INF506 OLJ/Evaluative Statement

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. 

References:

Chapman, C. (2009). Social network design: Examples and best practices. Smashing Magazine, (13 July). Retrieved 10 January, 2013 from CSU website,

http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF506_201290_W_D/page/84cf677e-ec91-4f08-8080-0f7dd953df21

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,

http://www.oclc.org/reports/pdfs/sharing.pdf

Eyre, K. (2012). Blog Task 1, INF506 Assignment 1 Nov 19 [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

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

http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00907321211228282

Maiers, Angela, (2010), 26 Keys to Twitter Success. In Social Media Explorer. Retrieved January 20, 2013 from,

http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/26-twitter-strategy-tips/

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?

FACEBOOK:

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.

TWITTER:

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!

References:

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,

http://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-in-australia-2012-year-in-review/

Hay, L., (2012). INF506 – Social Networking for Information Professionals- Subject Outline, Retrieved December 22 from CSU website,

http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF506_201290_W_D/page/eca97660-af9b-406f-003e-74438d836f96

Milstein, Sarah, (2009), Twitter for Libraries (and Librarians). In SCIS. Retrieved January 20, 2013 from,

http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/connections/twitter_for_libraries_(and_librarians).html

 

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