Monday, July 27, 2009

Five at one blow...

Things 22-26 of my 27 Things

22. "Check out" and download an audiobook from the Library's collection - I used the new myilibrary audio collection for this activity, as I've already successfully downloaded a bunch of material from our overdrive collection. My biggest frustration with both of these collections is actually in the cataloging (or lack thereof). I don't want to have to browse, or rather, I don't want to have to browse through a mass of unrelated materials to see what is available. The simple non-tagged keyword search both resources offer doesn't really work for me. As more and more of our users are using the library without setting foot inside of our buildings, I think we need to think hard about how we treat these kind of virtual services. Are they "add-ons", bells and whistles we include so we can be like the cool kids? Or are they materials as important to the collection as the latest hardcover? Right now, it feels like the two formats are living in separate worlds; I'd argue we need to integrate them better (and a lot more seamlessly) to be truly format-agnostic.

23. Peruse the new SPL website - I like the look and feel of the new website. They've made some improvements lately, most importantly substituting regular GoogleMaps for the GoogleEarth which had been the default map. Most of it seems pretty intuitive, though it's still tough to find JPA board documents, or contact info for the Friends or the Foundation. And it's still worlds better than what came before. In any case, it's a work that is now and forever in progress, and I've been pleased with the direction we've been taking it.

24. Learn a new language with Mango Language Learning - Oh, Mango, how do I love you! I included some straight from the trade show scoop on Mango in an earlier entry. Like audiobooks, this is a resource we make available to customers for use from anywhere. As I've said before, this kind of remote, format-neutral content provision is going to become more and more important. Once again, I think we need to figure out how to leverage this - people are willing to pay big bucks for similar programs, why is it so hard for us to get them to use our stuff for free?

25. Tweet on Twitter - I was a Twitter naysayer. I've been turned - I think it's a useful tool for publicizing the Library. While I've heard all the arguments about mediated relationships and fake intimacy, I also think it's a fun way to keep up with friends and colleagues. Yeah, and I like Facebook, too. I tweet as sarahdentan. If you're looking for ways to justify Twitter as a professional activity, Mashable offers lots of business applications (for Facebook, too).

26. What is Thingfo? Thingfo is invite only, so I'm substituting A Day in the Life of the Library.

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