* Why are you participating in 23 Things @ NEFLIN? What do you hope to learn?
I am participating in 23 Things as a requirement for my LIS 635 Reference course. By completing the 23 Things, I hope to learn more information about Library 2.0 as well as additional tips and examples of ways to incorporate L2 techniques and changes into my professional career.
* How has the Internet and the vast resource it can be affected your use of time at work and/or at home?
When I first used the Internet in 1996, I was simply amazed at the wonder if it all. How incredible and unbelievable it was when my brother and I first "chatted" together for a few minutes with someone from Oregon! I didn't believe my brother when he said we were actually typing to someone who lived halfway across the country and that that person was instantly receiving our messages and responding to them. But it turns out he wasn't kidding, and thanks to the wonder of the Internet, I've since made some real-life (not just online) friends in many states across the country.
Nowadays, with the endless amounts of information and websites available online, I feel almost overwhelmed when searching for information on specific topics of interest. The public web is overwrought with information -- some good, some bad -- and every now and then I feel as though I'm drowning in a sea of websites and conflicting "facts."
That's certainly not to say the Internet doesn't serve an incredible purpose for me, both at home and at work. I use it on an almost-daily basis, for even on days when I'm too busy to actually surf the web or log into Facebook or my other daily sites, I still check my personal email, whether on my work computer, my personal laptop, or my cell phone. It's amazing how the Internet has completely changed my personal habits and routines. When I first moved into my townhouse, I went without my own Internet connection for several months, during which time I used unreliable unprotected network signals that my laptop picked up (and usually dropped after several minutes). I felt slightly lost, but at the same time, I found other ways to manage my time -- books! :-)
At work, I use the internet daily, for tasks that include such things as checking email and looking up information for storytimes and additional programs, and using our book vendors' websites to look up book information and reviews when doing collection development (including both ordering and weeding). And, of course, I use the Internet when working the service desk -- aside from our online card catalog, Amazon is extremely helpful for looking up books for patrons, and I make use of websites that list information on series books and databases for kids who need information for class reports.
The Internet has certainly changed the way I (and probably the vast majority of people who have regular access to it) use and spend my time and the way I look up information. Overwhelming? Certainly! But useful all the while.
* Where are you in your knowledge and use of Web 2.0 tools? How about your library?
I completed an online workshop last year on Web 2.0 tools, and it was interesting seeing the various kinds of resources available that could benefit libraries. My children's department at work has a Facebook page and a blog. The library as a whole has a Twitter account. I would love to have some kind of additional photo-sharing account (such as Flickr) for not just posting photos from programs, but for marketing parts of the library that people might not know about. We have a rather large collection of quilting books. How many people really know about all these great resources? What about our Playaways? Our private study rooms? It would be nice to have a Flickr account, or some other such means of sharing photos to highlight these areas and resources that we offer to our patrons. Within the last few years, we started creating videos to show at the schools when we make our yearly visits in May to promote our youth summer reading program, and we now have a YouTube account to which we post these videos.
So, while I'm quite familiar with using some of these well-known and common resources, it was interesting to learn about other resources in the Web 2.0 workshop last year. The point of the workshop was to familiarize its participants with different forms of Web 2.0 tools available for use on the professional level, and while I played around with many of them as requirements for the course, very few additional ones, aside from the ones mentioned above, actually stuck with me. Though I'm sure with additional practice and use of the other sources, my coworkers (and other library staff) and I would find more use for them.