Sunday, December 21, 2008

Going to Hawaii for MLA'09

Great news! My paper abstract was accepted for presentation at MLA'09 in Hawaii. Sad news! I can't get any financial support from my institution. A few weeks ago, it was announced that all travel budget would be freeze for the coming year except travels essential to the university. I submitted my abstract in October hoping that the acceptance would provide me the first justification to go to the meeting as I always did in the past 5 years. However, economy has gone down so quickly that I have to consider paying my own way to attend the meeting.

Since I was on my current job in August 2003, I had been lucky to get full support from my library to attend two professional conferences each year. I really have nothing to complain about so far. In a few days I have to make the decision: to go or not to go. The major concern is how much I need to go to MLA'09 in Hawaii?

Airfare: $746, the cheapest ticket I could get from AA as of yesterday (December 20)
Hotel: $199 per night x 4 days=$796 + plus tax
Conference registration: $295 (Conference only)
Transportation and food: $200
I need at least $2000 !

I know this is the minimum $ for a trip to Hawaii. I might get some support from the LISTEN grant to cover portion of the travel. I'm thinking of other strategies that can reduce the cost such as rooming with two conference attendees, finding another cheaper hotel, shopping airfare plus hotel together, or using a travel agent to book tickets. I also have another plan in mind. Since this trip could be once-in-a lifetime, I have to satisfy my photography desire. Of course, that would increase my spending.

I am going to spend more time on the Internet looking for good deals during the holiday. I also hope to find good deals to Hawaii using Twitter.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Journey to Web 2.0 and Library 2.0

I always enjoy trying new stuff, learning new stuff, and relating them to my work life and personal life. It has been more than one year since I started exploring and experimenting Web 2.0 tools. Overall, it has been an exciting learning experience. My exploration was put together in the slides below. You might have your own version with different views and feelings, the bad and the good?

And here is my experience using Google Site to collaborate a committee work:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Twitters and Tweets

I have been on Twitter for almost 8 months now and
I found it very interesting and amazing that people post information in less than 140 characters. The screen shot is a list of my top 10 favorite tweets ending at 11 am, Dec, 8, 2008.

From my perspective, what's good about twitter?
  • It feeds me with the information I need quickly and saves me time to look around
  • It trains me moving toward a networked librarian
  • It opens up a colorful virtual world and I see myself swimming with those smart and informed people
  • It tells me what my peers are reading, thinking, and experiencing
  • It inspires me in many ways both professionally and personally
When starting using Twitter, I felt a wast of time reading those updates. However, I also saw its potential and some benefits. It took me a while to decide whose updates I would like to follow. Yes. Doing homework is essential in order to know your niche and follow the right people to get the right information. Twitter is becoming attractive to me.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Are You a Networked Librarian?

Wow! While watching this 5-minute YouTube video, the Networked Student, originally loaded by Wendy Drexler, I couldn't help thinking what library services academic libraries will provide and what kind of skills librarians should acquire in order to provide the services to the networked students of the 21st century.


I think a networked librarian, at least, knows how these things are functioning and get a feel of and understand how they are connected together to create learning opportunities:
  1. Social networking (e.g., Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace)
  2. Social bookmarking (e.g., Delicious, Digg, CiteUlike, Connotea, Foxmarks)
  3. Blog, blogging, and microblogging (e.g., Twitter, FriendFeed, Pownce)
  4. Photo sharing (e.g., flickr, Picasa, Kodak Gallery)
  5. RSS feed Readers (e.g., Google Reader, iGoogle, Bloglines, My Yahoo!)
  6. Online collaboration (e.g., Google Docs, Wiki)
  7. Information sharing using all the online tools mentioned above.
If you a librarian and don't use those tools, how are you going to understand patron needs and provide library services in the networked learning environment? Maybe, you think it is too time consuming to get into the pool and learn to swim in the online world. However, if you don't get your feet wet, you will never know how to swim. I believe networked students need networked librarians. It depends on whether you want to be one and how you prepare yourself to be one.