Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thing Eight

The communication tools can be used in lots of ways. One of the problems we have is meeting with many people from several library branches. We've been thinking of of web conferencing and other methods to save travel time, so this was a useful "thing" to me. I like instant messaging as one way to hold a brief meeting. A time could be set up and the group could chat back and forth. This would be useful when a quick decision needs to be made and everyone is available. Doing that, we would lose the body language and facial expressions that are also a useful part of meetings. But, IM would allow for everyone's input and opinions. I have never used text messaging, but have used real time on-line chat when working the Ask a Librarian virtual reference desk. Our library uses email for so much communication that it has become unwieldy IMHO. I had 586 messages in my in box when I came back from vacation today. And that's with everyone knowing I was away! I wonder how many there would have been if I hadn't been on vacation? Email certainly doesn't save paper either. I would like to have a one week moratorium on sending emails just to see what would happen. I don't think everything would come to a grinding halt if we did that. Maybe we would find new ways to communicate, or maybe we would go back to actually talking to each other directly. Maybe we would even be MORE productive.
I'm interested in genealogy, so I listened to part of the OPAL audiorecording "Family Reunions: Exploring Your Roots." I was okay, but I'm not sure if it was supposed to have video. The speaker was showing the audience something on a screen so it wasn't helpful to only be able to hear it. If we used webinars at our library, the best way would be to hear and see the speaker.

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