Monday, December 1, 2008

Learn & Play 14-- Web 2.0 and Library 2.0

What are the practical applications of Web 2.0 for our library patrons? This is the question that occurred to me way back in December 2006 when I attended an OLC workshop on Web 2.0 at the Westerville Public Library.

I am sure many of you are familiar with the "lightbulb moment" that 1st and 2nd grade teachers see all of the time, when their students finally understand how to read. Picture a lightbulb turning on in a little bubble above your customer's head, like in the comic strips. I have had a few of these illuminating moments with library customers here in Science, Business & News.

My lightbulb moments have occured on two memorable occasions. The first one was when I demonstrated how a group of market researchers could set up a feed reader (I used my MyYahoo! account to demonstrate), then feed in full text trade journal articles from EbscoHost Research Databases, or ProQuest Direct. A feed reader can also help you keep track of news and research developments in your industry. One of the workshop attendees actually said "Aha".

My second lightbulb moment was with a library patron who is starting up a nonprofit organization. He was looking for ways to communicate with other social entrepreneurs in the Columbus Metro area. I demonstrated to him how he could set up a Delicious account, and participate in social bookmarking. He said that a Delicious account would help him keep track of valuable articles that he finds online, and make his search for funding more efficient.

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