Library Commons

October 31, 2007 at 12:17 am (conference notes, Library 2.0) (, , , , , )

The first i wrote this post i had a bunch of great ideas generated during the session, which i wrote down in a stream of consciousness sort of way. When i went to publish it, i discovered that there was no wifi, and so it just kind of went away. AAAAAAAAAARGH.

Now that i’ve relaxed a little, i can write down a few things that came back to me. Mostly, it was about how libraries need to have a physical place in the community and a digital place in the community, and whenever possible, we need to integrate those two spaces together – sounds crazy, right? But, with meeting and study rooms that have hardware and wifi enabled, we’re encouraging our users to take advantage of our digital and physical resources. Having terminals located throughout the library, is a start, too. But also making our online presence a similar type of common area for our patron base – what do our users do online, and can we help them do it better? I think my MySpace band gathering project could be an example of that. With a little set-up, a little promo, maybe i can make my site a good place for people to go if they want to see what’s going on with music in Vancouver – so far there’s lots of metal bands and Christian bands in Vancouver, at least on MySpace. I know there are more local bands than I’ve found, so I’ll have to try some different methods of searching in order to track them down. I haven’t decided if i want to add Portland bands – that’s a much larger number, and the Vancouver music might get lost in the shuffle. This is assuming that the people find it valuable to them.

Blah blah blah. There’s more than just MySpace – our patrons are creating all kinds of content for the web. We collect artifacts of people’s creative impulses already, and have a NW focused collection of those artifacts – books, dvds and video, mainly. But couldn’t we start gathering and encourage the submission of locally created music, video, blogs, photos, podcasts, etc.? The technology is out there that allows for the gathering together of various media from different sources – for example, with one service you can collect links to video from any other video service on the web, so you’re not restricted to YouTube. So, gather locally produced video together, and create a collection. Same with photos – find flickr users from our cities and connect with them, then advertise that the library is a hub for local photographers, and encourage locals to use a common tag to add photos to flickr – a tag that we can easily subscribe to and grab. So if they’re taking pictures of local places or events, encourage them to use that tag, etc. Same with YouTube or any other site where people upload and tag things – when our patrons do things online, we can gather it together. I think this is one way that our library could add value in an online setting, and still stay local – one thing about the Inter

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