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MLA 2008: Collaborating in the Cloud October 1, 2008

Posted by cynhudson in Fun Stuff, Library Stuff.
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The first breakout session I attended was entitled Collaborating in the Cloud presented by Robin Hastings of the Missouri River Regional Library (I suspect she will post her PowerPoint presentation on her blog sometime soon.  Update 10/02/08:  Robin’s powerpoint is up on her blog).  This session highlighted the uses of web 2.0 technologies in libraries.  Specifically, Robin looked at how these technologies could be applied in collaboration activities. 

The benefits of using web 2.0 technologies for collaboration included the ability

  • to collaborate at different times
  • to collaborate from a distance
  • to avoid organizational hierarchies

Robin not only mentioned the standard categories of online collaboration, such as social networking, but also also other available devices that assist in collaboration such as:

  •  social calendars (scheduling meetings, due dates, etc),
  •  social bookmarking (storing references),
  •  social desktops (one unified area in which with one login an individual can access a shared desktop) ,
  •  social wikis (may act as a central repository for documents, allows easy editing, allows for version control, applies instant changes),
  •  social documents (document storage, multiple editors function),
  •  and groupwear (allows data to be within organizational firewall, many different modules). 

Robin stated that many libraries are already using these tools to foster collaboration internally.  For example, she mentioned that one university, who is developing a new next-gen catalog, is using a blog to track any bugs they come across while testing the new program.  Another library is using a social document site, such as Google Docs, to collaborate internally with other librarians in creating training sessions.

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