Monica3800’s Weblog

This blog is tracking my Library 2.0 journey.

Archive for September, 2007

My first VC experience

The first virtual community that I joined in 1996 was a listserv for people who suffer from celiac disease.  After a long and scary ordeal, my sister was diagnosed with the disease in 1995. Celiacs get incredibly ill when they eat gluten. Gluten, proteins in wheat, is in lots and lots of things.  Today there are boatloads of information on how to cope with celiac disease. In 1996, it wasn’t quite so easy.

I subscribed to the list on a whim, thinking I’d pass some info onto her as needed.  Reading the posts everyday from people who were really struggling to keep up with the ever changing status of an endless variety of foods really made me realize how hard this must be to live with.  I ended up printing and organizing all of the posts into a binder for her reference.

Besides the fact that it was clear I needed to go to library school to find an outlet for my skills as an organizer, I learned a lot. I got insight into a disease that is very prevalent and often misunderstood. These people were engaged in grassroots activism and it worked. The Celiac Disease Foundation , who sponsored the listserv, is now the preeminent source of information for the disease. Stricter standards for food labeling have been enacted to alert celiacs of the presence of wheat. The U of Chicago even has a celiac disease center.


Group 5 musings

Our group considered the impact of citizen journalism and blogs on the acquisition and storage of resources and the attendant issues with searchability and delivery. Here’s what we came up with:

Acquisition and Storage:

  • Pro: blogs greatly increase our potential pool of acquisitions with little financial impact and with little impact on our physical space
  • Con: the sheer number of resources could quickly overwhelm our acquisitions staff. Storage requires that we have server space, etc

Blogs require us to make decisions about how patrons can access and search these resources. Do we use traditional library subject headings like LC or do we use tags? Tags could be generated from other blog readers and/or our own patrons. Finally, delivery will require us to provide the appropriate equipment (computers), access points, and training.

The bottom line is that we thought blogs have an overall positive impact because of their participatory nature. We do, however, need to be prepared to provide education on use and creation of blogs and to analyze blogs as a resource.

Richer, not ruder

Another perspective on how technology is okay and even helps us have richer more fulfilling human interactions from Wired blogger Regina Lynn. It’s still not okay to talk on your cell phone in the bathroom.

L2 and exclusivity?

I found two interesting articles yesterday.  The first was information from research done by blogger Danah Boyd on American class divisions in relation to use of Facebook and My Space. The second is from the NYT technology section and deals with gated social networks.  Both highlight how social networking sites can impose the same biases we encounter in the physical world.  

From these articles it seems as if we’ve used our complex and often arbitrary set of societal rules in setting up our virtual societies. It’s an interesting counterpoint to much that’s written about how inclusive and democratic these sites are. I am arguing back and forth in my head whether exclusivity is a funciton of the fact that people with same interests tend (I know it’s not an absolute) to be somewhat homogenous or because we feel a need to separate ourselves from people not like us. 

Hello World

This is my new LIS 768 blog at Dominican University.


Greetings! I’m Monica. I live on the northside of Chicago and work at a non profit membership association. I train volunteers for committee and board work.

I hope to work in an academic library as soon as I finish the program. I think it’s really important to embrace L2 concepts to serve all library patrons. There are so many resources that we can use to help our users maximize both their library experience and online resources. More than just the online componet, I think it’s critical to place the patron at the center of our service models regardless of their preferred medium. I believe that by cooperating with one another and keeping our minds open, librarians can open up a new world for many of our users.

Pie in the sky? Perhaps, but I like the idea of the truly cooperative, collaborative environment, so I’m sticking to it.

I hope to be able to take what I learn from this class and use it in a library. It sounds like in some places that may be a challenge in and of itself.