Thursday, September 25, 2008

Forever and a day...

GoLibrary final grant report will be turned in tomorrow. Stage one completed, we now move on to getting it right in the wash. Problems continue with no solution in sight, though we do have a meeting set up with Sweden next week. Maybe we will get a little closer to our service goals now that some of the deadline pressure is off.
On another note, a recent conference in Sacramento hosted by the Association for Small & Rural Libraries has me thinking about the social networking phenomenon in libraries and how we get there from here. I heard a funny joke once about a New Englander giving directions and the punch line was "You can't get there from here." The line stays with me, though I have long forgotten the joke, and puts me in mind of local government IT departments and libraries as we try to break through to the otherside of IAAM (it's all about me) services.
At the Sacramento ASRL conference last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by blogger, Jessamyn West, and asked her at the end if she could recommend sources for selling points for social networking to local governments. She suggested a best practices wiki that I had heard of but was not really familiar with. I had no idea that there would be so much good stuff at my beck and call. I've been going through the wiki a little bit at a time, instead of jumping right into an answer to my IT question, and I keep getting distracted by things to learn about and explore.
If there are any librarians out there who still question the validity of wikis as sources of information, they must immediately check out (ha!) this site.
Anyway, where was I, regarding the IT dilemma and social networking. We have recently upgraded our web site at my library (though it has only a portion of the changes I had hoped to include, it's still better than it was. Oh, yeah, and there are errors as well, so your continued patience is requested.) So, I had planned to join the social networking phenomenon and post this blog on our web page as the director's blog. I was motivated especially due to the need to promote our GoLibrary grant progress. (See previous posts.)
I discover indirectly, as no one has contacted me directly about the matter, that I was revealing too much information regarding the county's network and could be exposing us to hackers. OK, I thought, I'll take those bits out, no problem. But now the word is that we must take the matter to county counsel because of the no advertisements rule. Fine, is my response. But, actually, if we are going to go that route, we need to first take it to the Technology Review Committee for recommendation. By the time we get the go ahead, libraries will no doubt be heralding Web 3.0 and the blog will be obsolete.
So, I'll keep making notes of my progress on the front lines of introducing new and untried means of informing the community, whether of librarians or library users, and be satisfied that the process of jotting it down serves as a means of letting off steam if nothing else.

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