INF506 Why Social Media

Standard

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.

References:

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/

 

Advertisements

INF506 Digital Collections

Standard

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.

References:

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

INF506 A Facebook Reflection

Standard

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.

INF506 Critical Evaluation ASU Libraries

Standard

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.

References:

Arizona State University. (2011). The Library Minute: The Social Connection. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohyqXAhLgsM

INF506 Building Academic Library 2.0

Standard

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.

References:

UC Berkeley Events. (2007, November 2). Building Academic Library 2.0. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_uOKFhoznI.

INF506 – Criteria for Library Websites Task

Standard

Activity:

1. Develop your own set of criteria with regard to effective library website design.

The criteria that I have developed are designed for secondary schools as that is the area in which I currently work.

Library websites should have the following features:

1. A modern design – they should not look old and outdated as students will be less inclined to use the site.

2. Regular updates – The library webpage should be updated regularly so students who visit it are met with something new and interesting when they visit (e.g. photos, events, new book releases, podcasts etc.)

3. Different links/pages for parents, teachers and students (Matthews, 2009) as the interests and vernacular of each group is different.

4. Search boxes (Matthews, 2009) – Important for users to be able to find the information they need quickly, otherwise students may turn to sites like Google for more efficient searching.

5. Mobile Friendly (Matthews, 2009) – As many users now access the internet via their phones/iPads etc. the site must be accessible using these devices.

6. Help – the library should have many ways of providing assistance to its users.

7. Clear instructions – At the school that I work at many students struggle to access the library services (e.g. encyclopaedia links, OPAC, logging in at home etc.) Therefore, clear instructions need to be provided stating how to access all the library has to offer – perhaps even a podcast/YouTube video to aid students who struggle to comprehend written instructions.

8. Social networking – the library needs to have a presence on social media to engage with its users. As McBurnie states ‘more than 70% of 16-24 year olds visited social networking sites’ (2007).

9. Student creation – As Web 2.0 is focused on user creation, perhaps having some student input would be an interesting way to engage users.

10. A sense of humour – Most students I speak to find the library a serious place. Showing an age-appropriate sense of humour may be another way to change attitudes and put a human face on the library.

Part two –

Evaluate the effectiveness of the selected library website based on your set of criteria, and identify aspects of the website that could be improved using Web 2.0 technologies.

My chosen website:

http://www.mariancollege.nsw.edu.au/new/library/

The website has a design that is beginning to look outdated (old graphics and fonts etc.) It is hard to tell when the page was last updated but it does not seem to have any ‘what’s new’ links. It does have a link to the student portal, which is excellent, however, an improvement may be adding teacher and parent links too. It does not contain a search box, contact information or a help function which does make it difficult for students should they need assistance. It does have some presence on social media with links to a Del.icio.us account.

While the library website has some good features, it needs to adopt a more interactive approach, it needs to be made more user-friendly and it needs to have many more ways of seeking assistance. 

References:

Matthews, B. (2009). Web design matters: Ten essentials for any library site. Library Journal, (15 February).

McBurnie, J. (2007). Your online identity: Key to marketing and being found. FUMSI, (October.)

 

INF506 A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries

Standard

Activity: Select advice from 5 letters of this A to Z list and consider how these may be applied to this library to help it embrace a library 2.0 ethos.

The school in which I currently work has been reluctant to embrace social media. It is thought that social media is fraught with dangers such as bullying and the fear that teachers may be considered unprofessional should students see their personal Facebook profiles. Therefore, the letters I have chosen are as follows:

A – Active. I believe that as a starting point, the library needs to become much more active in social networks (with both students and teachers). The library needs to promote the services they offer in a medium which students feel comfortable using.

D – direction. As a school that has not yet embraced social media on the whole, I feel that it is important that the library and the school itself work out a plan for what they hope to accomplish when using social networking.

F – Facebook. As the reading states ‘having a presence on Facebook with a fan page or a group is a must. Facebook is so popular now that it is expected’ (The Social Networking for Libraries Blog, 2010). The library needs to realise this and embrace this as almost every student at the school is a frequent Facebook user. The library needs to be more personable and demonstrate to students that it has kept up with modern innovations, otherwise the library will seem outdated and therefore irrelevant to students.

P – Podcasting. As students occasionally have to wait for the assistance of a teacher librarian (and many students are not happy with waiting) it would be helpful to provide tips for students via podcasting on how to utilise library services. Most students I know struggle to use the OPAC system and do not know how to navigate some elements of the library webpage – a simple podcast may help solve many of these issues and make the library more user-friendly.

T – Text messaging. This could have many uses within the library but one use I would propose would be notifying students of the arrival of new books by certain authors, or notifying students when items they have put on hold arrive back in the library. I teach many enthusiastic readers but even they get disheartened when they have to find time to go to the library each day to see if a book has come in. A simple text message would make this much more convenient and would ensure that enthusiastic library patrons don’t become disgruntled with the library’s services.

References:

The Social Networking for Libraries Blog. (2010). A to Z of social networking for libraries. Retrieved from http://internetworkmarketingwealth.com/archive/a-to-z-of-social-networking-for-libraries/