Thing #18 - Web 2.0 tools

Two posts in one day?! Crazy.

For this exercise, we are supposed to pick a Web 2.0 tool from this list and discuss what we learned from it. The hardest part for me was finding a site I either didn't already have an account with, or finding something that didn't overlap with a service I already use!

For fun, I tried HairMixer. I uploaded a picture of myself and tried out different hairstyles. I have to be honest, they were all pretty awful. But I guess that's not the site's fault!

For something more serious (and that might have a library application), I tried out RevolutionHealth. I was surprised at how GREAT the site is! It has a clean, easy to navigate layout, and some awesome features like a symptom checker, BMI calculator, and the ability to create your own personal health record. The information on the site is from trusted sources (MayoClinic, Cleveland Clinic, so I would definitely recommend this site to interested customers.

Thing #17 - Google Docs

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
I love Google Docs,
And so should you!

Aren't I just the poet? I published that straight from Google Docs, which I (surprisingly) had never done before. It was just as easy as I expected it to be!

Now for some history. You see, Google Docs and I have been friends for a while now. In fact, before it became known as Google Docs, the word processing part of it was known as Writely. I actually became a beta tester for Writely back in 2005, and used it in library school to collaborate more easily on group projects. I still have some of those projects saved, too! I was super excited when Google bought Writely, and I love that they keep expanding it and making it better.

Yes, Google does own my life. And I think that's okay.

Autumn excitement

I have been MIA for awhile - not really sure why, but I've felt very uninspired to write anything lately. But I thought I'd break the silence and list some things I'm excited about right now:

1. Going to the Circleville Pumpkin Show tonight. I've never been to it, even though I've lived in Columbus for 3ish years now.

2. Halloween! Jared and I are having our party again this year, and I'm hoping it will be even better than previous years. Please come if you are free the night of November 1st, and don't forget to dress up!

3. Making costumes for the aforementioned Halloween Party. I ventured into the realm of costume making last year with this Princess Peach costume for Erica M., and I'm hoping that the costumes I'm making this year turn out just as good or even better! (Also, I hope I have time to finish them before the party!)

4. Being crafty. I haven't just been in a blogging rut lately, I've also been in a crafting rut! But I found some fabulous fabric at Joann's the other day, and I'm hoping to make something fun with it. I probably won't get to it until after Halloween, but I'm still excited that I'm actually inspired to make something. It's been a while.

5. Cooking! Yes, I've actually been cooking more lately, and I'm enjoying it. I always love to bake, but cooking has never been my strong point. It still isn't, but I think I'm improving. Practice makes perfect, right?

What are you excited about right now?

Thing #14 - Library 2.0

So I'm finally getting around to posting about Library 2.0. I've been putting it off for a while now - I wasn't sure what I really wanted to add to the conversation. But I've been thinking about it more lately, so here are my thoughts on the subject.

The idea of Library 2.0 has been around for quite a while now. In fact, the articles we read for this "thing" were all from 2006 - that should tell you something right there. Of course, a lot of people think we've been 2.0 all along, and that's somewhat true. But the thing that sticks out for me is the customizable part of Library 2.0, and that's where I think our challenge lies.

Now, when I say customizable, I'm not talking purely about using technology. Sure, web 2.0 tools will make it easier to customize the user experience. For instance, our users could have their own customized library web page - when they log in, all of the resources they like best would be on the front page. Maybe it could also save their reserve settings, knowing automatically which location they prefer to have items sent to. Those would be really cool, customizable things. But our non-web services should be that way, too. If someone wants to just come in, pick up their reserve, check it out themselves, and go - they can do that. But what if someone wants to come in and talk to a staff person about what they are reading that week? What if they would really prefer having a live person check their items out for them? Personally, I don't see anything wrong with that. I think we should make sure that we are still giving our customers options on what kind of experience they can have when they are in our buildings, even if the option they want is the "old fashioned" way. That doesn't mean reverting back to a card catalog - it just means making sure our customers feel like they are being taken care of when they are here. Does that make sense? For the record, I think we do a pretty good job of this already. I just don't want those that aren't ready for web 2.0 to lose out on all the wonderful things that Library 2.0 can provide.

There are plenty of other examples of ways to customize the "library experience" that I can't think of right now. Thoughts?