The Library Show

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meida Literacy

MacManus, Richard. “Media Literacy and How Blogs Should Evolve.” ReadWriteWeb. 15 Apr. 2004. Web. 19 Mar. 2011

Though this article (actually blog post) dates back to 2004, I find it still very relevant today. In it, Richard MacManus, the creator/blogger of ReadWriteWeb (, talks about discovering the idea of media literacy. He continues by exploring the idea of empowering people through a channel that allows them to create or express their message. Or, McLuhan’s theory that the medium is the message. Where it’s not the content that is the message, but the medium used to express that content. Today we have so many choices of medium, or how, to express ourselves and the content we want to share with or present to the world. I feel this is especially important when it comes to education, to not expect every student to express themselves in the same way that we did. Or, “read only.” But to allow them to choose their own medium and they will take ownership of the assignment and their message. MacManus backs this idea up with a story about inner city LA teens that used sound, images and text in a project about gun violence. They took a topic very relevant to them and through different mediums, created information they were able to understand, analyze and evaluate. In other words, they constructed meaning. And with this meaning, they also constructed a toolbox they can draw from in the future.

MacManus continues his blog post with a section on where he sees the future of blogging headed. He believes blogs might struggle in achieving or reaching an “expanded literacy” unless they move into a publishing tool that encompasses sound and visuals along with the text. Seven years later, I’d say that evolution has occurred. We can now post videos or audio on our blogs. We can even create the video and audio ourselves, along with photographs and the trusty old text. Even the text has evolved into short form or the micro blogging of Twitter and Facebook. We now have to learn how to think about how to say something and evaluate it in 140 characters or less. And more frequently.

Media literacy will remain relevant as long as the mediums we use to create and express ourselves continue to change and evolve.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Job hunting? Use Twitter

I dusted off my way back machine to pull up the blog I had to create for a class I took a few years ago. Look how young I am in the picture! My last posting date was in 2006. As you can see, I didn’t keep up with it. I read a lot of blogs, but actually blogging just isn’t for me.

I’ve also become a little more active on Twitter. Again, I’m more of a follower than a leader on Twitter, but I’ve found it to be a useful medium for certain things. One of which is job postings. There are several users who post job listings for industry specific jobs. I follow several for library related positions. While I am not currently looking for a job, it’s a way to see who is hiring and where and other trends that are happening in “real time” in the library world. It’s also a quick way to aggregate these postings, or collect them all in one spot, instead of searching for a particular system or individual sites. I’ve also found that some of these users tweet more than just open positions, but helpful information on how to interview or tweak your resume.

If you’re interested in taking your job search in this direction, here are a few suggestions of who to follow:

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Blog Post 6: Ta Da!

And here it is, the final product:

Monday, August 07, 2006

Blog Post 5: To Flock Or Not To Flock

Internet web browsers, like many things before this class, were something I took for granted. They (or rather it, as Internet Explorer was the only one I had personally used) were there, they searched, they returned search results, I entered web sites which they displayed, etc. I didn’t even think or wonder that they could do more, much more. I’ve started using Mozilla Firefox and have surprisingly found that there is a difference in browsers and I’ve enjoyed my time with firefox. Then I read an article in the Sun-Times last week about Flock and boy was my world turned upside down yet once again.

According to the article, Flock is a new search browser with capabilities other browsers can only hope for. The columnist, Andy Ihnatko sums up the browser in this way:
If there's a big, central idea behind Flock it's to build a browser that's aware of all of your other presences on the Web, and which can slavishly integrate them all into one consistent experience.
For example, Flock doesn’t just add a page to your favorites (which from my experience, you do manually), but instead will give the page a tag that can be added to a account. How handy is that?! Now anywhere Flock is used, you can add to instead of just from your personal computer.

Flock also makes posting to blogs (a huge hobby or requirement for many people today) as easy as a click of a button and also allows quick access to your Flickr account.
I was not able to play around with Flock myself as my sick computer (see previous posting Computerless=Lifeless?) has indeed bit the dust, but have gotten excited reading about it and can’t wait to try it for myself one day. Maybe by then more browsers will buck up and take note of users’ habits and wants and give them more of what they need.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Blog Post 4: Computerless = Lifeless?

My computer is dying a slow and untimely death. As a result, I've had to jump onto a roommate’s computer whenever I can find one free, in order to satisfy my obsessive e-mail checking habit and news reading addiction. Yet, though not completely unconnected, due to the limited access still available to me, I am unsatisfied. The loss of my computer has felt like the loss of a limb, a friend, a connection. Am I such a slave to this machine? Who owns who here? Is it the computer itself or what the computer/its capabilities offers me: connection to the world/other worlds, as little or as much as I choose?

I've been struggling with this issue- connectivity- as of late. How much is too much? Can it even be measured? As "connected" librarians/professionals, how do we separate our personal, social connections from our professional ones? (i.e. a personal blog of daily and life reflections and one related to work and professional information?)

Where do you draw the line of separation? Do you draw a line?

Do you leave everything on and open at all times (computer, IM, cell phone, blog, etc.) much like an all night diner, for anyone and everyone to reach you at all times? Do you pick and choose what to use/check and when? Or do you turn it all off every once in a while for a break?

To each their own is the best I can come up with. I didn't find much on a similar or related topic. I'm curious as to how others feel.

I did, however, read an interesting article on Second Life. After which reading, I concluded that at least in such a world, without a computer, one really is lifeless.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Blog Post 3: I did it again

Deadlines certainly aren’t my area of expertise. However, I am becoming quite savvy with MySpace and other social software this summer. I’ve been a little (ok, so a lot) fascinated with such software since I first heard of Friendster but like many, a little paranoid and wary at the same time. One of the things that keeps popping into my head is something Michael said at the very beginning of class almost a month ago on that early Saturday morning: “Be public!” So I’m trying. And I know we’ve all heard time and time again to “go where the users are.” And I agree. Despite what many people might think of such tools, one friend in particular who believes MySpace is (and I quote) “a magical ex-girlfriend and people-I-hate-from-high-school finding machine” if utilized well, I think they can be very beneficial to libraries and librarians- especially when it comes to the teen population. Michael and Rachel Gordon Singer briefly touch on it in their article Online Cool on a Budget . I also found a very interesting and relevant blog post on the same topic (though I know there are many, many more) on Meredith Farkas blog: Information Wants To Be Free. Both comment on the way MySpace, Facebook, etc. can be used to reach out to patrons in unique and creative ways. Farkas goes a little further with actual examples of several libraries that have put these softwares to good use instead of really bad use. Her idea of really bad use is libraries who use these things without a specific goal in mind, who do not update them, and who do not remain active and interactive with the site and ultimately, their potential users and patrons. This post has a great list of links to libraries and other resources specific to this topic and I would highly recommend checking it out. Obviously, the debate of whether to MySpace or not to MySpace (with the rest included) will rage on, but if libraries can do it in a fashion that is easily accessible to the user and more importantly, useful to the user, then let the experimenting continue!