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Posts Tagged ‘Social network’

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?)
http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i4.pdf

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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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.

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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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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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