TL Ponderings


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

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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

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

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