Surprises, Surprises

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Librarian M and I’s Web 2.0 class that was developed for the staff of our system went quite well, all things considered. Between the two of us we covered: 43 Things, BitTorrent, Blogger & LiveJournal, Bloglines,, Digg, Flickr, & Pandora, LibraryThing, MySpace, Skype, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Opera & Firefox. (Whew!) Not to bad for a three hour class with a short introduction (and lots of time playing on YouTube). The class was composed of nine staff members ranging from librarians, circulation people, and one or two from tech services.

What was most surprising to me was the sheer amount that our coworkers didn’t know about Web 2.0, even the other librarians. In truth, the age distribution of the group was slightly older which makes me wonder just who in libraries is paying the most attention to Web 2.0 and its potential to intigrate into the profession. It’s impossible to tell just from this first group and I’m rather hoping to see what the groups in the future sessions have to say about that. Still, I spoke to a circulation person about the class (who has yet to take it) who is quite young and computer literate who still confessed that they didn’t know nearly anything about what we were going to be teaching in the class.

But I probably digress. We began with Opera and Firefox merely to illustrate the point that not only is the web changing in the shape of social software and programs and things but also in the simple way that we surf around the web to. Immensly customizable browsers that come out with new versions on a regular basis and support user aid in development. Opera’s built in BitTorrent client and Firefox’s extention were part of our talk and helped very much with illustrating just how all of these services cross each other and quite often support each other too. That seemed to click, considering like libraries they work together to help and serve their customers/patrons/users.

But many (and I would hazard to say most) in the room didn’t know anything about either browser despite the ground they’re gaining on Internet Explorer. And all that can be done with programs like and YouTube was taken in with more than a little excitement. Wikipedia was a fun one too, despite our library system being on it, and just making sure they knew not to let patrons use it for their senior theses. We also mentioned on the fly, the Stephen Colbert inspired Wikiality wiki, which they quite liked. Thanks to The Shifted Librarian for mentioning it.

Needless to say it was quite encouraging to see my fellow staff members enjoy the class and actually learn something. Gratifying doesn’t even begin to say it.

I’m hoping to learn more in future sessons of the class (and lucky us the Web 2.0 class has been made a requierment for all staff) though weither Librarian M will be teaching those with me is unsure. But, we shall see.

Viva Web. 2.0!

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