Identifying Digital Trends/Shifts

Identifying Digital Trends/Shifts

The Youtube video “Did you Know 4.0” gives an overview of the changing media landscape that we are experiencing today. I have used this particular video and some other versions of it as an opening to my parent workshops on cyber safety and the digital environment.

It explains digital convergence which is for some quite a difficult concept to understand.

According to the Australian Law Reform Commission, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) defines media convergence as;

“the phenomenon where digitisation of content, as well as standards and technologies for the carriage and display of digital content, are blurring the traditional distinctions between broadcasting and other media across all elements of the supply chain, for content generation, aggregation, distribution and audiences.”

 5 Digital shifts identified in the video. (Traditional Media versus Modern Media)

1.     Newspapers down, Online readers UP

The statistics in the video show a significant shift towards e-books and e-readers. Libraries needs to make these platforms available and be aware of the issues and costs involved. Copyright can be an issue if people are downloading books from unknown sources and in a high school library it is very easy for students to download inappropriate reading material, especially if they own their device. A policy for e-books and e-readers may be warranted, at the very least these resources need to be an addition to the collection policy.

2.     95 % of copyrighted songs downloaded are not paid for.

Many students and patrons do not realise that information online has the same copyright restrictions of those in traditional print. All patrons must be aware of copyright issues associated with the internet. Students must be aware of the copyright associated with all media.

3.       1 million books are published each year and 1000 pages are loaded to the net every hour plus the growth of video content on Youtube is exponential.

Libraries must look at the ways they are cataloguing digital content. Hence the development of Resource Description and Access (RDA) (O’Connell, 2013, p. 4).

4.     20 year existence ABC, NBC-  with 10 million viewers/     

Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest – Less than 6 year’s existence with 250 million viewers.

Social media is growing at exponential rates. Wikipedia has over 13 million articles. This explosion of information means people need education in content curation and libraries must look at the ways they are cataloguing digital content. Students need to be taught digital citizenship, internet safety, copyright, how to evaluate information, disambiguate legitament human behaviour from spam behaviour and that reputation and reciprocity are paramount.

5.     Traditional fundraising- $11 million versus online social media fundraising – $55 million.

Though we may leverage social media for our benefit we must always be aware of our digital footprint and what we are posting online. Giving away personal information can be detrimental as can loading photos and images of friends and ourselves. Social media policies are needed to provide boundaries and expectations of students and staff, bearing in mind this may require separated policies for students and staff (Kroski, 2009).


The changes associated with convergence, digitisation and networking have been seen as providing the basis for a new ‘techno-economic paradigm” (Australian Law Reform Commission, 2014).

Within my school library context as media convergence becomes ubiquitous, this means that there is a significant influence on teaching, learning and literacy (O’Connell, 2013, p. 8). O’Connell (2012, p. 218) makes the important  point that as internet resources are  so easily available students must learn about plagiarism, evaluation strategies, search strategies, critical thinking and problem solving, networked conversation and collaboration, cloud computing environments, ethical use of information and information curation (O’Connell, 2012, p. 221), in order to safely navigate this digital environment.

As our students and staff navigate this digital environment a social media policy is essential in outlining guidelines for positive digital citizenship, internet safety and the clarification of library and organisation values. It provides a clear statement to employees and students of required standards and unacceptable use of social media.

Our challenge is to find ways to teach our children how to navigate the rapidly moving digital landscape, consciously and reflectively (Ohler, 2011).


Kroski, E. (2009). Should your library have a social media policy? School Library Journal, 55(10), 44-n/a. Retrieved from

O’Connell, J. (2013). Knowledge flow and the power of networks – a powerhouse for innovation. Access, 27(4), 8-10. Retrieved from

O’Connell, J. (2013). RDA for school libraries: The next generation in cataloguing. Access, 27(3), 4-6. Retrieved from

Ohler, J. (2011). Teaching Screenagers:  Character Education for the Digital Age. Educational Leadership, 68(5). Retrieved from


Reasons Why Libraries Should be using Social Media.

Comparison of Three Libraries

Type of Library Public Library School Library State Library
Type of usage Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Melbourne, Australia)[1] Brisbane Grammar School Library [2] State Library of Western Australia[3]
Information Service Provision Links to catalogue Links to catalogue, E-books, audio books. e-resources, quick links, subject guides
Web 2.0 applications used Facebook, Twitter Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, RSS feeds, Live traffic and visitor feed Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, RSS feeds
Mobile Apps yes Yes Not easily findable if any
Blogs yes 3 with dynamic names to meet different user needs Not easily findable if any
Educational programmes Technology lessons Web 2.0 application PD in conjunction with Syba Signs
Business/ Marketing News feed of upcoming library events News feed of upcoming library events News feed of upcoming library events
Easy use resources Very easy to navigate and find Very easy to navigate and find, but front page too long with a lot of scrolling Clear set up, but not very visual in terms of pictures and icons

Dynamic library websites incorporate the following four web 2.0 elements (Johnson and Lamb, 2012, p. 67).

1.      Dynamic Element– the website should be constantly changing and updated through RSS feeds, calendars and blogs

2.      Social Elements– Patrons are able to interact and express their ideas through blogs, micro -blogs, discussion areas and sharing with others.

3.      Participatory Elements– Patrons can rate articles, feedback on books, add comments and data.

4.      Interactive Elements- inclusion of audio, video, animation, text, and graphics.

We live and learn in a highly digitalised world. Technology is accelerating at an exponential rate. The mission of any library is to meet the educational, informational, or recreational needs of its population (Farkas, 2007, p. 233).

Reasons Why Libraries Should be using Social Media.

 1.      Relevancy

Social media is now mainstream and is expected by library users and client groups (Choi, 2012).

 2.      Communication.

This involves user participation and user feedback (Stephens, 2011). By entering into a two-way, collaborative and participative dialogue with patrons, libraries are able to build relationships, their credibility and brand (Choi, 2012).

 3.      Connection

Social media tools like Facebook and Twitter can be used to build relationships and rapport with client groups giving libraries a personal feel and facilitates community (Miller, 2005).

 4.      Engagement in Learning

Libraries are uniquely positioned to play a central role in digital learning (Peterson, 2013). Social media allows users to engage in learning in a playful way.  Johnson and Lamb (2012, p. 67) examine six roles that library websites can help fulfil as shown in the table below:


Old way

New Way

Searchers– finding quality information Enter a key word on a static page Enter a picture, word or sound. Use Instagrok to access content
Curators– organising, storing and accessing information Create static pages with links Organise information with, Pinterest
Inquirers– building personal learning networks Create bookmarks and take notes on word processor Develop personal learning networks
Socialisers– building online community Use email, post projects, discussion Participate and collaborate in the cloud
Organisers-processing and organising information Spreadsheets Exploratree, Inspiration
Storytellers– sharing information Powerpoint, Moviemaker Multimedia tools

 5.      Marketing

Libraries can use social media to market their services, collections and events (Burkhardt, 2009).

As O’Connell ( 2012, p.4) points out, school libraries and teacher librarians can have a major role in today’s interactive knowledge environment with a strong strategically planned and maintained website.


Burkhardt, A. (2009, August 25). Four Reasons Libraries Should be on Social Media. Information Tyrannosaur. Retrieved from

Choi, C. (2012). Is Your Library Ready For a  Social Media Librarian? Presented at the ALIA, Sydney. Retrieved from

Farkas, M. G. (2008, January 24). The Essence of Library 2.0? Information Wants to be Free. Retrieved from

Johnson, L., & Lamb, A. (2012). Technology swarms for digital learners. Teacher Librarian, 39(5), 67+. Retrieved from

Miller, P. (2005). Web 2.0: Building the new Library. Ariadne. Retrieved from

O’Connell, J. (2012). Learning without frontiers: School libraries and meta-literacy in action. Access, 26(1), 4–7.

Peterson, K. (2013). Libraries Play A Central Role in Connected Learning | The Digital Shift 2013. School Library Journal. Retrieved from

Stephens, M. (2011, February). The Hyperlinked Library. Tame The Web. Retrieved from

Utilising Web 2.0 Technologies- Brisbane Grammar Library

OLJ 3.3

 Library pic

 Figure 1 Brisbane Grammar Library

 I have selected to look at Brisbane Grammar Library as I have visited it and met with Cathy Oxley. It is this library that first interested me in developing LibGuides for our library.

Essentially libraries when creating a website, are dealing with maintaining an excellent User Experience (UX).

Criteria for Effective Website Design

1. Excellent Homepage

This is the first port of call and is the gateway to the library’s resources. Clear branding is essential to give users a clear understanding of your online identity( McBurnie, 2007). A clean, streamlined website is essential so that the user experience is an enjoyable one and the user will come back (Schmidt & Etches, 2012, p.2)

 2.      Easy Navigation

Users want to be able to find what they are looking quickly and easily.

3.      Current and Useful

Information found should match the needs of the patrons and be regularly updated. This means that every library site will be different as is every demographic.

4.       Less is Good (Schmidt &Etches, 2012)

The “keep it simple”-principle (KIS) should be the primary goal of site design. Patrons scan on a website, they do not want to sit and read so information should be in easy to skim chunk.

5.      Visually Appealing

Incorporate pictures, media and  visual cues to showcase distinctive features but again use them wisely.

6.      For the Users not the Library

This is important to remember. Include search boxes and mobile friendly pages (Mathews, 2009).

7.      Segmentation

One size does not all. Consider developing certain pages for particular interest groups.

8.      Test early, Test Often

Testing the website from a user point of view is an iterative process and should be done on regular basis.

9.      Feedback

This will show the library community that we are prepared to listen and gives a personal connection.



Figure 2 : Brisbane Grammar Library Homepage

How does this site way up with each criteria?

Cathy Oxley has used Libguides to create a visually pleasing website. The school logo can be seen in the top right hand side of the screen. The simple use of the word “Library” and its aim, “Connecting learners and ideas” are clearly displayed.

Boxes down both the left and right hand sides of the pages contain easy visual clues and icons which link to the library catalogue, library blogs, e-books and reviews. The middle of the page shows library news and happenings with photos incorporated giving the library a friendly persona. Students love to see photos of themselves.

Within in box is a place to write comments giving patrons and visitors every opportunity to interact and ask questions.

A number of Web 2.0 tools have been utilised. The Library is using Twitter, RSS feeds, Facebook, Pinterest and have a mobile app so that patrons may search the catalogue from a phone.

I tend to think there is too much situated on this home page and users must keep scrolling down quite some way to keep exploring, so it would be interesting to see a comparison of hits on the bottom information to that at the top of the site. The most important information is situated at the top for this reason I would assume. Although there is so much, navigation is very easy and there is a clear search button at the top.


Mathews, B. (2009). Web design matters: Ten essentials for any library site. Library Journal, (available in electronic full text from CSU library –

McBurnie, J. (2007). Your online identity: Key to marketing and being found. FUMSI, (October). Retrieved from

Schmidt, A., & Etches, A. (2012). User Experience (UX) Design for Libraries. American Library Association.

Exploring Second Life

Eploring the Library in Second Life

Eploring the Library in Second Life

Exploring Second Life

Second Life was started in 2003 by Linden Labs. It is a Multi User Virtual Environment (MUVE) in which multiple payers can engage in an online community.

“Being a librarian working in Second Life is a double-edged sword, with both benefits and challenges” (Baum & Lyons, 2012). Whilst I understand the need for libraries to explore new technologies and ways of delivering their services, I have found that at this point the disadvantages of Second Life outweigh the perceived advantages. More importantly the age restriction of 18 years stops me as a school librarian from delving further.

Technology barriers are a deterrent as Second Life puts heavy demands on computers. A high end computer is needed with a fast processer and good graphic card making this a difficult application for those on the wrong side of the digital divide. Second Life is subject to frequent crashes (Helmer, 2007),  as I experienced on my third attempt to explore the application, crashing six times throughout the class tour. A frustrating first experience, which has definitely played a large part in putting me off as it would many other users.

Linden Labs also point out that orientation alone takes four hours which I believe is very conservative. As Baum and Lyons (2012, p. 387) indicate, creating and designing attractive and functional places in virtual worlds entails a substantial time commitment and a certain level of technological skill. Cost comes down to design, code and the hidden cost of staff time and training for both staff and patrons. This comes at a time when time constraints grow even tighter.

Greenhill (2008) elaborates on a number of advantages of Second Life. In particular, the breakdown of professional isolation; becoming  part of a collaborative learning community;  networking and professional support about real-life library topics and having fun in a “play” orientated application are all good reasons to persevere, particularly as becoming conversant with Second Life allows a librarian to better understand her gaming patrons. However it is important to remember that like any potential new service, there are costs, equity issues, and the demand from users should be assessed.

I have only scraped the surface with my foray into Second Life. I discovered today how to find Charles Sturt University and the identities of LenaLotus Latte  (Lyn Hay) and Heyjude Jenns (Judy O’Connell) on my own and was just getting excited about finding other places when it once again crashed.

Miller, Porter and Ryan (2010) advise considering the details associated with starting and maintaining a presence in a virtual world, and the safety and suitability of the chosen virtual environment before charging ahead. In my case, our school library is not yet ready but I am much better informed should the subject of virtual worlds be raised.


Baum, J., & Lyons, K. (2012). Librarianship Presence in Virtual Worlds. In (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Practices and Outcomes in Virtual Worlds and Environments (pp. 384-399). Hershey, PA: . doi:10.4018/978-1-60960-762-3.ch020

Greenhill, K. (2008). Do we remove all the walls? Second Life librarianship. Australian Library Journal, 57(4)

Helmer, J., & Learning Light (2007). Second Life and virtual worlds Available from, 377-393.

Miller, Rebecca, Marjorie Porter, and Jenna Ryan. “Academic Library Services in Virtual Worlds: An Examination of the Potential for Library Services in Immersive Environments.” Journal of Information Technology Education 9 (2010): IIP 253. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 16 Jan. 2014. <|A251459967&v=2.1&u=csu_au&it=r&p=EAIM&sw=w&asid=e47ca375d400fa307cf56483718c47f3>.