Monthly Archives: March 2007

One of the pod people

I’ve been wanting to replace my old MP3 player for a while now. It’s a few years old, so the features and storage capacity are lacking compared to players on the market now. I decided to give in to my technolust and started shopping around.

Part of me was reluctant to go with an Apple iPod. My old player was from Sansa, and concerns about Apple’s proprietary software bothered me a bit. After reading some online reviews, I decided to try one of the new Sansa models. I was not impressed. The controls seemed clumsy and hard to get used to. I experimented with loading music from my computer onto the player, and that was a clumsy experience as well. So, I returned the Sansa player, and picked up a 4 GB Apple iPod Nano. Wow! What a nice device. Yes that’s right, I am now one of the Pod People.

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On being a virtual librarian

Last Spring, my library signed on to AskAway, a virtual reference service. AskAway is the Wisconsin division of the QuestionPoint consortia, which provides virtual reference (via online chat) throughout the United States. That means our patrons can get reference help from a librarian, 24 hours a day, even on holidays. In turn, some of our librarians spend an hour or so per week answering virtual reference questions from patrons all over the country.

It’s been an interesting experience providing online reference help. When I first started, it was a little unnerving and overwhelming (much like the first few times I was working at the reference desk in the real world). But just like that other reference situation, those feelings fade with experience.

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