Monica3800’s Weblog

This blog is tracking my Library 2.0 journey.

Archive for November, 2007

Ning is fun!

We had a great time creating the Ning for our class project. Ning has some great applications for libraries. Specifically we used it first as a collaborative tool to determine the scope and purpose of our work and second we used it to create a library instruction tool. As with some of the other tools we have explored this semester, it’s critical that the Ning is kept current, fresh, and interesting for users or it’ll go on the trash heap of once good ideas that are now sad. You have to be sure to give your users value you also. The Ning can’t be just about pandering to your audience making a stab at relevance. That’s why we tried to mix educational videos with a couple fun ones and we populated the groups with some great resources. Ultimately we wanted our grad students to learn and be in an environment that was comfortable for them.

And as I said last night, if you use this to collaborate: set some ground rules, agree on its purpose, or whatever you need to do to make sure people will use the resource. There’s a lot of freedom with Ning, but you may want to harness it with your collaborative team. Another critical issue: use a word other then tool to describe Ning. I over-used the word in the previous paragraph and during the presentation last night. And, well, I ended up feeling like a …tool.

In researching our project, I found some resources that outline more of the reasons to explore using social networking in libraries for fun and education. I’ve included them here with annotations.

Annotated Resources List for Using Social Networking in Libraries

Jenkins, Henry, Katie Clinton, Ravi Purushotma, Alice J. Robison, and Margaret Weigel. “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century.” (2006). 10 November 2007. This paper provides good information on what goals libraries can set in the use of social networking to support of lifelong learning. It also provides insight on encouraging participation and overcoming barriers to participation.

OCLC. “Sharing, Privacy and Trust in our Networked World.” (2007). 16 November 2007. The sections especially useful to social networking in libraries are Section 5: Libraries and Social Networking and Section 6: Beyond the Numbers.

Stephens, Michael. Library Technology Reports 43:5 (September/October 2007). Academic Search Premier. Statewide Illinois Library Catalog. Dominican University Rebecca Crown Library, River Forest, IL. 10 November 2007. The entire issue has great information, but especially pertinent to social networking in libraries are: Chapter 2: Tools from “Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Networking” Revisited; Chapter 3: Technology Trends for a 2.0 World; Chapter 4: Social Networking Services; and Chapter8: Best Practices for Social Software in Libraries.


YouTube and the Writers’ Strike

Interesting. The writers are using YouTube to get their message across. This is a strike version of the Daily Show produced by the show’s writers on the streets of NY. This strike is all about Internet revenue and it’s interesting that they’re using the most widely available free service for video on the web to communicate. The number of communication vehicles available online has truly changed how we experience things.

Oh yeah, and it’s kind of fun. It’s not Jon Stewart, but it’ll do in a pinch.

You Tube Fun

I was never much of a You Tuber, except when I’d get things forwarded to me by others. After last week’s class I’ve really enjoyed learning more. As with the other tools that we’ve explored during class, I’m trying to apply it to how this could be used in a library. I loved the library-produced You Tubes we watched last week. I do wonder if it’s difficult to convince your director or board that the staff time spent is worth the ROI. It would be interesting to know how much exposure a library can attribute to their You Tube postings.

I stumbled across The Hub which is a site that uses You Tube as a platform for human rights media and action. For a library I love the idea of gathering sites like this and showing patrons how You Tube can be used for the greater good. I think it’s important to show, especially our younger patrons, that they should use YouTube for fun and creativity, but that there’s also more ways to use the technology.

Zombies in Plain English

I tagged this on delicious, but I really like it, so here it is again.

Anti-gaming or something else?

Obviously quite a bit has been stirred up after reading the Annoyed Librarian’s post about our class’s gaming night. I was reviewing some of her other posts to get some idea of where she’s coming from and I have to admit that she’s got some valid points. I’m not crazy about the style. I love sarcasm and satire, but I get turned off by the overabundance of that which she criticizes in others: a seeming intolerance for other viewpoints. Contrary to what she might write, I’m not a Pollyanna and I don’t want more fuzzy bunnies in libraries (ninja bunnies are a different story). I just don’t like the guerrilla communication style.

To my point, I do not work in a library, but I do work for a professional association. AL has a lot of criticisms of ALA and those associated closely with it (which I think is part of the reasons why library schools draw her ire). Professional associations are struggling for relevance. The community building, professional development, and networking that were the hallmarks of professional associations are no longer exclusive to the association largely (and perhaps ironically in this case) because of the Internet and its many applications.

So what do library schools have to do with any of this? Many professional associations are still very involved in institutional accreditation, hence their relevance to the profession they serve. ALA created and administers the most widely used accreditation standards for MLIS programs in the US. According to the ALA website, graduation from one of those programs “provides greater flexibility in the types of libraries and jobs you can apply for and enhances your career mobility. Most employers require an ALA-accredited master’s for most professional level positions, and some states require an ALA-accredited degree to work as a professional librarian in public or school libraries.” If you think library school is a joke then this accreditation process can seem like a money making scheme and even seem like arbitrary and elitist barriers to participation in a profession. It’s important to remember how fraught with conflict the accreditation/professional association relationship can appear. If a masters is required from an ALA accredited program to call oneself a librarian, somebody better be making sure that all of those programs are rigorous.

Believe it or not, I am not calling into questions the ALA accreditation process. I generally agree with ALA and I certainly don’t have the expertise to dissect their actual accreditation process. I bring this up to share some of the insights my current profession has given me. Graduate programs bring in big money, accreditation programs bring in big money, professional associations bring in big money. All rely on the goodwill and trust of the public that the mission of each is being served. I think the point is well taken that with all this money flying around, are the interests of the students and the profession best being served? Hold your professional association accountable, hold your school accountable, it will help both  grow, it will engage you in your profession, and overall, it’ll help libraries.