Sharing new tools

Today I tried to imagine how Rollyo could revolutionize our library practice. Here’s what I came up with:

Would you like an easier way to find county school information? Try my new Rollyo search! I took all our individual school websites and “rolled” them into one customized search: http://www.rollyo.com/erindowney/joco_schools/

This is but one of the awesome tools we learned about in the Internet@Schools sessions. I can see recommending this tool to patrons who need the “right” information rather than a Google search dump… especially for homework. Help kids pick a handful of trusted and authoritative sites, and they can roll their own search engine that gives them very specific results.

If we don’t like to rely on Google, now we have an alternative. Of course, this means adding an extra step and selecting sites in which we place authority. That means that we need to have a better sense of what’s out there to use on the web. And again, more librarian job security to the rescue 😉

Gathering awesome info

One of the most frustrating things about finishing an article is looking around the world of information and seeing all the awesome things you could add. I have been collecting examples, anecdotes, and tools from the web for ages and every day there are still more. Fortunately, this latest article (on how we adapted a patron class to the education environment) is due soon, and I can dive further in to advertising said class to more patrons. I’d much rather conduct a few experimental versions of a new class and then perfect it afterwards, but I totally understand that from the patron side that nobody likes being a guinea pig 😉 I hope that after learning 6 new 2.0 tools in an hour or so, participants will want to go on and create localized cohorts that will experiment together in a more in-depth process like 23 Things or 5 Weeks to a Social Library.

I hope to make some super short Adobe Breeze-style presentations using Camtasia to advertise two of our services to start with: homework help and the Cyber 6 Pack 4 Educators workshop. From there, I want to try and forward these to key people in school districts that can show the presentations in front of large audiences… like department meetings, PTA meetings, and maybe even post them on web pages. I want to create a compact, powerful message that can travel widely and be seen in less than 2 minutes (considering this an asynchronous version of my various “elevator” speeches). More to the point, I want to spend less time personally talking up these sorts of services and spend more time actually delivering said service to patrons. I will be sure and post a follow-up on this topic letting you know how it works.

Wesch’s video

Just in case any new readers haven’t seen Michael Wesch’s videos… this is his latest and greatest. He’s a winner on many counts: from KSU, awesome thinker, and all about information.

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