Posts Tagged ‘Library 2.0’

Hello Fellow LSC597ers!

We are indeed coming to the end of the semester, and many of us are coming to the end of our time at URI. Wow. It went fast. Thank you to everyone for many enjoyable posts, discussions, links, ideas and well wishing.

Here are some of my thoughts on the course, on social media, on blogging and what comes next- my opinions, naturally, and not necessarily very sensible ones!

1. The course: I think a component addressing the use of social media tools in the library belongs in the core courses, and its curriculum has to stay current with developments. Whether the topic needs to be a stand alone course like 597 (a class I have really felt has made an impact on my ability to use social media, and probably one of the most useful courses I’ve taken to improve my repertoire of skills!) or whether it should be part of 502 or 508 is moot. It  probably depends very much on the realities of budget and faculty capacity, but I do think it’s vital to address  SMNs and communication/marketing/PR etc.  Maybe it will naturally evolve as a part of many courses because the students and instructors of the next years will automatically use 2.0- and-beyond tools in every aspect of their daily lives.

2. The Library 2.0 /Social Media Tools: I want to blaspheme here, thinking of Ranganathan’s five laws. Just substitute “Social Media Tool” for “Book(s)” and sometimes “user” for “reader” in 1-4 and 5 stays the same:

  1. Books/SMTs are for use.
  2. Every reader/user his [or her] book/SMT.
  3. Every book/SMT its reader/user.
  4. Save the time of the reader/user.
  5. The library is a growing organism.

I bet that’s not an original thought. In fact, I wonder if we haven’t read something of the sort over the course of the semester.

That leads me to another problem, whether exclusive to me or shared I don’t really know, though there is plenty written about superficial reading and clicking in search behavior. I do not absorb information as well when I am flipping back and forth through lots of online reading with hyperlinks to ever more information. Unfortunately, I find that is how I often approach blogs and the linked reading from tweets. Yes, I have developed all sorts of nifty ways to “hold that thought” by tags, bookmarks etc. using Diigo, Evernote and “Read It Later” (my three remaining favorites after much trial and exploration) but it still leaves me feeling fuzzy brained. I return to Ranganathan # 4.

Onward with musings and opinions: I was surprised how effective Facebook has been for interactive discussions in a closed group. I found we were more coherently communicative there than through tweets and blogs. Is it the layout of comments cascading down from the original post? Dunno, but something seemed to work better, and not just for me by the look of it. Twitter is great for quick “pass it on” messages. Really, far the most effective tool in that way, but I find it too disjointed for following a thread, even if using a hashtag.

The future: I think it makes tremendous sense for libraries to assess their unique communities for which traditional and social media communication tools are prevalent. They should build their marketing based on those conduits. This will probably vary considerably in different communities. Whatever the form, 2.0 tools should be integrated in the library web presence.

For me personally, I’ll be continuing at least a blog, linked to my reading (probably Library Thing rather than shelfari because Library Thing will show German libraries too) and my Pinterest. We’ll see how far I go from once a week updates. Eventually, I really would like to have an interactive site for students, teachers, parents… I had better start small, though, so it will be a modest little library blog.

Last but not least, I recommend reading at least the Social Network part of Cites & Insights 12:4 (May 2012). It starts on page 33 with discussion and citations from dana boyd on what problems can arise when using social media sites. Boyd has had quite a few issues apparently with Tumblr, e-mail providers, domain names… It’s quite a treat. I haven’t dared follow all the links yet. (Go back to Ranganathan #4 once again. Am I getting too repetitive?)

Alas, I am reluctant to sign off. Thank you all 597ers, and thank you Suellen. It has been an interesting journey!

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Revolution, Evolution… or Neither?

The word revolution has connotations of overthrowing a regime, a previous order or way of doing things, and they tend to be violent. Evolution simply means things are “developing”, and gee, they always are.

In the case of libraries, it’s safe to say things are evolving and the shifts are major, but much of the system is still in place. No revolution, the baby (or should I say the senior citizen in the tub?) hasn’t been thrown out with the bath water, and much of the bath water is still there, too. Just add a little more hot, please!

Frankly, I thought the mention of revolution or evolution detracted from some of the points this paper set out to make; good points about keeping the library relevant through user centered services delivered with current technology, and good clear description of the four criteria that Library 2.0 definitions and models have in common: everywhere, barrier free, participatory and “best of breed”. Like any organization interested in thriving yet dedicated to serving, libraries will try to maintain their satisfied customer base and attract a strong new following by combining traditional services and holdings with recent technology developments, multiple information formats & delivery and innovative service offerings.

What the authors left out of their discussion of paradigm shifts is the emphasis in the Library 2.0 movement on creative and collaborative tools and resources, not “just” information resources and services. More seriously, they seem to have drawn illogical conclusions from some of the work cited, incorrectly cited I might add. Take a look at the last paragraph under Part 5. The consequence does not make sense, and I am pretty sure Swanson, by the way, is not the author of the source cited, he simply blogged about the titled report. You can get to the Library 2.0 blog forum from the reference listed, but the page link isn’t active anymore. With sleuthing, I accessed the reference here: http://www.library20.com/profiles/blogs/515108:BlogPost:72083

The report is indeed about information/digital illiteracy findings. Does this make the conclusion drawn, “services … remained more or less the same” a valid statement? Not for my brain. That library 2.0 blog forum looks promising, though!

And here’s another critical comment. I seem to be having a Lucy van Pelt week!

“Pros and Cons of Social Media”

I have to disagree with Elin’s statement that “social media are a frightening phenomenon to incumbents in the press, in politics and in the media” and that these organizations rely on scarcity to control things. Rather, I think such organizations are cautious about social media because of the many examples of erroneous information dissemination through twitter and other IM tools we’ve witnessed during the Arab Spring. After incorrectly postings from “reliable” news agencies like Reuters, the media should be wary!

Hinckley has it right when he says the volume and rapid availability of information “has only accelerated the pressure to be ‘first,’ often at the expense of being ‘right.’”

“Old and New Media”

I’ve never seen the term “legacy outlets”, used here for reliable or traditional news sources with a long pedigree!

So bloggers are writing about “serious” news, it seems than. That makes perfect sense, since most blogs are focused on specific interests, and people are usually pretty serious about their interests. Even though blogs are not usually collaborative to the degree of wikis, they are interactive through commentary, allowing and encouraging serious discussion.

All right. I’ll try to be more positive the next time!

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