Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

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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Dempsey’s extensive article on the way 2.0 technologies are changing our lives and the places – or should I say time and spaces – in which we work and act was an interesting collage of the opportunities and challenges of our permanently wired world. One of the most notable points for me, not only for the thought but also for word choice (bricolage!) was the remark about converging (or at times conflicting?) modes of 21st Century information-gathering and classic research methods. It brought immediately to mind an article I skimmed (yup, there’s that alarming “attention scarcity … where a bouncing and skimming style of consumption has been observed” (Nicholas, et al in Dempsey)) about Twitter’s role in predicting citation, i.e. the correlation between tweets and later frequency of citations in connection with publication. It’s a bit off track to relate these two, but the research certainly pertains to new ways in which social media is used in a mash-up with “old school.”

From the teacher librarian perspective, the dilemma whether to connect by building “an internal social network …[or to] piggyback on one of the social networks they already use” was very pertinent. I know plenty of colleagues, not to mention students, who choose not to use school conduits of communication if avoidable. On the other hand, who is going to allow the library into their private network unless they’ve gotten enthusiastic through some other means?

I’m exercising brevity, so let me end on how RELEVANT the need is to develop some sort of cross generational / cross cultural social media etiquette, and HOW CHALLENGING it is to compose a condensed, content rich message. I need more practice!

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I’ve been running the maze of online forums and groups within the social media sites I’ve joined (or reanimated) for this course. There really are a lot of interesting ideas, links to bookmark ….and content to forget as I move on to the next interesting glint in the water.

Take a look at these Top 100 Tools put together on Jane Hart’s “Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies” (not a bad place to spend a bit more time looking for social learning articles). Then, if you like what you see, you can share it/bookmark it on one of the myriad platforms offered. Well, this site doesn’t have the ca. 330 options available through the article (a very nice tribute to libraries, btw) hyperlinked here! (Go to the bottom of the Yorkshire Post article and look at the plethora under the orange “share” icon. You’ll have to expand the list to get the full benefit of the offerings!)

How can we keep up with the number of tools and platforms mushrooming out of the ground? Is it necessary? Surely, less is more in this case, as long as the less is the high traffic end of what’s available?

This is how I get lost in the fog of information out there as I search for relevant material for both this course and 557. I know I am not alone. In fact, I hope I am not repeating what anyone else has blogged since Friday. I vaguely recall seeing a post with the words “too much” in the title…

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Well this is an extremely apt article in our exploration of social networking and its role in learning! I think of it as a counterbalance in my perpetual argument with myself and my opinions! Read “What Schools Are Really Blocking When They Block Social Media”

What I really think is important is the point about students enhancing their learning through SM, i.e. it’s not just a distraction. Note, of course, that forbidding use of SM in schools just feeds circumvention, not compliance. (That is a debate unto itself in much more than SM! I have A LOT to say about forbidding things as a mother, educator, librarian and student. Not here.)

While it doesn’t directly relate, there is an ongoing series of  Harrington School roundtables we should be aware of in this class. I went to the meet-and-greet with Renee Hobbs on Wednesday. She is a strong advocate and specialist in media use in learning. She’s also, of course, the new head of the Harrington School of which GSLIS is part. I encourage everyone in our class to get to one or more of the roundtables at the Alumni Center. They are taking place Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. on February 9, 23 and March 8. They’ll be discussing what we see as the direction our fields are taking. I plan to be there on February 9 (can’t make the other two) and will post anything of interest, but it would be fun to see more of our department represented. I think we’re the only  graduate program, but those media, communications, PR, rhetoric and journalist students tie right into the themes of our LSC597 course!

For those of you familiar with past Sakai discussions of the role of food as incentive to participate, they serve PIZZA and beverages at the roundtable discussions!

In case you haven’t seen the promo video of the Harrington School or the URI webpage on the Harrington School, here it is.

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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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