Second Assignment: Part A Evaluation

OLJ Module 3: Library 2.0
Building Academic Library 2.0: Meredith Farkas

I felt Farkas’ speech clearly demonstrated the principles of Web 2.0: collaboration, conversation, community and content creation (4Cs) and then provided numerous examples of how these could be incorporated into a 2.0 Library.
Farkas stresses the need to know your users. I think this is the key as until this groundwork is undertaken then a library cannot proceed effectively with meeting the 4Cs. So ask them what they are using and what mobile devices they are using and whether they are in fact interested in receiving information from the library via, for example, Facebook or Flickr. It may be seen as an invasion of their space so it has to be undertaken in a flexible and non-institutional manner.
Conversation: enable feedback and be transparent in communication. Use social media tools such as Facebook and Flickr and RSS feeds to highlight and promote a library collection in an inventive manner.
Collaboration: Farkas suggests librarians lose the expert tag (this would horrify many in the profession so maybe we could just loosen our grip on it). Provide a permanent place for collaboration and share resources such as bookmarking and share annotated bibliographies through Diigo or Delicios and allow crowd sourcing by tagging.
Communicate: go where users are with links from subject guides through to Chat services for reference questions but also communicate with library staff to explain and overcome any resistance: I think the one negative comment at the YouTube post summed up the attitude of some of my colleagues: ‘Web and library 2.0 are meaningless marketing buzzwords spouted by the information poor.’ So introduce, for example, 23 Things as part of a professional development plan and hence enable change management.

OLJ: Module 3
A-Z of Social Networking

Social networking tools can effectively support the information needs of libraries. For example subject-specific blogs such as the RMIT Library News of the School of Education blog, originally authored by Dr Gary Pearce, regularly posts on a wide range of library resources (databases, book, children’s literature, information literacy) but also links to legislation affecting the education from professional bodies, government and current affairs. I have since become aware of another social media tool Tumblr. This seems to be an exciting alternative to blogs. Swinburne University of Technology, early adopters of social media have been using Tumblr for at least a year. Tumblr is a blogging platform that makes it easier to post video, audio, words, social bookmarks, photos, and even other people’s blog posts into your blog, and share it with other people (Dannen, 2009). So Tumblr, as a more flexible, multi-faceted platform than a blog, could be adopted with real possibilities for supporting and promoting libraries such as information literacy sessions, embed slideshare, raise the profile of ebooks and feed into the student LMS.
Thought needs to be given to planning, marketing and development of a social media policy. Especially with regard to staffing and empowering librarians to become involved and at the same time taking responsibility for what is posted and when.
Dannen, C. (2009, 26 May). What the Hell is Tumblr? And Other Worthwhile Questions.

OLJ Module 5

The challenge of finding authentic information in a socially networked world

This OLJ task enabled me to critically examine Wikipedia and consider the implications of how current undergraduates learn and evaluate resources and how librarians can remain relevant and assist students through use of Library 2.0.

Some of the results in the OCLC study quoted in the Lorenzo article provide sober reading with only 2% of respondents using library websites as the source to begin an information search. Due to Google’s search algorithm, Wikipedia entries will figure prominently in initial search results (72% of college students refer to it as the first choice of information). I don’t think academics or librarians should be surprised by this anymore. Indeed in some academic circles in the UK a more positive attitude is being taken towards Wikipedia (Corbyn, 2011). There are still some reservations, a nagging concern that contributions will be edited but in the US, The Association for Psychological Science, is now fixing up Wikipedia psychology pages through their scholarly membership (Corbyn, 2011 #2). However, academic librarians still have an important role to play in weaning students off Wikipedia through information literacy sessions and directing their attention to major databases. I have used social media tools, such as YouTube, to support this and La Trobe University has gone a step further and embedded search skills modules into the Health Science LibGuide (Health Sciences La Trobe University, 2010 #4).

I think it has also forced libraries to confront the question of just how accessible are library resources? Many University libraries are adopting a single search ‘google-like’ search page, such as Summon and Ebsco Discovery, to enable a supposedly simpler access to library resources.

Corbyn, Z. (2011, 29 March 2011). Wikipedia wants more contributions from academics The Guardian. Retrieved from

Health Sciences La Trobe University, L. (2010). LibGuides. Information Literacy Health Sciences Modules Home.   Retrieved November 2010, from




This entry was posted in Academic Library, Library 2.0, Meredith Farkas, Web 2.0, Wikipedia. Bookmark the permalink.

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