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Pass the Technology

I asked the RML Staff and members of our Emerging Technology Advisory Committee to answer the question:

What technology has most inspired your gratitude this year? Why are you thankful for it?

Here’s what they had to say:

“Blogging rocks and so do wikis! They’re really useful tools both professionally and personally. After I slogged through the MLA 2.0 CE, I created a blog for helping recently graduated NDs keep up with research and to manage information using RSS feeds, etc. Also, our library created a wiki for the circulation desk to post those pesky little things that you need to remember but don’t want to keep in your email. They’re the perfect tool for the task. Can you tell I’m hooked on the new technology? And that’s only the beginning…”

-Susan Banks, Librarian, Bastyr University

“This year I am grateful for blogs.  I discovered this year that I can use the OERC Blog for brief messages about things I’ve learned, and these messages are a way to communicate and a way to keep track.  I also discovered that a lot can be learned from blogs such as the Krafty Librarian, T.Scott, Eagle Dawg Blog,, and Life as a Healthcare CIO.”

-Susan Barnes, Assistant Director, NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center

“I am grateful for my new iPhone.  Now I can stay in touch, do Google searches, and even know where I am and where I am going when I am on the road for the RML– and I don’t need to lug a computer.  My shoulder is especially grateful.”

-Maryanne Blake, Outreach/Evaluation Coordinator, NN/LM PNR

“This year, I am most grateful for my iPod. I love using my iPod to hear podcasts from my favorite NPR or APR radio programs. For example, last week, I downloaded an interesting interview with Diane Rehm by Bernadine Healy (former director of NIH) about new approaches to treating cancer.”

-Cathy Burroughs, Associate Director, NN/LM PNR

“It’s a tie for me this year between being thankful for Moodle and blogging. Moodle allows me to open doors to new ways of learning for those who have neither the time nor budget to travel to continuing education classes. Blogging on my personal time (at has given me an outlet to share my own thoughts, both serious & silly, about where our field is going.”

-Nikki Dettmar, Acting Education and Assessment Coordinator, NN/LM PNR

“Mine is either Facebook or Skype. Facebook is useful in keeping up with colleagues in other part of the country, learning from their experiences, and being inspired by their activities. Since we can’t meet in person, it’s also nice to share photos online, such as how we decorated our houses for Halloween. Skype is invaluable when troubleshooting our website or sharing URLs for discussion.  What would take several emails or a long phone call can be accomplished much more quickly in Skype.”

-Patricia Devine, Administrative/Network Coordinator, NN/LM PNR

“On a professional note, I’ve been inspired by SnagIt because it allows easy and quick screen captures that you can plug into handouts, web pages, etc. A very useful instruction tool for giving specific visual examples for our patrons! On a personal note, I’m grateful for Facebook because it allows me to keep up with so many friends and family that I wouldn’t otherwise have such frequent contact. The Facebook photo albums allow us to share fun pics, too.”

-Mary Anne Hansen, Reference Librarian/Distance Education Specialist, Montana State University Library

“I am particularly grateful for Skype – I like that I can send a quick chat message if I need to either ask someone a simple question or send someone information without bogging down email in-boxes.  I also love that I can send documents back and forth using Skype.  I have not used the VOIP features of it as much, but know that many other people are very thankful for it, especially when they need to call overseas, etc.”

-Gail Kouame, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM PNR

“I am most grateful for the advances that are being made in search technology. I recently began blogging professionally about search and it has been eye opening and exciting to learn about brand new tools such as Mednar,, and NextBio.

I am also grateful to have been able to attend the Health 2.0 conference and to learn about that movement and fascinating technologies such as those of Private Access.”

-Hope Leman, Library Technical Specialist, Murray Memorial Library at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center

“Technology that I am really thankful for:

Doodle , Evite , and all those “social” tools that really do make getting meetings quicker and easier to set up.
iGoogle — yes, I am easily won over by cute — but I love being able to view at a glance a number of things which are important to me, including when my library books are due!
Washington Digital Archives and other online digital collections. As a family historian, the wealth of original documents now available on the web is just amazing. And the number of libraries, of all types and sizes, with email or chat reference services has truly made the world smaller in terms of accessing unique information.”

-Lisa Oberg, Head of Outreach Services, University of Washington Health Sciences Library

“I mulled this question over at the macro- and the micro level. For me, the macro-view is the global reach of the Internet; I am so grateful for how information now easily transcends territorial boundaries and has such potential to bring us together in a world community. On the micro-level, who can beat the Find on Page function and Control/shift K if you need to get a heading into all caps? I guess the middle ground for me is occupied by Web 2.0 and new programs I am beginning to use more frequently, specifically wikis, Contribute (web editor) and Camtasia (I just completed a video of a narrated PPT on EBCAM resources).”

-Jane Saxton, Director of Library Services, Bastyr University

How about you? What technology has you giving thanks this year?

3 Responses to “Pass the Technology”

  1. Janet Says:

    Great post! For me the nod goes to social networking in general and Facebook in particular. I’ve gotten back in touch with so many old friends and former colleagues over the last couple of years, thanks to MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These services let us keep up with each other’s day-to-day activities (personal and professional) even though we don’t see each other in person very often.

  2. Peggy Baldwin Says:

    I am giving thanks for my new Blackberry Curve and Verizon. I am getting reliable phone reception and email delivered to my phone,plus I can surf the web.

    I am also thankful for my Amazon Kindle 3-book reader. Imagine getting into bed, browsing the Kindle store, and being ready to read your new purchase in a couple of minutes, downloaded directly to your Kindle. I can also listen to audio books and surf the web, albeit in gray tones. It’s great to be reading a book and then be able to check out a listing on Wikipedia for more information.

  3. Hope Leman Says:

    Hi, Janet and Peggy. Peggy, boy is social networking big in library school–it is almost as if searching is passé and soooo 2003.

    Interesting to read that someone actually likes the Kindle, Peggy. So much of what we read about it is dismissive.