Tuesday, October 1, 2013

You Can Do It!

The interesting thing about taking a technology class this semester is that it has actually gotten me thinking about the past, rather than the future. Before I left my last job, I had all these plans of sewing, crafting, cooking and baking, taking photos, and blogging about it. I was inspired by some of the bloggers I followed on Google Reader and wanted to be a contributor to the blogging world.

The problem was I would need to learn how to create a blog, make graphic design decisions about font size and placement of content, and then learn how to upload my content to the Internet. I would also need to learn how to make videos and post them on YouTube, improve my photo taking skills (this was before Instagram and Snapseed), and create jpeg files of my pictures (I had not yet heard of gif files and vine videos were not available at that point). I would need to learn how to use Photoshop, or at least try and create lame word document graphics (I had no idea how to make an infographic poster). I would need to learn how to embed links, and learn how to create links so people could follow me through RSS feeds, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter. There was so much to do to simply create the site and was faced with decisions I had never even considered. In the end I was worried whether I would be able to create a valuable and meaningful online space.

It was overwhelming. Where was I supposed to begin? And how was I going to learn to do all of this stuff? I ended up abandoning my blog after only two or three posts, and went back to enjoying and following other people’s blogs.

The problem is, to do my job successfully and be a librarian of the 21st century, I need to learn all of these things. One cannot work in a modern school without having knowledge of the fun technology available, and a basic idea of how to use it.

 Last semester, the courses I took required me to challenge myself and learn how to engage with the world online. I used Prezi, Animoto, Voki, Voicethread, Wix, Bit.ly, Screencast-o-matic, and other fun tools. I even started using Dropbox and Google Drive, instead of ye olde thumb drive. It was fun, and in the end, using these tools was not that hard, merely time consuming when you are learning on the fly and doing everything through trial and error. However, I learned how to manipulate and create fun and interesting content for class, and more importantly, I learned I CAN do these things.

The frustrating part however is that I still do not think in terms of, how can I create this content and disseminate it online. My natural instinct is to work privately and in a less communal sense. This will be something I will have to overcome and charge myself to think in a more global/communal sense. Thinking in a more communal sense will help me to promote my library - new books, new programs, new technologies, new collaborations, etc.

In the future, I will try to do the following to be more visible online - Read a good book? Post review on Goodreads, on blog, and be sure to link to blog from Pinterest and Twitter. Go to National Book Festival on the Mall? Post pictures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Create a Vine of my son’s karate class… because he is just that funny. There are tons of other things I need to work on and try in order to be more visible online. Wish me luck!

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