Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I Stubbed My Toe On The Technology

Oh, I should forge on ahead and explore the next Thing--it's something really snazzy and techy: eFolios--online portfolios to be used as a career enhancer or some such thing. It had these action steps to take before starting:

Reflect: Reflect on what you’ve accomplished in school and in your career, and how it fits with your goals.
Collect: Collect the information for your electronic portfolio. To learn more about what to include, read below.
Select: Select those documents that are most pertinent to your goals and keep them handy as you work on your electronic portfolio.
Build: Build your site using the electronic portfolio tool. For ideas on what you can do with your electronic portfolio, see
Publish: Publish your portfolio. You can let others read all, or parts of, your site. Targeting is helpful if you have multiple skills and are open to a number of different employment options.

Frankly, I read this and I became very sleepy. And I just had a mocha. That's a bad sign. I mean, I don't even want to think about action step 1. Does anyone out there really have an overwhelming desire to reflect on what they've accomplished in their careers? Apart from the masochists, I mean. And the show-offs. Don't get me wrong--I'm actually quite happy with my quote unquote career, I just don't have a desire to dwell on it, the way I lately have a desire to dwell on the logistics of homeschooling, the gathering of fiddleheads, the winning of lotteries and the cuteness of my children.

The other thing that made me sleepy, or I should say lethargic, is my library bud's blog http://23sticketc.blogspot.com/. It was so cool. She makes it look so effortless, this Stick stuff. So I looked at her blog and thought: what the hell is a screed? Am I supposed to know that? Did I skip that part? Did I miss something? Could I possibly be more fuzzy brained? And I became very tired.

Ditto my virtual bud (can I call her that? I feel like we're friends, although I have no idea who she is or where she is or even what her name is--funny, isn't it, the nature of these virtual relationships...) Anyway, my virtual bud Cara Mama http://caramamamia.blogspot.com/ who writes these really sweet and sharp entries about her daughter and here I am and you'd hardly even know I have kids, truthfully, I threw in the reference above about their cuteness just so I wouldn't feel like a horrible mother. A mother who has a blog and never even talks about her kids. How messed up is that?

Topping it all off is the ever-brilliant Well Dressed Librarian http://welldressedlibrarian.blogspot.com/ and his ridiculously over-the-top funny post which slyly compares reference assistance to unspeakable sex acts and/or prostitution (it's funnier than it sounds) and I should just crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and call it a day. Wake me up in the next millenium.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Wow! Have you heard of this thing called "The Internet"?

I'm not so jazzed about the next of the 23 Things--IMing. Are people still doing that? It seems IM reference services were what everyone (if everyone is a librarian) was talking about three years ago. To my jaundiced eye it appears that--obviously--we need to offer IM reference along with all the other ways we need to offer reference assistance. Which is to say, if people are out there using [blank] as a way to communicate, then we need to be figuring it out. Any resistance is soooo 2003.

Does anyone else remember the very first time they accessed the Internet? I sure do. It was through the Gopher service run by the University of Minnesota, way back in 1994. And it wasn't even "the Internet" as we now know it, that's for sure. The first thing I saw was, I believe, a precursor to a Word doc, and it was some government communication (looked like a text file) out of Israel. And it Blew. My. Mind.

Nowadays, everything in the online world is so pliable, and the interface is so friendly. I'm fascinated, for example, by the layout capabilities of this blog. There are so many bells and whistles available and--most amazing--they can be utilized by a person like me with absolutely no programming experience.

You know, we talk and talk about how the relationship between people and information has changed--that there is this infinite amount of information out there and where do librarians fit in, do they at all, and oh my goodness what if people no longer need us? Of course they do. They do now, they did then, and they always will. People don't just need information, they need useful information. The University of Buffalo YouTube bit (which I will try to locate and post here) where they demonstrate their IM reference service is a perfect example: "Hey, overwhelmed undergrad--let me know what your paper is on and I will show you the way." Any student with an ounce of common sense will immediately see the value here. So you can place me in the camp of people who think this "information revolution" is all for the good in terms of librarianship.

I'm very impressed that I somehow managed to yank the content of this post somehow back to IMing.