Wednesday, February 15, 2006

After Day 3 (SAOUG Blog Course, Part 3)

[From Training Day 1 & 2 (SAOUG Blog Course, Part 2)]

One word to describe the sessions on Day 3 (15th Feb) -- Sweet!

Blogger.com was up; Internet connectivity was much faster than previous days; the class size was perfect (not more than 15 per session); participants were very cooperative and asking really smart questions.

I enjoyed the morning session most of all. Dr. Glenda Myers, Chairperson of SAOUG, was in the class. Just before the break, she went to my blog and left this comment. We quickly used it as an example of how blogs are making it so easy for people to participate in online conversations, which then led to a spirited discussion on whether Southern African Librarians would embrace blogging. Rajen led the I posted the question up in blogcoursedemo to reinforce the point of how quickly librarian can use tools like blogs to start discussions online.

Glenda also shared about this blog -- LibrariansRock2 -- created by Mary Bruce, 'live' during her presentation at an SAOUG conference in June 2005. Apparently there was great interested generated about blogs when conference participants saw how easy it was to create a blog/ website for librarian's discussions, but subsequently there weren't many comments or posts.

When asked how it felt to post a comment for the first time, someone said, "A sense of panic". Another participant in this workshop said, "Lack of time". I asked if some might feel that their it might not make a difference whether they make any comments or not (some people nodded their heads).

Of course the reasons for an apparent lack of blog discussion/ participation by Southern Africa librarians are a lot more complex that what we could discuss. I would think it goes beyond the tools and technologies, but about the profession's culture and environment.

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