Here are some of the great things I’ve found this week:
Roy Tennant’s brilliant What I Wish I Had Known, a reflection on the things he would have been better off knowing back when he was finishing up library school. It’s important for people to reflect on their mistakes, both to learn from them and (if done publicly) to help people to avoid making similar mistakes. Success stories are great, but I find public reflections on foibles and failures tremendously admirable. Library Journal really does get some great writing out of their columnists.
All the stuff that Chad, Jenny, Michael, Kelly, Beth, and Chris wrote from the Gaming, Learning and Libraries Symposium has blown my mind. I SO wish I had been there and I’m hoping there will be mp3’s of the presentations up soon. I can’t link directly to their posts because there were so many, but if you’re looking at their blogs a while from now, look for posts somewhere between December 4 and December 8, 2005. It’s so cool to see gaming gaining more legitimacy for its use in libraries!
If you didn’t go to Greg Schwartz’s excellent introduction to Podcasting this week (through OPAL), you can listen to the mp3 of his talk and see the very useful wiki he created for the occasion. If you still don’t quite know what Podcasting is all about or how it could be used in libraries, definitely check it out!
OCLC’s Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources is out and I’m very much looking forward to reading it when I get out from under the work on my book. If you also don’t have the time to peruse it now, check out Dave King’s perceptions of Perceptions… (Parts 1&2 and Parts 3, 4,&5). Dave is providing a very useful service for busy librarians. I think one of the best things a library blog can be is a filter.
If you’re interested in implementing large-scale technology projects at your library, be sure to check out John Blyberg’s Lessons learned: aadl.org 3.0. It’s all about what he’s learned from the Ann Arbor District Library Web site redesign and all of the amazing improvements they made. Nice to hear someone talking about Drupal since I’ve been doing some research on it myself lately. My favorite line in the whole post was “Unspeakable things were done to the OPAC! I’ve seen things, horrible things. I’ve been forced to do things I thought I’d never do!” Lots and lots of good advice, especially the idea of having a fall-back plan. This is a post to print out. John is definitely near the top of my list of librarians we need to clone.
On a sad note, the Library Success Wiki got hit really badly today by spam and I’ve decided that I need to require that people register before posting to the wiki. It’s very easy (and obviously free) to create an account on the wiki and I hope it won’t deter too many people from adding useful information. In a healthier wiki community, like the Wikipedia or the ALA Chicago Wiki (well, what it was in the spring), spam would get fixed quickly by whomever in the community noticed it first. But when the majority of it has to be fixed by one person, spam can really get out of hand. I’m really sorry I have to put up these barriers to use, but they were totally necessary if we didn’t want the wiki to become 90% spam and 10% real content.
Update: Well, now the spammers are registering. Just great… 🙁
I’m sorry to hear about the spammers – can’t you require authorization via email after someone registers? Or can spammers get through that little safeguard too?
That sucks. I wonder if there are some additional barriers – verified email, or captchas (those “enter the numbers and letters in this image” things). It’s unfortunate that in order to raise the barriers high enough to exclude spam you also may end up excluding some real users.
I noticed a blog post that the wiki.ucalgary.ca site also got hammered with spam – maybe there was a coordinated attack on wikis.
I’d be happy to lend a technical hand if there’s some area where I can help. (I have a self-interest since we are also running MediaWiki.)
Resolution for 2006: spend time ridding the world of wiki spam!