OLJ Task- A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries

Directions: READ the post A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries (22 January, 2010) on the Social Networking for Libraries blog.

Consider this advice in terms of a library and information agency that you know (as an employee or user). Select advice from five (5) letters of this A-Z list and consider how these may be applied to this library to help it embrace a Library 2.0 ethos. Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 350 words in your OLJ).

The context- The school library is only just ‘dipping its toes’ in social media. There is no real attempt to promote its use, allow feedback from the range of users or update regularly. Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or Flickr are not used at all. Delicious and YouTube are used occasionally.

A- Active- The most important of all the suggestions in the blog is to be active participants of social media. Websites need to be updated regularly and changes communicated to users. To apply this, the school library needs to promote and actively use social media platforms to communicate, collaborate, create content and develop a community (the 4Cs).

E-Ebooks- Along with moving ahead on mobile devices or BYO technology, the libraries need to wisely budget, purchase, monitor use and promote an Ebook collection of both fiction and non-fiction. The key to this is promotion. If users do not know Ebooks are available, then the program will be a self-perpetuating failure and finance managers will drop the program as not worthwhile.

G-Good Reads- The teacher librarian has started to put together book reviews using augmented reality. While this is interesting for younger students, it relies on access to mobile devices. Book reviews could be promoted through a number of platforms. A blog could focus on good reads. Students and staff could be encouraged to participate as well, compiling a comprehensive list of wide ranging texts and promote the web page at the same time.

M- Mobile- The school has begun to promote the use of mobile devices. With that decision, the library needs to investigate and promote mobile spaces. What is the point of having a mobile device if you only have tables and chairs to sit at? Spaces and seating arrangements need to be mobile as well. Furniture will need to be purchased to allow users to move themselves around, and have a number of different configurations.

Z-zeal- Enthusiasm is needed from library and academic staff alike. Teacher librarians can advocate the use of social media by simply using it and promoting its use to others.

OLJ Task- 4Cs of Web 2.0

How well does Arizona State University (ASU) use Web 2.0 tools to achieve the 4Cs of social media?

Firstly, I wanted to find out more about what the 4Cs of social media were. The Module 3 notes list collaboration, conversation, community and content creation (CSU, 2012). However, I found that content creation was called co-creation in Mootee’s (2008) article. While very similar in meaning, co-creation seems to epitomize the collaborative nature of Web 2.0 more; and Gates (2009) simply uses content.

Conversations: ASU libraries promote conversations in a diverse number of ways. The library channel page (ASU LIbraries, n.d.) allows comments to announcements. In the ‘Get Help’ tab, a few options such as ‘Ask a Librarian’, ‘Report technical problems’ and a ‘suggestion box’ all provide appropriate places for users to contact library staff. Of particular note is the suggestion box, where you can read other user’s feedback and the library’s response to the issue. This ‘open book’ attitude facilitates future genuine communication and ‘establishes trust with users’ (Schrier, 2011). Conversations are also promoted in Facebook and Twitter.

Content Creation: ASU libraries‘ content creation appears to be only one way. Content is created by library staff for library users, including the creation of a number of informative YouTube clips that students can access regarding the libraries’ facilities and spaces. There appears to be little content creation stored from the library users, except for feedback comments. Additionally, through Twitter students have the option of replying to the tweets. The Flickr account appears to be staff producing the content as well.

Connections: While there are tabs for Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo and YouTube indicating a range of formats for making connections, the website appears to limit the student connection to responses to formally created library content only. Although it is noted that responses from the library is timely and open to all readers. Facebook in particular just provides another avenue to connect with staff.

Collaboration:There is little evidence of collaboration between users and library staff except through conversations and complaints through a variety of methods.

ASU libraries could better address the 4Cs of Web 2.0 by allowing greater input from users. Acknowledging that as a university library, the focus is on assisting users to locate information, there is a significant lack of assistance in creating information. Is this a reflection on the university not being able to move away from its traditional function as a repository of knowledge that is delivered to students? Library staff need to find alternative ways for users to collaborate and create content that doesn’t devalue or diminish the excellent sources of information already provided.

References

ASU LIbraries. (2012). Fact sheet 2012. Retrieved from http://repository.asu.edu/attachments/96525/content/fact-sheet-2012.pdf

ASU libraries. (n.d.) The library channel: News, events, announcements. In ASU: Arizona State University. Retrieved December 28, 2012 from http://lib.asu.edu/librarychannel/

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

Gates, J. (2009). The 4Cs of web 2.0 and storytelling. In The learning evolution. Retrieved from http://learnev.blogspot.com.au/2009/12/4-cs-of-web-20-and-storytelling.html

Mootee, I. (2008). Web 2.0 and the 4 Cs. In Future lab. Retrieved from http://www.futurelab.net/blogs/marketing-strategy-innovation/2007/10/web_20_and_the_4_cs.html

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

Library 2.0

What is Library 2.0?

Reading through Module 3 readings highlighted some relevant points to me, so I thought I might pick out some interesting points.

Madsen (2009, pg. 1) confirms that “there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to online collections, and often a ‘build it and they will come’ attitude prevails”. Unfortunately, it seems that the typical assumption held by many brick and mortar libraries — that the success of a library rests on the quality of its physical materials (i.e., the collection)— also applies to many, if not most, digital library collections as well. This model of librarianship leaves librarians at the periphery, puts collections in the center, and does not ascribe appropriate weight to the essential role librarians play in facilitating the usefulness of those collections through conversations and knowledge creation (Lankes, et al., 2007). (Schrier, 2011)

A library that talks only to itself and about itself fails to provide users with a valuable service and reinforces the idea that users do not matter enough to warrant engaging in a discussion with them. (Schrier, 2011)

Libraries were once the guardians of knowledge, and the point at which those seeking existing knowledge would engage with it. With the rise of Google, Amazon, Wikipedia and more, there is an oft-stated fear that many users, much of the time, will bypass processes and institutions that they perceive to be slow, unresponsive, unappealing and irrelevant in favour of a more direct approach to services offered by others that just might be ‘good enough’ for what they need to do. (Miller, 2005)

The heart of Library 2.0 is user-centered change. It is a model for library service that encourages constant and purposeful change, inviting user participation in the creation of both the physical and the virtual services they want, supported by consistently evaluating services. It also attempts to reach new users and better serve current ones through improved customer-driven offerings. Each component by itself is a step toward better serving our users. (Casey & Savastinuk, 2006)

While I am placing these thoughts here in this blog, these points are relevant to my philosophy as a TL. The heart of a library should not be the collection; should not be the librarian; should not be the spaces- although all of these play a vital role in the success of a library. The heart and soul of a library needs to be the users- their needs and wants. If we start here, the library will always be a place they want to come.

References

Miller, P. (2005). Web 2.0: Building the new library, Ariadne, 45, 30 October. Retrieved from http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue45/miller

Casey, M. & Savastinuk, L. (2006). Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library, Library Journal, 1 September. Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6365200.html

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

Skype

In what ways, do you see the use of a VoIP tool such as Skype enhancing the services and/or communication needs of an organisation?

Skype is a VoIP tool that is quickly gaining increased users.

It appears to be a cheaper alternative for many long distance calls as people hook into cheaper internet rates. I know of several people who have used Skype for video calls, my daughter being one. It enabled her to talk face to face, so to speak, with a friend. It was a more personable alternative to texting. My father also uses it regularly. He is a member of a national organisation that need to meet regularly for planning. One way they can do this without the heavy costs associated with travel around the country is to use Skype. My husband works for an international company. He regularly ‘Skypes’ with coworkers from around the globe, with hook ups involving 20-30 participants.

There seems to be some debate over its usefulness though. With very little depth, Carington (2010) suggests that Skype can’t be beat, citing its benefits as being mobile, free, great quality and experience. Torsten (2009) was rather scathing with negative comments regarding Skype. The overall criticism pointed Skype out to be ‘big brother’ with security, censorship and unreliable service. For Kenuam (n.d.), the applications to education was invaluable as a way to stretch beyond the four walls of the classroom into the world, communicating with authors, experts and other students.

Whatever the context, it is clear that Skype is an invaluable tool for those wishing to increase a more traditional form of communication through a modern platform. Particularly, Skype is useful when communication isn’t just 2 way, but a multiple number of ways. This is where it truly becomes invaluable.

References

Carington, M. (2010). 10 reasons to use Skype. In Computer sight. Retrieved from http://computersight.com/computers/10-reasons-to-use-skype/

Kenuam, A. (n.d.). 10 ways to use Skype in the classroom. In Tips, tools and technology for educators. Retrieved from http://blog.learningtoday.com/blog/bid/41726/10-Ways-to-Use-Skype-in-the-Classroom

Torsten. (2009). Ten reasons why you should boycott Skype. In Freedom blog: Because freedom matters. Retrieved from http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/

OLJ Task- RSS Feeds for school libraries

As school libraries are all about sharing and delivering information, RSS feeds are a wonderful way for school libraries to connect with their clients and remain vibrant in their communities.

Examples of RSS feeds

Baker Middle School: http://classrooms.tacoma.k12.wa.us/baker/iberg/index.php#1355946957

The Unquiet Library: http://theunquietlibrary.wordpress.com/

The above links present 2 examples of school libraries using RSS feeds. Both are used in the simplest way. Users can be kept up to date with the latest announcements or comments.

How RSS fees can enhance information services in libraries

While they are good examples, this use of RSS feeds is rather limited. Both these sites use the RSS feeds to alert clients or users to new updates. As both schools have effective and vibrant blogs, this is an important part of keeping the information out there for all to see. But, there are so many other ways school libraries could use RSS feeds.

The first place to start to enhance any library service is to identify what the users or clients really need. What do they need up to date access to? What is important to share regularly? What sort of information would make students subscribe? The information gathered to answer these questions will be different for each school library, depending on age of students, size of school and the culture of the library community itself.

Some ways RSS feeds could be useful beyond the announcements and comments on the library blog include:

  • Library opening hours; or changes to opening hours
  • New additions to the online catalogue
  • Professional development for staff about libraries and advocacy for TL’s
  • Library account notifications- overdues, hold notifications
  • Catalogue of games available for gaming centres
  • List of guest speakers or special events

Whatever the content, RSS feeds give up to date and immediate contact between the library and its users. If users are alerted to library information in this way, how much more are they going to use the library facilities? With so much going on in schools, this is a great way to promote the library continuously. Rather than the users coming to the library to find out information, the library is reaching out to the users!

References:

Wolfe, C. (2008). 10 ways libraries can use rss. In The Moxie Librarian. Retrieved from http://moxielibrarian.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/10-ways-libraries-can-use-rss/

For those wanting to know more, here is a simple explanation of RSS feeds.