Part A: EVALUATIVE STATEMENT
A reading of the learning objectives for this subject is both reassuring and daunting. Reassuring as I feel I have met each of them and daunting as I feel there is still so much to learn and I’m still so much of a beginner. At least I’m on the road!
For this evaluation I have used the following three posts:
1. Critical Evaluation of the 4C’s
2. Twitter! Twitter! Twitter!
3. School Libraries and Social Networking in 21st Century
Critical Evaluation of the 4C’s:
This post allowed me to study closely ASU’s library channel and its use of SN. Drawing conclusions about the success of the library to initiate conversations via Facebook and Twitter demonstrates my understanding of the broader needs of users of social networking (SN) technologies as well as one of the underpinning ideas of SN – that of interaction (De Rosa, Cantrell, Havens, Hawk & Jenkins, 2007) Evaluating both Facebook and Twitter against the principles of the 4C’s shows an understanding of SN technologies as well as some of the concepts behind Library 2.0. Acknowledgement of the community building which occurs with the ASU’s 1-minute videos further reveals my understanding of SN and libraries, as community building is seen as an essential element of both (Gunton, Davis, 2012).
Twitter! Twitter! Twitter!
This post was completed towards the end of the subject. It goes beyond showing my knowledge of Twitter as an SN platform and reveals both my excitement about Twitter and my thoughts about its suitability for library use. This in turn shows my level of confidence, having enough information and knowledge to make conclusions. This demonstrates learning objectives 1,3 and 4. Discussing the advantages of the search feature and how it allows libraries to reach out and start conversations with people further demonstrates this. Conversations and relationships are essential to Twitter success (Chapman, 2009) (Maiers 2010). Describing the uses and types of Tweets a library could post also shows outcome 3, which is examining features and functions of SN tools. I also considered possible inhibitors to Twitter’s use in libraries and this meant understanding educational and technical management issues (Outcome 5).
School Libraries and Social Networking in 21st Century
In this post I wonder at the different issues facing public libraries compared to school libraries. I acknowledge SN in school libraries faces particular problems from the student body but also from the school management and governmental policies. This is evidence of outcome 5. I also explain that libraries need to be on the Web 2.0 track, more specifically SN track to survive in a meaningful way in the 21st century.
This was my final post before completing this evaluation and I think that it demonstrates the culmination of learning throughout the subject. Whilst separating this post into different objectives may be tricky, it demonstrates that I am moving beyond being instructed and guided and moving into developing my own questions and conclusions about the topic. Still a beginner, but one who is proactive as opposed to just receiving and digesting information. I pose a broader question at the end of this post, asking how school libraries can adopt Web 2.0 strategies while managing practical issues and school concerns. This demonstrates my development as an information professional and shows an understanding of the technical management issues as well as social and educational concerns (outcome 5).
More broadly speaking, the learning outcomes of the subject have also been demonstrated throughout the Inf506 OLJ Blog as a whole. Individual entries may reveal certain outcomes but the change in tone, level of expression and even the punctuation use (exclamation marks) combined with the content reflects a learning curve and a confidence that has come about from reaching the subject outcomes. This is more implicit than explicit.
I now know what SN is, how it is used, why it is used and by whom. I understand its relevance in the library world and have a clearer idea of terminology such as Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Facebook wall, Direct Messaging and #Hash tag to name a few. I’ve been able to evaluate the use of SN and make decisions as to the appropriateness of several of its platforms in different situations and with different communities. I feel confident that my personal learning objectives as detailed in my first OLJ entry (Eyre, 2012) have also been met and my journey to become an information professional has begun.
Chapman, C. (2009). Social network design: Examples and best practices. Smashing Magazine, (13 July). Retrieved 10 January, 2013 from CSU website,
De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J. & Jenkins, L. (2007) Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLS membership. Dublin, Ohio:OCLC. [eBook]. Retrieved Dec 5 2012 from,
Eyre, K. (2012). Blog Task 1, INF506 Assignment 1 Nov 19 [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,
Gunton, L., Davis, L., (2012), ‘Beyond Broadcasting: Customer service, community and information experience in the Twittersphere’ Reference Services Review, Vol. 40 Iss: 2, p 224-227
Maiers, Angela, (2010), 26 Keys to Twitter Success. In Social Media Explorer. Retrieved January 20, 2013 from,
Part B: REFLECTIVE STATEMENT
Prior to this course my social networking (SN) was done with email, SMS texts and of course face to face. A previous subject (ETL401) introduced me to blogging and using RSS feeds but I was very much a non-social networker, a beginner when this course started – a beginner and a sceptic. With limited knowledge and experience of SN I failed to see its use generally and more importantly its application in the library sphere. So how have I developed as a social networker and how will this development impact upon my professional life and learning?
Having resisted the infiltration of Facebook into our society and concerned about privacy issues I was understandably hesitant to create an account. However I was curious to see what the fuss was all about. I thought I’d dip into Facebook, check it out and then depart. How surprising then that I ended up using Facebook the most of all the technologies I was introduced to. This is due in part to it being the main form of interaction for the subject (Hay, 2012.)
Facebook is a handy avenue for many types of discussions and threads. Learning how to use the file tab to see the list of files was important as it streamlined the process of reading and responding to posts. Arguably more important though was the fact I learnt this from asking on the Facebook page and receiving an answer. Timid requests for information were soon replaced by posts with links to various articles and images, responses to ongoing conversations and right to the end a frantic request about screenshots on a Mac computer.
Whilst still a novice at Facebook, I can at least navigate the pages and more importantly can see a real value in the use of Facebook for myself and also for libraries. I would definitely be encouraging the use of Facebook in both school and public libraries in my capacity as an information professional. With over half the Australian population signed up to Facebook (Cowling, 2013) it is hard to ignore the platform and its potential.
My SN development is clear with Twitter. From a SN beginner I now feel, I have a favourite form of SN which is of course Twitter which I think has great potential in the library sphere. Virtually all things that can be achieved with a library Facebook page can achieved with a Twitter account. I love that you don’t need to be a ‘friend’ as with Facebook. Tweets are public and by following someone or searching certain topics you can access the Tweets. A wonderful way to disseminate information, build community and encourage dialogue (Milstein, 2009). My personal use of Twitter was more timid than that of Facebook. I tweeted a couple of times throughout the subject but used it mainly to follow others and receive regular Twitter updates about the people I was following. I also spent a great deal of time reading case studies and looking at how libraries are using Twitter. This has filled me with excitement about this type of SN. I understand that using Twitter in a school library may be difficult but certainly there is great potential for public libraries. Looking at Twitter has also moved me along the path of understanding SN and why people are so drawn to it. The immediacy, the reach and the interaction are vital components of SN (Aharony, 2012).
FLICKR AND PINTEREST:
These are interesting and popular platforms. Initially I wondered at people posting images to these sites but soon began to see advantages and now can see the value of these sites in our increasingly visual world. I dipped into each of these at times during the semester and would be interested in spending more time playing with the features of each. As an information professional I’m not sure I would support the use of both platforms however I’m still not experienced enough in either to promote one over the other.
At the conclusion of this semester’s study I count myself a ‘convert’ to SN. I was a non-player before and a sceptic, however I was also open to being shown the opportunities available (evidenced by choosing the subject as my elective). Now I can certainly see the value of SN. Value to myself personally and professionally, value to libraries and in fact value to most industries in todays world. I have not completely let go of my concerns over privacy issues and believe these still need to be addressed. As my journey has progressed I’ve had to loosen my hold on texting and emailing. I still use these predominantly but am making room for Facebook and Twitter. I also believe one day email will become an archaic form of interaction going the way of letter writing and Indian smoke signals.
As a result of studying INF506 I would say my development as a social networker has just begun. Best described as being on the first rung of a long and crooked ladder, I’m far enough off the ground to see some distance, meaning some change and development has occurred and yet when looking up I can only see many, many more rungs – evidence of the future path I must traverse!
Aharony, N. (2012), ‘Facebook use in Libraries: an exploratory analysis’, Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 64 Iss: 4 p. 358-372. Retrieved January 15, 2013 from, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00012531211244725
Cowling, C. (2013), ‘Social Media in Australia – 2012 Year in Review’. Retrieved January 16, 2013 from,
Hay, L., (2012). INF506 – Social Networking for Information Professionals- Subject Outline, Retrieved December 22 from CSU website,
Milstein, Sarah, (2009), Twitter for Libraries (and Librarians). In SCIS. Retrieved January 20, 2013 from,
I’ve just completed my project, which was studying public libraries use Social networking platforms to communicate with their patrons. Whilst I developed some ‘Best Practice’ guidelines for public libraries, I feel that two things have stood out for me. One; public libraries are different to school libraries and I wonder at the issues around them in particular regard to social networking. Two; that libraries that are not on the Web 2.0 track (and therefore Social Networking track) will not survive in any meaningful way into the 21st century.
The two points are connected. The need for libraries to adopt Web 2.0 strategies is because traditionally libraries have fulfilled an information role. Libraries were the focal point for information storing and dissemination. In today’s world information is readily available at the click of a mouse, from virtually anywhere in the world and often instantaneously. So patrons need to have a reason for coming into and using a library. They also need to know the library is cutting edge when it comes to information and that it provides something not readily available elsewhere i.e. by searching Google. So let’s accept that libraries need Web 2.0 technologies to remain vibrant and relevant centres of information. Where then does that leave school libraries? Social networking platforms are often banned, not available or not supported by the Internet and computers at a school. The advent of the laptop for every student in Australia government initiative also means students have their own access to a computer and information to be searched from it. The high numbers of smartphones now available also increases this access. These points make it harder for school libraries to provide students with relevant and immediate access to information and to do it in a form students want. As a high school teacher I can also see the issues related to use of social networking tools, such as Facebook, during the school day and can understand why schools may ban access.
I believe the question that schools, governments and librarians must look to answer in the near future, is how to allow school libraries to adopt Web 2.0 strategies, thus remaining relevant and vibrant, whilst also managing the practical applications and concerns of some of the social networking technologies.
Twitter! Twitter! Twitter! Yep I now believe the future of libraries is potentially in the hands of Twitter. What a fantastic way of communicating with the public. This public can be current library patrons but can also be people who have never stepped foot in your library (or any other Library). The search feature means that you are able to interact and start a conversation with someone who has used the word library in their tweets. This can be refined to a certain distance. A great way of reaching out and ‘reeling’ patrons in! (Le Gac, 2010)
Twitter is also useful as it’s short, sharp and concise – perfect for the hectic world most of us inhabit. A Tweet can disseminate up to date information as easily as one click. No need to group email or use a database for names and numbers. A quick Tweet and your followers have the information.
Web 2.0 users expect constant and regular flow of information (Stuart, 2010) and Twitter is ideal for this. Tweets are date stamped and we know exactly when they have been made. Of course having a Twitter account isn’t enough in itself; it needs to be an active account, updated regularly, preferably on a daily basis (Milstein, 2009). Whilst updating and maintaining the more traditional website may take some time, sending a Tweet is not time consuming nor difficult to do. This is another bonus for libraries.
What kinds of Tweets?
Twitter could be used to inform patrons (and potential patrons) about the following:
Upcoming events- author visits, readings, book sales
Post links to video and podcasts of past events
Change of hours
Interesting news and information
I believe Twitter is well suited to libraries and can help them on their journey through the 21st century. The major inhibitor to this occurring that I can see is the number of Twitter accounts and whether people will see the Tweets. However current Twitter usage statistics show that Twitter users in Australia number more than 2 million, which is significant. (Cowling, 2013)
Cowling, C. (2013), ‘Social Media Statistics Australia – December 2012.’ Retrieved January 16, 2013 from,
Le Gac, M. (2010), ‘Twittering Libraries: How and Why New Zealand Public Libraries Use Micro Blogging’. Retrieved January 16, 2013 from, http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10063/1402/thesis.pdf?sequence=2
Milstein, Sarah, (2009), Twitter for Libraries (and Librarians). In SCIS. Retrieved January 20, 2013 from,
Stuart, David, (2010), ‘What are Libraries doing on Twitter?’ Online Jan- Feb. 2010:45+. Expanded Academic ASAP. Retrieved January 15, 2013 from,