Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke

I complete this program sharing one of my very favorite quotes, one that has stood me in good stead as I've wrestled with understanding something new and "way too technical" or have been helping a library user do the same.

While the word "manipulation" itself can have a negative connotation, I think that one of the most positive discoveries I've made in the past few weeks involves "manipulation." Manipulating elements of blogs, manipulating photos, moving YouTube videos around -- fun and easy!

Many years ago I worked for the first subject department at Houston Public Library to have a computer for staff use (Humanities Dept., surprisingly enough), and our department manager encouraged all of us there to have no fear, or, at least, to show no fear in the face of new technology. I've been a comfortable end-user of many technologies (my VCR didn't flash 12:00!), however lately I feel like we're experiencing a meteor shower of new stuff -- stuff? that is the correct tech term, right? Having an organized, step-by-step approach presented for catching some of those falling stars has been truly beneficial for me. I'm committed to lifelong learning, and I thrive with some organization and discipline overlaying that learning experience.

Favorite things:

  • Flickr --I had played with other photo sharing programs, but I like this a lot.
  • LibraryThing -- using it for a record plus a reminder list of books I mean to get to.
  • NetLibrary and Overdrive -- I can help customers better, and I'm going to be a much more frequent user.
  • Online productivity tools -- didn't even know these were out there. Now I feel more empowered, and I will show them to customers, too.
  • I'll be using RSS feeds and podcasts more than ever before -- but selectively.
  • Image generators -- fun!

An outcome that didn't really surprise but did gratify more than anticipated has been the collaboration that I've observed. Assistance is sought and assistance is offered, so completion of the 23 Things is not an individual endeavor but rather one that involves colleagues working together for everyone's success.

Definitely I would participate in a similar discovery program. As noted above, I like having a pathway to follow. Both customers I deal with and myself, in my personal semi-tech way, are reaping the benefits.


HCPL WebMaster said...

Congrats on completing ... that's so great that you made so many discoveries and that you saw even more discoveries being made around you. Way to go. Hope you'll keep blogging.

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