I went to a workshop on widgets today, taught by the wonderful Polly-Alida Farrington; if you work in a Connecticut library and haven't taken advantage of one of her workshops, you're missing out. I took her podcasting workshop my first year as a librarian, which is what got me started on creating recorded book trailers, and really helped me shape how I do reading promotion.
Today's workshop was also excellent, and still has me thinking of new ideas; this is one of the things I love most about Polly's workshops--in addition to feeling like I have a really solid of how to do something, you get a million reasons why you should do it. I keep a notebook open next to me throughout the workshop--not to take notes on what I'm learning, but to jot down ideas for how I can apply my new knowledge after the workshop.
I currently have a wikispaces page for my library's web presence, but I am growing increasingly fed up with its limitations. Up until now it's been where teachers posted homework assignments, but my school is getting a shiny new web portal for homework and other such things, meaning there's no real reason for me to maintain wikispaces. I'm not sure what the library presence will be like on the new site, or how much control I'll have over what it looks like (though I'm taking part in the training this summer--I'll be one of the "train the trainers" type people, which means I'll get a thorough look at the behind the scenes stuff. Given that, and given that my IT department knows I'm capable, I'm hoping I'll be able to have a fair amount of control when it comes to adding and manipulating library content).
But I know no matter how much I can do, there will still be some limitations. And given that I'm trying to become more professionally active outside of my school and do more presenting (hopefully even beyond the CASL Conference, though that first step was huge for me), and maybe even publishing (the first part of that would, of course, be writing something to submit for publication), I'm thinking more and more about creating my own website outside of my school's site. You know, in my spare time.
There are, of course, limitations to any free site, which would mean ponying up some cash. Which, no matter how little cash it actually is, feels like a commitment. Which could be a good motivator for working towards doing more presenting and writing. And I know some of this is just part of the post-workshop high, but the more I think about it, the more I like this idea. Once I learn what the library's presence will be like on my school's website, I'll be able to come up with a plan. If I can do most of what I want, this project moves to the back burner; if not, it gets moved up the list.
If and when I decide to go ahead with this plan, I can, of course, draw upon the wisdom of Hank Green. And, of course, sign up for Polly's Wordpress workshop.