Category Archives: information literacy

Recording of Scholarly Perspectives Webinar on research literacy for early career researchers – links for 2010-05-27

links for 2010-05-20

Toward Academic Library 2.0: Development and Application of a Library 2.0 Methodology (My Master’s Paper)

Title: Toward Academic Library 2.0: Development and Application of a Library 2.0 Methodology

Authors: Michael C. Habib

Issue Date: 17-Nov-2006

Publisher: School of Information and Library Science

Abstract: Recently, librarians have struggled to understand their relationship to a new breed of Web services that, like libraries, connect users with the information they need. These services, known as Web 2.0, offer new service models, methods, and technologies that can be adapted to improve library services. Additionally, these services affect library user’s information seeking behaviors, communication styles, and expectations. The term Library 2.0 has been introduced into the professional language of librarianship as a way to discuss these changes. This paper works to establish a theoretical foundation of Library 2.0 in academic libraries, or Academic Library 2.0.


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I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the paper. Please leave feedback in the comments. Thanks.


On Facebook, identity, and control

,or, The Central Problem of Library 2.0: Identity

I am a little late on this topic, but feel it is important to add my 2 cents. Fred and Terrell have already laid the groundwork for what I am going to say by focusing the conversation away from privacy to identity. While much of this repeats what they have already said, I believe my point is a little different. This post will first examine what could have been done differently and then look at the underlying causes of this issue. Lastly, I will examine what this experience teaches us about how we should implement Library 2.0 services.

It has been interesting to see students’ reactions to the “new” Facebook. It appears to me that Facebook’s biggest mistake was rolling it out as an automatic opt-in feature. Chances are that if they quietly added it in the background, it would have spread virally without a peep.

For example, lets say Facebook added a little link somewhere on the page that says, “Want to make it easier for your friends to stay updated on what you are doing, try the new Facebook feeds?” A few students would notice this and think, “Cool now I can use this new feature that no one else knows about.” When one of their friends visited their page next, they would see the feeds complete with the notification that their friend had begun using the feeds. In this way most students would have first been introduced to the service by invading their friend’s privacy and not their friends invading theirs.

The final ingredient for a successful implementation strategy would have been to give students control over what aspects of their Facebook lives they want to share through the feeds. By turning all the feeds on automatically, students were shocked to see something they thought was private broadcast to their networks. For example, many students might be glad to share new groups they joined or friends they have made, but some students might not want all of their comments immediately apparent. To summarize:

  1. Bait early-adopters. There were students waiting for this to happen who would have chosen to turn the feature on immediately and then pressured their friends to do so.
  2. Let students choose to turn the service on based off their experiences with the profiles of early-adopters.
  3. Let students choose what aspects of their life they want to highlight and which they would rather slide under the radar.

This brings us back to the title of this post. When it comes to our identities, we like having control over how we present ourselves to the world. That is one of the reasons that social networking sites are so useful to college students. It is a way to mold your identity so that you can determine who your friends are to be. Social networking profiles and interactions present us as we wish to be seen. Given this, students were using Facebook to present different versions of themselves to different friends. When this illusion was broken, they in effect lost control of their identities. I would thus argue that the underlying concern of most students is not a loss of their privacy, but a loss of their identity. Students don’t mind sharing their personal information with the world, but want to have control over when and how it is shared.

However, if this experience gets students to think more about how they present themselves in their virtual communities, it is a good thing. So far, this experience seems to have done more to drill home the reality of online life than either university instruction or the press.

So what does this mean for Library 2.0?

First, we might want to change Rory Litwin’s primary problem of Library 2.0 from privacy to identity. This might be a better way to explain these principles to a group of students who are accustomed to sharing their data. Privacy is how we think of these issues, but is it how our users think of them?

Second, we can use this as a guiding principle when developing Library 2.0 systems. What people are researching and reading for pleasure presents a remarkable amount about their identity. We need to design systems that allow users to have control over how they present their identity. If a user wants to appear as though they read Joyce and not Grisham, then we need to allow them this choice. We also need to create ways that users can mask their identities or create multiple identities. For example, this blog is a central part of my professional identity and my MySpace account is a central part of my (online) social identity. While I have chosen to attach my real name to both, it is comforting to know that I could have chosen to present one or the other anonymously.

Third, it shows that we have a long way to go in integrating content creation skills into our information literacy programs. However, we now have an excellent example to use when discussing responsible content creation. In my previous response to Rory’s privacy post, I highlighted three information literacy skills that I felt we needed to teach as a result of an increasingly read/write world. Given this movement in understanding from privacy to identity, the three skills we need to teach would now be:

  1. Identity
  2. Ownership
  3. Security

To gain a further understanding of why I feel these are the three primary principles, I encourage you to read my original response to Rory.

Technorati tags: web20 library20

Cool post relating to information literacy

If you haven’t checked out Matthew Williams blog yet, here is a blurb from his most recent post:

However, in the information age where these facts are always at our fingertips, the need for memorization is far less important. The more important questions are “can you find the information?” and “can you analyze this information?”

Plagiarism is not the fault of the internet, it is the fault of poorly written essay prompts. Most times, these essay prompts are poorly written because they misunderstand or do not recognize this shift in emphasis from content mastery to higher order thinking skills (i.e., it isn’t what you know, but what you can do with what you know).

There are a few things in his essay I might argue with, but much of it is spot on. This excerpt highlights much of what I think information literacy is about these days.