bobrobboy: October 2008 Archives
We, the WorldCat bloggers, tend to think about libraries a lot. We read about libraries. We visit libraries as professionals. We talk to librarians. Many times we are working for librarians here at OCLC. We do things that help libraries help you, the library patron. We spend a lot of time thinking about libraries.
I'm reading a book right now; it is not about libraries but about storytelling. I just came across a simple, two word sentence that made me think critically about what I'm doing on WorldCat.org. And what I'm doing on WorldCat.org is helping to build better list tools, better profiles and helping to introduce new capabilities like tagging, reviews and ratings.
Right now you might be asking: So what? And that's the sentence I came across when reading Storytelling in Organizations. "So what?" What does it mean to build a Web site that lets people find things in tens of thousands of libraries around the world? What story will make people care about what we are doing here?
There's the obvious: We're making information even more accessible than it already is. But I don't think that's the Big Idea, and I don't think that is a compelling story.
David Lankes, a librarian, has talked and written about how a library is really involved in a conversation with the people that visit it, that is it's patrons ... you. The conversation revolves around the things you read, watch and listen to. The conversation takes place in many ways, what you talk about over dinner, in your school or at work. This is, admittedly, an over simplified perspective of David's deep body of work; but it serves me well in thinking about libraries as an integral part of our communities.
So when we talk about the tings we read and watch and listen to, we create new relevance to these things we find in libraries. Each time you tell someone about the CD you checked out from the library you provide new context for that library.
The Web is great for telling stories and having conversations. The Web amplifies these conversations. You stories can grow by just sharing a list of things that help you complete a project or learn a new skill or just past some time.
That's my "So what?" I come to work to help build things that help other people share their experiences and interests. Does that seem far fetched? Take a look at a few of my lists. I think you'll understand a little about my story. If that story has any relevance to your own, we might be able to start a conversation.
(I can't publish this without at least a nod to Ministry's 'So What'.)
The work is all done! Now you can add your WorldCat Facebook application and the CiteMe application to your Facebook profile in your Wall or in the Boxes tab of your profile.
I put mine in the side bar of my Wall as you can see below (or friend me to see it all!).
Or you can put this into your Boxes tab:
To add these applications to either your Wall or your Boxes tab, go to the Edit applications screen. If you look back to my post from last week, you'll see some instructions for getting to the Edit applications screen. Then you click the "Edit" link to get this settings window. Click profile and then you can add the applications to your Wall or Boxes:
After you add the application, you should see it on the left-hand side of your Wall or at the bottom of your Boxes page. Make sure you check both.
I hope this helps you! Please post a comment to this message if you have problems added these applications. Or post a message to the WorldCat in Facebook application discussion page and the CiteMe application discussion page.
Changes to the Facebook profile have caused a lot of confusion for the people and companies that have applications on the Facebook platform.
The new profile has advantages and disadvantages which have been widely discussed. I like the new format, but I am not happy that I have to do more work to make use of the applications I used so easily in the past.
For instance I have added the WorldCat in Facebook application and the CiteMe application. But neither of those applications appears in my profile. So I tried to re-add each app. That didn't work because Facebook knows that I already have those applications. I just can't find them.
Sound familiar? Here's how you fix that.
First go to your Facebook profile by clicking the "Home" button.
Next, click "Edit" on the Application box.
Now you'll see a bunch of your applications and five options for displaying those applications.
Your options are:
- Authorized applications
- Bookmarked applications
- Applications you've added to your profile
- Applications that have Wall permissions
- Applications that have additional permissions
If you want the application to appear in the application box (step 2 above) on your profile page, you have to add it to the Bookmarks list of applications. But before you can do that you have to find that application.
It might be in the list of authorized applications, or bookmarked applications or one of the other five lists mentioned above. Click each one of those and look for the WorldCat and CiteMe applications. They will look like this:
You need to click the edit button and then you'll see the Edit Application Settings:
You can change the settings if you like, but the important stuff is on the "Bookmark" tab or link. Click that and you'll see the option to bookmark the applications. Just click the box on that screen as shown here and click "Okay":
Do that for the WorldCat application and the CiteMe application. Then go back to your profile using the "Home" button. The two applications should appear on the right-hand side of your profile page in the Application box. If you can't see them there, click the "more" link:
And then you should see something like this:
You can click and drag these icons up to the top where they will appear in the Application box without clicking "more." And then you can get to your WorldCat and CiteMe apps quickly!
But is that what you wanted?
What I want is to show off my favorite application in the tabs on my public profile view, like this:
But we can't do that right now because we need to make some changes to the applications to support this new profile function. Give us a bit of time. When we make the changes, we'll post again here on our blog or on the WorldCat in Facebook application discussion page and the CiteMe application discussion page.
A couple weeks ago I attended a LibraryCamp at the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, IN. Before you ask: No. We did not sleep at the library.
A bunch of librarians and library types and a wannabe or two (like me) got together to talk about how we use libraries and how libraries can do better at meeting your needs. It was much more fun than you might expect. At least for us wannebe's. ACPL did a great job and drew a lot of interesting people.
Anyway, I sort of facilitated a session on gaming in the library. I say "sort of" because I'm not a great facilitator, and I'm not a big gamer. Most of the people showed up at the session to play Guitar Hero or Rock Band so we didn't talk about gaming all that much. But I did talk to a few librarians who are responsible for their library's young adult and/or children's collections.
The conversation reminded all of us of the Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) series, which in turn reminds me of the old text-based adventure computer games I played back in 1984 and 85. (Type "N" to go north. Don't type "F" for forward because you'll fall through the porch. Type "R" to run from the werewolf when you do fall through the porch. That sort of thing.)
This all came back to me the other day when my son, who is in third grade, came home with two CYOA books. He's very excited about reading these books. This from the boy who begs me to play Myst with him. (I still haven't finished the original Myst. I told you, I'm not a big gamer.)
Our library has a lot of computer games that kids can check out, and the library has a few machines for the kids to play CD-ROM games like The Magic School Bus. But right now the CYOA book series is the most exciting thing to my son. Why?
I think Captain Planet summed it up for the Mellennial Generation: "The power is yours!" Just like in gaming! Whether it is the old Castle Quest or Spore, you can make choices and discover the outcomes.
So just how different is gaming from the CYOA series? You have fewer choices, but all narrative structures have boundaries. The medium is different, but not much different from games of yore. The book is 'single player,' or is it? You are still making choices and discovering outcomes when you read a CYOA book. I think that is what excited my son. It's a different narrative experience, but you still get a sense of influence as the events unfold.
Often times we struggle to keep our kids interested in reading and to limit their screen time. As Janet Murray suggests in Hamlet on the Holodeck, we should look back to older forms of storytelling and consider how those formats influence the next.
Maybe I'll introduce my sons to my old Hypercard stacks.
BTW: Using the new tagging feature on WorldCat.org, I added "Choose Your Own Adventure" to a few of the CYOA books available in our local library. Tag some yourself so we can gather all of these.