I have engaged in a wide variety of social media throughout this session. Some I have been familiar with such as Twitter and others I have tried for the very first time; RSS feeds and Second Life. I have chosen three experiences recorded in my OLJ that meet the five learning objectives in the subject outline.
Establishing RSS feeds was one of my goals for this social networking subject. I can now gain news and information easily and without wading through copious amounts of information. The feeds I subscribe too are personal and I can organise and label my lists by date or relevance. Each one of my feeds contains a headline, descriptive content and a linking URL. This is now germane and easy for me to use without having to search each site individually.
The effectiveness of RSS for delivering and sharing information for libraries is tremendous. It is handfeeding information straight to the customer. This technology could be used to promote content they produce as well as what they consume for both customers and staff. A library that uses RSS feeds well is the New York Public Library (NYPL) . One of the benefits of this Web 2.0 social media is that privacy is assured as no email is registered. There are so many RSS readers or aggregators to choose from but for ease of use I recommend Google Reader. One of the fabulous features is the republish feature. Libraries could republish from sites that may create interest for users.
There are many different ways libraries may be able to utilise such a tool such as subscribing to some local news websites and display the content on their webpage or create a feed for new posts and events, library closing times, unexpected events, or a RSS feed for new additions to the online catalogue. RSS feeds can also distribute audio, video and pictures. Podcasts are prime example of receiving audio content straight to your computer.
Social Media for teens
Since writing my second assignment on introducing social media for teens I have implemented our library social medial policy and have started posting to Instagram. I have been promoting events and also engaging teens in local community events that our library can complement such as photos of library music CDs of artists that are performing at Big Day Out. A calendar has been drawn up about community events and programs to raise awareness, encourage timeliness and to give deadlines. This has allowed time to plan posts and search for content.
There have been unforeseeable challenges that were not in the plan such as uploading images from mobile phones and tablets instead of cameras because apparently only professionals use a real camera nowadays. It has raised issues such as privacy of peoples own pictures being downloaded and ownership of images. The biggest challenge has been linking the different platforms to engage as many teens as possible because different branches and teams look after different platforms. Covering all social media is necessary to communicate with teens (Burkhardt, 2009). The branches are trying to work collaboratively to have a blanket calendar for all community events and programs and use all the libraries platforms simultaneously to market the library.
Without researching and immersing myself in the social media for teen’s assignment I would not have been courageous enough to initiate and follow through with this social networking proposal.
Now that content has started to be created, the Instagram posts are attracting comments from followers. Another challenge raised was how to manage comment moderation. Fleet (2009) offers some sound advice on writing a moderation policy and some standards and topics to cover. His engagement policies offer a clearly defined interaction policy. Setting these clear criteria reinforces the company’s standards on engagement. Setting these policies now will give clear guidelines when and if moderation is needed on Instagram and all the library’s social media sites.
Creating my PLN
I have had the opportunity to experience lots of different types of social media through INF206 and in turn engage and collaborate with many fellow students. I would not have been able to reflect and evaluate these opportunities without the supportive guidance of my Online Learning Journal and subject Facebook page. Here is where I got to collaborate and experiment with social media tools. Bethany Smith (2008) highlighted that having a personal learning network isn’t just about collaborating, using tools and networking. It is important to contribute to these connections by seeking advice and giving guidance.
Receiving responses and encouragement from Twitter posts was a first for me and gave me confidence to reach out more. Developing your PLN does not happen overnight. It takes time, networking, connection, outreach and collaboration. Through my RSS feeds I have been able to evaluate my networks and focus on the most important communities for my professional development. Hopefully overtime I will be able to build a support network to develop my librarian skills as well as my information studies learning.
The State Library of Victoria offers online programs to help library staff help build their own learning network, connect with colleagues and resources and use and engage in online learning tools. I think the online course is beneficial for every information student to learn skills and tools for 21st centrury research, reference, note taking and information management. This alongside your Personal Learning Network will empower every future librarian. I would like to see something similar set up for every new student at university to start their PLN from the very beginning of the course, not at the end of the degree, which is where I am at.
Now that I have a better knowledge of social networking tools and have begun to grow my network I will continue to explore and expand my social media experience and promote its use in the library.
Burkhardt, A. (2009, August 25). Four Reasons Libraries Should be on Social Media. Information Tyrannosaur. Retrieved from http://andyburkhardt.com/2009/08/25/four-reasons-libraries-should-be-on-social-media/
Fleet, D. (2009, May 9). Social media policies for your company: External policies. Dave Fleet: Conversations at the intersection of communications, PR and social media. Retrieved from
Smith, B. (2008, October 22). Creating an online personal network. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/bethanyvsmith/creating-an-online-personal-learning-network-presentation?from=ss_embed