Thursday, May 26, 2011

Method 3

Cloud Computing

I love the concept of production tools available without being tied down to a licensed and expensively purchased suite of software.  I am not tied to my computer at work or home.  The ability to access, edit, plan, expedite and implement whatever I’m working on from wherever I am makes me positively giddy!  However…..

I am guilty of promoting Google applications almost exclusively.  I simply haven’t investigated elsewhere.  I’m disappointed in me.  I should know better.  I’m the librarian, I should have alternate resources available to offer my patrons so they have choices/options to best suit their specific needs.  I am the information specialist after all! 

Jenny Levine’s The Shifted Librarian blog post “We’re Not All Ready for the Cloud Yet”.
Jenny makes an observation in her blog that puts me as an information specialist in the spotlight:

                 Teach­ing crit­i­cal skills about the cloud will become just as essen­tial as teach­ing how to   eval­u­ate  a web­site, even more so as prod­ucts con­tinue the march to becom­ing ser­vices. …..We should see this for what it is — an expan­sion of our tra­di­tional role to teach peo­ple how to use infor­ma­tion well, and we should lead, not just with good mod­els, but with help under­stand­ing and deal­ing with the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of all of this.

Yes I need to prepare and provide access to a curriculum that teaches our community how to use this new technology well and intelligently.  Providing portals to the many and varied options available and arming patrons with knowledge to choose a methodology to protect their data or at least be aware of the possible ramifications of putting themselves out there in the clouds is my job. 

Personally, I’m walking the tightrope with cloud computing.  Exhilaration, anxiety, fascination, abject terror….I’m beginning to think I have multiple personalities when I try to decide what I my dominate emotional and intellectual reaction is the cloud computing.  I guess I’ll have to take Robin McKinley’s words to heart and forge forward despite trepidation, “The scariest things are in our own minds.”

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