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Minnesota, United States

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thing 47- Evaluation

Reaching the end of More Things on a Stick has made me happy and sad at the same time. I'm happy because I feel like I've completed a major undertaking and I'm far more tech-savvy as a result. I'm sad because there are no more cool things to explore.

I enjoyed exploring all of the things in this program. The things that are the most useful to me personally: Google Tools (Thing 29), More Ways to Use RSS and Delicious (Thing 30), Books 2.0 (Thing 35), and WebJunction Minnesota (Thing 46). While each of the 23 Things is useful, these ones I see as being the most helpful in enhancing my career as a librarian.

As a result of completing 23 Things on a Stick and More Things on a Stick I plan on using the majority of the tools I've learned about on a regular basis. I hope there are more programs like this one. There are always new tools out there to learn.

Thing 46- WebJunction Minnesota

I had already registered with WebJunction Minnesota before starting this thing but I decided to revisit the site, update my account information, and take advantage of more of its tools. For me, the most useful thing on WebJunction Minnesota is the multitude of free courses available. I previously took the Managing Difficult Patrons With Confidence course, which I found extremely helpful. I browsed through the list of courses seeing what I might want to take next and decided to sign up for the Readers'Advisory Services course.

I also found some librarians I know who are using WebJunction Minnesota and sent them friends requests. I think WebJunction Minnesota can serve as a powerful networking tool for librarians.

I also browsed through various discussion groups and joined the MN Early Career Librarians group. I have been employed as a librarian just over two years, so I would consider myself relatively early in my career.

One thing I would like to see more of on WebJunction Minnesota is information pertaining to job hunting for librarians. I think this is a concern for many, especially in today's economy.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Thing 45- Cloud Computing

What if I lost all the data stored on my computer, would I have the data backed up somewhere? That's a question to ask yourself.

I have my important files backed up on a flash drive. Now, suppose that my apartment burned down in a fire and I lose all of my possessions, including the precious data stored on my flash drive. I'm screwed.

Thanks to cloud computing, that no longer has to happen. Cloud computing stores data on another computer, via an Internet connection. For example, when you save bookmarks to Delicious or create that Google Document via Google Docs, you are using cloud computing.

Besides providing a place outside your computer to backup files, I see cloud computing as also having the advantage of being able to access your files anywhere for free. Right now, I am using cloud computing for storing my bookmarks in Delicious, for saving documents in Google Docs, for saving important emails, and storing my photos in Flickr. Cloud computing has enhanced my productivity because I can access this information from any computer. Several of the bookmarks I have saved have come in handy when assisting patrons with reference questions. In my Google Docs account, I have several booklists saved, which is helpful when assisting patrons with readers advisory.

A concern I have with cloud computing is privacy. Although the account is password protected, I do worry about some hacker trying to get in. So I won't store anything really personal on the web. Also, there is a learning curve for websites such as Delicious and Google Docs. Some people may not be willing to take the time to learn these tools. Also, what if a site where you have your data stored on goes out of business, what happens to your data then?

In the future, I plan to use cloud computing more. I would like to add more of my photos to my Flickr account and upload more of my files to Google Docs.