Monday, May 7, 2007

Launching Library 2.0: Working in the New Web World

Amy Benson (NELINET)
(this presentation will be on the NELA site)
Others have posted more complete notes, so this will be "Amy Benson: The Jokes" version, because her jokes illuminated what I think is a very important point.

An aside: Apparently the blogger table looked official—people kept asking where the evaluations were, and other “official”-type questions. At the end someone told us we looked like judges who should have held up scorecards!

I’ve heard Amy present before, and she’s lively and funny. She’s very good at making technical tools look easy and useful and fun. FUN is the key, because the interesting part of the talk for me was not the tools themselves but learning that Amy doesn’t choose to use a lot of them herself—and a lot of her jokes were about that.

In discussing Stephen Colbert, Amy called Comedy Central “Comedy Channel,” because, she admitted, “I don’t have cable. I don’t have a cellphone, either."
After the gasps, "I know, I know, this is all really cool—but I’m just not *ready*!”

On MySpace: ‘I don’t have a MySpace account either (I’m lucky I have a *car*). I’m not a people person—maybe this [MySpace] is where I should be.”

On Second Life (“we don’t want to have just one, right?”) for libraries:
“I can’t even manage *first* life!”

For me this ties in with one of the things Stephen Abram was talking about in his keynote address, that we need to play with all these technologies and learn about them. But we don't necessarily have to find them relevant to our *own* lives, we just have to wrap our heads around why our *patrons* might want to use them, so that we can incorporate them into our libraries accordingly. Our patrons don’t care if we prefer first life to Second Life, or if we like printed books and don’t care for downloadable audio and podcasts. But we *do* have to be able to demonstrate and explain the technology, preferably with some enthusiasm.

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