Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Evaluative Statement

Part A

The following online learning journal entries have been selected from http://coffeyinthelibrary.blogspot.com to demonstrate how INF506 learning objectives have been met throughout the unit:

• Tuesday January 3, 2012: Social Media Policy
• Friday December 30, 2011: 3 Library’s usage of social networking and social media
• Monday December 19, 2011: Second Life

The “Social Media Policy” journal entry identifies considerations to make when creating social media policy for workplaces. To make suggestions for the policy I have demonstrated my understanding of social networking and social media trends and tools commonly accessed and utilised. This includes internally (run on institution/workplace server) and externally accessed (not accessed on institution/workplace server) social networking technologies (Heriot-Watt University, 2008). I have demonstrated that I am aware of the positive and negative affects of the features and functions of these tools and trends. “If employees are going to use Social Media in the workplace they must participate in training to ensure they understand how to use it appropriately and effectively.” I acknowledge the value added contribution of social networking technologies to support workgroups, however I am also wary of using them to the best advantage “When posting ensure there is value in what is being shared.” This journal entry also shows an appreciation of the ethics surrounding the use of social networking and social media “Do not divulge sensitive, private, confidential information concerning the work place, colleagues or anyone else without permission.” The journal entry encourages the development of information policy and in particular social media policy to ensure that workgroups understand how to use social networking and social media technologies to enhance their work and also to participate safely and healthily in the online world “When using social media use your name, do not create fake profiles.” The work of Krosky (2009) and Lauby (2009) is acknowledged as a key source for research in the topic.

In the “3 Library’s usage of social networking and social media” journal entry I identify a range of social networking technologies and social media used by three libraries in Melbourne. A table is used to display the technologies being used to satisfy features of the website. I have been critical in discussion of how they are being used effectively or how they could be used to add value to their service. “Libraries need to promote their services via social media and social networking as this is where they will be seen or heard by their users.” I also identify the use of different technologies for “Networking and Connecting with others”; participatory library service is a key concept in our learning in INF506. I have provided reasons for libraries to use social networking technologies and social media and how it can be implemented. My three key ideas are: “Engaging with the modern technology that people are using, Providing information that is current when the need is relevant to the user, Promotion of Library services”. In this particular journal entry I am specifically discussing libraries and library users’ usage of social networking technologies. “Libraries need to utilise the technology that their clientele are using to ensure they remain relevant to the user.”

In the “Second Life” journal entry I demonstrate my understanding of a specific social networking technology ‘Second Life’. I examine critically the features and functions of this platform and consider a place for it in terms of education. “It has a lot of potential for providing information and engaging students.” I discuss the skills needed to use the technology “I also learnt to sit and stand, fly, run and check my view from a number of angles.” I demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues “There are areas that are risky, it feels very addictive, all the avatars appeared "sexed" up and unrealistic” and the social issues “Her experience involved patients misunderstanding the blur between reality and virtual reality.” There were also management issues “it used up all my Internet download and that was a real annoyance.” After being a part of ‘Second Life’ I did some research: Keryn Loughman also thought ‘Second Life’ was taxing on her computer (Loughman, 16 Dec, 2011), Kristina Dell (2007) writing for TIME magazine conceded there were problems; “Amid low traffic and raunchy behavior, American Apparel and Starwood Hotels are a couple of the big brands that have pulled out of Second Life recently”. Regardless of the issues concerning Second Life through the experience and the reflection I have demonstrated my ability to use social networking technology and critically evaluate it in terms of features and functionality, social, educational, ethical and technical management issues, and the networking development of groups and organisations.

Word Count: 766


Coffey, R. (2011/12). Various posts, Coffey in the Library. Retrieved from (blog)

Dell, K. (2007). Second Life's Real World Problems. Time Magazine Business.
August 9. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1651500,00.html

Heriot-Watt University. (2008). Policy on Staff Use of Web 2.0 technologies,
Retrieved from http://www.hw.ac.uk/reference/web-2-point-0-staff.pdf

Kroski, E. (2009). Should your library have a social media policy?. School Library
Journal, 1 October. Retrieved from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/ar

Lauby, S. (2009). 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy, Mashable, 6
February [blog]http://mashable.com/2009/06/02/social-media-policy-musts/

Loughman, K. (2011). My Second Life, The TL Journey, 16 Decemeber. Retrieved
from (blog)http://thetljourney.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/my-second-life/

Part B

INF506 is the final subject of my Masters of Education: Teacher Librarianship; consequently my exposure to social media and social networking throughout my two years of study has been high. I am also a part of a forward thinking and moving library and agree with Lorenzo (2007) who argues, “Responsible educators are always looking for ways to rejuvenate themselves to meet the needs of their most recent population of incoming students” (p. 3). I approached this subject feeling confident in my skills, knowledge and understanding of social networking technologies and social media and their features and functions.

INF506 assisted me in developing a deeper level of social networking that I probably would not have ventured towards without support or guidance. In particular I would like to comment on ‘Second Life’ as a way to develop a deeper social network and learn new skills. The virtual world allows users to develop an identity, build a house, earn money, travel, network and exist. The graphics were incredible, the use of sound (voice and music) impressive and there were a plethora of places to visit. Even though I did not feel comfortable (the anonymity and lack of reality), nor seem to find what I was looking for (I kept going to empty places) I can understand how this platform could become a reality for the way we provide information to people and further how people collaborate, converse, develop community and create content. My understanding of social networking developed as a result of entering this virtual world, being a part of conversations and searching for people and places. Lorenzo (2007) suggests ‘Second Life’ has tremendous capabilities for enhancing information fluency and computer literacy” (p. 9).

In terms of my development as an information professional INF506 did bring to the fore the need for Information policy in the workplace that reflects the current trends and tools in social networking and social media. Van Grove (2009) summarises “You need a social media policy that sets the foundation of your expectations, empowers your employees to tweet or blog without fear, rewards social media problem-solving, and educates staff on things to avoid in both personal and professional status updates.” I enjoyed the activities and reading concerning social media policies and feel more capable of ensuring Information policy in my workplace is current, accessible and appropriate to the environment and user.

In terms of my development as an information professional I have learnt a new term “folksonomy”. This is a form of tagging that is participatory; library users contribute to the tagging of resources to create tags that are relevant to the vocabulary of the user. My experience has involved taxonomy, tagging using a controlled vocabulary, most often by a single authority and without the input of users. Spiteri (2007) suggests folksonomy adds value to a library catalogue “by enabling clients to: store, maintain, and organize items of interest in the catalogue using their own tags” (p. 13). I agree with Spiteri, and encourage this form of participatory library service to add value to the library catalogue and to the user’s experience of the catalogue. However the introduction of folksonomy in a library would require library software that supported the user with the following applications: suggested vocabulary, correct spelling (provide dictionary) and guidelines that request no acronyms or slang words and encourage the use of nouns and non-plurals. In a school library setting there is learning and teaching opportunities to support folksonomy introduction. Spiteri (2007) argues, “Folksonomies share the problems inherent to all uncontrolled vocabularies, such as ambiguity, polysemy, synonymy, and basic level variation” (p. 15). As folksonomy is a relatively new concept for libraries the extent of these issues, or long term consequences is an area not well documented. In the meantime, there is a place for taxonomy in terms of ensuring controlled vocabularies are used and retrieval is possible as well as folksonomy to create participatory library service that allows user centred tagging supported by library guidelines and computer software.

The final comment I would like to make is regarding the use of Delicious. I currently use Diigo, a similar site in function, and so I was reluctant to save my searches or create ‘stacks’ anywhere else. I experimented with Delicious, however I did not utilise it to the fullest extent. I mentioned in my first journal entry that I would like to use the social networking aspect of Diigo or Delicious more, but I’ve got to admit I’m not there yet. I find the organisation and personal tagging of resources a great assistance, however I do not use the social networking features and feel I require more time to learn and invested interest in the purpose. Jeff Utecht’s (2008) “Stages of PLN Development” assisted me in understanding why I felt overwhelmed by my learning and out of balance with the world that exists outside my computer screen throughout this unit. I am relieved that now I have completed much of the workload for this unit I can revisit some of the tools and ideas I experimented with and consider their application with a clearer head. Mastering Diigo is on the list of things to do.

Word Count: 859


Coffey, R. (2011/12). Various posts, Coffey in the Library. Retrieved from (blog)

Lorenzo, G. (2007). Catalysts for Change: Information Fluency, Web 2.0, Library
2.0, and the New Education Culture. Clarence Center, NY: Lorenzo Associates, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.edpath.com/images/IFReport2.pdf

Spiteri, L. F. (2007). The structure and form of folksonomy tags: the road to the
public library catalogue, Information Technology and Libraries, 26 (3), 13-25. USA: American Library Association

Utecht, J. (2008). Stages of PLN Development, The Thinking Stick, 3 April (blog)

Van Grove, J. (2009). 3 Great Social Media Policies to Steal From, OPEN Forum, 25
September. Retrieved from http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/3-great-social-media-policies-to-steal-from-jennifer-van-grove-1

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