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  • valarie907 12:03 am on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , privacy, reflection,   

    social media for the private person 

    Social media reveals a lot about a person and it is important for people to be aware of when, where, how, why and who they interact with online and what sort of digital information is shared, collected and stored about themselves and their activities.  Geospatial or geolocation technology is a growing piece of our everyday interaction with technology, intentionally and unintentionally, and it is on the rise.

    I’m a private person, so I probably wouldn’t use an app like FourSquare.  In fact, I remove location tags from my Facebook profile since Facebook does not allow users to just turn off Google Maps.  A place and time stamp can be intrusive, and potentially unsafe if it reveals too much information, enabling people to be victimized.  If law enforcement can use metadata in photos and information collected from social media, so can cyber stalkers and criminals.  Frankly, I don’t want that much information available to recreate my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for accountability, but it needs to be balanced with respect for people’s privacy.  Give them an inch…

    One day, a “Seen by” feature popped up on the Facebook group I created for a non-profit donation center I run.  It included names and times when members viewed a post.  This was a breach of privacy.  As a grad student I stay up late to work; how late is nobody’s business.  Nor is it my business when someone views a post.  It turns out that it is useful for groups that needed accountability (i.e. classes), but the time too?  Really?  Do people need to know what I was viewing a post at 2 am?  I’m surprised it didn’t reveal locations.

    Since then, the time stamp has been removed, but names remain.  I must confess that I take a peek on occasion even though it leaves me feeling like a nosey neighbor.  Facebook collects all kinds of information, and they mean to make a profit and in their pursuit of that profit they can turn on and turn off features for all the information they collect with little warning.

    As much as I love social media, I have other concerns about our use and dependency upon technology in addition to privacy and security:

    • Mindful Participation:  We are responsible for what we share intentionally and unintentionally, but it is a challenge to stay informed.
    • Intellectual Property Rights:  Who owns all that info about us and what we share?  It usually isn’t the user.
    • Mass Consumerism:  We continue to cultivate a culture of mass consumption…to what end?  Which leads right into:
    • Sustainability:  What about the resources used in creating and using these devices?  The slave mines, the energy and where is the waste going?  It is much more costly to throw a text book away than it is an iPad.
    • Digital Divide:  Technology has traditionally been an advantage of the elite.  How can we provide access to this potentially transformative technology to all?
    • Interpersonal Connectivity:  Are we spending too much time using our devices?
    • Addiction:  I’m embarrassed to say how many times I check [you name it], and I’m sure I’m not the only one.  I find the reward nature of social media to be a little disturbing and I find it worth asking if I control it, or if it’s controlling me.

    Now, if you excuse me, I need to check Facebook and Twitter, update my LinkedIn account, upload some pics to Flickr, see what my friends are reading on Goodreads, find Diigo again, figure out what to do with Google+ and contemplate deleting my Pinterest account…


    Chandler, K. (2012). Crowdsourcing to protect your privacy. Retrieved from http://gisweb.apsu.edu/content/crowdsourcing-protect-your-privacy

    Dwoskin, E. (2012). Keeping conflict minerals out of your cell phone. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-12/keeping-conflict-minerals-out-of-your-cell-phone

    Fakhoury, H. (2012). A picture is worth a thousand words, including your location. Retrieved from https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/04/picture-worth-thousand-words-including-your-location

    Kelly, H. (2012). Police embrace social media as crime-fighting tool. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/tech/social-media/fighting-crime-social-media/index.html

    Kopp, J. (2012) Social media risks & rewards. Retrieved from http://blog.ketchum.com/social-media-risks-rewards/

    Letham, G. (2012). Location-based apps rising in use despite privacy concerns. Retrieved from http://blog.gisuser.com/2012/04/09/location-based-apps-rising-in-use-despite-privacy-concerns/


    • Pamela Hawks 3:22 pm on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      If you haven’t seen Cory Doctorow’s Ted talk on facebook, privacy and social stimulus, you should watch it because he really gets to the “meat” of the problem as I see it:

      My fave quote from it: “facebook cashes in the precious material of our social lives and trades it for pennies”

      Thanks for bringing up ideas that we often don’t want to consider. it’s important to always be “looking over our shoulder” before we take leaps of faith into all these networks.

  • valarie907 10:57 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , reflection,   

    no more “business as usual” 

    cc opensource.com

    It seems overly simple to say that libraries need to meet people’s needs rather than their own; after all, isn’t that what they’ve been doing?  Well, yes, but the traditional library model is also rather self-serving.  Libraries have formulated mission statements and set goals to promote ideals they feel society ought to value as much as they do.  It might be tempting for libraries to cling to traditional services they know and love when continued funding and support are questioned and/or reduced, if not eliminated.  It is what they know how to do…the problem is that younger generations are growing up using information in a very different way and a traditional model will not meet their needs.   The evolving digital landscape requires innovative services.

    The library of the future is focusing on the young people’s needs for
    the library, rather than the library’s need for young people.  ~ Mindspot the Movie, 2009

    cc City of Marietta, GA

    Participation is fundamental to the Hyperlinked Library model.  Without participation, there is no relationship on which to build upon in new and innovative ways; creating relevant library services becomes a guessing game.  Mutual participation affords an opportunity to gain insight into the needs and desires of users that libraries so desperately want.  In order to facilitate user participation, the users need to be let in…

    DOK’s Aarhus’ Mindspot program is spot on with the methods it uses to engage young library users.  Young people are the libraries future and if they are not engaged now, exactly when should we expect the library to suddenly become relevant to them?  I especially love that they use the young people to create their services and leave the library to meet them where they are at.

    There is still a place for traditional services provided they are modified to meet new access and delivery methods, at least for the time being.  A shift is required to involve as much of the demographic of a given community so that modified traditional services, new participatory services and library spaces are relevant to the community in ways that uphold the mission of the library.  It is exciting to see so many brave libraries and librarians paving the way for all of us.

    cc opensource.com

    cc opensource.com


    American Library Association. (2006). Core values of librarianship. [website] Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/offices/oif/statementspols/corevaluesstatement/corevalues

    Transformation Lab. (2009). Mindspot the movie: The library as a universe. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/ixsOLvLSARg

    • michael 1:04 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Nice synthesis of core values in light of the model. Note: it’s Aarhus not DOK for the Mindspot program. 🙂 Those European libraries are on fire with innovation – easy to confuse them.

      • Valarie 1:43 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the correction! I’ll pay better attention next time, for sure. What exactly is it that is driving them? Are their public libraries funded much like ours or in a different way? I tend to think that money and economy drive much of what we do, though I try not to be a skeptic. While reading articles and watching videos about them (European public libraries), I wondered how they afford to do what they are doing.

        I was wondering if you have a source for blog publication etiquette? Do I go in and make a note of my edit? There’s been a few times (like just now when I published a post without a title or tags!) when I forgot to add something to my post or notice a mistake…I think it will improve with practice, but I was just wondering how best to handle those changes.

  • valarie907 11:58 pm on September 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , reflection,   

    moving forward with eyes wide open 

    cc modified from Mashable.com at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mashable/4702811257/

    I’m excited about the Hyperlinked Library model!  Libraries like Anythink provide a great model, but I am even more excited for the libraries that are venturing out and giving it a go.  Why?  Because, it takes a certain amount of risk-taking and bravery to venture into new territory.  Not only is it new, the Hyperlinked Library engages the people in a very public manner.

    While I understand the barriers to integrating new service models and social media into the library culture (we experience much of the same ones in the school library where I work), the payoff for connecting with our users and our public is fantastic.  Please note that I did not use “program” to describe it.  Programs tend to generate a lot of excitement and energy to begin with, but tend to fizzle over time as enthusiasm and creativity wans.  The silent blogs, Twitter accounts, blogs and Facebook pages do little to promote a positive image for their libraries.

    I really appreciate the emphasis on thoughtful and purposeful decisions and actions for the Hyperlinked Library, Stephens, 2011).  When Pam Sandlian Smith of Anythink libraries shared her experience with the success of their newly branded library at our 2011 AkLA library conference, I was most impressed with how thoughtfully and purposefully it was done.  She shared that much of the changes in their libraries came about with the help of the concepts presented in Setting the Table by Danny Meyer (2006).  Hospitality was a significant and guiding principle that set the impetus for each change made.

    For social media to be successfully integrated into a library culture, I was thinking a few things need to be considered.  Here is a checklist list I am starting to put together:

    • Mission:  Supported.  Changes need to support the mission or the mission needs to be reconsidered if it prevents forward thinking.
    • Purpose:  Ask why.  Nothing should be adopted unless it meets a specific need or goal of the user.
    • Plan:   Learn. Research. Learn.  This is where true marketing begins – get to know your demographics and community and research the new idea and how other libraries have done it.
    • Implement:  Game on!  Full on engagement and participation.
    • Diligence:  Be persistent. Integration requires the change to be attended frequently…probably daily to be successful.


    Lastly, change needs to happen with a happy heart to continue to converse in an enriching and affirmative manner.  Have you ever noticed how you can hear a smile when someone is talking?  My favorite part of the Hyperlinked Library is how visible it becomes and that it allows the library to do what we’re supposed to do.

    Libraries are “dynamic centers – places that offer tools for personal development and economic improvement, places that create a sense of local community and provide a connection to the global community.” (from the Hyperlinked Library Model lecture, Stephens, 2012)


    Meyer, D. (2006). Setting the table: The transforming power of hospitality in business. New York: HarperCollinsPublishers.

    Stephens, M. (2011) The Hyperlinked Library: Retrieved from http://dl.dropbox.com/u/239835/StephensHyperlinkedLibrary2011.pdf

    • jlabecker 4:34 pm on September 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I also appreciate the emphasis on thoughtful and purposeful decisions. I’ve had too many experiences in schools where change occurs for the sake of change,or worse, to fulfill meaningless paperwork mandated by the “powers that be”. Changes should be made to solve problems or improve services and they should address specific needs of the school community.

      • Valarie 1:39 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you…I am surprised how often the value of the mission/vision statement to plan and develop services and programs comes up in the LIS courses I have taken so far. It forces us to examine the purpose of those ideas so that they really do support or compliment the mission of the institution.

        It seems to me that there is a lot more of the types of changes you mention in the education field. There is a desperation to increase teacher effectiveness and student performance which is further distorted by measurements that don’t give a complete picture. I wonder if libraries are heading this direction…please tell me we are not!!!

    • Judi 7:20 pm on September 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Valerie, so true! Your thoughtful list might be expanded for changes to a library in general, not just social media. I would also like to suggest adding “evaluation” to the list…

    • Judi E 7:25 pm on September 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Valerie, so true! Your thoughtful list might be expanded to include any change to a library, not only social media. And I would like to suggest adding “evaluation” to the list as well…thanks!

      • Valarie 1:52 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Excellent call, Judi! Evaluation definitely needs to be added! Looking back, I realized I was in a middle of a shift in thinking while writing this post; from social media to more general changes. Thank you so much for your suggestions.

    • Holly 9:42 am on September 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I haven’t experienced change for the sake of change in the library environment. Rather, the problem has been people dragging their feet on ANY sort of change, even when it has been studied and will provide measurable benefits. Grrr.

      • Valarie 2:04 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        For sure…reluctance to change is a significant issue and I can appreciate your frustration! I really appreciate the flatter model of the Hyperlinked Library in which there is more collaboration and decisions are not necessarily top-down to facilitate a more trusting and innovative space. I’m not sure what the solution is to “update” institutions that adhere to a traditional hierarchy of leadership would be other than professional development and peer encouragement for the leadership (such as conferences, #rsq12!). Seems like each situation would have too many particulars to generalize a solution.

    • Angela Bernard 2:59 pm on September 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      “Change needs to happen with a happy heart.” I LOVE that sentiment and agree wholeheartedly. However, the trouble is getting an entire library staff on board with change sometimes! I work with some pretty set in their ways women and, let’s face it, a lot of people working in libraries don’t like change. I wish we could make them read some of the materials we’ve read here.

      P.S. Your blog kicks ass. I feel like a total slacker/loser with my generic-themed word press site. 🙂

      • Valarie 3:32 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I’m so glad you do, Angela! I almost changed it because I thought it might’ve sounded too sappy. But, we color what we do by our attitudes. When dealing with feeling dislocated from my Inupiaq culture and “finding” my cultural identity, my college education was significant in helping me understand that we were not the only ones who have gone through this type of cultural change…it happens over and over throughout history. I’m not saying that made it okay or easy, but I was able to let go of being a “victim” and move on. Not everyone agrees, but we can do only what we can for ourselves and hope others might notice and be inspired. People don’t like change, but I think we can create a work space more receptive to change. I just purchased Peter Block’s Stewardship and look forward to reading about his ideas to do this. Here’s an interview with him I found online:

        Embracing Stewardship: An Interview with Peter Block (pdf)

        And, gee, thanks for the compliment…have fun playing around with yours!

    • Patty Miranda 5:44 pm on September 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I like how you ended you post with “A place that offers tools for personal development and economic improvement” by Stephens, 2012. It stands out to me because this weeks lecture also included the Tool Library. Tools are very expensive and having a tool library where people can check out tools for one time use is amazing. I loved it so much that I shared it with my husband. He couldn’t believe it! He doesn’t understand yet exactly where libraries are heading, but hopefully soon I can show him.

      • Valarie 3:42 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Patty, I love how you expanded the meaning to include nontraditional collections! I was thinking conceptually, but you are so right; we can meet some very important needs by rethinking the services we can provide. While attending a ATALM/WMA (Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries & Museums/Western Museum Association) conference in Hawaii last year, I learned about a tribal museum that checks out ceremonial items because they are still used. What a beautiful illustration that they are a living culture and their museum is not just a display of the past. It turned out that several tribal libraries also do this…talk about keeping it relevant to the users. Thank you for expanding my thinking!

    • michael 1:02 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Your checklist is spot on and could be incorporated into the planning assignment. All of those things are important to consider in order to be successful with social tools and other emerging technologies. It’s a far cry from “technolust.”

      • Valarie 1:44 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Will do…I appreciate the feedback!

  • valarie907 12:00 am on September 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , reflection,   

    reflecting on technology and the participatory library 

    Work with schools, Bronx Traveling Library : people using bo...

    cc New York Public Library Visual Materials

    The potential to improve the library’s usability and engage the patron though new technologies makes sense because people are already successfully using technology to access information through other means.  I, myself was frustrated with the inability of library technology to measure up to my experience as an online consumer.  As Lankes, Silverstein, Nicholson & Marshall (2007) suggest, I might be more interested in our community library’s OPAC if I were allowed to manipulate the interface and search results to my liking or take an interest in the collection should I be able to read other local reviews or submit my own.  But, the lack of engagement, the lack of potential, has left me indifferent, only visiting when I am checking to see if they have a title after perusing the reviews elsewhere.

    “We adapt to what we adopt.”  Buckland (1997)

    So, the idea for libraries to make use of emerging technologies is more than welcome.  Change is passing the reluctant library by and forward thinking is barely allowing libraries to maintain their momentum and cultural relevance.  I agree, there are many barriers and issues to overcome, and, no, we should not forsake our traditional library users, but, the opportunity is great for those who step out of their comfort zones to explore how they can better meet the information seeker’s needs and engage him/her in new ways.

    “The library and its leadership need to be shaping that future today by crafting services that people want now.”  Casey & Savastinuk (2007)

    Lankes, et al. (2007) proposed the conversation theory to help libraries/librarians understand how they might develop a relationship with their users and potential users in their communities to find out how to better serve them.  In both Casey & Silverstein (2007), and Lankes, et. al. (2007), the emphasis on feedback brought to mind the “askhole” (please pardon the crude imagery, but it will prove a point).  While I have seen many library friends share this meme, I’m afraid that librarians are capable of the same ingratitude.  If we solicit information from the library user regarding improvements to library service, are we not obligated to demonstrate a show of faith and attempt to meet those needs or at least explain when we can or why we are not able to?  Trust is established when conversation goes both ways and we demonstrate we are listening to and acting on those criticisms and requests.

    I see marketing as a continuum of that conversation as we play close attention to our user demographics, needs and how to inform them of our services.  Casey & Savastinuk (2007) briefly use the business words “competition,” “market” and “customer” before returning to the verbiage librarians seems more comfortable with.  This left me wondering why libraries are afraid of adopting ideas from the business world.  Kathy Dempsey encourages libraries to carefully examine how they could market their library services to their stakeholders and has a wonderful diagram for The Cycle of True Marketing (2012).  I came across a SlideShare by David Armano (2008) that capitalizes on micro interactions and direct engagements in the business world that I believe also fit the participatory model in libraries.

     “The best knowledge comes from an ‘optimal information environment’.”  Lankes, Silverstein, Nicholson & Marshall (2007)

    I value that the role of technology proposed in our course readings is as an enhancement, not an end unto its self.  The threat of becoming consumed by technology and losing sight of the mission of the library while attempting to integrate it into the library programs and services is real.  I also appreciate the emphasis that the participatory library model does not undermine the values and principles of librarianship or that the well thought out mission should guide decision-making.

    Yes, I’ve already bought into the participatory model of libraries and librarianship, but it isn’t without an ear for criticism.  It is important to listen to the whole conversation…not just to the part that shares the same viewpoint.


    Armano, D. (2008). Micro interactions + direct engagement in a 2.0 world.  [website] Retrieved from http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/2008/04/micro-interacti.html

    *Buckland, M. K. (1997). Redesigning library services: A manifesto. Chicago: American Library Association.

    *Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford, N.J: Information Today.

    Dempsey, K. (2012). The cycle of true marketing. [website] Retrieved from http://www.librariesareessential.com/library-marketing-resources/cycle-of-true-marketing/

    *Lankes, R. D., Silverstein, J., Nicholson, S., Marshall, T. (2007). Participatory networks: The library as conversation. Information Technology & Libraries, 26(4), 17-33.

    *The Hyperlinked Library foundational readings

    • Pamela Hawks 7:14 am on September 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent find on Armano. I have read about his ideas, but that PP is a good summation of exactly the type of thinking that will help broaden how we can listen to more voices than we think.

      btw- excellent photo and good example of how listening to the community does not necessarily mean an ipad for every patron.

    • Holly 5:37 pm on September 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      “Trust is established when conversation goes both ways and we demonstrate we are listening to and acting on those criticisms and requests.”

      A big THIS to this sentence! I know all too well from experience that some libraries welcome suggestions, but never do anything about it. Whether it’s suggestions from patrons, or my own ideas, it’s really frustrating to see it go down the askhole. At the very least, even if libraries don’t do anything about it, they should have a very very good reason for it.

      • Valarie 12:48 am on September 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Holly…and it is part of being transparent. Trust should be cultivated and guarded. Once lost, it is most difficult to regain. Even in the little school library where I work…

    • Laura 10:02 pm on September 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      That was one of my favorite quotes from Buckland too, “we adapt to what we adopt.”
      We have a suggestion box at our library. Upon some massive cleaning efforts at the reference desk, I found it was full of cards. Key was no where to be found! Yes….give us your feedback, fill out a card…!
      I am not convinced though…about the full-on feedback mode. Does the squeaky wheel get it all? What if there is a handful of very vociferous participants?
      Off I go to find out why it was decided that our library blog would not accept comments! Let’s be a little more open here.
      BTW. I heart your blog. You are inspiring me to get moving on mine.

      • Valarie 1:11 am on September 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Laura! I hope you have fun with your blog! And, yes, the quote is simple but true. When someone asks about a particular service or policy, and I realize we do it because we’ve always done it that way, that is my red flag to evaluate the situation to see if we can do something better. It’s exciting when we can.

        What a funny story…I’ll bet there are a lot of those kind of comment boxes around the world! I’ve been told to be cautious about asking what people want because I may put myself in a position to do what they request. At the same time, I try to be diligent in my observations and conversations with the students and staff in our school to be sure our library is providing the best service it can. I like to talk to those who are reluctant to read or visit the library to learn from them. Perhaps we need to find ways to have more of those conversations?

        I love reading comments on blogs…they are most revealing! I’m also for allowing anonymous comments so long as they are respectful…opinions about this, anyone?

    • Pamela Hawks 2:33 pm on September 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I am all for allowing anonymous comments on blogs. I think that preserving the anonymity of the web is important, especially as it gets more and more personalized every day. I am a proponent of what Cory Doctorow thinks about the growing social networks (such as FB): they “cash in the precious material of our social lives and trade it for pennies.” Plus, I think people will be more open if allowed to remain anonymous. You will always get some unhelpful comments, but its a small price to pay for true, helpful criticism.

      • Valarie 1:25 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Pamela, I like the Doctorow quote! While looking for it I found this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAGjNe1YhMA Wow, he really sums up what it is that I am uncomfortable with regarding social media. I had been thinking in regards to honest communication when allowing for anonymity, but now this really helps me to expand further on the value of it…thank you!

        • Pamela Hawks 3:22 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink

          @Valarie , Your welcome! Yes, that is a great video (I saw it in a class I recently took called Social Informatics). I think Cory is always a good person to turn to to get the honest perspective on emerging technologies!

    • carlie 9:49 am on September 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with your point on learning about business. I’m currently a TA, and am reviewing business video clips for a spring library course…very interesting and simple way of planning, getting approval,implementing projects, and marketing.

      • Valarie 1:47 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        What a great task to learn more about all that! Is this for the Marketing class with Koontz? My curiosity about how a business model can be applied to libraries began with marketing and continues to increase. Yet, it also makes me nervous, because we have some significant values, such as intellectual freedom, that could potentially be threatened should it be taken too far.

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