INF506 Evaluative Report

Part A

An evaluative statement using three (3) experiences documented in your OLJ as evidence of meeting the learning objectives of the subject


creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by hbailie

For as long as there has been recorded information libraries, librarians and educators have been “sharing content, collaborating with others and creating community” (De Rosa, Cantrell, Havens, Hawk, & Jenkins, 2007, p.2-1). In the information age the explosion of tools available for connecting, creating, conversing, and collaborating, and the changing habits and expectations of the community means that social networking is increasingly part of the role of librarians. As Qualman tells us: “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it” (The Social Media Revolution 2015, 2011).

Library 2.0 marks a transformation in the way libraries provide services to their community and in particular, participatory library services enabled by Web 2.0 technologies. A library without a website is now almost unimaginable. The ubiquity of social networking means that a library without a social media presence is fast becoming just as unimaginable. More and more internet access happens via mobile technologies, a “fast” trend according to the latest Horizon report (Johnson, Adams Becker, Estrada,& Freeman, 2014), and participation in social media is increasing. Libraries attempting to meet the information needs of their users must also be involved. “In order to remain relevant in the current landscape of information discovery libraries must have multiple presences on the web to engage users wherever they prefer, including social media…” (Horizon report p.26). The three libraries examined in Why should libraries be on social media? (Bailie, 2015, January 29) use a range of social networking tools to connect and share with their users, Facebook pages and Twitter being common to all three. Two of the libraries share longer items on blogs.

Blogs are an ideal format for publishing articles about library services, resources, events and news (Wallis, O’Connell & Liu, 2014a). Users can connect to these articles through an RSS feed (Wallis, O’Connell & Liu, 2014b) provided on the library website or via links provided on Twitter and Facebook. They then have the option to engage further by responding or asking a question on Twitter or Facebook or by commenting directly on the blog.

Schrier (2011) urges libraries to use their social media presence to listen to their users, to provide value by engaging in discussion, and develop trust by responding to questions and being transparent in response to criticism or complaints.

Arizona State University Library’s use of social media, in particular their Library Minute videos, were examined in Community, collaboration, conversation and content creation (Bailie, 2014, December 11). They clearly follow Schrier’s advice about listening, as this response posted to the author on Twitter, demonstrates:

Just as in good website design, where multiple access points for contact are essential (Bartlett, 2014), social media gives library users additional ways to access and interact with library staff. For many people the option to ask a question whenever and wherever they are, using their phone to tweet or post to a Facebook page is more appealing, accessible and likely to happen.

King (2015) suggests that social media allows librarians to take a more conversational tone to enhance connection. Where a website will use formal language and style, social media posts typed “like you talk” (p.18) resonate with users and lead to increased engagement, as does asking questions instead of just posting links. As Seth Godin says “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make but about the stories you tell” (quoted in Souza, 2014).

It is vital that whoever is operates an account representing an organisation is very clear about what is acceptable content and that this is explicit in the organisation’s social media policy. Articles examining such issues were curated in the post Social media policy (Bailie, 2015, January 15). Initiating conversations and developing guidelines about the use of social media are important for all who work in education and libraries (Nielsen, 2014). Schools operate under different restrictions to public or academic libraries but simply banning or blocking social media is not in the best interests of the development of good digital citizens (Lupton, 2013). Policies can be developed to allow participation while protecting the vulnerable (Anderson, 2013; Nielsen). Used well, social media is an empowering educational tool (Harris & Cusick, 2014; Nielsen), and not just for students. Holmes, Preston, Shaw and Buchanan (2013) found social media, specifically Twitter, to be valuable for professional learning by educators through access to new resources and the support of like-minded others.

Connecting with users wherever they are is key to maintaining the relevance of the library’s services. It is no longer enough to wait for users to walk through the library door before offering a service. Social media allows individuals to form communities, collaborate, converse and create content. A library cannot afford to be merely a physical space with analog resources available for individual use. By leveraging social networking technologies the library becomes a 24/7 anywhere, any time operation.

Part B

A reflective statement on your development as a social networker as a result of studying INF506, and the implications for your development as an information professional

I have approached this subject from multiple perspectives. As a librarian, as a teacher and as a teacher-librarian. I am interested in social networking’s place in libraries in general and in school libraries in particular – there are important differences in what that means due to the age of students and the obligations of “duty of care”. I recognise that public and academic libraries must also have policy and guidelines around social media use but these are less restrictive than for those of us working with young people. Nevertheless I am very interested in the place and use of social networking in the education of primary and secondary students and where the school library fits in.

Unlike some others in this cohort I came into this subject with a long and broad experience of using social media as a personal learning network where I connect, converse and collaborate with others around issues in education, technology and libraries. Other than Second Life which I had heard of but not used, none of the social networking tools were new to me and I was already an extensive user of several. The biggest change in my social networking habits over the course of INF506 has been in my use of Facebook. Previously my Facebook use was almost exclusively for personal reasons  – Facebook is where I connect with friends and relatives, people I knew before Facebook. With the subject’s main home being Facebook I found myself checking it several times a day instead my usual few times weekly. I started to explore a bit more and for the first time I have deliberately sought out pages to “like” that relate to my professional rather than personal interests and I am enjoying a more diverse newsfeed because of it.

Exploring Second Life was interesting and I’m glad I’ve done it but I don’t think I will pursue it further. I understand why a university might like to give distance students the opportunity to “sit” in a classroom and participate in a virtual class but it seems a shame to just recreate an on-campus experience when there is technology available for new and varied online learning experiences that aren’t feasible in a traditional, physical classroom. Second Life is a bandwidth hog and managing your avatar is a challenge – to me it is easier to have a discussion using Google Hangouts; explore actual museum and gallery collections from sites like The Metropolitan Museum of Art or Europeana, or go on a virtual field trip. Why recreate real places in a virtual world when you can explore the real thing using technology like Google Street View?

Prior to this subject if I’d thought about public and academic libraries’ use of social media I would have said that they use it to broadcast information rather than converse and connect with their users, even though my personal use is all about connections and conversations. Through reading for this subject and subsequent activities evaluating library websites and library use of social media I’ve started considering the impact and implications that a conversational, participatory approach has for organisations. It was a little disappointing to find that, for the libraries I’ve observed, the communication is in fact mostly one way. King’s (2015) reasons for libraries using social media include listening, connecting and responding. As I move forward with social media in my workplace I will be very aware of the importance of cultivating a collaborative two-way communicative approach rather than simply developing a broadcast medium, although that is more of a challenge in a school.

My workplace, a K-12 independent school, is only at the very beginning of social media adoption – for example the setting up of a blog for year 6 students last year was a very big deal. For most of our students having their own social media profile is not an option as they are aged under 13 so we would not consider having a library Facebook page unless it was exclusively promoted to senior students. However I think there would be support for class and library Twitter accounts, managed by a teacher or me, that could be used to interact with an author or expert, or to crowd-source information or similar (Harris & Cusick, 2014). Our Twitter feed could also be featured on our library website which we are just starting to develop using LibGuides so we could use it to broadcast and connect outside the school but not directly with our students. An unexpected bonus of this subject was what I learned from exploring effective library website design which will be applied to our LibGuides development.


Anderson, S. (2013). How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School. Edutopia. Retrieved from

Bailie, H. (2014, December 11). Community, collaboration, conversation and content creation. Retrieved from

Bailie, H. (2015, January 15). Social media policy. Retrieved from

Bailie, H. (2015, January 29). Why should libraries be on social media?. Retrieved from

Bartlett, H. (2014, February 27). Best Practices for Library Website Design. Retrieved from

De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J., & Jenkins, L. (2007). Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC. Retrieved from

Harris, F. J., & Cusick, M. M. (2014). What’s Not to “Like”? School Library Journal, 60(3), 46. Retrieved from

Holmes, K., Preston, G., Shaw, K., & Buchanan, R. (2013). ‘Follow’ Me: Networked Professional Learning for Teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(12). Retrieved from

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from

King, D. L. (2015). Managing your library’s social media channels. Library Technology Reports, 51(1), 5. doi:10.5860/ltr.51n1

Lupton, M. (2013). Social media and Web 2.0: Teacher-librarians, risk and inequity. Synergy, 11(1). Retrieved from

Nielsen, L. (2014, November 12). Conversation topics for educators in the age of social media. Retrieved from

Schrier, R. A. (2011). Digital librarianship & social media: the digital library as conversation facilitator. D-Lib Magazine, 17(7/8). doi:10.1045/july2011-schrier

Souza, J. (2014). 10 Best Quotes from Seth Godin on PR and Marketing. Retrieved February 2, 2015, from

The Social Media Revolution 2015. (2011). Retrieved from

Wallis, J., O’Connell, J., & Liu, Y. (2014a). Social media tools: Blogs and micro-blogs [INF506 Module 3]. Charles Sturt University. Retrieved February 2, 2015, from

Wallis, J., O’Connell, J., & Liu, Y. (2014b). Social media tools: RSS [INF506 Module 3]. Charles Sturt University. Retrieved February 2, 2015, from




Why should libraries be on social media?

Select three (3) libraries of your choice that use social networking to meet their goals.

Develop a comparative table which documents how each of the libraries use social networking tools to support information service provision, educational programs, conduct business etc.

Based on this comparison (and in no more than 350 words) develop your own list of “Reasons why libraries should be on social media”, and draw upon aspects of these three libraries to illustrate each point.

sm icons

CC0 Public Domain image from


YPRL (Public library)

Facebook Page

1057 page likes. Posts include events happening in the various libraries, updates on renovations, links to lists created in bibliocommons, links to reading related articles and external events; occasional posts to page from users, some asking questions which are responded to.


1082 followers. Links to Facebook page posts and occasional retweets. Some interactions with users


Rate and review books. A worldwide (200 public libraries in 4 countries – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, US., wikipedia) service that is incorporated seamlessly into the YPRL site. Both staff and patrons review and create lists of books to share. Did not observe commenters interacting with each other/library staff but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen.In 2008, Library Journal called BiblioCommons “a revolutionary social discovery system for libraries”.I incorrectly noted in my review of the website that there was no option for users to share their books/reviews on social media – Bibliocommons does have sm sharing options for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google +, Tumblr and to email.

MHS (Secondary school library)


Reports on events held in the library, information about various websites and tools of interest to students, book reviews etc. No evidence of interaction by students through comments but various posts liked by other bloggers (from observation these were not students).

Facebook Page

186 page likes. Almost exclusively links to blog posts. Some evidence that post likes are from students.


49 followers. Different content to their blog/facebook. Tweets observing goings on in the library, links to articles and sites, general observations of school/library life etc. Tweeted 4 times in 2012 then nothing till September 2014.

CSU (Tertiary Institution library)


“Your Library@CSU keeps you up to date with new titles and DVDs, new databases, changes to services, as well as great new web sites. The Library blog has handy study tips, links to current reports and newspaper articles, and alerts you to any new Library podcasts.”Eclectic range of articles on library services, resources, advertising events, news – eg opening hours over breaks etc,, study support and so on.

Facebook Page

1859 likes. Less frequent but similar posts to tweets. More evidence of interaction through likes, comments and shares.


1497 followers. Links, information, RTs. Not much evidence of interaction.


Channel includes library tours and information videos (eg What is Endnote; Saving searches)


Only found this from the Youtube channel. Doesn’t appear to be anything shared here.

According to Farkas (2008) – our goal is to “do right by our patrons” by focusing on the users’ needs. That means that if users communicate using social media so should you.

Burkhardt (2009) gives four reasons:

  • Communication – it is the way that many younger people communicate (as opposed to email, phone etc)
  • Respond to positive/negative feedback – show that you care
  • Marketing/advertising
  • Understanding users better – have a conversation, learn stuff!

King (2015) lists 5 reasons:

  • listening
  • making connections
  • getting responses
  • taking advantage of mobile technology
  • extending reach

I think these can be streamlined into three main reasons:

  1. Communication – includes listening, responding and making connections. CSU and MHS use their blogs to keep users informed about new resources, new and changed services, study help and more. All three curate for their users by sharing links via Twitter and Facebook. YPRL users ask questions and get responses on Facebook.
  2. Marketing – social media is ideal for sharing virtual advertising posters promoting services and upcoming events making them available anywhere instead of just within the library building. MHS and CSU use their blog and Facebook in this way. YPRL promotes events and competitions through Facebook and Twitter links to Facebook posts.
  3. Extending reach (this incorporates taking advantage of mobile technology) – just as a website should provide multiple access points to get to information so should a library offer more ways for users to access their services than just a physical location. This is increasingly important in schools where one to one technology access is becoming the norm. The library should be providing services to teachers and students where they are and when they need it. A student might not think to go to the library website but if they connect with Twitter or Facebook they can be kept informed and involved. All three libraries use social media in this way.


Burkhardt, A. (2009, August 25). Four reasons libraries should be on social media. Retrieved from

Farkas, M. (2008, January 24). The essence of Library 2.0? Retrieved from

King, D. L. (2015). Managing your library’s social media channels. Library Technology Reports, 51(1), 5. doi:10.5860/ltr.51n1

Did you know 4.0

Watch Did you know 4.0 and identify five examples of ‘shifts’ or trends that can have an impact on how individuals behave as a digital citizens.

How do these behaviours impact on the need for, and development of, information policy in organisations?

My first reaction to this video was the thought that, given it was made in 2009, a lot of the information must be very dated by now. However, there are certainly some “shifts” mentioned that continue to impact individuals, their use of information and their behaviour as digital citizens; that libraries, schools and other organisations need to consider in the construction of information policy.

95% of all songs downloaded last year weren’t paid for

Copyright is huge area and a minefield for schools and libraries. Organisations providing access to the internet (to library members for example, either through providing computers or just wifi access) need policy in place to protect themselves from copyright violation accusations. Their acceptable use policies need to be explicit about what can and cannot be done with the access they provide and to place responsibility with the user. With this comes the obligation to provide adequate information and education so that users are properly informed of their responsibilities.

The rise of Wikipedia

Schools and libraries have a role in user education about the credibility of information and the importance of locating and using multiple sources. Wikipedia is an amazing resource but it should not be used to the exclusion of all others. I’ve written more about Wikipedia here.

The rising incidence of employees being disciplined for violating blog/message board policies

Social media sites allow the individual great freedom to express themselves – policy should be in place so that employees, users and students understand the potential implications of what they post online; and not just if their social media profile is linked to their organisation.

The mobile device will be the world’s primary connection tool to the internet by 2020

In 2013, 73.4 percent of the global online population accessed the internet from their mobile phone.  Organisations need to ensure that their online content is accessible/readable/usable via smaller screens. This also opens up issues of accessibility for people with disabilities – can the website be read by screen reading software for the vision impaired for example. It also impacts on the provision of wifi as opposed to hardware by schools, libraries and other organisations.

Newspaper circulation down, online reading up

Libraries, in particular public libraries – have always provided anyone who walks through their doors access to information about current events through the provision of newspapers and magazines. This obligation to provide access to information is just as important in the digital age and possibly even more so as those on the margins of society are even less likely to have their own means or capacity to access such information.

After viewing the video I found another updated version, this time from 2014:

My key takeaway from this was the prediction that 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. The world’s population is predicted to be 7.7 billion at that time so that’s around 7 devices for every single person. The Internet of Things is already impacting our everyday life – the impact on information policy will be huge.


Community, collaboration, conversation and content creation

Module 4 OLJ activity – Arizona State University Library Minute

The Library Minute videos from Arizona State University Libraries tick all the right boxes

  • They are short
  • focus on one topic at a time
  • give a lot of information in a short time without over-complicating things
  • show where to go to learn more
  • and there’s just enough daggy humour to make you smile.

They would be well-received by today’s university students who, like millions of other young (and not so young) people have made YouTube the second top search engine.

I imagine these videos, along with the other social media tools used by the library, help break-down communication barriers by making the library staff approachable and available in multiple ways both online and in real life. The ASU twitter stream includes study tips, timely information about extended hours, competitions and special events. Their Facebook page includes lots of eye-catching visuals with similar information to the Twitter stream in longer, less frequent posts.

I am seriously impressed by the videos and I wonder how many man-hours go into making each one? The technological side would be relatively easy, even just with an iPad you can green screen (Green Screen by Do Ink), edit (iMovie), add effects and so on; but before they got to that stage someone (or several people) have spent serious time writing the script and story-boarding. They are evidence of a strong collaborative process and co-ordinated marketing plan. I would love to create similar videos for my library even though I don’t have the same level of resources behind me.

On a final note, this video, highlighting ways to have fun at the library is one of my favourites. Who wouldn’t want to connect with a library like that!


A vertical library

On Monday I attended a meeting with the architects who are designing the refurbishment of our existing years 9-12 campus into a P-5 campus. As I understand it this was the first time the architects had met with actual teachers (previous meetings were with administration) but the plans they shared had been drawn up for more than two years.

The architect started with a qualifier – they don’t normally leave it so late to consult with teachers but in this case the constraints were so restrictive they needed to draw up plans before consultation (or words to that effect). The constraints include: the tight dimensions of the site as a whole, the heritage-listed mansion which is the main building, and limited budget (compared to that for the new building on our other campus).

As head of library I am naturally most interested in what they have planned for the library so I was very disappointed to discover … nothing! There is an existing library for the year 9-12 students and that is exactly what they have in place for the P-5 students. It seems they are happy to stick with a known known and just make it fit the new circumstances.

The existing library

I’ve spent the last few days floating around a few different ideas. All but two of the classrooms will be housed in a newer adjacent building. I’ve come up with the concept of a vertical library that would operate in the break-out spaces provided for classrooms on two levels, have teacher resources and library workroom on a third level and retain one section of the existing library for a more traditional reading area. The classrooms not located in the newer building are for the youngest students in prep – the reading area would contain everything they would need on a visit. We would move resources about so that they matched the current inquiry topics and library staff, through involvement in planning, would be working in the appropriate area when the resources are being accessed. It’s very early days in the thinking for how this would play out in practical terms but the intent makes complete sense to me – locating resources (physical, online and human) where the children are instead of segregated in a separate space seems logical. You can see the basic idea in these pictures:

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

I’ve drawn and written about my ideas in bright pink texta on a photocopy of the plans and submitted it as part of the feedback process. Let’s hope that even if my idea isn’t what eventuates the idea is enough to spur the architects on to some more creative thinking about how a library is used as a learning space in the context of the primary years.


Blog task 1

Our library viewing area (as it is described for booking purposes) is a large, fairly open space where students mostly sit on the floor to use the set of iPads or for viewing the TV. It’s popular with teachers for the iPads because we have an Apple TV making for easy sharing of student work. I wrote about one corner of this space in Impact of space but I knew I wanted to look more at this area. As you can see, the corner wasn’t the only messy part of this space. (click on the image to rotate the panorama).

On the face of it the area is serving its purpose but I feel it could be better utilised. One thing I’ve noticed is that, even though we are always busy at lunchtime, this area does not get much use at that time (although the new 3D printer has generated lots of interest). Being a “dumping ground” was not limited to the one (now cleared) corner and even something as simple as cleaning out the superfluous stuff should have a positive impact. The central area which is not visible in the panorama is basically an empty carpeted space. There is a contrasting carpet square that is used to define the seating area for viewing the TV.

I’d like to make the area more attractive and inviting for students so they are tempted to spend time there of their own volition. It would be lovely to redecorate the area with some of the fabulous multipurpose furniture pieces I’ve seen. New carpet would make a huge difference too, as would a new colour scheme, writeable walls and more options for display.

Image from


Image from

However, my school is embarking on a major consolidation and building process. According to the plan we will be moving out sometime next year so that the building can be gutted and refitted. At that time we will move into a completely new space (that’s a whole other story). Thinking about what Brown (2009) describes as the work of a design thinker – the harmonious balance of desirability, feasibility and viability – it’s pretty clear that such ideas, while desirable and feasible are not viable.

Fundamental to the use of design in learning spaces is the consideration of the style of teaching and learning that will take place and the flexibility to provide for different styles in the same environment. Buchanan (1992) discusses “the role of design in sustaining, developing, and integrating human beings into broader ecological and cultural environments, shaping these environments when desirable and possible or adapting to them when necessary” (p. 10). So “using constraints as inspiration” (Kuratko, Goldsworthy and Hornsby 2012, p. 110) I’ve turned my attention to the activities that could occur to make the space more appealing rather than focusing just on the physical.

I have been thinking for a while that I’d like to use this space for students (and possibly teachers too) to present “how to” sessions about their interests, passions and hobbies. This idea was formed last semester when we looked at Creative Cultures in module 5 of Concepts and Practices for a Digital Age. I’m still working on how to get that started but in the meantime this task has given me the impetus to try something else first.

My plan is to provide a variety of new activities for students (a different one each day or week) in this space at lunchtimes. First up will be a 750 piece jigsaw puzzle that I will place on a table in the middle. I’ve no idea how quickly it might be completed but there won’t be any problem leaving it as a work in progress over a few days. The table usually lives against a wall but can be easily moved by two people allowing us to clear the space for classes at other times. I will look for other similar ideas (and thanks Patricia Lee for your inspiration already) – perhaps some craft activities or obsolete equipment that the children might like to take apart and tinker with.Jigsaw


Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. HarperBusiness.

Buchanan, R. (1992). Wicked problems in design thinking. Design Issues. 8(2), 5–21.

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston : Pearson.

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