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* Monday, October 24, 2005

20051024-04: Jessamyn on Social Software

new advent of web tools that is allowing us to be more social
for some of us, this is great, for others it isn’t
it’s not just about dating

I added something to Amazon that makes it a little bit more mine (not as much as I would like, but….)

“knowledge is born” when someone adds something to something else
think about what more we know because people can work together

showed Flickr
“it’s so easy every living member of my family can do it”

so what’s the big deal and why is this different than, etc.?
– tagging (describes “aboutness”)

tagging vs. classification

defined “folksonomy” = “grassroots community classification of digital assets”

then I talked

some things I’d like to add, because we didn’t really have time to discuss them during the only-45–minutes presentation:

libraries can indeed use Flickr:
– Gwinnett County Public Library – 
– LaGrange Park Public Library –
– Thomas Ford Memorial Library – (they’re redisplaying the images from Flickr on their home page)

and unfortunately, she didn’t really get to tell in depth her wonderful story about setting up her former library on Flickr and displaying the pictures on their web site via RSS

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WiFi Schmi-Fi

So I'm at the Internet Librarian conference in Monterey, California, where Information Today has wisely decided to provide free wireless for all conference attendees in the conference center (where you can reach it, anyway). Except that it wasn't working this morning. Whichever company is providing it wasn't providing it well.

So Bill from ITI brought in a wireless router and now you can access the network "Schmi-Fi," at least in the DeAnza Room where the public library track is happening today.

And happening it is. Michael Stephens has a full room of public librarians here. Whoo-hoo!!!! I think this helps point out the dearth of conference sessions and meetings for technology-oriented public librarians, especially those at small- and medium-sized libraries. I hope ITI will continue to try and fill this need.

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20051024-03: Digital Content - Circulating Audio Ebooks on iPod Shuffles

Ken and Joe from South Huntington (NY) PL – the “iPod Shuffle guys”

did a radio interview because of circulating the shuffles!
a suburban public library that only serves about 37,000 people; budget of about $5 million
iPod program started with a $2000 grant from a legislator

- cheaper (showed a chart of the pricing structure comparing formats); 29 titles from RB saved about $500 by buying the digital versions
- use the savings to buy iPod players
– no need to replace damaged cassettes and CDs
– titles available sooner
– conserve shelf space
– are portable and can be listened to almost anywhere

Ken: Audible is increasingly not selling to libraries (boooooooooo)
Sachem PL and others having problems with Audible now
they’re telling libraries they don’t own the titles they’ve bought

why buy through iTunes – own the title
SHPL limits the number of concurrently circulating titles to the number of copies the Library owns
Apple *does* know what they’re doing and they’re okay with it; they noted it on the Apple web site!

– need a credit card and an email address and then you’re good
– they store audio book files on a server and make a backup of each title

– catalog the equipment (have 20 Shuffles now, up from 6)
– titles
– have started circulating music this way, too (about 50 albums); aimed at young adults

– they even circulate an auxiliary input connector
– include a nice little content card with the cover of the book

– 21 days was too long, so they switched it to 14 days
– no ILL
– $1 per day overdue fine
– no problems getting the Shuffles back, and they’ve been circulating laptops patrons can take home for the past 5 years and haven’t had any problems with them
- have a waiver form patrons sign if they’re bringing in their own iPods; this is because the content on the patron iPod gets deleted when the Library plugs the device to their computer, but now they’re getting away from that because it was a barrier; this is changing with the new video iPod - can supposedly load content from multiple computers
– circulate a user’s guide with the Shuffles

Ken gave props to their board (who understand that lets them experiment because they understand that sometimes you can fail) and their staff (for being willing to try new things)

patrons aren’t beating down the door for this, but when they’re aware of it, they love it

User survey results of 185 people (got 54 responses):
– 48% borrow audiobooks 2–3 times per month
– 26% once a week

– 48% listen in the car
– 19.3% listen on portable CD or tape players with earphones

– 39% listen to fiction
– 29% listen to new or bestsellers

– 81% had not borrowed an audiobook on iPod
- 19% yes

– 73% female
– 27% male

– 30%, 55–64 years-old
one 80–year old woman was thrilled with the program

had 35 people turn out for a program on the subject at the Library!
– middle-aged and older

What’s New?
now circulating music on iPods – thinks will this take off
developing a YA collection of audiobooks and music selected by the kids themselves
doing an audio tour of their art exhibits
exploring podcasting library programs

“keeping ourselves relevant!”

audience question: are you going to circulate TV episodes?
Ken: they’re going to work on that

question: has training been an issue?
Joe: yes, but they have a staff that is not afraid to try new things, which is essential these days

question: are you going to create a separate download page for the teen collection? did you create the page listing all of the titles (the one with the book covers, etc.)?
Joe: they do have a YA link on their site where they will add the titles; not sure how the page is created, but it’s dynamically created

question: do the files on the iPod expire?
Ken: no, and they don’t delete themselves off the iPod; they manually erase them off patron iPods

question: are there other content suppliers besides Audible for iPods?
Ken: not concerned because iTunes is the biggest outlet for Audible, and it’s harder to violate copyright issues with iTunes and iPods

question: when the patron downloads to their player, do you charge $1 a day for the file if it’s checked out
Joe: yes. had a plan they would email confirmation it was deleted

question: one title, one circ rule?
Joe: yes, following what they do in the print world

question: how do you get around iTunes limitations of allowing only 5 different devices?
Joe: can authorize up to 5 machines to play the content, so they just open multiple accounts

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20051024-02: Web Trends & Innovations for Public Library Web Sites

John Blyberg, AADL
Sarah Houghton, Marin County
David King, KCPL
Glenn Peterson, Hennepin County

Phoenix focuses on welcoming you, subject guides
Seattle focuses on books, the catalog, “interacting and introducing;” lots of action words
New York focuses on programming, finding things

focus on content, customers (specific user groups), and communication (with customers)
all three sites are redesigning with web standards

how are they doing these redesigns?
70% of their reserves are coming from online
use those statistics to try and build a site that serves those needs
it’s all about “leveraging” - staff, resources, etc.
– web application software (PHP, ASP, ColdFusion, perl, etc.)
– rapid development environment (Dreamweaver, Homesite, etc.)
– reference staff for conent (web-based tools for staff)
– learn more about XML (RSS)

David and Glenn are her inspiration, but she can’t compete with them; wishes she had 3.5 staff to devote to the web site, but it’s just her and only for 5 hours per week
what can you do that you’re not already doing when you have no resources?
– use a blog (you don’t even have to call it a blog)
– use RSS feeds
– uses a team approach to the blog, each person posts on a particular day (5 people)
– put up your link lists, HTML or PDF (e.g., Da Vince Code readalikes list that they put online)
– quick searches = links that lead to prefab catalog searches (DVDs, new books, large type) - you can do that with Innovative catalogs?!?! - helloooooooo, SWAN! (examples: SFPL, San Rafael)
– simple online forms, either printable PDFs or simple HTML forms (an obituary request); need to have a way for patrons to give you feedback online
– lightweight virtual reference; IM, Jybe, SMS
  – one heavyweight reference contender has said 30% of online sessions with patrons are dropped for various reasons

AADL uses LAMP platform with Drupal
talked about various pieces of the platform

thinks we will see:
– more web site redesigns
– continued interaction, RSS feeds
– more ways for patrons to connect with librarians (IM, SMS)
– video
used “The Book Hive” web site as an example of how this might come together on a library web site

audience question: is there a place for personalizing the library site the way Yahoo, etc. do?
David: yes, but not many libraries have the resources to do that
Sarah: thinks we need to concentrate on getting our content out there so patrons can add it to Yahoo or wherever they already are (YES!)

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20051024-01: Will Richardson's Keynote!

The New Read/Write Web: Transforming the Classroom

Started with a picture of the Portola Hotel in Google Earth and zoomed out

The Read Only Web = 11 years old; have only been able to take/consume from the web
The Read/Write Web = 3 years old; easy to create content, too, now; can also contribute, which changes what we can do

blogging has become such a big part of his life that he sometimes refers to himself as a blogger first and an educator second
believes blogging has educational value, is an intellectual exercise

30+ million blogs
3600% increase in consumer generated video in one year!

Technorati is tracking 1.5 billion links - think about how much information that is!

Will’s 8–year old daughter does a lot of this stuff
easier to publish, easier to share
it’s not just that we can create, but that we can easily publish
creates active participation in the internet

showed Matthew Bischoff (?), a 13–year old podcaster; played some of his podcast
“podcasting from my bedroom”
when you listen, you hear excitement, audience (the podcast is for people he *doesn’t* know)
he’s teaching!

Tess Richardson – showed his daughter’s “weather recipe” book of her drawings on Flickr (what do you need to make a tornado, etc.)
520 people have read Tess’ book
now she wants to publish, she has a blog, she wants to write more
illustrates how it’s the interaction that’s important, not just the creation of content

showed a video of 3rd graders talking about pointilism
“I want to teach you about pointilism”
video is findable in Google

“Society of authorship”
“Age of participation”
“Era of collaboration”

It’s not technology anymore - it’s not about technology
It’s about accessing and sharing information
technologies will fade into the background

changes for teachers:
old classroom – limited, proprietary resources; “pushed” learning
new classroom – extensive, open resources; “pulled” learning
   — if we have access to the information, which only 75% of American kids do

showed the linear algebra course from MIT Open Courseware
includes video lectures; can go through the entire class this way (*if* you’re self-motivated)

the entire South African High School curriculum is on a wiki!!
showed the recent changes page to show how people are working on it right now, even as we speak

“rip, mix, and learn”
show your students how to learn from this

old classroom = one teacher, time and space learning (learn physics every morning at 9:00 a.m.)
new classroom = many teachers, timeless/space-less learning (learn physics when we’re ready to learn physics)
    — not constrained by four walls

showed 43 Things
get an immediate community of learners if you add your 43 things you want to do

the best teachers aren’t the ones given to us; they’re the ones with the relevant information

old classroom = individually produced content, limited forms (text), limited audiences (teacher/class); do your work on your own for me (the teacher) who will put the grade on it; the game is to figure out what the teacher wants (margins, what to say, etc.)
new classroom = collaboratively produced content, variety of forms, variety of audiences; not just the teacher anymore

collaboration: “The Power of Us” in BusinessWeek
happening with newspapers - what happens when everyone has a printing press

Wikipedia is the poster child for all of this
it gives him hope for the future; knows you can’t trust everything on it, but the reality of it is that 98% of the time, it’s a pretty good source
the idea that 98% of the time, people from around the world can come together and collaborate to create good content
there aren’t that many people in the world that want to ruin it
“negotiated meaning” = we have to teach our kids to do this (!)
can’t just give them a textbook for much longer, or even the New York Times, and tell them it’s all right
so have to make sure our kids understand negotiating what is true, not just by reading it in text
that’s why he loves Wikipedia - there are all kinds of ongoing discussions going on in the background of Wikipedia

asked how many people have bought a Fodor’s Guide in the last year or two
just use wikitravel!

“Bob the Builder Moment” = because we can!
why would we limit ourselves to text when we have blogs, wikis, audiocasts, photos, videos, digital stories, bookmarks, screencasts, feeds, and IM?
text is just the container for ideas, whereas online the value is where the ideas link to = JoHo, Loosely Joined

audience goes from one to millions; it can be done, we can keep our kids safe as they publish to the world
“don’t forget to publish your homework tonight” instead of “don’t forget to turn in your homework”

new classroom = students as readers, editors, and writers (because you don’t know what to believe anymore)
have to teach kids to not just accept the information that is handed to them
have to teach kids to be editors

RSS - showed Bloglines
Will noted that you could do persistent search feeds from Google News and Yahoo News
what Will *couldn’t* note is what his library could offer him as persistent search feeds  :-(

showed Furl
let Will do research for you!
think about having a Furl folder for every student (wow)
can see what others create - showed Flickr

old classroom = “know what” learning; memorize the formulas because there wasn’t a lot of access to them
new classroom = “know where” learning; now it matters if you can find the information (why teach the capital of Montana when they can easily find it); just have to know how to find it

showed all of the different Google services

isn’t it more important to teach our kids to find the information they need, rather than make them memorize things they might need just in case?

new classroom: network literacy; your network of online teachers; not just handed one thing and told to believe it; the knowledge resides in the network
can nagivate that network

information coming at us faster than ever before
traditional systems can’t deal with this
need more transparent, more collaborative networks
need teachers to be content and curriculum experts, but they must also become:
content creators (and need to be models for student content creators) – MySpace
— you have to understand what it’s like to publish and what it’s like to write for a wide audience
content connectors - this is how you connect to the relevant information in your life (George Siemens work)
content collaborators – based on those connections
have to be mentors to critical thinking (how to contribute to Wikipedia, etc.)
— how to take what we learn and share it and put it out there for the world
— the entire state of Kentucky bans Flickr from schools ??!!!??!!!
change agents – this stuff isn’t going anyway; it’s disruptive, yes, but it’s not going away

audience question: kids are taking tests, running to the library, blogging the answers, while other kids then go to the library to get them before taking it later that day
Will: that’s pretty creative, isn’t it? what happens when the sum of human knowledge is online; need to rethink the way we assess knowledge; make them show they know the information

audience question: how do you model good blogging behavior for them?
Will: you tell them what you’re doing, how, why; still comes down to assessment; has to be a better way for them to show us what they know

thinks the next 5–10 years are going to be very ugly for schools because they’re going to try shut all of this down but that this won’t work

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