Assignment Three: Evaluative and Reflective Statements

January 31, 2011 at 2:58 pm (Libraries, Library 2.0, Social Media, Social Network, Web 2.0 Tools and Apps) (, , , , , , , , )

Part One: Evaluative Statement

Learning Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of social networking technologies.
  2. Demonstrate and understanding of concepts, theory and practice of Library 2.0 and participatory library service.
  3. Be able to critically examine the features and functionality of various social networking tools to meet the information needs of users.
  4. Be able to evaluate social networking technologies to support informational and collaborative needs of workgroups, communities and organisations.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural, educational, ethical, and technical management issues that exist in a socially networked world, and how information policy is developed and implemented to support such issues.

The three posts chosen reflect the learning objectives above by demonstrating my understanding of how Web 2.0 tools, applications and technologies can be used within the library environment to promote and develop library services to the community within the online world. The posts also document my current understanding towards the successful implementation of concepts such as Web 2.0, Library or Librarian 2.0 into the work environment and how these concepts – and subsequent online activities once implemented – can how this action can provide the basis for developing effective social media policies towards issues such as social, cultural, educational, ethical and technical management and the uptake of Web 2.0 technologies by enthusiastic staff members.

Post One: Five things needed to be ‘Library 2.0’ savvy

http://www.theinformationsocialite.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/five-things-needed-to-be-library-2-0-savvy/

This post meets learning objectives one and two as it highlights the qualities needed by both the individual and the organisation to become ‘Library 2.0’ and gain an effective and trusted online identity. The post discusses several basic concepts behind building confidence in the organisation’s online activities (and the confidence of the individual staff members whom are behind those activities) gradually by starting small with the use of applications such as facebook, a blog and/or a twitter feed. It also discusses the development of an organisation’s online presence and relationship with the end user (library patron) through regular posting of user relevant (and interesting) content.

Post Two: Web 2.0 and my local library…

http://www.theinformationsocialite.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/web-2-0-and-my-local-library/

This post meets learning objectives three and four by concentrating specifically on the City of Onkaparinga library website by critiquing their current use of Web 2.0 technologies, tools and applications. It also outlines which Web 2.0 technologies can be implemented and used (via mostly free to use applications) for promoting and enhancing existing services to the local City of Onkaparinga community through the online environment.

The applications suggested for initial use are blogs, RSS feeds, the social networks facebook, MySpace and Twitter, and the display of several widgets designed to connect end users from the City of Onkaparinga library website with the previously mentioned applications.

Post Three: What are some issues surrounding online privacy and use of personal information?

http://www.theinformationsocialite.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/what-are-some-issues-surrounding-online-privacy-and-use-of-personal-information/

This post meets learning objective five as it outlines, on both an individual and national scale, some of the potential issues and threats surrounding online privacy and the use of personal information through social media and social networking sites and what issues today’s information professionals should be aware of when offering library services through the internet. The issues of malicious software download by unsuspecting users, out-dated security systems, personal email, instant messaging (James, 2010, p.3), and user contributed postings to SNS’s which may facilitate criminal activities such as robbery, home invasions and identity theft (Hobson, 2006) are all highlighted areas of concern for the information professional when managing user access within an information agency (such as a library) and so effective policies and procedures should be developed, clearly outlined, understood by staff members, regularly updated and distributed to reflect the information agency’s position and procedure in both preventing and resolving them.

Part Two: Reflective Statement

Overall, I believe the INF206 subject did not largely impact on my development as a social networker due to my previous experience and familiarity with most of the technologies and applications discussed and explored. As I moved through the module work I felt the subject content (from modules one and two in particular) was directed more at the individual student learning how to use social media applications and platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr rather than what I had hoped – the use of these technologies within a working library environment. This, perhaps, was an inevitable problem that I had to face with the realisation that other students may not be as familiar or comfortable with the discussed applications as I was before the study session began.

Another issue that I must highlight was a number of the tasks I noticed which required the student to rely on personal knowledge of a library workplace. Unfortunately as I have encountered this in other subjects also, I have come to believe it is a university-wide assumption that every information studies student currently works – or has worked – within a library. However in my case it is untrue and so I find it extremely hard to complete these tasks effectively due to this assumed status and my lack of personal workplace knowledge and experience.

Module three enhanced my understanding of Library 2.0, but only to the point of what Web 2.0 means for a library. However, I felt the direct application of tools such as facebook, twitter, and flickr into a library was slightly off kilter with a lot of the resources focusing solely on the academic environment. There seemed to be little contributed from other types of libraries. This I do recognise could be a result of other types of libraries (particularly within Australia) not yet participating in social networks. However, it could have been resolved with the use of libraries effort s and examples from other countries such as the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK).  Both these countries could be considered the leaders within the social media field for information agencies and libraries and both boast excellent social networking examples from highly regarded institutions such as the New York Public library and the British Library through to smaller public, regional, academic and other types of libraries which could have been promoted as solid social networking examples within this subject.

The only area which I had little experience or knowledge was online gaming, Second Life and the exploration of established virtual worlds. However, I discovered this section was – almost by default in my opinion – fraught with a number of initial difficulties that were not clearly outlined to students as potential problems. The first is the requirement for suitable hardware and equipment to run and explore Second Life properly. As I use a small netbook to connect to the internet, I quickly discovered that I did not possess the level of hardware needed to enable even a moderate level of use and participation. I also quickly realised my netbook did not obtain a strong enough internet signal to ensure the loading and refreshing of Second Life regularly. This, along with some schedule conflicts, resulted in my inability to attend any of the Second Life sessions set up by the subject coordinator and as a result I felt quite hampered towards my personal learning, understanding and exploration of this particular section’s content.

Modules four and five provided a solid insight and understanding into how libraries of all types are succeeding in their development of effective social media policies and the implementation of these policies into the work environment. These two modules were also more in line with the outcome I wanted to achieve for myself; the increasing of my understanding in how to effectively apply and implement Web 2.0 and social networking applications into the library environment. However, I did find the examples and readings provided where very geographically based in their focus and some seemingly contained underlying assumptions by the author(s) as to the level of access and communication available to staff towards the use of social networking applications. This, once again, is not the fault of the subject or the coordinator providing the resources, but has more to do with the slow uptake of social media usage by Australian information agencies and libraries and the current lack of published Australian academic articles and resources relating to social media applications and implementation strategies. This is perhaps unavoidable at this stage. However, I feel that it must be clearly highlighted from a student’s point of view that very few of the resources provided specifically identified and addressed potential issues which are prominent within Australia such as the current state of country and rural internet connection speeds, substandard equipment usage in libraries and other information agencies (especially for online gaming and virtual world software applications), inadequate funding and management attitudes towards library staff time/task allowances for exploring, implementing and maintaining social networks for the organisation.

I’m unsure how this lack of Australian published and relevant resources and examples has affected my learning and development as an information professional personally as yet, but I strongly feel the provision of a higher level of accessible and current social media and networking usage examples and hopefully in the near future, the availability of relevant published articles which can be directly associated and applied to the Australian library and information environment would be an advantage for future students completing this subject.

References

Hodson, S.S. (2006). Archives on the Web: Unlocking collections while safeguarding privacy, First Monday, 11 (8), August. Available http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue11_8/hodson/index.html

James, M.L. Cyber Crime versus the Twittering classes. Parliament of Australia, Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliamentary Library Information, analysis and advice for the Parliament. Science, Technology, Environment and Resources Section, 24 February 2010 (2009-10). Retrieved from http://www.aph.gov.au/Library/pubs/bn/sci/Cybercrime.pdf

Readings

A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries (2010). Social Networking Librarian. Retrieved January 31, 2011, from http://socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/2010/01/22/a-to-z-of-social-networking-for-libraries/

De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Haven, A., Hawk, J., & Jenkins, L. (2007). Section 3: Privacy, Security and Trust. In Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC. [ebook] Available http://www.oclc.org/reports/pdfs/sharing_part3.pdf

Mallan, K. & Giardina, N. (2009). Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities in social network sites, First Monday, 14 (6), 1 June. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/article/viewArticle/2445/2213

Rayne-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook, First Monday, 15 (1), 4 January. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/article/view/2775/2432

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