OLJ Tasks- Explore developing a Social Media Policy

Based on the advice given in various articles, I would give  5 key pieces of advice to a social media working party or committee.

1. Be clear about the PURPOSE of Social Media

Is the bandwagon just being leaped upon, or is there a distinct advantage in using social media in the school context? What benefits can be harnessed? What can social media do that other forms of communication cannot do as effectively?

2. Ensure a POLICY is clear and available

Writing a social media policy provides structure that both protects and enables all stakeholders. This policy needs to be clearly written and communicated. To avoid a misuse or unfortunate social media faux pas, employees and clients need to fully understand the purpose of social media in the particular context of the school. Employees especially need to be aware that employers reserve the right to monitor what their employees say on social media. Such legal outlines are important to include in a policy.

3. ADAPT current policies

Communication is such no matter what the platform. If employees are guided by policy to inform respectful communication in phone calls and emails, social media is no different. Ethics extends to all forms of communication and this must be clearly outlined for employees.

4. RESPECT copyright and protect confidential and proprietary information

Proprietary information must be protected no matter what platform is used to communicate. The boundaries do not change with social media.

5. Provide VALUE

Whatever is posted in social media should provide value to the community at large. There are many ways schools can use social media to offer recommendations or promote services. If you consistently aim to provide value, social media becomes an effective, constructive and indispensable communication tool.


OLJ Task- Social Media Implications and Contexts

I chose to read:

Hodson, S.S. (2006). Archives on the Web: Unlocking collections while safeguarding privacy, First Monday, 11(8), August. Available http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue11_8/hodson/index.html

Nelson, M. R. (2009). Building an open cloud [Cloud computing as platform]. Science, 324(5935), 1656-1657. Retrieved from http://www.sciencemag.org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/cgi/reprint/324/5935/1656.pdf
With the importance of policy making for technology issues, these two readings were interesting to compare.

Hodson  (2006) outlined comprehensive arguments to safeguard proprietary information that information specialists, such as archivists, may chose to digitize and therefore contribute to cyberspace. Such decisions about sharing such information rest with the archivist. As privacy is the claim of individuals, groups or institutions to determine when, how and to what extent information about themselves is communicated, the disinterested party, such as archivist, are making potentially devastating decisions based on criteria that is not of interest to those individuals, groups or institutions. Hodson implores information specialists to stop and think before digitizing about privacy and security. The difference between one person at a time viewing the information and allowing perhaps millions access is vast.

Nelson (2009) outlined compelling arguments towards a ‘open cloud’ with open standards driving policy decision making to ensure cloud technology remains available to all and not controlled by a few giant companies intent on money making. He doesn’t deny the importance of security and privacy in such technology, but acknowledges the role that early adopters such as libraries and academic institutions played in fostering positive solutions with the internet, allowing it to remain open. Nelson suggests that policy framework standards for the cloud must allow for innovation and competition to allow the cloud to reach its full potential.

Information specialists must continue to develop policies that acknowledge that privacy and security issues remain important, especially in school environments. While they may control sensitive information,careful consideration needs to be made of others’ claim on privacy and security. This means that information specialists must work towards maintaining high standards of privacy and security whilst supporting the continued development of open technologies that allow all to use.

A fine balancing act indeed.

OLJ Task- Shifting Trends

From a school library perspective, many of these trends or shifts in technology use outlined back in 2009 have a huge impact on what an information policy for the school might need to include.

1. 1 000 000 books published worldwide every year/ 1000 pages digitised every hour through Google Book search scanner

There is a real shift for connecting with the written word through digital avenues. It is immediate, timely and relevant, especially using Google Books search tool. Books can be accessed 24/7 and not just when the library or book store is open. What if the text needs to be shipped from overseas? This takes a long time. Digital access provides immediate connection, just when you are inspired and when your interest is piqued. School libraries need to seriously consider a shift towards digital access. This way texts can be ‘borrowed out’ to multiple readers simultaneously, not one at a time.

2. Newspapers- printed circulation down 7 million over last 25 years; Online circulation is up 30 million in last 5 years

Clearly, what we have known for some time about the importance of immediate connection when dealing with news influences this trend. News happens and social media platforms alert the world. When people want to find out more, traditional printing of newspapers isn’t fast enough in this social media world. School libraries should connect users to digital online news rather than continue to subscribe to dated hard copies of newspapers.

3. Traditional advertising declining; Digital advertising is growing rapidly

Because traditional publications are declining, it would seem logical that advertising in those arenas would also decline. As school libraries try to brand their image, consideration needs to be made to a digital approach to inform users of programs and news. Social media is the most immediate connector, whereas once newsletters , emails and telephone calls were the norm.

4. 10 million unique visitors to 3 large tv networks every month/ 250 million unique visitors to 3 large social networking platforms every month, which didn’t exist 6 years before.

This trend highlights the senselessness in holding on to more traditional methods of communication and connection. School libraries need to embrace digital trends. The fact that such companies that didn’t exist 6 years previously could pull such a high impact speaks volumes regarding the fluidity of social media. What is popular now may not be in a few short years. That is why school librarians need to stay informed about changes and trends in social media. Tools such as current social media infographics are important for continuing professional understanding for all teacher librarians.

5. The mobile device will be the world’s primary connection tool to the internet in 2020.

Progressively technology is becoming more powerful and smaller in size. Of particular interest was the point made that the most powerful computer in 1965, which was housed in a building, is nothing compared to what we now carry around in our pockets. This amazing trend highlights how much we have the world at our fingertips. How much the world needs to catch up in terms of providing access to what this technology can do. School libraries need to include in their policies clear guidance regarding mobile technology and ‘bring your own devices’. Clear policy about how these devices are used, access provided by the school and security of information should be included in such policy writing.

OLJ Task- Libraries using Social Media comparison

This task asks for a comparison of how three libraries use social media to support their goals.

I have chosen 3 diverse libraries which all use social media to meet the needs of their clients or users:

1. School library- Scotch College

2. Public council library- Brisbane City Council Libraries

3. University library- CSU

Scotch College library

Brisbane City Council Libraries

CSU Library


Uses blog to publish news and opinions about literature Blog used for announcements. literature reviews and interesting articles


Twitter used for announcements, links to interesting websites and poses literary questions Twitter for announcements, links and interesting articles links


Facebook page for Scotch College Breakfast series. Provides notifications and announcements as well as forum for feedback Facebook page to provide notifications of events and issue related links Facebook page for announcements, events and interesting links. Includes archival photos of CSU events.

RSS Feeds


Embeds youtube clips for book trailers in blog YouTube clips in Twitter

1. School library- Scotch College

scotch college blogscotch college FB

2. Public council library- Brisbane City Council Libraries

BCC library 2 BCC library 1

3. University library- CSU

CSU library

Reflection- Reasons why Libraries should be on social media

While it must be remembered that each of these libraries focuses on diverse user groups, each one has utilised some applications in social media. Social media can be used effectively to support services and inspire learning and reading, especially in a school library setting.

1. Timely announcements- using Twitter and Facebook to announce and promote events, book releases, service disruptions, change in opening hours etc.

2. Promoting reading- Blogs can be used effectively as a community to post ideas, questions, feedbacks, opinions, articles and podcasts about literature. Blogs become a collection point for many areas. Similarly, Facebook and Twitter can do the same. It is important to know your user base and provide access to whatever social media platform works best for them. Be aware what suits the purpose or function and be aware of what most people use.

3. Interesting related links- Blogs, Facebook and Twitter can all be used effectively to provide links top other social media and websites that relate to libraries, learning, research, skill development etc.

4. Feedback- social media provides an opportunity to get feedback from users. Libraries need to provide an effective service that promotes further library use. Social media provides that forum.


Scotch College-

Scotch Library and Information Centre. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://library.scotch.vic.edu.au/website/

The Portal. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://library.scotch.vic.edu.au/blog/

Scotch College Breakfast series. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/breakfastseries?ref=ts

Brisbane City Council Libraries-

Brisbane City Council Libraries. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/facilities-recreation/libraries/index.htm

Charles Sturt University Library-

Charles Sturt University: Division of Library Services. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.csu.edu.au/division/library

Second Life

An interesting article Second Life: A Virtual World. Why are Librarians there?, in First Monday, 13(8) by Ilene Frank (4 August, 2008).

It provided many examples of how Second Life could add an extra dimension to educational and library programs. However, I do wonder about the age of this article and some predictions that it made back in 2008.

The Gartner Group (2008) estimated that 80 percent of active Internet users will be using virtual worlds by the end of 2011.

One issue is the computing power necessary for running virtual worlds. Running Second Life and other virtual worlds requires a LAN or broadband connection and a fairly high–end computer with an appropriate graphics card.

I don’t think that 80% of internet users are using virtual worlds now, despite that prediction. The requirements to run such programs are a deterrent. I am not a fan of Second Life, partly because my computer couldn’t cope and I was left with pink screen and difficulty in controlling my avatar due to a delay time. Perhaps the virtual world suits some people more and I am having difficulty appreciating this diversity. I would rather spend the time reading the text and looking at media on Facebook, blogs, websites than spending the time moving my avatar to virtual environments to communicate with other people.

If virtual worlds were to be successfully used in library programs, they would need to convince many people of a need that cannot be successfully administered with another social media tool.