Friday, April 11, 2008

#15 week 6... the 2.0 debate.

#1... Thanks to the giant pictures accompanying each article, I happened to notice that all of the contributers except one were white men. This is in stark contrast to the populations I serve. It is interesting to think about demographics of information technology... who invents the technologies, promotes them, and profits from them AND who is using them.

#2... If we ARE going to champion 2.0, how can we use existing 2.0 technologies to increase access and to educate? I think some folks are thinking about this, Jessamyn West for one. Jessamyn is a proponent of social networking and libraries for sure.

#3... One of the other issues for me with Library 2.0 is outlined below in a quote from
Michael Stephens' article from the OCLC.

"Librarian 2.0 controls technolust
This librarian does not buy technology for the sake of technology. “Techno-worship” does not exist here. Without a firm foundation in the mission and goals of the institution, new technologies are not implemented for the sake of coolness and status. Technology is put to the test: Does it meet the users need in a new or improved way? Does it create a useful service for putting users together with the information and experience they seek?"

I am not sure in our application of 2.0 technology that we are always asking these important questions. I know I have struggled with this in my library.

#4... Related to all of the above issues, in our schools as librarians, how are we using these things right now? I struggle with a staff that is partially technophobic (some folks) and incredibly busy (read as: also not interested in changing their curriculum to incorporate 2.0). These issues are understandable, but from my perspective unacceptable. Administration is supportive of a push to increase use of technology in the classroom, but it all takes time to implement. And in the case of the techno-phobes and other folks that are willing but perhaps not as tech-savvy, it takes time. For me, I click-ity click and I am there. I have created my profile on twitter, I have created a Ning for the library, but for others, there is a much more severe learning curve. It is easy to forget that and become impatient.

#5... Implications and other things to consider... already in my experience with attempting to incorporate 2.0 stuff into my library, I have run into problems with privacy. My Ning site is completely private thanks to the math teacher who pointed out that strangers, even when they could just see the main page of the site, had access to students' names and the location of the school. Oops, I didn't think about that. Despite my ability to jive with these applications, there are many, many factors that I haven't thought about yet. Hence, it is incredibly useful to have community discussions about it. Whether that is within the library community or the school community or both.

I reckon that this post has turned into a not so organized rambling mess, but there is a lot to think about as I (we) learn about this stuff. I think I might have contradicted myself even, but that's ok with me. I think the other main point is that it's hard. I struggle and the more discussions and sharing I have with other librarians that are doing the same, the better.

P.S. I have a myspace, a Ning, a blog, and a Twitter account for my library... no one looks at any of them or reads any of it.... That perhaps is my fault for not marketing it well enough or using these tools the few times I do actually get my hands on some direct instruction time. But also the students just don't really care about the school library. There are so many other, more interesting things (to them) that compete for their time and energy. These applications don't serve the needs of my students or my school community right now. That is frustrating but true.

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