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News from Second Life

July 30th, 2010 · No Comments

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Sara Martin, Second Life Avatar If you’ve heard of Second Life but wasn’t really sure what it was, or perhaps you’re feeling hesitant about learning “another” new thing, take heart. I’m here to provide information and guidance to this new social media tool. Check out this 3 minute YouTube video for a quick demo on Second Life and how it’s being used to teach university classes.

In a nutshell, Second Life is a software program that looks like you’ve entered a three dimensional (3D) world on your computer. It’s fantastic for demonstrating processes, displaying artifacts and information, interacting with other people, collaborating, building in accountability to distance education courses, teaching complex concepts, simulations and more. As if it couldn’t get any better, creating an account in Second Life and using their software is free!
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Category: Introduction · New Tools · Social Media

Needs Assessment for Social Networking

May 26th, 2010 · 3 Comments

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In March, Rachael Clark discussed the necessity of completing a needs assessment as one of the important skills used in developing a digital collection. I would definitely agree that it is a vital skill for any information professional. Cliché as it is, one of my go-to phrases is, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” and performing a needs assessment is an essential part of the planning phase for any project. This includes diving into the world of social networking.

The first decision to consider with your team is what kind of social media outlet will be most beneficial. There’s more to the world of social networking than microblogging on Twitter. You can get your professional persona out there with LinkedIn, share attention-grabbing images of your collection using Flickr or post a webinar on YouTube. Consider your needs, speak with people who are fully immersed into the world of social networks and learn from them. There are many options from which to choose. Do a bit of research into what will work best for your organization before you spend too many “hit and miss” hours. Time is money, folks!
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Category: New Tools · Social Media

History is Big Business

May 19th, 2010 · 1 Comment

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I have been using for the above phrase for many years. I say it with conviction in my voice while making sure to maintain eye contact. I believe it deep in my bones.

Why is the history business such an important issue for me and thousands of archivists across the country? Part of it is the growth in demand over the last 15 years by cable networks to fill their channel with documentary programming. Some of it is the keen interest I personally have in learning about the human condition and learning from those events. Mix that in with years of licensing negotiation and seeing how amazed producers are with what archivists can provide and I know that this is big business.
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Category: Archiving Challenges · Developing A Digital Collection · Licensing and Access · New Tools

New (Old) Skills – Listening, Analysis and Planning

January 12th, 2010 · No Comments

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I spent the last week writing and editing a book chapter on process management for digitization. My head has been trying to process all that I contemplated while doing such an intensive session.

I think that a lot of process management comes down to skills that we often no longer practice. These oldies but goodies are classics that we need some reminding about. The most important is…LISTENING.

We Twitter, we Facebook and we Blog but we are not necessarily listening to each other. Engaging colleagues in the process of digitization or any other information management process makes a huge difference in creating efficiency. More brains are always better than one!

The next skill is one that many of us are skilled at but do not have time for: analysis.
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Category: Skills with a Capital I and T

When Technology Tools Are in Control of You

November 6th, 2009 · No Comments

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In the last month, I have had to replace a one year old refrigerator, a 30 day old phone, a two week old portable drive and a one-day old server. Technology is not always our friend!

When I first got involved in digitization (15 years ago!), I was sorely disappointed with the inefficiencies and struggles to get output as promised. I teach my students today that the information world is a difference place. We finally have tools that talk to each other, tools that can be modified through menus as well as hard-coding. This is a wonderful world of possibilities.
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Category: New Tools

The Beginning of the Search of “What is ‘IT’?”

October 29th, 2009 · No Comments

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One of the first things I did when I found out I was accepted into library school was to Google for blogs, wikis and podcasts from others like me: new to be librarians and archivists who were in or had recently graduated from their respective programs.

I figured it was 2008, surely there would be loads of blogs, Facebook groups, listservs to name a few places for this sort of thing.

I was wrong – there wasn’t really squat. (more…)

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Category: What is IT?

Skills Librarians Need

October 27th, 2009 · No Comments

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  • Call a spade a spade or if it’s not a spade, don’t be afraid to call it a dud.
  • Take your space in cyberspace.
  • Go to the head of the class.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • Read, write, speak and share.
  • Techno tools of the trade.
  • Learn fast, keep up and smile.

Adobe-Acrobat-16x16Skills Librarians Need Checklist

The librarian of today has come a long way from the bun-wearing matron with thick glasses and sensible shoes who spent a large part of day checking out books, assessing fines and admonishing those who were less than perfectly quiet. Librarians come in all shapes and sizes, all ages and genders. There are those who come into the profession straight from college and library school as well as many who discover that librarianship is the next logical step after spending part of a career lifetime working in other areas. Books remain a major part of a library’s function, but technology has risen in the ranks and has become so pervasive, no librarian worth his or her salt can enter or exist in the profession without at least cursory knowledge of major innovations in technology and a keen interest in what lies ahead.
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Category: Skills with a Capital I and T