Monday, November 3, 2008

tango in black

tango in black
Originally uploaded by zabara_tango

Attenti al gatto!

Here at last, made it despite the derision of collegues who managed to speed through the 'things' in record time - you know who you are.
Anticipation / frustration / paranoia / sleepless nights
accompanied by demented tango music...
Where is this going?
Thanks to those who helped me brave the unknown. I have learned a lot and hope to carry on, maybe delving a little bit deeper into that other world.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Socialising with Librarians

After much reading and talking and thinking about whether libraries should have a presence on social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook etc., I find myself agreeing with many others: yes it probably is a good idea as a way of engaging potential library users, and not necessarily only teenagers. The real test would be whether it actually worked in the long term. Do our young people, for example , want a librarian intruding on their social space?
Maybe this would be a great opportunity to show the community what libraries and the people who work in them are really capable of ! (we don't all wear cardigans and sensible shoes ,or do we?)
It's pretty obvious that simply having a presence is just the start. Success would depend on the way it was managed and made interesting and relevant.
Of course our library is a community library not an academic one and our 'patrons' are far more diverse: babies to seniors, many different cultures and many different expectations of what we can and should be offering them. Sure, most people can get all the information they need and more from the Web. We can offer them what? Real people, real conversations, the pleasure of books, the pleasure of just 'browsing', access to technology, our experience and care and a safe place to just be yourself.

The Silhouette Cat
Originally uploaded by HiggySTFC

Authenticity / Ambiguity / Anonymity

I admit I have an aversion to social networking. I had a look around Bebo, Myspace and Facebook and obviously it is very popular, but I just can't go there. I like to see my friends and family in person and if they're far away I enjoy talking on the phone! I like to see the colour of peoples' eyes and hearing the sound of their voice.
The part that I have trouble with is the need for a persona to protect one's true identity. (Trying to stay 'in character' for the purposes of 23 Things has been amusing but I wouldn't want to do it long term)
The other disturbing aspect is that you can't just cancel your membership or erase your profile, it appears you are there forever. No thanks.

Puss in Boots

Is this a classic? Google Book Search lead me to the author Charles Perrault and the story of Puss in Boots in French and English. Then I went to Project Gutenberg and found his collection of stories in French available to be downloaded in several formats. It was very quick and easy to find. Also the 'audiobook' was available in 'human-voice' (as opposed to cat-voice?!)
Reading about ebooks in general, yes it seems a wonderful thing. (You don't need to pack all those heavy books into your bag when travelling?)Interesting that publishers are using the ebook thing to gauge how much interest there is in a new manuscript before actually publishing it.
'But what about the book as object ?', said my one friend.
for some reason this made me think about collections of letters, my own past correspondence as well as published collections and what the ebook version of these could be? Convenience comes at a cost. Discovering a bundle of love letters or inheriting Nonna's handwritten recipe book is something you just can't 'digitize '. Would you want to?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

pasta con le sarde a mare

The only way I can explain podcast is a radio show that you can listen to anytime you like. Podcastpickle or whatever it is called is doing my furry little head in. Ditto Podnova which is unable to find anything I click on. I heard about this podcast elsewhere so am including it for sentimental reasons:
I like the idea of anyone being able to create and broadcast their own 'show', and being able to listen to interesting things while out and about. Maybe I should replace the rather uninteresting feeds I have subscribed to with podcasts!