#L4FL18 Learning from others to innovate for learners: information literacy, fluency and the new world of learning

NSW DoE Libraries for Future Learners Conference October 19, 2018

This keynote was to be delivered by Dr Marcia Mardis, Florida State University based Library Specialist and academic, who had to cancel due to hurricane damage (sending her messages of good will from Australia!). So, June Wall, Library Coordinator for NSW Department of Education (NSW DoE), stepped in and delivered a stirring keynote that inspired and encouraged an audience of over 300 Teacher Librarians from a wide range of schools across NSW. Many of the audience had travelled long distances and it turned out the travel was well worth the effort.

My notes from June’s presentation have been fleshed out in this post and some links provided to other internet resources. This is a deep water keynote! You’re going to need more than swimmers and a towel! June has a way of presenting deep thinking in chewable chunks and she covered a LOT of ground in a relatively short presentation. I have only included images that I was sure about permissions for and knew the heritage of the graphic. I hope I have done credit to the clarity that June attempted to achieve.

The idea was to give an introduction to what has been achieved in recent times by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and an explanation of how they achieved their Future Ready Libraries focus. June’s intent was to begin the process of getting NSW Teacher Librarians(TL) to consider what we need to revisit, rewrite, reconfigure in our core policy in order to meet the challenges of future focused learning in NSW DoE schools.

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) standards document was developed using a process that may or may not be useful to us in NSW. However, it is a case study that we can certainly learn from.

They started by investigating their core beliefs, their shared history, their external influences and established their Shared Foundations (link).

  • Inquire
  • Collaborate
  • Explore
  • Include
  • Curate
  • Engage

These foundation statements may or may not apply to our circumstances.

They settled on a model of four domains as the core values and competencies being advanced through their work in the school library.

  • Think
  • Create
  • Share
  • Grow

For each of the Shared Foundations these domains provide a framework that goes with it.

A closer look at these frameworks will be possible once the resources from this conference are made available to conference attendees by June Wall in the coming weeks.

What the US have achieved within their Shared Foundations is to use the four domains, and for each of those domains, they’re taking it from the point of view of “what does the learner need to know?” i.e. What are the learner competencies required? What are the Teacher Librarian competencies required? How does the school library align with this framework?

For each of these areas they have applied the standards they have developed – a practical approach to the whole.

This approach really drills down to the student outcomes that we all want as the focus for our work as Teacher Librarians. If we want a student to be able to inquire well then our work has to help them to develop the information fluency they need. They need

  • the skills to formulate the questions they need to answer for their personal interest or curricular topic
  • to have access to their prior and context knowledge for the topic they are exploring and achieve new meaning
  • the information access skills to find the answers they seek.

The AASL framework is the core of what these student outcomes come from.

There’s not a difference in what we are trying to achieve here in NSW, those outcomes, but there is significant difference in how we are currently approaching it. There is also the direct link in the AASL framework to what it means to be a Future Ready Teacher Librarian.

For each of the AASL Shared Foundations, these domains explicitly go through what it looks like as student outcomes and how the Teacher Librarians can achieve that outcome.

This AASL framework starts with a very different approach to ours about what the Teacher Librarian role is in school libraries. Most of the states of the USA have taken this framework on board.

This is where the US have come to. It is apparently making a good impact in US schools. This AASL model talks about learning as the whole process – not subsetting it.

Should we be finding the value in this shift in thinking?NSW DoE ISP image

Our current NSW information process model – ISP (link) (Information Skills booklet)has been with us for over a decade. The Information Process has not changed since previous iterations of the ISP model. The colours may have changed but the process is the same.

What does this mean for teachers in classrooms? Are they explicitly using this model? Do they know it exists?

Does this model assist teachers who are working with information literacy in the NSW curriculum?


We need to start to think about Information Literacy differently. Have we been working at the Basic Skills area – are we teaching a specific skill that is being transferred from subject to subject? Do our students and teachers see themselves as information literate?

What we want to move to is to be Information Competent. This level not only has those skills but it has behaviours and abilities. Competence is being able to both do it and do it well. We are currently not operating mostly at a competence level – students rely on templates for even the basic bibliography in assessment tasks. They are not confident at even this level because we don’t provide them with the instruction and practice they need to achieve that confidence. It is not an embedded behaviour. We want them to move on from competence to literate/fluent.

We’ve had that aim… underneath syllabus outcomes and assessment requirements… but we don’t currently have a framework within which we can achieve information literacy at the levels required as entry level skills in the new NSW Stage 6 syllabi. We are not preparing students for the academic rigour now being required.

As professionals we all need to become information fluent and we need to model that in a way that students and teachers will exhibit their information literacy as a matter of course… assumed knowledge, assumed skill level, assumed assessment task requirement.

Most NSW DoE teachers are information fluent in a wide range of skill sets and areas of expertise for their subject knowledge. They do it but they don’t have the language and terminology around it. We need to get to the point where we can assume information is accessed appropriately in all of the modes and forms that it is available to our staff and students.

June Wall indicated that she also thinks we need to “overlay” the 3 core areas of

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity and innovation

These come out of a range of different skill sets but we see this requirement in the General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum. These are core needs of our community and have been identified as such through our curriculum development processes.

Looking ahead

“Where can the Teacher Librarian plug the hole that is missing in schools?” Not as an enhancement but as a point of difference. The Teacher Librarian has a different expertise and we need to be explicit in how this skill set can best be utilised by individual schools.

This can be completely different in individual schools. We need to think differently about information fluency and use the Teacher Librarian to champion that learning in schools. This term “information fluency” encompasses every media form (including digital literacy) – not just books but everything that our students do that involves information.

June suggested some questions that need answers… a beginning to this journey into a changed model of information fluency in NSW DoE schools:

  1. What are your common beliefs? What is valuable to external stakeholders? What does the TL community value?
  2. What are your shared foundations?
  3. What are the areas of learning needed for future young Australians?
  4. How should a future focused model look, feel, sound?

These questions require us to collaborate on the answers, connect and share our thoughts, lead our colleagues into a new phase of information fluency in NSW DoE schools.

This journey has only just begun…

ETL505 Reading a book like a cataloguer…

Source: wikipedia

Source: wikipedia

Learning how to catalogue a resource and create a bibliographic record requires a different approach to books. It’s not about reading for pleasure but instead it is about achieving a familiarity with books in order to locate the information needed and get to know the book as an information resource – whether fiction or non-fiction – so that the required elements that form the bibliographic record can be assembled efficiently.

As a cataloguer, it takes training to recognise elements and assemble them together quickly. Books have certain characteristics that are brought together to create a cataloguing record, and this takes practice. Approaching a book in this way helps the process to happen quickly and the key pieces of information are gathered together. The advantage of reading a book in such a way is that you can quickly determine what the book is about and can pass this information on to library users (Phillips, 1990).

There are many rules to learn associated with this process – even more for school libraries. Cataloguing for schools incorporates knowledge of RDA as well as the guidelines and rules developed by the Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS). These rules dictate where certain information is sourced, how that information is represented, punctuation and capitalisation requirements, subject headings and other access points etc. There is a controlled vocabulary to support this process and achieve a cataloguing standard that assists users. SCIS provides authority files and subject headings to assist library users to navigate their way efficiently to particular resources.

There is much to learn in order to maximise the potential of the library management system and help borrowers to find resources quickly. They too have much to learn.


Phillips, E. (1990) Documentation made easy. [online] Available at: http://bit.ly/505easy

Understanding RDA



RDA Chapter 2 (with Chapter 1)

Look at the physical book.




2 Look at the physical book again

RDA Chapter 3.

Look at the physical book again. n.b. for a book, carrier type is volume; extent is number of pages; font size is a separate piece of data so gets a separate element in RDA





3 Consider the book access and acquisition

RDA Chapter 4.

Consider the book in terms of acquisition and access. e.g. contact information includes address or website of publisher





Summary so far – with example:


Note: when RDA uses “transcribe” vs “record” there are requirements in place for how the text is to be presented. This is standard across the elements.

Next: moving away from the physical item and into the work and expression.





4 Consider the content

RDA Chapter 6 (with Chapter 5).

Consider the content of the book. Some GMD information is included here.

Now… Chapter 6 deals with the Authorised Access Point for the work. Instructions for main entry are found at the end of Chapter 6.

Authorised access point

Authorised Access Point – a unifying heading that helps identify that specific work. Note the order of the name, the punctuation and the birth – death year information.



5 Consider the content again



RDA Chapter 7 (with Chapter 5).







RDA Chapters 9, 10 and 11 (with Chapter 8).





Entities by authorised access points

7 Show primary relationships



RDA Chapter 17

General Guidelines on Recording Primary Relationships. n.b. some primary relationships have to be inferred ;(




8 Show relationships between


RDA Chapters 19, 20, 21 and 22 (with Chapter 18)

RDA Relationship Elements

Top level relationships:

RDA asks for more information about the relationship between the work and the people.




Top level elements

Example of mapping RDA roles:

Note in example that composer is also a singer so is listed in the different roles… RDA maps all these relationships out.





Mapping RDA roles

9 Show relationships between



RDA Chapters 25, 26, 27 and 28 (with Chapter 24)

includes series part because this is about the relationship between this book and others in the series




Example of what the record might look like built on RDA



RDA gathers all the information together – it does not dictate what that information will look like in a specific record in a catalogue. Here is an example






Sructured expressions example

Structured descriptions example

Unstructured descriptions example









Unstructured descriptions example

10 Show relationships between



RDA Chapters 30, 31 and 32 (with Chapter 29)






Example related persons

N.B. Chapters 12-16 are place holder chapters with some information filled in. e.g. formatting geographic names












Summary of the 10 steps


Brenndorfer, T. (2012) RDA in 10 easy steps. [online]. Available at


Understanding FRBR

frbr2-25hru1h-300x180FRBR is a conceptual model to explain the bibliographic universe – it’s a way to understand the relationship between books (and other types of resources). It was a recommendation of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), in 1998, to restructure catalog databases to reflect the conceptual structure of information resources.

FRBR is a way to look at the data in bibliographic records, and it’s based on an established technique for modelling databases. The structure of RDA(Resource Description and Access) is built on the FRBR model.

FRBR asks basic questions:

  • what are the different things – the essential, separate entities – we are trying to describe in catalogues?
  • how are those different things related?

Work > the main intellectual and creative content > authorFRBR3

Expression > people who help to realise the work > editor, translator, performer

Manifestation > the publication and distribution of physical things > publisher – specific published run of a specific edition of a work

Item > owner of copy – each item/copy in our holdings, can be talked about separately from the manifestations.

Once FRBR separates out all these entities, relationships between those entities, and other entities that are responsible for them, can become easier to see. FRBR does not dictate how to encode this or display this information, it just says that these relationships exist.

User tasks:Usertasks

FRBR language:FRBR language


Brenndorfer, T. (2012) RDA in 10 easy steps. [online]. Available at

Lorenz, A. (2012) FRBR simplified. [online]. Available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPBpP0wbWTg

INF506 Evaluative report – how deep was the learning?

INF506 Evaluative Statement:

Evidence of meeting the learning objectives…

How effectively we build and maintain relationships determines the success we experience in our roles as Information Professionals. Without those relationships – there is no work. Social networking provides a virtual world in which we can deepen those connections, work on those relationships, be more available as information professionals. The learning modules of INF506 are designed to develop an understanding of social networking technologies, policy and procedures, and how to critically assess their usage to connect, communicate, collaborate and create.

To demonstrate my deepening understanding of social networking technologies and examine their features and functionality, I have immersed myself in a range of those technologies and used my online learning journal (OLJ) to explore the issues surrounding facebook for schools, promoting ethical behaviour online through edmodo, and using twitter analytics to understand networks.

In my OLJ post titled Edmodo, school libraries and promoting ethical online behaviour (Hogg, 2016a), I used the American Association of School Librarians’ “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner” to explore the learning opportunities of Edmodo newusing the social networking platform, edmodo. School libraries have an opportunity to address these standards by incorporating appropriate social networking platforms in their library teaching programs (Agosto and Abbas, 2011) and I have subsequently established edmodo groups for a range of purposes within my school library.

Edmodo is a safe online platform to provide students with the opportunity to explore the social networking practices of posting and liking within group and subgroup membership. With supervision provided by the owner of group, a teacher or teacher librarian, can nurture the skill set of writing and responding to online conversation threads. Edmodo also has many integrated features and embedded applications that give students the opportunity to develop their information and communication technology skill set.

To understand the theory and practice of Library 2.0 and participatory library service I have researched and analysed the work of State Library NSW and State Library Victoria and written about these libraries in my OLJ post Social media and Web 2.0 Libraries (Hogg, 2016c).

Both of these libraries have a strong presence across a range of social media platforms and are great examples of how the use of social media can enhance their core business.

  1. Both libraries have strong brand connections that are maintained on these platforms.
  2. They promote the library’s resources, services and events and provide key information direct to clients.
  3. The social media accounts are well maintained and provide another point of contact for users.
  4. They engage volunteers to participate in projects related to library collections.
  5. They engage users by facilitating discussion groups and offer collaborative work opportunities.
  6. Create the impression of modern, progressive, responsive Library 2.0.

To evaluate social networking technologies and software to support informational and collaborative needs of workgroups and communities, I completed a project utilising a range of social networking technologies to build a teacher learning community. This provided me with an opportunity to become familiar with social media policy, theory related to developing Communities of Practice (CoP), leadership issues in establishing a CoP. This project also provided the vehicle to demonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural, educational, ethical, and technical management issues that exist in a socially networked world, and how information policy is developed and implemented to support such issues.

This project and the course content on Library 2.0 led to my further exploration of the use of social media by school and public libraries. This research found the authors Agosto and Abbas, and my OLJ post Teens, libraries and social networking (Hogg, 2016d). Teens use social media to develop and connect within their social networks (Agosto & Abbas, 2009). Much of this is bidirectional information sharing and social interaction. Attempting to tap into this social networking for young adults is a new challenge for library services.

As schools strive to continuously improve and evolve as learning organisations, it makes sense to implement mechanisms to improve relationships and communication structures within these teacher communities (Barth, 1991; Ferriter, 2010). Improving schools involves change (Boyd-Dimock, 1992). The use of social networking has a range of benefits that support these endeavours and enhance the 21st century skills of teaching staff (Arendt, 2009; Baird & Fisher, 2005; Bradley, 2015; Kivunja, 2014). INF506 has been a vehicle for me to experience deeper learning in using social networking tools for more than just social participation, to develop stronger connections with an expanding professional learning network and to explore the significant challenges of building school-based teacher learning communities (McLaughlin & Talbert, 2006).

INF506 Reflective Statement:social-network-background-with-icons_23-2147497535

Developing as an information professional…

To achieve deeper learning (as defined by William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2013) involves

  • the mastering of core academic content,
  • to think critically and solve complex problems,
  • communicate effectively,
  • work collaboratively,
  • learn how to learn,
  • develop academic mindsets

The core academic content of INF506 has helped me to understand that being a Librarian 2.0 is about mindset, transferable skills and interpersonal strengths (Adams, 2007; Partridge, 2011; Partridge, Lee & Munro, 2010). Brabazon (2014) suggests that the role of librarians is to ‘reintermediate the information landscape with regard to quality and relevance’. The important characteristics here are flexibility – to adapt to a changing information landscape; openness – to change in technologies, learning theories and pedagogies; willingness – to connect and collaborate and support the learning of users; inquisitiveness – to explore new models of utilising information and library spaces. Social networking technologies are a means to enable information professionals to lead lifelong learning as a participant and role model, rather than languishing in library models of a century that is past. INF506 has provided an opportunity to explore these potentials and expand by professional learning network.

The learning modules of INF506 have confirmed that the knowledge and skills needed to be a Librarian 2.0 are not achieved in a vacuum but require the development of underlying dispositions and behavioural capacities to connect and collaborate in order to embody lifelong learning. Librarian 2.0 needs self regulation, adaptability and tenacity (Hallam, 2014) to gain the skills needed to support users of a variety of technologies and help them navigate the information tsunami that the internet has afforded. In fact, Partridge (2011) posits that Librarian 2.0 is more about attitude and thinking than it is about books and cataloguing. It’s about branding and profile. INF506 gave me the opportunity to farm my digital footprint and reflect on my participation on a range of social networking platforms for a leaner professional profile.

For INF506, the opportunity to think critically and solve complex problems was provided by the Social Networking Report assignment. This assignment required the design and implementation of a unique social networking project to support the information, learning, social and organisational needs of a group of people. It was a practical task that required the implementation of a real project. My assignment involved collaborating on a project to explore the use of social networking technologies to develop a Community of Practice (CoP) within my college. Analysing participation and engagement amongst my staff provided many opportunities to connect and collaborate in both the real and virtual worlds.

Using a Facebook group for INF506, alongside exploring the many social networking technologies that are the subject of facebook-logoinquiry in the course content, provided a range of opportunities to make new connections and to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with other students in the course, as well as my colleagues and students. I am now using these technologies more efficiently and with a clearer agenda and skill set. The methodology of this subject has also widened my knowledge of “learning how to learn”.

In addition to all these areas of learning, INF506 provided the chance to develop a deeper academic mindset regarding the underlying theory of online social networks. The assignment project led to research Bandura’s Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 2011) and began an ongoing project to learn more about the challenges of developing teacher Communities of Practice (Wenger-Trayner, 2015) and the challenges of Open Leadership (Hogg, 2016b). Learning communities build knowledge by providing a “social life” for information, and this gives teachers an opportunity to turn data into new information through discussion and reflection (Brown & Duguid, 2000). It would seem obvious that school teaching staff should be members of a learning community within their schools, yet the very nature of teaching is that it is an isolated activity, so if we are to promote change in teaching practice, and professionally develop teachers who are already on busy schedules (Cochrane, 2013), and shift thinking to a CoP, then the opportunities afforded by the use of social networking tools can provide both asynchronous and synchronous opportunities to access busy teachers and empower them to build social capital (Bourdieu, 2011) through supporting their efforts to participate in professional development delivered via these tools. Participating in professional conversation, accessing professional reading, being provided with opportunities to participate in professional learning – can all be established through social networking channels (Goodyear et al, 2014; Hay, 2010).


Abram, S. (2005). Web 2.0, huh?! Library 2.0, librarian 2.0. Information Outlook, Vol. 9(12), pp. 44–46.

Agosto, D.E. & Abbas, J. (ed) (2011) Teens, libraries and social networking : what Librarians need to know. Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO.

Arendt, A. (2009). Social Media Tools and the Policies Associated with Them, Best Practices in Policy Management Conference. Utah Valley University, November. Retrieved from: http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=anne_arendt

Bandura, A. (2011) Social learning theory. [online] Available at: http://www.learning-theories.com/social-learning-theory-bandura.html

Baird, D.E. & Fisher, M. (2005) Neomillennial user experience design strategies: utilizing social networking media to support “always on” learning styles. Journal of Educational Technology Systems. Sept.1, 2005.

Barth, R.S. (1991). Restructuring schools: some questions for teachers and principals. Phi Delta Kappan. 73(2), pp. 123-128.

Bourdieu, P. (2011). The forms of capital.(1986). Cultural theory: An anthology, 81-93. Retrieved from: http://eppl751su2012.wmwikis.net/file/view/Bourdieu.ch6.Forms.of.Capital.pdf/350871874/Bourdieu.ch6.Forms.of.Capital.pdf

Boyd-Dimock, V. (1992) Creating a context for change. Issues …about Change. Vol.2, No.2. [online] Available at: http://www.sedl.org/change/issues/issues22.html

Brabazon, T. (2014). The disintermediated librarian and a reintermediated future. Australian Library Journal. Vol. 63 no.3, pp. 191-205.

Bradley, P. (2015) Social media for creative libraries. London : Facet Publishing.

Brown, J.S., & Duguid, P. (2000). The social life of information. Cambridge, MA : Harvard Business School Press.

Cochrane, T. & Narayan, V. (2013) Redesigning professional development: reconceptualising teaching using social learning technologies. Research in Learning Technology. Vol. 21, 2013.

Ferriter, W. (2010) Using social media to reach your community. Educational Leadership, Dec, 2010, Vol.68(4), p.87-88

Goodyear, V.A.; Casey, A. & Kirk, D. (2014) Tweet me, message me, like me: using social media to facilitate pedagogical change within an emerging community of practice. Sport, Education and Society, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 7, 927-943, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2013.858624

Hardy, I. (2008) The impact of policy upon practice: an Australian study of teachers’ professional development. Teacher Development. Vol.12, (2) pp.103-113.

Hallam, G. (2014) Victorian public libraries : our future, our skills : research report. Melbourne : State Library of Victoria. Available online at: http://www.plvn.net.au/sites/default/files/Skills%20Audit%20Report%20FINAL.pdf

Hogg, D. (2016a) Edmodo, school libraries and promoting ethical online behaviour. [online] Available at: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/debhoggoz/2016/03/29/edmodo-school-libraries-and-promoting-ethical-online-behaviour/

Hogg, D. (2016b) Open leadership : the social media challenge. Available at: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/debhoggoz/2016/05/21/open-leadership-the-social-media-challenge/

Hogg, D. (2016c) Social media and web 2.0 libraries. [online] Available at: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/debhoggoz/2016/05/22/social-media-and-web-2-0-libraries/

Hogg, D. (2016d) Teens, libraries and social networking. [online] Available at: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/debhoggoz/2016/05/21/teens-libraries-and-social-networking

King, D. L. (2007, July 11). Basic competencies of a 2.0 librarian, take 2. Available at: http://www.davidleeking.com/2007/07/11/basic-competencies-of-a-20-librarian-take-2/

Kivunja, C. (2014). The use of social media technologies as novel ways to teach and to promote learning. Proceedings of the e Skills for Knowledge Production and Innovation Conference 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, 551-564. Available at: http://proceedings.e-skillsconference.org/2014/e-skills551-564Kivunja922.pdf

McLaughlin, M.W. & Talbert, J.E. (2006) Building school-based teacher learning communities: professional strategies to improve student achievement. New York:Teachers College Press.

Partridge, H. (2011) Librarian 2.0 : it’s all in the attitude! In Mueller, Dawn (Ed.) Declaration of Interdependence : the Proceedings of the ACRL 2011 Conference, Association of College and Research Libraries, Philadelphia, PA. [online] Available at: http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/national/2011/papers/librarian2.0.pdf

Partridge, H., Lee, J., & Munro, C. (2010). Becoming librarian 2.0: the skills, knowledge and attributes required by library and information professionals in a web 2.0 world (and beyond). Library trends v59. No. 1-2, pp. 315-335. Available at: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/18735/59.1-2.partridge.pdf

Senge, P., Roberts, C., Ross, R., & Smith, B. (1994) The fifth discipline field book: Strategies and tools for building a learning organisation. New York: Doubleday.

Wenger-Trayner, E. & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2015) Communities of practice: a brief introduction. [online] Available at: http://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/07-Brief-introduction-to-communities-of-practice.pdf

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (2013) What is deeper learning? [online] Available at: http://www.hewlett.org/programs/education/deeper-learning/what-deeper-learning

INF506 reflecting on twitter analytics

Working through the social networking tools module of INF506 started me on a journey of evaluation of the opportunities provided by micro-blogging and how these platforms have affected my PLN (personal/professional learning network). It’s been a long while since I thought about just how much I rely on twitter to keep in touch with thought leaders in education, new professionaltwitter profile May 2016 reading, conference events and other opportunities to connect and learn from fellow educators across the world. What that looks like might be just about reading and lurking, researching links and information shared, or it might be participating in twitter chats and following hashtags with a few notifications set up to pull the information to me instead of having to reach out to get it. There is something quite unique about twitter’s role in education in this century.

Twitter has completely shattered information access hierarchies… and social hierarchies too. In essence, twitter is accessible to anyone who has access to the internet and that access is global. This simple communication tool with a restriction of 140 characters has played a significant role in a global information revolution. For me it has provided opportunities that have been enabled by members of my PLN which have had a direct, positive effect on the learning outcomes of my students and my colleagues.

Within the INF506 module there was a section on twitter analytics and there are a wide range of tools to choose from to analyse your twitter account and reveal how twitter connections work. So it was time to have a play with these tools and see what the analytics revealed. The perfect opportunity came in the form of a new Australian chapter of the twitter chat #EnviroEd on Wednesday evenings which is hosted by some of the leaders of Environment Centres run by NSW Department of Education in various places across NSW. I have an interest in this topic but it also gave me an opportunity to see how the chat was reflected in my analytics amongst the normal usage of my twitter account.

SociovizThis graphic was created using Socioviz and provides a sociogram of my account within a set time frame – in this example it was set for a week either side of the #enviroED chat. Socioviz can reveal the interconnections between users on the twitter platform and the size of the dots indicate the frequency of contact for those members of the network. In this example, all the yellow dots on the right side of the graphic are people who participated in the #EnviroEd chat in the week of the snapshot.

At one level this is just an interesting diagram for a personal twitter account but these analytics have the potential to be very useful when analysing social media usage for schools and libraries – finding the links in school communities and providing information about library users. Drilling down into data can provide information to inform decisions about content and timing of usage of social media accounts and how best to manage those accounts.

Twitter analytics engagement

Of course twitter has its own analytics features which can provide lots of information about how the account is engaging with followers and the traction being achieved for content that is posted. Knowing your audience and when they interact with your account can help the management team to utilise the account more efficiently and provide the data required to know if it is worth all the effort to maintain these social media accounts.

There are many measures of engagement provided by twitter. Link clicks, retweets, likes and replies can provide information about how followers are engaging with the accounts and when this is happening. It is important to remember that for many businesses that run twitter accounts they are doing so by paying for it using professional social media marketing and management companies. Schools and libraries can tap into this expertise by reading social media marketing blogs and engaging with social media experts online – yes… through their twitter accounts.

It is important to remember that representing an educational institution or teacher professional association, using a twitter account, comes with responsibilities and potential problems. Social media policies are written to protect employers and associations from poor decision making of individuals who are running accounts. Honorary positions can be forfeited by misusing twitter accounts for personal point scoring or poor digital citizenship – misrepresenting your employer’s position or providing incorrect or poorly worded advice when you are representing a professional association, will have consequences in the real world. It is important to think carefully about what you post in any social media platform – but especially when you are representing an agency or association.

Engaging on twitter, building a PLN, and benefitting from the learning and connecting that is available, means that there is much to learn about best practice and how to build relationships online. The benefits are multiple and there are many opportunities to engage with this learning through twitter. There are a wide range of chats held with an education focus and these run at all hours of the day and night as twitter runs 24/7 across all the time zones. A list of just a few of the education based twitter chats is available here.

For me, five people I would recommend to follow on twitter would be @pipcleaves @townesy77 @aliceleung @johnqgoh and the amazing @nickpatsianas

Social media and Web 2.0 Libraries

Maintaining the collection in libraries is core business. Deciding how the library looks and feels is tied to vision statements, collection development policies, budgets and job descriptions. Adding social media to the list must be considered carefully because it is a significant expectation to maintain a presence and requires additional organisational requirements and expectations. It is not just about establishing accounts and maintaining them, but training staff in how to adapt to these new media platforms and the different ways that clients expect those to be conducted.

State Library NSW

The State Library NSW (SLNSW) has a well established presence on a range of social media sites. They utilise these forums to promote library services, advertise events, showcase the collection and provide support to clients. This provides a significant value-adding maintained by Library staff and offers a range of curation and information management services.

SLNSW promotes their links to the history of NSW through provision of educational support packages, in house excursions, outreach events across the state’s schools, conferences and other events. This range of services is enhanced by their social media presence which is well maintained and personable.

State Library Vic

The State Library Victoria (SLVic) similarly has a well established presence on a wide range of platforms. Their model is interactive, innovative, modern and focuses of the full breadth of their clientèle. SLVic have a strong youth focus and a reputation for holding events that bring lots of young people through the door. They have held events in virtual worlds as well as to engage social aspects of Melbourne live.

So, is it worth all the effort? Are libraries now expected to maintain this level of social media presence? These two libraries are great examples of how the use of social media can enhance their core business.

  1. Both libraries have strong brand connections that are maintained on these platforms.
  2. They promote the library’s resources, services and events and provide key information direct to clients.
  3. The social media accounts are well maintained and provide another point of contact for users.
  4. They engage volunteers to participate in projects related to library collections.
  5. They engage users by facilitating discussion groups and offer collaborative work opportunities.
  6. Create the impression of modern, progressive, responsive Library 2.0.

For school libraries planning to use social media there are some important considerations to plan for before establishing accounts (Bertland, n.d.; Casey & Savastinuk, 2010; Miller, 2005) .

  • Policy requirements – institutional policies provide a framework for use of social media for both individuals and groups.  A social media strategy is a means to articulate the goals from using social media. The time and energy needed to maintain these sites should result in something more than simply a presence but have an outcome that enhances core services.
  • Copyright – when publishing to social media, school libraries need to be aware of their responsibilities regarding copyright and intellectual property. The ethical use of the creative materials shared on these sites should be attributed appropriately. Modelling good practice for students can enhance the educational outcomes of this process.
  • Staff roles – developing good social media content takes time. Staff roles need to be defined to that time can be allocated in the working day for staff to be trained in using these technologies and have space to engage in these environments on behalf of the library. Decisions about proof reading, nature of content, photographs, written content etc. all need a process so that it is of a high standard and promotes the library in a positive manner.
  • Risk and trust -the audience of social media is well beyond the local school community. Mistakes are visible and can be costly. Establishing protocols to best avoid these mistakes will prove beneficial in the long run and must be monitored in an ongoing fashion. Letting go of the culture of control may be necessary to have a successful use of social media (Farkas, 2008).


Bertland, L. (n.d.) Resources for school librarians. [online] Available at: http://www.sldirectory.com/libsf/resf/web2.html

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2010). Library 2.0 Service for the next generation library. [online] Library Journal, (May 21, 2010). Available at:  http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2010/05/technology/library-2-0/

Farkas, M. (2008) The essence of Library 2.0? [online] Available at: http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/

Miller, P. (2005). Web 2.0: Building the new library. [online] Ariadne, (45). Available at: http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue45/miller

Teens, libraries and social networking

Book Review:

Agosto, D.E. & Abbas, J. (ed) (2011) Teens, libraries and social networking : what Librarians need to know. Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO.   http://www.abc-clio.com/ABC-CLIOCorporate/product.aspx?pc=A3083P

Teens use social media to develop and connect within their social networks (Agosto & Abbas, 2009). Much of this is bidirectional information sharing and social interaction. Attempting to tap into this social networking for young adults is a new challenge for library services. These tools provide an opportunity for libraries to become portals for greater educational opportunities. Agosto & Abbas, and contributors, explain the reasons why large numbers of teens use social networking tools and make suggestions as to how best to use them to support teens in using library services.Agosto and Abbas

This series of contributions by a range of authors involved in providing services to young adults, explores a wide range of issues involved in the use of social media and social networking in libraries. It includes profiles of public libraries using these tools, the role of media literacy, the challenges of using these tools, and the legal issues involved, including terms and conditions of social media sites. The book also explores uses of virtual worlds, and other tools like podcasts and media channels.

The book also includes an extensive list of websites and examples of libraries utilising these tools.