Final post: Evaluation and reflection

Evaluative statement (Using three examples from my Online Learning Journal)

 

Library 2.0 and participatory library services

Librarian 2.0

https://libinfostudies.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/library-2-0-and-participatory-library-services/

 

This blog entry contains a description of the skills needed for an information professional to become successful in a Web 2.0 environment. In my opinion, this entry about Librarian 2.o is one of the strongest entries in my Online Learning Journal (OLJ). I was able to synthesise my readings to form what I believe to be a clear, succinct description of these desirable skills and attributes.

Although this entry became my favourite, I would make changes if I were to write it again. The first point and the last, The flexibility to keep up with emerging technology” and “The confidence to try new things” are very similar and could, I think, be merged in to one point. As this would leave me with four points, I would have the opportunity to add another skill: The ability to learn collaboratively. In order for a library to successfully adopt Web 2.0 technology, staff must be willing and able to pool their knowledge. In order for the information professional to meet the needs of users they must learn the ways in which users are seeking out information, and how users feel the library can support them. This “give and take” approach to learning is essential for Library 2.0 to be successful.

In my opinion, this OLJ entry best demonstrates the understanding I have gained about the theory and successful practice of Library 2.0 principles.

Making Web 2.0 work for your organisation

Examples of Web 2.0 working for libraries & info agencies

https://libinfostudies.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/making-web-2-0-work-for-your-organisation-2/

 

In this blog entry, I compared the practices of three libraries that are using social media. I then used this comparison to compile a list of the positive ways in which social media can impact on a library’s ability to provide quality service. In choosing three very large libraries – Ones which I presumed would have greater staff time and resources to commit to social media strategies – I ensured that there were many tools to examine and compare. However, I believe that due to the similarities between the three libraries, their social media presence was somewhat homogeneous.

My OLJ entry would have benefitted from the comparison of libraries that served a broader range of user groups: For example, a comparison between State, academic and school libraries. This would have allowed me to show that libraries are using the same social networking tools in different ways according to the age, academic level and interests of their user groups.

In this entry, I demonstrated my knowledge of the different social networking technologies used by libraries, and the ways in which information professions are able to employ these tools to meet the needs of their users. In addition to identifying different social media tools (Such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest), I was able to identify the ways in which they are being used to support essential library services.

Social networking and information policy

Social media/networking policies for organisations

https://libinfostudies.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/social-networking-and-information-policy-2/

 

In this OLJ entry, I developed a list of five key points which I would use to advise a Social Media Working Party. When writing this list, I wanted to cover Fair Use and Copyright; ethical concerns such as organisational and user privacy; and the protection of the organisation’s reputation. I also made sure to address the need for a flexible policy that is able to reflect new trends in technology, and one that allows employees to be responsible for their decisions when using social media.

I chose to consider this question from the point of view of a Social Media Working Party that is drafting a policy for employee’s use of social media. Through my work as a Library Technician, I feel that I have become familiar with guidelines around patron codes of conduct when using library computers, and so I felt that this option would present me with a greater challenge.

Covering each point that I wanted to make within the word limit was quite difficult; I feel that my explanations suffered as I tried to make them as succinct as possible. Other concerns I would have liked to have addressed include inappropriate language and content, and the use of work social media profiles to express personal opinions.

However, I believe that in the OLJ entry, I was able to demonstrate my understanding of and commitment to relevant values in the information profession.

Reflection: My development as a social networker, and implications for my future as an information professional

Before participating in this unit, I had very limited knowledge of social media, the many ways in which it is used, and the impact it has upon our society. Prior to this study, I had a personal Facebook account and had used Twitter for a short time. Because of the frequency with which I check my Facebook, I believed that I already had a very thorough understanding of social networking sites, and was overwhelmed to discover how much I had to learn.

One of the biggest changes that I have noticed in myself is an enthusiasm for exploring new tools. Whereas before I was not aware how much was available, I am now aware of so many different ways in which social media can be used in libraries. This awareness has caused me to become more curious: To be always looking for new tools, apps and widgets that I can explore and use in my library. Additionally, I have begun to explore social networking sites that I can use in my personal time, recently signing up to Instagram and Tumblr. I believe this change in attitude will have professional benefits as I become a more innovative and dynamic staff member.

In addition to discovering new types of social media, this unit caused me to view it in different ways. Previously, I saw social networking as a ‘toy’: A way in which to fill time and see what was happening in the lives of my friends. While undertaking this unit, however, I discovered that social media and Web 2.0 technologies have come to play a vital role in our lives. It was surprising to find that social media and Web 2.0 play a role in politics (xplanevisualthinking, 2009); activism (Kagan, 2010); identity formation (Mallan & Giardina, 2009) and  in learning (Jenkins, Clinton, Purushotma, Robison & Weigel, 2006). This discovery has led me to think of social media not as a toy or game, but as a valuable new part of the way our society functions.

Participation in this unit has made me look critically at the way in which social media is handled in the library I work for. Our current method of implementing new social media is very haphazard; as a result, our attempts to engage with our users in this has had very limited success. As I learned about social media strategy, I was able to recognise the errors in our library’s approach to social media: For example, our tendency to try new tools in the hope that users will respond, as opposed to identifying an actual user need and then using these tools to meet that need, as is recommended by Farkas (2008). Now that I am familiar with the steps and considerations involved in drafting a social media strategy, I hope to use this knowledge to ensure that our future attempts are more successful.

Learning about Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 has challenged my overall idea of what is involved in being a part of the information profession. Prior to beginning this unit, my understanding of my role as an information professional was one of the ‘gatekeeper’ of knowledge, who collected and vetted information (Jenkins et al., 2006, p. 44). However, I am now beginning to see my role as that of a participant in a two-way conversation: Libraries must listen to their users to find out what they truly need. Based on my readings, I have come to see value in tools such as Wikipedia – And to understand that instead of simply telling library patrons that they should use other, more reliable sources, I should be looking at their use of these tools to see how I might help them learn in a way that they are comfortable with (Garfinkel, 2008; Wittenberg, 2007). By becoming less rigid in my view of “correct” methods of finding information, I hope to better relate to patrons and to provide them with a service that suits their information needs.

This unit has, on the whole, been very eye-opening for me both professionally and personally. I now feel confident to submit a social media proposal to the library where I am employed, and hope to use my new-found knowledge to make this plan more successful than previous attempts. I also hope to use this blog as I continue my studies, as a way of collecting resources and organising my thoughts. The future of libraries in general looks very bright provided that librarians keep up with new technologies, and I look forward to seeing the ways in which they are used to provide greater library service.

References:

Farkas, M. (2008). The essence of Library 2.0? in Information wants to be free. Retrieved from http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/

Garfinkel, S. (2008). Wikipedia and the meaning of truth. Technology Review, 111(6), 84-86. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=35342513&site=ehost-live

Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. J., & Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Retrieved from
http://digitallearning.macfound.org/atf/cf/%7B7E45C7E0-A3E0-4B89-AC9C-E807E1B0AE4E%7D/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF

Kagan, M. (2010). What is social media NOW? Retrieved from
http://www.slideshare.net/mzkagan/what-is-social-media-now-4747765

Mallan, K. & Giardina, N. (2009). Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities in social network sites. First Monday, 14(6), 1 June. Retrieved from
http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2445/2213

Wittenberg, K. (2007). Credibility of content and the future of research, learning, and publishing in the digital environment. The Journal of Electornic Publishing, 10(1). Retrieved from
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;cc=jep;rgn=main;view=text;idno=3336451.0010.101 

Xplanevisualthinking. (2009). Did you know 4.0. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8

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Library 2.0 and participatory library services

Library 2.0 and participatory library services

Librarian 2.0

Based on your reading in Modules 1, 2 and 3 so far, and your examiniation of the definitions of Librarian 2.0 and the views presented in the above YouTube clips, define what you believe to be the essential knowledge, skills and attributes of an information professional in a Web 2.0 world.

Write up your definition as a post (of no more than 350 words) in your OLJ.

 An information professional must be flexible, receptive to feedback, able to judge and change according to the success of their projects and must have the confidence to try new things.

The flexibility to keep up with emerging technology:

The information professional of today must be able to keep pace with the rapidly changing nature of Web 2.0 technologies. A person working in the information environment of today will not flourish if they are resistant to change.

The ability to listen to feedback from users:

Information professionals in  Web 2.0 world need to listen to the needs and wants of their users. Web 2.0 technologies provide us with a unique opportunity to interact with our users and to observe what they are saying about the services we provide. A successful information professional will listen to this feedback and use it to help improve their services.

The ability to measure (and act upon) what does and does not work:

An information professional must be able to look, critically and subjectively, at the success of their Web 2.0 projects. If the organization’s social media strategy is not working, the information professional must be able to act upon this despite their personal feelings about – or their attachment to – the project.

The confidence to try new things:

 Information professionals in the time of Web 2.0 must be confident to try new technologies. New ways of connecting with and providing service to our users are constantly emerging, so we must be confident in our ability to experiment with these tools. To be a successful information professional, one must not lose confidence if one Web 2.0 does not work for our organization; Instead, this should be seen as an opportunity to learn and to try other tools.

Library 2.0 and participatory library services

Library 2.0 and participatory library services

Librarian 2.0

Using a concept mapping or graphic organising tool, develop a meme map of your own PLN which involves social networking sites, people and organizations.

Based on Utecht’s 5 stages of PLN adoption, identify which stage you currently see yourself experiencing and how this impacts on your personal and working lives. Also identify any ‘gaps’ in your existing PLN (ie. areas which you feel you would like to develop further/in the future).

Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 400 words in your OLJ).

Image

As I created my mind map, I was amazed by how many steps were involved in my own learning journey.

Based on Utecht’s five stages, I believe that I am still between Stages 2 and 3: “Evaluation” and “Know it all”.

I believe that this is having a positive impact on my working life – Prior to this unit, my interest in professional development did not extend past my readings for my university studies. By following blogs that engage me, I have been motivated to do extra reading. As well as helping me with my studies, this has helped me at work: The environment that I work in is very focused on self-directed professional development, and my extra reading is improving my ability to keep up with my peers.

So far, this has not had a great impact on my personal life any more than my usual university workload. It is taking away some extra time that I would otherwise have spent on non-work-related social networking sites, but not to an extent that my personal social networks have suffered. I expect that, if I move further into Utecht’s “Know it all” stage, I may have far less time to spend on these personal sites.

Although I have not yet found that my extra learning has created an imbalance in my life, I still believe that I could benefit from focusing on Step 4 – Perspective. Utecht discusses this in terms of reflecting on whether your learning leaves time for your personal life; Perhaps I would benefit from doing the opposite and honestly asking myself whether my personal pursuits leave enough time for me to focus on my reading professional networks.

I look forward to reaching Step 5 – Balance. Reaching this stage will allow me to keep up with my personal learning networks, while still maintaining a healthy personal life.

References:

Utecht (2008) Stages of PLN adoption. Available at http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption/

Social networking and information policy

Social networking and information policy

What policy issues have resulted from social networking?

 

Based on your reading of three (3) of the above readings on issues related to online identity, privacy and/or trust. Think about online identity in relation to both individuals and organisations:

  • what is important in terms of how we present and manage those identities online?
  • what can we share and what should we retain as private to the online world?

Post a 350 word summary of important issues around online identity to your learning journal.

As I read 8 Tools to Track Your Footprints on the Web, I was struck by how easily one’s online identity can be tracked, and how one can get continuous updates on where their name is being used online. These tools can be used by an individual to look at their own online reputation, but I believe it could be used to track other people. Because of this, I feel that it is more important than ever for individuals and organisations to be careful with their online identities.

An “online identity” is more than what you say about yourself on your SNS (Social networking site) profiles. In Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities in social network sites, the authors discovered that other factors have an impact on how your online identity is judged: The kind of friends you have on your friend list, the pictures that you are tagged in, and even posts written by others on your page.

I believe that for individuals, this means that they need to take extra care with who they choose to connect with online, as the behaviour of other users can reflect on them. From an organisational point of view, any official SNS profiles would need to be diligently monitored. Additionally, they may not wish to let employees discuss work-related issues online, as the employees online identity is then linked to the organisation.

Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook uses the following example to illustrate how difficult it is to manage one’s reputation online as they would in real life:

Ben (a marketer for an educational firm) told me, on multiple occasions, how frustrated he was with the “context collision” created by Facebook’s flattened Friend hierarchy, where by default, everyone is given access to the same personal information. As a result a user’s teetotaler boss sees the same things as their best friend, the party animal.

 

Whereas in real life we are able to choose who knows which details about our life, online we are equally exposed to anyone who can access our SNS profile. Individuals need to be careful which details they wish to share about their private lives, and organisations need to share only things that can be known to the general public.

 

References:

Davis, L. (2009). 8 tools to track your footprints on the Web, February 1. Available http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/8_tools_to_track_your_footprin.php

Mallan, K. & Giardina, N. (2009). Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities in social network sites, First Monday, 14(6), 1 June. Available
http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2445/2213

Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook, First Monday, 15(1), 4 January. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432 

 

Social networking and information policy

Social networking and information policy

What policy issues have resulted from social networking?

Based on your reading of three (3) of the above readings on issues related to finding authentic information within a socially networked world, identify two (2) essential take-home messages that you believe will inform your work as an information professional.

Post a 350 word summary outlining your two take-home messages to your learning journal.

The way people judge the “truth” of information is changing.
The popularity of Wikipedia demonstrates the changing ways that people view information. Garfinkel notes that “On Wikipedia, truth is received truth: the consensus view of a subject” (2008), highlighting that ‘truth’, for Wikipedia, is different from traditional, objective accuracy. On Wikipedia, information will be deleted if it is not traced to a published source. Whereas the quality of the source was once considered very important, on Wikipedia the very fact of publication makes information suitable. The collaborative nature of Wikipedia leads to inaccuracies, but it also allows a community of editors to discover and correct them. Wittenburg refers to this collaboration as being similar to “trusted-peer models used in evaluating social interactions” (2007), where the editors act as trusted friends, providing objectivity.

The message that I took from my readings was that my view of the best way to judge the accuracy of information, which is informed by my work and studies, will not necessarily be the same as the view of library users. Instead of giving rigid prescriptions, information professionals should observe the way users find and evaluate information (Wittenburg, 2007). This will allow us to assist users in a way that suits their own information-seeking behaviour.

People still care about accuracy.

People are assessing information for accuracy in changing ways; however, this does not mean that they no longer care whether information is true. The fact that Wikipedia demands citation to outside sources, and the fact that information seekers rely on a community effort to ensure the accuracy of articles, are examples of information ‘quality-control’.

The anger of Myspace users who feel that other people are misleading others through their profiles is a stunning example of how seriously people take authenticity on the internet (Sessions, 2009).  I found it interesting that other users exposed people who posted misleading photos; This is similar to the collaborative, corrective way that Wikipedia editors remove false information.

My take-home is that people still care very much about receiving accurate information; Even if they find different ways to judge it’s accuracy, there is still a role for information professionals in helping them.

References:

Garfinkel, S. (2008). Wikipedia and the meaning of truth. Technology Review, 111(6), 84-86. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database. Available http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=35342513&site=ehost-live

Sessions, L.F. (2009). “You looked better on MySpace”: Deception and authenticity on Web 2.0, First Monday, 14(7), 6 July. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2539/2242

Wittenberg, K. (2007). Credibility of content and the future of research, learning, and publishing in the digital environment. The Journal of Electornic Publishing, 10(1). Available http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;cc=jep;rgn=main;view=text;idno=3336451.0010.101

Social networking and information policy

Social networking and information policy

What policy issues have resulted from social networking?

Based on your interests and/or workplace context, readtwo (2) of the above readings to inform your understanding of one or more of the following areas of policy concern:

  • Intellectual property, copyright and emergence of the Creative Commons
  • Privacy, disclosure of personal information and online safety using SNSs
  • Information access for all, adequate bandwidth/wireless/mobile connectivity and the ‘digital divide’
  • Regulating the Internet in libraries, organisations and in the home
  • Information and digital literacies, and recent emergence of transliteracy
  • Acceptable use/online behaviour/social networking policies


and reflect on your new learning
about these issues (in terms of your work as an information professional) in a 350 word post in your learning journal.

I chose to read Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. As indicated by the title, this paper discusses participatory culture, in which people collaborate and share ideas together.  The paper focused strongly on the implications of participatory culture for children’s information literacy needs. Children are now creating their own media through appropriation: “taking culture apart and putting it back together”.

The report notes that digital literacy has now joined traditional aural and visual literacy in importance. It is no longer sufficient for students to be traditionally literate: To fully participate in today’s society, they must also be digitally literate (This concept is referred to as “21st century literacy”). Digital literacy is not seen as an educational skill alone, but also as an important social skill.

One of the core “participatory media” competencies addressed by the report is the ability to use judgement when considering information found online. Whereas once librarians were the “gatekeepers” of knowledge for students, there is now online access to vast amounts of information. Participatory culture has led to the success of “wikis”, where users collaborate to gather information together. Students need to learn to critically evaluate the information they find.

The second item that I read, Cyber Crime 2.0 versus the Twittering classes, discussed some of the hazards that can be faced online, particularly when one is unable to evaluate online materials. This report notes that many users feel an “implicit trust” in large social networking web sites (such as Facebook and Twitter) which can make those users vulnerable to cyber crimes such as identity theft, or the spread of harmful programs (“malware”).

Large social websites are desirable for cyber crime, because of the larger number of potential targets. Although cyber security experts may be able to alter software to block or prevent malware, computer users themselves will always be vulnerable. Perpetrators of cyber crime are using more complex methods, such as “social engineering” techniques: These techniques can distribute malware by convincing users to click on a specific link, or to download files.

Unless users have the digital skills and confidence to evaluate web sites, to determine their authenticity, they will continue to be vulnerable to social engineering techniques used to compromise their online security.

References:

James, M. L. Cyber crime 2.0 versus the Twittering classes. Parliament of Australia, Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliamentary Library Information, analysis and advice for the Parliament. Science, Technology, Environment and Resources Section, 24 February 2010 (2009-10). Retrieved from http://www.aph.gov.au/binaries/library/pubs/bn/sci/cybercrime.pdf

Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. J., & Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Available http://digitallearning.macfound.org/atf/cf/%7B7E45C7E0-A3E0-4B89-AC9C-E807E1B0AE4E%7D/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF

First entry – Social Networking

Welcome to the first post in my INF206 blog.

Social networking is a way for other humans to connect with each other, to maintain existing relationships and to build new ones. Recently the phrase has taken on a more specific meaning, referring in particular to web sites that allow people to perform this type of social interaction online.

Social networking web sites, such as Facebook, allow users to publish their own thoughts and photographs and view those of people within their network – These people can consists of friends, colleagues, family or people who share common interests.

The social networking tools that I use personally are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

During INF206, I hope to learn more about these and similar types of technology. I expect to learn how these technologies can be used in a library or information agency setting, and ways of gauging which tool might be best for a particular information agency.

– Belinda Bowditch