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?