Clive Thompson Talks Librarians on Circulating Ideas by TTW Contributor Troy Swanson

Recently, journalist Clive Thompson was on the Circulating Ideas podcast with Steve Thomas. They discussed Thompon’s book Smarter Than You Think.

I wanted to share this because I have read the book and found it to be very appropriate and timely for libraries. (I also wanted to share it because Steve does a great job!) The book’s main point is a shot across the bow of the Google-is-making-us-dumber argument (Nicholas Carr). Thompson builds a compelling argument that technology (including Google) is, in fact, making us smarter. Many new technologies are a form of extended cognition that enhance and ideas. Thompson is not a technological idealist by any means, but his thoughts are timely and well-supported.

He spends several sections of his book acknowledging libraries and the role librarians play in leading the charge on information literacy. In the podcast Thompson notes,

There’s this structural disconnect inside schools…
Library science is more important on an everyday level than ever before but schools haven’t figured out that they need to integrate that and their librarians into everyday teaching.

swansonphotoThis podcast (and book) compliment many developments within librarianship. Specifically, I think they connect well with the thinking of David Lankis (and others) in the conversations around new librarianship.

If you’d like to find the Circulating Ideas podcast featuring Thompson, you can find it here: Circulating Ideas, Episode 37: Clive Thompson

Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair and Teaching & Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College. He is the author of the book,Managing Social Media in Libraries. You can follow him on Twitter at@t_swanson.

#hyperlibMOOC: Student Lissette Gonzalez Guides Participants in First MOOC Offered by SJSU SLIS

During the MOOC, Gonzalez met information professionals from all over the globe. There was a large contingent from Australia and New Zealand, as well as participants from countries in Europe and Asia. This gave her a sense of connectedness with other information professionals, who brought diverse perspectives on the issues explored during the MOOC.

“That was a tangible, positive experience for me,” she said. “It was also an opportunity to serve others and help them meet their goals, which is important to me. Overall, it was a great experience.

By serving as a MOOC guide, Gonzalez also gained knowledge that will help her pursue her future career goals. “Having been part of the MOOC behind the scenes for its duration, I walked away with a strong sense of how to present content for learners so it’s useful and usable,” Gonzalez said. “I also got a sense of how to improve experiences for course site users, specifically how to tailor information to their needs. I definitely connected that with my ongoing interest in user experience and my long-term professional goals, as well as with several courses I’ve already taken at SLIS.”

Click through for the whole article.


ALISE 2014 Juried Panel:

New Landscapes: Exploring MOOCs as LIS and Professional Development Spaces with Kyle Jones, Joanne de Groot, Jennifer Branch. ALISE Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

As a professional development opportunity for a global audience, the Hyperlinked Library MOOC was designed to offer an online space for learning and community-building. Panelists reflect on the MOOC, reporting on participants’ sense of community, the technical and instructional design of the MOOC, and present reflections of its students.

Below are the videos recorded by panelists Joanne de Groot, PhD, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Alberta , Department of Elementary Education and Jennifer Branch, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Alberta, Department of Elementary Education and School of Library and Information Studies, as part of our panel presentation at ALISE 2014. Their insights about feelings of community within the MOOC resonate deeply with me.

My slides from the panel are here:


News: Karen Schneider Wins the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst For Change Award

A heartfelt congratulations to Karen!


CHICAGO – Karen G. Schneider, university librarian at Holy Names University, Oakland, Calif., is the 2014 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. This award is given biennially to an individual for making positive changes in the profession of librarianship and consists of a 24K gold-framed citation and $1,000 contributed by the Elizabeth Futas Memorial Fund of the American Library Association.

“The 2014 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award jury chose to honor Karen G. Schneider for a career noted by risk taking, inspiring and mentoring colleagues, and making opportunities for change out of the challenges to librarianship,” said Ann Symons, committee chair.

Throughout her career Schneider has served as a leader and innovator, creative thinker and writer, librarian and technology expert. As a member of the American Library Association Council, she has served many terms providing insightful and constructive discussion to issues facing the organization. While sometimes seeming outspoken, she has always been an articulate proponent of accountability, change and action.

Her blog, Free Range Librarian, was one of the earliest in the profession and her book, “A Practical Guide to Internet Filters,” resulted in her being selected as an expert witness in the Mainstream Loudon First Amendment case. Both serve as examples of her groundbreaking and life-long commitment within the library community.

“The Futas jury was unanimous in its choice for this award,” Symons said. “The committee was impressed by her unusual combination of integrity, skill, intellectual energy and commitment. As an innovator and catalyst for change, she has developed one of the earliest training programs for the Queens Library, wrote one of the first regular columns on Technology for American Libraries, and  founded both the Resource Sharing Committee of the Statewide California Library Consortium and the first rapid delivery network for California’s private academic libraries. It is this energy and passion for change that make Ms. Schneider the perfect recipient for the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award.”

Members of the 2014 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award Jury are: Ann K. Symons, Chair, Douglas, Alaska.; Holly Clark Carroll, Poudre River Public Library District, Fort Collins, Colo.; Judith J. Field, Wayne State University, Northville, Mich.; Samantha Schmehl Hines, Missoula College Library, Mont.; and Denise M. Zielinski, Joliet Public Library, Ill..

The Futas Award will be presented on Sunday, June 29, at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.


A New Logo for TTW

A shout out to John LeMasney this Monday morning as I finish spiffing up our new look here at Tame the Web. An email from ILI prompted me to ponder a new logo for TTW last week. I asked for thoughts from Facebook and John, a designer and technology consultant/trainer, messaged offering to work with me for free!

I follow John’s work on FB and must admit I was thrilled to get to work with him.

I filled out a “Design brief” at his site, we had a phone chat and then finished the process via Facebook chat. The Red Heart image above was an early iteration that I appreciated, but it felt a bit “nostalgic” to me.  If I was the type who got tattoos… :-)

His creative process is highlighted here:

The finished logos are here:





Please click through and checkout John’s design work and checkout his presentation/training topics. I recommend his work highly.

Thanks John!

Information Literacy for Business Students: Request for Ideas & Input

Dear Tame the Web community,

As an information literacy librarian at a southern university, I have been charged with developing and teaching a one credit undergraduate information literacy course for business students. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, not so much. The problem is that I don’t want it to be just another information literacy course (no offense to information literacy courses). I want to take it out of the classroom, into the real world, out of the library databases and into free, quality information they will have to use once they get outside of college and into their jobs. And of course I want to inspire them to be curious about the world, information, the connectedness of it all and how it affects their lives.

The challenges are plentiful. One being that the course is only one credit. That means that I have about 6 weeks to help business students learn the concept of information literacy, the concept of research, how to use keywords, Internet searching, database searching in several rather unintuitive business databases, privacy, plagiarism, citing, evaluating information and seemingly everything else under the information literacy/metaliteracy umbrella.

In order to break this all down, here are things I feel I have to do to stay within the pre-determined course objectives and course description.

Things I have to do:

  • Teach business databases to ensure success in college research

  • Articulate the meaning of and need for information literacy skills

  • Keep the work for the course under 3-6 hours per week

  • Create both a face-to-face and online course

  • Use Moodle as a CMS

Things I want to do:

  • Incorporate social media/online communities (related to research) into the course

  • Use a scaffolded, creative, interesting course project that includes a final project with my current leading idea being to incorporate the job search and research necessary (company, industry, financial health and consumer/investor) to write a cover letter and prep for an interview

  • Develop students learning objectives that reflect metaliteracy principles

  • Create a vibrant online space where students feel connected, engaged and challenged

Basically, I want to make the course cool, practical and useful. I want the students to learn important concepts that will follow them their entire life and have a good experience doing it. Am I worried too much about the students liking the course? Maybe. Do I have a high standard because I have been in some pretty exceptional online learning spaces and want to replicate? Definitely yes.

But how do you do an online community that is exciting and challenging (but not too challenging) in an undergraduate environment in 6 weeks? How do you do that with students who may only be in the class because they are in desperate need of one extra credit to stay a full-time student?

So many questions and so little answers – at least so far. At this point, you may be wondering why this post is on Tame the Web. Michael has been kind enough to allow me to use his blog as a forum for my thoughts, fears, pressures, questions and ideas and because I am developing this course as an independent study course with Michael as my last class in a Post-Master’s Degree Certificate Program at SJSU SLIS.

So, I am reaching out and open to suggestions, ideas, examples, thoughts, hope and communication from my professional community. If you would like to get in touch, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at I am so looking forward to your thoughts on my slightly idealistic and currently messy potential information literacy course for business students.

 Terri Artemchik is an Information Literacy Librarian at Coastal Carolina University’s Kimbel Library. She has an MLIS from Dominican University and is finishing up a Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Digital Services & Emerging Technologies from San Jose State University’s School of Library & Information Science. 

Internet Librarian International – Call for Speakers


Information Today invites you to submit your presentation ideas for this year’s Internet Librarian International - THE innovation and technology conference that attracts hundreds of global library and information professionals each year.

Taking place in London on 20 – 22 October 2014, we’re seeking practical case studies, How-Tos and discussions in a variety of new formats – see below – that promote the exchange of knowledge and experience, and demonstrate how you are using transformative new ideas and services to make a positive impact on your organisation. The full Call for Speakers is available here.

How are services evolving? What changes can we make to ensure our communities thrive? Which new technologies and business models are the most appropriate now, and where should we focus our attentions next?

As always, we welcome contributions from all types of libraries – public, academic, government, national or commercial – as well as those working outside a ‘traditional’ library setting.

This year’s Call for Speakers has four main categories:

  • Transforming library and information services and roles
  • Innovation in content
  • Innovative technologies
  • Innovation in search and discovery
  • PLUS Case studies and workshops

But this is just a summary of our focus; read more detail and suggestions here.

We’re looking for a range of presentation formats, including:

  • 30-minute scene-setting themed papers
  • 15-minute case study presentations
  • Teachmeet/unconference contributors
  • Workshop leaders
  • Panellists

The submissions deadline is 11 April 2014, but don’t delay your submission until then. Now’s the time to share your expertise, and be a part of this influential and forward-thinking event -Submit today.


The User is Still Not Broken by Brian Kenney

Don’t miss Brian Kenney’s new column:

Meet People Where They Are—Not Where We Want Them to Be

Libraries are very good at organizing and presenting content in anticipation of users’ needs. From cataloging resources to creating booklists, to offering workshops and classes, we’re all about meeting people where we think they may be. The trouble is, not all individuals fit into our elaborate schema.

It’s difficult to genuinely meet people where they are. It’s far easier to set up a system that we think might help most users—and a whole lot cheaper. Meeting people where they are can take a serious commitment of staff time.

In the past decade, libraries have experimented with creating alternatives to their “build it and they will come” paradigm. Teen librarians, working with teen advisory groups, have encouraged their users to help determine teen programs and services. Letting the public have a role in ordering materials is one way to open a library’s collection to its readers. Book-a-librarian programs allow us to focus on our users’ needs in more depth than is possible at a reference desk.

For several years, my library provided drop-in e-reader help. But in the past 12 months, interest in e-readers has taken a nosedive, so we expanded the program to offer help for other types of devices. The response has been enthusiastic: the public has hauled in cameras, phones, laptops, and iPads. No amount of handouts, FAQs on our Web site, and classes could begin to address the variety of questions we have received, and few programs have generated gratitude.

Technology isn’t something we offer, it’s something we do, and helping people understand how to use their technology is perfectly in line with what libraries do best: respond to people’s needs.

People, Libraries & Technology – A Weblog by Michael Stephens