Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Destined to be always Beta?

We are the Library Spotlight in the November Newsletter of the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System! The article is about how we are using Web 2.0 here at the Academy. It includes our successes and our “modifications." I think that trying these new Web tools means being in a constant state of tweaking – trying, evaluating, tweaking, and repeating this process. I believe that as we go about tweaking, we should be sharing our learning with one another so that the collective wisdom helps us more easily create tools which fit our program.

This makes me feel, however, that I am always in Beta mode, never finished. This is hard for librarians. I think we always want to present a perfectly designed finished product to our users. But, I believe we need to let that go and step blindly forward. We are stepping forward again but this time with a wiki for staff training. We have a staff large in numbers but small in consecutive work hours. Trying to find time together to learn new things is hard. Hence, the wiki, a collaborative web document which any user can add to, update, or change. Jen and I signed up for a free pbwiki. Advertised as “As easy to make as a peanut butter sandwich,” the wiki format suggested we weren't expert sandwich chefs. Susan Babb of NMRLS came last Friday and gave us some insights. Tuesday, Jen and I were able to make the PB sandwich. I am excited to see how all of us at the library will use the wiki. It’s Beta once more but I believe we’ll learn how to use it as a tool to share with our users. We'll keep you posted.

2 comments:

Askinstoo said...
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Susan Babb said...

It's not a bad thing to be beta!