Apr 14 2009

Working with Web2.0 tools – Part 1

This week, I am trying to sort out in my mind all of the amazing Web2.0 tools and apps I have been playing around with, how useful I think they are for my own work, what I need to do to get the best out of them and which ones I will try with teachers and students when I have the opportunity. It is a tall order as my head is buzzing with all of the new things that I find every day. But I think I need to slow down and take stock. I seem to be skimming the surface and moving on again before I have really learned what each one can do.

A colleague, Caroline Roche in “Playing in my sandbox“, posted very wisely about this very thing on her blog – yes, I think that I am probably one of the “butterflies” in that I just play around with something for a while and then my attention is caught by a new thing to try! My husband has always said that I have a butterfly mind (wouldn’t mind the wings!)

Another librarian, Meredith Farkas in “Looking beyond the technolust“, has also recently written about those of us who are advocates for technology and our attitude to people who are maybe more measured in their approach to new things and ideas:

I think sometimes we all need to try and step outside of our personal feelings about these technologies, which isn’t easy when we think they’re the best thing since sliced bread. When we are talking to others about technology, we need to realize that what we find useful may not be useful to them (and that’s ok).

So, I need to think carefully when I advocate tools that I use myself – as many of you may not love them so much – and that is your prerogative!

The list here is very much a personal one. These are the things that are working for me at the moment!


To organise my working day, and sometimes my personal stuff I find Netvibes invaluable. I used to use Outlook and Pageflakes in my last job,  but we don’t use Outlook in my new school and Pageflakes got a bit flakey(!) recently.

I have already posted about my use of Netvibes before, so I won’t repeat it all! But I do wonder what I will do if it goes!


Well, I still use email a lot – apparently younger people are moving away from it now. I don’t text very much as most of my family and friends don’t. I also don’t use my mobile phone very much either – this may cause some shock amongst readers!

I like email as I have a record of the correspondence, I can take the time to think about what I want to say, although I am known for jumping in a bit too quickly with it sometimes. I still have too many accounts – Hotmail and Yahoo Mail are old ones that I rarely use these days. My main account is Gmail, which I use for personal and semi-professional stuff and I also use the school official email. None of these are Web2.0, but email still forms the basis of my daily communications.

Twitter is becoming a really important source of news, information, professional development, support etc. My Twitter network is growing, although I try to keep the number of those I follow to a reasonable number. I also stick to people who I think will be interesting and ignore those who lock down their tweets or who don’t have a profile. It will be interesting to see if I, and others, are using it to the same extent a year from now!

I am also experimenting with Meebo. I have this on my library website and have used it to communicate with some students – I am not sure about this and will think about the issues surrounding “chat” with young students. It was used successfully by a group of school librarians during a recent online course and I hope that we try it out as a group in the future.

Of course, blogging is also a way of communicating. I write something here and, if I am lucky, I get a response from other librarian colleagues that makes me think. Blogs are a wonderful way of sharing ideas – that’s why I have so many on my Netvibes page!

This post has been long enough and I will continue with other ways I use Web2.0 tools another day. I will cover collaboration, presentation, social bookmarking, note-taking, picture/photo sites, organising books, and maybe more as I think of categories!

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Working with Web2.0 tools – Part 1”

  1.   elisabethon 15 Apr 2009 at 5:26 am

    Hi – What a timely post. I too have been contemplating my 2.0 journey and why it has been and continues to be important to me. I am also interested in when the 2.0 tool makes the leap from personal use to taught to the students. For instance, I have used Delicious for a while now but just this year slowly started teaching it to students. I look forward to your future posts!

  2.   The Librainon 16 Apr 2009 at 4:05 am

    I was beginning to teach Delicious and wikis at previous school, but changed jobs last summer. Now I am planning the library refurb this summer so will be able to start teaching again in the Autumn – I hope. It will be interesting to see how our students respond as they are very different in this school – selective, independent!

  3.   Ingrid Hopsonon 26 Apr 2009 at 9:45 pm

    have you seen article in update this month, a uni librarian talks about the web 2 tools she uses and has stuck with
    pleased that they were the ones I like too
    Ingrid Hopson

  4.   The Librainon 27 Apr 2009 at 9:21 am

    No, Ingrid – can’t see it as I have left CILIP!

  5.   Laura Tayloron 30 Apr 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Yes – I saw the articel Ingrid and interestingly the author is now a member of sln-ning so obviously interested in what we are doing as school librarians.

  6.   Jenon 10 May 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Hi, in your post above you commented,

    “I need to think carefully when I advocate tools that I use myself – as many of you may not love them so much”

    but I disagree.

    You can only talk about what you yourself are enthusiastic about. It’s up to the rest of the world to decide whether they agree or not: as you said, that’s their prerogative.

    But more to the point, as librarians, while we’re sharing information, we often have no idea when someone will find the exact tool that they need, be it a book, or a website or a method of tieing their shoelaces. The last thing librarianship needs is self-censorship in sharing our understanding and our knowledge of resources.

    You keep doing what you do best.

  7.   The Librainon 10 May 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I think that I was trying to say that I should be careful not to ram my own passions down other people’s throats! I can be more than a bit OTT when I get going!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply