Kate grew up in southern Ontario, and currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta. She is a Library Assistant for the Edmonton Public Library and is in the final year of her Master of Library and Information Studies degree at the University of Alberta. Prior to working in libraries, Kate worked for a number of environmental organizations including the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the Youth Environmental Network, CityFarm Edmonton and the Edmonton Community Garden Network. Kate strongly supports freedom and access to information and values sharing and lifelong learning. This makes her work in public libraries a great fit and a daily pleasure.
Before her EDEL 544 class and having to work on these modules, Kate was pretty green to a lot of these tools. For example, she had never had much success with an RSS reader before. She now loves Feedly, using it to keep up to date on blogs and websites (and even her favourite TV shows). Even for tools with which she is more familiar, (like BiblioCommons and Facebook), Kate thinks there is always more to learn — since the tools themselves are always changing. She finds that the more she learns about how to use the different Web 2.0 tools, the more they began to resemble each other, and the easier are to learn. Approaching new tools and technology does not need to be scary. It does take a little patience, a good dose of curiosity and a spirit of experimentation. Kate does not regret spending her time learning any of these tools — she considers it an overwhelmingly positive experience.
Michael was born in raised in Southern Ontario before moving to Prince George, British Columbia, at the tender age of 18. He received his BA in English at the University of Northern British Columbia, before entering the trades for 6 years. Journeyman carpenter by trade, librarian wannabe by day, he is employed at Prince George Public Library for 2 the last years, currently as a Reader’s Advisor/Teen Programmer. Michael is taking the first steps in the direction of his next academic goal: a Masters in Library and Information Studies. In his spare time you can find Michael riding is motorcycle or spending time with his partner and three fur babies.
Before taking the EDEL 544 course, Michael was fairly well versed in social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and various other Web 2.0 tools. However, after taking EDEL 544 his grasp on the quantity and versatility of available tools has been greatly expanded. As a result Michael feels much more confident in taking these tools and crossing over from strictly personal use into the professional environment and using these tools to help engage colleagues and patrons alike. Michael now uses Web 2.0 tools in his work as a Teen Programmer, having found that using the tools that teens are using at home keeps them interested, in a format and language that they are already heavily engaged in. The best piece of advice Michael would like to offer to newcomers to social media and other Web 2.0 tools is to be fearless in exploring the platforms and taking the time to play around with them. The greatest accomplishments in learning these tools comes from a hands-on approach, and the willingness to dive in and get dirty.
Brenda Dyck is a Selector/Bibliographer for Ingram Content Group, specializing in New Title Acquisitions. She received her BA in English and History from McMaster University and a Library Technicians diploma from Niagara College. She is in the first year of her Master of Library and Information Science degree. Brenda currently lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario and has served as Vice-Chair of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library Board for the last 7 years. When Brenda isn’t reading, she can be found at the movies, at the local yarn shop or, on sunny days, learning how to ride a bicycle along the Niagara Parkway.
With the exception of Facebook and online shopping, Brenda had little interest in Web 2.0 tools prior to taking the EDEL 544 course. She is a late adopter of almost all consumer electronics. She is ambivalent about ereaders and last saw her Kobo sometime in July when the dog took it outside. At work, she uses a variety of industry-specific programming and the IT department takes care of her technical and development issues. Her awareness of Web 2.0 tools grew as a result of her work as a library trustee and her attendance at the annual Ontario Library Association Superconference. She has resigned herself to the inevitability of new and evolving technology. In the process of learning to use these tools, she has had many “ah ha” moments with regard to the impact they can have on library advocacy and community outreach. Many of the tools combine a very short learning curve with incredibly sophisticated results and can be used in personal as well as professional life. Brenda is using some of the Web 2.o tools for an upcoming presentation at the annual sales conference and is planning to submit her next Board report as an animated video. She would encourage newcomers to Web 2.0 to explore as many tools as they can because they will be sure to find something that they can both use and enjoy.
Mike Eaton is a 40 year old Library Services Coordinator at Edmonton Public Library. He’s worked for EPL for about 11 years and loves every minute of it. Prior to that, he’s lived and worked in Japan for three years and England for one year. He will be graduating at the end of this term and is greatly looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunities available to someone with an MLIS. When not working or studying, Mike enjoys playing video games and writing about them professionally.
Like many people working in an information profession, Mike is somewhat versed in Web 2.0 with tools such as Facebook and Twitter. There are other tools however that he had heard of but never really learned how to use, such as Prezi and Storify. He was not aware of the huge number of materials out there prior to taking EDEL 544, and now feels much more capable as a result of having learned about them. One important characteristic of Web 2.0 tools that he has taken special note of is that they generally have very few steps between going to the site, signing up for an account, and getting started with using it. Mike feels that is is this ease of set up that is most important to convey to people who are coming into this technology as a new user.