TL Ponderings


Still Learning and Pondering

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on July 9, 2011
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http://www.personalizemedia.com/media/socmedcounter.swf

Click on the link above to watch the exponential use of social media. Although it becomes quite mesmerising, the reality of social media use is staggering.

Reflective Statement

Progression through this course has involved a huge learning curve for me (and the teachers at my school who have taken up the new wiki I have set up). It has been a journey of discovery concerning the progressing world of social media and networking and the amazing contribution web 2.0 technologies can make to a new and improved participatory library. In particular I have experienced much serendipitous learning that I have been able to transfer from web 2.0 tool to tool such as the ease of use of the wikis (two years ago I toyed with starting one up but found it too daunting and the time needed to develop my skills too great). Furthermore I have made some deep seated changes within the way I work, habitual change, I now scan my RSS feeds daily, although I don’t let it rule my day and many more of the solutions I come up with for the teachers involve social networking tools rather than ramdon links and photocopies. As the evolution of change that started in the 1970’s surrounding the placement of the user at the centre of library services continues to progress through to best practice for today, being those information institutions who seek the contributions and feedback of users through online mobile devices, my outlook for the future appears exciting, challenging, encouraging and enjoyable.

The areas I have found particularly interesting throughout the modules have been the overwhelming dominance of digital technology amongst a majority of users in the western world (OCLC Report, 2007). I was aware of the prevalence of such technology for the .com generation but was surprised at the rate of uptake for others in our community. The growing power of the behind the scenes mechanics of Internet giants such as Google and Facebook in gathering information about you and filtering your searches according to some algorithm, challenge of finding authentic information on the web and the issues surrounding security, privacy and identity have all certainly intrigued me. I have become a much more discerning user of the internet and in my role as a Teacher Librarian have begun to inform my peers, through small information bites on email (my personal tweets to them), my schools preferred online communication method, although over the next months the wiki will be further developed to include a general school communication page. By educating primary aged students early enough about their digital footprints I hope to ensure that as they become teenagers and enter the workforce they will not have ghosts in the wires that follow them around.  I have been pleasantly surprised at the ease and effectiveness of using Facebook for this subject and my adventures into secondlife although, unfortunately I can’t see them being used in my primary setting for many years to come – although I am happy to say I will be ready when the time comes and am looking for an alternative in the meantime.

Areas I have found most useful for my everyday work has definitely been the recognition and development of my online social networking, my PLN. My involvement is changing making my memberships of online networks more into communities of practice where I now find myself asking, and once or twice, answering queries particularly in regards to my involvement on a Teacher Librarian listserve as opposed to hovering.  I certainly harness the web 2.0 tool of RSS feeds much more effectively (again contributing to my PLN) – my understanding and appreciation of this online tool has grown and I regularly follow a variety of tweets, (although I am yet to activate any of these facilities on my mobile device as I am still worry about falling into stage 3 of PLN adoption where I lose perspective). I love my wiki, I love the way many of the teachers in my school have embraced it and of course I look forward to learning from the students as they take it up and run with it. Slow and steady in introducing library 2.0, I have 6 months to plan for new furniture in the library and therefore six months to convince our leadership of the benefits of a monitor to display student’s social media and to play interactive virtual games resulting in transference of knowledge. The need to educate both teachers and students to be critical about authentic information and information literacies, including  transliteracies,  will be written into my programs from term 3 on.

Areas I have found most challenging – incorporating web 2.0 technologies in a meaningful way, not just for the sake of technology. The urgent need for revamped policies and procedures surround library 2.0 in particular how to monitor its effectiveness. Finally, I have begun to develop a library page for my school, one that fosters community, communication, collaboration, creativity and crowdsourcing, through the embedding of web 2.0 tools into its platform.

De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J. & Jenkins, L. (2007). Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC. [ebook] Available http://www.oclc.org/reports/pdfs/sharing.pdf

Evaluative Statement

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 9, 2011
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The many OLJ tasks offered throughout this course have  enabled me to learn a great deal about the online world and the current trends surrounding social networking through theories and practice. The three experiences that have most impacted upon my learning are Library 2.0, Online Identity and developing a marketing strategy.

Library Librarian 2.0 – Has the role of libraries and librarians changed that much? As always, we are in the business of providing for the needs of our users, creating lifelong learners able to critically analyse the information presented to them. What has changed is the competition. Where once we were the vortex, now we must reinvent ourselves to stay relevant. The librarian and in turn the library must not only be prepared but also lead change, they must embrace technology and in doing so the 4C’s of social networking – connective, collaborative, creative, community-centred, and the recently added crowdsourcing. Information provision in the 21st century involves being where the patrons are and overwhelmingly the patron is online (Socialnomics09) on mobile devices. ASU Library is delivering services through You Tube and Twitter in small minute blocks and succinct messages. Information provision means broadening our personal learning networks (Utecht, 2008) to observe and discover best practice from the collective intelligence of our colleagues and peers – through RSS feeds, twitter, online communities of practice – and of the user – library blogs, postit, skype, FAQ on a wiki, delicious – it means conversation (Abram, 2007) and it means letting go of perfection while welcoming trial and error and delete Farkas (2008) and Cohen (2006). Librarian 2.0 means change, slow and steady and inevitable. What does this new era of
technology savvy, social networked, creators of knowledge need? A user-centred participatory library that allows new ways to connect and deliver services through technology and change staffed by a librarian willing to lead the way. Online

Identity – My eyes were opened the most by the discussions around online identities and the important role an information professional has in informing and education web 2.0 users of the implications of the digital footprint they are creating via their participation with social  networking tools. The powerful background mechanics of web 2.0 tools which track and aggregate a person’s online behaviour results in a profile being built of the user which invariably they know little about. Pearson (2009) discusses the phenomenon of your messages/content being stumbled upon by any number of others whom you did not intend it to, your employer included.  The strong pull for an online identity, to connect and communicate, to conform, among users can result in people forgoing the possible privacy and security controls of the network site for ‘identity consolidation and management’ (Pearson, 2009) or as Raynes-Goldie (2010) puts it ‘social inclusiveness’, people are more concerned about their social profile rather than their organisational profile. Online gaming has institutionalised the concept of having a pseudonym created by the user by which they are known, the success of which is contingent on that online communities respect for trust. One possibility within the education sector is to provide a secure social network protected by firewalls or better still a private wiki that is not seen by the wider Internet cloud, possibly a good place to educate on appropriate use and a digital footprint.

Marketing Strategy – the reason I have chosen this OLJ activity over the many others that have potentially changed the way I now interact and communicate with my users is because without promotion, my hard work may be in vain. To implement web 2.0 tools within my school setting I need to present them as a more relevant way of learning and teaching to my peers. Although I have leadership support, I still need to justify my work, the changes and new methods I establish within my organisation, articulate what I have done to improve students information literacy and reading skills, it’s all about accountability.

References

Abram, S. (2007) Web 2.0, library 2.0 and librarian 2.0: preparing for the 2.0 world. A paper presented at the Online Information 2007
Conference. Retrieved from http://www.online-information.co.uk/online09/files/freedownloads.new_link1.1080622103251.pdf

Brown, AL. (2009). Developing an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy, in Salt Lake City Social Media Examiner (30 July) Available
http://www.liscareer.com/cohen_marketing.htm

Cohan, S. M. (2004) Grow the Profession: Marketing the Librarian. From LIScareer.com Career Strategies for Librarians Available  http://www.liscareer.com/cohen_marketing.htm

Cohen, L. (2006) A Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto [Online]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZblrRs3fkSU on 01/04/2010.

Farkas, M G (2008), “The Essence of Library 2.0” [blog]. Retrieved from http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/
Pearson, J. (2009). Life as a dog: Personal identity and the internet. Meanjin, 68(2), 67-77. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au/fullText;dn=200906244;res=APAFT

Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook, First Monday, 15(1), 4 January. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432

Socialnomics09. (2009) Social Media Revolution. Retrived from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8

Utecht, J. (2008). Stages of PLN adoption on his blog The Thinking Stick Available http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption

Policy Issues and Social Networking

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 7, 2011
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The change that has occurred due to the evolution of the Internet and Web 2.0 tools has been enormous. The way we view and consume information and entertainment has changed rapidly particularly in the past six years according to Did you know 4.0 by xplanevisualthinking (2009). How do we as TLs embrace and harness this change yet still have the safety and rights of our students and colleagues at the forefront of our working day? Through comprehensive policies and guidelines.

Within my primary library and classroom context, (educating students about the correct use of the Internet is not only the TL domain as classroom teachers are using technology more and more throughout the school day), we try to educate the students to make the right choices when using online resources hoping that this ‘responsible for your own actions’, ‘earning trust’, moral education extends to the home. We have clear consequences in place for students who use the technology inappropriately through the Acceptable User Policy that each student signs at the beginning of the year. Furthermore, we try to impress the importance of each person’s rights with regard to privacy and permissions surrounding what is said and uploaded to the Internet. Our governing body has some filters in place with regards to inappropriate sites but does not block Facebook for example, the CEO’s policies and guidelines for the diocesan are also close to six years old – an issue that needs to be addressed.

Our teachers are so busy that if they get a chance to look at personal social networking sites at work then I’d be amazed. I think education around privacy, copyright and leaving a digital footprint is more realistic for our context as opposed to regulations regarding the use of social networking sites during school time. In particular the footprint or record you leave online. Search engines and organisations have become so powerful that they are able to track your searches and then create a profile of what they think you need – filtering your searches for you. This strikes me as being the exact opposite to what the internet was at first, unlike the library where your librarian has ‘filtered what is on the shelves’ through their collection development policy, the internet allowed you access to everything without prejudice. The underlying problem here is that the majority of people don’t realise they are being manipulated like this, that they are not anonymous.

Online Identity

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 7, 2011
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Once again I am reminded of how insidious the Internet and technology has become, the stealth of the background mechanics. Not only has it taken our children from the backyard, created and extra appendage for our teenagers and distracted the workforce from the task at hand, but it is keeping a record of it all to boot. The Internet and continued development of technology has brought wonderful benefits and advantages to our society so when it comes to the area of online identity, privacy, security and trust education is the answer. As pointed out by Pearson (2009) records are kept of where we click, what we read and post. There is a phenomenon of ‘citizen surveillance’ where will this lead? Marketing strategists would argue that your organisation needs an online presence and identity complete with branding – you can trust us – and two way communications to compete in today’s Internet dominated world. This requirement to have an online presence seems to be the impression people (young and older) believe they need to be social? In? Viable? Worthwhile? Create an online identity moulded by their social networks, “…reconceptualizing identity as something that is mediated by … technology” (Mallan & Giardina, 2009). Are we different offline then we are online? The person you create online will follow you to the grave so as information professionals it is our duty to educate our students and colleagues about privacy and security online. To ensure individuality is maintained and group think does not prevail.

Pearson, J. (2009). Life as a dog: Personal identity and the internet. Meanjin, 68(2), 67-77. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au/fullText;dn=200906244;res=APAFT

Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook, First Monday, 15(1), 4 January. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432

Mallan, K. & Giardina, N. (2009). Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities in social network sites, First Monday, 14(6), 1 June. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2445/2213

Marketing Strategy

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 7, 2011
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After reading Brown and Bernoff & Li the following steps have been adapted to suit the primary setting I currently work in. The aim is to set up a library web page that has links to a blog and the school’s wikis (from assignment 1), the catalogue and other online resources useful to my users.

  1. Be clear about what your intention is for setting up a social media/networking/collaborative/communication space. Talk to members of your staff to make a collaborative decision. Decide on goals and audience.
  2. Know your users – target market – then segment your approach. There are different requirements for students (infants and primary), teachers, leadership team, parents and the wider community.
  3. Define what and how much activity on the site is needed to determine whether you are succeeding (schools are all about accountability!).
  4. Get the boss onside. For that matter, get everyone onside (isn’t that what marketing is all about – appeal to their needs and then provide a solution).
  5. Allocate a specific amount of time each day/week to the social venture (it can become all-consuming – ‘know it all’ third stage of Jeff Utecht’s Stages of PLN Adoption to the detriment of other necessary/worthwhile strategies conversely, inactivity makes for a boring, useless site).
  6. Market your site. Use the newsletter, class time, homework activities, staff meetings, staff room conversations, email leading to RSS, posters, pamphlets, post its, twitter – any method at your disposal. If they don’t know about it, they won’t use it or benefit from it.
  7. Evaluate the site at regular intervals, this is not confused with up-dating, adding, responding, communicating, collaborating, creating but rather stepping back with clear guidelines, looking at the site statistics and possibly improving.
  8. Finally, the new catch cry for my own personal learning journey – have fun, enjoy, grow!

Why is marketing so important? In today’s climate where budgets are tight and the illusion that all the answers are on the Internet, it is vitally important to reach out to the user, show them the value-added content and services a library can provide for them and invite them to participate, communication and collaborate in the ongoing development of the library. More online activity results in evidence of the information professionals success and worth to the organisation.

Brown, AL. (2009). Developing an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy, in Salt Lake City Social Media Examiner (30 July)

Bernoff, J. & Li, C. (2010) Groundswell excerpt,http://www.forrester.com/groundswell/assets/groundswell_excerpt.pdf

Librarian 2.0

Knowledge, skills and attributes of an information professional in a web 2.0 world or change and user focus.

Embrace change and create a communicative platform between the users and the organisation and services. We need an awareness of the needs of  users that can only come from letting them into the organisation which has been enabled by the current technology; the user should drive the content and the services while the librarian is the facilitator of this collaboration.  Be careful not to slip back into letting the system determine the activity, content, collaboration, communication because we get so bogged down with the amount of social networking tools out there. Embrace technology that is right for you and appropriate to your users (Harvey, 2009) slowly introduce the new, few tools at a time and marry them to the old successful methods of your library. We are opportunistically positioned to guarantee the survival of the library profession by using our knowledge and insights to become change leaders and influence the new dynamic (Abram, 2007). Remember we are the gateway to user success and knowledge creation particularly for the student. Learn from those around us, the user especially and be prepared to make mistakes ensuring that you learn from them. When it seems you can’t keep up remember there is a community out there, tap into that collective intelligence by utilising your own PLN. Finally have fun, love your work, greet each day in the knowledge that both you and your users will learn and/or create something new, rejoice in it!

Harvey, M. (2009). What does it mean to be a Science Librarian 2.0? Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (Summer). Retrieved from http://www.istl.org/09-summer/article2.html

Abram, S. (2007) paper at the Online Information 2007 Conference where he tries to define the ‘work’ of a Librarian 2.0, Web 2.0, library 2.0 and librarian 2.0: Preparing for the 2.0 world

Criteria for Library Web Site Design

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 7, 2011
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The readings suggested for this activity give a comprehensive look at factors that influence website design by examining best practice libraries, children’s websites, online library identity and web 2.0 architecture. After scanning several library sites that may be of interest to my students, the audience, I decided to examine Parramatta City Council Library  which is not too far from my school. The page has a clean, fresh feel to it and is easily identifiable with the council home page through the use of a brand. There are several different options to search for resources prominent across the top which utilises a tabbed federated search box, with the body of the page dedicated to library news, promotion, and upcoming events keeping the site current and the content relevant. Navigation around the site is straight forward although you need to know the site map to link back to the library home page. The e-Resources page has a very clear guide to use and provides links to many ‘reliable’ online databases, no silo here. There are several ways to contact the librarian; through live support (leaving a phone message not really asynchronous communication), email and of course in person. Customer feedback seems important with an invitation to comment on your experience, positive or negative through paper form and online through contact us. The library has several Web 2.0 tools which enhance communication and engagement element that foster social networking, there is also a mobile element through Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds and You tube and the library runs a separate blog to foster collaboration and possibly folksonomy in tagging. The style of the blog page ‘Parra Reads’  changes markedly from the main page making it more inviting through colour and a book shelf design.

Overall this library page fairs well with regards to the many criteria presented in the readings. Its pages don’t really have a high visual appeal nor do they particularly invite you into the physical library itself. It does not provide information
literacy tutorials, (possibly utilising podcasts) or how to’s or services available, nor does the site discriminate for different users for example children, or the many cultures residing in the area, the links catering for different languages are not that obvious.

Governor, J., Hinchcliffe, D, & Nickull, D. (2009). Web 2.0 architectures (1st ed.). Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly Media. [ebook] Available http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/9780596514433

Lazaris, L. (2009). Designing websites for kids: Trends and best practices, Smashing Magazine, (27 November). Retrieved from http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/11/27/designing-websites-for-kids-trends-and-best-practices/

Mathews, B. (2009). Web design matters: Ten essentials for any library site. Library Journal, (15 February). Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6634712.html?industryid=47126

McBurnie, J. (2007). Your online identity: Key to marketing and being found. FUMSI, (October). Retrieved from http://web.fumsi.com/go/article/share/2510

Building Academic Library 2.0

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 7, 2011
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Meredith Farkes, the keynote speaker in Building Academic Library 2.0 (2007)  speaks of transforming your library into a place where students want to be, whether it is online or in the  physical space. I particularly liked her definition of library 2.0 being an evolution of library 1.0 and the role of the librarian since the user centred paradigm shift of the 70’s – libraries support change, libraries can lead change. Of the many ideas, suggestions and evidence that Meredith and other speakers presented, the following have relevance to my situation as a primary school TL.

The overarching point of this presentation is the needs of the user. How do they ‘navigate the tectonic plates of information’ that we all sail in? In my situation most teachers are, dare I say, reluctant to change what has always worked, (only I hear them complaining about the behaviour of students, maybe they do need to engage the students more – TL to the rescue!).  A balance is needed, start with the willing then expand to the wary. I need to understand where the teachers are coming from then, slow and steady, introduce new/easier/more engaging ways of doing the same thing – spelling lists from spellingcity.com, maths homework through the 2100ctk wiki (assessment 1 project), group work using wiki, google docs , presentation on prezi. I see a major part of my role over the next few years as always being available to the teachers to show them individually and in professional development opportunities new ways of doing things library 2.0 style, understanding want they do and their skills then providing for their needs. This could be done through mini podcasts then RSS feeds, help sheets provided online, video examples of change working.

Allow the user to become a partner in the development of the library’s resources. Build participation and hence a sense of ownership, trust the user and in turn they will trust you. We are all participants in the creation of knowledge and the development of the web. Providing an avenue for students to review books, suggest new reads (2.0 online through a blog/wiki or 1.0 creating posters, blurbs, suggestion books) then taking the terms that they have used and adding them as tags (folksonomy). Providing a terminal for instant communication using wallwisher.com , building trust.

Marketing of libraries reminds me of the role of the TL as a change leader and of promoting the services of the library. Regular columns in the newsletter and promoting and celebrating activities on the school website, getting the students to  write/blog/collaborate on their learning journey in library time, encouraging the schools completion of the Premier’s Reading Challenge and celebrating it, incorporating guided enquiry  into library lessons and then presenting the students evaluations as evidence of library work. Could I twitter activities to the parents?

Be aware of the opportunities around you, continual professional development of the TL. I cannot take on everything that I see but of the 25 new tools, maybe there is one that will suit the needs of my users. I need to collaborate more myself and look at what others are doing, Meredith calls it extrapolating information, broadening my network to include a larger variety of information agencies and businesses, who are successfully targeting my users – teachers, students and parents?

A – Z of Social Networking for Librarians

Posted in INF506 by sarahcook3 on June 7, 2011
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Brown, A. (2010). A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries. Retrieved from http://socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/2010/01/22/a-to-z-of-social-networking-for-libraries/

At present my primary school library does not have a web page; I am yet to ‘get around to it’ although the plans have been developing for a while. Unlike 6 – 7 years ago when I first started as a TL and was in charge of creating the school web page, the software is so much easier and more over I’m not afraid of making mistakes – trial and error and delete. It may/will be my holiday task. Lorcan Dempsey on his Weblog ‘On libraries, services and networks’ talks about the 3 stages of a library website….

  1. Fragmentary – where the library site is in its 2.0 infancy and is a mix up, thrown together page of databases for managing information.
  2. Integrated supply – simplified (for the user) search function, a unified feel and look, ‘consistent management framework’ throughout the site’ and the visibility of the staff through blogs, ask a librarian and the possibility of feedback from the user.
  3. Demand influence – this is the stage when the needs of the users shape the content and the services available to from the library. Moreover, the library tries to ‘predict, meet and guide demand’ from the user.

With this in mind I have chosen the following five letters to help me embrace a library 2.0 ethos in my situation.

  • Active – a slightly different take on this term – knowing my users (read here teachers) I will need to be active in promoting my services, what I can do for my users, active in reminding them of the possibilities and opportunities out here in 2.0.
  • Direction – I need a plan.  What are the needs of my users? What do I want to achieve with my library’s presence on a web page? I want to support the school’s vision, mission and goals; I want to support the library’s mission and goals/objectives; I want to start small and be effective with the initial tools I chose to include so that my users continue to visit my page and see it as essential for progressing through primary school; I want students to read; I want to make teaching more relevant to students. I want, I want, I want……
  • Good reads – the heart of the primary library is literacy (yes multi-literacies) but promoting a love of reading is essential in young people to set them up as lifelong learners and readers.
  • Video – children love to see themselves on screen, they love to record and take film, teachers get ideas from seeing other people teaching the same thing in a different way and there is a plethora of good visual resources out there that can enhance education and interaction. Adding video to my social networking site, my school library page is a must.
  • Widgits and wikis – I couldn’t decide, where would we be without them.
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