Information Literacy and Social Literacy

Posted in Education,Information,of interest by millerlibrarian on June 24, 2009

As a librarian and someone who works with LIS students, I work to promote information literacy all the time.  Working with The Internet Public Library and our email reference service, Ask an IPL Librarian, this is one part of our mission and vision.  I believe that this is one of the fundamental roles of librarians.  However, a new role has emerged, and we now must also promote social literacy.

A great example of doing this is presented by Joe Murphy and Heather Mouliason.  Social Networking Literacy Competencies for Librarians presents a number of skill sets for librarians and social networking.  Another example, a blog post titled 10 ways library schools should be teaching social media, by Daniel Hooker, also supports social literacy with future librarians.

We are working on our own social presence and  literacy efforts at the IPL as well.  I look forward to working with students, instructors and patrons in this exciting area, while still holding true to the value and mission of enhancing information literacy.

What do you think?


Public Access Technologies (PATs)

Posted in Information,of interest,Technology by millerlibrarian on June 21, 2009

After reading the article Public Access Technologies in Public Libraries:  Effects and Implications in Information Technology and Libraries, a few things stood out to me.  I have been a big proponent of PATs, but this article makes me step back and think of the effects and implications on public libraries.

In exploring the current and ever evolving tools used on the Internet, it is important to think about the many ways in which this impacts all parts of our libraries, from staff to hardware/software to services.  I get very excited about talking about and teaching people new tools and tricks in and for library settings, but realize that it is important to consider the longer term implications of this.

I think that the best way to do this is to put it out there – Yes, we will need continued, maybe even increased, tech support;  Yes, we will need to think about connectivity issues;  Yes, we will need to think about staff time and effort.  So, OK let’s plan for it – and not just financial planning.  Collaborative planning – how can we work together within library systems; who can we include and count on as part of the team; how do we successfully deal with external and internal pressures.

I guess what I’m saying is that I realize better that it is a two part message that I hope to continue to share:  Here are some really great tools and resources to use at your library and with your users AND here is what you need to think about and plan for in advance.  Do I have the answers, no of course not, but problems don’t go away if you don’t bring them up.  We need to face and tackle these effects and implications – so, let’s do it!

What do you think?

Twitter during conferences

Posted in Information,of interest by millerlibrarian on June 7, 2009

I read the article on How People are using Twitter during Conferences and I just wanted to share some comments.  I participate in this practice, so I was intrigued by the article title and wanted to read more.  What I read were some great points about Twitter and its use in general.

Many of us already tweet to share news, post status updates and carry on conversations.  The twitter platform is easy, fun and flexible.  One thing that I really liked about this article were the ideas of creating learning relationships.  This is a great addition to the social and/or personal relationships on twitter.  Recently, I followed posts on three tweeps that met up and had a great time.  There was a follow up question on how many of your twitter friends have you met f2f.  For me, this number is very low, and I met them after our twitter follows.  How great is it to have this type of connecting force at our fingertips!

I also liked the idea of informal learning – which many of us experience everyday through twitter.  Through networking and conversations we foster an environment that allows us to grow personally and professionally.  I really think that this is incredibly enhanced when it comes to conferences.  I use twitter to share information at conferences and even meetings.  I do it, as many others do, to share information with those that could not attend; to keep info on certain key points; to connect and converse with others at the conference; etc.  One example of this led to my meeting Joe Murphy at the REFolution 2009 conference.  We were among some of the few public tweeters and shared info and met f2f at the conference.

For conference planners and organizers, I think that it is a great idea to create and share hashtags for conference goers.  It facilitates community before, during and after the conference.  It also allows for many to pick up bits of information that they might miss by not being able to attend the conference.

I use one twitter name for professional and personal tweets, although my personal tweets are less frequent.  I’m not sure why…  I also try to comment or reply to others in an attempt to foster communication and connections.  I feel a pretty solid connection to many of my twitter friends.

So, I just wanted to share some thoughts triggered by this article.  The idea of twitter as a backchannel for conferences is a good one, in my opinion.  The 3 identified areas of organizational enhancements, information sharing and building conference communities are good ones!

What do you think?

True Confessions of a tech gadget addict…

Posted in of interest,Technology by millerlibrarian on June 2, 2009

I am a tech gadget addict – there I’ve said it.  I love to hear about and play with new gadgets.  I thought that I would list some of these and tell a bit about why I got them and what I like about them.

USB modem:  Probably the best investment I’ve made.  Now, this is not an extravagance for me.  I work completely virtually, so I need to be able to connect at all times.  There have been several occasions at home where that has been an “issue” with my ISP and I just plug in my modem and I’m all set.  This is also really useful because it seems that most hotels charge for Internet use.  Additionally, college campuses require an id to log on to wifi, and you can’t always count on it at conference locations.

Netbook:  A gift for Valentine’s Day!  It is perfect for conferences and meetings.  It is small enough to fit in a small bag and has just enough juice and power to keep notes and stay connected during meetings and conferences.  The size and power are ideal for this purpose.

Blackberry:  OK, first – MORE APPS PLEASE.  I love my BB – it allows me to be mobile and active with my kids and family and also be available for email and chat (for work).  A recent obsession has been the camera – I am finally taking full advantage of it and uploading directly to flickr.  Recent comment from hubby – “you even have flash!”  Why, yes, yes I do! Added info:  forgot to mention GPS and Google Maps/Mobile apps!

Laptop/PC:  My laptop is great for mobility at home.  I can move around the house to be near my kids or away from them 🙂  It’s got a good graphics card, not huge, but still useful.  My PC is strictly for work.  It is useful as well for connecting at times when I can’t seem to get there with my laptop, or for big work!

Smartpen:  due to arrive today!  I will share soon…Update:  There is something a little strange about a pen that talks!  On a serious note – this is a really useful gadget.  Although I am still going through the learning curve (always it seems with new tech), it seems that it is just a matter of taking a bit of time to sit and learn and go through functions.

(felt I had to include, I’m not endorsing or promoting anything – just sharing!)

So, there are my thoughts.  Now that I am down one job, I may have to slow down 😦 but I have enough to keep me techie for now!

BTW:  didn’t even touch gaming…Our house = PS3, PSP and Wii…  Just got Wii fit and Wii Active!

What do you think?

On staying relevant

Posted in of interest by millerlibrarian on May 31, 2009

So, over the past week, I have heard or read at least 5 variations of the idea “technology is for the young people.”  Frankly, it stuns me.  Technology is for anyone who wants it.  You can’t break it (for long), you can’t lose it (for long), the worst that can happen:  you don’t like it – so don’t use it.  BUT, if you want to be and stay relevant, you need to let the above idea go…

I am no youngster:  I am not a senior:  I am a self taught technology user.  Why?  To be relevant – relevant to ideas, groups, communities, libraries, librarians, etc.  I live in a rural community, but guess what – we have farmers that use technology for crop information, seniors who use it for ebay, kids who use it for, well, whatever is hot in the kid world at the moment.

In terms of libraries and librarians, I heard a very interesting concept during the Conversants keynote.   Why does it seem to be a given that we make new (often young, but not always)  LIS grads the tech or innovation people?  Well, I think that the above idea has a lot to do with it.  However, LIS programs do not all have a tech focus.  Why not partner up new and vets?  Take a chance…

If you’re reading this, you obviously use technology.  How many times have you heard the idea?


Posted in of interest by millerlibrarian on May 25, 2009


Posted in of interest by millerlibrarian on May 22, 2009

Wordle: Librarianship

Educational change

Posted in of interest by millerlibrarian on May 21, 2009

I attended a webcast today on Blended Librarianship: Becoming an Educational Change Agent, part of a series of webcasts from the Blended Librarian Group.   As I thought about it after, something struck me. The presenters mentioned Active Learning, which is very important – perhaps now, more then ever, in our virtual environment with the increase of distance learning. I think that this is crucial, but then, I am an active learner. What struck me as I thought about this more is the idea of Active Teaching. What better way to elicit Active Learning than with Active Teaching.

What do I mean by Active Teaching? Well, taking an active part in instruction.   Using as many effective means of course and content delivery as possible – trying, seeing what works and doesn’t, and trying again. Actively working with IT; actively inviting YOUR librarians to classes. With distance learning in particular, I can think of nothing better than inviting YOUR librarians into class – maybe to give an orientation to the library or to share and promote tips on best practices or current trends related to students’ and instructors’ own library.

It seems that Active Teaching + Active Learning = Educational Change

I stand corrected…and I love it!

Posted in of interest by millerlibrarian on May 14, 2009

I recently posted about virtual opps for Professional Development and Continuing Education or rather the lack of. Well, apparently, I needed to look deeper.  Some are FREE and some have costs involved.

So, here are some that I have recently discovered (mixed fee and no fee):

ALA ACRL Today’s E-Learning webcast was on Design Thinking (Blended Librarianship).  There is another coming up on June 2:  Podcasting for Libraries.

SLA Click University has opened up many of its courses and webinars.  There are many great topics and you can participate in upcoming sessions or view past recordings.

LearningTimes is another great community that offers many opportunities for education and training.

eSchool News announces opportunities for free webinars – the latest is Video Solutions – Enhancing Communication, Safety and Educational Excellence in Schools, Colleges and Universities.

WebJunction has various upcoming events, one specifically on Libraries as Learning Organizations.

And of course:

Conversants a place to create and share information about participatory librarianship via worldwide conversations in a united effort.

I’ll add more as I find them!

Libraries and Innovation in Second Life® by Lori Bell – part 1 of 7

Posted in of interest by millerlibrarian on May 12, 2009
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