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Playing Saves Lives and Libraries November 1, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Uncategorized.
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San Diego Wildfires

I heard a story on NPR, Morning Edition on how San Diego radio station KPBS used technology to help residents cope with the recent wild fires. While they were forced off the air because of the fire, they used Google’s “My Map” to create a virtual map of Southern California to inform people where shelters were, what areas burned, what roads were closed, and the like. They also used set up a Twitter account to send text messages with updates and posted photos on Flickr.

Where did they learn to do this? In their free time, by playing with the technology “to find the best places to golf and to get a drink” on Google Maps their managing editor said. So they were ready to use it in important and creative ways when they could not broadcast.

How important it is to play and learn, even if you only have 15 minutes a day. And learn; be a life-long learner. Be committed to learning. Don’t accept excuses, not even your own.

We may not have lives to help save in this critical time frame, but we have libraries to save and customers to serve, keep, and grow. How can we use Google Maps, Twitter, and other Web 2.0 technology? How are we? Are we ready?

See a sample of station KPBS’s map here.

Sharyn Heili