Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where in the Web 2.0 World Have I Been?

So yesterday I accompanied the Library Director, Assistant Director, IT Director and Head of Adult Services to New Orleans to attend a Web 2.0 for Libraries seminar, sponsored by Solinet. I went there expecting to have a sort of theoretical discussion about Web 2.0 as a movement and what it means for libraries. Like, in general.

Instead I learned about neat-o reference-nerd friendly web stuff like:

  • iGoogle (special thanks to Emilie Smart of East Baton Rouge Parish Library System, my official new reference big sister and mentor). Emilie, you are so competent and "with it" that it intimidates me.
  • had next to no idea what the heck "Wiki" meant, really, until yesterday. I learned that Wikis are basically on-line webpages about specific topics, linked internally and externally to make the user smarter. We here at Terrebonne Parish Library have already started working on a Wiki version of Helen Emmeline Wurzlow's "I Dug Up Houma-Terrebonne." I figure the core of the project (scanning, OCR-ing and posting the original text of the books) should be done by the end of December. After that, the department will keep adding information about local notables, past and present.
  • neat, free Wiki-builder.
  • scheduling and calendars. As useful as it gets for free.
  • like an author? Let the machine "crunch the numbers" and suggest someone else you might like with a cool word-cloud.

I hate to play favorites on this kind of thing, but Jenny Levine (of the American Library Association) had an amazing presentation that had me just vibrating with excitement by the time she was done. This blog, I would say, is a direct result of her influence, research and sales skills. If the ALA ain't paying her six figures, they should.

I also met some other great people, like Jeanne Jones, manager of the Ocean Springs Municipal Library down on the Mississippi Coast. Her dry wit and cool vibe really made the lunch break fun for me.

I have to say, Solinet does good work.

To see what has me so excited, check these links out:

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