I wrote in my last post about some potentially negative effects of social media. The essay that we read highlighted an effect that I didn’t mention – the way the so-called anonymity of the Internet seems to bring out the absolute worst in some people. Social media has given us some new basic truths to live by. “Don’t read the comments.” “Don’t feed the trolls.” The truly awful things that some people will say on the Internet can, of course, be incredibly hurtful for their targets, but the cumulative effect of these comments on average people trying to cling to a shred of faith in humanity may ultimately be worse. If we stop believing that we, as a species, are worth saving, then what?
I’ll be honest, I have something of a love/hate relationship with social media. In a world where we are constantly having more and more information and stimulation streamed at our heads, social media just makes the din that much louder. It is easy to develop an unconscious, even addictive relationship to social media. I swear I have picked up my phone, and tapped the facebook app without any deliberate thought or movement going into the action. Once I’m on facebook (or twitter or pinterest) it is so easy to let my brain go numb as I scroll through a morass of posts and tweets and pins about…nothing I could name two minutes later. My brain is, I believe, not healthier on social media.
All that said, I think that social media has brought great benefits into my life. My husband and I live over 2,000 miles away from our hometowns and families. Two of my best friends live in Washington DC and Los Angeles. The ease of keeping up with my loved ones is a wonderful gift. Even in writing letters or emails, we tend to only hit the highlights, mention the big stuff. I truly appreciate the way social media gives me a little glimpse into the small joys and frustrations of people’s daily lives.
This was fun!
It took me 3 tries to get 100%, but I got there! I started with the Hollywood Challenge, then the Broadway Challenge, and finished up with the Great Wall Challenge. Honestly, I think I could have gotten 100% on the Broadway Challenge, but I was going too fast, and didn’t read the feedback between tries carefully enough. This means my lower scores reflected a tendency to rush through things, which may not reflect my understanding of keyword searching per se, but does identify something to work on at the reference desk.
The first staff LibGuide that I explored was “Self-directed Learning”. This is not a guide that I had previously explored, or was even aware of. Now that I have found it, I would like to go back and spend the time to peruse the contents in more depth. I think that this guide could be of use to staff who are looking for the stimulation that professional development can provide. There were blog posts and articles from a variety of sources, as well as information about classes that are available to SAPL staff. Sometimes just taking 10 minutes to read an article can help make someone feel re-engaged with their job and their profession, and this is seems like a good resource to meet that need.
The other staff LibGuide that I looked at was the Circulation guide. This is one that I was already somewhat familiar with. In my experience, this guide is potentially incredibly useful. For reference staff like myself, it can be an invaluable resource for those times when we have to work the circulation desk, and need a quick refresher on policies and procedures. It is also useful when answering questions about programs like Homebound and Texshare.
There once was a librarian who decided that she would prefer being a bestselling author. Being a librarian, she started doing research to see how this could best be accomplished. After surveying the most popular authors at her library, she decided to try her hand at Clive Cussler style adventures. First, she used NoveList to look up Cussler’s works and read plot summaries, professional reviews, and analyses of what exactly it was about Cussler’s books that appealed to readers. Then she used Academic Search Complete to look up journal articles, hoping to ground her story with accurate details about the science and practice of underwater archaeology. With a sense of the appropriate writing style, and some academic research to back her up, the librarian begin spinning an elaborate yarn of shipwrecks, boat chases, ancient treasure, and mayhem on the high seas. After she got a few chapters in, she realized that along with her research into underwater archaeology, she also needed some advice on the finer points of maritime law, in order to lend her book verisimilitude. Nothing daunted, she used the attorney directory feature of the Legal Forms database to find a listing of local lawyers specializing in maritime law. With her i’s dotted, and her t’s crossed, the librarian finished her novel, which spawned a bestselling book series, television program, and collection of limited release action figures. She then retired to her own private island where she lived happily ever after.
I had already created a signature that Outlook automatically adds to any new email message I create. However, for the purposes of this exercise, I followed the directions to create a new signature that reflects my role as Tech Liaison for my branch. The process was pretty straightforward, and it is now easy to choose between the two saved signatures.
Honestly, the trickiest part is that it has been awhile since I did the lesson about the snipping tool, and while I was able to find the tool pretty easily, figuring out how to insert my snip into this post was rather challenging. I ended up having to go back to the earlier part of the lesson, and then it still took forever to find the right button to push in WordPress.
For this challenge, I created a fairly simple flyer addressing some of the frequently asked questions I get about attending book discussion groups at the library. All of the Microsoft Word features I used can be found in the “Home” tab. I changed the font size of my text to make the title stand out, and to make the whole thing readable from a distance. I also made blank lines in between my FAQs a smaller font size, so as to create white space within the document, for readability’s sake. I bolded the text of the questions to make them easily distinguishable from the answers, and I used different styles of bullets for each question and answer set to add visual interest.
I think that the feature of Word 2010 that I like best happens when you print. In this version of the software, when you go to the file tab, and then click print, it automatically gives you a print preview, without you having to remember to do that step first.