Monday, October 8, 2012

INF506 - Evaluative Statement

For the posts that show evidence of meeting the learning objectives I have chosen
Delicious and Libraries
Evaluation of ASU Libraries and the 4C's
"Do You Know 4.0" Trends and Information Policy

Social networking technologies
Social networking technologies are sites that make use of Web 2.0 technology to facilitate communication between people who share interests and allow them to share content they create, collaborate with people and their content (OCLC, 2007, p.2-1). The essential feature is that they are social (OOLC, 2007 p.2-2), and it is the ability to allow participation between people that makes them valuable (Kroski, 2008, p.3). Being immersed in social networking technologies is a great way to learn and this course has allowed me to do this to better understand the intricacies of social networking technologies. I have joined networks I would never had done, such as Linkedin, Flickr, and Delicious all which has added to my understanding of the wider world of social networking. My post about Delicious indicates that I understand that social networks are social and require following people to get the benefit of collective intelligence in what to bookmark, and awareness of the issues of that collaboration can involve such as problems with social tagging.

Library 2.0
Although important, O'Reilly's definition of what Web 2.0 is has a lot of technical jargon (2005). I have found that the 4Cs of Web 2.0: Collaboration, Conversation, Community and Content creation (Hay, Wallis, O'Connell & Crease, 2012) has become a mnemonic for me in understanding Library 2.0. Library 2.0 collaborates with both staff and patrons to improve services, opens opportunities for conversations, fosters a feeling of community and creates content both through the staff and user-generated. Having this understanding allowed me to assess the Arizona State University (ASU) Libraries as a Library 2.0 example. Through this activity and my assignment case study on Facebook and Pinterest I have discovered that although many libraries are using social networking technologies in practice they fall short of the Library 2.0 ideal. They create new content, and a community of followers and have tools that allow for conversation but libraries have difficulty with creating conversations and opportunities for user-generated content. When libraries are successful in getting patrons to participate they can use customers knowledge contribute to and improve services (Casey & Savastinuk, 2006, para.11).

Meeting information needs of users
This course has given me the opportunity to interact with social networking technologies as a user to see how they met my information needs. It has allowed be to access the social networking technologies as tools. “Different social sites have different emphases” (OCLC, 2007, p.2-2) so it is important to find the technology that is the right tool to meet user information needs (Harvey, 2009, p.7). My post about Delicious describes how Delicious was the right tool to meet my information need of organizing web resources for my assignments but that there were features that could make it difficult such such as allowing inconsistent tagging. The assessment of ASU also demonstrates how I assessed the features of Twitter, Youtube and a blog with RSS in how it was delivering information content to its users.

Supporting informational and collaborative needs of libraries
Libraries are information agencies responsible for organizing and disseminating information. Social networking technologies about creating, sharing and publishing content (OCLC, 2007, p.2-2) which includes information, so the two compliment each other well. Social networking media allow libraries to provide information, promote and improve their services, collections and events. The evaluation of ASU enabled me to evaluate how libraries are using these technologies to support their information services to patrons. They use short youtube clips to impart library information and resources quickly and creatively to patrons, Twitter imparts reference information promptly and blogs are full of information about events and resources. My post about Delicious evaluated how libraries can use this social network technology to meet collaborative and informational needs. It enables libraries to share resources between staff and between libraries both in services such as reference and readers advisory as well as in programming and searching for ideas. Libraries were also using it as an information portal as part of the libraries web resources for patrons.

Information Policy
I have come to understand that policies are important and in this subject I can see the practical applications. Well developed information policy responds to the changes in technology and the way information is communicated (Dearnley & Feather, 2001 p.85). The video Are you 4.0? examines trends that can be used to influence information policy. I examined trends that addressed the social issues of where people get news from and changes in communication to texting; educational issues of Wikipedia; ethical issues of illegally downloading music; technological issues of trends towards mobile devices. Policies should be developed in consultation with stakeholders (Bryson,2006 p.130) which include patrons. In a socially networked world it is easier to obtain this feedback as there are more avenues for conversation.

Bryson, J. (2007). Managing information services: A transformational approach. Burlington, VT.: Ashgate.

Casey, M.E. & Savastinuk, L.C. (2006). Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library. Library Journal, 1 September. Retrieved from

Dearnley, J., & Feather, J. (2001). Information policy. The wired world: An introduction to the theory and practice of the information society (pp. 60-93). London: Library Association.

Harvey, M. (2009). What does it mean to be a Science Librarian 2.0? Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, 58(1). DOI:10.5062/F4M906KW. Retrieved from

Hay, L., Wallis J., O'Connell, J. & Crease, R. (2012). What is Library 2.0 [INF506 Module 3:Library 2.0 and participatory library services] Retrieved September 14, 2012 from Charles Sturt website: f698-4c0c-8031-84f37037aa7a

Kroski, E. (2008). Web 2.0 for librarians and information professionals. New York: Neal-Shuman

OCLC. (2007). Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World : A Report to the OCLC Membership. Dublin, Ohio: Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Retrieved from

O'Reilly, T. (2005, September 30). What is Web 2.0. Retrieved from

INF506 - Reflective Statement

This has been an amazing journey of discovery. I chose this subject because I enjoyed social networking [read I was addicted to Facebook].  I also wanted evidence to present to the leadership of why we should be incorporating Web 2.0 technologies at the library I work at and to develop the skills to be able to implement them. This is how it turned out.......

My development as a social networker
This subject gave me the opportunity to discover new social networking sites and to experiment with different features in familiar ones. I discovered that there is a social network for almost every hobby and have joined Cake Central for cake decoration. I discovered that Pinterest is more than a place to store pretty pictures and that it is a social bookmarking site.
I joined social networks that I had dismissed such as Twitter and have discovered that a lot can be said in 140 characters! Most startling for me is that I have enjoyed my experiences in Second Life. I have wandered around seeing some of the sites, interacting with objects and people and going shopping. If I had a better graphics card and faster computer who knows what could happen.......
I am more confident and purposeful in the way I use social networking sites and am cross-promoting my social networking profiles on other sites.  I now actively look for places to collaborate and create content on my social networking sites such as collaborative boards on Pinterest.  I have become more aware of security risks online, despite this I still feel compelled to share more of myself on my social networks.

Implications for my development as an information professional
As I work in a public library, I have purposely focused my learning on public libraries and observing best practice by public libraries on social networking sites.
Before staring this course I was impatient to jump into Web 2.0 and frustrated because the library I work in had no plants to introduce Web 2.0 technologies to provide services to patrons. The turning point for me was reading Meredith Frakas post “The essence of Library 2.0. It reminded me that the point of any library service is services that are focused on the needs of users, and that it is pointless to maintain  or use social networking services if they are not the best ways to meet the needs of patrons.
I also learned that there is a lot involved in setting up social networking for libraries before even considering which technologies, such as polices. Especially relevant to me were polices about user-generated content, and planning in advance what the library expects from users and how they will respond. I am a little disappointed that this process hasn't even started at my library, so it is going to be a while before social networking technologies are implemented.
This course has made me want to strive to be 'Librarian 2.0'. Partridge, Lee and Munro suggest eight key areas for Librarian 2.0: technology; learning and education; research and practice; communication skills; collaboration and teamwork; user-focussed; business savvy; and certain personality traits (2010, p.325-329). I feel that some of these areas are traditional librarian skills which I possess and some of these skills this course is helping me to acquire. The area that I really lack in, is technology. I am semi-aware of changing trends but I have shied away from technology or let my husband deal with it. I don't even have a mobile phone. Discovering from my post on changing trends on Are you 4.0? that texting is becoming the most common form of communication and that by 2020 most people will access the internet via mobile devices makes me realize that to be Librarian 2.0, I need to hop onto the technology train.
One of my main objectives for this course was to learn how to market the library on social networks. I realize that I had the wrong focus. Social networking technologies are for developing relationships with patrons and getting them to participate and collaborate with the library in order to better meet the their needs. When patrons feel part of the library in this setting, they will promote the library.
This course has allowed me to connect with resources that will continue to help me in my as a social networking librarian. It introduced me to blog writers like Meredith Frakas and Stephen Abram.  I am following libraries that have good social networking practices on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I feel that I am on my way to setting up some good resources to support me on my professional social networking adventure.

Partridge, H., Lee, J., & Munro, C. (2010). Becoming "Librarian 2.0": The Skills, Knowledge, and Attributes Required by Library and Information Science Professionals in a Web 2.0 World (and Beyond). Library Trends, 59(1-2), 315-335.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Libraries and Second Life

I must admit that Second Life (SL) is becoming more appealing. Yes, I still have lag, my client crashes at inopportune times, but I have enjoyed interacting on this platform in my early experiences and on tours. It is very immersive, it somehow blurs the edged between reality and the virtual.

I am a little disappointed in the libraries that I experiences. I am not sure what I expected.I have experienced two different type of libraries in SL libraries such as Standford University which is a physical library as well as virtual and others such as Community Virtual Library (CVL) which is only virtual. Libraries exist in SL as many aspects of it try to imitate real life (well...not the parts where avatars are half beast, half person). And once people become more familiar with SL, they look for information on how they can improve their experiences and as in real life, people head for the library within Second Life for that information (Baity et al, 2009 p.5). 

Standford library is nicely set up with some lovely places to wander. I thought that I would interact more within SL but most of the interaction happened on websites outside of SL. I could leave a message, or be taken to a website to get questions answered. Visual boards of different branches linked me to their websites or catalogue. I loved reading about the rare books in the Book Garden.

My avatar perusing the Book Garden at Standford University Library

The CVL was similar. I could visit when there was a librarian present but it seemed to follow a US timetable. It seemed to have little popups that helped me to navigate round, had displays where I could get information on SL features such as scripting. It seemed to provide information about interacting in SL as well as linking to traditional resources via web pages.  

Using the reference services at CVL

From my experiences libraries in SL are: 
  • Offering traditional library services linking to back to library websites
  • Setting up virtual services with avatar librarians
  • Showcasing their collections
  • Providing spaces for conferences/lectures/learning opportunities. I see this as one of the best features of libraries in SL. People from different geographic locations can get together for discussions. It would be a great learning tool for distance education students to gather socially and also be able to have virtual lectures together and give presentations.
Some concluding thoughts
  • I wonder if SL has had its peak. Long term concurrancy statistics (maximum number of users on at any one time) show that that SL peaked in early 2009.  
  • SL requires a lot of staff time in experimenting and becoming comfortable in Second Life, in becoming competent and knowledgeable enough to help other users in their SL Journey and I wonder if that time is worthwhile.
  • What percentage of current library patrons would choose to access the library via SL? I would suggest very few from a public library, so is it really adding value to services.
  • SL is very resource heavy in that it requires newer computers with good graphics cards and large bandwidth to function well. This is a barrier for some in using services on SL, adding to digital divide issues
  • It still seems quite novel to me, and I wonder how many people use SL libraries from traditional information searching apart from information about engaging in SL.

Baity, C., Chappell, P., Rachlin, D., Vinson, C. & Zamarripa, M. (2009) When Real and Virtual Worlds Collide: A Second Life Library. Retrieved from

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Social media policy and user-generated content

In case you have missed the thread though other posts, I am impatient for the implementation of social networking technologies in the library I work at. This is being tempered by some of my readings and the need for a social media policy is another reminder that it is going to take time to implement social media properly.
In my readings about social media policy is what has been apparent is the need to include information in a social media policy about responding to user-generated content such as comments, and posts in response to library content. Fleet suggests that this falls into two areas: Comment moderation; and online interaction (Fleet, 2009, p.12)
The first issue would be whether to moderate comments before or after they are posted. It can be a disincentive to interact if patrons cannot see their comments appear straight away.
Content moderation in a social media policy sets boundaries for acceptable behaviour of patrons on company properties (which includes their social networking sites) such as acceptable language, personal attacks, off topic comments, spam comments, and blocking users for offences (Fleet, 2009, p13)e)
What really interests me are the 'rules of engagement' for staff in online interaction, since I want to be the person that is encouraging interaction on social networking sites. Social media policies should address and publicly promote the expectations for the way the library will behave online with respect to conversations and standards. (Fleet, 2009, p.14), Issues that can be addressed are will the library respond to spam, off-topic comments, defamatory comments, misinformation and disagreement and if so, how? Also how long will libraries take to respond. (Fleet, 2009 p.14)
These are important concerns to address, before they become an issue.

Personally, I like Vancouer Public Library approach to user generated content. They have decided to treat their social media spaces as any other physical space in the library where people are entitled to express their opinion (Cahill, 2009 p. 270) In the 'about' section of their Facebook page they have a disclaimer that the comments or information posted on the site do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Library.  They also have a link to their social media terms of use policy.

I think that in order to continue to encourage engagement it is important to respond to all comments and to allow users as much freedom on library social networking sites as possible only moderating comments and posts that pose legal issues.

Cahill, K. (2011). Going social at Vancouver Public Library: what the virtual branch did next. Program: Electronic Library and Information Systems, 45(3), 259 – 278.
Fleet, David. (2009). Social media policies: An introduction. [ebook] Retrieved from:

Twitter and Libraries

I am a woman of many words, verbose could be my middle name, so what could a microblogging site like Twitter which only allows me 140 characters have to offer me. Quite a lot actually and I am surprised. After blogging about a frustrating start I have been using Twitter sporatically thought this semester.
Some of my achievements:
  • I have composed over 80 tweets
  • I am following 48 people and being followed by 22
  • I have been retweeted at least three times
  • I won a book with a competition from Get reading
  • I followed a chapter of Pride and Prejudice achieved in tweets via the characters via Story Monkey
  • I have promoted my library
  • I have played around with attaching photos to my tweets and using the tag #ediblebooks
  • I am beginning to become aware of how important hashtags are to having tweets searchable and found by others.  I am looking for popular hashtags in my areas of interest that I can use such as #mustread; #bookreview; and #handmade.
I have been surprised by the versatility the Twitter has for libraries.
  • It can link to any URL. For example Parramatta Library linked to a pin on Pinterest of an image on an author talk.
  • Tweets can be linked to Facebook status updates.
  • Libraries can offer reference and answer library questions through Twitter. Arizona State Library  has students asking the library where to find certain resources, asking for directions, and answering student feed back.  
  • As with most social networking sites it is great for promotion.  Eastern Regional Libraries promotes books, events, author talks and resources 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Policy concerns and Social Networking sites

Image used and remixed with creative common rights from Mark Smiciklas

For this task I have read a few articles to look at the policy concerns of 'privacy, disclosure of personal information and online safely using Social Networking Sites (SNSs)' and 'information access for all and adequate bandwidth/connectivity and the digital divide', particularly with SNSs.

Because social networks have a reputation of being fun users are not aware of how these sites can be potentially unsafe. It is suggested that with an increase in the use of social networking there has been a corresponding rise in online fraud and crime (James, 2010, p.1). This are not just online crimes such as identity theft, but in the physical world such as thieves finding out when you are not home via Twitter. (James 2010 p.1)
Web 2.0 technologies are set up to encourage networking and collaboration and involves a high level of trust (McAfee, 2010 para.6). And this can be misplaced. Most people are on multiple SNSs, cross promoting their different accounts, not realizing how much information can be leaked, little bits of information when gathered into a whole can provide a lot of information. Users can share personal information and opinions, which can go viral (James, 2010, p.3). This information needs to be protected or people can use it to damage reputations or for identity theft (James, 2010, p.9)
It is important that library policies identify at risk behaviours on SNSs and make commitments to user education.

Libraries, particularly public libraries, have an ethos of information access for all, and in reducing barriers of the digital divide. Many patrons are now using library PCs for social networking. These sites use more bandwidth than static websites and are often used for communication and entertainment. They are competing with traditional library patrons using it for education, interacting with government and applying for work (Bertot, 2009, para.40). Not allowing social networking on library PC would deprive patrons of their main source of communication and entertainment (Bertot, 2009 para.46). Also, SNS have penetrated so much into our society that patrons can use SNSs to interact with governments agencies, to subscribe to news, and for most of their communication needs. To deprive then of this would then only increase the digital divide. Library policies should then confirm the growing importance that social networking has to being a digital citizen.


Bertot, J. C., Jaeger, P. T., McClure, C. R., Wright, C. B., & Jensen, E. (2009). Public libraries and the Internet 2008-2009: Issues, implications, and challenges. First Monday, 14(11). Available

James, M.L. (2010). Cyber Crime 2.0 versus the Twittering classes. Parliament of Australia, Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliamentary Library Information, analysis and advice for the Parliament. Retrieved from

McAfee (2010). Submission number 10: Response to the Parliament of Australia House of Representatives Re: Inquiry into Cyber Crime . Retrieved from

Experiences with Flickr

I joined Flickr for this social networking course and joined the class group. I immediately uploads some photos of some of my creations, cakes and owl related crafts as I found the site to have a 'show and tell' feel to it.. I found some friends and added them as contacts because I wanted to show off my photos. I played with the popular tag searches and found some interesting photos! I explored the site and really enjoyed the world map and the geotagging items. I image that this could be a good resource for education especially it image are of landmarks of the area.
I have used Flickr during the course to explore the creative commons images. I have displayed images in all my blog posts and wanted to use images that had permissions. I have used images, attributed recognition and I remixed images when those permissions exist.
I was unsure how best to use the INF206-INF506 Photo Pool until the lecturer suggested that this could be used as evidence of our learning. So I have finally added photos of my Pinterest and Second Life learning.

How public libraries could use Flickr
Promotion of events and programs Worthington library uses the Flikr display features of collections and sets well. It has 5 collections: Programs and Events; Library of the Year 2007; Enchanted Children's Areas, Life at the Library; and 2007-2008 Renovations. Inside each of these collections are multiple sets, the biggest being Program and Events with 35 sets dedicated to different events. The library does has a photostream, which is a stream of photos in order of upload but collections and  sets made it the page less chaotic and more visually attractive.
Show case the library with photos of library places and introductions to library staff. Photos can be annotated with a note about staff roles.
Photos of book covers for new books or book themes, like a virtual book display.
Photo competitions by allowing patrons to add photos. For example, the library I work at had a competition for photos of people reading somewhere in the council. If we had a Flickr account these could have been uploaded and displayed rather then people needing to print and send physical copies. Chester County library ran a collaborative competition about nature in Chester County.