Venn Librarian

Reflections about the intersection of schools, libraries and technology.

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Year End Musings

Posted by lpearle on 31 December 2006

Time Magazine decided that the “Man” of the year was… me. At least, that’s what the hype said. But really? Not so much.

Chris went off on a rant because

See, for me, Facebook is forbidden. Second Life is shut down. Amazon reviews are avoided. Podcasts are against policy. Blogs are…well…banned just might not be strong enough of a word. The word that springs to mind is demonized. So how, then, could Time possibly have meant “me” when they named “you” as the person of the year?

I struggle with some of this at MPOW. We have a content management system that “they” want us to use, rather than the blog format I know will work for certain projects. Ditto an internal wiki. But… do I mind that we don’t have a Facebook page? or that students can’t get into Second Life while in the library? No.

You see, I’m not a big believer in the whole “let’s radically change the library” meme that’s going around. School Library 2.0 may be cool, and certainly some of the ideas have merit. But all of them? Look, there’s value to quiet and being unplugged. In a school, often the only place where quiet happens is in the library. So, is it Horrible to say “no cell phones” and “please talk quietly”? According to the SL2.0 movement, it is. I’m supposed to allow (mandate, almost) gaming. Why, exactly? They can “game” at home… in public libraries… heck, in our halls. Why not have a space for quiet?

Facebook… MySpace… sorry. Not buying into that either. And in “real life”? I don’t have time/inclination for either. I have good friends, some of whom I’ve met via this blog and some I’ve met on my favorite book lovers site. I don’t feel so isolated, so in need of validation that I need to be Out There, searching for more.

Privacy is an issue.

Social networking users need to take a step back and think about just what they’re posting onto the Internet. It’ll probably be too late for a number of people, and it’ll take a lot more ‘victims’ of the lack of privacy before most users actually start heeding these warnings. Just beware that anything posted online to your friends now, could very easily come back to haunt you in days, months, or even years to come.

(þ: elearnspace)

Luckily, for me, this year was also the year that I heard Joan Frye Williams. Her message to “Practice, dude” resonates as I try to pull this together, both personally and professionally. And then Jessamyn pointed out the Slow Library movement. I’ll be keeping an eye on it.

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2 Responses to “Year End Musings”

  1. Aravis said

    I prefer a quiet library. It’s a place where one can go study when everywhere else is loud or chaotic. It’s a refuge for a student, or a reader. A cell phone going off there would really anger me; at the very least it’s inconsiderate and rude. Gamers aren’t known to be quiet or respectful, either.They have no business there if that’s what they want to do.Just the opinion of one person who likes the traditional atmosphere of a library as opposed to turning it into a teen hangout having little or nothing to do with books. Don’t they have malls for this sort of thing?

  2. camillofan said

    Amen to all you said, LG.Regarding the Time thing, though, I also don’t feel like they’re talking about me. I have a blog, it’s true, but it’s mainly a convenient way of keeping in touch with the half dozen friends who know it exists. MySpace? YouTube? SecondLife? I love the Internet, but those things represent exactly the sort of content/usage that interests me least. On the Web, as in Real Life, I am a statistical outlier.

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