Librarians are Gold!

Let the Learning Begin…..

INF506 – Reflection on ‘Second Life’ as a Social Media Tool

You will need to write a short evaluation (no more than 400 words) of your use of Second Life as a 3D virtual world throughout this session. Include a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of different features/functions and learning experiences encountered, as well as a brief statement on the different ways an information organisation may be able to utilise Second Life to support information services, learning and/or collaboration of users and/or employees. 

Second Life is a free 3D virtual world program where users can socialize and connect with other users in an online environment. Second Life users create an avatar and engage in individual and group activities online. Some of the features include using free voice and text chat.

I have never been interested in online gaming. However, seeing as Second Life is one of the most popular 3D virtual worlds on the web, I decided to create an avatar and give this gaming program a try.

I believe the strengths of Second Life to be: communicating and interacting in an online environment, promoting risk-taking, anonymity, making friends, ability to create online “groups” and it is free.

I believe the weaknesses of Second Life to be: age limited to 16 years old, definitely not user friendly, can lead to an addiction of online gaming, limited and / or very little educational value, program needs to be downloaded from the internet in order to access, confusing to use.

I appreciated the extra Second Life support sessions that were provided by CSU staff throughout INF506. However, I still experienced a great deal of difficulty using this program and could not see it as “an ideal space for learning”(Helmer & Learning Light, 2007, p. 5). I do see Second Life as “a chance to engage a younger generation of learners” into the online world of gaming, that is, having fun online and not necessarily being a tool for educational purposes.

In my opinion there are many other social media tools that exhibit much greater educational value and a higher level of engagement and interaction for users that Second Life. I believe the following tools are more successful at providing engagement and educational attributes in a Web 2.0 world: Edmodo, blogs, facebook, twitter, flickr, Google apps, Goodreads, wikis, wordclouds… and the list goes on.


Helmer, J., & Learning Light (2007). Second Life and virtual worlds Available from

Leave a comment »

INF506 – Module 3: The ‘A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries’

READ the post A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries (22 January, 2010) on the Social Networking for Libraries blog. Consider this advice in terms of a library and information agency that you know (as an employee or user). Select advice from five (5) letters of this A-Z list and consider how these may be applied to this library to help it embrace a Library 2.0 ethos. Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 350 words in your OLJ). 

Brown (2010) uses an A-Z list of letters to embrace a Library 2.0 ethos. 5 letters that I have been associated with and can therefore apply to a library situation are: E – ebooks, B – blogging, N – Nings, S – Slideshare, G – Goodreads.

E-books – The library at my school has introduced ebooks into the library collection at the beginning of 2013. This has been through the application Overdrive. Ebooks are proving to be very popular amongst students and parents. They can be viewed on a range of devices e.g. ipad, ipod. There are plans to expand the collection of ebooks in 2013 and 2014 in order to link the collection to the Australian Curriculum.

Blogging  – Blogging allows for responses and comments from readers of your blog. This proves especially beneficial to students as they gain feedback from readers of all ages around the world, from both a known audience and a not known reader. Blogging allows students to interact and connect with users in an interactive way allowing conversations to take place. WordPress is currently being used as a blogging platform in the library at my school.

Nings – At the Flat Classrooms Conference 2013 in Japan, a Ning was used as the platform for communication during the conference. A Ning is similar to a wiki where users have access to communicate in a shared online space. Resources, conference details, introductions and all communication took place on the conference Ning. A Ning could be a useful tool to introduce for staff to share their professional learning at my new school.

Slideshare – This tool has not been used at my school yet. However I have seen it confidently and seamlessly used by many innovative teachers and students. Slideshare is a useful way to share presentations with an online community and between a range of devices during group presentations.

Goodreads – A free online site for booklovers to share book reviews and current reads. This tool is very user friendly and encourages students to develop their love of reading. The interactive nature of the site allows users to add “friends” and create “groups”. The senior library at my school is currently looking into implementing this tool with senior students. The online engaging nature of the site makes reading fun.


Brown, A. (2010). A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries. Retrieved from

1 Comment »

INF506 – Module 3: Information professionals in a Web 2.0 world.

Based on your reading in Modules 1, 2 and 3 so far, and your examination of Abram’s and Harvey’s definitions of Librarian 2.0 and the views presented in the above YouTube clips, define what you believe to be the essential knowledge, skills and attributes of an information professional in a Web 2.0 world.

According to Harvey (2009) a librarian in a Web 2.0 world “should be a person who is experimenting with new technologies as they come along” and finding the right one to match to the needs of your students. A Librarian 2.0 is someone who is able to distinguish between the hyped up technological tools and tools that will engage and interest their users as well as catering for their needs.

Partridge (2010) states that technology is just “one part of Library 2.0 librarians need to be aware of, they need to have some understandings of the emerging technologies – what is available and what it can do and how to make it do what is needed – but they do not need to be IT professionals per se.” It is essential that Librarians 2.0 demonstrate a “need to be interested in, engaged in and committed to lifelong learning” in a Web 2.0 world (Partridge, 2010).

Library 2.0. is a “new culture of participation catalyzed by social web technologies” (Holmberg et al., as cited in Partridge, 2010, p. 677). Examples of Web 2.0 tools include podcasts, voice thread, cloudtags, youtube, flickr, paddlet, diigo, blogs etc. that allow interaction and social collaboration between communities. “A driving force in our decision making about what tools to use should always be our patrons and whether the tools can help us do a better job of delivering services” (Harvey, 2009).

Library 2.0 has changed the library brand, libraries are no longer just about books, instead they are also about collaboration, communication, socialization and interaction on many different levels between library users. Librarians 2.0 are focused on “initiating communication channels and networks, and creating opportunities where users can communicate, interact and create together” (Partridge, 2010).

In a Web 2.0 world librarians are seen as digital life coaches and mentors, assisting “students to move from being knowledgeable to being knowledge-able” (Hughes, 2010).


Harvey, M. (2009). What does it mean to be a Science Librarian 2.0? Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (Summer). Retrieved from

Hughes, F. (2010, May 6) Contemporary School Libraries are a core service [Prezi file]. Retrieved from

Partridge, H., Lee, J., & Munro, C. (2010). Becoming “Librarian 2.0”: The Skills, Knowledge, and Attributes Required by Library and Information Science Professionals in a Web 2.0 World (and Beyond). Library Trends, 59(1-2), 315-335.

1 Comment »

INF506 – Reflection on RSS Feeds

Research two (2) additional examples of ‘RSS in action’, and develop a 350 word post to your OLJ on how RSS can enhance a library or information service’s ability to meet the information needs of its users.

RSS, which stands for Real Simple Syndication (or Rich Site Summary) refers to the way in which people are able to subscribe to content on various websites and receive regular summarised updates. Instead of searching for information on a variety of websites, the process is reversed and information is sent to the user via an RSS feed immediately as it is published. I agree with Richardson’s comments that ‘RSS is the one technology educators should be using and teaching their students to use’ (2005).

The two RSS feeds that I chose to research are:

Board of Studies  – This RSS feed is useful for receiving information about NAPLAN dates, closing dates for consultation comments about Australian Curriculum, new resources suggestions, HSC marking information and dates. It has been very useful receiving this information in my inbox rather than having to go searching for it on the NSW Board of Studies website. I believe that this RSS feed would be especially beneficial for any Primary or Secondary Principals or Curriculum Coordinators. Teacher Librarians would find RSS messages relating curriculum / syllabus changes and suggested resources very useful as this would assist them in acquiring resources for the library.

ABC Net – This RSS feed is useful for receiving breaking news that is “Just in”. Teacher librarians would find this RSS feed useful in schools when relevant world wide information is needed immediately as it becomes available e.g. current affairs, natural disasters, elections.

I believe that subscribing to RSS feeds is an invaluable tool for libraries and information services because it is a free, quick and easy way to gain relevant information to pass onto users without having to search through a large number of websites. I have found it useful to subscribe to innovative educators blogs, this allows me to immediately receive their new blog entries and hence keep my professional learning evolving. I don’t have to remember to visit a particular website, the content is pushed to me and I am able to read the information on my own terms saving time.


ABC News. (n.d). Retrieved from–3520115

New South Wales Government – Board of Studies News. (n.d). Retrieved from

Richardson, W. (2005). Rss: A Quick Start Guide for Educators. Retrieved from

Leave a comment »

INF506 – Assessment 1

A. Define Social Networking (in your own words).

From the readings I have read and reflected upon, social networking is defined as an online community of people, located in any country or of any age, with a common interest who use a website or other technology to communicate with each other. Social networking sites help to build relationships by allowing users to interact and share information, ideas and opinions about their interests with the people in their online community or network.

B. List the social networking technologies and sites you already use (for personal, work and study purposes).

Social networking technologies and sites that I already use are:

  • Twitter– professional use including following specific educational hashtags
  • Scoop it! – professional use, I have curated 3 topics related to education
  • Ning – professional use, in particular the Flat Classrooms Conference Ning
  • Delicious – set up to use mainly when completing my Masters
  • Diigo – professional use to collaborate and share websites with teachers in an eLearning group within my school
  • Wikis – professional use, Teachmeet wikis, iPad wikis, technology wikis
  • Pinterest – personal use relating to my hobbies
  • Wallwisher – professional use relating to collaborating and connecting after a conference
  • WordPress blog – set up to use mainly when completing my Masters
  • Edmodo – professional use to collaborate and communicate with likeminded teachers, as well as using the ‘groups’ setting to communicate with the classes I teach.

For the purposes of INF506 I have recently started accounts on Facebook, Linkedin and Flickr. I look forward to furthering my knowledge about many new and engaging social networking tools.

C. Describe what you expect to learn from completing INF506.

I expect to learn effective ways for Information Professionals, including Teacher Librarians, to use social networking sites effectively in the learning experiences of teachers and students. I would like to know more about Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 technologies such as facebook, twitter, flickr etc.. and how these technologies can be used to assist students in their learning journey both in the classroom and afterhours when completing school tasks at home.

Leave a comment »