Before we go further into the wide and wonderful world of technology and its application to the library, we should first take a moment to consider information overload and technology anxiety. It is very easy to get overloaded and overwhelmed by the all the new information and technological developments. But just take a deep breath. This post has some resources on how to reclaim control over the information onslaught and make technology work for you.
Sarah Houghton-Jan, otherwise known as the LibrarianInBlack, from her blog of the same name, wrote a great article in Ariadne called, Being Wired or Being Tired: 10 Ways to Cope with Information Overload. Read it! Seriously, it has great tips and techniques for organizing and using the information that enters your sphere without being controlled by it.
Also, check out PC World’s article 20 Tech Habits to Improve Your Life. It gives more good tips and suggests lots of free programs you can use to organize your workflow, manage your passwords, encrypt your data and have some fun with music and movies on the Internet.
One of the easiest, fastest ways to organize your life is by putting your bookmarks online, if you haven’t already. Ever want something you’ve bookmarked on your home computer at work but you didn’t have it bookmarked on your work computer? With online bookmarks, this will never be a problem again! Check out del.icio.us. Not only can you import all your bookmarks online after signing up (it’s free!), you can share bookmarks with friends, check out other people’s bookmarks, and more. You can also keep your bookmarks private if you want. Want an example? Check out delicious.com/science4you which has bookmarks of science resources available online. Also, del.icio.us has recently redone its interface, so if you didn’t like how it looked before, you might like it better now. I think it is great.
Last, but certainly not least, check out Google’s new web browser, Chrome. It is in Beta, but definitely worth a look. Download it here: Google Chrome. It has a super clean interface which means you can see more of the webpage. I think this would be great for making screencaps for presentations and classes because you can see more of the webpage! I hate it when I can’t screencap the whole webpage, and this makes it so easy. How cool is that?
These resources should help you tame technology anxiety. And if all else fails, do what I do, and just schedule time away from the computer. You’ll come back refreshed and better able to work.
Please share other tools and techniques you use in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!