I’ve been patiently waiting for two years – well, maybe not so patiently the last 5 months – for the right moment to upgrade my 9 year old laptop running Windows XP. That moment came precipitously last month, when Microsoft set its ending date for XP support. I now have a new, much faster and very capacious laptop with a numeric keypad – something I’ve needed for a long time. I have to say, it’s been a learning experience to re-learn the locations of some of the keys I use often, like DEL, HOME, and END, and to tweak Windows 7 for my use, but I’m loving the speed and space I now have at my disposal. I’m looking forward to another long partnership.
I waffled about downloading Second Life, but ultimately did download a viewer from the Second Life web site. BIG disappointment! Although I’ve not been in Second Life for a couple of years, I never cancelled my membership, and I do own a small dwelling there. I thought, with a newer, faster, computer, some of the frustrations I experienced would evaporate – but no such luck. The viewer was crazy, stuttering and blanking out continuously, so I uninstalled it. Next step: do a little more work looking for compatible viewers. Not promising I’ll visit SL any more often, but sometimes there are interesting programs there, and libraries appear to still be actively involved.
I’ve now reached that stage in a Boomer’s life when retirement actually seems like a possibility. I’m among the top 5 most senior members of my library’s cohort, though I still feel like the New Person. I love my job – it’s the most perfect profession I could have chosen – but contemplation of retirement is beginning to proffer the charms and allure of discretionary time. To do what? To go where? It’s actually difficult to comprehend not-working; but for my demographic the employment wave has passed, and the next generation will pick up the next set. I feel a new research assignment landing in my in-box: can this be done before I’m 90?
Busman’s holidays – I love ’em! Also business trips that take me within reach of other libraries. First thing I do is see whether I qualify for a library card. In California, permanent residents of the state are allowed to get library cards for any public library in California. Right now, I have, or have had, cards from my own library, Sacramento Public, and also Roseville and Monterey. My San Francisco Public card expired, but I’m going there in a couple of weeks and will renew it then. I also have valid cards from the Hawaii State Library System in Hawaii and the Godfrey Memorial Library in Connecticut.
Why? Partly because I CAN; it’s like collecting stamps, postcards, or other memorabilia from places I visit. And partly out of professional curiosity. It’s interesting to see what services they offer to their remote users, and what databases they deem important enough to buy.
‘Course, that’s pretty old school now; many librarians and libraries are tweeting, linking-in, and facebooking both in real life and Second Life. Hmm … wonder if those virtual libraries in Second Life will ever issue virtual library cards? and would I be eligible to apply for them?
Information Literacy Class in Open Air Auditorium
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of addressing a UCLA LIS class during a panel presentation about information literacy instruction in various kinds of libraries. Eight panelists from around the country described ways they help their users find and use the information they need. Representatives from public libraries, libraries in public and private elementary and high schools, community colleges, universities, hospitals, an art institute and a virtual library gave the 21 students a broad view of the different types of information consumers libraries serve, the challenges they present and the instructional approaches employed to meet them. Geography was no object, because the presentation took place at an open-air auditorium on Info Island in Second Life.
Post-Class Poster Session
Although I have attended events and taken classes in Second Life, this was my first speaking engagement. It took longer than I expected to condense what we do here at Sacramento Public into a 10-minute presentation, because I didn’t know until literally the last minute, whether I would be talking via SL Voice or entering my speech a sentence at a time into the chat box. (I used voice, in the end, for my presentation, and answered questions using chat.)
I had excellent support from Esther Grassian (Alexandria Knight in SL), the instructor, who answered all my questions promptly; from Rhonda Trueman (Abbey Zenith), who gave a tutorial for the presenters in constructing posters that can give informational notecards to those who touch them; and from Sandy Vella (Agnesa Capalini), who took me shopping for a professional outfit and helped me set up my Voice and learn to give teleports. I also need to thank my supervisors for allowing me to be “off-desk” for 4 hours in order to attend the event, and my co-workers, who pulled extra desk time as a result.
My slides and speech are on Slideshare.