An extra exploration of awareness

One of my fellow participants mentioned Delicious in her post when discussing Pushnote. I’d heard of Delicious but hadn’t ever taken the time to explore it on my own. I found it much easier to use than Pushnote, and I love the fact that I can access my personal bookmarks from any computer. I think this is probably the greatest strength of Delicious. I’m also a huge fan of folksonomy and user generated tagging, and Delicious makes this incredibly easy. I imported a file of bookmarks from my computer that had been stored before I had to completely wipe my hard drive, and it was fun to explore some of those old links again. I liked how Delicious automatically selects tags based on the most popular tags from other users, and the ease with which I could add my own or remove the automatic tags. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to explore Delicious past my initial account opening because I’ve been working, creating a site for my Mom’s genealogical society, and applying for jobs like a mad woman.

Yesterday I attended the 2011 ALA Annual Tech Wrapup webinar. It was a fascinating presentation that featured 4 speakers: Jason Griffey, Kate Sheehan, Sue Polanka, and Marshall Breeding. Each speaker discussed different tech seminars or news from the 2011 ALA Annual Conference, and each speaker focused on different topics. Jason talked about 3 distinct ideas: Native Apps vs. Web Apps, The Death of the Mouse, and 3D Printing. His discussion on the first two topics was the most familiar to me, but I still gained some good insight. I’d never heard of 3D printing, and I think it’s a neat practical application of technology, but I’m not sure how many libraries would justify the cost of a 3d printing machine.

Kate talked more about trends in technology and her presentation was very insightful. She mentioned a lot of books that I need to add to my reading list. She discussed how backlash to new technology is a normal part of any technology’s life cycle, the “online or it didn’t happen” phenomenon that has exploded as the Internet becomes more user friendly, the importance of using statistics to support advocacy but not replace it, GIS and using maps for visualization/mash-ups, and the role of libraries/librarians in the new information ecosystem. All fascinating stuff that I can’t wait to look into more.

Sue and Marshall discussed topics that are certainly relevant but were more difficult for me to embrace as I currently don’t work in a library. Sue gave a wonderful overview of the current state of e-books and the many new services that are being developed in the e-book arena. The 3M Cloud Library was the most compelling for me because it allows libraries to buy a touch screen based preview system for e-books, and loanable e-readers for patrons. Marshall’s focus was on the new generation of library automation systems and the shift toward what he calls a “Library Services Platform”. He also talked about changes in discovery services and RFID technology. I learned a lot, but it was difficult for me to apply the knowledge due to my limited experience with these technologies. I’m very glad I attended the webinar and I look forward to more learning opportunities in the future!

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