Category Archives: The Hyperlinked Library

Integrating Staff Personal Social Media Presence into Library Web Site = Human Touch

I’m updating some slides and prepping for spring classes today. I was pleased to find this wonderful staff directory page for the Todd Library at Waubonsee Community College:

https://library.waubonsee.edu/staff/

Not only do I get a photo of the staff member, I also get access to their social media presence as well. Frankly, I’d like to see more libraries do this. Wouldn’t clicking through to a staff listing such as the one above paint a clearer picture of the PEOPLE running the library beyond just a name and email address? I understand if some individuals were not interested in participating, but I’d rather such a page be opt in for those who want to – with the understanding that their social media presence becomes part of the story the library is telling.

Speaking of marketing, isn’t this type of  endeavor – that glimpse into the social presence of those folks who you might see behind a service desk or those ordering/processing materials – is a million times more real than the latest crafted message from the PR department? Kudos to the folks at Todd Library!

TTW readers – do you have other staff bio pages to share like this one? Can you do such a thing at your library?

Chicago PL Ponders Red Box Like Service

http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/2835576,CST-NWS-redbox26.article

”It would be bestsellers, DVDs and popular items, just like our popular library. You’d put your library card in, select an item, it comes out and you’d return it back to the same place or to any one of our libraries,” Dempsey said.

”Some of these vending machines store up to a hundred items. Some of them store more than that. . . . This is just another way to get materials into the hands of the public. It’s a new product, and we’re talking with our colleagues in other cities to see how it’s working for them. We’re just making sure it works well and that we have the funding to do it.”

Dempsey noted that the 245-square-foot library in the Water Works Building in the Water Tower Pumping Station, 163 E. Pearson, “out-circulates many branch” libraries after one year of operations.

The one commenter worries about cost in our current economic climate but my mind jumps to what CPL might stock the machines with when many popular items are digital. Yes – many years out..but not too distant.

Thanks to Andrea Tillander for the link.

The Hyperlinked Library – Updated Fall 2010

Preparing for class lecture in LIS768 Participatory Service & Emerging Technologies as well as the workshop at Internet Librarian International, I overhauled and updated most of my GIANT presentation centered around my model of “The Hyperlinked Library.” As usual, the slides contain citations, Flickr links and is full CC licensed. I already have updates and changes but I thought I would release this version. The original was first presented in Australia in 2008.

Download the 303MB file here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/239835/HyperlinkedLibFall2010Update.pdf

Creative Commons License
The Hyperlinked Library by Michael Stephens is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at tametheweb.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://tametheweb.com/the-hyperlinked-library/.

Internet Librarian International Interview

I was recently interviewed for an email blast for ILI2010. Hope to see you in London in October! Here’s the text:

Internet Librarian International continues to provide pertinent resources and support for today’s information environments. With the shifting emphasis on information provision; constantly-evolving methods for delivering it; increased demands from users; and tighter than ever budgets, we asked Advisory Board member, Michael Stephens, for his views on the future for library technologies and more … Read the full Internet Librarian International programme here.

I would have to say the advent of participatory technologies has been the single most important technology development for librarians in the last 5 years. Call it the social Web, social networking, 2.0, mobile technology, whatever, but the importance is four-fold:

– The tools/technologies have allowed people to interact in ways online that go beyond simple one way publishing.

– It’s created a sense of community for many people. Look at all the various communities we can participate in online just in our profession.

– These technologies allowed for the creation of Learning 2.0 from Helene Blowers and the people at Charlotte Mecklenberg Library. My current research focus is on the impact and benefits of “23 Things” and what happens in libraries after the completion of the program.

– I see this as the advent of DIY Culture with technology. Open source solutions have put high end development of content and community sites in the hands of everyone

Amplify these with what location-aware services are enabling for people and physical spaces and you have a powerful connector. I am fascinated by the power there is in adding data and knowledge to geographic spaces, turning a community into a large collaboration space. This will change the way we travel, work and play in ways we probably haven’t even imagined. That’s why I want libraries to be playing an active role in user education about all of these technologies as well as creating vibrant info spaces with them and for them.

My current favourite technology innovation?
I am REALLY enjoying my iPad and all its possibilities. I’ve started reading much more via the iPad Kindle app and iBooks reader. I can use my iPhone 4 or iPad to share via Facebook or Twitter, and I can snap a photo or record and edit a movie for upload to YouTube. I think this must mean that my favourite technology right now is mobile technology access to my life-streams and friends – wherever I happen to be.  This speaks to the possibilities for our connected future. As networks improve and devices become more powerful, the opportunities for learning, exploration and connection with friends/family is huge.

As a professor, the potential for delivering course content and interacting with students via a handheld device is very attractive.I can’t imagine the model of driving to a classroom and sitting for 3 hours for a class will be the definitive one much longer. The library supporting the future of learning will have to be just as mobile and just as connected.

Where’s it all headed? My predictions for library technologies in the next few years
We’ll see even more advances with open source, more libraries making the jump to software developed for the common good, and more development of user communities built around library services. I think we’ll also see streamlined services more-focused on user needs and wants – wherever those users happen to be.

Content will continue to shift to a model of direct producer delivery to the end user, cutting out the middleman… I think broadcast has done a good job of diversifying into new methods of delivery. The music industry and even movie business came kicking and screaming. I’m also watching ebooks closely; it just makes so much sense to circulate Kindles, etc. That doesn’t mean libraries won’t have content – they always will. Some of it may be of a different sort. Some of it will be made up of user-contributed content.  I look to libraries like DOK in the Netherlands and libraries in Finland and Sweden for a glimpse at what’s possible with user-generated content and creation spaces.

I’m really looking forward to Internet Librarian International for this reason – interaction, networking and discussion about innovative practice in libraries that will point to the future.

Michael Stephens leads the Internet Librarian International workshop: A Roadmap to the Hyperlinked Library onWednesday 13 October. In addition, he presents Transparency in Hyperlinked Libraries; Hot Topics in Innovation; and Library Futures: Views and Visions for the Future of Libraries & Information Professionals at Internet Librarian International on Friday 15 October.

Transliteracy Quick Code

http://nlabnetworks.typepad.com/transliteracy/2010/04/a-quick-code.html

Kristy McGill writes:

For a bit of fun, try taking this very quick transliteracy test…

Transliteracy Code from Kirsty McGill on Vimeo.

I will stress that this was designed only as a bit of fun – it is not, by any means, a definitive test! However, in producing it, I was mulling on two points related to transliteracy…

1.Our brains are designed to solve problems and spot patterns, which allows __ to miss ___ every third ___ without confusing ____. Whilst it is not possible to understand and demonstrate complete fluency in every type of literacy there is, the ability to find patterns and infer meaning must surely be a component part of being a transliterate individual?

2.The desire to understand and the ability to search out meaning must also be a factor in transliteracy. How many of you did an internet search to de-code the morse code or semaphore sections of the video? Does an ignorance of morse code or semaphore mean you are not transliterate? Or does the desire to fill in that gap and the ability to find that information prove that you *are* transliterate?

Something to ponder, anyway! ;-)

I’m fascinated by the robust discussions of transliteracy and transmedia going on right now. I was interviewed last spring for an IFLA paper on the topic:

http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla75/94-andretta-en.pdf

and since then I’ve incorporated the topic into my classes.

The hyperlinked school library: engage, explore, celebrate

Dr Michael Stephens delivered the Dr Laurel Anne Clyde Memorial Keynote Address at the ASLA XXI Biennial Conference, held in Perth, Western Australia, from 29 September to 2 October 2009.

Reprinted with permission from the Australian School Library Association Inc. (ASLA) Access 2010 24(1): 5.

The evolving Web is an open and social place. The Web has changed everything. Its impact on every facet of our lives — home, work and school — would be difficult to measure but the ‘always on, always available’ Internet is certainly a game changer. Can you recall the first time you realised that the Internet would change your job? Your school? Your students?

Dr Laurel Anne Clyde recognised the power and potential for emerging technologies in schools and spent time exploring the implications. As technology evolved, so did her research. Her work examining weblogs was one of the first scholarly endeavours with emerging Web 2.0 tools. Now many of us study and move in a world of hyperconnected spaces: Facebook, WordPress Multi- User Blog communities (WordPress MU), Flickr and any number of socially enabled sites.

What a world Dr. Clyde would see today!

Sadly, this world includes the fact that many libraries are suffering financial setbacks. The recent news that Australian school libraries are in dire need of support all too well illustrates that changes are needed. The press release from the Australian School Library Association (ASLA 2009) detailed the findings of a 2007 study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), including:

That means ensuring there are enough qualified teacher librarians as well as maintaining and improving infrastructure. Having a new or refurbished school library is important, but the full potential of these resources cannot be realised without a qualified teacher librarian in place as well.

This fact cannot be ignored. Schools need qualified librarians. And in this Web-enhanced world, the qualifications and skill sets required are many.

Today’s teacher librarian (TL) must master foundational skills built on our core values, understand the importance of a strong and useful collection of materials and resources AND be knowledgeable in the emerging world of online social engagement. Exploring emerging tools and trends should be part of every qualified TL’s duties. Dr Clyde wrote (2004) about the use of blogs in the library setting:

“By not taking advantage of this simple medium (and doing it well), libraries will be the losers.”

This sentiment could easily be expanded to include many new tools and technologies to enhance learning in that ‘always on’ way. The potential for fostering connected learning and inquiry is broad.

As technology continues to evolve so quickly, TLs are faced with many challenges: providing resources, supporting the curriculum and guiding access. What can we do to ensure we are best meeting the needs of our students and their learning in times of change and challenge?

Embrace the 21st century learner

These learners are ‘born with the chip’ and the world they are growing up in is different from that of the previous generation of learners. There has been useful research about the so- called ‘Google Generation’ and it can help us understand how to meet their needs. Recent findings include:

These young people use the social Web. A recent study by the Australian Communications and Media Authority reported that:

children aged eight to 11 years are spending 1.3 hours a day online, while 12- to 17-year-olds average 2.9 hours … among older teenagers that shifted to using social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook (The Age 2009).

These young people write — a lot! Pew Internet & American Life Project found that:

85% of teens aged 12–17 engage at least occasionally in some form of electronic personal communication, which includes text messaging, sending e-mail or instant messages or posting comments on social networking sites (Pew Internet & American Life Project 2008).

These young people learn differently. Pew also noted in an earlier report that young people’s learning is shaped by technology and collaboration. Although this is US data, the connection between technology, collaboration and learning for Australian youth who have access to the tools would surely be similar.

These young people integrate technology into their lives. Mine the report entitled Listening to Student Voices for more about student perception and use of technology and ponder the answer to this question: Are we forcing our students into a decidedly text-based school environment when their world is a hyperlinked, digital space? Key components of the report include:

  • Technology is not an extra. • Computers and the Internet are communication tools first.
  • Students want challenging, technology-oriented instructional activities.
  • Technology has caused students to approach life differently; to adults nothing has changed.

These young people are living in a decidedly different world. University of California, Irvine, researcher Mizuko Ito conducted interviews with 800 youth and young adults and performed 5000 hours of online observations for another ground- breaking study in the US. The America-centric findings are telling and could illuminate Australian viewpoints as well. Findings included:

  • New media forms have altered how youth socialise and learn and raise a new set of issues that educators, parents and policymakers should consider.
  • To stay relevant in the 21st century, education institutions need to keep pace with the rapid changes introduced by digital media.
  • Interest-driven participation can lead to learning opportunities from peers and those who are more experienced.

What emerges from this scan of recent research is a focus on the new digital realities of our learners and the need to help them understand new digital literacies. Don’t be fooled, however; young people demonstrate time and time again that they understand the basics of privacy and sharing in a connected world. Don’t miss interviews with Australian teens in a recent Herald Sun exposé (Herald Sun 2009) for more.

Explore emerging tools

What tools could you use to extend the reach and potential of your library services? The simple power of blogs, the ‘simple medium’ Dr Clyde noted could be used to great effect, has now given way to wikis, Web-based chat, Flickr, Twitter, Skype, virtual worlds and much more. Many of these tools are open source — meaning they’re free to use and enhance. Use a blog to encourage student writing. WordPress MU allows for multiple blogs via one installation, allowing a teacher to create a virtual community for a class where everyone can customise their own blogspace and practise writing and linking. This could be done within a school firewall or outside on the open Web (WordPress MU see http:// wpmu.org/wordpress-as-a-learning- management-system-move-over- blackboard).

Use free applications such as Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net) to record and edit podcasts based on curriculum or students’ creative projects. Students could be ‘roving reporters’, creating news stories about school events, projects and so on.

Grab a digital camera and enable your students to practise their visual skills. Tell a story via images, stored on blogs or sites like Flickr, if available.

Expand this creativity to short video segments produced with any of the various low-cost, hand- held video camcorders available. What could a class do with a Flip Video (http://www.theflip.com/ en-au) to show off their learning and creativity? Book reports? Mini- movies illustrating curriculum?

Utilise Skype to connect your classroom to the world. Find a class nearby or across the country and Skype in for a group-learning module. Connect and let students interact, while blogging the experience. For a real world example of this in action, please see http://learningismessy. com/blog/?p=191

Create a school social network with Ning to promote connected collaboration. This DIY tool does all the dirty work. Visit ASLA Online’s Ning to see the site in action.

These are just a few ideas for bringing technology into the classroom. All of them take the idea of a ‘simple medium’ and expand the tool into digital learning modules. What else would you add?

Celebrate the potential for 21st century learning

Many have said this is the best time to be a librarian. The challenges are there, but so are the means to make change, to make a difference, to make an impact on the lives of our students. Open source options, connected communities of online support that span the globe and shared practice via the Web are all low-cost or no- cost ways to implement some of these changes. Stop for a moment amidst all of your work, take a breath and celebrate how far we’ve come.

And ponder then how we might move forward? What traits are important for these new channels of learning? I would argue that the following characteristics are key to creating an effective 21st century learning experience:

Curiosity: Be curious with your students. Promote curiosity as a means of learning with teachers and administrators.

Exploration: Give students the necessary ideas and the tools to work with, then step back and let them explore. Stand by as a guide as they navigate new waters.

Transparency and openness: Work to build a library within your school that’s open and transparent. Involve everyone in decisions and keep them informed. Start that From the teacher librarian’s desk blog for your students, teachers and parents.

Creativity: Offer as many outlets for student creativity as possible. Provide tools and space and let imaginations soar. Share the results with everyone as well.

Flexibility: Rigid rules and overly structured procedures dampen the creativity and ‘just in time’ nature of our work. Be flexible with students and teachers and encourage the same from them.

Play = learning: Make space and allow time for ‘play’ in your library. It might be interactive gaming on a Wii, an online scavenger hunt centered on science or maths or a problem-solving contest built around information literacy. Launch a 23 things for your teachers and administration as well — then expand to students and parents. Let students help create the modules for their parents!

Continuing the journey

At the ASLA XXI Biennial Conference, I spoke about these topics and interacted for the day with some excited librarians from all over Australia. We sat in the conference centre lobby after my presentations and discussed how to proceed. I was reminded of the slide in my talks of a road disappearing into the horizon. How do we move forward into an unknown future?

Break down barriers: What roadblocks have you encountered? Money? Access? Strict rules about content? Work within your school’s structure to educate teachers and administrators about the value of emerging technologies. Perform a ‘kindness audit’ of your library space to see what your students see. Posted rules made up of ‘No this’ and ‘No that’ are not encouraging to the young learner’s heart.

Develop your own personal learning network (PLN): Find the online spaces — a virtual community for TLs, blog networks, Twitter friends in the profession — and learn from them. Constantly update your PLN with new and opposing voices to encourage your own critical thinking. This will guide your growth as you bring about change.

Use evidence: Use studies noted above, books like Born Digital and supporting materials, blog posts or tweets from your PLN to demonstrate the power and potential of online collaboration. Research concerning Australian youth — including Indigenous youth — would be timely and telling. Seek it out or do some yourself. Report to all of us.

Explore play for yourself: If you haven’t had a chance to participate in a 23 things or Learning 2.0 program, find one online and DIY! Set aside 20–30 minutes of professional development time weekly during the school year or break to be curious about some of the tools you might not have used. Or band together with other TLs in your area, state or nationally to offer a program for everyone.

Be selective: Use what fits best with your library and students. A focus on writing might include student blogging opportunities via a WordPress MU installation onsite. A focus on creativity might include a small, inexpensive video camera and editing software so your students can explore digital storytelling or reporting.

Know it’s okay to fail: One impact of the gaming generation is the mindset that it’s okay to make a mistake, learn from it and go on with new knowledge in a different direction. Talk about these ‘failures’ within your PLN and share what you’ve learned. Others may have insights or may benefit.

Don’t be afraid to change: The way it’s always been done does not have to be the way it will always be done. The biggest change right now is not technology but of mindset. Set an example. ‘Bring it on.’

Be persistent: Keep doing all of the above to hone your craft and add to your storehouse of evidence, facts and proven results. Meet resistance with a kind but firm push the other way. Educate everyone every chance you get: administrators, governing bodies, parents and so on.

The potential is there for a great future for the school library. Recently, I was asked to describe my vision of the role libraries will play for learners. I imagine the school library, public library and academic library forming a connected web of support and service for learners as they grow. Learning will happen everywhere in collaborative spaces and online.

Successes will be shared. Learning from failures will be shared as well. It will truly be a celebration.

Download a PDF of the article here: Michael Stephens pp5-8

The presentation at ASLA this article is based on is here: http://tametheweb.com/2009/10/01/thanks-australian-school-library-association/

References

Australian School Library Association (ASLA) 2009, http:// www.asla.org.au/advocacy/ mediarelease-May09.htm

Clyde, LA 2004, ‘Weblogs — are you serious?’ The Electronic Library, vol. 22, issue 5, pp. 390–392.

Herald Sun 2009, ‘We’re Gen-Y and we care’, http://www. heraldsun.com.au/opinion/ were-gen-y-and-we-care/story- e6frfhqf-1225778349502

Pew Internet & American Life Project 2008, Writing, Technology and Teenshttp://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/ PIP_Writing_Repot_FINAL3.pdf

The Age 2009, http://www.theage. com.au/national/social-networking- lures-teenagers-to-internet-20090708- ddew.html

Additional resources

http://tametheweb. com/2009/10/29/the-hyperlinked- library-adapted-for-anangu-people

Mobile Devices & Libraries Experts Speak at ALA

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6670421.html

Libraries had better prepare for an explosion in the capacity of mobile devices as well as the transformative increase in user capacity and expectations. This was the message conveyed by a panel yesterday at the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference on Libraries and Mobile Devices: Public Policy Considerations.

After all, explained Jason Griffey, assistant professor and head of Library Information Technology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, cell phones are the most popular and ubiquitous information device worldwide; in 50 countries, cell phone penetration (phones/person) exceeds 100 percent.

By the end of 2010, he continued, 90 percent of the world’s population will have access to a cell-phone signal. Right now, more than 60 percent of people have a cell-phone subscription, and three-quarters of them use text messaging. That total, 2.4 billion people, is twice the number currently using email.

Further, more people are now accessing the web through mobile devices such as a smartphone. New examples include the always-on Amazon.com Kindle and the growing number of netbooks.

Read the whole article. It provides great coverage of a dynamic session and much food for thought. Griffey, Eli Neiberger and Tom Peters make up the ultra-hot panel of experts assembled to talk about mobile devices and libraries.

Adding Links to the Hyperlinked Library

Just some things of note:

Library of Congress embraces YouTube, iTunes: “Our broad strategy is to ‘fish where the fish are,’ and to use the sites that give our content added value — in the case of iTunes, ubiquity, portability, etc.,” Raymond said in an e-mail.

Pupils to Study Twitter and Blogs: Children to leave primary school familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication. They must gain “fluency” in handwriting and keyboard skills, and learn how to use a spellchecker alongside how to spell.

When every student has a laptop, why run computer labsThe change also doesn’t mean that the university gets to reclaim all that physical space from the labs. As the university’s explanatory document notes, “ITC understands that students need collaborative space where they can bring their laptops and mobile devices to conduct group work, especially as the curriculum becomes increasingly team- and project-based.”

Associations Using Twitter: CILIP’s “Epic FAIL” & Playing Nice

Do not miss this intriguing discussion that really speaks to the sea change were in.

Star here, with this post from Bob McKee, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP): (emphasis in bold mine)

http://communities.cilip.org.uk/blogs/cesdesk/archive/2009/02/18/all-of-a-twitter.aspx

There’s some twittering at present about whether CILIP has (or should have) any “official” presence on various lists or micro blog sites.

The simple answer, of course, is no. In terms of “official” activity, cyber life is just like real like – if it happens in a CILIP-sanctioned space, it’s official; if it happens down the pub or in someone else’s space, it isn’t.

But there’s a deeper question to address. As everybody networks with everybody else in an increasingly informal and always-on way, how do organisations maintain a culture of inclusion and, at the same time, retain a methodical approach to work planning, managing, and decision-making? This is a critical issue for organisations like professional bodies or indeed academic institutions – any organisation where a rational approach to management is potentially conflicted by the emotional affiliation of members to their peer group: academics to their field of study rather than to their university; LIS specialists to their field of specialism rather than to their professional institute.

Then, head to Phil Bradley’s blog:

http://philbradley.typepad.com/phil_bradleys_weblog/2009/02/cilip—epic-fail.html

… I like Bob – he’s a nice chap and very personable, but I can’t articulate enough how wrong he is on this issue, though I’ll try. He says ‘There’s some twittering at present about whether CILIP has (or should have) any “official” presence on various lists or micro blog sites. Sorry Bob, but we were discussing this on Twitter two weeks ago. The boat has long since left on this one and we’ve moved onto other things related to CILIP now. This in itself is worrying – if you’d actually looked at Twitter you would have known this, so clearly you’re being briefed and are blogging about it without any real understanding. That’s fair enough in a way, because no-one can be on top of everything, though if it’s important enough for you to blog, surely it’s important enough to research a little yourself.

The more important issue isn’t that, it’s the delay in a response. Two weeks is not only unacceptable, it’s insane. We don’t live in a world where people have the leisure to take their time crafting a response; we did back in the day when websites were the way to get a message out, but then we moved into a response time of hours with blogs, and now we’re at minutes with Twitter. As a rule of thumb, I’m finding that a mention of an organization or company on Twitter is getting me a response within a couple of hours now. And these are companies, both large and small, who feel that it’s important to respond to comments from individuals, both good and bad. Less than this is sending out a very poor message indeed. Now, I know that the answer here is going to be referred to lack of staff, limited facilities and so on, and that’s simply a cop out. An effective use of resources, monitoring blogs etc can be automated, take very little effort to set up or use and information can then be disseminated through the organization quickly. In my courses I teach librarians how to do this, and in most cases it’s just pointing them towards the right tools. If they can do it on a personal level, surely we can expect the professional body to do the same thing?

Phil’s points are golden – especially about monitoring the conversation and the automated options that make it doable. Frankly, there will is no “sanctioned space” any more for organizations or associations. If you believe that – there’s a problem. the conversation will go on long after everyone has decided to ignore your sacred, sanctioned space. That’s what the “Hyperlinked Library” is all about – transparency, listening, responding.

Into the mix come Jenny Levine, and her take on ALA’s use of Twitter:

http://theshiftedlibrarian.com/archives/2009/02/27/twitter-on-ala-and-some-advice.html

And wow did Twitter play a big part. Kenley Neufeld sums it up pretty well, and even notes how fun the experience was. If you had asked me, I wouldn’t have predicted that four councilors would tweet from the floor during council sessions, thereby providing an effective, real-time transcript of what was happening. Even beyond that, though, I got to participate in meetings I wasn’t physically at (from within other meetings), as did people who weren’t even in Denver. And good things came from all of it (including a helpful guide for what *not* to do).

So when we got back, I decided to do a presentation at the February ITTS Update meeting about Twitter on ALA. Not ALA on Twitter, but Twitter’s effect on the Association and the story of Midwinter that Twitter produced. Luckily, many of the people who tweet about us have a sense of humor, so there were some good laughs in the screenshots, especially about our content management system (Collage). So thank you to everyone who publicly tweeted about us in January, especially at Midwinter, because you helped me illustrate a moment in time when something changed forALA. I definitely think communication and conferences will never be the same for our organization, and I’m fascinated to see where this all leads.

Later:

As I was getting ready to hit the “publish” button, I saw Phil Bradley’s post about CILIP and Twitter (or lack thereof). It made me realize how far ALA has come, and how lucky I am to work in an environment where I’m allowed to experiment in these spaces and help integrate them into the Association. I live in a really special place right now, both professionally and personally, and I don’t take that for granted.

And Jenny linked to Peter Bromberg’s post about Twitter etiquette. Peter is one of my favorite bloggers. I appreciate his take:

http://librarygarden.blogspot.com/2009/02/twitiquette-short-but-helpful-guide-to.html

  1. Twittering the real-time decisions of your committee: GOOD  
  2. Twittering snide, insulting, remarks about your fellow committee members while they speak: NOT GOOD  
  3. Twittering snide, insulting remarks about your fellow committee members while they speak and marking it with #ala09 hash tag to ensure that the widest possible audience sees your comment: REALLY VERY NOT GOOD

 

We actually talked about this in class last night. With folks so connected and the opportunity to contribute to back channel chatter so easy these days, we should remind ourselves of the this simple rule: Play Nice. I’ve been disappointed of late seeing some of the snarky chatter and lack of respect for speakers and conference attendees at some events. Folks pay money for conferences and should have a civil, engaging experience free of in-jokes and snark. Constructive criticism is good if it contributes. As Peter points out, snark is NOT GOOD.

So..this rambling post leads to these points for all:

  • Use Twitter and other tools in your library or organization in ways that makes sense and serve the mission/vision of what you are doing: to save time, to smooth a process, to communicate, to respond.
  • Don’t dismiss the power of conversations happening OUTSIDE your space. They are probably just as important if not more.
  • Play nice via the social tools. Respect people’s viewpoints and engage with them. Snark is cheap. Snark is easy.  Put yourself in the shoes of someone just discovering the Biblio-social-network-sphere or attending a conference for the first time on hard-earned money. What experience should they take away?