Thursday, November 10, 2011

Summarizing My Thoughts

I did enjoy Learning 2.0. I think that a lot of us grew up as the internet did, and are still amazed at what it can be used for. I know that I'm still shocked by what the apps on my phone can do and how much fun the different tools that Google offers are. I really enjoyed browsing through the list of Web 2.0 award winners, and I felt a lot of gratification in seeing sites I regularly visit on that list. I thought it was interesting how Twitter beat out Facebook at least once. I think it's very valuable to be introduced or reintroduced to all of the tools on Learning 2.0, and to be asked to consider them from a future librarian's point of view. Until now, I've thought of a lot of these tools as procrastination helpers--like Threadless or Google Earth--but I think that now I'll recognize that these sites can be used within professional, academic, and private spheres alike.

Other Web 2.0 Tools

While browsing the winners of the Web 2.0 awards I came across a retail site called I'm very familiar with Threadless and I'm delighted that it's on this list. I highly recommend the site to anyone who reads this. It's a tshirt store that uses designs submitted by regular people. The designs are submitted and voted on and some are eventually printed. I've purchased tshirts for myself and many friends and family members for about six years, as I discovered the site when I was a college freshman. They often sell older designs for $5, and any hip cheap tshirt is very attractive for a poor college student. This sort of company just wouldn't work as well in a physical store, so I wanted to bring Threadless up as being an example of the web helping certain companies exist, who might not have had a chance otherwise. Go buy a tshirt!

Looking over all that Google offers in terms of tools, it seems as if there's nothing that Google doesn't now offer, or aims to offer in the future. The first tool I looked at was Google Offers. I turns out that this is exactly like Groupon, only you use your Google account. This tool, however, is in its beta stage and is only available for the most highly populated areas of the country like New York and LA. While living in Buffalo, I can't take advantage of this. However, my parents live very close to NYC and I used to work in midtown. When I'm back there visiting my parents, I can use these coupons for food, drinks, and entertainment. And hopefully Buffalo will soon be including in Google Offers. This could be very useful for libraries. Even though libraries aren't selling anything particularly, I think that Google Offers could make people aware of the events that may be going on at their local library.

Then I chose to re-examine Google+. When it was first announced, I was very enthusiastic and eager to receive an invitation. Now that it's open to the public, it's hard to remember why I wanted an account so badly. I find myself wanting to search for my Facebook friends in order to grow my community on Google+. I know that there's the +1 on everything on Google, but I have yet to really  experiment with this. It seems like a social network that is much cleaner and maybe even more innocent than Facebook has become, but since it's built as competition for Facebook, that won't be for long. So today I took the account I created months ago and really made it a profile. Now I feel sure I'll be engrossed for hours in my +1s. Libraries could use Google+ as they do Facebook. There must exist Google enthusiasts who prefer it to Facebook somewhere, right?
my Google+

Library 2.0

After reading a few of the articles on the Learning 2.0 site, to me it seems that Library 2.0 is all about the patrons and users of the library. I think that previously the library has been all about the information and knowledge found there. There's a reason why libraries and librarians have the stereotypes that they do. Traditionally libraries are more like shrines to books. Places to keep information safe in book form--whether actual people came to actually read them or not. Now, in 2011, I think Library 2.0 represents the library's recognition that it cannot exist without its patrons. And in order to draw in patrons to the institution, the institution has to accommodate the patrons. Library 2.0 makes sure that patrons are involved in the decisions and actions the library makes. Patrons are able to have a say in how services are designed and instated. This seems to be a very good idea, one that many libraries are practicing now, as times are changing and technology is giving those precious books a run for their money. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


My Zotero

It seemed like everyone is a little weary of Zotero, but I kinda liked it. I haven't put anything in there that's super important, or even relevant to school, but I love keeping tract of the books I've read, and I think that this is a very good tool for that. It's obviously also a good tool for what it's intended: citation management.  Journal citations are especially annoying, and I think that Zotero makes it a little easier--and keeps it all in one place. I'd like to use Zotero more, and I will use it with all of my upcoming papers. Hopefully it'll make my transition from MLA to APA easier?

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I found to be very confusing and hard to get around. I created an account, but every time I tried to add a link they suggested to my own account, it would go back to the "create an account" page. This was immediately frustrating. Even without this hiccup, it seems as if the site isn't very self-explanatory, as even Learning 2.0 had to offer tutorials. However, once I downloaded the Chrome extension of the site, I thought it was a nice alternative to the bookmark function that already came with the browser. The idea is also very useful if I were to often switch computers. Bookmarks are very important when researching, and I can see Delicious as being very useful for this purpose. I'm not sure, however, how useful this would be to libraries, as it seems most relevant to individual use.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

RSS feeds

I've been familiar with how RSS works for a little while now, but I have yet to really use it. I always feel like there is so much (too much) to read on the internet, and I do need something to feed me what I'll find most interesting, but for some reason I have yet to really attempt this. They are incredibly useful, however, for keeping up to date on news--both in the library world and elsewhere. Libraries can get a lot of use out of RSS. Having an RSS feed right on the library website can educate patrons on what is happening in libraries around the world. When patrons subscribe to their particular library's RSS, they should have the ability to see what programs are being offered that day or week, even if they don't remember to visit the library's website.


I haven't had a lot of experience with wikis--except of course for Wikipedia. I find the concept of wikis to be useful in terms of a sort of collective blog, but suspect when it comes to factual information. I browsed around the wikis that Learning 2.0 suggested and found the Book Lovers Wiki to be especially interesting. I think this use of a wiki would be very useful on a library's website. In this Book Lovers Wiki it displays multiple people reviewing multiple books, giving those who visit the site ideas for their next book. I think this would really encourage library patrons to take out more books. Staff Picks are one thing, but wikis demonstrate how the average person feels about a particular book. I love non-fiction, especially biographies and memoirs, and there seem to be a bunch of great suggestions. Wikis seem very useful for helping patrons feel as if they are an active part of their library community.