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

Social Media Policy

Search the Web and full-text databases for articles examining social media policies in libraries or organisations that specifically relate to your workplace context. Also locate some examples of social media policies in libraries or organisations that specifically relate to your workplace context, which you believe can assist your organisation in developing or revising a social media policy. Share five (5) of these resources (complete with a 50-75 word annotation for each).

My workplace context is a K-12 school where I am Library and Information Services Manager. I have selected articles relevant to schools and school libraries. These articles have also been shared with the Social Networking for Information Professionals Diigo group.

Conversation topics for educators in the age of social media

Lisa Nielsen promotes the effective use of social media in education and is concerned that teachers do not fully understand their potential, nor best practice. She recommends conversation as an excellent way of supporting teachers in having a go. She provides two lists of conversation starters worthy of discussion in relation to particular contexts. While not promoting them as “Do and Don’t” she has, however, divided them into Recommended, and Think twice before… The lists provide an excellent basis for the development of a social media policy for schools. (Nielsen, 2014)

How to create social media guidelines for your school

In this concise four page guide (produced by Edutopia in collaboration with Facebook) educator and author Steven Anderson (@web20classroom) provides a very practical, step-by-step guide to developing a school social media policy. The seven steps start with “Examine your school culture” and conclude with “Review periodically”. Each step includes reflection questions (for example “What are the fears around social media in school?” and “Does everyone on the team share the same goal?”) and/or links to further resources as appropriate. (Anderson, 2013)

Social media and Web 2.0: Teacher-librarians, risk and inequity

In a pilot study the author found the approach to social media access for school students and teachers differed according to sector. State schools had a “walled garden” approach while independent schools “empowered and managed”. The differences were attributable to either risk aversion or bandwidth management or both. This was found to contribute to the digital divide between “information-rich and information-poor” with state school students disadvantaged in the development of digital literacy. (Lupton, 2013).

Staff use of social media in Sydney Catholic schools

An example of an actual policy, this is clearly written, in accessible language, and there is support for the use of online communities with students for educational purposes if the explicit procedures and expectations are followed. The policy for the personal use of social media clearly outlines what is and is not acceptable and there is excellent practical advice for teachers to consider in order to maintain professional standards.

My only question is has this been reviewed? It is dated February 2011 with a review date of March 2012 but this is the only version available (from CEO Sydney website) as of January 2015.

What’s Not to ‘Like’?

Describes how social media can support learning and argues that restrictive social media policies should be re-thought. Suggests making a distinction between policies (what is specifically allowed and not allowed) and guidelines (recommendations for best practice). References specific US legislation and education standards but the proposed framework for guidelines has general relevance with learning and behaviour the focus, not technology and tools. (Harris & Cusick, 2014)


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

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

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

Staff use of social media in Sydney Catholic Schools. (2011). Catholic Education Office. Retrieved from

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.


Social Networking and me

INF506 Assignment 1 – OLJ first entry

Social MEdia by John Atkinson is licenced under CC BY NC ND 3.0

Social networking is the use of online tools to connect, communicate, share and collaborate with other people. Social networking can be used for purely social reasons or for education or work. Social networking enables people with common interests to connect in ways unthinkable before the birth of the world wide web and particularly the development of participatory web 2.0 tools which allow an individual to publish their writing, photographs, videos and so on.

I am proud to be Twitter user no.16,589,509 having joined in October 2008. At that point I already feared I was a late-adopter! Twitter is the heart of my PLN and is invaluable for my work in a school library, my interests in education and technology, and was a key driver for the connections I’ve developed with my fellow MEd (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation) students. That said, I also follow various accounts for news purposes and quite a few people/accounts just for their entertainment value.  Last year I set up and used a Twitter account for the Disaster Resilience Education project I worked on at Australian Red Cross and at my previous school I set up an account mainly to follow accounts to generate a Paperli daily news edition.

I use Facebook mostly for personal and social connections, all my Facebook friends are people I knew in real life before we became Facebook friends. In contrast in my early days on Twitter there were very few people I followed who I’d actually met. One of the great joys of Twitter though, is how wonderful it is when I actually get to meet one of my “old friends” and I’m happy to say that I now know many of the people I follow on Twitter and we were able to connect in real life because of the Twitter connection.

I belong to a few Facebook groups that are education/library/technology focused but I’ve not been an active user of them (until now with the INF506 group).

I’ve been using Google+ more and more of late, particularly since my experience at the Google Teacher Academy in September. I like the way the communities work and how everything integrates really well with other Google tools like calendar and hangouts.

I’ve used Diigo for bookmarking for a long time and before that I used Delicious. I don’t regard it as “social” in the way Twitter and Facebook are but I belong to a number of groups and have also created groups for work purposes.

Over the years I have belonged and contributed to a number of Ning networks and at my previous school I set up and managed a Ning network for our year 12 students and their teachers.

This is where you can find me:

Through studying this subject I hope to gain a more informed basis on which to draw on in order to advocate for the use of social networking within my library and school. Like many schools, mine is protective and wary of social media, particularly regarding the participation of students. I would like to develop my knowledge of the research about best practice in this field in order to make informed contributions to decision-making processes.