Sunday, March 18, 2007
It is so wonderful to be able to share our work with each other. It was a scary but exciting journey and I, for one, have learned a ton. My family is amazed and not quite certain who I am when I start talking html, etc.
Click to view the Bookmobile web pages.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
On March 9, 1999, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer of CNN, Al Gore said, "I took the initiative in creating the Internet." The news media took Gore's statement out of context creating an atmosphere where it became politically incorrect to mention the Internet in a public debate or campaign.
Two days after Gore's comment, Declan McCullagh wrote that the Vice President was taking credit for the Internet in his article on Wired News. Later, McCullagh called House Majority Leader, Texas Republican, Dick Armey and got this response,"If the Vice President created the Internet then I created the Interstate highway system." Then Michelle Mittelstadt wrote a story which appeared on the AP wire. It's title read,“Republicans pounce on Gore’s claim that he created the Internet.” In the article she said that Gore claimed to be "father of the Internet." Mittelstadt was guilty of "tendentious paraphrase" , changing the wording of a quote to make it more sensational. Shortly thereafter, Jay Leno added one liners about Gore inventing the Internet to his Tonight Show monologues. David Letterman also joked about Gore in June and December of 1999, with his Top Ten lists. Thus comedians, the news media and political adversaries began a two year campaign of ridicule which ultimately may have effected the outcome of the 2000 Presidential election.
Seth Finkelstein has compiled a chronology of articles which traces the written origins of the Gore/Internet story as well as those which debunk it. Of particular interest is the article by Richard Wiggins in First Monday. Wiggins thinks, "the cumulative effect of all the Gore Internet jokes is a diminution of the quality of real debate," over Internet issues. He feels that, "too many voters are satisfied with sound bite character assessment-and sound bite assassination." Many sources cited by both Finkelstein and Wiggins attest to the very real contributions Gore has made to the development of the Internet through his political activities.
Scott Rosenberg writes,"the next time you hear an "Al Gore, Internet inventor" joke, think about the strange twisted path a politician's words can take in other people's hands -- and be glad we can use the Internet to try to straighten it out."
Tim Berners-Lee's creation of the World Wide Web has interested me since our first days of class so he will be the topic of this entry. Berners-Lee was born in London to parents who were both working on an early computer, the Ferranti Mark I. He studied physics at Queen's College, Oxford University, graduating in 1976. In 1984, he began work at CERN. Five years later, he submitted a proposal for the development of a hypertext data system. His subsequent work yielded what we now know as the World Wide Web. Berners-Lee does not view himself as the inventor of the WWW. "He says he provided only the blueprint, whereas the communities of Internet users assembled the pieces and made the WWW grow with breathtaking speed." This comment sounds like something out of Time magazine's "Person of the Year: You" articles which illustrate how the contributions of many have swiftly lead to refinements on the internet and the web.
Berners-Lee left CERN in 1994 to direct the newly created W3 Consortium at MIT in the United States. "The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. W3C is a forum for information, commerce, communication, and collective understanding." There he continues to coordinate the development of Web tools and standards. A MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" was awarded to Berners-Lee in 1998. Berners-Lee is still acting director of the W3 Consortium and has spoken to the Congressional Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet regarding the future of the Web as recently as this past Thursday, March 1st.
His brilliance in the creation of the World Wide Web is enhanced by what has been termed his humble nature. When he completed his WWW software, he was approached by companies to commercialize it. He decided against copyrighting this product thus losing out on the financial return he might have received from it. "Berners-Lee remains committed to preventing any single corporation from dominating the Web." Through his work with the W3 Consortium, he continues to promote and protect an easily accessible, public web.
Berners-Lee is yet another unsung hero of our times. We are fortunate to have him battling for public accessibility on the front lines in Washington and internationally.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Please take a few moments to complete this survey.
This is an exercise in the creation of a survey using a free website, Surveymonkey. Using a survey is particularly helpful when bringing forward a new service such as the Homer Township Bookmobile. A survey can be helpful in gathering information which enables a library to become more responsive to its community. Surveymonkey can simplify this process.
An initial survey and a closing survey can also be very useful when compiling information for grant reporting. Surveymonkey makes it very easy to create, edit, and customise this type of document. Once created, it is simple to send this survey as a e-mail link, to an e-mail list, or to add it as a link to a website. The html coding is automatically created and may be cut and pasted to an existing website or blog. Pop ups are an option you can utilize in addition to five collection options, 3 completion options, survey limits, survey security, and closed messages. An example of a closing option is to add a final page which can be used to thank survey respondents. I have attempted to do this with the survey above.
Once your custom inquiry is "published", Surveymonkey helps organize the data as it is generated "in real time". This data can be filtered, configured to share results, or exported. However these last three options are available only to "professional subscribers". The gathered data is entered line by line in the order it appears in your survey. There are columns in which "response percentage" and "response total" are tabulated. You can analyze the results of your surveys with charts or graphs. The raw data can even be downloaded to Excel or SPSS.
This is a wonderful tool for libraries to use. It is free to use with up to ten question and up to 100 respondents. For a fee of $19.95 monthly or $200.00 yearly, a professional subscription may be secured.
A survey can be a really useful tool. In retrospect, I realize that in the recent past I have completed at least two surveys generated by surveymonkey. Didn't Dominican use surveymonkey to collect information from students for reaccredidation? Also, the president of our local bookmobile managers group just sent us a surveymonkey survey to complete about hours, job descriptions, budgets, etc. She plans to share this information with all of us and it will be immensely helpful for future planning.
Surveymonkey surveys are easy to use, don't have to cost anything more than the time it takes to prepare them, and can provide invaluable insight into a community. Libraries are always looking for cost effective ways to connect with their communities and surveymonkey seems like a great tool to do just that.
FYI: Surveymonkey is hiring! Perhaps they have a spot for a savvy 2.0 librarian.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Thursday, February 1, 2007
A quote from Micheal Casey's blog on December 5, 2005, http://www.librarycrunch.com/2005/12/what_is_library_20.html , really sums up what he and Savastinuk were trying to communicate in their article, "Library 2.0 is not about technology. Library 2.0 seeks to harvest good ideas from outside and use them to deliver improved and new services, often times in an effort to reach a new target population. Library 2.0 is, at its core, a way of thinking, a way of operating. It's a framework for integrating change into all levels of library operations. It's in our effort to reach this new level of service that we will utilize these new, often times Web 2.0, technologies." While using Web 2.0 tools may be new to some library students, the concept of understanding our community's needs and responding in an appropriate manner should not be. Web 2.0 tools can provide the means to pursue this fundamental facet of librarianship more aggressively. Better information from our patrons can ultimately result in better services overall.
An article by Janet Balas, "elearning About Library 2.0", published in Computers in Libraries in January 2007, reempathisizes the importance of Library 2.0 for its ability to help libraries respond to and meet "the needs of its users". Her piece gathers together articles, authors, podcasts, del.icio.us, flickr, and other Web 2.0 formats which relate to Library 2.0. Michael Stephens and Jenny Levine figure prominently as leaders in the 2.0 library movement. They have developed a Squidoo lens for an ALA Library 2.0 course which is filled with information on the subject. It can be accessed at http://www.squidoo.com/library20/.
Balas also credits Michael Casey, the author of the afore mentioned "Librarycrunch" blog as the first to use the term Library 2.0. This is a valuable article into which Balas has compressed a wealth of information for those who wish to learn more about Library 2.0.
All librarians work towards bringing the best services to our communities. Using techniques learned from Library 2.0 will assist us in reaching that goal.