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,
Identify a website of a library or information agency you are familiar with (as either an employee or user) that is utilising one or more Web 2.0 technologies to provide information services and/or learning support.
Based on your reading of Mathews (2009), Lazaris (2009), McBurnie (2007) and Governor et al (2009):
1.Develop your own set of criteria (up to 10 criterion) with regard to effective library website design; and
2.Evaluate the effectiveness of the selected library website based on your set of criteria, and identify aspects of this website that could be improved using Web 2.0 technologies.
Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 400 words in your OLJ).
The following is a checklist to be considered when developing an effective library website. The first 4 points are placed in hierarchic order, whilst the remaining 4 could all be considered as equal in importance.
- Up to date AND updated
- A Homepage, which is easy to understand and only needs a quick glance to find what is needed.
- One or more social networking tools used, including a consideration of apps for mobile use of the library.
- User friendly for desired patrons, including search box on each page.
- The appropriate tone is depicted through colour, font and general style.
- The Website reflects the library – it’s needs, ambience, style and purpose.
- The website caters for what the patrons want and need, NOT what the library thinks they want and need.
- The ability to easily comment and receive and provide feedback.
In addition to the above, the 4C’s – collaboration, conversation, community and content creation, should be the principles underpinning the creation of the website as a whole.
(Hay, 2012; Lazaris, 2009; Matthews, 2009)
CSU LIBRARY WEBSITE EVALUATION:
So how does the CSU library stand up to scrutiny?
The site certainly has a homepage, which is easy to navigate with detail to allow the patron to find and click on the desired information. The tone of the website is also in keeping with the academic nature of the library. The style is consistent with that of the main CSU website which allows for familiarity for the patrons.
I believe the website reflects the library quite accurately. It is professional and serious in style whilst also being quite detailed and modern. It offers a variety of services and a multitude of social networking tools (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, QR codes and blogs). These tools are used to encourage conversation, community and collaboration- not simply disseminate information. The site also offers live chat, online tutorials and a mobile app.
The use of social networking tools and particularly the mobile app shows the website is up to date with technologies and as recently at Jan 6 had been updated with the latest library news.
Feedback is also encouraged and invited.
The website does all of this while still adhering to it’s ‘core business’ of providing academic resources to students and staff.
The CSU Library appears to have a successful website which encompasses the many needs of its patrons. The 4 C’s of Library 2.0 are easily achieved within it as well.
Charles Sturt University Library. (2013). Retrieved 5 January, 2013, from http://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/index.html
Hay, L. (2012). Social Networking for Information Professionals [INF506 201290 Module 3]. Retrieved 5 January, 2013, from CSU website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF506_201290_W_D/page/84cf677e-ec91-4f08-8080-0f7dd953df21
Lazaris, L. (2009). Designing websites for kids: Trends and best practices, Smashing Magazine, (27 November). Retrieved 5 January, 2013, from http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/11/27/designing-websites-for-kids-trends-and-best-practices/
Mathews, B. (2009). Web design matters: Ten essentials for any library site. Library Journal, (15 February). Retrieved 5 January, 2013, from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6634712.html?industryid=47126
How to make my library embrace a Web 2.0 ethos?
The library I am familiar with is yet to embrace technology in a serious way. It has a relatively large and unthreatened budget, which seems to be primarily used to purchase fiction. It does not embrace Web 2.0 at all, aside from having a bank of computers, which have Internet access. So when I consider the A-Z of Social Networking for Libraries, I feel that almost ALL of the letters apply to this library! However as the library would need to crawl before it could walk, there are some letters, which may suit the library better than others.Immediately I believe that T for text messaging could be used. As the TL is not up on social networking technologies, text messaging is one of the simpler and more widely accepted and used technologies. Text messaging is also something the wider school community and student body is used to. Being a high school many students have mobile phones and are adept at texting. The school already uses text messages to inform parents of student absences and lateness. The library could use texts for reminders of overdue loans, changes to opening hours, even new purchases.There is no library website so this would be another starting point. Using a tool such as Joomla to aid the editing and maintenance process would be useful to a ‘technology newbie’.In addition to a website, a library Facebook page would also be a starting point. Once again the students of the school are familiar with this type of social networking. The page could be used to begin a conversation about the needs of the students in relation to what the library provides. It could also be used to promote the library resources and events (book week, Premier’s reading challenge).E-books and Good Reads can also be implemented more easily than some other A-Z ideas. They are also a more natural extension of what a traditional library and TL may have already been doing.
The ASU’s library channel shows interesting and innovative – at least to me- uses of social networking media to enhance and improve it’s role and function within the University life.
But is the ASU successful at utilising Web2.0 technologies as well as the underlying concepts of the 4C’s (collaboration, conversation, community and content creation)?
Let’s begin with the 1-minute videos, which are posted on the library channel. These are short, informative, interesting, humorous and fun. They update the image of the library whilst informing students and the public on various topics. Do they incorporate the 4C’s? Collaboration is only occurring on the level behind the scenes between the presenter, camera person and presumably the librarian. Collaboration with the audience is not occurring though. Similarly, a conversation is not happening and there is no interactivity between the presenter and the audience. However a conversation may occur after viewing a video between viewers and also between the viewer and library/librarian as they utilise the information presented. The community is addressed by effectively getting the audience in to and using the library. A community is not created though of people watching videos. This is true also of content creation. The content is one way from the library to the audience.
Let’s look at the library’s Facebook page. It appears to incorporate all the 4C’s. A conversation is created and ongoing with the freedom to go in the direction of any of the viewers as well as the library. Whilst a lot of the content may initially be uploaded by the library, this can be added to and other content uploaded by the Facebook users. The library is able to also build on its community within the Facebook platform. Finally there is capacity for collaboration to occur easily in this platform as well.
Another of the library’s Web 2.0 tools is the Twitter account. It appears to also incorporate the 4C’s in a way very similar to Facebook. The major difference is Twitter is limited in its length of posts. The home page for the Twitter account is also more limited than that of Facebook. For the purpose of the library I believe both Twitter and Facebook allow it to achieve the 4C’s. Twitter is perhaps more immediate in its reach.