OLJ Task: Assignment 3: Evaluative Report

Part A

The learning objectives of this subject have been met throughout the OLJ through evaluative reflection and the location of relevant resources for further learning. In particular, 3 OLJ entries will be highlighted to document experiences during the investigation of social media networks and tools.

Schools’ participation in social media range from dipping toes to full immersion. It is essential that schools develop a clear social media policy to assist in the development of their community (Kroske, 2009). In the post, ‘Explore developing a social media policy’(Morris, 2013a), the complex social, cultural, educational, ethical and technical management issues facing information technology policy makers was investigated. Policy making is a way to ensure individuals within an organisation are moving forward with the same goal (Bryson, 2007). It is essential that the purpose is outlined for all participants to ensure a mutual understanding and the provision of true value (Lauby, 2009b). The policy should be transparent, clear and available for all (Lauby, 2009a). Respect plays an important role in the use of social media. Respect for others (Kroski, 2009), copyright and proprietry information (Lauby, 2009b) sets boundaries for all to acknowledge rights and good judgement (Lauby, 2009b). Social media policies should just be an extension of what you already have in place to govern communication via other methods (Lauby, 2009a).

Meeting the information needs of users, as the essence of Library 2.0, must be addressed when using social media tools. In the OLJ task, ‘4C’s of Web 2.0’(Morris, 2012a), each of these purpose driven aspects were highlighted as anchors of web 2.0 (Mootee, 2007) in  evaluating the Arizona State University (ASU) library’s use of social media. Made abundantly clear through this evaluation was a spectrum of involvement. Collaboration, community, conversation and content creation (CSU, 2012) can be primarily one sided, as it appears to be at ASU, or it can engage a community to fully immerse itself in social media.

True conversation involves more than answers to questions and responses to complaints, which was predominate on the social media links. ASU has the opportunity to invite all users to collaborate on projects using the social media portals linked with the library, but has not offered to do this. Although ASU staff attempted to bring content to users in new and interesting ways, there was no opportunity for ASU students and academic staff to do the same. Content creation should not just be made by the library staff.

Teacher librarians can work within the boundaries set by the school social networking policy to develop a greater sense of community through more meaningful collaboration, conversations and content creation by all. TLs should look for unique ways to fully implement the tools available. These opportunities will enable students to participate in a variety of meaningful ways in the goal to become responsible social media users.

Teacher librarians, as the information specialists in their schools, must remain up to date with technology trends and can do so using a variety of social networking tools. Being able to analyse these trends in relation to making the right technology decisions for a school community is imperative. In the post, ‘Shifting Trends’ (Morris, 2013b), 5 trends were identified as game changers for libraries. Traditional methods of publications can no longer compete with the speed and accessibility of digitised print (xplanevisualthinking, 2009). This has a huge impact on how libraries and TLs continue to provide resources. Continuing to provide acquisitions in one format with no real consideration to these changing trends is a head in the sand approach that will ultimately cost more money or reduce client use. With the majority of the social media ‘pie’ going to a small numbers of companies that didn’t exist 6 years ago (xplanevisualthinking), TLs must ensure they remain active and current. How can they be an information specialist in the school community if they do not? But ultimately, TLs must prepare for the onset of mobile information and a reliance on mobile technology. This has impact on other aspects, such as how to utilise spaces and purchase furniture.

The school library’s foray into the complex world of social media has a resounding impact on how TLs make decisions about performing their duties and facilitating information literacy. What the client needs and wants must be carefully considered, and therefore, must be understood. Policies must be carefully drafted and presented with complete transparency to promote honest and resourceful guidance. Information specialists must lead the way in the rapidly changing world of social media with experience and expertise.

 

Part B

Completing INF 506 has enabled a deeper understanding and greater use of social networking tools. This has allowed a thoughtful insight into how such tools can be used effectively to successfully manage the diverse nature of the role of teacher librarian. Social media allows TLs to communicate, collaborate, create and build a community effectively (Schrier, 2011), all worthy goals in meeting the standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians (ALIA & ASLA, 2004). Considering my starting point in the socially networked world was minimal (Morris, 2012b), my learning in this subject was certain to be extraordinary.

Recognising my aversion for social media, I made a slow and thoughtful beginning. I signed up to everything I needed to, but didn’t really know what I was doing. I quickly realised that the only way I was going to learn was to use each tool comprehensively. I have achieved that with some, but my journey is far from over with other tools. Ultimately, I learned not to be afraid to try new experiences. As a future teacher librarian, I must remember this when faced with new challenges.

I had to jump in with both feet to use Facebook as the subject forum was placed there. My immediate thoughts were how much I disliked the format and privacy issues compared to the university ‘interact forum’. Despite my particular aversion to Facebook, I started adding to my timeline, profile and created an avatar. The more I engaged, the more I enjoyed what it had to offer. This has been an immense lesson for this subject- you have to immerse yourself in the tool to see the benefits. However, I have made the decision to use Facebook purely as a social network rather than a professional one, despite the prediction that the lines will blur more in the future (Woodward, 2012). I recognise that this is true to my personality rather than an unwillingness to take the plunge.

During this subject, I read a multitude of blogs, articles and books on social media and there is much more to investigate. One such article written by Schrier (2011) shared valuable advice for information professionals that I intend to take on fully. His first three recommendations are particularly written for individuals like me. Schrier suggests I find where people are talking and listen; I participate in order to learn; and I endeavour to be transparent to build trust. He goes on to advise that planning ahead and having a mutually agreed upon policy for social media use allows for responsible, ethical and manageable use of social media. Policies ensure a planned, effective approach to social media (Bryson, 2007).

Schools must prepare students to navigate, judge and create sophisticated communication (Alber, 2013). I recognise the truth that social media is here to stay and I have an obligation to stay aware of trends (Timmerman, 2012). With this inevitable truth, I must ensure that students are taught how to manage their social networking in an ethical manner, so I need to make certain all my dealings are responsible (Cohen, 2012) as well.

As an information professional, I need to be flexible to new ideas, and therefore open to new social media tools. I intend to create a professional learning network for the advancement of my knowledge. When new ideas are presented, I won’t dismiss them purely because I have heard negative things or see no sense in it myself. I will investigate what applications can be useful and then advocate to others. As a teacher librarian, I am committed to mentor colleagues (ALIA & ASLA, 2004) and can achieve this through the development of a community based professional learning network.

In the course of this subject, I have signed up to Facebook, Flickr, Delicious, Google Reader, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Second Life, Pinterest and Wikispaces. Hardly a comprehensive list, but my digital footprint is larger than it was before I started. It became clear throughout the course that immersion in social networking is the most effective way to achieve greater connection with the school community and build a more meaningful library for 21st century learners (O’Connell, 2012). Therefore, I will endeavour to look for unique ways to implement social media tools in the library context. My journey is far from complete. I have a long expedition ahead of me to fully explore the possibilities that social media presents.

 

References

Alber, R. (2013). Deeper learning: Defining twenty-first century literacy. In Edutopia, 21 January [blog]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/twenty-first-century-literacy-deeper-learning-rebecca-alber

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from http://www.alia.org.au/policies/teacher-librarian.standards.html

Bryson, J. (2007). Chapter 10: Policy making. Managing information services: A transformational approach (pp. 125-130). Retrieved from http://CSUAU.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=429668

Charles Sturt University (CSU). (2012). Module 3: Library 2.0 and participatory library services [INF506 201290 Modules]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF506_201290_W_D/page/84cf677e-ec91-4f08-8080-0f7dd953df21

Cohen, H. (2012). Dr Suess’ 7 social media lessons. In Ragan’s PR Daily, 6 January [blog]. Retrieved from http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/10491.aspx#

Kroski, E. (2009). Should Your Library Have a Social Media Policy? In School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6699104.html

Lauby, S. (2009a). Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy? In Mashable, 27 April [blog]. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2009/04/27/social-media-policy/

Lauby, S. (2009b). 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy. In Mashable, 6 February [blog]. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2009/06/02/social-media-policy-musts/

Mootee, I. (2007). Web 2.0 and the 4Cs. In Innovation Playground. Retrieved from http://mootee.typepad.com/innovation_playground/2007/10/web-2o-and-the-.html

Morris, A. (2012a). OLJ Task: 4Cs of Web 2.0. In Ladyangieblog INF506 201290, 11 November [blog]. Retrieved from https://ladyangieinf506201290blog.wordpress.com/category/inf506/olj-tasks/

Morris, A. (2012b). OLJ Task: Social networking:1st entry. In Ladyangieblog INF506 201290, 11 November [blog]. Retrieved from https://ladyangieinf506201290blog.wordpress.com/category/inf506/olj-tasks/

Morris, A. (2013a). OLJ Task: Explore developing a social media policy. In Ladyangieblog INF506 201290, 1 February [blog]. Retrieved from https://ladyangieinf506201290blog.wordpress.com/category/inf506/olj-tasks/

Morris, A. (2013b). OLJ Task: Shifting trends. In Ladyangieblog INF 506 201290, 30 January [blog]. Retrieved from https://ladyangieinf506201290blog.wordpress.com/category/inf506/olj-tasks/

O’Connell, J. (2012). Social media, social networking and school libraries [Slideshare]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/heyjudeonline/social-media-social-networking-and-school-libraries?ref=http://heyjude.wordpress.com/tag/teacher-librarian/

Schrier, R. A. (2011). Digital librarianship & social media: The digital library as conversation facilitator. D-Lib Magazine, 17(7/8). Retrieved from http://dlib.org/dlib/july11/schrier/07schrier.html

Timmerman, H. (2012). Social mediais here to stay: 10 things you should know. In Preview Networks, 9 February [blog]. Retrieved from http://previewnetworks.com/blog/social-media-stay-10/

Woodward, M. (2012). Blurring the lines between work and personal life on Facebook. In Fox Business, 16 January [blog]. Retrieved from http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/01/16/blurring-lines-between-work-and-personal-life-on-facebook/

xplanevisualthinking. (2009, September 14). Did you know 4.0 [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8

Second Life

Second Life provides a virtual world to project your digital presence. It provides a gaming approach to social networking which allows users a more exciting visual experience.

I was stymied significantly by my computer’s lack of grunt. I found the environment difficult to navigate and the avatar almost impossible to reposition because most of my screen was blanked out in pink! Given a better system, I would like to investigate further to fully appreciate this social networking tool. At present, because I haven’t been able to investigate further, I am a little unsure why people are so interested in it. I have read several posts in the INF506 Facebook page detailing the interest and excitement associated with using Second Life, but cannot connect enough to appreciate it.

It clearly shows me that there are a multitude of ‘styles’ in social media tools and each person will be drawn to different features. For example, I find Twitter difficult to use. The extra connections in the conversation interrupt the flow of what I am reading and it causes difficulties for me. On the other hand my husband loves Twitter and would use it over Facebook. I have met people who are addicted to Facebook but see no purpose in a tool such as Delicious or Pinterest. It is important as a TL to appreciate this diversity. Not everyone will connect at the same level. Go slow and be persistent to encourage further connection to a social networking tool that will really change the work environment, but don’t expect everyone to jump on the bandwagon with the same enthusiasm.

Delicious and other tagging sites

Signing up to Delicious really opened my eyes to a whole new world. While I haven’t been able to really invest the time as yet to tag and pin as much as I would like to, I know that this is an area I want to develop further. I signed up to Pinterest as well and have started investigating the best way to use this site. As one of the fastest growing social media tools, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

In reflection, I realised that Delicious had been introduced to me several years ago at work. The TL got up at a staff meeting and presented the tool. I remember asking myself why it was useful, but didn’t pursue it further. Either my mind was set against it, I didn’t understand fully the potential or the presentation didn’t fully explore. Whatever the reason, an opportunity was lost. This gives me something to think about when I find myself in that TL’s shoes trying to develop interest in the staff body of a new tool. What will I need to do to get a better response?

Delicious and other tagging tools have the ability to tag and ‘keep’ things you come across of interest. It is ‘cloud’ technology. Just like my bookmarking function on my web browser, these tools can capture a link, but I don’t need to keep it on my computer. There is great potential for this for the future of web technology. This is evidenced by the very popular response to Pinterest, a recently introduced application similar to Delicious. There is a continued place for such tools and I look forward to investigating them more when my studies are completed.

Facebook and Google +

Just to put my views in perspective, I need to start by saying that I was set against Facebook from its inception. Every time I heard another person say they had signed up to Facebook, the question of “Why?” popped into my head. Of particular concern was the pervasive idea that the numbers of ‘friends’ on Facebook, mostly complete strangers, seemed to indicate some social significance. I was happy to continue with the more traditional methods of communicating with my friends. This coupled with my own daughter being the recipient of cyber-bullying on Facebook cemented my opinion. I had little regard for the privacy and security settings of a tool that allowed someone to sign up as my daughter and proceed to write horrible things about others so she would get blamed. Fortunately, because of our complete lack of using Facebook, we could prove she was innocent and it lead to the revealing of the real culprit. To say I was dead against it would be an understatement.

With this attitude, I signed up for INF506 and thought I’d better give it a go as more than a way to connect to the subject group. As I liked pages and subscribed to interesting users, I found I actually enjoyed receiving the multitude of interesting articles via the newsfeed. Then I discovered friends from years ago. Because they had moved away, I had not the opportunity to catch up regularly and in the intervening years found the friendships lapse. What a joy to interact with them again! I investigated the privacy settings more, and while I know I haven’t set them exactly as I would like, I will continue to fine tune them. I appreciated the purpose of Facebook as a social networking tool and therefore have opted to use it purely in a social context. For now this is sufficient, but I can see a time when I might spread my friend connections into other areas of my life.

Initially as a non-user, I found Facebook difficult to use. Threads were hard to locate and I didn’t like the vertical format. The more I have used it, the more I have understood how to use it effectively. I particularly appreciate the mobile apps for Facebook which allows me to connect anywhere. I especially like the photo app for smart phones that allows me to post a photo immediately from the one device without the issue of downloading it first onto my computer. I think I will continue to use Facebook as a social site, but I see the value in segregating the professional and social spheres in my life, so will probably investigate Google+ further as well. I am most interested in how stringent the settings are for the different circles of communication