Sunday, March 25, 2012

Remembering ECP McDonald’s

This served as a draft for this blog post I wrote for work, i.e. for the Singapore Memory Project:

"Remembering a place like a fast food outlet is overdoing the whole nostalgia thing, isn’t it?"

No it isn't, IMO.

Not all places are equal in terms of hertiage value. But to think that it is merely about nostalgia is to miss the point.

My colleague, Yeong Chong, said it best in the Colourbars Media clip:
The danger in thinking that a place like McDonald’s is not worth remembering is that these are the places you spent your formative years in. They actually form a stronger foundation for your personhood than a religious or heritage site that you may have only known about through history textbooks.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to remember a McDonald’s outlet.

Nostalgia isn’t about objectivity. It is about us celebrating the personal experiences that make up who we are.

It struck me that in a world that we have less control over, it is some people’s attempt to create despite what is about to be lost, as more important.

So what if it romanticises? Don’t all myths, legends and stories do that?

And I think there is nothing wrong -- and everything right -- in remembering what has been good.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blast from the Past: My presentation on "Web 2.0 & library services to young adults: An introduction"

Yikes. This is a really late post. Back in June 2011, I gave a presentation at the 5th National Library for Children & Young Adults Symposium, 2011, South Korea. The symposium was held at Duksan Resom Resort, South Korea.

OK, so this is a "blast from the past" post then.

Here's my presentation, which was an update and also an extension of this 2009 IFLA document of the same title. The organisers found that document and wanted me to present a condensed version.

It might have sounded easy. Just reduce the original 78-pages to 30mins and deliver what's in the paper, right?

Umm, that would bore the heck out of me if I were the audience. So while in the plane to Seoul, I was still thinking about how to deliver the 30min talk. I wanted to be able to "tell a story" in a practical way. So I delivered what one of the delegate described later as a "workshop-style" talk.

The essence of my talk was how a Web 2.0. approach and mindset could be applied to librarians serving teens. But the presentations I enjoy are those that "told a story". And in the end, after brainstorming with a colleague, I did just that. I shared what I thought was a possible "day in the life of" a Teens Services librarian, straddling between online and offline engagement efforts.

My ego received a little boost when I was told it was like a TED talk. Heh.

It was also the first time I presented using an iPad. It was a calculated risk, as I've not delivered a talk using the iPad. I'd seen it used as a presentation tool but never actually used it. I rehearsed in the iPad, mentally went through backup plans. Arranged to test the iPad connection with their presentation equipment the day before my speaking slot. Phew, it worked beautifully.

So much so that I was confident enough, by then, to even take a "live" picture of the attendees. I directed my iPad camera towards them as the iPad was hooked up to the projector. The audience saw their "live" video capture on screen. Neat (it worked to start the 'show', as I could see the attendees smiling and being amazed -- and South Koreans were pretty IT-savvy folks!)

5th National Library for Children & Young Adults Symposium, 2011, South Korea

What was new for me as a presenter was having a simultaneous translation (in Korean) of my talk. Luckily, I chatted with the translators the day before. They advised me that I should just deliver my talk normally, as in I should not try to wait for them to catch up between words. It was easier for them if my pace of speaking was consistent (not too fast nor too slow). I did what they advised and it worked well. Trust the experts, I say!

In preparing for my talk, I had excellent help from Daryl Tay, who pointed to this excellent source of information on Digital Media stats in South Korea (I understand it was initiated by Prof Netzley).

I also got in touch with Creative Commons contacts in South Korea, who gave me a concise background on the social media and IP scene in South Korea. Not directly applicable in my talk in the end, but gave me that additional layer of verification and background information.

My Facebook post also drew several good suggestions from friends (rats, I can't seem to find that Facebook thread).

Here's a very nice quote from Shel, that I didn't get to use at the presentation:
Social media is like a hammer is a tool...

I had a fantastic time. The South Korean organisers were (famously) excellent hosts and the programme was also one of the better ones I've attended.

The 5th International Symposium-192158

Related post:
Your ideas on "Using social media as part of library services for Children or Teens", 1 June 2011.