Thursday, 7 February 2013

INF506 OLJ Evaluative Report

a) Evaluative Statement

In order to understand social media(SM) it is important to be immersed in it not just read about it. Through participation in Social Networking (SN) sites people learn, through trial and error, the real benefits. However, it is also crucial to step back at various times and reflect on what has been learned through the experience, what the purpose for the immersion is and how others can benefit from the experiences.  Then informed decisions can be made about using social media as a tool.
The four underlying principles of Web 2.0 tools are: Content, Collaboration, Community and Collective Intelligence. Taken together, these four themes constitute the value system of social media. A recent underlying principle is also Crowd Sourcing. (Hay, 2012)

The Library Channel at the Arizona State University (ASU) produces podcasts, videos, and the award-winning Library Minute series to inform the ASU community about services and events. The Library Minute  caters for all members of the community. There is a mixture of visual and aural effects. Amongst the information presented there are word images, real life scenes, video shorts - from current and olden day movies and TV shows- , diagrams, and most of all humour. There is the opportunity to stop the presentation at any time and rewind. This allows the users to access information at their own pace..
The presentations cover: possible  use  of the variety of learning spaces, resources and  ongoing digital technological development which enhances twenty-first century learning for twenty-first century learners. 

The Library Channel has links to Web 2.0 tools and SN sites like twitter, YouTube, flickr, vimeo, itunes and Facebook.

There was also the opportunity to learn how three other libraries benefit from social media. The three libraries were:  Sydney University Library, Sydney, Australia; Macquarie University Library, Sydney, Australia; and New Providence Elementary School Learning Commons (Lexington, South Carolina, USA).

Through immersion in the libraries’ related SN tools of twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs and RSS feed it became evident that are many reasons why libraries should be on social media.

Some of the reasons were: to promote library products and services among online users to potentially attract new patrons, to allow users to access library information on their own platform, to allow users to contribute feedback and to understand users better. More social media uses can be perused on the comparative table at OLJ5 Reasons why libraries should be on social media.

The three libraries allow opportunities for comments about events related to the library. All the libraries have guidelines about what types of comments are allowable. Patrons can post negative comments but they must do so using appropriate language.

The new Macquarie University library, which was completed in 2011 is an example of where collaboration occurred on a number of levels. Information about various meetings can be found on the blog and the Facebook page provides regular information about the library.

At the New Providence Elementary School Learning Commons there was evidence of Web 2.0 tools used for the students to present their work on the learning commons blog.These included podcasts, vokis, fotobabbles, Glogster and Wordle.

The YouTube video called 'Building Academic Library 2.0' provided the opportunity to reflect on some of the advice given by the speakers, especially Meredith Farkas, and to apply it to a known library.

It is important for the TL to collaborate with all members of staff to be truly effective. In order to do this the staff would need to be in-serviced about the current role of TL’s. Only through a common understanding would collaboration be truly effective. 

Another part of the advice concerned the need for the TL to be aware of emerging technologies and allow opportunities to be immersed in the technology. Then it would be important to share the knowledge with staff members. It is necessary to make ‘keeping up’ part of people’s job description. Then they understand that there is value for learning.

It would be necessary to find out what technologies were being used in the classroom and to collate this information. The other staff members’ skills could then be shared with all at an allocated time.

However, it is important to understand the staff members’ needs and limitations. Therefore, staff members would be met at point of need. It is better to explore a few Web 2.0 tools well, than to explore too many too fast.

Finally, communication with patrons is quite important.  As indicated throughout, social media has an important place in the 21st century. Many schools are still reluctant to use social media. There are teachers and TLs within schools that use social media well. These skills could be adapted by the whole school. Students grasp new technology quite quickly. More teachers and executive staff need to be immersed in social media to gain the knowledge necessary to facilitate and support students’ learning.


ALA.(2011) . The State of America’s Libraries Report: Social Networking.  Retrieved from

Farkas, M. (2012, November 29). The entrepreneurial library [web log post]
Retrieved from

Hay, L. (2012). What is Library 2.0? [INF506 Module 3]. Retrieved February 2, 2013, from Charles Sturt University website:

University of California Berkeley Library.(2007). New Directives Initiative: Academic Libraries 2.0 Keynote: Meredith Farkas. Retrieved February 3rd 2013 from

b)Reflective Statement of my development as a social networker

The main reason for enrolling in ‘Social Networking for Information Professionals’ was an awareness that I needed to participate, or immerse, myself in social media in order to remain in touch with 21st century learning tools.

I was aware of social media through the social aspects that my sons, in their early twenties, used to communicate with their friends. They would be aware of social events, plan outings and respond to the world around them. I joined Facebook in mid 2011 when a friend, who was organising a reunion, suggested that it would be a good way to share memories and pictures. As a special group had been created I decided to join. I also thought that I could also link to my sons’ accounts in order to share experiences from their travels. However, this did not eventuate as they have their own world. My posts were few and far between.

I have been using VoIP (Skype) for many years as I have family and friends overseas and interstate. It is a quick audio-visual way to communicate at little or no cost. 

I had used YouTube previously but mainly for entertainment purposes and occasionally at school for educational purposes.

I had some knowledge of blogs but in a way like twitter. I was introduced to blogs in ETL401 but in a way that I did not fully compute. We were asked to start a blog and make posts on it. It was assumed, to a certain degree, that all students had a common understanding. I was unsure what to post, how to post and when to post. My posts were anecdotal and more about my feelings towards learning. It was not until the end that I ‘heard’ about references in blogs.

Social networking tools were not allowed at the school where I taught. Students’ work was stored on the intranet. Students’ only had access to homework and school related activities from home through a password. They could access information about their class but not other classes.

I had knowledge of Web2.0 tools from previous CSU courses but being a novice I tended to do the reading rather than the immersing.

The modules vastly contributed to my understanding of Library 2.0. through social networking sites and their use of social media sites.  Library 2.0 is a service model for library and information agencies, and is based on Web 2.0 principles:  the inherent 4Cs of collaboration, conversation, community and content creation, as well as a recent principle crowd sourcing.

My understandings became more meaningful when I decided to completed a comparative table of three libraries and then comment on why libraries need social media.

As I explored the libraries’ social media networks and their use of social media sites I could find multiple examples of Library 2.0 based on Web 2.0 principles. This was evident in the two university library and one school library.

Initially I chose my project to be about how the library in my local council area uses social networking sites. Unfortunately, due to the time of the year I was unable to proceed with this project. Through VoiIP (Skype) consultation and e-mails I decide do research how primary schools use social media through their social networking. This research further extended the ways in which the 4Cs plus one could be educative.  The global applications were especially beneficial.

Throughout the research I was exposed to blogs, wikis, Facebook, twitter, podcasting, Youtube, RSS feed, widgets and more. I mostly located Australian schools, which are immersed in social networking, from overseas schools and their global projects.  The schools researched were able to maintain privacy through overt information about the purpose of the social media, how to use the social medial and what comments were acceptable. Any comments from the community were moderated to ensure appropriate content.

My social networking skills and understanding of social media has vastly improved.

Facebook has been used through this session as an opportunity for students , the subject coordinator and others to discuss and share their educational experiences. I have also been more active on a personal level and taking some opportunity to inform others of my learning. I have noticed a shift in posts from some of my friends as they discover the true value of Facebook.

I am following a number of people on Twitter not only for social purposes but also educational purposes.

I was able to locate a school friend through LinkedIn who had a ‘closed’ Facebook account which I could not access. Now we are ‘friends’.

While I could not be totally immersed in SecondLife due to technology I understood the possible experiences through images and comments posted on Facebook . I was exposed to Vokis when I explored New Providence Elementary School.

My journey into social media has only recently begun and I envisage that I will be on the lookout for emerging technologies and opportunities to share my learning with others.

As a current casual teacher I come into contact with a variety of schools and intend to spread information about Social Neworking sites and the use of social media. Hopefully more people than just the TLs will listen.


Brooks-Young, S. (2010). Teaching with the tools kids really use: Learning with Web and mobile technologies. Thousand Oaks, Calif. :Corwin.
Retrieved from:

Farkas, M. (2008, 29 January 2011). The essence of Library 2.0?

Hay, L. (2012). Modules. Retrieved from 4cf677e-ec91-4f08-8080-0f7dd953df21

Reynard, R. (2008). Social networking: Learning Theory in Action. Campus Technology magazine. Retrieved from

University of California Berkeley Library.(2007). New Directives Initiative: Academic Libraries 2.0 Keynote: Meredith Farkas. Retrieved February 3rd 2013 from

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