Thursday, October 22, 2009

Web 2.0 in the library

A little bit about my expectations for how I would like to apply Web 2.0 in the library. It gets a little tricky at Kaiser because so much of what we, the librarians, do is decided as a group. So for example, we already have a blog, delicious bookmarks and LibGuides. So, I won't have to invent anything from scratch. That said, I also am not sure what the guidelines are if I ever wanted to create a blog for my library's location. I am interested in learning more about creating online video tutorials like screencasting and podcasting which can then be advertised on our KP Libraries blog and/or LibGuides. I'd also like to see how I could incorporate wikis into my work. And perhaps as I get to know my patrons and their needs more, I could introduce some of these technologies to them to use in their work. And last but not least, the biggest mystery to me are RSS feeds. Conceptually, I know what they do, but I have yet to grasp the logistics of them, the nuts and bolts of setting them up. As we go through each week, I'll use this space to elaborate more on my ideas, hopes and dreams of Web 2.0 in the library.

Zigzaggy path

I wanted to wrap up the last post with a short synopsis of my library career path. I had always planned on being a librarian in the public library. Back in the mid 90s I worked as a page at the SF Public Library and really liked it. Years went by doing many other and varied jobs, and, fast forward to 2004, I decided to go back to school to get my MLIS. I focused my coursework on outreach to special populations and non users with a heavy emphasis on mobile library services. I was pretty much known as the "bookmobile girl".

My last semester of library school I began working as a library assistant in a multimedia library at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, thinking I'd do it for the remainder of the semester after which I'd be whisked up by a public library somewhere in the SF Bay Area. Well, low and behold, that didn't happen. And in the meantime, I stayed at Kaiser, was promoted to Media Librarian. In the Fall of 2008, they closed the library definitively and unfortunately, my oncall reference work at the SFPL wasn't going to turn into a full time permanent position as they had just frozen all city jobs. As fortune has it, just as I was being booted out of Multimedia Communications at Kaiser, a medical librarian position was opening up in Kaiser.

For quite a while, I had wondered if public librarianship really was for me. Many of my colleagues at the SFPL were quite worn out after just a few years on the job-- for some reason for many of them, it wasn't what they had expected. And some of the reference questions I got as an oncall really werent that stimulating. I wondered how long it would be before I would get jaded by dealing with the mentally ill and homeless and less than appreciative customers. I also had some wonderful mentors in the medical library world who encouraged me to apply for the job and try it out. Well, here I am 6 months later in my new career path. I feel very challenged and engaged by the research. I really enjoy the hospital staff and see a lot of interesting directions my new skill set and experience can take me. And my experience in outreach and getting nonusers into the library isn't lost on this job! In fact, I find it to be incredibly beneficial --especially since it has been more than once that I've heard "What? I didn't know there was a library at the hospital!" I can still put my outreach skills and interests to work in a medical library setting!

Monday, October 19, 2009

No more procrasinating!

For a good while now, I've been very interested in using Web 2.0 applications in my job. But for some reason, I've let this always go to the bottom of the priorities list. And with the last 6 months acclimatizing to my new city, new job and new duties, it's no wonder priorities have shifted a bit. It's not for a lack of understanding of or interest in Web 2.0 either. I am on facebook way too often, I bookmark in delicious, used to use myspace until it became passe, got rid of my friendster account years ago, save my pictures in flickr, and have had this languishing blogger account for over a few years and haven't once posted...Until now!

I jumped at the chance to take the 13 Things Learning 2.0 online class. Well, not exactly jumped, but I strongly contemplated it and waited till almost the last minute to register and was put on a waiting list (procrastinate really should be my middle name!). So when a space opened up, I thought: this is meant to be! So here I go-- web 2.0 is climbing steadily to the top of my priorities list.

For the next few months, I'll be documenting what I learn in this space.