Ah. The course is finished. The race is run. The flag is flying, the text is scrolling. All is right with the world.
My favorite discovery was checking out the blogs of co-workers and seeing the different ways they used the technologies on their blogsites. My favorite exercise was reading about the impact of Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 on the future of libraries, and how all the technical innovations I explored might be useful in creating a library without walls.
My lifelong learning goals have always included keeping up with technology in one form or another, and this course has enhanced those goals by providing hands-on experience with such innovations as Flickr, Wikis, and RSS feeds from sources like OCLC and ALA. Where I once thought of technology as a necessary but challenging aspect of library work, I now think of it as a positive form of social networking and information sharing through sites like Merlin.
One unexpected outcome of the course was that I enjoyed blogging and would like to keep it up. The idea that a blogsite like Technorati would have a place in my life or in a library setting was once foreign to me, but now seems natural. I now see libraries as sources of information in virtual formats, not just physical materials.
I can’t think of any changes in the program to improve it. I found directions and instructions easy to understand. Dividing the course into weeks and sub-things was a helpful way to organize progress. I also appreciated the generous timeline.
If offered another discovery program in the future, I would definitely participate. I have already opened an account with Merlin as a way of keeping up with ongoing discussions about technology. I would also like to create a page or become part of a discussion group at the Library 2.0 site.
My view of a library has changed from being one of a physical building with a repository of tangible collections, to being a virtual world of shared information and pooled resources on a worldwide level. And while both aspects of a library are important and one cannot replace the other, there seems to be no limit to the possibilities of a library without walls.