December 14, 2007

Using Social Software in Libraries

Just heard a great talk by Meredith Farkas called Building Academic Library 2.0. Meredith did a terrific job of talking about technology in a way that tech librarians would appreciate and that non-techies would understand. The talk was presented to academic librarians, but her tech explanations are also useful to anyone interested in social software like blogs, wikis, flickr, and podcasts to interact with patrons or students.

Two non-tech recommendations that I especially liked:
  • Let go of "the culture of perfect" -- if we wait for our web site, chat software, OPAC to be the elusive perfect, it'll never happen and we'll get left behind. (the "culture of perfect" is Meredith's idea, the "we’ll be left behind" is mine).
  • Nurture talent. Meredith mentions a Library Journal Mover & Shaker who recently left academia; Meredith exhorted the audience to support innovators, and find ways of keeping people who do cool stuff. I agree with that, and I raise her one: we librarians who are dong cool stuff should active support each other. I think we do that already, but I want to keep it more of a priority for myself to support my friends and colleagues who are fighting the good fight.

(Meredith's talk starts around minute 13)

If you want to know more about using social software in libraries, in the classroom, or anywhere else, this is a good talk, and Meredith also has a book on the topic. Yay!

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