Monday, May 4, 2009

Thing 2: On Library 2.0 and 23 Things

Stephen Abram's video

Watched Stephen Abram's video (I saw him in person last week as the plenary speaker at LOEX, the instruction librarians' conference) on 23 Things. His comments at the end about developing a workplace where people are more willing to share, more willing to experiment and play, is positive and exciting.

We did a "13 Things" at UT Arlington last summer in a series of in-person workshops we called "Library STEW (Summer Technology Exploration Workshops)". In each of these sessions, a library staff member led a hands-on hour-long workshop on some neat technology they've found useful in life or in work. We had sessions on Firefox extensions, Google Docs, creating video, tagging, and more.

It did pull us all together - representatives from almost every department participated as instructors; each session was packed full.

No doubt 23-thing helped energize us.

Blyberg on L2

It's funny to see that over three years have past since this post. That's a very long time if we're talking technology time. So many new things have sprouted up, and "Library 2.0" is almost as tired a term as it was hot back in early 2006.

Some things struck me about this, though - that Library 2.0 does not revolve around technology. Instead, it's a re-envisioning of the library's purpose. It's making the library relevant. While any session with the word "2.0" will now be greeted with groans from those of us who've already pushed the technological envelope, I think the need to re-invent ourselves still exists. We've accomplished the technology; we've failed at becoming relevant again.

Whether it's symptomatic or the cause of our failure, I'm not sure, but our mission statement at UT Arlington still doesn't reflect this 2.0 revisioning of purpose. Our mission statement includes words like learning, teaching, and research; it mentions creativity, intellect, and professional growth. It does not mention democracy, social capital, or fun!

Thing 1: Starting a Blog

Hi, fellow 23 Things participants!

My name is Eric Frierson, and I'm a librarian at UT Arlington. I've have a blog, but thought I would start a new one to keep up with my 23 things.

A note about blogging - it's easy to start, but hard to keep going! Good luck with your 23 things!