Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Connected Life

I have always paid attention to new books wherever I am;  I don't think either collection development or professional reading are things you do only at your desk.  I used to spend time in bookstores writing down titles and ISBN numbers of books I thought would be good for the library -- now I capture the ISBNs with the "red laser" bar code app on my phone.  [it takes about the same amount of time, actually].

This morning, I opened the daily Unshelved in my email -- and if you're not reading this library comic every day, you should be -- and found an ad for this book TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments.  I followed the link and read part of the sample chapter.  I went from there to my public library Manitowoc Public Library and looked for the book in the catalog, after signing in.  It wasn't there, so I clicked on the "I need material" tab and was given the option to create an interlibrary loan request or to recommend a purchase.  I recommended that the library purchase the book, including the link to the Wiley page.  The automatic message promised that the library staff would get back to me but recommended I call the library if I needed something immediately.  [And we need to continue to provide that option, and the really old fashioned option of going to the library and talking to someone.].  I then logged into Goodreads and added the book to my [ever growing] "to-read" list. 

Even though all my interactions have to do with reading a print book, I used six web sites (including my email program and this one) to discover, explore, recommend and capture the information about this book.

People talk all the time about the digital generation, and about how students are constantly connected, and this is what they're talking about. The readings all focus on the creativity piece, and the sharing piece -- which I'm doing right now.   It's similar to what Jenny: The Learning Librarian said about students creating their own videos of summer camp. 
My point today is that we need to be sure that our students can access all these tools and use their phones or other devices to access them.  I think the risks (cheating, distraction) are worth the rewards (engagement, remembering assignments, finding new connections). 

I'm not losing sight of some of the concerns about capturing experiences rather than having them (a concern my camp counselors had about still photography as well) or the importance of  human interaction. We need to talk about those another day -- possibly after we've read the book. 

Hemlock Trail Peninsula State Park, WI
Every day should have a picture. 

Fortune Cookie

Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is the best.
Frank Zappa