Monica3800’s Weblog

This blog is tracking my Library 2.0 journey.

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.


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