Okay, I admit I’ve totally neglected my lonely blog this week, in fact perhaps it’s been longer. Like everyone else, I’ve been slaving over the literature review, trying to be scholarly in tone and well read.

But wait! We’re also exploring YouTube, interacting on FaceBook, tweeting, blogging, commenting on blogs and… uh-oh looking for some Web 2.0 sources for that literature review.

Do any of you know that early childhood game, “Hi, my name is Joe”? The one where he is always willing to do one more task when asked if he’s busy? He has to turn buttons, first with his right hand, then adding the left, the feet one by one, and finally the head?   At last he answers “Are you busy?” with YES! You get the picture (if your head isn’t turning buttons in a blur).

Still, I’ll just add one more bit to the load. I’ve been looking at good examples of social media for schools. Here’s TedEd- on YouTube for schools, of course, as well as TED.


As a last gasp on the Facebook readings this week, I’ll just say Fernandez has covered all bases and scared the Facebook out of me. No not really, but he does bring up so many pitfalls in “Privacy and Generation Y: Applying Library Values to Social Networking Sites”. I appreciated the exploration of whether Gen Y does want privacy. I think they do (going by my own kids and a slew of students), just as much in some ways as other generations. They just don’t always think about it before/during or after Online interactions. But how many of us are always premeditated, and how much in this world would never have been created/achieved if we were all always cautious about privacy? Just think of that word “uninhibited” in connection with performing and visual arts throughout history. In connection with many eccentrics, for that matter.

I was glad of this emphasis, though: Fernandez notes, “the majority of 18-24-year-olds…did not want tailored advertisements” and, when made aware of tracking practices, “the number who opposed tailored advertisements increased” (Fernandez, 8 quoting Turow et al. 2009, 16). I think it’s the “when made aware” that counts, and all the stink about Facebook keeping profiles really heated up in 2009 as Fernandez explains.

Nevertheless, I feel really wary about how best to reach out to the public while protecting their privacy if I myself can’t always be sure how much I am revealing, how secure sites are etc. Will I be able to inform myself deeply enough to trust my own competence? Does that mean I shouldn’t become a librarian in today’s SNS driven world? “Translators of SNS knowledge” sounds like a great skill to add to ones CV!

I appreciate the recommendations to update policies, to post news about privacy issues and to stay sensitive to patron boundaries. Add library employee boundaries to that.

In “Balancing Outreach and Privacy in Facebook: Five Guiding Decision Points”, the author, Peter Fernandez, provided a timely set of considerations for setting up a library Facebook account. The article was written at the phase a couple of years back when libraries were developing their bag of Social Media marketing and promotional tricks. Some of the caveats seem obvious, but that is easy to say after using Facebook on a personal basis and before trying to maintain a Facebook page professionally. My first reactions though, as naive or unrealistic as they may be, follow:

#1. The Tone: I would think library patrons of any age would prefer their library to use Facebook as a professional, rather than personal communication platform. An exception might be if a library set up a separate “teen space” Facebook group. I personally would not want to begin with that if I was new to Facebook, or if I was the designated page maintenance person. The potential for unwanted material (no, not necessarily malicious, just inadvertent or impulsive) would be too great.

#2. Patrons as Co-Developers: Daily active administrative monitoring, the option to block certain accounts and a clear set of guidelines for using the library’s Facebook I hope would be enough to maintain a positive interactive channel for those patrons wishing to contribute to their library’s Facebook page. Experience might change my response, of course!

#3. The Wall & News Feeds: If the library keeps itself as a group, doesn’t that prevent contributors’/members’ personal feeds from showing up on the library stream? If not, please send me back to Facebook 101. No, Facebook K-2. Oh, I hope I’ve understood the purpose of discrete groups.

#4. Other Apps: This is where I know I would never want to be responsible for maintenance unless my team included very savvy IT folks- be they colleagues or a patron volunteer. I have noticed a lot of times when I’ve linked from one site to another I am asked for personal information. I have certainly joined a lot of platforms and sites for this course, and I haven’t always wanted to give as much information as they want. Usually, I back off if I don’t feel comfortable, but I am sure there is a lot more info mining going on than I would personally promote intentionally.


#5. Maintenance: See responses to #s 1-4.

Some of you do work in libraries with FB presence. What is your personal experience with abuse, privacy breaches, maintenance difficulties and patron acceptance/connectivity/concern?


“The Use of Facebook in Academic Health Science Libraries” by Hendrix, Chiarella, Hasman, Murphy and Zafron

This was a straightforward piece of research writing, a fact I appreciate as I struggle with LSC557! I raised an eyebrow at the possible ethical no-no mentioned in the literature review section (“Creatively, the authors scanned student group conversations on Facebook” Is this unethical, merely a bit of lurking, or am I being too picky?) The findings were no surprise, especially looking at the date data was collected: Facebook doesn’t play a big role in Health Science libraries.

There were a few surprises in the results, like two respondents not knowing if their library had a Facebook presence. Unless the participating library directors and department heads were in enormous, compartmentalized organizations, I can’t imagine how they could be unaware, considering their positions!

While I imagine Facebook probably would never be perceived as the optimal platform for serious forums and professional information in the medical field, it surprised me that nobody seemed to be using their library’s Facebook to post library tutorials as slideshare/.ppt, video or podcast. Perhaps, as the authors say, As the comfort level and facility with this product increases, applications become more robust, and actual maintenance time is understood, it may be likely that more libraries will establish a Facebook presence” (p.49). Of course, it is no surprise that Facebook use wanes among medical students as they progress through their degree. The same would doubtless be true for law students, veterinarians and any of the programs that require extraordinary volumes of reading and memorizing. Maybe Facebook doesn’t stand a chance in medical or law libraries for this reason, no matter how digitally versatile the librarians become, but using the FB page to preempt typical student search needs with short, informative tutorials might be an effective use!

Thinking back to the PEW report, here’s an interesting comment about real friendships from a digital native who voluntarily went without any form of electronic contact for two weeks. (This seems to be a trend treated by some on a par with climbing Everest or surfing those Hawaiian rollers, but this guy may be down to Earth.)



Greg Notess. “The Terrible Twos: Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and More”

Notess describes the new Web technologies as “a conglomeration … that…represent a new way of interacting online.” and the terms, it seems are “ambiguous and sometimes contradictory” (40). It seems the spectrum of applications out there ranges from extremely useful to utterly trivial. When I explore for our LSC597course, I notice there are more of the latter than the former. Perhaps I’m just not with it. In any case, I am grateful to the bloggers who cull and sort through what is useful and how to use it.

Notess gives a clear rundown of various technologies constituting or exemplifying Web 2.0. I learned quite a bit, like AJAX actually being a use of mixed technologies. I always thought it was code, or a computer language, like CSS or HTML.

Then there are the APIs. Why wouldn’t a software programme want others to incorporate their API? This must be motivated by profit and competition fear, but I would think the higher exposure would be good for business. Anyway, I explored a few of the APIs at programmableweb.com as Notess suggests and found this great example of a mashup: http://www.programmableweb.com/mashup/vuzzbox

In general, I was surprised by how many sites were still active six years after this article was written. It’s a pity that tagcloud.com no longer exists, but of course there’s wordle.

Oooo. and I like that word Notess uses for mashups: “concatenations”. It sounds willful, spirited and headstrong. I don’t suppose that helps me explain things one bit, though.


I looked at another Notess article, “Forget Not the Forums”, which really appealed to me. There was a lot of practical information and the sensible reminder that not every Internet search should be started with the usual giants. I looked around some of the content sites and forum search engines Notess recommended. Boardtracker appears to be in limbo, omgili returned nothing on my public library/libraries/school library searches (Is NOBODY talking about these things?) and Boardmaker returned 1000 on public library (mostly Facebook!) and 283 forums on libraries. Some of them were definitely not what I was searching for, but there were links to The Chronicle of Higher Education boards among other interesting relevant forums.) I will definitely use Boardmaker again.

Reading the PEW Report on Social Networking Sites and our Lives, by Keith N. Hampton, Lauren Sessions Goulet [I wonder if she’s from RI], Lee Rainie and Kristen Purcell (no, I did not read all 85 pages -or 82 omitting notes & references- the week of Comps) I felt the indigestion of (un)healthy skepticism catching in my craw stat after stat.

First there was the implied announcement in the summary that the survey findings could tell us “how use of these technologies is related to trust, tolerance, social support, and community and political engagement” (p.3)

A few gems:

The average American has 634 “ties” in their overall network, but if they use the Internet at home several times daily, they average 732. Ties, not people. LinkedIn and Twitter have larger networks than FB etc. etc.

And friends, the true “I could tell you anything if I needed to” friends are rare at 2.1 but more common than two years ago.

It did make sense that well over half of Facebook friends are from High School, and I’m not surprised that younger FB users friend their “core friends” more frequently than older users.

Here’s another one I liked: “Those who use MySpace have significantly higher levels of perspective taking.”

Or, if we use Facebook heavily, we’re more likely to trust people, attend political events and sway the voting choices of…ummm… others.

HOW do they come up with these things? Yes, I know they compiled data from survey (The report lists 27 questions, but there are 156 questions listed under separate .pdf. You’re kidding.) It is so easy to answer something like “I intend to go to a political rally” because there is no commitment and it “sounds” engaged. There is a political world of difference between “would” vote and “do” or “did” vote. Maybe I’m just too cynical, or maybe I belong on MySpace.

More on the other readings later.