ETL 505 Assignment 2: Part C: Critical Reflection

In 2010 whilst studying at Edith Cowan University I completed two units on the theory and techniques of organising information resources for retrieval. These units, like ETL 505, included descriptive cataloguing and subject analysis, particularly the use of classification schemes, subject headings and the roles of bibliographic utilities and metadata. I received high distinctions for these units (95 and 91), so luckily I had some background knowledge before beginning this unit.
The information landscape in the digital era changes at an exponential rate and I was faced with learning Resource Description and Access (RDA). Judy O’Connell was adamant that I complete this unit when I enrolled at CSU even though I had completed the other cataloguing units. I now understand why.
Learning the fundamentals of, and theory behind RDA has been challenging, enjoyable and invaluable in keeping me up-to-date with current trends in information resource description. Many school libraries import their catalogue records from SCIS (Z39.50 access), as does my own K-12 library, so many Teacher Librarians may not be creating metadata themselves on a regular basis. Do librarians understand the subject headings in their library catalogues if they are not creating their own metadata? I also believe to truly catalogue well we need the actual resource in our hands. Even if we import records we must ensure the subject headings will meet the needs of our own users and make changes if need be to ensure full utilization of the resource.
In learning RDA I have been reminded of Cutter’s assertion that the most important subject cataloguing principle is the consideration of the best interests of the catalogue user (Drabenstott, Simcox and Williams, 1999). The implementation of RDA is designed to help libraries transition to the technological capabilities available via the Internet, provide a more rewarding search experience through the use of Functional Requirements for Bibliographical Records (FRBR) and Functional Requirements for Authority Records (FRAD), and will work with Machine Readable Cataloguing Records (MARC) records during this transition (O’Connell, 2013).
This unit has reiterated the realization of the need for teacher librarians to be fully conversant with the information seeking needs of our patrons. No matter how much money libraries spend on digital and print resources, it will be wasted if our users cannot access these resources with relative ease. They will turn to the internet.
It is imperative that libraries remain relevant in today’s digital society. A significant challenge for libraries is the lack of standardization and protocols for effective interoperability between data (Hubbard, 2013). I am excited about the evolving changes and believe we need the next generation of library catalogues which will empower users to tag, rate, or review items as well share lists of items much like social networking sites (Hubbard, 2013).
One of the best things about this unit has been gaining a much deeper understanding of Schools Cataloguing Information Service (SCIS). I attended a SCIS one day workshop one week prior to the commencement of this unit and it opened my eyes to the value of the Subject Headings and Authority Files, not only in cataloguing but as a selection tool as well. Hider and Freeman (2009) carried out a comparison of Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT) and Schools Catalogue Information Service Subject Headings (SCISSH) to evaluate the effectiveness of these the two controlled vocabularies in quantitative terms. The results indicate they are effective to similar degrees though the cost of maintaining or downloading both vocabularies is prohibitive and one may replace the other. The authors make an important note. No matter what vocabularies are used and no matter how much retrieval systems are improved, there remains the basic need for information literacy education (Hider & Freeman, 2009).
The biggest lesson: “The convenience of the library user is always to be set before the ease of the cataloguer.”


David Allan Hubbard Library. (n.d.). xt-Generation Library Catalogs: a resource guide. Retrieved from
Drabenstott, Karen M, Simcox, Schelle, & Williams, Marie. (1999). Do librarians understand the subject headings in library catalogs? Reference & User Services Quarterly, 38(4), 369–387.
Hider, P., & Freeman, A. (2009). A comparison of ScOT and SCISSH as subject retrieval aids in school library catalogues. Access, 23(4), 14–22.
O’Connell, J. (2013). RDA for school libraries: the next generation in cataloguing. Access, 27(3), 4–6.


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.

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.