You ever read so much cool new stuff you think your head will explode? My library will be discussing the possiblities of podcasting and text messaging so I went out to see what I had in my del.icio.us bookmarks to get some ideas. Hours later, I added a whole bunch of new ‘marks, listened to an interesting interview from Jon Udell on podcasting and screencasting (which of course, I failed to note the URL for), and while checking the always on-point Jenny Levine over at The Shifted Librarian found her notes on the Gaming, Learning and Libraries conference that just ended, as well as her notes from the Gaming, Learning and Society conference back in June (see the end of the post). What’s so exciting about all of this is the ability to participate, to create community, to gather information from multiple sources, evaluate and repackage it and then to get feedback. With podcasting, there’s an opportunity reach out, to speak to our users in real human voices in places we can’t go in person. They could take our in-house talks, readings from open sources, music that we create, tips on how to do better research, audio tours–all of this content with them on their music players while we’re not there. As for gaming, the whole paradigm of instruction is vastly more exciting then the typical BI. Instead of talking at them about various search functions, if I could bring that same spirit of collaboration and participatory problem-solving to a session, I’d be ecstatic. It’s these hints I sense in social software–the ability to collaboratively add bookmarks or information to a wiki so that all users can benefit from each others’ intelligence on a problem, the ability to speak to our users (and have them comment back in text at least) through podcasting, the ability to add some kind of collaborative problem-solving to information problems both formally through directed questioning or case studies or informally through games, trivia or, even at the limit, some kind of library alternate reality game–these are the things that make me excited about what the library and education could be. Must think on this more to be coherent . . .but then that’s what this blog is for.

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