A year after starting my job, I’m still figuring out what it means to be an e-learning librarian. This morning I was musing about the various social computing tools I use in my work and play–or, put another way, my online social habits. I thought a list of what I use and how I use it might be a good place to start, in starting to sketch my life as an e-learning librarian. So here goes.
- Eudora: I use version 6.2, for email. Workplace policy, I think. I’m interested in knowing more about Thunderbird, but haven’t had time to download it yet.
- Gmail: Also email, library-related but less worky. Also for easier webmail, when I work from home. Huge storage, easy searching. Very easy to use.
- Blogger: For my reference questions blog.
- WordPress: For this blog.
- B2evolution: For the library’s news blog, which I’m steering temporarily for a colleague.
- Del.icio.us: Instead of bookmarking, for keeping track of everything from websites about web development to individual blog entries to log-in pages for online courses, etc.
- iPod: My own, for listening to music and occasionally podcasts. DRM prevents me from downloading podcasts at work, which is frustrating.
- iTunes: On both Mac and PC, although see above for the frustration of DRM.
- PMWiki: The library’s wiki software. Use it for library website stuff, mainly.
- Flickr: I have ambitions to use it to keep track of images that appeal to me, graphic-design-wise. I’d like to learn more about graphic design; I think this is an area where libraries need to do more work. Need to keep this up, though.
I have a feeling I’m forgetting some, but it’s a seed list. Some technologies I’d like to find more uses for, or at least experiment with some more:
- Google Sketchup
- Google Earth
- Podcasting–actually recording segments and distributing by RSS
Plus, I need to learn PHP. So there.
It’s interesting to me that when I was an undergraduate (graduated 1995), email was just becoming widely used. It was PINE–text-based. I had an account but almost never checked it. It’s incredible how much has changed since then–I’m 33 and I know I need to make an effort to keep up with the rate of change. What does that say about the generation ahead of me, the one that’s really steering libraries these days? I think it says we need real visionaries in those leadership positions. People who can take the time to reflect and see how much things have changed, and then open their minds and schedules to figure some of this stuff out.
I still resist Second Life, though.