As a budding teacher librarian I have always struggled with Web 2.0 tools in terms of where to start. there are simply so many great things now online that could be used in an educational context and I have struggled to filter which tools that will be of most value to my students.
In my struggle, I have found Meredith Farkas’ blog to be very useful and enlightening on such topics. (http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/)
Farkas makes the following points:
‘It’s valuable to know how to use this stuff, but the focus should never be on the tools. Never. I know they’re fun to play with and it’s exciting to see the cool things other libraries have done with them, but that shouldn’t impact whether you use the technology or not. We should always be focused on our patrons’ needs.’
‘What I always hoped to see come out of the Library 2.0 movement is exactly what never did. I wanted to see a greater culture of assessment in libraries. How can we know what our patrons need and want if we’re not doing assessment?’
I found the above two points to be excellent as a way of better understanding which Web 2.0 tools that I should be using in both a library and classroom environment. It also seems an incredibly logical and simple way to approach tasks.
Farkas, M. (2008). The essence of library 2.0. In Information Wants to be Free. Retrieved from http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/
I have begun building my wiki for the assignment and I am having a lot of fun! I am using Wikispaces and am finding that the site is very easy to use. It is interesting to reflect on my wiki building experiences and the development of Web 2.0 software as I have made a few wikis for classroom use before using Google Sites. However, I found using the Google program (admittedly a few years ago now) was much more difficult. I am surprised at how much easier using Wikispaces is.
The other important point about this reflection is that now that I know how easy it is to use I am much more likely to use it with my classes (I am currently an English teacher). The exciting thing about being a budding teacher librarian is that I can’t wait to show others how easy wikis are to create.
I found the Burkhardt’s blog post a sensible and succinct way to convince librarians that they now need a presence on social networking sites (2009).
Burkhardt’s reasons are communication, responding to feedback, marketing/advertising and understanding users better (2009). I feel that this is an excellent summary of what should be done via social media. I particularly liked the point about responding to feedback. I feel that too often websites are simply created and left for students to use or not use. I think that if students feel that their voice is valued then they will be far more likely to utilise the services the library has to offer.
Burkhardt, A. (2009). Four Reasons Libraries Should be on Social Media. Retrieved from http://andyburkhardt.com/2009/08/25/four-reasons-libraries-should-be-on-social-media/
I found the Schrier article to be a very interesting article. It has made me consider that a lot of the things in the article could be applied to the library of the school that I currently work at. Many students are unaware of the services that the library offers. Most students I have spoken to are not aware of any databases the library subscribes to, nor any of the online programs the library has such as Encyclopaedia Britanica. As the Schrier article states ‘discovery happens elsewhere’ (2011).
This article has really cemented for me the importance of marketing the library services – of making students aware of all the services and resources that the library has. While it may be impressive to have all these services, if students are not aware of them and not using them, it simply makes attaining all these resources an expensive waste of time.
Schrier, R.A. (2011). Digital librarianship & social media: The digital library as conversation facilitator, D-Lib Magazine, 17(7/8) July/August 2011. Retrieved fromhttp://dlib.org/dlib/july11/schrier/07schrier.html
I have been using Facebook for this course but have found myself with some reservations that I have come to realise may be important before I utilise Facebook (or similar social networking sites) in my own practice.
When I initially found out that using Facebook was fundamental to this course I was not surprised but I was hesitant. My reluctance to use this site is due to the fact that all teachers at my school have been told not to have Facebook accounts. (We have also been told that should we decide to have an account anyway, the school will not support us if there are any issues surrounding our accounts). Therefore, I find it hard to engage in depth on the site as I have no wish to upset my employer.
My other hesitation after using the site is simply that I don’t find Facebook as easy to use for study purposes as I do the university forum pages. I find myself scrolling through a lot of information to see if conversations I am interested in have been updated.
Something I find myself considering is the correct register to use for Facebook (and I feel that many struggle with this). As it is a social networking site many people adopt casual language. However, I struggle with this as I see university study as a professional, more formal enterprise. I think that as a teacher librarian this is something that needs to be addressed before using pages like Facebook to connect with library patrons.
There are positives in using Facebook for study. I am easily able to access the site via my mobile so it makes keeping up to date on the go much easier. It is an interface that I am familiar with using so I didn’t need to teach myself anything before joining the Facebook group. It does also make study a more personal experience. I have enjoyed being able to see other people’s profiles and it makes online study more personal, instead of feeling quite formal and distant.
I thought it was important to reflect on the use of social networking tools from a student perspective before I implement these technologies in a school environment.
The task: Write a critical evaluation on ASU Libraries use of these platforms (‘The Library Minute’ You tube series and Web 2.0 tools used as part of the ASU library channel suite)to achieve the 4Cs of social media.
As part of this task I viewed many of ‘The Library Minute’ videos and also spent time looking at the ASU library’s Twitter and Flickr accounts. I was very impressed by the work the library has done to adopt web 2.0 tools and to entice users to gain the most from their library.
In terms of the 4Cs of social media, turning first to the concept of collaboration; it would appear from both the Flickr and Twitter accounts that collaboration is being done well at this library. In the Twitter feed, there were many Tweets related to displays, exhibitions, ceremonies etc. The Flickr account also showed many pictures of the library’s collaborative efforts. Collaboration with librarians was also encouraged in many of ‘The Library Minute’ videos and student feedback to tailor the library to their needs was stressed in many videos.
The second ‘C’ of social media is Conversation. I thought this was done particularly well by the library. Many of ‘The Library Minute’ videos encouraged conversation, through social media, through visiting the library in person and through submitting queries online. In the video ‘The Social Connection’ in particular, students were encouraged to speak to their librarians so the library could most effectively meet the needs of its users (2011).
The third ‘C’ of social media is Community. I feel that on the surface this appears to be something done well. However, I noticed that the library Twitter Feed had 492 followers and the Facebook page had 432 likes (at the time I accessed the sites). For a large university, these numbers seemed quite low. Therefore I feel that, in terms of fostering community, the library needs to encourage more students to access their social networking sites.
The final area of social media to be looked at is that of Content Creation. Again I feel this is an area that is being done well by the ASU libraries. However, when examining their social networking sites and ‘The Library Minute’ videos, there seems to be a lack of the co-creation of content, so perhaps this is an area for improvement.
Arizona State University. (2011). The Library Minute: The Social Connection. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohyqXAhLgsM
The task: Based on your viewing of the Youtube video ‘Building Academic Library 2.0′, select five key pieces of advice from the speakers, and consider how these may be applied to your library to help it embrace a library 2.0 ethos.
The first piece of advice I have chosen is from Wagner who urges librarians to work in partnership with their users. He recommends building a technology council to look at how people use technology (2007). The library in the school I work at needs to foster partnerships with students as many technological acquisitions are made without student input.
The second key piece of advice was also from Wagner who states that service is important – it is not just what is bought technology wise, but how it is delivered (2007). I feel this is important advice as many students I teach are not aware of the technology and its applications that are available in the library. Therefore, more time needs to be spent delivering new technology in a meaningful way.
The next three pieces of advice are taken from keynote speaker Meredith Farkas.
One of Farkas’ first piece of advice relates to the notion of radical trust, of opening up comments pages on social networking sites and trusting students to give feedback (2007). This is an important piece of advice for my school library as it does not have a Facebook page nor anywhere to leave comments online, the library only has a suggestion box in the foyer. There seems to be a culture whereby students are not trusted to make comments regarding their educational needs.
The next chosen piece of advice is know your users (Farkas, 2007). Again I feel this simple piece of advice is important for the library at my school. As the library is not involved in social networking sites and does not seem to actively seek feedback from its users, it would seem that the library is not really aware of its users needs.
The last piece of advice I have chosen is the suggestion to market to parents (Farkas, 2007). Working in a high school environment I found this interesting. I know that many of my students complete the majority of their assignments at home and I know that they seek help from their parents. Listening to Farkas, this idea really struck me as libraries have changed a great deal since the parents of my students were at school. Therefore, by marketing to parents, they will not only be aware of the library services but may also encourage their children to become active library users.
UC Berkeley Events. (2007, November 2). Building Academic Library 2.0. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_uOKFhoznI.