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INF506 – Part A: Evaluative Report

The subject INF506 was designed to “provide a broad understanding of the concept, theory and practice of social networking technologies within the context of libraries and information agencies and the work of information professionals” (Hay et. al, 2013). The learning objectives of this subject have been met by using the OLJ to evaluate and reflect on relevant readings and learning experiences. The three blog posts that I have selected to best reflect the subject content and objectives of INF506 are:

The above three posts highlight and reflect on the main themes of INF506: managing change with Web 2.0 technologies and the professional practice of Library 2.0. Valenza (2009) writes a “teacher librarian position in the networked world is more of a moderator or coach, the person who can effectively interact with information and leverage it to create and share and make a difference in the community and beyond”. INF506 has encouraged and emphasized the critical importance for informational professionals to educate themselves and become active participants in a changing Web 2.0 world. Cohen (2006) suggests the following advice for teacher librarians to “focus on the attitudes that a successful librarians in the 2.0 world might possess”. Recognize change and become an active participant in moving forward by ‘working with colleagues to expedite our responsiveness to change” (Cohen, 2006).

Web 2.0 is an exciting time for technological change, it allows for a new breed of librarians who will be able to embrace change and extend their state of mind beyond the traditional library skills of cataloging into “experimenting and trying to find new ways to employ new tools in our libraries” (Harvey, 2009). A key point made by Schrier (2011) suggests “when done properly, a social networking program provides a way for digital librarians to develop rapport with users, extend general awareness of the digital collection”. This will establish the librarian as a knowledgeable, helpful, and easily accessible source of authoritative information regarding a given subject area. A Web 2.0 librarian will be better able to serve library users research needs and to improve communication by “providing resources and services that users want and need”(Cohen, 2006).

INF506 course participants were “encouraged to explore what it takes to become a social networking producer, rather than just a consumer” (Hay et al., 2013). That is adopting the approach of a social networker who creates content to share with others, rather than just a consumer (Utecht, 2009). Once teachers have “immersed” themselves in Professional Learning Networks and “evaluated” their networks they will progress through the emerging of Utecht’s ‘5 Stages of Personal Learning Networks Adoption’. As a result, teachers will then be more equipped to “help young people shift from being consumers of the internet to creators on the web” (Lamb, 2009).

Social networking sites assist users to see connections that are hidden in the real world. They assist users to “make the connections between people visible and help users get to their next destination e.g. new career, hobby, new partner etc. (Common Craft, 2007). According to McGuinness (2010) the most important reason for using social media in education is to “prepare students for careers that will require online proficiency and competency”.

“According to Nielsen Online social media has become an essential part of most people’s everyday lives” (James, 2012). “Social Networks are now visited more often that personal email is read” (Chapman, 2009). Therefore it is imperative, that we as information professionals educate students about how to create a positive digital footprint and teach them the skills necessary to succeed when using social media for both professional and personal use in a Web 2.0 world.

‘INF506 Social Networking for Information Professionals’ provided many practical tasks and experiences to clearly illustrate the many educational and collaborative benefits of Web 2.0 social networking tools. The completion of the modules, assignments and OLJ assisted to develop a deeper understanding of social media tools by communicating effectively and working collaboratively with others. INF506 students used a range of technology tools, to develop their own capacity as social networkers, online learners and information professionals.

References

Chapman C. (2009). Social Networking Design: examples and best practices. Retrieved from http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/13/social-network-design-examples-and-best-practices/

Cohen, L. (2006, November 8) A Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZblrRs3fkSU

Common Craft. (2007, June 27). Social Networking in Plain English. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a_KF7TYKVc

Harvey, M. (2009). What does it mean to be a Science Librarian 2.0? Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (Summer). Retrieved from http://www.istl.org/09-summer/article2.html

Hay, L., Wallis, J., O’Connell, J. & Crease, R. (2013). Module 3: Library 2.0 and participatory library services. Librarian 2.0. [INF506 Module 3.3]. Retrieved May 17, 2013, from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF506_201330_W_D/page/ac87941b-5bcb-45fc-80ce-be53a4c930ea

James, R. (2012, January 12). Using Social Media in the classroom for real word learning. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/social-media/using-social-media-in-the-classroom-for-real-world-learning/

Lamb, A. & Johnson, L. (2009) Wikis and Collaborative Inquiry. School Library media Activities Monthly, Volume XXV(8), 1-5. Retrieved from http://occwebsites.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/55115541/D3.Lamb.Wikis.Collaborative.Inquiry.pdf

Schrier, R.A. (2011). Digital librarianship & social media: The digital library as conversation facilitator, D-Lib Magazine, 17(7/8) July/August 2011. Retrieved from http://dlib.org/dlib/july11/schrier/07schrier.html

Utecht, J. (2008, April 3). Stages of PLN Adoption [Blog post]. In The Thinking Stick. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption

Valenza, J. (2009, September 28). 14 Ways K-12 Librarians can teach social media [Blog post]. In Tech & Learning. Retrieved from http://www.techlearning.com/copyright/0031/14-ways-k%E2%80%9312-librarians-can-teach-social-media-by-joyce-valenza/46329

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