
2. Go to the Google Reader site and sign into your Google account.
3. You’re now ready to start subscribing to feeds.
4. Over on the left, you’ll see Add Subscription, and next to it is a little link to Discover.
5. Click on Discover to find some feeds that interest you. You can search using keywords. Try library.
6. Subscribe to 3 feeds.
7. Play around in Google Reader to see how it works. Read some of your feeds.
8. On your blog, add links to your 3 feeds and post to your blog about this exercise. (Please include “Method 4″ in the title of your blog post.) What appealed to you about these feeds? Do you see yourself using Google Reader or some other RSS Reader to keep up with certain sites now?

C's Response:
When I realized that RSS was going to be a part of this training, I looked into it just a little bit, and I subscribed to the RSS feed on Madonna's website using the Yahoo RSS reader. So, I've been well-informed on all things Madonna for the last few weeks, as I usually check the RSS reader when I go to Yahoo to check my e-mail.

I have signed up for Google Reader, and I added several feeds, including the following:

American Library Association News:
Texas Library Association Blog:
New York Times:

I like having these feeds, and having them in one place. It's a convenient way to get the news I'm interested in all at once. The user still has to go to it (by going to whatever RSS reader one is using), rather than having it come to the user, so you have to remember to go check the reader, but that's ok -- it's probably better than getting hundreds of news e-mails!

I typically get my news from Google News, which aggregates the top stories in various news categories from multiple sources. RSS is rather similar, but it allows for more specialized feeds, such as ALA or a particular entertainer (Madonna -- woohoo!) I do see myself continuing to use Google Reader.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Method 3

Here is the “A Dozen Ways to Two-Step” discovery exercise for Method 3, followed by my response to it:

Discovery Exercise:

Explore some cloud-based productivity tools (think word processing, spreadsheets) by logging in and playing with one but preferably both of these popular cloud-based application suites:

Google Docs (and, while you’re logged in to Google, why not explore some of the other Google applications that are available?)
Zoho (note: you can log into Zoho with your Google account information, saving you from having to create a separate Zoho account)

Read Greg Cruey’s “Cloud computing for the masses” article (if you haven’t already).

Read Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk blog post: “Could you live in the cloud?”, and please read the comments left by several readers.

Read Michael Stephens’ Tame the Web blog post: “How can libraries use the cloud?

Read Jenny Levine’s The Shifted Librarian blog post: “We’re Not All Ready for the Cloud Yet”.

Share your impressions and thoughts regarding online productivity tools and cloud computing by posting to your blog. (Please include “Method 3″ in the title of your blog post.) Some jumping off points for your blog post might be: How do you feel about these tools and concepts? Do you see great benefits for use in libraries? Overall, would you say that you are more excited or more cautious/skeptical about cloud computing?

C's Response:

I have looked around some in Google Docs and Zoho. I created a "test" document in Google Docs and published it to the web here:

I also used the publish to blog function to publish it in this blog in the blog post just before this one, so you can see my very exotic and exciting publishing excursion. :) That is to say, it is not exotic or exciting AT ALL, but at least I know how to create cloud-based documents now, and publish them, both in my blog and on the web.

I used Zoho to create the text of this very blog post, and have copied and pasted it into a "new post" in my blog to make what you are reading now appear here before you.

Zoho and Google Docs are both easy to use and have a lot of applications (wordprocessing, spreadsheets, presentations, and so on). I like the variety of templates in Google Docs and the variety of applications in Zoho. I also find it very convenient that Zoho allows for login using one's Google ID. I am used to productivity applications like word processing and spreadsheets being programs on my computer. Being able to do these functions on a web-based platform is awesome. Advatages include being able to access my documents from anywhere with a web browser and internet connection. I am, however, aware of the potential issues involved with cloud-based computing, including privacy/security, potential loss of data/need for backup, etc.

I read the four discovery exercise documents referenced above. They were a good introduction to the concept of cloud computing and also pointed out the advantages and challenges/problems involved, both for individuals and libraries.

I have been using some cloud-based applications for quite some time, including yahoo mail and Facebook. The idea of doing most computing "in the cloud" has a lot of appeal, especially from a memory/storage and cost-saving (not having to buy productivity applications) perspective. I would love to be able to store my 60+ GB iTunes library in a cloud outside of my desktop computer at home. It would really save on memory space. There are, however, issues with computing in the cloud to such a great degree. Is my stuff secure? Is my stuff really mine? Would it be seen, hacked, used by others? Would it remain private? What if the companies housing the data go out of business, get sold, or suddenly change their rules (including privacy rules)?

I liked that the Shifted Librarian post pointed out that we, as librarians, have have the opportunity to not only train our users in how to use cloud computing technologies, but we can and should also point out to them the options they have and the problems/issues involved in cloud computing.

Cloud computing is going to be a fact of life. We need to adapt to it in order to not be left behind, certainly, but we also have the opportunity to instruct and advise our users, and to help shape the policies of our libraries and parent organizations to provide as much access as possible to cloud computing for our users while maintaining sensible computer/network security.

To me, librarians have always been the facilitators at and to the portals of knowledge. Our skills will continue to be needed as we move forward onto the cloud.

Test Document

Test Document.







Thursday, November 19, 2009

Methods 1 & 2

Here are the “A Dozen Ways to Two-Step” discovery exercises for Methods 1 & 2, followed by my responses to each:

Method 1 Discovery Exercise:
1. First, please view and/or read the following videos and articles. They will provide you with some good, solid information on Web 2.0 and Library 2.0. **Note that for the articles, you probably need to use your librarian searching skills and retrieve them from a scholarly database such as Academic Search Complete:

Video: Stephen Abram launches Murdoch University’s 23 Things. (Stephen is Vice President of Innovation at Sirsi-Dynix.)

Article: Abram, Stephen. “Social Libraries.” Library Resources & Technical Services 52.2 (Apr. 2008): 19-22.

Video: The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version) by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University.

Optional but very good article: Evans, Beth. “Library 2.0: The Consumer as Producer.” Information Today 25.9 (Oct. 2008): 1-53.

2. Next, think about what you have read and seen. What are your thoughts regarding Web 2.0 and Library 2.0? What do the terms mean to you? To your library? Or libraries in general?

3. Write down these thoughts and save them for Method 2. (In Method 2, you will create a blog and your first blog entry will consist of what you have written in response to this exercise. So, when you compose your thoughts in this exercise, it might save you time if you type them and save them in some sort of electronic format, like a Word document, so you can copy and paste them directly into your blog in Method 2.)

C’s response:

First of all, I just want to say that I like the “A Dozen Ways to Two-Step” logo on the program’s website: The font used there for the text, “A Dozen Ways to Two-Step,” seems to me to be the same as that used for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in that show’s opening sequence. Very cool. One of my favorite shows, though I did like Star Trek: The Next Generation even better. And FYI for Star Trek fans out there, the new Star Trek film just recently came out of DVD and is fantastic.

Stephen Abram video: I liked the point he made about how libraries can use these tools, but we have to experience them first-hand to be able to communicate about them intelligently with library users. Since the 12 ways training is an adaptation of the 23 Things program discussed in this video, we’re getting the chance during this training to get hands-on experience with Web 2.0. Awesome.

Stephen Abram article: This was a good description of Web 2.0 and Librarian 2.0, especially in the kinds of services that make up Web 2.0 and the characteristics of Librarian 2.0. Library 2.0 is an environment embracing and harnessing the power of Web 2.0, and Librarian 2.0 is a savvy professional, comfortable with Web 2.0 technologies, able to interact with the user via whichever communication mode best suits that user, able to instruct users in the uses of these technologies, and able to harness the power of Web 2.0 tools and technologies for the opportunities they provide.

Michael Wesch video: This was great. The part about how XML separates content from format and makes the content interoperable (useable by other sites) was especially interesting. The graphics and presentation in the video were great. We are teaching the machine. The machine is us.

Beth Evans Article: Interesting. “Accepting the broad community as producers and creators will broaden what a library can offer as content and give the public more of a vested interest in the institution.” The discussion of Institutional Repositories and soliciting contributions from the public for them was thought-provoking.

General thoughts:
In thinking about Web 2.0, I like this short summary from the Wikipedia article on Web 2.0:
The term "Web 2.0" is commonly associated with web applications which facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design[1] and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Examples of Web 2.0 include web-based communities, hosted services, web applications, social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups and folksonomies. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with other users or to change website content, in contrast to non-interactive websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them.

Interactive, interoperable, user-centered, collaborative. These terms and my experience with some Web 2.0 applications, such as facebook, iTunes podcasts, youtube, and Wikipedia are helping me to wrap my head around the concept of Web 2.0. I kept hearing the term but was not quite sure, at first, what it meant. Seeing what topics are covered in this training and reading the articles/viewing the videos in the exercise for Method 1 have helped me to better understand what Web 2.0 means, and by extension, how the concept would apply to libraries: Library 2.0.

Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 are both moving away from the concept of the user who simply points and clicks and receives already existing content in return, while moving towards the user as interacting with the content and other users, as a participant and content creator. Web 2.0 is happening on a global scale and is becoming more and more a part of the lives of everyday people. As libraries and librarians have always helped the public with information technologies, instructing and facilitating, we need to be well-versed in the details of Web 2.0 to help our users to keep up with the demands of the times, and to interact with them as content contributors, as we use the opportunities of Web 2.0 to interact/contribute to the ongoing creation of this new paradigm and help shape the future.

Method 2 Discovery Exercise:
1. Setup a blog for yourself through

2. Add one or two test posts.

3. Next, add a blog post with the thoughts you saved at the end of Method 1: Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 . Please title the post “Methods 1 and 2″ so that it is easy for me (and others) to find your response in your blog.

4. Don’t forget to have fun.

5. Email the blog url (http://(xxxxx) along with your full name, your library name and your city to Naomi DiTullio so I can add you to our participants page. Don’t worry — your real name will not be disclosed on the participants page, only your blog URL will be listed. It is up to you whether you would like to identify your real name within your blog. (However, I do need your real name, library name and city in order to be able to provide you with a completion certificate at the end of the program.)

C’s response:
I set up my blog, which you are now reading. I was originally going to call it “C Says,” but that was already taken, so I came up with “Information In Motion.” My life has a lot to do with information, in its many forms, and said information always seems to be in motion, so that seemed as good a blog title as any. My first couple of test posts went fine, and what you see here contains my thoughts saved at the end of Method 1.

Setting up a blog and getting started on posting has been much easier than I thought it would be. I wasn’t sure I would ever have a blog. I’m open with friends and family, but I’d say I’m a private person when it comes to publishing my thoughts on the web for the world to see. Since this training includes having a blog and posting on it, I’m getting a gentle kick into the realm of blogging. It will be interesting to see how I feel about it as I go along and when I’m finished with the 12 methods.

I’m just about to e-mail Naomi the requested information from step 5 of Method 2, so my blog should be listed in the official participants lists soon. And I will have thereby finished this exercise. Woohoo! On to Method 3.

A Dozen Ways to Two-Step

I'm a librarian in Texas, and I'm participating in a training offered by the Texas State Library called "A Dozen Ways to Two-Step: Essential Web 2.0 Training for Texas Librarians."

Here's the training website:

The training consists of 12 modules or "methods," and I will be blogging about the methods as I go through the training. Stay tuned for more.

First Post

Welcome to Information In Motion. This is my very first post on my very first blog ever. Exciting! :)