So there are a lot of exciting things happening right now in my life and yet at the same time I feel as if my thoughts are scattered in every direction. One of the new big things in my life is that come the end of January / beginning of February I will be starting a new adventure as a first time mommy. Big right?! Well before I go into full time mommy/librarian mode, I really want to finish up my certification. Luckily I will be able to do this in September when I am taking a class all about technology and libraries in the digital age.
This is something big to look at because the role of libraries and librarians is forever evolving in the digital age. What was important when I was a kid may not be as important today or in five years. These are all things we have to think about in the evolving role of librarians and libraries. It is very easy to argue the need for more space and more computers within the library to accommodate the growing population needs, but you also have to think about what questions may arise with the increasing number of technology advancements being made every day.
Change is never easy and it doesn’t happen over night. Yes there are a few things you can begin to incorporate within your library without breaking the bank. You can advertise to the public of the availability of one-on-one appointments where a staff member works with them individually on questions they have. This is a great way to connect with community members who may be unsure of how to use e-mail, load e-books to their e-reader, learning Facebook to stay in contact with friends and family all over the world, etc. It is possible by starting small it will increase the awareness of what the library has to offer and what it can offer in the future with more funding, increased number of devices available for public use, and encouraging the continuing education of staff members.
Some people think because I am young, that technology comes easily to me. This is not always the case. There have been plenty of times I have sat there and glared at something because I was frustrated and couldn’t easily figure out the solution to my problem. It is only because I play around until I figure out the problem, consult the user manual, and help page on the given items website that I am able to solve the problem in front of me.
As I said my thoughts right now are very scattered and hopefully with the help of making a lot of lists and putting pen to paper theoretically, I can begin to feel organized again.
What are your thoughts of libraries role in the digital era?
I apologize to everyone for my lack of blogging lately, I had a serious case of writer’s block and an extreme lack of creativity. This week I attended a Tech Unconference with other librarians from around the state. The very fact that this was an “unconference” and not a normal conference was a great new experience for me. So you may be reading this going what is an “unconference”? It is similar to a conference, the only difference is we were able to vote on the topics we wished to discuss. The part that was great about this is there was not a single person or a panel of people at the front of the room talking to everyone. Instead we gathered around as a group and discussed things we do in our library and how we have tackled problems. To be able to discuss what is going on in your library and to get inspiration for programs with others, who are not a part of your staff is a great experience.
Here’s a little insight into what it means to be a librarian, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel fifty million times. We LOVE to share ideas with others and share resources with each other. Yesterday I found a great article on Pintrest, another library had shared about things your librarian does that you may not be aware they do. The title of the article is “5 Things That People Don’t Realize Their Librarians Do”. I recommend looking up this article, it explains what it means to be a librarian. I agree with this article in so many ways. People think because I am a part of the younger generation that I intuitively know all about technology. Yes I’m not yet 30, I have another year to go, but that does not mean all of technology is intuitive to me. The only reason I am able to troubleshoot things is because I had a boss who believed in me and said I want you to learn this. Honestly it’s as simple as that.
When I first started college, I thought I wanted to be a teacher and I even took a few education classes. Once I decided that was not for me, I switched my focus to business classes but felt that was not for me either. It wasn’t until I was a junior that I found my niche in English. As I was going through the journey of finding where my interests lie, I had been working in the college library for two years. My Marms will joke the best thing about my college education is that I found a job I can be passionate about. I honestly think it’s because I was surrounded by people who were willing to teach me new skills and allowed me to take charge on projects.
Don’t worry I will get back to writing about different programs I use on a daily basis at work and in my personal life. I will even write a blog post about Pintrest another day.
P.S. How great is that Steampunk Librarian picture?
So if you haven’t yet noticed in my other posts my darling little sister is going to get married in a few short months. Not only do I get to continue to do my job as her older sister, I am also her maid of honor. I am excited and also nervous about taking on this new role in our relationship, don’t get me wrong like most siblings with an age difference we have had our share of fights, but at the end of the day she is my little sister. One of the challenges in this endeavor is we both work full time and we live forty-five minutes apart from each other, so getting together when we are both free is a difficult thing for us. One way we have found around this is to use e-mail, text messages, and Facebook to communicate with each other and other members of the bridal party.
Now you are probably wondering why I am going on about my sister’s wedding when the title of this post is “Google docs and you”. Google has a number of great features which is proving to be a very useful resource for me at the moment in both my professional life and my personal life. In my personal life, I am able to type up to do lists of everything I want to remember and create spreadsheets for all of the different guest lists to see who is going to be able to come or not to different events we have planned for the wedding. The benefit of creating these documents using Google is I can share the documents with other members of the wedding party where ever I am, the reason for this is because the documents are saved in the cloud and are not restricted to a single computer.
Google documents are similar in the layout and shortcuts to to the same ones I use in Microsoft works. Its user friendly and I find it is easier to manage than Open Office. It has the added benefit of not having to purchase and update software for your computer. An additional bonus to using Google docs is you can share documents with others to edit and add. This is great to use with co-workers to collaborate on a project or within an organization. You can easily download an app for your smartphone but there are some limitations of what you can do with the app.
Until next time everyone!
Lesson # 12
P.S. Don’t worry not all of my blog posts will talk about my sister’s upcoming nuptials. This is a very big day for us as a family and she is my Smurfs. Not to mention in the upcoming months I have a lot of birthdays to celebrate in the Spring and Summer months.
There are many ways to try to stay organized while on the go. I use my phone for everything to stay on top of classes I am signed up for, meetings for work, birthdays, etc. What if there was a way to keep everything organized and send out e-mails to everyone when scheduling an event? Doodle is a great solution to staying organized while on the move. While there is an app for your mobile device, it is not a free download. Doodle will be a great tool for me in not only my professional life but also in my personal life. In the next coming months my personal life is going to crazy with birthdays, wedding events, and work. By using Doodle I can set up an event and suggest a variety of dates and times to schedule events and dinners with friends and family. It is important to remember you can’t work all the time without getting burnt out.
To test out Doodle I scheduled a dinner with my little sister and other members of the bridal party. I suggested three dates on a day we all agreed would work for everyone. I was also able to suggest a time and location for the dinner. It will be useful when I am organizing her bridal shower and bachelorette party. I can also keep track of who has responded. It will be a great backup to using the calendar on my phone. I was able to to link my Doodle account with my Facebook account to keep track of events I am invited too and events I schedule myself.
Up until now I have been familiar with all of my lesson posts; Flickr, YouTube, Podcasts, even working on WordPress. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) has me confused. There are many different ways of learning about RSS and it wasn’t until I watched the movie clip on Common Craft that it began to make sense to me. Here is the url to the movie clip I am referring too. http://www.commoncraft.com/video/rss
As most people I am rarely found not to have my phone with me. It made the most sense for me, personally, to find an app for my phone to create a RSS feed for personal use.The app I chose to go with was Flipboard, its a free app with a magazine style format. One aspect of this app I like is, I am able to link my Facebook and Instagram accounts. It is a one stop app for a quick update on what is going on. I love the blog The Refashionista, by adding it to my feed, every time the blog is updated I will be alerted.
It is very possible Flipboard will become the new app I turn to during moments of boredom or while waiting for friends. It is easy to add new subscriptions and to create new magazine boards. I no longer feel as if I am in the dark about RSS and I can see how in my personal life it can be very useful. I have yet to figure out how it can be applied to be used in a library. Once I am able to figure this out, I will share with others. Lesson #5