Collections and a Wiki Win!

Me, entering the Library 2.0 vaccuum....I have no idea where this came from, and if someone can tell me, I will attribute it.

Tomorrow is our deadline for turning in half of our orders for our departmental allocations. This means I am putting in orders for several thousand dollars worth of books over the next 24 hours for the first time since I’ve been a librarian. (With Katrina and The Serials Crisis, we didn’t have book money last FY.) Why the last minute crunch? I am just having trouble communicating with one of my departments, actually. And that matters because our system is set up to “give” them the money and authority over it (unless they don’t respond, and then I spend it for them). In this present climate, I just wonder why they feel so disconnected from this process. How I could have applied my “Library 2.0” kung fu to the situation to avoid this last minute crunch? How could I have gotten more buy-in? What communication tools are they using that I could have tapped into? Why won’t they answer my emails? How could I find out “where they are”? That seems so basic, really, yet somehow impenetrable right now. Really, the question is–what do I have to offer them? There must be some way for me to think outside the box in this process that could have made it more successful. Is there a wiki or blog-shaped killer ap here? Maybe everything in librarianship can’t be made better with Library 2.0 tools…

On other fronts, another department (who has actually had lots of input in their collection decisions) has agreed to let me set up a wiki to start working on a research guide with them. And I had lunch with their newest faculty member, who is coming out of industry and back into academia after a long break, and she was very excited about hearing about the new ways the library is trying to be involved in their research lives. So that’s actually a major victory. Now I just have to set up the wiki (seed it!), make documentation, and then market it through training them in some way, (thank you Meredith Farkas!) and then see what happens. I’ll be thinking about this when I’m ordering all those “unwanted” books today! Any advice is always welcome. This is my first real experiment with my departments and socical networking tools, and I’m feeling a bit like I’m about to jump out into the void of space without any protective outer gear…. A product of last night’s 2am chicken wings with my roommate, along with too much Battlestar Galactica in general, I’m afraid. (But isn’t that cat wonderful? I laughed so hard I cried a little when I found it on boing boing yesterday… And can you really have too much Battlestar Galactica???)

Postmortem continues for five more nights! Thomas is brilliant, of course.

Amanda Clay Powers