Monday, November 26, 2007

Growth - Exercise 23

I feel like I'm taking a final exam. The 23 Things will be complete with this exercise. We've been asked to answer 5 questions under the heading of: Is this really the end....or just the beginning?

Question 1: What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey? They were all illuminative. The most powerful thing was simply being given the opportunity to author a blog. I know I could have done it myself outside of work, but blogging as a librarian helped me to focus.

Question 2: How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? The 23 Things are a springboard towards future endeavors online. I can only imagine more growth, creativity and interaction.

Question 3: Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? Staff members all became more "techie"! We are now better able to help customers using the public computers. Some of the stuff we learned was pure fun -- avatars, image generators, etc. We grew in new directions, applied writing, thinking and design skills, and best of all, when one of us was stuck, someone else on staff was able to help. iHCPL was a good team-building experience.

Question 4: What ideas do you have for using these technologies at Harris County Public Library?
- Continue to offer iHCPL to the public, including labs and classes.
- Offer Staff blogs from the HCPL website.
- Promote Library Elf to our customers.
- Use wikis to promote customer suggestions. Find out what their library of the future might be!
- Have HCPL (staff and customer) poster and photo competitions. Winning projects would be used by our Marketing Department.
- Use our new photo editing skills to improve quality of photos on branch and departmental web pages.
- Use social networking to connect and collaborate with community groups.
- Generate podcasts and short films promoting library materials and services.
- Look beyond the library world for creative ideas. Use RSS feeds to efficiently troll through the latest in future studies, marketing, social psychology, education, etc.
- Web 2.0 and technology are great, but they need to be complemented by real world interaction as well. Use Web 2.o as a springboard to involvement with other forward-looking groups in our community.

Question 5: What else do you want to learn about? What other web 2.0 applications are you interested in?
- Internet radio sites such as slacker.com
- File conversion sites such as zamzar.com
- Productivity applications such as stikkit.com
- Social networking sites such as wikia.com and many, many more.
- Try some of the MIY (make it yourself) sites such as Cafe Press or Ponoko
- Learn about more free photo applications such as Dumpr
- Learn more about computer security, virus protection, etc., in order to better help customers, who come to us for advice about all sorts of technological decisions.
- Identify computer games of worth for all ages. Create a game parlor accessible from our website. Games have been shown to help counter memory loss and sharpen intelligence.
- Offer library staff continued training in creativity.
photo by KAO: Stripes of California Green

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