Presidential Inauguration Online

Did you watch the Inauguration ceremonies live? They were exciting, weren’t they? Here at MPOW many of us gathered in one of the library classrooms to watch on the festivities projected on the big screen. I had tried to get streaming video from a number of sources on my trusty computer here, but to no avail. Everyone in the entire world was trying to do the same and the news servers couldn’t adequately handle the demand. Our university network was creaking under the strain as well. So I was glad that Ken figured out how to get a television station feed up on the projector.
I intended to write a blog post about the various Inauguration web sources. But why bother if someone else has done it already? Emerging Technologies Librarian (who works at that big university in our rival state up north of here) posted a great of set of Inauguration Links in the afternoon of Inauguration Day.
I admit to getting a lot of my news from NPR. I listen to their news programming on our university’s NPR affiliate WKSU during my lengthy commutes every weekday. [Little known fact: When my spouse was an undergraduate telecommunications student here more than a few years ago, he was volunteer student news director at the station.] Check out these two musical Inauguration-related NPR stories that I picked up in my trusty feed reader: The Many Sides Of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ and A Musical Dispatch From The Inauguration. I am enjoying the chance to hear once again the wonderful “Simple Gifts” quartet.
The revamped White House website includes some interesting 2.0 type features. I’ve already added the White House blog feed to my reader account. I’m interested to see if they really keep up with that. You can watch the Inaugural Address again in this post which includes “the flub heard around the world.” The Transition Office website was definitely a 2.0 entity. The Citizen’s Briefing Book was an interesting experiment. The site notes that “over 125,000 users submitted over 44,000 ideas and cast over 1.4 million votes.”

The Internet and American Life

The biblioblogosphere was abuzz last week about the latest report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project on Adults and Social Network Websites. Just about every commenter noted the finding that “The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years — from 8% in 2005 to 35% now.” The repeated use of the word quadrupled won it the honor of Word of the Day on HotStuff 2.0 which tracks 464 active blogs to discover new and/or interesting topics.
I found some interesting little tidbits in the full report. For example, only 19% of persons in my age group have a profile on a social networking site. (Guess you can figure out my age now.) Most people use social networks for personal rather than buy isotretinoin pharmacy professional reasons. But I suspect that this distinction might be difficult to make. Like many people, I have a Facebook profile which has a kind of mixed use. Most of my Facebook friends are librarians with whom I have some kind of professional relationship, co-workers or fellow Midwest Chapter members. But some family members are my friends and I have posted some personal photos to the site. I thoroughly enjoyed the video that my befriended niece posted on Facebook last week.
In exploring the Pew Project website, I found that you can take their daily tracking survey. I signed up to receive notices of their reports in my e-mail. I also took their Internet Typology Test. Turns out that I am a one of the “connectors” who make up about 7% of the population. Which type are you?

MLA Presidential Priorities: What’s Your Opinion?

MLA President-elect Connie Schardt needs you! Next month, she will be presenting her 2009/2010 presidential priorities to the MLA Board of Directors for approval. She has posted a draft of her priorities on the MLA Connections blog and asks for comments.
I’m interested to see how this works. In the fall, MLA tried using the blog as a tool for to get member input on the MLA Strategic Plan. The response was rather disappointing, even after they broke the strategic plan down into smaller, less overwhelming parts and asked for comments again. I wasn’t too surprised…both this blog and MIDLINE receive few comments. T. Scott Plutchak, who is serving on the MLA board, entitled his blog comment on the lack of comments The Myth of Digital Democracy? Actually, T. Scott’s blog post generated the more comments than the strategic plan draft!
Despite this lack of success the first time around, I think that using the blog is a good way for MLA to get direct input from the membership. You can share your opinion without going through someone else. No need to find a sympathetic board member to plead your case. No need to find the appropriate MLA staff member to e-mail. No need to join a committee. (Although this is still a good idea.)
I challenge you to get involved. Take the time to look over the priorities. Close your eyes and imagine: what should MLA really be doing? Then tell them! MLA is YOUR organization and you pay a lot to belong. You should be getting your money’s worth and this is one way to do that.

Information Literacy Instruction

As a novice academic librarian, I’m learning the work rhythm of the academic year. I started work a few weeks into the fall term, so the upcoming spring semester will be my first full semester here at MPOW. One of my liaison librarian duties is course specific instruction in my liaison departments. I’d been here a little over a month when I presented my first classes — seven 2-hour computer lab sessions with freshman biology students. Talk about your baptism by fire! Thankfully, my predecessors had developed a great class presentation, including a dynamite tabletop exercise. I simply had to update the handouts and do some adjusting to fit my personality. And believe me, I learned a lot from these sessions by making some mistakes. And of course, there was the morning when PubMed was totally unavailable because of some power outage in Bethesda. Click on the link and nothing happens. Guess we’ll finish 20 minutes early today…
To help myself get up to speed on matters instructional, I joined the Information Literacy Instruction Discussion List which is indeed a “thriving exchange on instruction and information literacy.” In late fall, a librarian from the University of Texas Libraries sent along the link to a recently posted YouTube video of a bad instruction session mocumentary that they developed a number of years ago. CSI: Library Instruction is a must watch!
As noted in the comments, The Library Teacher does a lot of “cringe worthy” things. She is disengaged and her students are clearly lost. The scary thing is that I saw myself in a couple of the things she did. Quite a learning experience.


So how do YOU handle The Slacker Student? I had more than a handful of those in my biology sessions. Please comment on this post and share your wisdom!