Friday, December 18, 2009

Libraries in the 21st Century

Update: The Mystery Photo blog linked below has ceased. Most of the other resources mentioned below, including much of this blog, are sporadically active at most. The School Librarian Handbook and the Alaska State Library twitter feed are both active. 8/1/11

Question: I'm doing some research on State Library activities. Could you provide a list of state library agencies in the US? Also, what is the Alaska State Library doing with social networking or Web 2.0 technologies?


Answer: To answer your questions in reverse: Some of the web 2.0 or social networking activities by the State Library include:
  • This blog.
  • Hidden Gems Mined by the Alaska State Library, a blog that highlights some of the paper and online resources we make available.
  • A Mystery Photo blog which gives the general public an opportunity to help us identify people and locations in our historical photographs.
  • An education wiki that pulls together materials from the classes we offer.
  • The Alaska School Librarian Handbook, made available via a wiki.
  • A Twitter feed, which has some live posts but mostly incorporates several automated feeds, including new book listings, Alaska-related articles, class offerings, and more.

In addition, several of our staff use other Web 2.0 services informally but related to our library work. These include flickr (photo sharing), Facebook, Twitter, blogging using various platforms, wikis, and more. We are still working on our delicious account (social bookmarking), and haven’t publicized it yet.

We use some additional social networking platforms for internal communications.

For information about other state library agencies, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has compiled a listing of state library websites at http://dpi.wi.gov/pld/statelib.html. PublicLibraries.com also has a listing at http://www.publiclibraries.com/state_library.htm (please note that this listing includes two links for some states, which may have divided library services between agencies).

One extra note: This question came from outside of the US, and in the process, I found that I needed to translate an Asian language into English. I found that Google language was quite helpful for this. I just clicked on "Language Tools" to the right of the search box on the main Google page, the cut and pasted the text into the provided box and chose the appropriate languages. Handy!

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