Assessment Item 4

Assignment 3:

Part 2: Evaluative Report

(a) Evaluative Statement

It has been a truly positive experience to participate in INF506. This is my eleventh post graduate unit, however it is the first time that I have had to journal my learning.  I have found it to be a rewarding way to learn. I have been able to critically reflect on my learning of the content knowledge as I worked at my own pace through the modules. The OLJ’s have also afforded me the opportunity to connect this new knowledge with real-life experiences and contexts (Gikandi, 2013) and to reflect on my own library and my professional influence within it. This facet of INF506, coupled with the Facebook group, has been particularly motivating.

The three OLJ  learning experiences I wish to look more closely at are:

i)             Exploring Second Life (Couper, 2014)

ii)            Building Academic Library 2.0 (Couper, 2013)

iii)           Social Media Policy and Digital Citizenship (Couper, 2014)

Much has been written and there is little doubt that the use of social media is beneficial to libraries in the present information landscape in terms of connecting with our users both in and outside the library walls (Casey and Savastinuk, 2006; Stephens, 2007: Burkhardt, 2009; Klynstra, 2014). In regards to school libraries, Valenza (2013) is very succinct when she says:

It’s our responsibility to use the physical and virtual spaces we call library to meaningfully connect the world of school with the learning possibilities presented by emerging tools, resources, platforms, and activities.”

For me, the three most important things I have learnt in this unit are reflected in the three chosen journal entries.

Firstly, as I began to experiment with and learn about Second Life and other Web 2.0 tools I had not yet experienced, I realised the importance of the librarian taking the time to closely examine the Web 2.0 tool before implementation. Web 2.0 tools must be carefully chosen to fit curriculum needs and the learning needs of our students, parents and teachers. It is important for LIS professionals to stay up to date with current trends in social media and the best pedagogical approaches to incorporating social media into teaching and learning and library services. After close examination not all tools will be appropriate for certain contexts (Luo, 2010). Just because other libraries may be using a particular tool does not mean it will suit everyone.

Secondly, in Building Academic Library 2.0, I learnt the importance of not focussing on the social media tools themselves but on the actual fundamentals of social media, namely; Content, Collaboration, Community and Collective Intelligence (Mishra, 2009). Mishra (2009) believes these four themes constitute the value system of social media. The challenge then for us as LIS professionals is how we leverage these themes through careful and strategic planning based on our users’ needs to build long term community. Stephens (2011) has a different set of “4C’s”. He believes libraries will be truly innovative, useful and relevant when they develop spaces which connect, collaborate, create and care. I believe the fourth C, “Care”, is an important addition. LIS professionals need to care about providing the best, user based service they can and in return users who actively participate in transparent, grounded learning will surely care about the library making it an important part of the community. Furthermore, a thorough plan which considers purpose, implementation, content creation, and evaluation is imperative (Brookover, 2007 and Paris, 2013).

Thirdly, as we incorporate social media tools and encourage content creation and sharing in our library services, we now have a professional and I believe moral obligation to ensure that our users have the skills and knowledge to conduct themselves responsibly in the online world. A social media policy outlines for employees, students and community members the guidelines or principles of communicating in the online world and the associated implications in not following these guidelines (Lauby, 2009).

One of my most important jobs as an educator is to teach students to care about their own digital footprints, to respect intellectual property, to develop academic–NOT invisible–digital footprints, to understand Creative Commons licensing, to understand how to behave ethically online and that information policy is developed not to hinder media users but to support them (Valenza, 2010).

Lorenzo (2007) advocates that students need understand that their freedom to publish whatever they want online comes with responsibility. This is particularly important when we examine the home –school contrast in which students have far more freedom with and immersion in technology (Lee and Finger, 2010). Cyber safety is an essential part of cross curricular education and independent schools going for re-registration must have social media policies in place.

Part (b) Reflective Statement

I still stand by my initial definition of social networking, though I now have a far more in depth understanding of its underlying concepts. Users have become an integral part of the Internet’s current generation (Governor, Hinchcliffe and Nickull, 2009).

I am both surprised and delighted to have learned so much more about Facebook. Our school has a Facebook page which is now very well used and updates are regularly posted since engaging a “Communications Director” in the latter half of last year.  I can see many improvements that can be made as a result of using Facebook throughout this unit. Sporting groups like Hockey Support could create their own groups for communication. I was going to create a blog for my Camfield House families but I need to investigate as to whether I would connect more by having a Camfield group through the school Facebook page, as students are already going here.

Web 2.0 tools support constructivism-oriented pedagogical approaches such as active learning and social learning by providing environments and technologies that foster interactions (Luo, 2010), and there are a myriad of tools to support different learning activities.  I have been using a wiki site for quite some time and I encourage my staff to use it as a starting point for exploration.

Of importance is finding tools that suit my users (students, teachers) and enhances the curriculum, not finding an activity to suit the tool. Libraries can adapt web tools to enhance library user services, library promotion, and information literacy training (Click and Petit, 2010).

In watching the Youtube video “Building Academic Library 2.0” I unashamedly admit to becoming a Meredith Farkas fan.

Without a doubt the biggest lesson for me has been the concept of truly knowing our users (Farkas, 2007; Casey and Savastinuk, 2006; Miller, 2005). This means taking the time to find out what our users want not what we think they want. Farkas (2008) asks the question: “How can we know what our patrons need and want if we’re not doing assessment?” This is definitely an area that can be improved upon in my library. Libraries must adopt a constant iterative process in which Library 2.0 becomes a state of mind and we constantly re-evaluate our services (Farkas, 2007). Farkas (2008) had hoped that a greater culture of assessment in libraries would come from Library 2.0 but maintains that it has not happened and for the most part I agree.

There is a learning curve for mastering the technology and many Web 2.0 tools take time to master (Luo, 2009). The amount of social media tools available is overwhelming. Up until this unit I had been looking at specific tools for teaching Information Literacy. A full teaching load means a lot of that learning occurs out of work hours and like many LIS professionals I lost my enthusiasm (Farkas, 2008). Time management becomes an essential skill and staff need the time to explore emerging technologies on the job. I have found this is definitely an area in which I can improve and also a good skill to teach my students. Smith (2013) advises setting constraints, prioritizing time and ensuring you have a plan or social media will manage you. Hootsuite is Web 2.0 tool that helps you manage your social media through a single dashboard, streamlining workflow to a number of tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Tumblr instead of having to go to each site.

Of particular interest to me is “Metaliteracy”. O’Connell (2012) claims 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 in order to safely navigate this digital environment. O’Connell (2012) contends that metaliteracy “unifies multiple literacy types and places a particular emphasis on producing and sharing information in participatory digital environments.” Metaliteracy is a skill needed by all, not just students, and this is a challenge LIS professionals need to address when looking at content sharing through social media implementation.

Future Development

I have been involved in PLN’s for some time and did not write a post about them, however I aim to look more closely at this facet of Web 2.0, especially as a lot of teachers are struggling with integrating technology and Web 2.0 and I can see myself becoming a blogger.

I need to take on board the advice of Li (2010) in that engaging in social media involves embracing failure and that change management is essential. Far more difficult for me will be getting rid of the culture of perfect (Farkas, 2007). I do not believe my library is using Web 2.0 to the extent to which it could and one of my goals is to sit with my library staff and discuss where we go from here. I need to channel Joyce Valenza, a professional I have long admired and have had the privilege to meet. She believes it is an exciting time to be in this profession and so do I.


Brookover, S. (2007). Why We Blog. Library Journal., 132(19), 28–31.

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

Casey, M., & Savastinuk, L. (2006). Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library. Library Jounal. Retrieved from

Click, A., & Petit, J. (2010). Social networking and Web 2.0 in information literacy. The International Information & Library Review, 42(2), 137–142. doi:10.1016/j.iilr.2010.04.007

Farkas, M. (2007). Building Academic Library 2.0 [YouTube]. Retrieved January 1, 2014, from

Farkas, M. G. (2007). Social software in libraries: building collaboration, communication, and community online. Medford, N.J: Information Today.

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

Farkas, M. G. (2012). Providing the Tools. Americain Libraries, 43(1/2), 32.

Gikandi, J. (2013). How can open online reflective journals enhance learning in teacher education?. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 21(1), 5–26.

Governor, J., Hinchcliffe, D, & Nickull, D. (2009). Web 2.0 architectures (1st ed.). Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly Media. [ebook]

Klynstra, M. (2013). Social Media Meets Project Management. Geneca: Social Media Applied to Project Teams. Retrieved from

Lauby, S. (2009, April 27). Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy? Retrieved from

Lee, M., & Finger, G. (2010). Developing a networked school community: a guide to realising the vision. Victoria, Australia: ACER.

Lorenzo, G. (2007). Catalysts for change: Information fluency, Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and the new education culture. (March). Retrieved from

Luo, L. (2010). Web 2.0 Integration in Information Literacy Instruction: An Overview. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(1), 32–40. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2009.11.004

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

Mishra, G. (2009, May 11). Digital Activism & the 4Cs Social Media Framework. Global Voices Advocacy. Retrieved from

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

O’Connell, J. (2012b). So you think they can learn? Scan, 31(2), 5–11.

Paris, M. (2013). The Official Social Media Plan for Library Currents. Library Currents. Retrieved from

Smith, B. (2013, October 21). Top 5 Social Media Time Saving Tips. Social Media Today. Retrieved from

Stephens, M. (2007). Chapter 2: Blogs. Web 2.0 Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software. WordPress. Retrieved from

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

Valenza, J. K. (2010). Manifesto for 21st Century Teacher Librarians. Teacher Librarian. Retrieved from

Valenza, J. K. (2011). Fully Loaded. School Library Journal, 57(1), 36.

Valenza, J. K. (2013). SLJ’s Top 10 Tech Trends for 2013. School Library Journal: NeverEnding Search. Retrieved from


Social Media Policy and Digital Citizenship

Social Media Policy and Digital Citizenship

Information is an overt aspect of our political, economic and social life and coupled with knowledge has always been a fundamental part of human activity (Dearnley and Feather, 2001). Information Policy includes such information components as copyright, data protection, freedom of the press and freedom of information (Dearnley and Feather, 2001). It is a regulatory framework within which information can be stored and disseminated.

A social media policy outlines for employees the corporate guidelines or principles of communicating in the online world (Lauby, 2009).

As schools look to bridge the digital divide between home media usage and school, more and more schools are implementing 1-1 programmes making students connected 24/7. Although our students have been born in the digital era and have been immersed in technology all their lives they are still often novices when searching and evaluating information and in understanding the implications of misuse of technologies and social media. Students must learn to be critical and perceptive when searching for information in order to navigate complex information environments (O’Connell, 2012). All care should be given to fully understanding the benefits, privacy policy, terms of use and constraints of a tool before giving it to users and implementing its use into the library setting. In conjunction, Cyber Ethics and Cyber Safety should also be taught along with the essential skills of digital citizenship.

Ribble (2014) maintains there are nine themes of digital citizenship and they can be broken down to the following areas:

Respect Your Self/Respect Others

Etiquette – electronic standards of conduct or procedure

– Access- full electronic participation in society.

– Law – electronic responsibility for actions and deeds

Educate Your Self/Connect with Others

Communication – electronic exchange of information

– Literacy- process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology.

– Commerce – electronic buying and selling of goods.

Protect Your Self/Protect Others

-Rights and Responsibility – those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world.

– Safety (Security) – electronic precautions to guarantee safety

– Health and Welfare – physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world.

Developing digital literacy skills prepares students for a successful adulthood in a world increasingly saturated with digital technologies.

Steps to Develop a Social Media Policy (Anderson, 2014)

  1. Examine your school culture- How is social media currently being used by students? teachers? Administrators? parents?
  2. Organize a Team
  3. Research Phase – Look and review the existing policy and look at other policies.
  4. Draft the  document and incorporate feedback
  5. Check it is within the law
  6. Introduction to the School Community
  7. Review Periodically

Why have a social media Policy in schools?

A social media policy is a useful way to set some ground rules for teachers and students with regard to their online activities.

In our school, I am Chair of the ICT committee and have been involve in the writing of the staff Social Media Policy and the student Acceptable Use Policy. I am pleased to say that we followed the steps above when first looking at developing a policy five years ago. This course has made me evaluate our policies and I must say I am very pleased with our efforts.


Anderson, S. (2014). How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School. Edutopia. Retrieved January 2, 2014, from

Dearnley, J., & Feather, J. (2001). Information policy. The wired world: An introduction to the theory and practice of the information society (pp. 60-93). London: Library Association.

Lauby, S. (2009, April 27). Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy? Retrieved from

O’Connell, J. (2012). So you think they can learn? Scan, 31(2), 5–11.

Ribble, M. (2014). Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship. Retrieved January 2, 2014, from

RSS Feeds in Libraries- Module 2

RSS Feeds in LibrariesRSS

“RSS gets you found in places you normally wouldn’t be found”

-Jenny Levine, Conversation, Community, Connection and Collaboration: Practical New Technologies for User-Centred Services Roadshow, 2006

RSS stands for “Rich Site Summary” or more commonly “Really Rich Syndication”.

An RSS feed allows users to gather content as it is created and updated (Bansode, Dahibhate and Ingale, 2009). Instead of having to visit sites daily to see updates, interested users can subscribe to a web feed, allowing them to quickly access data as it is created, in one place. These syndicated pages are called a web feed. A web feed is a computer-readable file that summarises the information published on a web site.

As both libraries and RSS feeds are about sharing and delivering information it is no big surprise that many libraries are making good use of RSS feeds to disseminate information in a timely manner and with their users’ needs in mind.

How can RSS be used in a library?

  1. New Additions to the catalogue
  2. User notification- Overdues, reserves
  3. Upcoming events and new programs
  4. Library opening hours and holiday closures
  5. Library newsletters
  6.  Press releases and announcements
  7. Job vacancies
  8. Sharing local, state and national news websites
  9. Chatting with a librarian
  10. Interesting sites of interest to different interest groups (The Moxie Librarian, 2008)

For example Yarra Plenty Library ( has a news feed in the top left hand corner showing available services, new books and events.Yarra plenty Library

Figure 1Yarra Plenty Library Home page

Before this unit I had not used an RSS feed myself but I have been experimenting.  I have been trying RSS reader apps in Windows 8 and will continue to explore when this unit is finished.

When incorporating RSS feeds into library services, library managers need to ensure they select their feeds to meet the needs of the users and not clog their site with large amounts of information.

Tips for implementing RSS

Stephens (2006) recommends the following tips when contemplating RSS implementation.

  1. Library staff must decide if they want to generate feeds internally or through another institutions RSS feeds.
  2. Look for places where RSS feeds can save library staff time.
  3. Does the library want to build an RSS –feed portal or a list of starter feeds for patrons
  4. Train the staff and library users.


10 Ways Libraries Can Use RSS. (2008, February 27). The Moxie Librarian. Retrieved from

Bansode, S., Dahibhate, N. B., & Ingale, K. (2009). RSS Applications in Libraries and Information Centres. Library Philosophy and Practice 2009. Retrieved from

Koltzenburg, T. (2006). On the Road with Jenny and Michael. ALATechsource. Retrieved from

Stephens, M. (2006). RSS. Library Technology Reports, 42(4), 36-44.