The secret life of an e-learning librarian.

Well, I'm not totally pleased with the way the blog entries are turning up in my web page, especially in IE, but I haven't had a chance to look at it since last Friday, and don't have time right now either.  For the moment I'm going to try to be satisfied that the content is there–even thought it rankles that the presentation is so bad.  I hope to fix it very soon.

In the meantime, I said I'd use this blog to talk about what I do in my job, so here are some highlights of what the e-librarian job has entailed for the last few days…

  • I'm taking part in the ACRL Library 2.0 Boot Camp, which officially begins next week and continues for four weeks.  This is a virtual, online course (or is it a project?) taken by about thirty librarians across the country.  Over the course of the month, we'll work in small groups to develop materials examining an assignment topic–my group's assignment has to do with RSS and OPML implementation in libraries.  Mainly, though, we're learning more about a wide variety of Web 2.0 tools like blogs, blogreaders, RSS, del.icio.us, podcasts, et cetera.  Part of the point of the course is to experiment with the tools and learn more about how they can be used to teach and learn in the library.  It's interesting and exciting, and the reading list is huge.  Here's one sample of what we're reading:  the course's Squidoo lens, which lists articles, websites, blog feeds, and other materials we're tracking on.  I'm beginning to feel supersaturated with information.  (Which is good, because information management / filtering is something else we need to think about and improve.)  So anyway, I've been setting up new software, playing with what I've set up, getting to know the other participants, and reading a lot about Library 2.0.
  • I had a good conversation about libraries, technology, and our users with Raymond Yee, a colleague at IS&T.  Raymond always has good ideas and insights into the library, because he loves libraries but isn't a librarian.  It's incredibly helpful to talk to someone who cares about library welfare but isn't an insider.
  • I've been working on an online tutorial for using one of our catalogs, which I'll be talking more about at next week's ADMIRE meeting.  We're still in the preliminary stages, and I'm finding I need to learn more about instructional design, information design, graphic design, usability, and just about everything else.  This has meant more conversation with folks at our Educational Technology Services unit, who already have some online tutorials up and running.  (They also have usability and instructional design professionals.)
  • I've been looking at blog software (mainly open-source) with the library's blog taskforce, determining which is the best for us to adopt.

There's other stuff going on, too–I've been getting some good reference questions on the desk, for instance–but I'm going to try to stick mainly to the stuff that's sort of peculiar to my position, since this is a blog about the "e-learning" part of being a librarian. 

By the bye, I noticed that Michael Stephens has an interesting post on the ALA TechSource blog about "Librarian 2.0" positions.  Today's Blended Librarian webcast (which I missed because I was on the desk) was on the same topic.  There's something in the air, methinks.  

First post in my WordPress blog

I was standing in line in the library cafe today, thinking about how I spent my morning futzing with blogs and blogreaders and other social software, then most of my desk hours futzing with my del.icio.us account. I was thinking that this isn't library work by any traditional standard, and that if I were one of my colleagues looking over my shoulder, I might think I was just wasting company time. That got me thinking about the schisms I see threatening to open between so-called "traditional" librarians and so-called "NextGen" librarians…and that got me thinking about ways to head some misunderstandings off at the pass.

I'm setting up this WordPress blog (free and easy!) to talk about what I do as an e-learning librarian. I'd like to do this as one of several ways of opening communication lines with my co-workers, none of whom have my job description and some of whom may wonder what I'm doing all day. It may be interesting or helpful for them to be able to check in from time to time to see what I'm up to. It'll probably also help me to have a record of what I've been doing from week to week.

I'm going to try to use a free Feed2JS script to feed this blog into my web page, to get the information out to folks who don't use a newsreader or care to subscribe to this blog's feed. Let's see how that goes…more content soon.